Superstorm Sandy annihilated the Belmar Boardwalk. Now there are plans to rebuild it. The money has to come somewhere. Rather than raising taxes for residents in the Borough, it may soon cost you more to access the beach, especially next next season.

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

This week, the Borough approved the bonding of $20 million dollars for the project. $3 million will go towards the cleanup of debris from the old structure. $17 million will be used for the new one. Mayor Matt Doherty says even if FEMA helps, there's still a huge expense they didn't foresee before the storm hit.

Doherty says FEMA should pay for at least 75 percent of the cost of the repairs while the Jersey Congressional delegation is working to have the agency approve a 90 percent reimbursement rate."

To help pay for the borough's share of the cost, Belmar will help pay for the work by increasing daily beach badge fees from $7 to $8, and seasonal fees from $50 to $55.

Doherty doesn't feel there will be a backlash. He explains "in fact, it's the opposite. We've heard from people asking where they can donate, where can they send money to rebuild. They want to help. This is the best way they can get involved."

In the coming weeks, the Borough will launch their Buy a Board donation program. For anywhere from $5 bucks to $5,000, you can donate money and have your name immortalized on a piece of the boardwalk at any beach entrance along the new structure. Their web site will be online soon.

Officials have already started seeking bids for the construction. The ultimate goal is to have the new boardwalk ready for Memorial Day.


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