HOLMDEL, NJ - A new firehouse and apparatus is a step closer to reality as the second reading of a bond ordinance of over $9 million was approved during a second reading at the November 12th, Holmdel Township Committee meeting.
Among other improvements, the ordinance provides the funding for the town to move forward on fire safety improvements. It was approved unanimously. The key question looming for the town is the location of a new firehouse.
One possible location is F&F Nurseries. The other is redoing a current building on Crawfords Corner Road. F&F is town owned farmland and is located near homes and across the street from Bell Works. It wasn't stated where on the farm a new fire building would be built, if chosen.
"We have two plans" stated Rocco Pascucci. "One making the old first aid and fire house into a new giant firehouse, building a new first aid building." He discussed the two plans and next steps. "My plan is to bring it back to us and us five are going to have to say which way we're going. First aid building redo of the fire/first aid or a new firehouse."
Resident Joe Crowley asked regarding the firehouse "will there be a discussion of pros and cons or rationale behind the selection that is shared with the public?" Pascucci indicated there would be more discussion. "As the Public Safety Chair I think I should make a recommendation, and I am going to make a recommendation with the pros and cons of both sites and I think we (governing body) have to make that decision." stated Pascucci.
Their discussion centered on an attempt to achieve consensus with various stakeholders, including the public and volunteers.
Affordable housing zones were also discussed. The attorney briefed the governing body on the plan and ongoing affordable housing litigation. The court has required the town to take various actions immediately, including introducing and adopting ordinances. They introduced two ordinances by title which facilitates low to moderate income housing in Holmdel, particularly on Route 35 and Palmer Avenue.
Resident Ralph Blumenthal commented on the ordinances, "That was not in the most recent previous version of the plan." Attorney Collins replied, "That is correct."
"So there is an implication that the plan has changed." stated Blumenthal. Collins wouldn't comment on any of the specifics. The hearing on the ordinances is set for a December meeting.