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Tell Us: Should Oceanport Spend $2M to Raise Boro Hall?

The 47-year-old building sustained serious damage during Sandy and sits smack in a flood zone.

During the height of Hurricane Sandy, water poured into Oceanport's borough hall, filling the municipal courtroom with about four-and-a-half feet of water. The library at the opposite end of the building took on about two feet of brackish sludge, damaging about 16,000 items in its collection.

And while the borough's administrative staff moved back into the building after three months of work needed to remediate the 47-year-old concrete building, municipal court proceedings remain in Shrewsbury and Oceanport Police are operating out of trailers out back.

Although the building is structurally safe, borough hall now has shifting walls and floors, gutted bathrooms and the concrete slab it was built on has begun to settle, thanks to Sandy.

Officials announced at the Feb. 7 borough council meeting that the estimate for raising the structure, which is situated below advisory base flood elevations, is in excess of $2 million.

The mayor and council discussed the possibility of moving the borough's municipal building using any available state and federal grants. The notion of relocating borough hall is not new. Mayor Michael Mahon said as early as November that it was a viable option for the borough.

"We need to seriously look at relocating," said Councilman Will Johnson at the Feb. 7 meeting, adding that the area will always flood. "The cracks will open up again even worse."

 

Susan February 21, 2013 at 01:31 AM
Please do not spend $2 million to raise a damaged building, find another existing location (agree the Fort!). With the storm's financial impact on taxpayers unknown, this would be additional stress.
Joseph Irace February 21, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Appreciate all the comments! A lot of the issues raised we will definitely be discussing. We, like a lot of our residents, are waiting on insurance and FEMA before we make any decisions. Most of our options may be predicated on what FEMA covers and/or tells us.....
Thenews February 21, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Finding another location would be a great idea. Fort Monmouth however is risky because if there is bad flooding like Sandy Oceanport Ave gate could be completely inaccessible. Eatontown and Tinton Falls are making deals to get parts of Fort Monmouth. When does Oceanport get their turn? A merge with Little Silver police would good as the two departments are both small and that is the something the state government encourages.
Dentss Dunnagun February 22, 2013 at 10:12 PM
The police unions would never allow this ....it must be forced on them ,let the residence vote on it ....LS taxes are out of hand and would welcome a chance to lower them
Thenews February 23, 2013 at 03:32 AM
When it comes push to shove I am sure the police unions would do it to save one other. They both make similar money and there could probably be savings for both towns. Maybe some sort of state grant could pay to study a merger like the Fair Haven, Rumson, Little Silver one that happened about five years ago.

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