Posts Tagged ‘Latest boardwalk news in Ocean Grove’

Volunteers cleanup at the site of the former middle beach boardwalk.  Mary Walton photo.  Nov 3, 2012

Volunteers cleanup at the site of the former middle beach boardwalk. Mary Walton photo. Nov 3, 2012

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

On February 27, an article*appeared  on NJ.com, a web site sponsored by the Star-Ledger.  It was based on a February 26 interview with J.P. Gradone of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. The piece covered some new information regarding the financing and planning of the Ocean Grove Middle Boardwalk.

We contacted Mr. Gradone, and he said that there were some “clarifications” required regarding the NJ.com piece which he discussed in an email to Blogfinger on March 2:

1.  He did not promise to have the boards done by July 4. Instead he says, “It is our hope to have it done by July 4, but there are no guarantees.”

2. The  NJ.com article said that Ocean Grove was turned down recently for a Small Business Administration (SBA)  loan, and that refusal was tied into the recent FEMA funding eligibility decision, according to an interview that NJ.com had with a FEMA official.   (see more details on this aspect in the link* below)  Mr. Gradone says, “The SBA loan was part of the many processes that we had to go through between the eligibility and the approval.”

3.  One of the huge talking points by the CMA had to do with how to define the Ocean Grove  boardwalk.  Was it strictly recreational or was it much more of a public service space?    NJ.com* acquired a FEMA  document that outlines their decision to provide funding to Ocean Grove.   It says:  “The boardwalk is designated by the state as a public highway, connects neighboring townships, supports the execution of mutual aid agreements, and is available at all times to provide health and safety services of a governmental nature.”   The FEMA document concludes, according to NJ.com, by saying that “the boardwalk meets the agency’s definition of an eligible nonprofit facility.”  Blogfinger has not seen that actual document.

About that FEMA document, Mr. Gradone says, “I cannot speak for the document that they are referring to, nor the official that gave them the information.”  He says that he can only go by the “information that we received from FEMA.”

4.  In another clarification, Mr. Gradone disagrees with the article’s assertion that the CMA would have to pay back the Neptune note before receiving FEMA public assistance funds. That made no sense to us, and Mr. Gradone now says,  “It is known by Neptune Township and CMA that we will pay the bond as we are reimbursed by FEMA.”  That does make sense.

5.  Regarding the construction at the North End and the pier, NJ.com said, “The Association plans to repair the north end of the boardwalk and the pier.. this fall. ”   Mr. Gradone says to BF, “We would begin that process in the off-season after we complete the middle boardwalk.”

6.  Recently the CMA  had told us  that the construction project was delayed because they had to “jump through some hoops” with DEP and SHPO  (State Historical Preservation Office).  The CMA was promised that those permissions would be expedited.

We learned today that the CMA  is still waiting for those approvals in writing, and once they are received, and once the bids are processed, and once the contractor gets his act together, then work can begin—hopefully very soon.

*NJ.com article discussed above:      NJ.com article about OG

JILL PHILLIPS     From Kissing Jessica Stein

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