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On March 1 I posted a column titled “Government Restaurants and  Private Industry Streetlights?” in which I said that the town was building a restaurant on the 9th Ave pier and that commercial property owners were being forced to pay for new streetlights and sidewalks. Regrettably, I had a couple of my facts wrong.

I have been told that the town is leasing the land for the restaurant and that the physical structure will be erected by the lease holder. This is the right way to go. As I’ve said before, I would be more comfortable with the town leasing out the entire marina instead of having the distraction of trying to run it itself. As for the streetlights and sidewalks, I thought they were part of the ” Physical commercial transformation – resulting in clean, aesthetically charming commercial buildings with curb appeal and landscaping that serve as a market brand, while allowing stores to feature their unique goods and services” described on Belmar’s web page about the SID. They are actually being paid for (with mostly borrowed money) by the town (you and I, eventually).  I still believe it is imprudent to spend several hundred thousand dollars on purely aesthetic improvements at a time of great economic and budgetary uncertainty, but if they must do it it should be paid for with public funds.

I encourage my readers to report any inaccuracies they may find in my writings. I will make the corrections cheerfully and without hesitation.

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