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Thursday, August 11, 2005Past Issues - S | M | T | W | T | F | S
 
South Jersey

July 13, 1999

Camco freeholders decide not to sue ship commission

By Courier-Post Staff

The Camden County freeholders plan to drop a lawsuit against the New Jersey Battleship Commission, which recommended Bayonne as the museum site for the USS New Jersey.

Camden County officials have been pushing for the Navy to berth the ship in Camden, but do not want to delay or otherwise upset the current application process by continuing to pursue the lawsuit, Freeholder Patricia E. Jones said Monday.

``We just don't want anything to muddy the waters for the Navy as they proceed to review the applications,'' Jones said. ``We were looking for a level playing field and the Navy provides for a fair and equitable determination.''

Jones is a founder of the Home Port Alliance, a coalition that has submitted a separate application to the Navy to moor the ship permanently on the Delaware River in Camden.

In a complaint filed in October in the Superior Court Appellate Division, the freeholders accused the Battleship Commission of violating the law establishing the commission by selecting a museum site in its application to the Navy without adequate analysis.

The appeal asked the court to bar the commission application.

Jones said she will formally ask the county legal department to withdraw the appeal following a meeting Wednesday with the Home Port Alliance's advisory board.

Last week, Gov. Christie Whitman signed ceremonial documents clearing the way for the battleship, launched Dec. 7, 1942, to be towed from Bremerton, Wash. It is scheduled to leave Puget Sound Sept. 13 and dock at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on Nov. 4.

Camden, Bayonne and Jersey City have vied for the right to turn the vessel into a tourist attraction. The Navy is expected to make a decision by January.



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