BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP - Township Committee put off action Monday night as officials held a special public meeting to discuss vacant township-owned properties in Richland Village that may be sold, including four buildings and three parcels.

Committeeman Chuck Chiarello argued that more research is needed about whether grant money was used for repairs on any of the buildings under consideration, which were purchased with bonded funds. He said grant money may need to be repaid after sale.

He also said a vacant home at 1266 Harding Highway is on 6 acres, part of which is needed for parking for the Cape May Seashore Line, which operates a holiday train from November to December.

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Mayor Sue Barber and Councilmen Richard Harlan and Peter Bylone questioned if the train company provides enough of an economic bonus to the town to justify holding onto land for parking for the Seashore Line.

The committee agreed to postpone votes on selling property until Oct. 15 to collect more information about grant money used on the buildings, which are: a blue house at 1260 Harding Highway; a white house at 1266 Harding Highway; a storage barn at 1267 Harding Highway; and a closed gas station at 1280 Harding Highway.

The parcels under consideration for sale are about 3 acres at 422 Cedar Ave., which runs behind the Rail bar and the toy store, near the train tracks; 52 acres called Block 4601 Lot 12; and a 3.2 acre plot on Moody Avenue near the train station.

Chiarello said the smaller parcels were purchased for parking for the train and surrounding stores, and the 52-acre plot was purchased so parts of it could be deed restricted in exchange for the Pinelands Commission allowing Richland businesses to expand.

In the public portion of the meeting, Carl Wagner, of Hamilton Township, expressed an interest in looking at the storage barn at 1267 Harding Highway to potentially buy it to open an auto parts store.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:


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