Battle Over Belmar Boardwalk - New York News

Battle Over Belmar Boardwalk

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Belmar, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

The Belmar boardwalk, which was completely destroyed during Superstorm Sandy, is now newly rebuilt and beautiful. However, there is a conflict going between new mayor, Matthew Doherty, and former mayor, Kenneth Pringle, who are battling over the boards.

The current mayor Matthew Doherty set up a way to help rebuild the boardwalk called the “Buy-A-Board” campaign. It was a way that people could donate and bring back Belmar's boardwalk by funding actual boards on your favorite block of beach. It is a $5,000 donation to become a "Big Kahuna” or $25 to be a "Beach Bum". In all, $720,000 was donated, but the money remains unused.

"So the boardwalk we are standing on, there were no taxpayer dollars that paid for this boardwalk, because it's part of beach utility. The pavilions which sit on the boardwalk are also part of beach utility, however, unfortunately because of a lawsuit by the former mayor, we are going to be compelled to put some of the burden on taxpayers in Belmar, “Doherty explained.

Doherty also shared that the money will be used to rebuild the pavilions along the boardwalk, so that the taxpayers will not have to chip in as much, but some donators are not happy about this. Former Mayor Kenneth Pringle is one of the people opposed to this allocation of money, and his law firm is representing some other Belmar residents who are unhappy with this plan.

Ed Bonnano works for Quinn Anzano, P.C. Law Firm, and he discussed the problem from a legal standpoint.

“People very generously from the town, from the area, from the state, from all over, gave money for that purpose. The problem we have now is that the borough is talking about using some of the money to defray the cost to use that and build the pavilion,” Bonnano said.

Mayor Doherty said the money raised will be used to pay off taxpayer debt on the proposed $7 million construction cost of the Fifth and 10th Avenue boardwalk pavilions. The mayor said his decision comes after the borough was sued by the former mayor. Doherty said his original intention was to use the beach utility budget, or beach badge dollars, to pay for the pavilions.

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