Berkeley Island County Park is currently closed, permanently, but this coming Wednesday the board of Ocean County Freeholders are scheduled "to vote, to award a contract to rebuild and improve Berkeley Island Park," Freeholder Joe Vicari noted on WOBM-AM's 'Managing Your Money'.

Ocean County Freeholder Director Joe Vicari, by Tom Mongelli Townsquare Media
Ocean County Freeholder Director Joe Vicari, by Tom Mongelli Townsquare Media

The park was one of several in the county that were devastated when Superstorm Sandy hammered the coast in 2012, and still hasn't risen to the top of the Freeholders' rebuilding list.

Berkeley Township Councilwoman Judy Noonan, among those seeking answers, confronted Vicari by phone when he guested on Bob and Jeanne Richards's long-running program October 29.

"It's going to be close to $8,000,000," said Vicari. "Of that most of the cost is from our tax money. We're only going to get about $1,200,000 from FEMA."

Vicari remains optimistic that not only will the vote pass but, "Eighteen months from today I'm proud to say that we will be cutting a ribbon there and you'll be able to use it."

The reopened park wouldn't just be a benefit for Berkeley Township, Vicari adds, but beyond this area as well.

"We will have the contract and we're going it," said Vicari. "Just to get the permits...the permitting design is $700,000...$700,000...with something that was destroyed, but it's on 30-acres of land and has a gorgeous view. It serves all of Ocean County but in 18-months it's going to get started."

The process of jumping over hurdles or "the red tape", with applying for permits and various agencies Vicari says they need to go through to get the permission.

"You'd think that with the devastation four-years ago, that it would be a little bit easier," said Vicari. "It's going to take almost six-years for the people of Ocean County and especially Berkeley Township, to enjoy that park."

Acknowledging these types of processes take time, Vicari adds that, "it will be done."

The Saturday morning program 'Managing Your Money' on WOBM-AM runs from 9-10 am with hosts Bob and Jeanne Richards, and their daughter, Heather Richards-Barone.

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