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KEYPORT, NJ-The borough council here has voted to apply to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs for designation as an area in need of rehabilitation. If that designation is approved by the state, city officials would be empowered to offer five-year tax abatements to owners of businesses and homes that are renovated, among other incentives. Keyport is situated on Raritan Bay in Monmouth County.

Town officials also hope that such a designation would pave the way for eventual redevelopment plans for the community’s two main commercial areas, specifically downtown and the corridor formed by State Route 36 along the community’s southern border. The designation would fall short of a full area in need of redevelopment designation, but local officials say they see it as a step in that direction.

According to Mayor Robert Bergen, if area in need of rehabilitation designation is obtained, the next step would be to organize a series of public meetings to gather input. Initial goals, according to Bergen, include waterfront improvements, new entrances to the community and streetscape and signage improvements.

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