EATONTOWN: The borough is looking to add to its inventory of open space and park land.
Eatontown Parks And Recreation Department Director Janice Grasso said during the Aug. 23 Eatontown Council meeting that she would like to apply for a Monmouth County Open Space Grant to make improvements to a piece of land located at Fort Monmouth.
The piece of property is a 4-acre triangle located just past the Nicodemus Avenue gate off Broad Street.
"There is a possibility that we may acquire that piece of property without any cost to the borough," Grasso said.
The land currently has five buildings on it, one of which is a storage building. Grasso said she would like to keep it and the largest building on the property and close of nearby Tiros Avenue to allow for more green space. There is also a parking lot on the triangle and a concrete pad that could be used for basketball or pickle ball court. The land is across the street from a pond that is "filled with wildlife" and is open to county and Eatontown residents.
Borough Administrator George Jackson said the triangle was originally slated as open space for Monmouth County.
"They don't really have an interest in it right now, according to John Tobia who is the head of public works for Monmouth County," Jackson said.
Grasso said a more concrete plan for the land is needed and that she would work with the borough engineer to come up with one before the grant is applied for on Sept. 20.
"It would require a lot of work very quickly on our part, but it's such a nice opportunity to be able to pick up 4 acres to have some fun on for everybody," Grasso said.
She said the borough would also have to set aside some funds next year, but the grant would help offset the cost.
Mayor Dennis Connelly said there is some "real value in the land" and that the idea of a park there is "worth exploring."
"It keeps open space by the neighborhood that's there and it also adds recreational space," Connelly said.
The council agreed and told Grasso to come back with more information before the Sept. 20 submission deadline.