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If We Build It, They Will Come

But Do We Want Them To Come?

And if we really don’t want them to come, why build it?

I sat in on the meeting and presentation published below and I strongly recommend watching it.  It’s pretty interesting to see what the new buildings will look like, although one resident, retired designer and graphic artist Ted Ehman didn’t think they were quite interesting enough, comparing the style of the new Taylor Pavilion to a Days Inn he once stayed at in Ohio.

The planned 8th Ave Pavilion produced the most dissent.

It would consist of two buildings connected by a common roof.  The south building would house four small restaurants.  The north building would house public restrooms and, to the audience’s surprise, public showers.  On top of everything (literally) would be miniature golf on the common roof.  (Someone in this town, Matt I presume, seems to have some sort of unhealthy obsession with miniature golf.)

Both ideas, public baths and miniature golf, sort of went over like a lead balloon.  Many in the audience were skeptical that visitors, if they could clean themselves up and change clothes in a public bath house, would be more likely to then drop a c-note at one of our fancy restaurants.  I have to say that when I was younger, and still lived up north, I used to visit Seaside.  (Sorry, Belmar.)  I always used the public shower and changing room and would then get in my car and drive home.  I wanted to be clean to get in the car.  I wasn’t inclined to go spend money just because I was clean.  The miniature golf proposal was similarly unwelcome, particularly by resident and well-known local photographer Bill McKim.  He lives directly across Ocean Ave from the proposed development.

I really think there’s a basic disconnect between our mayor’s vision of Belmar and what the people who actually live here want.  I for one, and many of my neighbors I’m sure, could live perfectly nicely without a public bath house and more miniature golf.  We just want a nice town to live in, not a Seaside Heights of the north.

After the bath house idea was sort of shot down, some folks started speculating what we might put there in it’s stead.  I proposed that we simply build the restaurants and restrooms and not build that second building at this time.  Why build a building that you don’t even have a use for?  Right?

Well that idea was even a bigger lead balloon than the bath house or the miniature golf.  It was pointed out to me that FEMA will be paying the greater part of the construction costs so why not build it.  To that I say: because we don’t need it.

Am I the only person in town that thinks we don’t need to squeeze every last cent from FEMA that we can somehow justify?  First of all, we’ve already been promised tens of millions from FEMA but as of this writing we have only seen two million of it.  But secondly, FEMA is funded by our fellow Americans, and I’m against overtaxing anyone, not just Belmar residents.




  1. BelmarsFinest wrote:

    Yes, we do need to get every last cent out of FEMA. This is American Greed, the new normal, and the way Washington (the city) and the self-serving career politico’s have conditioned us fools to be.

    Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink
  2. Joegoofinoff wrote:

    Belmarsfinest, Sir, I respectfully disagree. I’d rather keep my distance from the fedgov.

    Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink
  3. Tom Burke wrote:

    Does anyone really think FEMA will pay for elevators that were not there prior to the storm? Chairman Magovern said that it would be unlikely both levels of the proposed 5th Avenue pavilion would be used at the same time for large functions. This is because of the parking problem this would create. If that would be the case, why are we suggesting a second level? I may not be against this, but do not feel proper considerations have been made thatproject the use of a second level.
    As for an elevator on the proposed 8th Avenue structure, the cost of building and than maintaining an elevator to go for rooftop golf seems also to not having been thought through completely by the committee….speaking of committee, why were so many of this “hand selected by the Mayor” committee not at the meeting? Is it maybe, as someone in the audience suggested, some sort of protest on their parts?

    Elevators would not seem to be funded by FEMA, and would be an ongoing nightmare for the borough to maintain in a beachfront area. As someone who is very concerned on how we spend our hard earned taxpayer dollars, I am against just spending because the government may pay for it….we are the government. Let spend our money wisely. The key words there are “OUR MONEY” FEMA money is our money too folks.

    Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 6:25 am | Permalink

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