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New Home Proposed For Sea Bright Police, Fire, EMS

SEA BRIGHT: The borough police, fire and EMS could have a new home in the coming years.

Plans for a municipal complex were unveiled on Wednesday, March 18, during a special workshop meeting of the Sea Bright Council.

Borough Administrator Joseph Verunni said the complex could also house borough functions such as emergency managements, code and zoning offices, meeting space and possibly some DPW functions.

"There is ample space without reducing the existing uses from the public safety personnel," Verunni said.

The complex would be located a few feet west of the footprint of the existing fire department, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy along with the borough police departments. Both building have been deemed to expensive to fix by the borough and the cost of the new facility would eligible for 90 percent reimbursement by FEMA.

The offices and storage space would be located on the second floor of the building and the vehicle bays would be located on the first floor, which would have garage bay doors on the east and west sides. The facility would total 9,100 square feet and is roughly the size of the old police department and fire house combined.

The total cost of the building is estimated to be about $6.7 million, bringing the total borough costs to about $2.6 million for the municipal complex and beachfront community center, which has a $3 million price tag, assuming FEMA pays for at least 90 percent of the projects.

"You're getting a bang for your buck if somebody's giving you $8.4 million to build the buildings and the municipality needs to $2.6 million as its share," Verunni said. "That's about $167,000 annual contribution on a 20-year bond."

Verunni said that would be about an $8-$10 increase on the average monthly tax bill for residents.

Mayor Dina Long said getting the projects at the proposed prices is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Long said she would like to see the footprint of the building expanded to be able to include more borough offices and space for DPW vehicles.

Residents in attendance did not voice any opposition to the project.

"I moved here 25 years ago and we needed new municipal facilities then," resident Kathy Morris said. "I'm all for this."

The council agreed to move forward with the concept and will eventually submit the plans to FEMA so they can be approved for reimbursement.

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