HomeThe Atlantic-HubAtlantic-Hub NewsSea Bright asks voters to back 3 big projects

Sea Bright asks voters to back 3 big projects

Staff Writer

SEA BRIGHT — After a lengthy and contentious meeting, the Borough Council has opted to hold a special election on Sept. 27 for the voters to decide the fate of three bond ordinances that would fund a new municipal complex, beach pavilion and community center.

The council decided on the special election during a July 14 special meeting, where several members of the public criticized the scope of the $12 million construction project.

The council was given three options for the referendum — hold a special election either Sept. 27 or Oct. 4, wait until the general election on Nov. 8 or rescind the three ordinances and revise the plans.

Mayor Dina Long said the council was given until Oct. 27 to move forward with plans for the replacement of buildings by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), making the special election the best option.

“Our second time extension expires on Oct. 27, and I really feel that we will need to demonstrate that working on this,” she said.

The scheduled referendum comes after 66 residents signed a petition that would force the referendum.

The first bond authorized the issuance of $332,500 for the community center, with $1.4 million coming from other funding sources. The second bond authorized $3.9 million in bonding for the municipal complex, with a total of $7.9 million being appropriated for the project. The third ordinance authorized $1.5 million for the beach pavilion, with $3.6 million being appropriated.

The community center plan is for a two-story, 8,609-square-foot building that will also include storage space and the beach pavilion. It will be funded using $2.5 million from FEMA, $1.8 million from the beach utility fund and the remainder from insurance.

FEMA will also kick in $2.75 million, and insurance will fund $1.32 million for the municipal complex, with the remaining $3.9 million coming from the taxpayers. The bond will result in an extra $250 per year on the average taxpayer.

The topic was discussed for over three hours during the meeting, with several members in the public requesting the council scale down plans for the buildings.

“I think you should rescind the ordinances — I think it is delaying something longer,” resident Marianne McKenzie said.

“There is a very public sentiment that these numbers are too big. This number is beyond exceptional.”

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