LACEY TOWNSHIP AKA Forked River, AKA Lanoka Harbor,
AKA Bamber, AKA Good Luck, AKA Murray Grove
Forked (rhymes with orchid) River, Lanoka Harbor, Bamber, Murray Grove and Good Luck are some of the settlements that one hundred thirty years ago incorporated into Lacey Township, named for a Revolutionary War General. If you ask a resident where he lives, the answer will depend on where he is standing. If in Toms River, the answer will be “Lacey Township,” but in Lacey, he will say “Forked River” or “Lanoka Harbor.”
People from out of state who view New Jersey as the home of the “Sopranos” are stunned to see the natural beauty of Lacey Township. Wildlife is commonplace to locals, including deer, fox, raccoon, and there are those who will attest to a resident bald eagle out in the Bamber section, near Forked River Mountain.
Small town Americana is very much alive in Lacey. Visits to local beaneries at breakfast or lunch will often find township committeemen in open public political discussion with townspeople and each other. What is small town life without a parade? We have two each year: Memorial Day and Christmas. We also have the “Lacey in Lights” Christmas House Lighting Tour. At summer’s end, we also celebrate Lacey Day, which is usually more full of Apple Pie Tasting, Food, the Business community, Volunteer Organizations, Local Emergency Services and antique cars, and lots more.
Water recreation abounds! Sailing, swimming, fishing, crabbing, boating, canoeing, are everywhere. We have several fresh water lakes, creeks suitable for swimming, the river, the bay and a short boat ride across the bay and you are in the Ocean.
Lacey boasts four elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. Another interesting small town fact about our schools: About 90% of the children who start kindergarten in Lacey will graduate from the high school thirteen years later. About nine percent will move away at some point and about one percent will drop out. It is a reassuring continuity that brings to mind images ala Norman Rockwell of simple times long past In addition, we have the “Schoolhouse Museum” which is a former two-room school and now contains much of Lacey’s colorful early history.
Lacey Township is about eighty-five miles and about 98% of the population live in the approximate twenty square miles east of the Garden State Parkway. The area to the west of the Parkway is protected and is part of the National Pinelands Preservation Area.
Lacey has a committee form of government: five elected committee people, one of which is selected by the other four to serve as mayor for a term of one year. Currently the Township Committee is made up of Timothy McDonald, Steven Kennis, Peter Curatolo Nicholas Juliano and Mark Dykoff. The Township Administrator/Clerk is Veronica Laureigh.
A fine police department of forty men, three volunteer fire companies, and two volunteer first aid squads serve Lacey. Our Department of Public Works has made the Lacey park system the envy of the entire state. In addition to the numerous Lacey parks and tot lots, Ocean County opened a 28-acre low impact park at the east end of Lacey Road in 1999. The Recreation Department arranges for over 1,200 children to take part in a league soccer program. Also the Recreation Department schedules many bus tours to points of interest, theater trips, athletic events, etc from Washington D.C. to New York City.
Lacey Township is ideally located to combine and preserve all the elements that make up the highest quality of life. We are ninety minutes from New York or Philadelphia, forty-five minutes from Atlantic City and a comfortable morning’s drive will put you in Washington, D.C. The climate is far more moderate than further north in New Jersey. Many retirees have considered all the above, which, when combined with low taxes and lovely homes available, makes Lacey the perfect spot for one’s golden years. It is common for those who leave Lacey to retire in Florida or the Carolinas to return in two or three years.
Lacey Township welcomes new business and new residents. Join us!
Mayor, Lacey Township