Beach Pavilions Returning to Beach Haven

Jun 13, 2013
Photo by: Pat Johnson The Fifth Street Pavillion, under construction in Beach Haven, is the same size as before Sandy but closer to the ocean and higher.

The beach pavilions at Fifth Street and Pearl Street are under construction and are 2½ feet higher than the ones Sandy washed away, said Beach Haven Mayor Robert Keeler during the June 10 borough commission meeting.

“People are calling about this, but they are the same size as the previous pavilions. It’s an optical illusion that they appear to be larger because we lost so much of the dune,” he said.

The pavilions are also being built 20 feet to the east, closer to the waves. “Why? Because they have to be past the dune line, if we are successful in getting our beach replenishment,” said Keeler.  

The mayor noted that he is also being asked how people will get to the beach from the end of the walkway. He said there will be access ramps on both sides to get to the beach. “They look like they are up really high because of a lack of sand. We’ll be putting dune fence all around and hope it will fill in with sand.”

Veterans Bicentennial Park is slated for two new structures, one for refreshments and bathrooms to be used at Community Arts Program summer concerts. A temporary structure and a port-a-john will be stationed at the tennis courts. “In 2014 we will look to construct a new facility with bathrooms,” said Keeler.

Lee Neuwerth, who lives on Kentford Avenue, asked if the borough would add a lifeguard to the Kentford and Lee Avenue beaches. She said she had called to ask about this and was told it wasn’t something the town could answer yet.

Keeler said he didn’t know where the guarded beaches would be. He is waiting for his lifeguard captain to return to the borough from his teaching job up north.

“A lot depends on the condition of the beach and whether the location can support a lifeguard. Conditions of the southern beaches have gotten somewhat better, but we won’t know until we’re closer to the season.”         

Neuwerth said she was told if the beaches were too “skinny,” they wouldn’t get a lifeguard. “Can you use a bulldozer to build them up?” she asked. She said there was plenty of sand just off the wave break, and during low tide the borough public works department could bulldoze the sand westward, as she said it had done in the past.

“Five streets use that beach, and it would mean 18½ percent of the (Beach Haven) beaches would be unguarded during the day and people will swim on that beach regardless,” she warned. “The police have a vehicle and two officers trained as lifeguards to patrol beaches after 5 p.m. yet you are leaving this beach unprotected. I hope you will reconsider it.”

Keller said the borough has people on the beach every day checking conditions. “We’ve pushed sand up to the buildings, up to the berms, at a cost of $721,000. There’s no more sand to push. Some areas are just going to be difficult this year.

“We’re going into it (the season) with the best intentions, but we can’t predict it. There’s not an abundance of sand.” 

The borough council adopted an ordinance that would give a year’s relief to borough merchants by not fining them if they haven’t paid their mercantile licenses yet. However, after Sept. 15 they will be fined $25 for each month the license goes unpaid. There will also be no renewal license fee if the license becomes delinquent.

The council held a public hearing on all 10 liquor license holders and only one member of the audience spoke: Jay Cranmer, owner of Buckelew’s. Cranmer objected to a provision in the ordinance dealing with teen nights. “Buckelew’s has never had a teen night and never will have a teen night,” said Cranmer, who wanted the provision taken out.

Borough Clerk Sherry Mason said she would postpone Buckelew’s renewal until the next meeting on June 19 so the council could decide to remove the provision from its application.

Later, Cranmer also stood to say the civic group Beach Haven Future, of which he is a member, has been able to raise $60,000 and help 24 small businesses and two first responder units in the borough.

— Pat Johnson


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