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Clean-up In Sight For Storm Damaged Parks

Berkeley Island Park and Cattus Island Park took a beating from Superstorm Sandy, and now county officials have their sights set on rebuilding.

“Berkeley Island is in severe trouble as a county park,” says Ocean County Freeholder John Bartlett, the board’s liaison to the county park system. “It will in time be rebuilt, but I don’t know what that time frame is going to be.”

According to Bartlett, park clean-up is next on the “To-Do” list for the county, but the first priority is making sure all the roads are back to normal.

After an inspection of both parks last week, Berkeley Island Park’s fishing pier lost all its boards and will undergo further engineering tests to see if it will need to be replaced.

Cattus Island Park Facebook page

As far as Cattus Island Park is concerned, Bartlett says the land is in good shape, but the visitor center was severely flooded.  Volunteers have already shown up in strong numbers to help the Cattus Island Park staff gut the entire building.

It is still unclear who will do the bulk of the cleanup.  The department will reach out to the Army Corps of Engineers, but remains skeptical of their help because the parks’ conditions are non-threatening.

Bartlett says the department will likely use the $25 million it maintains in borrowing flow towards fixing up the land.  Any additional money needed may be generated through FEMA reimbursements.  Also, they will need to determine if the any of the work can be applied to the state’s general cleanup contract with AshBritt.

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