Seaside Heights officials want to greatly improve the borough’s public boat ramp, and have decided to pitch the idea to the state Department of Environmental Protection for funding in the coming year.
The borough council met Wednesday to hold an annual hearing on its Green Acres funding application. The Green Acres program provides grants and loans to municipalities in order to purchase or improve outdoor spaces and preserve land. Seaside Heights’ ramp is located on the bayfront adjacent to Sunset Beach on Route 35. Borough officials say the ramp is in need of a major renovation project that will bring new bulkheading to the entire area and improve the infrastructure portions of the ramp.
Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz characterized the project as “major repairs and refurbishment” to the north bayfront boat ramp.
“We’ve gotten complaints from boaters, mainly complaining that we’ve got to do something about the steepness of the ramp,” said Vaz, explaining that large boats have significant trouble being launched into the bay. “We’ve been working on this for a couple years, and we’ve finally gotten to the point where it’s really a matter of funding and choosing how big of a scope the project will be.”
The borough could choose to fund some minor improvements, however a larger plan is preferable, the council agreed, since it would be inclusive of new bulkheading and upgraded facilities. The primary scope of the work would be increasing the pitch of the ramp.
“The more expensive option gets us a better project with bulkheading and it will be more stable,” said Vaz. “Hopefully we will get a loan, a grant or a combination and we can move the project forward.”
Officials did not disclose the expected cost of the project at their meeting Wednesday. Most municipalities do not publicly state such costs in order to maintain fair bidding practices.