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South Amboy residents take issue with First Street property


SOUTH AMBOY—Two South Amboy residents appealed to the city for assistance with a property maintenance issue that they say is a threat to public safety.

Peter Scarola of 210 Church St. and his brother-in-law, Mark Messenger, who lives at 216 Church St., spoke about the garage at 221 First St. during the March 15 City Council meeting.

“That building is a hazard to public safety and to public health,” Scarola said. “The building is in complete and total disarray. There are wild animals coming in and out of that building – raccoons coming out in the daytime.”

He said because of the presence of nocturnal animals during the day, he is concerned about rabies. He added that his tenants below him have a child who plays in the backyard.

Scarola said he has contacted the police to get animal control to look at the issue.

“I’d like to know what can be done from the City Council here to have that building condemned,” he said.

“We’re new to South Amboy, but we love this town,” Messenger added. He said he lives with his wife and two young children, and added that his children also play in the backyard. He said there are structural integrity issues with the building, and trees growing in it.

Business Administrator Camille Tooker said she had been contacted by the one of the Scarolas—Peter Scarola clarified that it was his mother who had written to Tooker—and the issue has been turned over to code enforcement.

“They are working on it,” she said, adding that she would keep Scarola updated on the issue.

Council President Mickey Gross added that sometimes these issues take a while to resolve depending on whether there is litigation.

“A lot of times, code enforcement is working things and we have the frustration sometimes of things go to court and they get adjourned, then they get a lawyer and they go back and forth a bit,” he said.

Officials did not say whether the city has taken this particular property owner to court.

However, Gross said regardless, “We’ll follow up on it.”


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