Now, says Mayor-elect Maria Fernandes, comes the trick of raising the remaining $214,000 in estimated costs and clearing whatever obstacles the state Department of Environmental Protection might throw up as part of its coastal permitting process.
The borough was one of 11 towns awarded a total $2 million in the latest annual round of Monmouth County Open Space grants. Nine more towns had proposals rejected, including Fair Haven, which sought $250,000 for the cost of new ballfields, lighting and other improvements at Fair Haven Fields.
Sea Bright, under Councilwoman Peggy Bills, is planning a number of fundraising efforts in coming months, though no events have yet been finalized, Fernandes tells redbankgreen.
But her bigger concern is the DEP’s Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) permitting process. “That’s a big obstacle there,” Fernandes says. “With the DEP, you never know” what objections or issues might arise.
As for Fair Haven, “We got what appeared to be a form letter with no explanation” for the thumbs-down, Mayor Mike Halfacre tells redbankgreen.
“The unofficial word appears to be that they were looking to fund ‘passive’ recreation spaces, not playing fields. Of course, if this were true, we would have liked to have known ahead of time, so we could have tailored our request appropriately. We have lots of needs in our passive recreation areas, also.”