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The Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association (OBVTA) is a non-profit organization whose goal is to improve the quality of life in the Township of Toms River, NJ section known as Ortley Beach, NJ. Like OBVTA on Facebook!

General Meeting Notice:          Visit us on Facebook:

Please notice meeting date, time and location changes:

Next meeting is scheduled to be on 9/20/14 at 9:30 AM (Coffee & donuts @ 9:00 AM). Check the Meetings Page for an updated Treasurer's Report, Agenda and information about the next meeting. Please note the new meeting location.

The Moose Club on Bay Blvd
1801 Bay Blvd.
Ortley Beach, NJ

Why Join Us?

OBVTA tries to represent all the residents of Ortley Beach with the goal to improve the quality of life in the township.
  • Membership gives you a voice in the decisions OBVTA makes regarding Ortley Beach.
  • Membership gives you an opportunity to join one of our committees.
  • Membership helps to give you closer participation in local events.

A special THANKS to our Ortley Beach businesses that are now members of OBVTA. We added business memberships last year and we thank them for helping to make OBVTA a successful organization. Please patronize their businesses in town.

To join, please print and fill out our 2014 Membership Application Form.

HURRICANE SANDY INFORMATION:

Toms River has added a section to its website devoted to news about Ortley Beach. To access this area go to www.tomsrivertownship.com and click on Ortley Sandy Information.


Here is a partial explanation of your large 3rd quarter 2014 property tax bill, provided by the Toms River tax collector.

First, and most important, the tax bill that you just received does NOT represent 1/4 of your new annual taxes. The tax bill for the 1st two quarters of 2014 was based on the 2013 assessments that were very low due to Sandy damage to property and infrastructure. That means that you underpaid taxes during the first half of 2014 when your assessment was much higher than 2013 (but still less than pre-Sandy levels). Because the first two payments were artificially low, the last two payments need to be much higher so that the full amount you pay in 2014 is correct for your 2014 assessment (refer back to the post card you received in April). The amount of payment due now may depend on whether you took a refund for taxes overpaid in 2013, or asked Toms River to provide a credit forward. In some cases Toms River may have sent credits or refunds to your bank, if your home is mortgaged, so be sure that your bank correctly shows any credits to your account. If you have further questions you can see this link on the Toms River website: http://tomsrivertownship.com or you can go to see the tax collector at the Township office.

In addition, the Toms River tax collector (Carl Dileo) and the tax assessor (Rich Kenny) will be available during the next Toms River Council meeting on August 12th at 6:00pm at The Township Municipal Center. During the Council meeting they will meet individually with anyone who has questions.

The deadline to file and appeal on your flood insurance claim has been extended by 6 months from the previous deadline of April 28th that was announced at the last membership meeting. This is good news for those still in the recovery process.


Toms River held a public meeting for a Strategic Recovery Plan. Click Here to read the Strategic Recovery Planning Report.

Here is the survey form that was not available at the meeting. You are encouraged to print out and complete the form and mail, fax or scan and email it back to Jane McMahon at her contact information:

Jane McMahon
Sr. Administrative Assistant
Maser Consulting P.A.
Perryville III Corporate Park | PO Box 4017 | 53 Frontage Road | Suite 120 | Clinton, NJ 08809

FAX: 908.238.0901       EMAIL: jmcmahon@maserconsulting.com

If you have ideas or recommendations about how to make Ortley Beach more resilient to future storms, or about ways to make Ortley Beach a better community in the future, please feel free to email or call Dave Roberts of Maser Consulting at his contact information:

David G. Roberts, AICP/PP, LLA, RLA
Senior Associate
Maser Consulting P.A.
EMAIL:  DRoberts@maserconsulting.com
PHONE: 732.383.1950 ext: 3234

OBVTA provided Toms River with a copy of our recently completed 2014 Strategic Plan for Ortley Beach. We received feedback that this document will be extremely helpful, especially the specific recommendations, and will be provided to the consultant.


There was an ordinance introduced at the Toms River Council meeting that will change the zoning requirements in Ortley Beach (and all of Toms River). Changes will be made to the maximum square footage allowed, depending on lot size, and to limits on impervious coverage. If you have a house in the planning stages we encourage you to contact Toms River Planning dept. to learn more about this.


Summary of Recent OBVTA Meetings with Government Officials:


NEW LINKS:

There is a link on the Toms River webpage about appealing your 51% damage assessment by FEMA if you wish to do so. OBVTA is collecting more information about this issue and will communicate when we know more. The link is:
http://tomsrivertownship.com/index.php/General-Information/substantial-damage-appeal-process.html

Link for information on State of New Jersey SHRAP (Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program) http://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dfd/programs/shrap/

Link for information on Sandy Relief for assistance with repairing, rebuilding or building modular for primary residents who have homes that were damaged by Sandy. http://www.advopps.org/sandy-relief-modular-ramp-program-announced

Some of you have asked about repairs to your sidewalks that sustained damage from Sandy, or the cleanup efforts. We encourage you to contact Toms River about the repair and IF you are responsible for the repair, money is available to help. See the Toms River link below:
http://tomsrivertownship.com/index.php/General-Information/partial-reimbursement-program-for-curb-sidewalk-and-street-trees-that-were-damaged-by-superstorm-sandy.html


The Toms River building department has opened an office in the Ortley beach Annex, next to the A&P:

The Ortley Beach Annex is now open to accept permit applications for Toms River Township, Monday-Friday 7:30-3:30 pm. Located at 4030 Route 37 East, in the Ortley Beach Plaza next to the A&P, the Annex to the Building Department will accept all permit applications. Files that require Zoning or Engineering review will be forwarded to Town Hall for review. If there is any missing or incorrect documentation, you will be notified by the appropriate divisions. When submitting a permit application at the Annex or Town Hall, please indicate to the clerk if you would like to pick up your approved permit at the Annex. Construction inspections can also be scheduled at the Annex. For more information, contact the Building Dept. at 732-341-1000 ext. 8320.


For information on understanding mold and remediation, please click on: NJ Dept of Health pamphlet.

Volunteer Help For Ortley Residents

If you need help with funding, supplies or cleanup, please contact the following organizations.


Utilities:

Members of OBVTA have been asking for information and the correct processes to have utilities re-established at your Ortley Beach residence. Below are links to the best and most up to date websites that provide that information. We have posted only minimal information here because much of the information changes daily. Please refer to the websites frequently.


The utility companies have made significant progress on restoring all four utilities to Ortley Beach. The link below will show a map that shows where utilities are not yet restored because the infrastructure is not ready.


Ortley Map

If after reviewing this you believe you should have utilities, but do not, then you are urged to call your utility company directly. Please remember that while the utility services may be available, residents should make sure that they have had the correct inspections before their services are restored. For example some customers have requested to have electricity restored but JCP&L has found the meter box to be so corroded that it is not safe to do so. JCP&L will not restore power if their personnel believe it is not safe. Homeowners are advised to contact the utility company directly if they have specific questions about re-connections.



Jersey Central Power & Light Recommendations for New Construction or Rebuilding

To accommodate rebuilding efforts and provide guidance in those areas where customers may have to raise their homes up in compliance with the new FEMA standards, Jersey Central Power & Light  ( JCP&L ) wants to make customers aware of potential clearance and access issues that should be discussed in advance of rebuilding.

Issues have arisen with encroachments on the clearances between electric power lines and buildings and in some cases, could result in serious safety concerns, risk of property damage, injury or death.    The intent of this letter is to raise awareness of these issues and to proactively review your plans before you commence your construction project or rebuilding efforts.   

To make application to JCP&L please call our 800 # ( 1-800-662-3115 ).    When your application is received, a Layout Technician will be assigned to your project.    The items listed below will be needed to properly assess your plans.   Please provide them at your earliest convenience.   JCP&L requires a minimum of 30 days to process and review the application.   The 30 day review process will begin once the necessary  documents have been received.    You will be contacted by the Layout Technician assigned to your area to discuss the layout and cost associated with your request.  Please be aware that all revisions must be made in writing and, if not, may result in delays and additional costs.

  1. A complete clean set of the latest revision of the APPROVED SITE PLAN indicating the proposed relocation  of any poles, pads, enclosures, meters, etc.
  2. Please provide updated ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS revealing the elevations, doors, windows, decks, awnings, etc. of the structure. This will help with meter locations and electrical clearance requirements.
  3. Please submit a copy of the current RECORDED DEED for the site.
  4. Advise JCP&L in writing of any Deed, Homeowner and/or Township RESTRICTIONS that would impact the design and placement of electrical facilities.

 

In order to properly maintain the power lines, it is imperative that JCP&L have unrestricted access to poles, pads, enclosures, etc.  Please do not install sheds, fences and structures of any kind in the access area which will hinder maintenance or restoration efforts of your electric service.

It is our hope that by working together, and reviewing your plans up-front, we can; alleviate these issues, establish better communication, and provide you with safe and reliable electric service.


WEBSITES FOR MORE INFO:

Use this website for the most up to date information from JCP&L: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/outages_help/Sandy/barrier_island.html
Use this website for the most up to date information from New Jersey natural Gas: http://www.njng.com/safety/hurricane-sandy-updates/index.asp
Use this website for the most up to date information on sewer service from TRMUA: http://www.tomsrivermua.org/home.html

If you have further questions on this matter you may contact a volunteer member of OBVTA at the email address below: PJOrtleyBeach@gmail.com

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General Information:


Many of you have been sending us emails with concerns that OBVTA can not help with. Here is Mayor Kelaher's email address (TKelaher@tomsrivertownship.com) if you would like him to hear your concerns. Also, the Toms River Township have been updating their website at www.tomsrivertownship.com with important information.

Members of the OBVTA Board met with officials of Toms River to obtain an update on ongoing reconstruction and improvements in Ortley Beach:

  • We were introduced to the new Chief of Police, Mitch Little. He agreed to meet with the OBVTA board and for us meet the officers that patrol Ortley Beach so we can all know each other.
  • Toms River will restore the temporary dunes washed away in the early January northeaster storm. The contract was recently awarded and work should commence now, weather permitting. If necessary, action can be taken on an emergency basis if a serious storm threatens.
  • We have heard from the Governor’s office that the ACE dune and beach replenishment project is likely delayed until the fall of 2014. We will need to continue to rely on the temporary dunes until that project is complete. Toms River cannot put more sand toward the beach as it will simply wash away at high tide. In an emergency they might consider piling more sand on the west side of the boardwalk.
  • Even if Seaside Heights proceeds to build a seawall or install steel sheeting in addition to the expanded dunes, Toms River said that they are unlikely to consider the same for Ortley Beach. They believe that the lower profile needed for the dunes in Seaside Heights may warrant such action there, but not in Ortley Beach. Toms River reiterated that the Federal Highway authority chose to fund the steel sheeting in Mantaloking and Brick because of the narrowness of the peninsula there and the proximity of Rte 35 to the ocean, unlike the situation in Ortley Beach. Nevertheless, OBVTA will continue to pursue all possible avenues to strengthen the proposed dune system in Ortley Beach given the failure seen in Sandy.
  • Phase I of the demolition program (PPDR) is essentially complete. Seven homes were recently approved by FEMA and will be demolished soon. Phase I were the voluntary demolitions. (Toms River has 17% of all demolitions in the state of NJ). Phase II of the demolition program will commence soon. These will be the involuntary demolitions where the Township has deemed the structure unsafe, but the homeowner has not completed the required demolition. These will take considerable time as there is a required legal process. They expect there to be about two dozen homes in Phase II and the contract will remain open for about two years.
  • Toms River sent out 912 letters to properties that were in violation of code for not having completed required repairs post Sandy. 111 of the letters have not responded, while the remainder replied that the work was ongoing or would be completed. Toms River will begin re-inspections soon and then decide what action to take on each property depending on the findings.
  • The drain basin and storm drain cleaning continues but is being delayed by the cold weather. The last phase of the project is going out to bid soon.
  • An engineering study of Washington Ave. is ongoing to determine if there is way to reduce flooding on that street. Because the flooding has been determined to be the result of high groundwater levels at select times, only raising the roadway can provide relief. Better drains or pumping will not provide relief given the water source. The engineering firm is presently evaluating raising the road surface by 6, 12 or 18 inches. The feasibility of this will depend on the elevation of the surrounding cross streets and private property. (If you own property on Washington Ave, or on adjacent lots, between Arnold and 8th avenues, please contact OBVTA President, Paul Jeffrey at OBVTA@ortleybeach.org)
  • The street lights for the boardwalk/Ocean Ave. have been selected and installation will begin soon. It will soon be determined if the decorative lamp style being used there can also be installed on Rte 35 and on Bay Blvd. However, this is a project that would require funding by Toms River.
  • Toms River continues to aid those who need assistance with addressing “substantial damage” letters. They have assigned members of the Building department to help homeowners understand the best action to take. Trevor Newman (email: tnewman1@tomsrivertownship.com;  Phone # 732-341-1000 x 8357 ) is also available on select days at the Toms River Annex, next to the A&P, if advice is desired. We received confirmation that the 2012 tax assessment (determined in October of 2011) should have been used as the basis for the pre-storm structure value assessment. If this was not the case for you, please contact township engineer Bob Chankalian, or Trevor.
  • The Township was asked once more if there was an opportunity to alter the Ortley Beach summer trash collection schedule for garbage and recycling to prevent full recycling bins from sitting at the curb all week (from the weekend visitors until pick up on Friday). Simply changing the recycling pick up from Friday to Monday would reduce total pick up days from 3 to 2 per week, meaning less cans at the curb, and keep ugly full recycling cans from sitting at curbside all week. Toms River remains unsympathetic and explained again that this would require a change to all the rest of the Toms River pick up schedules, and require both garbage and recycling trucks to do pickups on the same day. Unfortunately they claim that these obstacles are too big for Toms River to overcome.
  • The Toms River tax assessor provided information on how 2013 property tax assessments would be determined. He told us that every property will be evaluated as to the extent of repairs post Sandy. If the structure is fully repaired, then the valuation will be completed using the State assessor’s manual. If work remains to be done, the value will be reduced by an appropriate estimated amount. For land assessments the values will be set using 2013 land sales data in the area. Assessment postcards will likely be mailed in February with a probable deadline for appeal sometime in May.

 

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Members of the OBVTA Board met with officials of Toms River Planning to obtain information about the process for providing input to an Ortley Beach Streetscape Grant application:

  • Toms River is eligible to apply for Streetscape planning and implementation grants as part of the NJ Sandy recovery process.
  • The first step in obtaining a streetscape grant is completion of a Strategic Recovery Plan (This is a NJ Dept. of Community Affairs requirement for all municipalities) Masur Consulting has been awarded the contract to prepare this plan. Once the work begins, the consulting firm will have a 120 day timeline.
  • The second step will be filing for a grant for the streetscape plan and the third step will be filing for a grant to actually implement the work. All of this needs to be coordinated with ongoing highway repairs by the NJ DOT, Ocean County and Toms River.
  • Following preliminary meetings between Toms River and the consultant, OBVTA Board members will be notified of possible ways to provide input to the consultant. The same will be true for the streetscape planning grant – when Toms River advances to that stage.
  • OBVTA provided Toms River with a copy of our recently completed 2014 Strategic Plan for Ortley Beach. We received feedback that this document will be extremely helpful, especially the specific recommendations, and will be provided to the consultant.
  • We were informed that the Toms River Planning Board is running mostly on time, with little backlog, but the Board of Adjustment is considerably backlogged despite more people being hired and special meetings. The situation is under review but residents should be aware that the typical wait for a Board of Adjustment review is four to six months.

 

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Stop FEMA Now:

A new grassroots organization called "Stop FEMA Now" has recently formed and is providing useful information regarding the proposed FEMA maps and the rebuilding process. Please check out their webpage and join them on Facebook or Twitter.

StopFEMANow is a group of concerned citizens, who have not only been effected by Super Storm Sandy, but who have been impacted on varying levels by the implications of the new FEMA flood maps. The decision to adopt these maps is premature and requires additional consideration. We want to, quite simply, Stop FEMA Now!

Our goal is to create community awareness as the adoption of these maps will heavily impact many communities across this country. These maps will tear many from their homes, force many to make harsh decisions about their futures with no real place to turn and ultimately change our lives. The financial implications alone are frightening!

We are faced with many unanswered questions and very little direction. StopFEMANow intends to provide a fact based argument as to how and why we can rebuild stronger and more resilient with a more “realistic” approach. Together we will prevail!

If you’re interested in joining our movement please share these links, spread the word, and visit us:

Visit the Stop FEMA Now website!Like Stop FEMA Now on Facebook! Twitter YouTube

 

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FLOOD ELEVATION INFORMATION
Please click on the link below for facts on flood elevation.
FAQ Flood Elevation Information

The Toms River Township website at www.tomsrivertownship.com is being updated constantly with important information. We are asking members to check the Toms River website often. Rather than reiterate the same information on the OBVTA website (www.ortleybeach.org) we will be using the OBVTA website for any additional information that is not already posted on the Toms River website.

There are a few important updates currently posted on the Toms River website summarized below. Please check the Toms River website for complete details.

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