To build or not to build. That’s the question on most Margate residents’ minds lately when it comes to the proposed boardwalk. Proponents of the Margate boardwalk rebuild would love to see better access to our beautiful beaches for those with physical limitations. Opponents don’t want taxpayers to shoulder the entire cost of a project like this. It’s become a hot topic of debate among the city’s residents.
Margate Dunes Project’s Impact on the Beach
Seven years ago this October, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Jersey Shore’s famous shoreline. It caused billions of dollars in damage. In turn, the government made changes to flood insurance requirements, flood zone mapping, and Base Flood Elevation rules. To combat future flooding issues, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers put together the Margate Dunes Project to be completed two years ago. Ponding issues and a hard hurricane season in other parts of the country created a delay.
After the Army Corps of Engineers’ project finished, Margate residents had issues with the results. Our once flat beach now included huge mounds of sand, obstructing the million-dollar views we coveted for decades. Access became difficult for anyone with a physical limitation, families trying to trek their gear out for a day at the beach, and boaters hauling catamarans to the water. What would make it easier for everyone to enjoy the beach? A new boardwalk.
Margate Boardwalk Rebuild Proposals
Earlier this month, Glenn Klotz and the Margate Boardwalk Committee (MBC) presented options for the Margate boardwalk rebuild, including ways to pay for it. The most inexpensive idea they offered up was a “no-frills” 20-foot wide boardwalk with basic LED lights and 25 to 35 access ramps for $14 million. The next level idea swapped out the basic LEDs for solar-powered ones, increased the ramps to between 30 and 40 total, and added a few pavilions along the way with water fountains. That project would cost around $19 million. Finally, if we wanted to expand the boardwalk to 27 feet across, include 35 to 40 access ramps, a dedicated bike lane, three or four pavilions with water fountains, restrooms, outside showers, and foot showers, it would cost $24 million to build.
How do we pay for it? Well, the County won’t pony up any money for a Margate boardwalk rebuild. But, various grants and financing would fund the majority of the rebuild. Unfortunately, taxpayers would have to shoulder some of the cost. The MBC determined that this expense actually comes out to approximately $110 to $190 per Margate resident per year, depending on which proposal we go with.
How do you feel about the Margate boardwalk rebuild? Are you for it or against it? Why? Please sound off in the comments below. Also, if you’d like to hear the MBC’s presentation in its entirety, please click on the video below.