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Help Rebuild Belmar Boardwalk, Be Immortalized

Belmar’s had a boardwalk every summer since 1875, says Mayor Matt Doherty, and he doesn’t intend the summer of 2013 to be the first without it. Bidding is underway for contractors aiming to rebuild the storm-ripped icon. And Doherty is thinking outside the box for revenue with the Buy A Board campaign.

Matisse in Belmar after Sandy
Matisse in Belmar after Sandy (Facebook)

The aim is to bring everyone who enjoys Belmar, no matter where they call home, into the rebuilding process – and take a place in the borough’s history. Signs to be erected at several beach entrances will be emblazoned with the names of donors.

Borough officials are bonding $20,000,000 for combined cleanup and restoration, expecting to get about 75% reimbursement from FEMA. Some federal lawmakers are trying to raise the repayment rate to 90%. But the bulk of the remainder would wind up on taxpayers’ backs, prompting the Buy A Board campaign and, likely, raising beach admission fees by a dollar for daily passes and five dollars for season badges.

Taking part is as easy as logging on to belmarboards.com.

There are seven donation categories. Beach Bums weigh in at $25. A $100 donation earns the title of Clam Digger. Board Runners are at the $250 level, followed by $500 Boogie Boarders.

High rollers can become Sun Worshipers at $1,000 apiece; Surf Riders for $2,500; and finally, $5,000 Big Kahunas.

“This is a great opportunity for those who have come to love Belmar as a clean, beautiful and family beach to be a part of the boardwalk reconstruction process,” Doherty says.

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