SEA BRIGHT: WELL, HOW ABOUT A PHARMACY?

Residents at Wednesday night’s brainstorming session in Sea Bright. (Photo by Colby Wilson. Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

For the second time this week, business owners, residents and concerned others gathered at Sea Bright borough hall Wednesday night to brainstorm on the town’s future.

At an open-invite think tank of sorts, the second meeting held by the Sea Bright 2020 steering committee focused on economic development and community facilities. On Monday, the focus was on housing and the waterfront.

“Let’s talk about strengths,” said Frank Lawrence, the committee’s chairman. “Not just what’s bad but what’s good,”

The conversation, however, quickly turned to what the town didn’t have and the challenges it still faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – a stark reminder that Sea Bright is still fighting back from the storm.

Concerns about flooding, as well as competition from a new development in Oceanport, were raised, as were the inevitable seasonal challenges the beach town faces.

“We need a 12-month economy and a reason to drive people here in January and February,” one audience member called out.

One of the goals that everyone seemed to agree on was bringing back essential businesses and community facilities, such as a pharmacy, a dry cleaner and public works facilities.

The group addressed open spaces, including the municipal beach parking lot, that could be used as a town center.  Another idea came from John Galinos of Rumson, who with his wife, Christina, recently purchased the old Adrenaline Fitness building on Ocean Avenue.

“What about making the river as attractive as the ocean?” Galinos asked.

With two session’s worth of ideas and comments on record, the real work begins August 8, when Sea Bright 2020 holds a community workshop, where various question boards and design concepts will be presented. That meeting will be held at Holy Cross School in Rumson, starting at 7 p.m.