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UPDATE: Bus Location Change For Seaside Heights Residents

Plan announced to allow residents to get into homes at standing-room-only Borough Council meeting

UPDATE, 9 a.m. Friday: Seaside Heights officials posted the following notice on the borough's website: "Due to circumstances beyond our control, the location for the initial re-entry pick-up has been changed. All property owners and tenants must go to 1390 Bay Ave. on their designated days rather than the Fischer Boulevard Foodtown. We apologize for the inconvenience and will have personnel redirecting people to the correct location."

The address given is for Shelter Cove in Toms River, a mile east of Fischer Boulevard.

UPDATE: Seaside Heights residents who have concerns or obstacles to accessing the borough on their designated day can contact borough officials by calling 908-600-6741, Mayor William Akers said Thursday.

Previously: A standing-room-only crowd of Seaside Heights residents learned they will be allowed into the borough to retrieve some of their personal belongings beginning Friday, under a plan distributed at Wednesday night's Borough Council meeting in Toms River.

For nearly three hours, Seaside Heights Mayor William Akers answered questions from residents whose anger over being away from their homes for 10 days in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy spilled over time and again.

"I don't believe anything I'm hearing tonight," said Chuck Lada, one of many residents who criticized the mayor and council over the handling of the re-entry plan in the meeting at the county Administration Building in Toms River, which was filled to overflowing despite the snow brought by a nor'easter that added to the area's miseries as people try to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Under the plan, which Akers said had to be approved by the state Department of Transportation, residents will be bused into the borough beginning Friday based on where in town they live. Residents should meet at the old Foodtown in the Bellcrest Plaza on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River beginning at 9 a.m. and Akers said the buses would depart for the borough as soon as they are full.

The town is allowed to bring just four buses, Akers said. A box truck also will be traveling over to bring residents' items back.

Two people per residence will be permitted, Akers said, and residents will need to show some identification to show they belong. They can bring two suitcases per person to retrieve belongings, and the borough will provide two boxes per person that will be transported by box truck back to the Bellcrest Plaza.

Residents will have until 2 p.m. to retrieve items and take photos of their homes, shut off their main electric breakers and drain water pipes, under the plan.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Friday: Residents of Sherman, Sheridan, Grant and Blaine
  • Saturday: Hancock, Fremont, Sumner, Webster
  • Sunday: Kearney, Carteret, Hamilton, Franklin
  • Monday: Sampson, Hiering, Lincoln, Dupont, Porter
  • Tuesday: 400 Hiering/Bayside Terrace. Akers said the damage in this area was more extensive and re-entry may be delayed.

Residents will not be permitted to leave their designated streets while they are in the borough, Akers said.

Akers said getting to this point has been a lengthy process because it required coordination among so many entities, including the other towns on the barrier island, the county Office of Emergency Management, the state Office of Emergency Management, and the state Department of Transportation.

"I have been on conference call after conference call," Akers said, to map out a re-entry plan. "It's a very different communication process."

Residents asked why those who live in South Seaside Park and Seaside Park were allowed onto the island already and why they were allowed to take personal vehicles.

"I thought we had a coordinated effort," Akers said, but those towns moved forward on their own after an initial plan was agreed to, but the DOT "stopped it in its tracks," he said.

The DOT's statement that the roads were unsafe for passenger cars was questioned by many.

"How is it safe for 80,000-pound trucks to go in but not passenger cars?" one woman asked.

"Two suitcases isn't enough," said another woman. "I want my kids' toys."

Akers, who remained calm throughout the meeting, said the rules that were laid down for this re-entry were not what he wanted. He wanted to bring in eight buses, but was told no, he said.

"This isn't our decision," Akers said. "This is DOT and the chiefs of police."

Several residents urged Akers to just allow cars anyway, but Akers refused, saying he wants to be able to get people onto the island again after this initial access. Following the plan approved by the DOT is the best way to make that happen, he said.

"If this was my decision you all could drive in there and get your things," he said. "It's not my decision."

"We are trying to get everyone over there as quickly as possible," he said.

Several residents asked Akers what will be done for those who, due to work or other complications, and he replied the town will try to work with those residents to accommodate their situations. Those with individual issues should contact borough officials, he said.

barbara November 08, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Very frustrating today and all week trying to make calls and get info. called APK towing and they will only tow car from sshts if in driveway. my in laws moved car to a&p parking lot, they tell me that is ortley and they cant tow there, the guy thinks army removed all cars. so i call t.r. police to find out and "they don't know" seriously, so tired of hearing "i don't know" on other questions also from tr pd. Anyone out there know? well on a good note, their cat was rescued monday from their home and we were told it was at four different places, finally found her today at barnegat after getting round around. as far as the lady "Jeannie" who works for ASPCA, you are the ruddest person I ever had to deal with and hope you lose your job!
chris November 08, 2012 at 06:31 PM
A lot of us are ok with the shuttle idea, the problem is this suitcase nonsense! People are being told to move ahead with their lives, sure would be easier with clothing. Oh, I think rich people are awesome, a poor man never gave me a job!
Chief Wahoo November 08, 2012 at 06:44 PM
think this might be happening in New Jersey ???? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/nyregion/cuomo-fires-new-yorks-emergency-management-chief.html?hp
Ken G November 08, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Survivors who have been rescued recently told me there's much more going on that is being covered up.....you residents should demand to know EVERYTHING.
Chuck Lada November 08, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Does a Chicken have lips? Why do think they are keeping us off the barrier island? One reason is so we can't watch government employees fix their homes and businesses at our expense.
Mobilelizard November 08, 2012 at 08:43 PM
That's kinda what I thought as well. Thanks Chuck!
Mobilelizard November 08, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Like what? Genuinely curious...
voice of reason November 08, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Why is Toms River handling the business of Seside Heights ? Where is there Mayor and Police Chief ?
barbara November 08, 2012 at 10:16 PM
where are all the seaside officials? haven't been able to contact any of them. Toms River P.D. not much of help on phone........discouraging
barbara November 08, 2012 at 10:17 PM
i would like an answer to that also, must have been reading my mind.
Catherine Galioto (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 10:21 AM
Hello, Toms River has announced a plan for barrier island resident access. Check out this update: http://tomsriver.patch.com/articles/toms-river-barrier-island-residents-re-entry-plan-begins-friday
Project Bluebeam November 09, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Hey chuck, just wait til the Obama administration declares the whole barrier island unsafe and has your property bulldozed to make way for a new wildlife refuge. Agenda 21.
Project Bluebeam November 09, 2012 at 11:16 AM
It's a by land grab by leftist, pro-Agenda 21 environmentalists.
Project Bluebeam November 09, 2012 at 11:18 AM
It's a by land grab by leftist, pro-Agenda 21 environmentalists.
Project Bluebeam November 09, 2012 at 11:23 AM
When you have your meetings, beware of strangers. You will most likely be infiltrated by Agenda 21 proponents employing the Delphi Technique and Hegelian Dialectic. Familiarize yourselves with these terms and how to spot their use!
Karen Wall November 09, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Folks, several asked about how to contact borough officials about issues with access on assigned days. Mayor William Akers said the temporary number is 908-600-6741.
Dino November 09, 2012 at 03:11 PM
dino, I am not a child going to school that I have to be Bused to my house. The streets are clean. I think Seaside Heights officials are incompetent. They are still getting a salary for doing what?
Tina November 09, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Karen, thank you for publishing this phone number I spoke to someone at the number and boy do I feel 10 times better! I will be going to my scheduled date, although I hate leaving my things there, I can at least get some of my stuff and important papers.
Barnegat Ray November 09, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I live in Ortley full time. I want to be part of a coalition. I cannot believe the people in these towns have accepted these terms without a fight. We are being treated unfairly and like we are in kindergarten. Take out what we can carry on our lap in the bus??? My winter clothes alone wouldn't fit on my lap! What about personal papers, photo albums, electronics, guns, valuables??? Why must we choose what will stay, and be destroyed further by the mold and moisture? This country was built on self reliancy, not by depending on local government. Why are we letting them do this to us and everything we worked so hard for??? Have we no backbone anymore? I will be part of any coalition to bring this to an end...I will be a front runner if need be, but we need to do something now...before it is too late. romulusmedusa@aol.com 201-655-4717
Barnegat Ray November 09, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I live in Ortley full time. I want to be part of a coalition. I cannot believe the people in these towns have accepted these terms without a fight. We are being treated unfairly and like we are in kindergarten. Take out what we can carry on our lap in the bus??? My winter clothes alone wouldn't fit on my lap! What about personal papers, photo albums, electronics, guns, valuables??? Why must we choose what will stay, and be destroyed further by the mold and moisture? This country was built on self reliancy, not by depending on local government. Why are we letting them do this to us and everything we worked so hard for??? Have we no backbone anymore? I will be part of any coalition to bring this to an end...I will be a front runner if need be, but we need to do something now...before it is too late. romulusmedusa@aol.com 201-655-4717
KB November 10, 2012 at 01:00 AM
No one in Lavallette, Ortley Beach, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, South Seaside Park should pay property taxes until permanent access is allowed.No property, no taxes.
barbara November 10, 2012 at 02:41 PM
mistake, not jeannie, janice.....hope someone from ASPCA sees this and fires her nasty butt! Left message.
barbara November 10, 2012 at 02:42 PM
KB, received email from my in laws association letter update that seaside hts is giving residents a break, they don't have to send in their tax bill until 12/17 withouth penalities. are they serious?
Tina November 10, 2012 at 03:29 PM
FYI they have moved the location for the buses AGAIN. its now Sears...please keep checking website since they seem to keep changing everything. also it now says the trucks can be used for large items, not furniture what is that supposed to mean?
Bernice Poli November 13, 2012 at 10:45 AM
so what did they say..please share. The more info the better..let it roll...
Bernice Poli November 13, 2012 at 10:49 AM
how do they know this? A letter was not sent to everyone. Is their any proof? realestgurl@msn.com
Bernice Poli November 13, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Do they say you can bring a vehicle? I am sure they have cleaned out their homes and it took them longer than 4 hours. We have damage here and 4 hours in not enough to take out water laden furniture and sheet rock and wood. Get with the program officials..we are the tax paying homeowners who support this community, you better take head because next you will be removed from your positions...Never doubt the voting public and or pissed off homeowners.
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Ortley wants out of Toms River November 30, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Great point Ray. When we are allowed back in on a full time basis I will give you a call and maybe we can get something done as far as moving on from Toms River Township. I'm sure there will be plenty of us that have had enough of this TR bull s--- We should all stop paying our taxes (I know it's not possible) and hit them where it hurts (in the pocket). It's been almost 5 weeks and I've been to my home 2 times, the mold is out of control, and next thing you know they are going to condem these house because they are a health hazard. IT'A DAMN SHAME.

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