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Long Branch Beach Cabanas, Lockers Will Be Available in 2015

LONG BRANCH: The city's plan to have lockers and cabanas ready for beachgoers for the summer of 2015 appears to be on track.

The Long Branch Council discussed the possibility for a second time during its Jan. 13 meeting to figure out the total number that will be purchased, how much they will cost to rent and where they will be located.

Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley said the plan is to order 105 lockers, which come in groups of three, and 20 cabanas. The lockers will be rented to the public for $375 each and $2,750 for each cabana for the summer.

The lockers will be located at 7 beaches; West End Avenue, Cottage Place , North and South Bath Avenue, Laird Street, Morris Avenue and Madison Avenue.

The cabanas will be located only at Madison Avenue and Laird Street because they need electric and water.

"With the work going on on the boardwalk, we're not going to be able to out them on other beaches this year," Woolley said. "The lockers require no utilities and would be movable if work were to conflict with their location."

The city is planning to begin the reconstruction of its boardwalk and bluff from Brighton Avenue to Pier Village this spring, and the work will not allow utilities to be placed at several locations.

Woolley said the lockers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Long Branch Chief Financial Officer Ron Mehlhorn said the city's bond counsel agrees that the lockers are a bondable item, but said they can be considered a capital project and placed as a line item in the budget.

Long Branch Council President Michael Siranni said he would not the city to bond for the lockers

"If we can work this in any way internally so that the money comes in and these are purchased I think I would feel a lot better about that," Sirianni said. "I'm very cautious on bonding."

Woolley said the city's total cost for the lockers and cabanas would be $81,000 but that he anticipates the city could make $100,000 in the first year if all the units are rented by the public.

The council is expected to amend its beach ordinance so the units can be rented to the public at a future meeting.

Read more from: Long Branch

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