As the borough prepares to undertake a borough-wide bulkhead replacement project, including fixing the bulkhead on Shore Avenue, Ship Bottom officials last month unanimously introduced a bond ordinance that, if approved, would foot 90 percent of the projected cost.
Under Ordinance 2019-09, bonds would cover $190,000 of the estimated $200,000 price tag. The borough has earmarked $10,000 for the down payment. Labor and materials necessary to complete the bulkhead replacement program are included in the total cost of the project. The approximate life of the new bulkheads is 15 years, according to the ordinance.
Just last year, the borough undertook two bulkhead replacement projects, one at the municipal boat ramp, located to the south of the Causeway at the entrance to the Island, and the other at the end of West 28th Street. Those projects were done to help stem flooding throughout the borough and to ensure all new or replaced bulkheads meet the 5-foot height requirement put in place in 2018.
In addition to those projects, the county replaced the washed-out berm at the end of Central Avenue where it intersects with West 28th Street. That project required approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection. That area has historically been one of the most flood-prone in the borough. It’s also one of the most heavily trafficked areas on LBI, funneling all the traffic to the south end of the Island without the benefit of a secondary ocean road for use during flood events.
The roadway has seen more frequent closures from 23rd to West 28th streets since Superstorm Sandy. In Long Beach Township and Beach Haven, motorists are often redirected to the higher-elevated oceanside north-south streets when the Boulevard is impassable. However, a contiguous oceanside route doesn’t exist in Ship Bottom; all the traffic converges at the worst area for flooding in the borough.
Ordinance 2019-09 also calls for the issuance of another $190,000 for the improvement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of different public works buildings, bringing the total amount of bonds to $380,000. The total cost of updating the public works buildings is $200,000 of which the borough is responsible for the $10,000 down payment.
In related news, the council reappropriated $35,000 from a 2013 bond ordinance to fund the cleaning and painting of the water tower, according to Ordinance 2019-08.
“We didn’t need it (for the original authorized purpose),” Mayor William Huelsenbeck said.
Public hearings on the both ordinances are slated for the next council meeting, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 23, in the municipal meeting room at borough hall. The ordinances will go into effect 20 days after the first publication following final adoption, in accordance with the local bond law.
— Gina G. Scala