Over the years the decaying buildings have become home to numerous stray cats.
Long Branch Health Department Director Sidney Johnson feels that animal control agent Debbie Nagel will put all her effort into removing animals from the site. “About two years ago Long Branch Animal Control and the SPCA helped the small cat colony at Seaview Towers,” Johnson said. “If Debbie Nagel can help again, that’s what the Mayor and Council and the Animal Welfare Committee would want her to try and do.”
The two senior citizen apartment buildings have been standing vacant for over 15 years, plenty of time for animals to take up residency.
Nagel has been working night and day setting and checking traps to capture animals that may have made the abandoned buildings their home. Traps have been set around the site baited with chicken meat and water to lure feral cats. “So far we’ve caught a possum and a racoon,” Nagel said. “When we catch wild animals they are set free in Jackson Woods.”
Local resident Pam Jackson, a member of
Colony Caretakers, a group that focuses on the trap, neuter and return of feral cats has been tending to the strays at Seaview Towers for years. Trapped cats are to be taken to Colony Caretakers, and the ones Pam doesn’t recognize as “her cats” will be taken to the SPCA.
Nagel said that they work hard to make sure the traps are emptied and reset. “I go by Seaview to empty traps in the morning, afternoon and twice in the evening,” she said. “Then they are set again for another round.”
The roof on the south tower has been caved in for the past few years. The State and City have deemed the property unsafe and Long Branch came out on January 14 stating that either the owner, Cronheim Co., raze the building within 24 hours,
or Long Branch will do the demolition themselves. Reportedly Cronheim Co. is making an appeal to the Monmouth County Construction Board of Appeals.
Mayor Pallone stated that the demolition project would cost taxpayers nothing and the Cronheim Co. will have liens put against them.
Before the time arrives for demolition, Nagel is making sure no animals are left inside. “Our major concern is making sure we get all animals out of the building before they are demolished,” Nagel said. “Our major concern is the animals’ safety.”