By Charles Layton
The Wesley Lake Commission intends to embark on a fund-raising campaign this fall to rehabilitate the lake, which, as we all know, is polluted and degraded from years of neglect.
According to an analysis by the Commission’s engineer, Peter Avakian, the rehab project will require $12 million, of which $2,312,000 has already been funded.
Dr. Michael Brantley, the Commission’s chairman, said a forum would be held in late September, attended by various officials including the mayors of Asbury Park and Neptune Township, to lay plans for the fund raising. The Commission hopes to get help from corporations and “other interested groups,” he said.
“We are trying to get this lake restored to its original beauty.”
The Commission revised its rehabilitation plan in February, based on Avakian’s cost analysis. That analysis includes an estimated $2 million to dredge the entire lake, an estimated $1.7 million for storm water management, an estimated $7 million to make repairs to the wall and $1.3 million for streetscape improvements.
Some of this work has already been completed or funded by the City of Asbury Park, the Township of Neptune and the Wesley Lake Commission. For instance, Neptune Township has come up with some $800,000 from various sources for wall repairs. Some parts of the wall — particularly at the eastern end on the Ocean Grove side– are in such bad shape that they are in danger of collapse.
The Commission completed a partial dredging of the lake last year, at the western end, but much more dredging needs to be done.
Brantley said the Commission will formalize the place and time of the fall forum at its next meeting, which is scheduled for August 21.