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Belmar Scales Down Boardwalk Project Once Again [AUDIO]

NEW JERSEY 101.5

Belmar will be scaling back its boardwalk redevelopment once again, amidst a vocal response from residents.

Belmar Boardwalk (Michael Loccisano, Getty Images)

Plans for the 5th Avenue Pavilion, also known as the Taylor Avenue Pavilion, are being augmented to feature a single-level structure instead of the originally planned two stories.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said the change comes from feedback they received from residents while members of the borough council were campaigning.

“A lot of them preferred to have a one-story Taylor Pavilion instead of a two-story.” Doherty explained. “These are folks are interested in the recovery and rebuilding of Belmar, they’re not interested in any lawsuits.”

Doherty referenced a suit brought upon by several a local group known as “Let Citizens Decide,” which has been critical of the $7.5 million boardwalk redevelopment plan, claiming it’s fiscally irresponsible. The borough approved a $7.1 million bond ordinance to help pay for the new pavilions.

They mayor noted the decision to scale back the Taylor Avenue Pavilion had nothing to do with the lawsuits, which are still in the courts.

“As long as they continue to sue us, those lawsuits are going to continue on, they’re just going to continue on a parallel track or on a different track. They’re not going to interfere with our recovery and rebuilding,” he said.

This is the second time since in the last four months that the borough revamped its redevelopment plan. In August, the proposed 8th Avenue Pavilion, featuring two stories with rooftop miniature golf course was scrapped.

The current project, as constituted, is expected to save the taxpayers money, though the mayor says the exact amount wasn’t known at the time of the conversation.

Completion of the project is expected to be done in 2014, however Doherty says it won’t be completed by summer.

“It’s more important for us to get it done right, than to get it done quickly.”

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