Six Years After Sandy, New Beach Haven Borough Hall Shines

Nov 07, 2018
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

It was six years ago to the day that Beach Haven and many other communities were beginning the arduous task of recovering from Superstorm Sandy. That fact wasn’t lost on Mayor Nancy Taggert Davis, serving as the master of ceremonies at the start of the grand opening reception for the town’s new borough hall on Friday, Nov. 2. The two-story building is located at the site of the former facility, at the corner of Bay and Engleside avenues.

The old structure was lost to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, forcing the borough to set up shop at the old U.S. Coast Guard station on Pelham Avenue until the new building opened last March. Ground was broken in October 2016.

“There are so many people to thank,” said Davis. “This building is a tribute and a testament to the strength, hard work and the resolve of the community.”

The new facility provides 16,000 square feet of space. The police department, court clerk and municipal courtroom/council meeting chambers are housed on the first floor. All  municipal departments – borough manager, borough clerk, building/zoning, tax assessor/collector, public works, code enforcement and emergency management – are on the second floor. There are also a conference room and lunch room.

Davis noted that the $7.2 million building was funded mostly through $5 million in federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds through the state Economic Development Authority. Originally, 25 percent, or $1.25 million, of the loan was forgiven. But two summer ago, the borough learned the entire loan would be forgiven. The remaining cost is being financed as a 30-year, low-interest loan.

“This is a great example of government working together at all levels, from federal to local,” said 9th Dist. state Sen. Christopher J. Connors. “Sometimes you don’t always get that kind of cooperation, but in this instance it worked, and I am proud to have been part of that joint effort.”

Joint effort also contributed to the building’s design, said David Clark, a member of the project’s architecture firm, Ronald A. Sebring Associates.

“It came out better than I imagined,” he said. “The mayor and council, among others, all played a part in the design process. So many had input.”

Various Island and other officials were on hand for the occasion.

“It looks beautiful,” said Harvey Cedars Mayor Jonathan Oldham. “The design is consistent with the character of the town, and it was also fortunate that it was built without being a burden on the taxpayers.” —E.E.

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