SEA BRIGHT: Mayor Dina Long said the borough hopes to rebuild its beach pavilion, which will include a new library, by the start of the 2015 summer season.
“The beach pavilion is a high priority project identified in Sea Bright 2020,” Long said during the June 12 Sea Bright Town Hall meeting. “We are still pursuing an aggressive timeline and we hope to have some structure open for the public by Memorial Day next year.”
Long said the council has preliminary architectural plans for the beach pavilion, which would be located near the recently-completed municipal parking lot.
“Those plans are in their first set of revisions and will be presented to the public for public comment then probably for subsequent revision,” Long said.
Councilman Marc Leckstein said the plans for the pavilion are before CAFRA (Coastal Area Facility Review Act), which must give the borough its approval before any plans can be finalized.
Councilman Brian Kelly said the borough’s old library was torn down after it was substantially damaged by Hurricane Sandy and that the borough also lost its bathing pavilion and public bathrooms.
Kelly said the first floor of the pavilion would be used for storage of beach vehicles, the second floor would house the borough’s new library and public bathrooms and that the third floor would serve as a lifeguard headquarters and also contain rentable space.
Long said because the borough’s bathrooms and bathing pavilion were destroyed by Sandy that the project is eligible for FEMA reimbursement because those structures would be rebuilt.
Some members of the public in attendance at the meeting criticized the council’s plan to build the pavilion, saying that a ratable such as a restaurant or beach club would be a better use of the oceanfront space. They said that the borough needs to rebuild its ratable base after so much of it was destroyed by the hurricane in order to keep taxes from climbing higher.
Long commented earlier in the meeting that the borough lost about $75 million in ratables as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
“We’ve put back about $20 million in ratables so far,” she said.