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For the past eight years Mayor Eric Hinds has made it his mission to rid Holmdel of abandoned properties, and the Township continues to make strides in 2019.
Since the beginning of the new year, the Township has collected $6,211.02 in vacant property registration fees, compared to the $5,747.24 it received in all of 2018.
The Township currently has 15 properties registered on its vacancy list, and is working with banks to register additional properties, and collect outstanding fees.
“I believe in the broken window theory, that abandoned and unkept properties lead to others. Although the banks and property owners may be paying the taxes on these properties, it’s still not what we hope to have in Holmdel,” said Mayor Hinds.
One of those privately owned properties, located on Holmdel Road, was recently vandalized with graffiti. Though the Township does not have the ability to knock the structure down, Mayor Hinds said the property owner is working to remove the graffiti, and is engaged in conversation with the Township to remove the structure or find a buyer.
“Our Code Enforcement and Construction Departments have worked diligently to knock down abandoned houses, and collaborate with banks on our mission to have zero abandoned properties in Holmdel. And while we’ve had tremendous success, there are still a handful of properties we need to work on.”
The Township’s effort to facilitate purchase agreements for vacant properties has already yielded four purchase agreements this year (46 Centerville Rd., 23 Maurice Ave., 16 Old Manor Rd., and 243 Holland Rd.). Two more properties are currently under contract.