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Lakewood – Day laborer solution?


The township wants to open a muster zone along Swarthmore Avenue in Lakewood Industrial Park, a move which could siphon the familiar throngs of day laborers out of the downtown shopping district.The plan, euphemistically called an employment center, was unveiled today at an afternoon meeting of the Lakewood Development Corp.It would create a gathering place on less than 2 acres of publicly-owned land near Cedar Bridge Avenue. Portable bathrooms would be installed and garbage cans would be put out, said township Committeeman Charles Cunliffe.The plan will be discussed again at Thursday’s committee meeting.Mayor Meir Lichtenstein said this afternoon the proposal gives day laborers and the contractors that hire them a place to meet, but also takes those workers away from the downtown, where merchants complain about their presence.The LDC is involved because Lichtenstein asked it to pay the $37,500 it will cost to create the zone, which should open in the next few months. The money — which was approved– will pay for land clearing, bathrooms and an area for trucks to pull over to pick up workers.The plan drew mostly praise from the LDC’s trustees board.”We have to start someplace,” said board member James Savage…….

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