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Oceanport Eyes Several Options For New Borough Hall Location

OCEANPORT: A permanent home for borough hall has not yet been found, but officials are currently considering several locations in the area.

Borough Administrator John Bennett said six possible locations have been identified, but that the borough has not limited its search to these areas.

Officials were forced to find a new location for the borough hall following the flood damage caused to the original location by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Several tests determined the original borough hall could no longer be occupied and the process of moving offices to the Old Wharf Building began in January.

Bennett has said there were structural, not health or air quality, issues with the old building and that it was important to find a new building to house borough hall.

One of the options is to either raise or renovate the old borough hall which was located at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Monmouth Boulevard.

A second option would be to relocate to the Wolf Hill Park property.

"That's a county park so the county would have to agree to let us build there," Bennett said.

Another location under consideration is the Maria Gatta Community Park property on Port Au Peck Avenue.

"It's a municipal park, however it's on open space inventory," Bennett said. "So we need state permission to do anything with open space land."

Bennett said a building on Fort Monmouth could be another possibility for borough hall, but he said no specific location has been identified at this time.

The other two options are the older shopping center near the area where the Oceanport Village Center is being built and an unspecified location at Monmouth Park.

Bennett said the borough is also working with two agencies, Millennium Strategies and L&C, to see how much money is available from FEMA to help facilitate the change in location.

"We're simultaneously working with FEMA for the replacement or rebuilding of borough hall," he said.

The borough’s administration, finance, construction and court will be operating out of the Old Wharf House until a new location is selected.

The Oceanport Library has also moved to the community center and Oceanport United Methodist Church will be used to house several borough committees and groups such as the Oceanport Environmental Commission.

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