Beachgoers thronged the sands of Sandy Hook, above, and Sea Bright, right, on a hot, muggy Labor Day that marked the unofficial end of summer Monday. For locals, of course, a new season of free access to wide-open beaches begins.
More photos after the jump… (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Sea Bright will get $8.5 million from the state to repair and fill gaps in its seawall, adding protection from future storms for the downtown, Governor Chris Christie said in a visit to the borough Thursday, according to NJ.com. Financed by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Shore Protection Fund, the project is scheduled to go out to bid later this year, with construction slated to begin next spring or early next summer, Christie said. Above, a portion of the barrier as it appeared in May. (Click to enlarge)
Mayor Dina Long, center above, helped move tables to accommodate an overflow crowd Tuesday night. John Lamia, below, was sworn to fill the unexpired term of Read Murphy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Dozens of residents packed a bimonthly borough council with their concerns: a bulkhead ordinance that would require some property owners to raise the level of protection adjoining their homes along the Shrewsbury River; a plan to build a 150-foot tall cell tower just feet from the ocean beach behind borough hall; the timing of repairs to the seawall.
Two matters in particular drew concerted heat: a proposal to rent land for use as a temporary fire station from a former mayor in arrears on taxes, and a 10-percent increase in tax bills, reflecting a whopping 17-percent increase to cover the cost of sending borough kids to Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch.
That one, and other issues, reflected longstanding frustrations.
“Twenty-five years ago, when I first came on the council – it was a subject then,” said Councilman Jack Keeler. “It hasn’t changed.”
The northern stretch of Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright, closed to all but local traffic over the weekend because of seawall breaches, reopened Monday afternoon.
But damage to the wall caused by unusually high tides following last Wednesday’s snowstorm means that the borough may be holding its breath during similar weather events until the wall is repaired, Councilman Read Murphy tells redbankgreen.