BELMAR — The Belmar First Aid Squad [BFAS] has decided to sell its former headquarters to the borough, according to a letter posted on the squad’s website late Tuesday night, a week after a potential suitor for the half-acre property backed out of contention.
In the letter dated June 7 and addressed to borough attorney Jerry Dasti, the squad agreed to sell the property to the borough for $1.4 million. Originally, the borough had submitted a bid proposal worth $1.1 million to buy the building, which was trumped by a bid proposal by Down to Earth Construction for $1.4 million. The borough, the letter says, agreed to match Down to Earth Construction’s bid after the company withdrew its proposal.
“Although the BFAS believes that Down to Earth’s bid price was at the lower range of the fair market value of the property and that a higher value would be realized if the BFAS pursued its own subdivision, the BFAS has nevertheless decided to accept the borough’s offer at the purchase price, subject to the conditions set forth herein and the agreement on the final language of the contract,” wrote Kenneth E. Pringle, an attorney for the squad and the former mayor of the borough.
While the way seems to be open for the borough to purchase the first aid squad headquarters, there seems to be a disagreement with the two parties over a restriction on the deed of the property.
One of the conditions that the BFAS placed on the next owner of the building is that the current non-conforming use of the property not be expanded. This would mean that the only new development allowed on the property would be single-family homes, and no increase in the existing size of the building would be allowed.
In a separate letter published on the first aid squad’s website and also addressed to Mr. Dasti, Mr. Pringle wrote that the squad rejects the borough’s position that “there is no legitimate reason for [the BFAS] to attempt to impose those deed restrictions.”
Because the borough has expressed interest in buying the property, Mr. Pringle wrote, the BFAS agreed to broaden its planned deed restriction to allow the property to be used as it had been used in the past.
Another future condition is that the cornerstone dedication to Frank Mihlon Jr. and the plaque dedicated to Daniel C. Traverso located on the southern facade of the building will be turned over to the Belmar Historical Society if the items are no longer able to be displayed on the property.
Also included in Mr. Pringle’s letter is a mention that the Belmar Historical Society is the beneficiary of the deed restriction once the BFAS is officially dissolved. The organization, he writes, is “the appropriate group to see the preservation of these items of Belmar’s history.”
This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.
Subscribe today! If you're not already an annual subscriber to The Coast Star, get your subscription today! For just $34 per year, you will receive local mail delivery weekly, with pages and pages of local news and online access to our e-edition on Starnewsgroup.com.