Holgate Not Neglected

Nov 08, 2017

To the Editor:

I write this letter respectfully to my Holgate neighbor, J.P. Gannon (“Park Problems,” 11/1). Unfortunately, you are incorrect in your statements about the Holgate park. The so-called dangerous stones (they are not sharp) that you refer to at the Holgate park parking lot are also at Bayview Park, where thousands of people walk over the same parking lot stones to get to the playground. The reason this type of larger stone (grayish, not black) was chosen was that the previous smaller stones were always strewn all over the place from cars and people walking and biking on them. Public works was not able to keep the smaller stones in the parking lot so bigger stones were used.

As you say, the Holgate park is small, but it is a beautiful park with a tennis court, basketball court and small playground. Long Beach Township is willing to expand the park, but there are houses around it and no place to expand. But we have the very big Bayview Park across the street from the township complex in Brant Beach that has been named by South Jersey Magazine as “The Best Family Fun on the Bay in New Jersey.”

As for your statement about the 41-house development approval that many people were not aware of, both of the LBT Land Use Board hearings were advertised and were public. The first Lennar development hearing for 52 houses on smaller 4,000-square-foot lots had about 90 residents in attendance, with many residents speaking against it. The land use board voted the Lennar plan down. The second hearing had about 50 people attending. The reason only one person spoke against Mike Pagnotta’s much better plan was that his 41 proposed houses were on much larger 5,000-square-foot lots, a significant reduction in density.

Your statement that Holgate is a hamlet with township officials treating us like second-class citizens is far from the truth. In previous administrations I would agree. But the current administration treats Holgate extremely well. The mayor and commissioners spent a lot of time and money at this end after Holgate was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. They rebuilt the parking lot and pavilion with two restrooms and three showers, handicap ramps, water station, nice-looking PVC fence around the parking lot’s west side and possibly more importantly, bulkheading the ocean side of the parking lot with 16-foot steel beams in the ground to protect the area in future big storms.

Also, LBT partners with the Holgate Taxpayers Association in controlling greenhead flies. LBT delivers and picks up the 170 greenhead traps while the HTA fixes and baits these traps. Plus, LBT worked with the neighbors in the design of the new Holgate pumping station.

My recommendation is that you go to LBT meetings and become involved, as LBT is very willing to help residents and the mayor and commissioners have an open door policy.

Bill Hutson




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