Oceanport Awarded $3.69M in Federal Funds to Replace Damaged Borough Hall
The announcement means the borough can move forward on plans to reconstruct its building, badly damaged in Hurricane Sandy.
"We're very pleased," said Oceanport Borough Administrator John O. Bennett from temporary quarters at 315 E. Main Street. He said he was informed of the good news by the borough's consultants and U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-06).
Knowing the amount of the federal grant will now allow the mayor and council to make a decision about whether to construct a new building, or choose an existing building, and where to relocate it, said Bennett. The borough has narrowed its choices down to three possible sites, he said. "We couldn't do that that until we knew how much money was coming in. This now makes it possible," Bennett said.
The funding will be enough to cover demolition and disposal of the 8,358 square foot building and fund the cost of potential construction of a new concrete block building, built to current codes and standards with steel roof joists on an elevated pile foundation of seven feet to meet the 500 year floodplain.
Bennett said Borough Hall employs 7 full-time workers and 10 part-time workers. The police had a portion of the building, but they are now partly moving to temporary quarters at Fort Monmouth, and decisions have not yet been made whether they will share space in the municipal building, he said.
Pallone also announced that $2.98 million will be allocated to repair the seawall in Monmouth Beach and Sea Bright, which was damaged during Superstorm Sandy. The funding for both projects is being provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) via Congress's Sandy aid package.