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Mayor And Council Authorized $6.2 Million For Maclearie Park!

And told the state we had the money!!

On August 5, 2014 the council passed resolution # 2014-148 which we were led to believe was simply an authorization to apply for a Green Acres loan/grant in order “to develop and rehabilitate Maclearie Park as well as to repair and replace the bulkhead.”

Resolution page 1resolution signature page

Please pay particular notice to item #3:Resolution page 1

With the help of Maser Engineering the Borough made an application to Green Acres on July 30, 2014 requesting $7, 013,000. Half of that was for the bulkhead.  Below is the project cost estimate by Paul Calabrese:project estimate

A recent OPRA request for documents related to Belmar’s Maclearie Park project showed Maser sending out feelers on how to proceed. Maser was told back then that the bulkhead repair project by itself was not eligible for Green Acres money, that it would only be considered if it was just one portion of a much more ambitious project. The larger project did not have to be limited to Maclearie Park, it could have included “different facilities, even at different parks” such as the marina or Three Acre Park on Main Street.  I am told the Mayor repeatedly said to residents in the Maclearie Park area that we would have to make the improvements and additions to Maclearie Park before the state would consider giving us a grant for the bulkhead.

The instructions Belmar received, even before we applied for the grant in July of 2014, are very clear.  Green Acres will only pay for the bulkhead while it remains part of some larger project. But actually, it turned out that they only had $825,000 for us:Christie letter

According to the Green Acres policy, in order to have the $825,000 as a grant it had to represent 25% of the total project cost.  Therefore we will have have to pare down the total project cost to $3.3 million from the original $7.013 million estimate. Below is Kelsey Howard From Maser discussing the problem with Project Manager Cecile Murphy from Green Acres:Maser June email 1Maser June email 2

The Mayor told us in his recent letter that we have available a “funding package” valued at over $1 million.  This would be the $825,000 from Green Acres and $250,000 from Monmouth County open space.  Unmentioned was the fact that in order to see the $825,000 from the state we would need to spend $3.3 million and in order to see the $250,000 from the county we would need to spend $500,000 since that was a 50% matching grant.  And since the bulkhead can’t be the only thing on the project, and the bulkhead alone, according to Maser, is $3.52 million, I guess we will have to say good bye to the bulkhead….but wait!

I would like at this point to return your attention to something I highlighted from the resolution…”certified” by April Claudio…at the beginning of this story:Resolution page 1

So the borough certified that it had the funds available to do the entire $7.1 million project, less the $825,000.  Remember that this resolution was passed August 5, 2014, exactly two weeks before the vote last year on the $7 million pavilion bond.  We had over $6 million?  We did?


  1. New Here wrote:

    I freaking hate this administration, they have a personal agenda and never are open and honest about anything. But guess what I love the town, so there will be no cease and desist of being a watchdog on their sneaky behavior. Residents and authorities will know. We need a forensic audit.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink
  2. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    as shown above …. Resolution #2014-138 lacks a certification from the CFO.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink
  3. Taxpayer wrote:

    Yes they will reduce it to 3.3 million and replace only the bulkhead for Chef’s International so it will look nice for them without their paying for anything.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink
  4. Belmar Voter wrote:

    I just reviewed the vote on this outrageous resolution. Now I know why the mayor mumbles at the mike on the dais. Check out around 1 hr. 55 or so Mayor and Council Meeting 9/1/2015.
    Shouldn’t matter though. Councilwoman Keown-Blackburn “reads everything about 4 times before voting”. Good thing too since she live right by the Maclearie Park. Thanks for your support of the $6.2 million. You will not regret it.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink
  5. Bill Straus wrote:

    Claire, I am sure would have supported this generous attempt to finally do what is right for Maclearie Park- you know fix the darn bulkhead and make improvements to this great recreational area on the Shark River for her grandchildren.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink
  6. linlee wrote:

    I’ve come to the point that whenever I see Maser Consulting referenced I visualize Jabba the Hut slouched back, looking gluttonous, scheming with Belmar’s administration for the next opportunity to grab every penny they think they can get their hands on. If they can’t get it all with one proposal, like with McClearie Park, the obvious solution is to create proposals for multiple phases for the project, each corresponding to individual grants. If this somehow benefits a commercial growth partner (Chefs?)it appears the cost to tax paying residents becomes even less of an issue. Does Belmar really have resources to commit to an added expense of $3.5 million, pay off its outstanding bonds, build a $4 million showplace beach pavilion to sell beach badges, pay all of our other outstanding debts? Let’s not feed Jabba or the enabling egos that run Belmar.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink
  7. VITO CORLEONE wrote:

    Think nobody on the council or the Mayor believes we have the money. If so then demand they produce our balance sheet with account analysis of all our liquid cash, investments and debts. Have it certified. Yes my kid is a CPA. Do they have any idea what our unfunded liabilities are?

    Friday, October 16, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Cpa says follow the books cause they know how to count and know who’s dancing with who in all departments.


    Friday, October 16, 2015 at 8:31 pm | Permalink
  9. BEN REAL wrote:

    Another project that will hurt rather than help Belmar. Yes, we were told more than once that in order to receive funding for the bulkhead work had to be done in Maclearie Park. There was never any mention of fixing up other public space instead of over-building and ruining Maclearie. They removed the two ADA porta johns and only have one regular at the defunct bathroom building. I suppose we should be grateful that they even bothered to leave us one?!

    Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

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