RUMSON BOATHOUSE PLAN ADVANCES

Shells and other gear remain at the site where a boathouse is envisioned.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A waterfront house acquired by Rumson three years ago was demolished over the holidays, moving the borough one stroke closer to its long-term goal of building a boathouse for rowing crews there someday.

Mayor John Ekdahl cautions, however, that no plans for such a facility have yet been drawn up. Nor has any necessary fundraising been organized, he tells redbankgreen.

Though the house, at 38 West River Road, was vacant and decrepit, the borough delayed tearing it down until an assurance could be obtained from the state Department of Environmental Protection that another structure would be permitted on the same footprint. After a year of communication, that assurance was given last summer, Ekdahl said.

The town acquired a portion of the property, between Victory Park and Barnacle Bill’s restuarant, for $875,000 in 2009. The parcel nearest the road remains in private hands, and the borough has an easement access to the riverfront parcel.

The next step, Ekdahl said, is grading work, using soil fill left over from projects such as the renovation of soccer fields elsewhere, to reduce an elevation difference between the site and the park. A line of trees and shrubs along the boundary line with the park will be removed, Ekdahl said.

“We can then make the lot level and  make it sort of integrated into Victory Park,” he said.