2018 looks to be a year of improvements to some roads, walkways and businesses in South Toms River.

Business Administrator and Clerk Joseph Kostecki says they're holding a round-table discussion January 25 for businesses and property owners along the route 166 and flint road area.

"The idea is not to create business, not to create jobs but to create the environment for the businesses to thrive so they create the jobs," Kostecki said.

They're in the process of submitting an application to the state to make this area a 'Town Center Designation' which would maximize property value and allow the borough to more easily apply for grants, softening the financial impact.

The problem there is that the application process generally takes a long time, especially for bigger municipalities, but in a smaller one with STR, Kostecki hopes it'll only take one year and not any more.

"We are essentially looking to put the businesses on our back," Kostecki said. "We'll take the brunt of the work for the 'Town Center Designation' so that the businesses don't have to go through that tedious and expensive process."

Constructing new sidewalks and curbs were just step one to improve the Flint Road-Route 166 area in South Toms River.

The goals are to improve safety along this particular stretch of the borough and provide a boost to businesses.

"We now look to expand on these improvements and capitalize on the business community's knowledge to create a thriving business environment," Mayor Oscar Cradle said.

Kostecki says by the summer the county will be adding in a bike path along the Barnegat Branch Rail Trail.

"Now that we're expanding the safety and access from the vehicular and pedestrian (perspective), that's going to create organic traffic for the businesses there," Kostecki said.

After the borough secured a grant for easements at the rail trail, he says construction begins on the bike path in the summer, with a completion date for sometime in the fall

There's more areas undergoing discussion next week as well.

"Expand and widen Crab Road and hopefully a traffic signal there to allow easy and safe access onto Crab Road," Kostecki said.

Another one of their goals is to redevelop the waterfront by adding more recreational activities and a water pathway.

The Round-table discussion takes place on Thursday, January 25 at 6:00 pm at the Municipal Complex on 19 Double Trouble Road in South Toms River and all are welcome to attend.

If you do plan on attending, RSVP to Kostecki at Joseph.Kostecki@Boroughofsouthtomsriver.com or at (732) 349-0403 extension 1.

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