OCEANPORT:The question of where the new borough hall will be still has four possible answers, as architects weigh in and a site selection committee continues to work, officials said.
"The borough continues to make progress on plans for a new municipal complex," said Mayor Michael Mahon. "The Site Selection Committee is meeting with architects and employees who are participating in a survey on space requirements."
The discussion is between four spots: 222 Monmouth Boulevard, Main Street/Wolf Hill Avenue in Fort Monmouth, Port Au Peck at Gatta Park and the business district.
Mahon said as 2015 approaches, the plan is to present architectural drawings and online survey to residents via the borough website and public meetings. But first the discussions between land owners, architects, and public officials continue.
"We are working with FMERA, Green Acres and private property owners behind the scene to put the necessary pieces in place," said Mahon in his monthly newsletter on the borough website. "It is an interesting time for Oceanport and our residents will be involved at public meetings and be able to view the presentations on our website and complete an online survey. Look for more on this program as the New Year approaches."
The architect is analyzing each of the possible sites and will report back to the borough council. At that point the council will begin to seek public input, said the mayor.
"The architect has begun pulling together the pros and cons of each prospective site and we expect to engage the public in determining the appropriate site for a new municipal building in the next few months." Mahon said.
Flooded by Hurricane Sandy, the old borough hall was declared substantially damaged as the municipal offices were given temporary homes, and borough officials have been investigating where the best place would be for a rebuilt municipal complex. Borough hall is temporarily at 315 East Main Street.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded $3.69 million to Oceanport, to reimburse the borough after it bonds to construct a new building. The FEMA award will pay off the debt. According to Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. at the time, the funding will cover the demolition and disposal of the old borough hall and the construction of a new, concrete-block building on elevated steel joists.