Freeholder Lillian Burry and Mayors Michael Mahon (Oceanport), Gerry Turning (Tinton Falls) and Dennis Connelly (Eatontown) issued the following statement this afternoon regarding the Ebola quarantine facilities at Fort Monmouth. Burry and the mayors are members of the board of the Fort Monmouth Revitalization Agency (FMERA).
“As the only members of the FMERA board who are elected to office, we wish to clarify some of the recent articles on the proposal to house a quarantine facility at Fort Monmouth for those that are exposed to Ebola while outside the United States. Only those that returned to the U.S. through New Jersey and have no place to reside will potentially be placed in this facility. The articles further state that the Department of Human Services has a 6-month lease with FMERA to use the property which began on January 1st. The elected officials further stated that at no time did they ever vote on or approve such a lease. This lease was imposed on FMERA by the executive branch and was not vetted at a public meeting or voted on by the entire Board. The lease was actually signed by the Attorney General and was not supported by the Board as a whole.
The officials also are concerned that such actions have the potential to undermine the economic development of the Fort Monmouth property in the long run as it is necessary for the Board and the public and the State to work together openly and for the betterment of all residents. Such action should not be repeated in the future. It would be more appropriate to have a full and open discussion of issues surrounding any efforts to enter in to any leases on the grounds of Fort Monmouth.”