LONG BRANCH: Takanassee Beach is no longer an unguarded beach.
"We put lifeguards on for the rest of the season because of the usage," Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley said.
Takanassee Beach has been an unguarded beach since the beach club that was once located on the site closed over 10 years ago.
Woolley said the popularity of the beach has grown in recent years and that with the large amount of people now down there swimming and doing other activities, lifeguards were needed. He said there is a city ordinance that prohibits bathing on an unguarded beach, but that it is rarely followed.
"You know if people are on the beach that eventually they are going to go in the water," he said.
If someone were to get injured on Takanassee Beach, the city would be liable, he said, so the guards have become a necessity.
Woolley said the lifeguards were first placed at the beach on the July 4 weekend. No new lifeguards were hired and the city is working within its beach budget, he said.
While Takanssee is currently a free beach, that could change in the future.
"If we have to maintain it, and operate it and clean it, we might look at the possibility of operating it as a municipal beach and charge for beach beach badges," Woolley said.
He said nothing is definitive at this point but that the city is considering its options.
During its March 18 meeting, the Long Branch Planning Board,unanimously approved a plan presented by Takanassee Developers LLC to build five single family homes and eight duplex-style condos located in a single building on the site. The homes will be located parallel to the ocean and the 4-story condominium building will be located along the north bank of Lake Takanassee off Ocean Avenue.
Dunes will also be built on site as well as a dam to fix the breach that causes lake water to flow from Lake Takanassee to the ocean.