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What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been

Submitted by Belmar’s Bēda Venerābilis:

                                     EVENTS TIMELINE

Oct. 28 to November 21, 2012

Birdsall Engineering, Paul Calabrese work up design and specs for new 1.2 mile long boardwalk, estimate $17 million for construction. Bond Ordinance passed for $20 million.

December 11, 2012

Belmar Engineer, Birdsall V.P. Indicted by grand jury – replaced by Paul T. Calabrese

December 13, 2012

Boardwalk construction awarded via bids to Epic Management, NJ $6.6 million.

January 3, 2013

Mayor introduces Resolution 2013-27 appointing special boardwalk buildings advisory committee. New members are all mayor’s supporters and not representational of Belmar residents.

January 16,2013

Mayor introduces Resolution 2013-32 recommending the planning board review beacfront as an area in need of redevelopment.

March 2013

Maser begins to do work for Belmar, bills borough for $5,404.25 on 3/21/13.

March 13, 2013

Paul Calabrese and Birdsall Executive V.P. do presentation at Borough Council meeting explaining a 31% change order increase.

March 20, 2013

Birdsall Executive V.P. indicted by Grand Jury.

March 28, 2013

Birdsall Engineering files bankruptcy.

April 2013

Belmar advertises for new Borough Engineer contract- deadline 4/30/2013.

Beachfront designated for redevelopment.

May, 2013

Advisory Committee unveils design and plans for 4 beachfront buildings. Three are 2 story with elevators: 5th Ave. (Taylor), 8th Ave. (showers and changing rooms, concession and miniature golf on rooftop), 10th Ave. (safety with watchtower), and 13th. Mayor will not say if 13th will have additional liquor licenses. Very few residents approve of plans. Designed via Birdsall Engineering and their architect.

May 18, 2013

Henry Grau and Steve Edelman launch lawsuit challenging redevelopment designation in Monmouth Court, Judge Lawson.

August 7,2013

Voters present petition to mayor to put buildings on ballot for a vote.

Mayor introduces $7.5 million bond Ordinance 2013-15 to fund a 2 story 5th Ave ( Taylor) and the 10th Ave. ( Safety ) buildings. NO breakdown of construction costs per building.

August 16 –Sept9, 2013

Maser bills $150,000 for 2 pavilions design and consulting

September, 2013

Second petition by voters to put the $7.5 million bond on ballot.


Signed and Dated Proposal/estimate for engineering for the two pavilions sent to Business Administrator Colleen Connolly- $650,000. total.

Nov. 21, 2013

Mayor passes ordinace to cancel $ 7.5 million Bond and introduces 2 new bonds for boardwalk buildings. Bond Ordinance 2013-20- $5,030,000. For all of 10th Ave. and part of Taylor, and 2013-21 for $1,970,000 for the balance of Taylor. Taylor now only one story. Total both Bonds $7 million. Borough Administrators states that we saved 1 million by making Taylor a single story.

Construct estimates on 10th Ave. were not accurate and that building would cost $500,000 more. Still no breakdown of construction costs per building an increase of $385,501.

Dec. 11, 2013 

Mayor introduces ordinance to cancel bond ordinances 2013-20 and 21.


Belmar submits FEMA project worksheets for destroyed pavilions.

FEMA estimates:

High side for new 5th Ave Taylor $1,943,599

High side for 10th Ave. Safety Building $1,199,274.37

Total $3.143 million

December 30

Re-Bids go out to construction companies after FEMA worksheets filed.

Due date for bids 2/4/2014. Re-Bids come in $1.75 M higher than Borough’s FEMA worksheets.

February 18, 2014

Mayor amends existing finance ordinance to limit qualified bidders to companies with labor apprenticeship programs ( unions ).

March 20,2014

Borough applies to Local Finance Board for a waiver of down payment on $7 million bond.

Maser Consulting estimate shows: $3,195,0000 to construct 5th Ave. Taylor and $1,698,000 to construct 10th Ave. safety building. Also shows Maser’s fees for “engineering” of $1,035,501.00 or 21% of the cost to construct two buildings. Avon finishes their beach pavilion which they constructed in house for $800,000 after $400,000 insurance reimbursement.

April 7, 2014

Mayor introduces Boardwalk Buildings Bond Ordinance 2014-07  for 5th and 10th Ave.

Bond amount, $7,000,000.

May 6, 2014

Bond Ordinance 2014-07 passes and is adopted. Belmar awards bid to Epic Management for $7M.

May 7, 2014

Judge Lawson rules against Belmar and the redevelopment designation of the beachfront.

May 27,2014

Voters submit third voter petition to put the $7 million bond on the ballot in the November general election.

June 17,2014

Mayor calls special meeting to vote to spend $20,000 to have a special election on August 19, instead of the November general election to vote on the $7M bond.

August 12, 2014

Maser sends a mailing/ letter, NO DATE, NO SIGNATURE to Belmar households to influence vote. About the 8/19/2014 bond referendum, the letter states ”they cannot be built at a lower cost than what voters will be deciding on August 19th”.


  1. Pootsie wrote:

    I can’t keep up with all the numbers, plans, ordinances etc. The file in Borough Hall on this fiasco must weigh 30 lbs.

    Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 6:50 am | Permalink
  2. DR ZAIUS wrote:

    Going back to my own planet. To confusing here

    Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink
  3. SGT ROCK wrote:

    I understand Maser’s letter.It’s to their benefit to build for the 7 million, (Even though it seems like a back door “pay to play” move), but why can’t I find the BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE FOUNDATION anywhere? Why is some organization from so far away spending so much to get people to vote for the bond issue? Lets stop working so hard to support commercial interests and try to make life a little better for the residents. MY STREET, NOT MAIN STREET!!

    Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  4. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    We will not know who exactly who “Building For The Future…” is until after the vote. I personally called NJ Elections, they will not have to report till after the vote . ( $1400. being the amount required ). LIUNA, two of its locals and it’s union training center all use the Monroe Twp./ Jamesburg P.O.. I was president of the Chamber of Commerce there and know it for a fact. For more particulars call the Mayor’s wife. She was instrumental in getting LIUNA to endorse Gov. Christie right after Sandy hit. They have their priorities. I agree they are not our priorities.

    Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

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