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Brick Barrier Island Residents Voice Concerns Over Access

Residents may be able to bring vehicles onto the island soon

Township officials are hopeful that the town's barrier island re-entry plan may move into its third phase – where residents will be allowed to bring vehicles to their properties – in "days, not weeks."

Police Chief Nils R. Bergquist responded to questions posed by frustrated residents at a council meeting Tuesday afternoon. He expressed a desire to move as quickly as possible toward greater access, but stressed the fact that dangers still exist in the area.

"We're just trying to find a balance so we can cover as much during the daylight hours as we can," said Bergquist, explaining that between 20 and 30 sinkholes have been identified on side streets and more are being discovered.

"It's really a hazardous situation," he said, adding that each time he has driven down the one-lane-wide opening that currently makes up Route 35, he delays crews working to restore access.

"Imagine sending four to five hundred vehicles out there every day," said Bergquist. "We had to draw some rules and parameters so we could move forward."

But progress is being made, officials said.

According to Bergquist, the state Department of Transportation is moving heavy equipment from roadways and J.F. Kiely Construction is still working on the area's gas main. Despite that, officials are hoping to shorten the timeframe as to when residents will be able to bring personal vehicles to their homes.

"We expect that to be days, not weeks," said Bergquist.

Once the re-entry plan enters that phase, residents and contractors will be allowed access to the barrier island neighborhoods between dawn and dusk.

Barrier island homeowners, mostly year-round residents, expressed frustrations with the re-entry plan so far.

"I'm not looking to live there or go back next week, but I just want to clean up what I have," said Dean Janeway, a year-round Sunset Lane resident.

Janeway said he worked for three hours during the first re-entry opportunity and was only able to rip up a small portion of his soaked carpet.

"My losses are going to be two, three times what they would have been. I'm going to be battling with my insurance company already, and now this will be on top of it," he said. "Everything I own is in that house."

1stcav November 14, 2012 at 12:24 PM
I can feel & see the frustration on those who simply want to secure and clean up those homes , they want to minimize the damage already done ! FEMA is declining more & more and these Insurance Co's are no help ( usually ) as you will soon find out. They are worried about there bottom line.Decline all claims ( scam ) and let the home owners fight for the funds due them....Pay for 40 yrs, have no claims and NOW they tell you what's NOT covered, before this ..Oh you're fully covered...NOW not so much is FULLY covered..A harsh life's lesson @ your cost ,
Maryellen November 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Have not had access to my house yet....pay same taxes as everyone else. Toms river not moving quick enough and should have full timeline written out. Many others have seen their house atleast once and I have yet to be able to see mine.....NOT OKAY. Wish we had voting rights.....and why do I pay Toms River taxes????? I vote we get rid of Toms River!!! Oh yeah, I am taxed with out representation. Didn't we end this over 200 years ago when we broke away from England????? The barrier Islands don't need Toms River and certainly npot THAT Mayor who doesn't care about our summer homes. Not happy with situation!!!!
J.JONES November 14, 2012 at 03:17 PM
The only things we have no choice on pay taxes and Die...Sad to say Taxes are killing us all and wait till Jan 1st...2013...
Angelo November 15, 2012 at 02:30 PM
We should be given forbearance on taxes for half the year on the barrier island
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