Camp Albocondo Proposal Captures Public Attention
It won’t officially be on the agenda until next month, but the Toms River Township Council’s proposed plan to purchase the abandoned Camp Albocondo property drew plenty of comments at this week’s Council meeting.
The Township wants to buy the Whitesville Road site from its current owner, the Trust for Public Land, for TPL’s own purchase price of $4.1 million. Toms River’s share of the cost would be $2.2 million, with Ocean County picking up the remainder. The two entities would then share ownership of the property, with the township’s portion including the existing structures.
Toms River Council President Maria Maruca wants to clear up any confusion regarding the plan. She says it all comes down to one very simple idea.
“We don’t want to see the parcel developed,” Maruca said. “There were opportunities before to possibly get some of the land, but you would have to give up different zoning for that. And the trade-off for units for a portion of the land for free was something we did not do.”
Maruca added that the site’s role in the Barnegat Bay watershed is very important to the community, as is its potential for future use.
“It does have water access there, people are always looking for, you know, where you can launch possibly a kayak or things like that,” Maruca said. “That’s one of the things that we are looking at as a recreation vehicle for us.”
Toms River Council members will take up the proposal again on May 13, 2014. The Ocean County Board of Freeholders also has yet to make a final decision on their part of the agreement.