EATONTOWN – A planned park in Eatontown will honor the memory of a borough native who died in the Iraq War almost two decades ago.
During a recent meeting, members of the Borough Council passed a resolution naming and dedicating the parcel for a planned park on the former Fort Monmouth property as the Capt. James M. Gurbisz Memorial Park.
Gurbisz was serving in the U.S. Army when he was killed supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on Nov. 4, 2005, according to information posted on njrunforthefallen.org
The website states Gurbisz was “a platoon leader of the 26th Forward Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (who) was killed in Baghdad along with SPC Dustin Allan Yancey during a scouting mission in Baghdad. A 1998 graduate from Monmouth Regional High School, Tinton Falls, he was a star athlete and scholar. Graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from West Point in 2002, the first graduating class following the Sept. 11, 2001” terrorist attacks on the United States.
Gurbisz is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
As noted in the council’s resolution, Eatontown acquired a 4.6-acre parcel on the former Fort Monmouth from the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority in March. Municipal officials intend to develop the parcel into a park.
The property has previously been known as the Eatontown Parks Parcel and the Nicodemus Gate Parcel. The property will officially be named the Capt. James M. Gurbisz Memorial Park when it opens to the public.
According to the resolution, Gurbisz was the son of a Vietnam War veteran and frequently visited Fort Monmouth at an early age. Gurbisz was killed in Baghdad in 2005 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
“The Borough of Eatontown wishes to honor the memory of Capt. James M. Gurbisz with a lasting legacy in the borough and ensure his name and sacrifice are never forgotten,” municipal officials wrote in the resolution. “The ultimate sacrifice paid by Capt. Gurbisz (is) a debt which can never be repaid.”
In other business, council members approved the payment of additional funds to Frank Lurch Demolition Co. for demolition work and asbestos removal at the site that will become the Capt. James M. Gurbisz Memorial Park.
The company was previously awarded a contract to demolish several buildings at the site. After starting work, the contractor discovered an additional area of asbestos that required remediation. The funds for the removal of the additional asbestos are in an amount not to exceed $6,750.
Finally, council members authorized T&M Associates, the borough’s engineering firm, to explore the availability of state funding options that could be used to pay for flooding mitigation work associated with flooding at Wampum Brook, according to a resolution.