Brick Town Council Approves Property Acquisition for Open Space Preservation

The most recent meeting of the Brick Town Council saw the approval of property acquisitions for open space preservation, a call for breathalyzer devices in police patrol units, and the transfer of funds for insurance. The council also discussed tax deductions, the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over program, and addressed queries regarding the expenditure of $9 million on a computer bill resolution.

In a move towards preserving the township’s natural spaces, the council unanimously approved the acquisition of a property adjacent to Sawmill Pond Creek. The property, located at the intersection of Herbertsville Road and Maple Avenue, was proposed for acquisition by the Brick Open Space Savers Committee. It is currently zoned as a Village Zone, suitable for residential or mixed-use development. However, the acquisition aims to expand the township’s inventory of recreational and open space. The property, described as residential and wooded, neighbors the Sawmill tract open space area and a fire training center. All council members present, including Heather deJong, Andrea Zapcic, Perry Albanese, Derrick T. Ambrosino, Vince Minichino, Marianna Pontoriero, Melissa Travers, and Mayor Lisa Crate, voted for the motion.

One of the issues raised by the public was the need for breathalyzer devices in the local police patrol units. Sam Foster, a resident, questioned the cost-effectiveness and legality of the police force not having such devices. This issue was linked to the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over program, which the council had recently approved a grant for. Foster’s assertion led to a wider discussion regarding this issue, with the council agreeing to consult the Police Chief for clarification on their current procedures.

Another area of public concern was the allocation of $1.7 million to insurance. The council explained that the figures were based on previous claims, which can vary each year. Furthermore, the police budget was under scrutiny due to a significant amount being taken from it. The council reassured residents that the reduction was a result of timing issues related to hiring new officers and a decrease in overtime, and that the budget would be adjusted accordingly in the upcoming year.

The meeting also addressed a resident’s query about the expenditure of $9 million on computers. The council clarified that this figure covered a range of expenses, not just computers, including health insurance, engineering projects, and attorneys. Despite resident Dennis Quirk offering to help reduce costs by providing computer stations from his pharmaceutical company, the council explained that they had to follow New Jersey procurement law and could not negotiate directly.

Mayor Lisa Crate praised the Brick Open Space Stewards and the local Chamber of Commerce, emphasizing the importance of small businesses in the community. Councilwoman Marianna Pontoriero advocated for foster children in Brick, sharing her personal experience of adoption and urging those capable to consider fostering during the holidays. The council extended their gratitude to organizations providing meals to those in need and organizing toy drives, encouraging community members to contribute.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Lisa Crate
City Council Officials:
Heather deJong, Andrea Zapcic, Perry Albanese, Derrick T. Ambrosino, Vince Minichino, Marianna Pontoriero, Melissa Travers

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