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Access To Takanassee Beach May Require Badge in 2015

LONG BRANCH: The city may begin charging patrons to spend their summer days at Takanssee Beach.

The city began staffing the beach with lifeguards after the Fourth of July weekend due to safety concerns because of an impending offshore hurricane. The guards remained for the remainder of the season and actually had to save a few people according to Long Branch Emergency Management Coordinator Stanley Dziuba.

Your decision to man Takanassee with the lifeguards paid off twice," Dziuba said at the Sept. 9 Long Branch Council meeting. "Two people went to the hospital and one was actually underwater when (the lifeguards) grabbed them and the other was being pulled out. Both of them swallowed a ton of water and ended up staying overnight at the hospital."

Mayor Adam Schneider said that because the city is now staffing the beach with lifeguards, the next step is charging people to enter the beach.

"We're going to do it, that's the mandate," Schneider said. "The only question is whether or not we will charge them to park."

"The behavior there is not great, and we're putting people there at our risk and on our dime," Schneider added.

Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley has said the popularity of the beach has grown in recent years and that with the large amount of people now down there swimming and doing other activities, lifeguards were needed. He has said there is a city ordinance that prohibits bathing on an unguarded beach, but that it is rarely followed.

Takanassee Beach was the southernmost city-owned beach that was replenished this year. The land just west of the beach is also slated for development.

During its March 18 meeting, the Long Branch Planning Board,unanimously approved a plan presented by Takanassee Developers LLC to build five single family homes and eight duplex-style condos located in a single building on the site. The homes will be located parallel to the ocean and the 4-story condominium building will be located along the north bank of Lake Takanassee off Ocean Avenue.

Dunes will also be built on site as well as a dam to fix the breach that causes lake water to flow from Lake Takanassee to the ocean.

To read more about the upcoming Takanassee project, click here.

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