Controversial Wall school bus depot choice now ‘on hold’

Wall Township Board of Education building. FILE PHOTO / THE COAST STAR

WALL TOWNSHIP — The board of education on Tuesday announced a hold on further consideration of locating a new school transportation facility at the corner of Bailey’s Corner Road and 18th Avenue. The announcement was applauded by the audience at the board’s July 10 meeting.

The board has been looking at alternative sites, including a possible land swap with the township for a parcel on Wyckoff Road north of Belmar Boulevard, or building the depot on school property now accommodating a softball field and drainage behind the board offices on 18th Avenue. Feasibility studies on those sites are expected to be ready in September.

The board also is open to considering any new offers brought forth by property owners in town, Brian J. Smyth, the board business administrator, said.

In a finance-and-facilities committee report, Board Member Allison Connolly noted that Douglas Clayton indicated he would continue to lease the parcel where buses are currently parked on Clayton Properties, located on Old Mill Road, to the board for two more years. “The committee agreed that this changes the framework we are working with, as we have gained a little more time and are entertaining two potentially promising sites,” according to the report.

The Bailey’s Corner Road site has drawn unrelenting opposition from area residents. About 35 attended Tuesday’s meeting.

“I’m very pleased to learn of the feasibility studies for several alternative sites,” Irene Webber, Concord Avenue, told the board. “However, I would like to remind the board that I presented a petition with 187 signatures [in opposition], and now we have nearly 300 signatures.”

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