Friday, December 3, 2010

Navy, developer reach buyout agreement on Laurelwood

Congressman Chris Smith's office informed us last night that the Navy reached agreement with Laurelwood Homes, LLC, and its owner Teri Fischer on a $32.7 million buyout and demolition of the 300-unit housing complex at Naval Weapons Station Earle.

Needless to say, this is tremendous news for the surrounding community vis-a-vis NOPE and the service members who work and live on base and have a job to protect our nation and the base itself, for reasons that NOPE has detailed ad nauseum here and in public briefings over the past three years.

The road for our grassroots organization has been long and filled with speed bumps, but responsibility and common sense prevailed in the end.  Responsible and respectful community opposition, combined with the support of bipartisan elected officials on the federal, state and local levels, to an ill-drawn and dangerous plan from the Department of Navy itself to house civilians (without background checks) and grant unimpeded access through a strategic, high-security Naval ordnance storage facility proved the decisive factor, in our view.

The $32.7 million includes roughly $2 million for a demolition phase that will be overseen by Mrs. Fischer, though we lack details on the timeline for the tear-down. Obviously we hope it happens quickly. We will keep our audience posted on the progress in the days ahead.

Here is the Asbury Park Press' account of the announcement:

Remain posted here for any additional details on the buyout and tear-down and other sidebar perspectives as NOPE closes the book on this long-running saga and moves forward.