BAY HEAD — The Concerned Citizens of Bay Head group is placing signs, making phone calls and mailing letters in opposition to New Jersey Transit’s proposed Bay Head Yard Substation Repair project.
“Recently, what we have done is a letter-writing campaign to reach out to all our legislators from our 10th District all the way up to Gov. [Phil] Murphy. We also now have all the various environmental agencies part of our project, like Save Barnegat Bay, Clean Ocean Action and the Sierra Club. Also running parallel is our town attorney and our special counsel who are also pursuing potential legal action to try to get this project stopped,” resident Edward Nolan said. “We are building momentum with the organization.”
At a special meeting of the Bay Head Borough Council on March 8, the governing body voted 5-1 to reject the final settlement offer made by NJ Transit for the Bay Head Yard Substation project. The decision came after nearly three hours of testimony where a majority of the more than 120 viewers listening in urged the council to continue fighting against the project. According to officials at the time, the settlement offer was only on the table until March 11.
A few concessions proposed by NJ Transit in the settlement offer included a reduction of the exterior facade of the building; moving to a natural gas generator instead of the proposed diesel; coordinating with the borough on truck routes; providing a timeline of remediation activities on site; providing a copy of the FTA grant received; and the construction schedule.
“When we got the word after that last meeting that New Jersey Transit wasn’t going to give us anything and the council voted down to accept the little tidbits they were going to give us … that was when we decided as a group we have to get the residents involved and go full steam ahead and get a grassroots movement going to tell our representatives that we don’t want this, that this has got to stop, that you have to change this and that this is a disaster on so many levels,” resident Ellen Nolan told The Ocean Star.
“We have an email list of about 275 people and we are getting more continuously. We just reached out to the Point Pleasant Beach mayor and their quality-of-life official in the hopes we can get them involved, too. We have been giving people all the contact information for our legislators and we have asked them to phone call, write letters … so we are working with this group to try to get everybody to outreach and do whatever they can to make some noise.”
Throughout the legal proceedings, representatives for NJ Transit have either declined to comment or have not responded to The Ocean Star’s request for comment on the project, but said during a February 2020 public hearing that the project is necessary.
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