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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."

 

Rob P February 20, 2013 at 07:53 PM
why cant they move the operation over to the buildings on the Oceanport part of Fort Monmouth? And let the Feds pay for it out of the disaster relief funds...
Michael G. Bell February 20, 2013 at 08:32 PM
2 million dollars? Another total waste of taxpayer funds! Leave the court in Shrewsbury, shared services and work with the Federal Government on moving all other municipal services to a building on Fort Monmouth. Do not raise the building!
Dentss Dunnagun February 20, 2013 at 09:30 PM
It's time towns started to merge ...schools police and Municipal depts ....
John Bulman February 20, 2013 at 09:50 PM
If Oceanport PD should merge with any key, I think they should merge with Little Silver PD. That town seems to have it together!
John Bulman February 20, 2013 at 09:51 PM
Whoops! Spell check. Meant anybody. Sorry.
Bart Halpern February 20, 2013 at 09:55 PM
I agree with Rob P. Move Borough Hall to Fort Monmouth and invest those dollars into a building that can accommodate all the municipal services to include police, library, planning and zoning. At the end of the day putting $2 Million into the existing building which doesn't meet our current and future needs doesn't pass the common sense test.
Ray Smith February 20, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Definitely look into moving into the property on Fort Monmouth.
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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