TLS EXCLUSIVE: Chavrei Hakollel Fined Nearly $3,000 By Township

TLS EXCLUSIVE: On Monday morning, in the Lakewood Municipal court, Chavrei Hakollel was fined an exorbitant sum of $2850 for not obtaining a C/O for their charity thrift store in a timely fashion. The store was opened about a year ago to raise money for the Kollel and to help employ teenagers who are looking for work. R’ Yishai Ghoori tells The Lakewood Scoop that the township inspector Derryl Nelson approached the Kollel before Pesach and told them that the current C/O doesn’t cover the store and that a change of use would be needed. Immediately, the Kollel paid around $1,000 and obtained the change. It was then that R’ Chaim Abbadi Shlita arranged for an inspection and all went well. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the architect and many other people, the plumbing inspector found some code which stated that the thrift store needed a shower and a slop sink. While this back and forth was going on the Kollel was told by the people involved that a variance can be filed with the township and the store should remain open. However, the township inspector refused to budge and wrote ticket after ticket to the Kollel-to R’ Yishai Ghoori-and to the owner of the property, Mr. Seymour Wynmann, who is allowing the Kollel to use the building and just asking the Kollel to cover monthly costs. In fact says R’ Ghoori, Mr. Nelson was overheard at the municipal court after he was confronted by him saying “I’m gonna fine that R’ Ghoori”, which he did. The work was then completed and Mr. Nelson threatened the owner that being that some of the work wasn’t done properly he’s going to get the township to reinspect for electric and fail us. While this was happening The Kollel was informed that the township “can’t find” the change of use and a new inspection cannot take place. Eventually after a few thousand dollars of costs, the C/O was filed and the court date to clear up this mess, was set. The Kollel approached some township members and askanim about the situation and was assured that all we be well. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be the case. The judge took no interest and refused to entertain the circumstances of the case and fined them $2850. Says R’ Ghoori “the most frustrating part about the whole story is, that in a town like Lakewood, its possible for a Moisad-which is a pillar of Chesed in the community-has nowhere and nobody to reach out to to step in and stop it from being harassed by the township”. (TLS)
 

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