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No Date Yet for Squan Plaza Hearing

Officials to hold public meeting once landscaping plans are settled

Manasquan officials on Monday said that a public hearing on a proposed $1.3 million renovation project at Squan Plaza would be announced once the landscaping portion of the plans were finalized.

Council President Ed Donovan, chairman of the Public Works Committee, said he and project engineers planned to meet soon to discuss compromises to the design plan before announcing the date of a public hearing.

The councilman had previously said that a hearing date was likely to be posted by Monday, but Administrator Joe DeIorio said the borough was still a few steps away from scheduling a specific date.

Last week borough Engineer Charles Rooney, of T&M Associates, met with the project's landscape architect to look at various plans still under consideration, DeIorio said.

Potentially, DeIorio said, several plans could be merged into one.

After T&M reviews the plan, the Public Works Committee would have to give its approval before a public hearing can be scheduled, DeIorio said.

Last month the Borough Council and a $65,000 down payment to finance the project.

And just last week the state Department of Transportation $225,000 to help fund the $1.3 million makeover.

The grant is the first of what borough officials hope will be many more to come to help offset costs of the big-ticket project to replace the plaza's aging and decaying infrastructure, reconfigure the parking lot and driving lanes to accomodate more cars, enhance safety and limit confusion, and install trees and shrubbery.

The borough has applied for several grants last week's was its first successful bid.

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