State Economic Lifelines Needed for Seaside
Shore area businesses are strong and they will rebuild but they're going to need a helping hand from the state to do so.
That's the word from Ocean County Freeholder Joe Vicari, who says the Christie Administration and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority need to act quickly to allow the fire devastated businesses in Seaside utilize a number of financial incentives afforded to economically distressed areas.
Vicari explains, "we have in place the mechanisms that have been used through out the state of New Jersey to help different areas, whether it be in the Meadowlands or the Sports Authority. We have to use those resources right now to give the people a hope to come back again by next year."
Some of Vicari's suggestions include the creation of a limited Urban Enterprise Zone that would cut the state sales tax in half in the area to draw tourist. He also believes that any loan refinancing offered by the state should come with a three year moratorium on paying back principal and interest. The longtime Freeholder is also calling on the state to help Seaside develop a Master Plan.
With all the economic incentives in place, Vicari believes we'll see Seaside make a rapid recovery. "We can come back. Ocean County is very strong and they need a plan and once that plan is in place and once we have the funding in place I believe we can open up by next year.
According to figures, the blaze destroyed all 32 businesses on the Seaside Park portion of the boardwalk and more than 20 others on the Seaside Heights side. Seaside Park Borough Administrator Bob Martucci said it will cost $600,000 to rebuild the borough-owned boardwalk.