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Oceanport Seeking County Grant for New Facilities at Blackberry Bay Park

Proposed building to feature bathrooms, snack bar, picnic area and storage for rec equipment.

During the regular council meeting held at on Sept. 15, Borough Clerk Kimberly Jungfer and Recreation Coordinator Jim Foligno presented the council and public with blueprints for a new building proposed for construction at  which would consolidate several amenities into one place.

The new building would feature storage space for the recreation department's hockey, soccer, and baseball equipment, as well as new bathroom facilities, a snack bar, and a covered picnic area, all housed within the same structure.

Jungfer said the last storage shed at the park burned down a few years ago, and it has been recommended that the bathrooms there be removed as they are close to 40 years old and not ADA compliant. 

"The new bathroom facilities, snack bar and covered picnic area would all be ADA compliant, which would make it easier for residents with special needs to enjoy them," said Jungfer.

The town is seeking to build the project with help from the Monmouth County Municipal Open Space Grant Program, in which the county would match the borough's contributions for construction costs.

"They give $2 million a year out to municipalities, and we've been very successful," said Foligno. "We've secured three grants in the past five or six years for , Old Wharf Park, and the trail at ."

Shortly after the presentation, the council passed a resolution approving the application for the grant, which seeks $153,000 from the county and lists the total cost of the project at $368,000.

Mayor Michael Mahon acknowledged resident James Monteforte for getting the ball rolling on the project's design. Monteforte drew up the original sketches (a PDF of which can be viewed above) at no cost to the borough.

"The concept is to unite the two buildings to make better use of the space by merging the two different facilities," said Mahon.

Mahon said as they go through the bid process and the prices become known, the borough will look into different construction methods to afford the town the best value for what it needs in the most cost effective way.

"Ideally we would like to have a building that is going to have great longevity and serve the borough for a long time," said Mahon.

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