OCEANPORT, N.J., March 18, 2002 (AP) - Homeowners in this small Monmouth County town say they've been good neighbors to Fort Monmouth, adjusting without complaint to tightened security measures following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Now they are looking for relief in the form of lower property assessments.
They say the road closures required by Fort Monmouth, headquarters of the Army's communications command, have isolated their development, forcing them to travel circuitous routes to get to and from home.
"We don't object to what has happened. We just say the fact that it has happened has certain financial impacts on us, and we should be compensated for that," John Bonforte told the Asbury Park Press for Monday's editions.
Bonforte, president of the Horseneck Point Property Owners Association, is among six residents seeking reduced assessments.
The association's members have hired an appraiser to file an appeal with the county. The appraiser, Donald M. Moliver, said he will include in the challenge an analysis of the area's real estate market before and after Sept. 11.
Moliver also said the owner of a new nearby development has been struggling to sell lots, and property near the fort may be selling slowly or for less.
Oceanport's mayor, Gordon Gemma, warns the plan could backfire. Homeowners could be appealing an assessment that was already too low. If that's the case, Gemma said, the town will appeal to adjust the values upward.
Copyright 2002, The Associated Press