As summer comes to a close and we head into fall, one of the
Township’s top priorities is the dune restoration project.
During our last Council meeting, we approved a $1.1 million contract to construct the dunes at the North Beaches.
Starting this month, dune construction will be completed on those beaches that have provided the township with easements. Only those property owners who have signed easements can benefit from this interim project. Truckloads of sand will be brought in to widen the dune and make it higher in current areas. Our goal is to get a contiguous dune line.
We chose to do this after Labor Day so it would not interrupt the summer tourist season. But with hurricane season fast approaching, it is critical that the dune and beach replenishment project get underway. We don’t want to take any chances.
This project is beneficial not only to the barrier island resident but also to residents on the other side of Barnegat Bay, in Green Island and Snug Harbor and will help protect them from future storms.
“It’s a savior for our homeowners and a welcome project. We lost a lot of houses and our infrastructure is very fragile. This will shore us up for the winter. Signing the easement for this work is the most important thing I have done all summer,” said Joe Ferris, President of Normandy Beach Association, during a recent meeting about the dunes.
This project is only temporary until the Army Corps of Engineers dune replenishment project can begin. The earliest that can start is next spring.
Certified letters were sent out a few weeks ago to any private property association and homeowner on the barrier island who has not voluntarily signed over an easement. The township has an appraiser going out to assess these properties. Once a value has been placed on the properties, an offer from the township will be made to the property owner. The owner can either accept our offer or reject the offer. Once the property owner rejects the offer, the eminent domain proceedings begin, and the monies will be deposited with the court.
“We’re not stopping and Governor Christie’s orders were to get it done,” said Paul Shives, Township Administrator. The Township’s intention in securing these easements is to protect life and property on the barrier island, plain and simple.
I cannot stress enough how important this project is. Once completed, the Army Corps of Engineers project will provide long term stability and peace of mind to all of the residents on the barrier island. The time has passed when property owners can ignore the ongoing threat from storms. The entire barrier island and bay front properties are at risk until this work is completed.
Councilwoman Maria Maruca