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Sea Bright preps for referendum meetings

By KENNY WALTER
Staff Writer

SEA BRIGHT — The Borough Council is getting ready for the three educational sessions on the three facility projects that are subject to a Sept. 27 referendum.

Business Administrator Joseph Verruni said he is preparing information for the three public sessions for the projects, which are  the borough’s community center, beach pavilion and municipal complex. All three facilities would all be constructed east of Ocean Avenue.

“Basically, we have been working on putting together informational packages and just trying to answer any questions that the public has on the three projects,” he said.

On June 1, the council adopted three ordinances that would allocate funding for the borough’s community center, beach pavilion and municipal complex.

However, residents roundly criticized the scope of the projects, and a petition for a referendum quickly circulated and eventually garnered enough signatures to force the special election.

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 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (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 three referendums, if passed, would invalidate a trio of bond ordinances totaling nearly $13 million for new municipal buildings.

The borough has also scheduled three public meetings on the referendums. On Aug. 23, a town hall meeting on public facilities will be held, while on Aug. 27 and Sept. 4, the borough will hold public drop-in and information sessions.

Mayor Dina Long said the three public meetings will be beneficial to the public.

“We have a town hall meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 23, in this building at 7 p.m,” she said. “The purpose is to discuss the municipal facilities plan and the referendum.

“As well we have scheduled two drop-in information sessions where people can come in and view the plans for the municipalities. That is not formal, you can just drop in. We have one scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., and one on Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 4-7 p.m.”

 

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