AlldockFair Haven’s dock is about to get a makeover.


Fair Haven residents brought their ideas on how to spend $200,000 budgeted for municipal dock improvements to a public hearing this week.

The dock, located at the north end of Fair Haven Road, was built in the 1970s, and last updated in 1984.

Engineer David Hoder of Maser Consulting answered questions in a brief presentation to the council and public.

His list of upgrades: new pilings, decking, railings, seating areas for “active and passive recreation,” lighting, and handicapped accessibility.

“I’m excited to see that the dock’s being redesigned, and glad to see Mr. Hoder is behind it,” said Jim Butler Chris Hempstead of Willow Street, who added that as a fisherman, he’d love to have a bait-cutting station and a faucet that’s on a timer for crabbers.

“It gets a little messy” on the dock, he said.

GiglioErnie Giglio says leave it as it is.

Hoder answered that a water line was planned with “washdown spigots” that would be shut down in the winter.

“I grew up here,” said Dick Fuller. “My whole life I always thought it was tragic” that the dock has no sailboat ramp.

“That’s a big thing for me. I’m not looking to dock the Albertina,” he said, referring to the paddle-wheel steamboat that plied the North Shrewsbury (now, Navesink) River in the late 19th and early 20 centuries.

“The ramp is too narrow to launch a Sunfish,” Fuller said. He also asked about the possibility of a floating dock.

Historic Association Vice President Pat Drummond of Fair Haven Road asked to meet with Hoder to discuss preserving the dock’s historic character. She said she’d like to see “as little change as possible — to make it look like the old dock that was there and not make it some fancy gazebo-type thing. We’d like to see it look like an old fishing dock.”

But not too much like an old fishing dock.

“I walk down there almost every day, and especially on weekends, every railing is taken up by crabbers and fishermen with their stuff all spread out,” Drummond continued. “There’s no place for one person to just sit and look at the sailboats going by.”

Reconciling the desires of residents should not be a problem, Mayor Mike Halfacre said afterward in an email to redbankgreen.

“Fishermen, crabbers and others have co-existed on the dock for generations. I don’t foresee any conflict in the future,” he said. “We can certainly design seating in a way so as to make it attractive for people to enjoy the view, and design it in such a way that other users are not prevented from their use, also.

“I don’t think we want to change the way the dock is used now, we just want to secure it for the future and make it more attractive,” Halfacre said.

Ernie Giglio, former owner of Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright, pulling up his crab traps to check his catch at the dock early Tuesday, questioned why the dock needed to be redesigned at all.

“It’s beautiful, it’s great,” he said. “They should leave it alone. If they redo it, it’ll only get crowded.”

The council’s plan calls for the work to be completed before next summer, Halfacre said.

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