The proposed Wal Mart on Route 37 on the Toms River/Manchester border is slowly going through the process of approval amidst resistance from environmental groups, however the Mayor of Manchester is enthusiastic about the store in his town.

Manchester Mayor Mike Fressola believes the big box store will provide good competition and very importantly increase the ratable for the towns.

The territory of the store sits on the border between Manchester and Toms River, with the store belonging to Toms River while the parking lot sits in Manchester. Mayor Fressola says he has spoken with Toms River Mayor Thomas Kelaher about how taxation will be split and says he is pleased with the results.

“They recognize that the store would be worthless without the parking area, so they have been very generous in their willingness to share in taxable income. ” Noting that the deal is “very very satisfactory” and he is “delighted with it”.

One of the environmental groups opposed to the structure is the Pinelands Preservation Alliance who are asking the DEP to not approve the store’s construction because of Pine Snakes nests found on the territory. The DEP has issued Coastal Areas Review Act permits (CAFRA) after an agreement was reached which requires the store to protect the snakes nest by walling off the den.

Though the Pinelands Preservation Alliance is not pleased with the agreement, Mayor Fressola believes it’s more than fair.

“Honestly speaking I think the demands of the DEP were a little bit excessive in this situation but if the owner of the property was willing to capitulate and do what the DEP wanted, that’s fine. ”

Ultimately he believes the store will be a boon to the entire community.

” I think they can’t be good neighbors I think they will hire, I think they will hire local people. So I think there are a lot of benefits to Manchester and to the surrounding towns. “