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Belmar boardwalk referendum battle heating up week before special election

Local News | Aug 15, 2014

Belmar boardwalk referendum battle heating up week before special election

BELMAR (NJ.com) — Less than a week ahead of a special election that will decide the fate of a $7 million boardwalk construction project in Belmar, the project’s engineer is trying to convince borough residents the work isn’t overpriced.

Belmar residents began receiving letters on Tuesday from Red Bank-based Maser Consulting providing a synopsis of how plans for two new pavilions on the boardwalk were devised. While the one-page letter does not mention an exact cost, it says the price can’t be reduced because the borough has already accepted the lowest bid for the work contingent on the outcome of the Aug. 19 election.

In May, Belmar’s mayor and council approved a $7 million bond ordinance to rebuild the Howard Roland 10th Avenue Pavilion and the John Taylor Fifth Avenue Pavilion that were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. But residents who contend the project is too pricey and extravagant forced the issue to be to referendum in a special election on Aug. 19.

The subject has become divisive in town, with supporters of the project accusing opponents of erecting roadblocks to storm recovery. Opponents, on the other hand, have accused town officials of allowing padded costs for a project they say should be half the price of the bond ordinance.

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