UPDATE: Barrier Island Repopulation Plan Receives Gov. Certification

Toms River's barrier island section scheduled to reopen to residents on Jan. 7

The plan to allow Toms River barrier island residents — except for those in Ortley Beach — repopulate the area on Jan. 7 received approval from Gov. Chris Christie's office on Friday afternoon.

Toms River Office of Emergency Management coordinator Paul Daley confirmed Friday afternoon that the governor's office has given the go ahead for the repopulation plan. 

Earlier Friday, Daley and other township officials were confident that the authorization would be given in time for the Jan. 7 repopulation date.

"It's still on track," Daley said Friday morning. "We're just waiting for the governor."

Daley said that the township has met all of the criteria, such as providing utility service, to allow for repopulation. 

“We also had a meeting with the four utility companies on the barrier island, and they have assured us that all of the utilities will be ready for use on Monday,” Mayor Thomas Kelaher said in a statement. 

Chief of Police Michael Mastronardy said Friday morning that receiving the approval in time for the repopulation should not be an issue.

"We don't anticipate that being a problem," he said. "We think we're prepared and ready. We're ready to get people back to their homes."

A heavy police presence, including security cameras, will remain in the area, according to the township. 

Under the plan, residents may return to their homes on a full-time basis. However, a curfew for residents will be in effect from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m., and access to the ocean beach will be restricted to emergency personnel and those employed in recovery efforts only, officials from barrier island communities have said.

Township Business Administrator Paul Shives said that officials are communicating with the state Office of Emergency Management regarding the certification but are unsure when it will be granted Friday. An announcement will be posted on the township website when the process is completed, he said.

The mayors of Brick Township, Toms River and Seaside Heights have announced re-population plans in a joint request to Gov. Chris Christie to allow residents access back into their homes.

The North Beach area of Toms River, all of Brick and single-family homes in Seaside Heights were included in a formal joint request to re-populate their towns on the same day, on Jan. 7.

A meeting of utility company representatives was held Friday morning to track the progress of repairs in Ortley. Shives said that details from the meeting will be released to the township website once some information is confirmed. 

Michael Capo January 06, 2013 at 01:51 PM
If Toms River would have allowed Ortley Beach to seceded like we wanted to years ago, you would not have this problem today. Toms River wanted the Ortley Beach cash cow to keep their bloated government going. Well the cow is a little under the weather now, but the bloated government of TR needs to keep going so someone has to pay.
Morty P. January 06, 2013 at 02:19 PM
A good point there. I sustained damage and my mortgage company has just about begged us not to walk away. Funny, when i had problems a few times paying over the years they called 100 times a day, now they are like, please stay we will help you.
serenity woods January 06, 2013 at 02:43 PM
You borrowed their money. If you walk away...it costs them as well. But you are right...they will screw you when you needed their help. Its like the insurance company.
jack cee January 06, 2013 at 03:42 PM
I still feel they should restrict non home owners from the barrier island.Give me a good reason why any non homeowner should be there...Its still a mess and alot of houses are in very dangerous conditions.How are they going to stop people from going into side streets? Unless your working or you are a homeowner you have no business driving into any streets.
Paul C Vance January 06, 2013 at 08:35 PM
to all those who my think I sound like sour grapes my gripe is all second home owners are getting shafted we pay the same as a primary homes but are told we will be addressed after primary owner are addressed thats fine and they should get primary homeowners first but In turn moving forward secondary home should not contribute to services which due not apply to us such as school taxes we pay our mortgages just not for services we don't get Also with out secondary home owner these little towns and there little politication would be without our tax base then lets see where we stand


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