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Officials seek extension of Earle housing stay

Elected officials who represent Monmouth County, Colts Neck and Tinton Falls are planning to ask the U.S. Navy to extend a stay that was in place during December and January and prevented a private company from renting housing on Naval Weapons Station Earle to members of the public.

The stay that was in place for 60 days expired on Feb. 1, according to state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), Monmouth County Freeholder Director Lillian Burry, Colts Neck Mayor Russell Macnow and Tinton Falls Mayor Gerald Turning.

The temporary stay prevented Balfour Beatty, which is the housing administrator for the naval base that lies in portions of several Monmouth County municipalities, from seeking civilians to rent on-base housing.

Beck, Burry, Macnow and Turning called for an additional stay to be granted until local officials can meet with the new assistant secretary of the Navy on this issue.

Beck said there are “incredibly serious safety issues associated with this proposal” and added, “I remain opposed to the Navy’s plan allowing members of the general public to live on an active military weapons installation; it is dangerous and I will continue to fight tirelessly against it.”

Burry said Earle’s mission is the storage and movement of munitions and added, “The recent events in our area at Seaside Heights and Chelsea in New York serve to amplify the fact that this base should be secured for military use only.”

“Colts Neck has many questions regarding the viability of this proposal and the impact it will have on our municipality. We have many unanswered questions and are adamantly opposed to all forms of the suggestion that civilians should be housed at Earle,” Macnow said.

“I am vehemently opposed to the current proposal to allow civilians to obtain housing at Earle and will work with my colleagues to explore all possible avenues to fight this proposal. First on the list must be to meet with the new assistant secretary of the Navy and outline our concerns directly to him,” Turning said.

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