Letters

Help for Holgate

Jul 17, 2019

To the Editor

I’m sending this letter as a former resident of Washington Avenue in Holgate to support Lorry’s Island End Motel in its application to place four trailers in the vacant lot next to the motel in which to house the staff and their families.

Starting in the ’70s, my parents had a two-family house on Washington Avenue that they rented half out so we could summer in the upstairs. How lucky we were! Growing up in the neighborhood, I’ve seen many changes, some good and some not so much.

In a tiny surf community with cottages, trailer parks and marinas, we kids filled our days with surfing and swimming, bike riding and catching snapper blues and blue claws off the docks. Tennis and art classes were offered at the old Coast Guard station. We got milkshakes and played pinball at McNeal’s Motel (now Lorry’s). We chased the ice cream truck and the mosquito spraying truck, yikes!

One of my first jobs was waitressing at the restaurant that used to be at the motel.

Most businesses like the corner liquor store and the bathhouse have disappeared to make way for more huge houses. Unless you were fortunate enough to have bought something long ago, the average working person can’t afford rent on LBI for vacation, let alone to live and work there.

Even back then it was hard for local businesses to get help. No one wanted to rent their apartments to the large groups of college kids, but without a large group you couldn’t afford it. The beach patrol used to beg residents to “foster” their lifeguards, and Surflight Theatre had to buy houses for the actors to live in.

Lorry’s Motel is one of the last affordable places to stay. Some of the employees live on-site. The owner has great difficulty finding help without providing that benefit. But giving employees housing takes away from the number of rooms to rent. Purchasing the lot next door that was owned by the former trailer park and putting housing for his employees would help to keep a valuable long-time Holgate business in operation and employ several people.

Holgate has lost several of its trailer parks over the years, accounting for hundreds of trailers. Despite some of the online posts I have read, I am certain that returning four units to the community isn’t going to decrease property values or bring “undesirables” to the area.

Bill Hutson and his staff work tirelessly to keep his properties neat and clean, and his guests are always reminded to be courteous and respectful to the residential neighborhood within which the motel has always stood. 

Tricia Stiles Abbondanzo

Califon, N.J.

 

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