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Beach Replenishment Could be Coming for Long Branch Sooner Than Expected

Project could be bid out in May by Army Corps of Engineers

Long Branch's Hurricane Sandy-depleted beaches could be replenished sooner than most expected, according to Long Branch officials.

"We had very good news about the sand replenishment which could be moving forward more quickly than we thought," City Administrator Howard Woolley said during Tuesday night's Long Branch Council meeting.

Woolley said a recent meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers, which handles beach replenishment projects, revealed that the project could be bid out in May.

Long Branch Police Sgt. Charles Shirley, who also works with the city office of emergency management, said the first portion of the Army Corps of Engineers' beach replenishment would stretch from Sandy Hook to Asbury Park.

Woolley said he was optimistic that the sand replenishment could happen soon, but said the Army Corps of Engineers still needs to come up with a design for what they are going to build based on how much sand is there and how much they will need to bid out for the project.

"They are working like hell to get this thing done," Woolley said.

Woolley said the work would be completed by the New York section of Army Corps of Engineers.

Coucilwoman Kathleen Billings asked if the city would hold off on working to repair its sand bluff and seawall until a clear date for the sand replenishment is known.

"We’re moving ahead on design with that, but we’re going to see how much FEMA is going to give us for the seawall and bluff," Woolley said. "The beach will separate and distinct from that so were going to proceed simultaneously on both fronts and as we’re moving we can modify our design based on what sand they put on the beach."

Woolley said "forensic engineering" will also be performed to determine if the Army Corps of Engineers actually installed the now-damaged seawall. If if is determined that they did, Woolley said they may be able to help repair and maintain it.

He said restoring the bluff remains a top priority for the city as well.

"We’ve got to reconstruct the bluff or we could lose the roadway and we wont have the ability to get the people down onto the beach," he said.

Shirley the beach beach replenishment will likely occur first for Long Branch and could "hinder" the city's progress of rebuilding the bluff, seawall and boardwalk.

Shirley said he expects to have a signed project worksheet for FEMA-reimbursable beachfront repairs within two months. This would put the ball in FEMA's court as the city waits to see how much money it will receive for its various projects.

PHS March 27, 2013 at 06:35 PM
We all pay, they are my federal tax dollars too. Why does it bother you so much? There are more much more important things to focus on than this. Let it go.........
joe March 27, 2013 at 07:15 PM
phs, it should bother you. Paying twice to use the beach. Don't be so apathetic.
Dominick Palermo March 27, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Joe bothers me more that we are giving away billions to Egypt and foriegn nations that hate us -- and wasting billions on illegals for food stamps and housing than spending a few million on the beaches -------------
joe March 27, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Dominick, I have no problem with them replenishing the beaches, using my federal taxes, I just don't think it's right to pay to get on locally on top of me paying for the replenishing.
Jaime Carlesimo March 28, 2013 at 08:48 AM
Only problem I have is other towns such as belmar are working hard to have their beachs open and Long branch isnt. The money is there. I think the statement made the other day is a crock. Im truly shocked they are stalling on the boardwalk since it brings so many people doen there.. I pay out the butt in taxs. They should be moving a lot quicker.
PHS March 28, 2013 at 11:15 AM
I agree completely with you. I don't understand why this has not been a priority. There has been nothing done other than in Pier Village. People can not even get on the beach to walk in most areas.
Scott March 28, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Does anyone really believe that they are paying twice to use the beach? The portion of your taxes that are going to replinish the beach amount to pennies. How does that equate to a $45 season pass? How does the beach get cleaned or lifeguards get paid?
Cranky HR Guy March 28, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Thank you Scott.... I am so sick of hearing people complain about paying to access a beach. The federal money is being spent to build up the beaches to PROTECT coastal property and infrastructure - this benefits everyone. NO Federal money goes into beach cleaning, lifeguards, emergerncy services to support the throngs on our beachs... THAT is where the beach pass money goes.
joe March 28, 2013 at 12:06 PM
cranky, the lifeguards and beach cleaning should be paid for with the high property taxes residents pay. Use the municipal money. Public works, police, sanitation, lifeguards. That sand replenishment is from MY money in federal taxes. I should be allowed to use the beach without paying twice.
joe March 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Jaime, you know if the Pier Village boardwalk was damaged, they would have it repaired by the summer.
Dominick Palermo March 28, 2013 at 12:44 PM
You cant really rebuild the boardwalk till you get the berm rebuilt --------thats the sand berm ----------- otherwise in even a small storm your going to have the new boardwalk damaged ----- We have to wait for beach replenishment --- before ya can build the berm --------Lot of sand was taken away by Sandy ---------- up to 100 to 150 ft on some areas of the beach ------over 3-4 ft in height . The Moss mile was kinda narrow also -------- this way by waiting they can build a wider boardwalk
Michael Megill March 28, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Cranky HR Guy - how's does spending 10's of millions of federal tax dollars at a time in a perpetual project benefit "everyone"? Please enlighten me. Regarding paying for protected, clean beaches, I have no issue paying a small fee. However those paying a municipal tax in the beach town should be offered it for free or a reduced rate. However, sand replenishment is not just for those protected bathing beaches. There are many stretches of beach not protected or cleaned and the public should be provided open access and parking. Too few benefit at the expense of the public tax dollar. How do you measure ROI with beach replenishment projects? Our government has changed "taxes" and "expenses" to "revenue" and "investment". It is only fair to request a study showing how "everyone" benefits from the investment in beach replenishment.
Sutah Ann Robins March 28, 2013 at 01:27 PM
yay! <3
Joe Smithe March 28, 2013 at 01:44 PM
does anyone think about the people that use the waves, this past winter surfing in west end i have had more fun then ever because the waves break 150 feet out
Scott March 28, 2013 at 05:22 PM
joe, if they did away with beach access fees then property taxes would go even higher. I just don't think it is fair for Long Branch residents to foot the bill for the daily operations of the beach for everyone else.
Keven Canning March 28, 2013 at 06:47 PM
BEFORE contracts and payments apportioned we need to realize the extent of beach erosion. Normal winter wave action erodes beaches and normal summer wave action replenishes beaches. We currently have no way of knowing how much of that sand will return. Anyone who is a "shore" local should be aware of the springtime ridge and runnel process that brings the sand back in. All I'm saying is before they decide how much tax dollars this will cost they should have a true assessment of the depletion and that won't be by May.
joe March 28, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Scott, I don't think it is fair to pay to get on the sand that my federal dollars paid for. As for Long Branch paying the lifeguards, cleaning, etc., property taxes won't be needed for all that once they install all the parking meters. Use THAT money so the access can be free.
Keven Canning March 28, 2013 at 07:39 PM
I personally feel that a beach fee should be required for people who do not live in the area. If your drivers license has 07740 on it then you get admittance. The amount of crap I have to deal with during the summer as all parking disappears in front of my house, people bang into our cars, flyers litter the street in front of my house, etc, should be payment enough.
Joseph March 29, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Long Branch Taxpayers absolutely should never pay to go on their own Beach for God sakes! They should bring their city tax bill, and show the ticket collector that they have already been ripped off! And let me on my dam Beach!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dominick Palermo March 29, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Joesph -----------You pay county taxes also --so 7 Presidents beach in Long Branch should be free to you also??????????? --County Park
Lou March 29, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Beach replenishment for a beach with no parking. Sorry, I do not get it.
joe March 29, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Dominick, the beach replenishment is not for 7 presidents beach. Besides I ride my bicycle into 7 presidents, so it is free.
SEEYA TAX PAYER March 29, 2013 at 01:27 PM
can someone explain this to me, the city says money taking in from beach fees cannot be at a profit--- but if the city takes in 1,600,000--- and expenses are around 600,000---what happens to the 1,000,000??????
Dominick Palermo March 29, 2013 at 01:29 PM
Joe -- Beach replenishment is going to be from Monmouth beach to end of Long Branch ----------all beaches ----- You are not paying to get on 7 presidents now cause its "off season " Weekends to June 17th you will pay ------- June 17th till Labor Day you will pay -----------I life-guard there -- i know lololol
Lou March 29, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Pat D. Is that an accurate number?
SEEYA TAX PAYER March 29, 2013 at 02:29 PM
lou, im pretty sure----- in 2011 they did 1,300,000 plus and they were projecting that number i stated for 2012--- they said they had a banner year. I also heard that beach fees were paying FOR OCEANFEST this should no be!!!!!
Lou March 29, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Wasn't it last year that the city Council voted to keep the life guards on longer hours. There was a reason they had the money, bit I forgot the reason. I don't have a problem if they use the money for Oceanfeast. I think the community enjoys that. Why do you think it's wrong.
Lou March 29, 2013 at 03:29 PM
My following comment was for Pat D
Cranky HR Guy April 02, 2013 at 01:07 AM
Michael, please expand your thinking. Have you ever visited the Grand Canyon or the Denali National Park? Well you ARE paying for them. Your position is an opinion not based in the facts of our nation and economy. Federal taxes pay for natural resources designed to benefit everyone because if that was not done, those places would not be sustained. Whether you agree or not, it is how our government works
Cranky HR Guy April 02, 2013 at 01:11 AM
You actually want to use the term ROI on a treasured natural resource like beaches? The merits of the environmental benefit of beach replenishment can be debated if you wish, but your challenge that we develop a study about the benefits of this (and by extension I assume) daily beach operations is just not feasible.... ask any person who has ever enjoyed the beach and they will say it is worth investing to protect....to posit otherwise is foolish

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