Spring Lake Heights 2021 Year in Review

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Olive and Daphne Becker, from Brielle, get their shots during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic held at Spring Lake Heights Elementary School on Aug. 4. The Monmouth County Regional Health Commission No. 1 sponsored the clinic. PHOTO BY DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS

SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS – The borough soldiered on during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

JANUARY

Two council members were sworn into office at the Spring Lake Heights Borough Council reorganization meeting on Monday. Incumbent councilman John Casagrande was sworn into his second term on council and freshman councilman Peter Gallo, who replaced former Councilman James Shuler, was also sworn in for his first term. 

The Tri-Shore Little League and Spring Lake Heights Borough made big improvements to the borough’s baseball fields. Renovations on the large main field [in the back] at Allaire Road Park were completed, including leveling the field and redoing the infield after it was deemed unsafe to play on due to the unlevel ground.

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The Spring Lake Heights and Avon-By-The-Sea communities mourned the loss of retired Spring Lake Heights police Capt. Robert Shafer. Mr. Shafer worked as a teacher and then business administrator for Spring Lake Heights School District before becoming a police officer in 2002.

APRIL

The Spring Lake Heights Recreation Department forms a pickleball league that will start the first week of May and go for six weeks. Games will be played at Allaire and Ocean Road parks on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. There are two age groups – the Gold Division for those ages 21 to 49 and the Blue Division for those age 50 and over. Teams of two or singles will be accepted.

Spring Lake Heights council awarded a bid to Down To Earth Landscaping of Jackson to plant 200 new trees at the park, including a perimeter of evergreen trees to buffer adjoining neighborhoods, as well as east and west groves of shade trees and ornamentals. They will replace 183 trees, in danger of toppling, that were chopped down in 2019. 

The Monmouth County Department of Health opened a second COVID-19 vaccination opportunity for Spring Lake Heights residents on April 20, with appointments available for 25 Moderna inoculations

JULY

James S. McCarthy, president of the Spring Lake Heights Board of Education, resigned after serving more than 11 years on the board. “I decided not to run [for reelection]. We have a major project starting in September, and for me to leave that project in the first three months and walk away does not make sense, so I will allow my board members, whom I have confidence in, to take over and possibly appoint someone and move on after the election in November,” Mr. McCarthy said after announcing his resignation, effective July 27, at the Monday, July 26, school board meeting.

DECEMBER

The 2022 operational and executive officer elections for the Independent Fire Company No. 1 of Spring Lake Heights resulted in many familiar faces returning to their positions. Lifelong Spring Lake Heights resident Joseph Tompey was re-elected as the department chief, a position he has held for five years. Assistant Chief Donald Zessin is also returning to his elected position, and like Chief Tompey, he has held it for five years. However, Assistant Chief Zessin started his career as a fireman in Connecticut. 

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