Tinton Falls council frustrated with info on landfill improvements

TINTON FALLS – Borough Council President Gary Baldwin has expressed his frustration regarding what he called a lack of information being provided to Tinton Falls by Monmouth County officials about ongoing improvements at the Monmouth County Reclamation Center.

The reclamation center is on Asbury Avenue in the borough. Garbage from all 53 of the county’s municipalities is brought to the site.

The landfill was the subject of 42 minutes of discussion between residents and council members during the governing body’s April 8 meeting. Council members listened as several residents expressed concerns, asked questions and commented on issues relating to the landfill.

The county facility has been a topic of discussion for much of 2019.

Residents have dealt with odors emanating from the landfill and the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders has taken action to address the issues.

Resident Anthony Desantis asked the council about the host community agreement Tinton Falls has with Monmouth County.

Borough Administrator Mike Skudera said the agreement provides Tinton Falls with a payment from the county in return for having the reclamation center within its borders. He said a new host community agreement is being negotiated.

Baldwin said the property that is used by the county for the landfill cannot be taxed by Tinton Falls. He said the host community agreement compensates the borough for the loss of taxable land.

Desantis asked if the host community agreement could also address quality of life issues relating to the landfill. Skudera told him the agreement is only financial in nature.

During his comments to borough officials, resident Bill Keasler said, “It is vital that this council sits down with the freeholders and reviews their plan for the reclamation center.”

There was an exchange between council members and Keasler as to whether the county actually has a plan for improvements at the reclamation center.

Borough Engineer Thomas Neff said, “The freeholders have a $7.5 million project going on (at the landfill). They have to have a plan. We could use a better explanation of what they are doing with that money.”

Baldwin expressed frustration with the freeholders “with what has been done and what needs to be done. The freeholders say they are handling it.”

Keasler asked officials to push the freeholders to hold a public meeting in Tinton Falls to address the landfill issue.

Council members said they have reached out to the county with that request, but have not received a response.

Resident Leo Lomangino said he is concerned the ongoing public discussion of the matter is having a negative effect on Tinton Falls.

“Negative fear-mongering is going on out there” in the community, Lomangino said, and must be dealt with.

In other business at the April 8 council meeting, Neff reported the county has conducted additional data collection at and around the intersection of Hance and Sycamore avenues.

Sycamore Avenue is a county road.

The intersection of Hance and Sycamore avenues is one of the busiest locations in the borough and plans are being made to address the situation. County representatives have presented several options to Tinton Falls for improvements.

“Within the next two months or so, the county will start diving into the data” to see what other options are available, Neff said.

And, Neff said the county will take the lead on re-striping the intersection of Hope, Shafto and Wyckoff roads. He said the Department of Public Works has already done some work at that location.

Shafto Road is a county road.

Finally, Skudera said residents who have medications they no longer need may drop off the drugs at the Tinton Falls Police Department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 27. No syringes will be accepted.