“We’re not talking about removing the fence, but I think there are things we can do,” Mayor Dina Long said. “The reality is that it was there for security purposes…and to protect the dune grasses.”
The fence replaces one that existed several years ago and is located between Donovan's Reef and the old Mad Hatter building. Borough Administrator Joseph Verruni said the borough applied for and was granted insurance proceeds to pay for the fence. Verruni said other types of fences, other than galvanized steel were considered, but were deemed to expensive. Councilman Marc Leckstein said the fence has become “an object of major contention.”
“I’m personally upset about the fence,” Leckstein said. “Do I think it’s the worst thing in the world, no, but I think it could be better.
Long agreed that the fence is not as attractive as it could be.
“We’ve already got a wall, I don’t want to create another wall, but maybe there’s a way to beautify what’s there,” Long said.
She suggested adding planters at certain sections of the fence. Councilman William Keeler said translucent banners with messages such as “welcome to the beach” could be added to fence to make it more attractive.
“Once we start the sea wall project, that whole fence is coming down anyway, so I don’t want to make an investment now, but I hear what you’re saying and I think we can take steps to make it more aesthetically pleasing,” she said.
Verruni said there have also been discussions about adding a boardwalk on top of the sea wall in the future.