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$5 Million For One-Story Taylor!

Presuming in last Tuesday’s post that the two separate beachfront development bonds were each for one of the proposed buildings, the $5 million for 10th and the $2 million for 5th, turned out to be, well, rather presumptuous of me.  I was not correct.  But in my defense, I have to say that the next day Keith Brown at the Patch presumably made the same mistake, although he assigned the $2 million bond to 10th and the $5 million one to 5th.  It turns out that his stated costs for each building were correct, but not because the bonds are for those two amounts.  There are not two bonds because there are two buildings.  There are two bonds because they will be paid back from two different sources.

We learned at Thursday’s meeting that the $5 million bond is for costs that the administration presumes it can completely charge against the beach utility.  That would be 100% of 10th and, according to their “formula”, 60% of 5th.  The $2 million bond is for the 40% of 5th that, according to the formula, is not beach-related and has to be paid for by us.  Since 40% of 5th is $2 million, that means that the new Taylor pavilion is going to cost about $ 5 million to build and the rest is for the public safety building at 10th Ave.

The reason why the total of the new bonds is only half a million dollars lower than the old bond, when 5th is now only one story, is that when they put the original plan out to bid, the bids came in higher than the engineering estimates.  Eliminating the second story actually saved us $1 million, a cost that would have been 100% on the taxpayers, less any grants we could mooch off the state or off the feds.  But they added half a million dollars based on the fact that the bids came in higher than expected.  Brian must have missed that part because he commented twice that eliminating the second story didn’t save us much money.  I had to point out his mistake during the public comments.

And about that formula.  Jim Bean asked how we could use our own formula to divide up the bonds when ultimately it would up to Judge Lawson what the legal allocations would be.  Lawson has required the town to provide him with information about how the pavilion is to be used and is set to rule the matter on Dec 11.  The administration obviously has no idea what he is going to say.  It was completely wrong in predicting his previous decisions.

Here is the formula the administration decided on for the allocation of funding for the construction of the 5th Ave pavilion:  The food concession area 100% beach utility.  The area for beach badge sales, obviously 100% beach utility.  The rest of it, which is basically just a big empty room, would be 50% for the beach and 50% for the town.  Brian seemed to think that anytime the room is used during the summer season that should be chargeable to the beach.  I doubt Lawson would agree.  Even during the summer, most of what goes on there is not for the people on the beach.  And even for the events that some small percentage of beach visitors might want to go see, it doesn’t mean that we should force all badge buyers to pay for it.  Anyway, they arrived at 60% for the beach utility to pay as part of the $5 million bond and the $2 million bond is for the 40% of 5th that we have to pay.

I would have thought that a two story police station/lifeguard station with a medical treatment room, an elevator and a watchtower would have been the more expensive building of the two.  Turns out that one is “only” two or two and a half million.  But the new Taylor pavilion, which is going to be roughly the same size as the old Taylor pavilion and is basically just a big empty room, is going to cost $5 million!  How is that possible?

You saw the video tours I posted of what kind of fabulous estates could be had for $5 million.  And that’s just the asking prices.  You could probably talk them down.  Or for $4.8 million (or maybe less) you can pick up this little shack in Bernardsville, including all that land:

Bernardsville $4.8


Or in Belmar you can get basically this:


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