Friday, April 09, 2010

NAVY ANNOUNCES END OF PLANS TO HOUSE CIVILIANS ON EARLE

Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande are very pleased with the Navy’s recent decision to suspend any actions concerning moving civilians onto the weapons depot and to negotiate a buyout with the developer of the Laurelwood Housing Area in good faith.

Today it was announced that the Navy has reversed its decision to allow civilians to move into the 300-unit housing development, formerly used to house military families, that resides within the boundaries of Naval Weapons Stations Earle.

“We’ve been working on this for such a long time,” said Casagrande, “and it is truly gratifying to see that the Navy is finally coming around. Our end goal has always been making sure that unvetted civilians did not have unhindered access onto the property at Earle. Myself, Senator Beck and Assemblyman O’Scanlon have made every effort at the State level to stop this from taking place, because we have believed all along that it was a risky plan. Of course Congressman Chris Smith also deserves quite a bit of credit, having made this one of his personal causes.”

“From the time I was elected to office,” said O’Scanlon, “the plan for civilians to live on Earle has been of great concern to me, as well as my constituents. Allowing an influx of 300 new civilian families into the area, and all that entails, is a great burden to place on municipalities which are already having to make difficult decisions in the face of a dire economic forecast. We are talking about serious financial and security risks. I’m glad to see that the Navy may finally be recognizing the importance of keeping civilians away from such a sensitive area.”

“We hope that today’s announcement means that the Navy is taking our security concerns seriously and admitting that this is a flawed plan,” said Beck, “It is important that they are willing to take the necessary steps to make sure that civilian housing is never permitted on a military base such as this. The contract that the Navy signed with the developer states that it must provide unimpeded access to the very heart of the largest ammunitions depot on the East Coast for the civilians who would be renting these homes. This was a bad plan from the start and it is about time the Navy took heed of what officials at all levels of government have said about the many potential security problems it could bring.”

In 1988, the Navy signed a contract with a developer to build 300 housing units on NWS Earle for use as military housing, the ownership of which would be retained by the developer while receiving an annual lease payment from the Navy, with the caveat that in April 2010 the property would revert back to the developer to rent.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who in the Navy would sign such a deal with a developer? He must have had shell shock when he signed it. Threat...no duh! Good job Assemblymen and women!

Anonymous said...

.. and, Congressman Smith, and Director Burry: has been a large effort over a long period of time..

Anonymous said...

Who is Rush?

Anonymous said...

Beck, O'Scanlon & Casagrande -- not one of these clowns ever spent one day in the military. They've never done so much as one push-up in defense of our nation. None of them would know the first thing about securing a military base. All this talk about their concerns for the "security" of NWS Earle are BS. They fought this plan simply because they didn't want poor kids coming into the public schools. The security of the base had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Remember it was under Ronald Reagan's watch this lease was signed.

Anonymous said...

Ronald Reagan did not sign it! There is a security issue, wake up! It has nothing to do with children, rich or poor. There is simply no , legitimate reason to put a civilian housing developement in the middle of a Naval Weapons Station. COme on people, what are you thinking! The thought is absurd.

Mrs. Burry knows, having been a long time resident, back in the day when it was going full force. Thank you, Mrs. Burry and all others opposed to this.

Seems to me, someone was merely trying to make money off the development. It's obvious, because the proposed location is so absurd.

Anonymous said...

Who was Commander in Chief in 1988? He may not have signed it but it was done under his watch.

Anonymous said...

I don't care who was under watch, it's was an absurd plan. Do you really think I believe everyone submitting input on the report to put a housing development there was honest. I think not.

Anonymous said...

There was no security issue. there are civilians living right up against bases all over the US including Earle and Fort monmouth.

The plan did however place an unreasonable financial burden on either Colts neck or Tinton Falls.

Hey whatever works. Congrats to Beck ,oscanlon. casagrande and Smith.

Tinton Falls is part of Holts district and he was AWOL on this issue.

I could be wrong but I believe it was an amended lease that allowed the housing to be converted to civilian use and that was signed in the 1990's so you can stop trying to smear the greatest president of the 20th century.

billhobo said...

Reagan had nothing to do with the mess the Navy got itself into at NWS Earle. It's unfair to politicize the issue. The problem is that "privatization" of military housing has long been a mostly unnoticed problem for the U.S., with LLCs (i.e. Laurelwood) long-fleecing the U.S. taxpayer for subpar housing for service members - sad, indeed. The Laurelwood development was built under Section 801, which after construction of 7-8 of these kinds of developments the U.S. Military quickly found to be an utter disaster, prompting military home building under what is now known as MHPI (Military Housing Privatization Initiative), which is worth reading about. The outcome for Laurelwood reflects the Navy's admission that civilian housing WOULD HAVE posed security problems for the base (i.e. stretched an already thin guard force - Earle relies on outsource security guards to supplement base protection), just as Congressman Smith and NOPE have argued vehemently for 2+ years.

billhobo said...

I might add, too, that the real issue with the Navy in this case has to do with its baffling decision in 2002 to sign away its right (in the event of a "declared national emergency") to revoke the contract, solely so that Laurelwood's owner could refinance the mortgage. The Navy, at that time, clearly lost all rational thought in terms of national defense and interests of the public good.