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City moving forward on beach concessions

By Kenny Walter
Staff Writer

LONG BRANCH—After two straight record-breaking beach seasons, the city is adding amenities to the boardwalk for the 2016 season.

Business Administrator Howard Woolley Jr. said during the Jan. 12 Workshop meeting that three concession stands are currently being constructed in coordination with the rebuilding of the boardwalk, He also reported that the city will soon search for an operator for the stands.

“We wanted to go out to bid on this and see what kind of interest we would get,” Woolley said. “We put together the bid specs from the last time we went out.

“It will be interesting to see what we get as far as bids.”

The city council is expected to authorize the bid request during the Jan. 26 meeting.  Woolley predicted the city could recoup about $21,000 in lease agreements from a concessionaire.

Woolley said the two concessions stands at West End Avenue and North Bath Avenue will have full cooking stations and the concession stand north of Cottage Place will not initially have a kitchen set up for cooking.

“The concept was to allow the concessionaire to come in and do the cooking equipment they want to put in,” Woolley said.

Councilwoman Joy Bastelli requested the bid specifications include requirements to include healthier food options to go along with the traditional fried fare.

“Could we maybe put together some type of standards?” she asked.

While the city expects to move forward with the concession stands, Woolley said the boardwalk is on pace to be rebuilt on schedule.

“We are doing great on the progress down there, it is coming along well,” he said.

The council authorized a contract with the Howell-based George Harms Construction Co. in April for the replacement of the boardwalk, which will be rebuilt twice as wide in some areas.

The contract also funds repairs to the protective bluff in front of the boardwalk, a 40-foot-deep protective metal wall and road work on Ocean Avenue.

Long Branch has 16 beaches: Seaview Avenue, Great Lawn, Madison Avenue, Laird Street, Chelsea Avenue, Melrose Terrace, Morris Avenue, Pavilion Avenue, North Bath Avenue, South Bath Avenue, Matilda Terrace, Cottage Place, West End, Brighton Avenue, New Court and Takanassee. Beach season runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

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