SEA BRIGHT: The borough Police moved out of their old building and were relocated to trailers in the municipal parking lot so mold remediation and other repairs could be made to their building with the hope of reusing it.
However, a recent site visit discovered large lateral cracks and a compromised electrical system that would cost nearly $350,000 to remediate, so now, a new home for the police is being sought by borough officials.
"We're looking at nearly an inch of separation toward the back where the locker room and it was a lot worse than we originally thought," Councilman James LoBiondo said during the Dec. 11 Sea Bright Council workshop meeting.
Borough Administrator Joseph Verunni said if the building, which was built in the mid 1800's is found to be more than 50 percent damaged, it has to be brought up to code which would include making it ADA accessible. Verunni said it would be difficult to do so with the current state of the building and its age.
"If there's good news here it's that..because of the codes and standards the offices and facility will have to be two stories and (the new building for the Sea Bright Firehouse) can provide for the police department in the upstairs," Verunni said. "So we can accommodate the police and fire in one building and do it in a code-compliant and a resilient way that is flood proof."
Verunni said FEMA has now agreed to pay for the temporary trailers in which the police are currently housed.
LoBiondo said that because the lateral cracks in the police building were likely a result of Hurricane Sandy. FEMA should be able to assist the borough in building the new fire/police headquarters.
"It doesn't even make sense to discuss anything to do with salvaging the building at this point, because you would be putting $300,000 into a non-compliant building rather than putting it into a beautiful new building that we will have for 100 years," LoBiondo said.
A location for the headquarters has not yet been set, but Mayor Dina Long said she wants to get the process started as soon as possible.
"Let's move quickly and get our public safety a home, let's fast track that one," Long said.
Verunni said there will be a resolution at the Dec. 16 Sea Bright Council meeting that would allow the borough architect to draw up schematics for the new building. A cost estimate will also have to given to FEMA to see how much of the construction they will be able to cover.