The Long Branch Council is close to awarding a contract for improvements to Manahassett Creek Park.
There have been plans to improve the park since last summer, but the project looks like it is finally ready to go, according to Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley.
Woolley discussed the plans during Tuesday night's council meeting and said a contract for the project will be awarded later this month.
The largest improvement for the park, located at Manahassett Park Drive, would be 60-foot by 100-foot recreation building that would include a concession stand.
The large structure will house picnic tables, and five service windows for the concession area. It will be open on its sides, so the picnic tables will be visible from the side of the structure.
Other improvements will include:
- A portable restroom enclosure near football field
- Installation and extensions to all three baseball field backstops
- Installation of netting system behind soccer goals to keep balls in play
- Installation of a concrete pad and bleachers for Pop Warner football field (The bleachers were previously purchased by the city and will not be part of the project when it goes out to bid)
- Installation of a concrete pad and bleachers at the turf baseball field
- A permanent outfield fence for the Little League baseball field with protective foam padding for player safety
Woolley said there will also be shrubbery planted on the north side of the park for screening purposes. He said neighbors in the area have complained and the city would like to oblige them by planting the shrubs.
Woolley said the city has also been in contact with all the teams that utilize the field, including Little League and Pop Warner.
"We've talked to all the team and they all have needs we've tried to meet," Woolley said.
Long Branch DPW Director Fred Migliaccio said he has also been in contact with the teams to make sure construction, which would take place during the summer, does not conflict with their schedules.
"It will be a bit of a juggling act with all the teams playing there," Migliaccio said.
He said the project should take a few months to complete but could be completed by the "end of the summer or early fall."
He said the pavilion structure will go up fast, but the inside will take some time to complete.
Woolley said the city is utilizing a Green Acres grant to pay for the improvements.
"These improvements will take the park up a notch further and make it a really nice experience," Woolley said.