In 1996, Lacey Township celebrated its 125th Anniversary with a bang and the township, hailed by then Mayor John C. Parker as the picture of small town America, was honored by Gov. Christie Whitman who marched in the celebratory parade.
Along with the Township Committee who culminated the summer-long celebration with a town picnic featuring tents, balloons bands, hot dogs, hamburgers and old-fashioned homemade vanilla ice cream, Lacey businesses and residents celebrated the anniversary throughout the summer, with picnics, dances, barbecues and festivals of their own. There is no shortage of good spirit and love for the town among any of its residents.
Lacey is a historic and scenic area, bordered by Cedar Creek to the north and Oyster Creek to the south. Its colorful history spans back prior to the Revolutionary War, when the area was inhabited by the friendly Lenape Indians, who were instrumental in helping the first settlers from England survive in their new country.
Most settlers were involved in making charcoal and iron from the Pinelands, though wood production and the harvesting of cranberries were among the chief industries in the area.
There are cranberry bogs still in use today and a unique collection of buildings from an actual Pinelands village, including a sawmill at Double Trouble State Park, on the boundary of Lacey and Berkeley townships.
The first Universalist sermon in the United States was preached in 1770 by John Murray at Potter's Meeting House, which was located in Lanoka Harbor. The Potter Church, which still stands in Murray Grove, was built in 1760 from portions of the meeting house.
Gen. John Lacey, for whom the township was named, began his Bamber iron works during that period, bringing prosperity to the area. Much of Lacey's history can be viewed at the Schoolhouse Museum on Route 9, which is open during the summer. The township today encompasses 84.6 square miles and has a population of 22,141, according to the 1990 census.
Most residents live east of the Garden State Parkway, and the western portion of the township consists of thousands of acres of Pine Barrens. For those who like to read a good book, Lacey has a library on East Lacey Road which is a branch of the Ocean County Library.
There are four large, spring-fed lakes in the township, three of which have beaches for swimming. The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, operating since 1969, is one of the largest employers in Ocean County and is the largest tax ratable in the township. There are a number of parks and tot lots in the township, and a new low impact 28 acre County park on East Lacey Road is scheduled for completion next year.
Popcorn Park Zoo, which cares for injured and unwanted animals, attracts visitors from all over Ocean County. The zoo is west of the parkway off Lacey Road. The Lacey Municipal Building is at 818 West Lacey Road in Forked River (693-1100). The town clerk is Veronica Laureigh, and administrator is Jorge A. Rod.
Presently there are five schools in the district, The Lacey Township High School serves students in grades nine through 12, the middle school educates the townships sixth- to eighth-graders and three elementary schools, Cedar Creek, Lanoka Harbor and Forked River, round off the list.
The school board of education hopes to proceed with the construction of a new seventh- and eighth-grade school, approved by voters last December. Once built, the new school will relieve the district's overcrowded facilities. A new southbound entrance and northbound exit between the Garden State Parkway and Lacey Road will soon make Lacey Township accessible from all directions.
Fast Facts about Lacey
BOUNDARIES: Lacey Township is bordered on the east by the Barnegat Bay, north by Berkeley Township, south by Ocean Township the western boarder is dominated by pinelands.
08731 Forked River
Lacey Township Police Department
911 in case of emergency
911 in case of an emergency
TRASH COLLECTION: Using Lacey Road as the dividing line, the south half of town is scheduled for trash pickup Monday and Thursday, the north half on Tuesday and Friday.
The township is split into five zones for curb side pickup. Call township for designations 609-693-1100
Zone 1 pickup is Friday
818 West Lacey Road
MAYOR: Evelyn T. "Lynn" Nick
Deputy Mayor Louis A. Amato Jr.
Clerk Veronica Laureigh
All township meetings are held on the second and fourth Thursday each month. Caucus meetings begin at 7:00 p.m., agenda meetings follow at 8:00 p.m. Meetings are held at the Municipal Building
818 East Lacey Road
School board meetings are conducted the second and third Monday of each month usually at Lacey Township High School
200 Western Boulevard
ANNUAL BUDGET: $16,877,558.23
MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAX: $.116 per $100 dollars of assessed property value
County tax $.472
Lacey Township School District
Adelphia Cable Co. 609-286-2971
Rep. H. James Saxton
Sen. Robert Torricelli, D, 202-224-3224
Assemblyman Christopher J. Connors
Leonard T. Connors Jr.
Lacey Township Historic Society - 609 971-0467
Lacey Township Chamber of Commerce - 609 693-8312
Lacey Branch of the Ocean County Library