TOMS RIVER, NJ – Toms River Mayor Mo Hill has hired a public relations firm to create public press releases on behalf of himself and the township. The contract award was $60,000 and weeks after the decision to hire a PR firm was made, Hill released his first one. The average cost per press release is now $60,000. We will track the cost per release throughout the year as more are published.
Attached – Press Release written on behalf of Toms River Township by Deana Gunn, of Direct Development, a public relations, political campaign management firm out of Tinton Falls.
To Date Cost Per Release: $60,000
TOMS RIVER – Toms River and the NJDEP have preliminarily agreed to acquire the former Joey Harrison’s Surf Club. The Surf Club was a popular restaurant and bar that existed for decades, but was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy and has been sitting vacant since 2012. The preliminary agreement involves the NJDEP paying approximately 90% of the purchase price through its Blue Acres Program with Toms River paying the remaining 10%. Toms River’s portion will be offset by Ocean County’s $1.88 million dollar pending purchase of Township owned land located next to Cattus Island Park and the Ocean County College.
The acquisition of the Surf Club property will beautify the beach, provide open space, and much needed parking for residents and visitors. Additionally, the proposed plan will allow for increased recreational activities and include expansion of the boardwalk for the public’s enjoyment.
“I am proud to announce we have reached an agreement in principle with the NJDEP for the purchase of the Surf Club Property. This property will preserve open space and provide increased public access for all of our residents to enjoy. We want to thank the NJDEP and Ocean County. The proposed purchase would not have been possible without the assistance of the Ocean County Commissioners and I want to thank them for their hard work in helping to make this happen. We also want to thank the Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association (OBVTA) for all their help in supporting the negotiations to arrive at this preliminary agreement,” said Mayor Mo Hill.
“After years of fighting for the purchase of the Surf Club, I could not be happier to see our hard work nearing fruition. As the Ward 1 Council Member, representing Toms River’s barrier island sections, this purchase is close to home. It will be the first opportunity to preserve open space on the barrier island. I want to also thank the OBVTA and their executive officers for their support in these negotiations,” said Councilwoman Maria Maruca.
The OBVTA first brought this proposed acquisition to the Toms River Mayor and Council in 2015. Additionally the association offered to pay up to $10,000 in mediation fees to help reach a preliminary agreement with Toms River, the NJDEP and the property owner.
“Thank you to the Toms River Mayor and Council and the NJDEP for the preliminary agreement in principle to purchase the Surf Club. This has been a long process but we could not be prouder that an agreement appears to be in sight. This pristine piece of property will be enjoyed by all the residents of Toms River and Ortley Beach for decades to come,” said OBVTA President Anthony Colluci.
The vote to authorize the sale of Township owned land to Ocean County was approved by a Council vote of 6-1, with Councilman Rodrick as the only ‘NO’ vote.