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Two Major Sea Bright Projects Awaiting Federal Funding

SEA BRIGHT: The borough is continuing to seek federal funding before beginning construction of two major projects.

The Sea Bright Council has been finalizing plans for a beachfront community center and municipal complex to replace borough functions lost during Hurricane Sandy.

The community center will replace the borough's pavilion, library and beach amenities and the municipal complex will house the police, fire department, EMS and other municipal functions. The community center would be located in the same area as the original beach pavilion, which is now in the southernmost portion of the municipal parking lot, and the municipal complex would be located where the few feet west of the footprint of the old fire department building.

The two projects have an estimated cost of about $10 million, but the borough is optimistic FEMA will pay for 90 percent of the total cost, as they have done with other municipalities' major projects.

"We're working through the process with FEMA for determining the reimbursement number for Sea Bright so that we know what the funding level we can anticipate will be as we construct our two buildings," Mayor Dina Long said at the Dec. 15 Sea Bright Council meeting.

Long said borough has a new FEMA representative, so he must review the projects again before any further action can take place.

Long said the borough has received CAFRA approval for the community center, so that project will likely move forward first.

The next steps are to meet with the stakeholders from the beach access lawsuit.

"Before many of us were on council, the state sued the town and the beach clubs over public access, and as part of the settlement, Sea Bright is supposed to make improvements and investments in its public access," Long said. "We have been sitting on basically $300,000 for these improvements and in order for us to be able to spend that money, we need the sign-off from the stakeholder groups that were actually named in the settlement agreement between us and the state."

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