When the township council voted in January to rescind a vote on a $600,000 contract award to build a splash park at the Traders Cove Marina site, plans to construct bathrooms and a playground for disabled children also were cancelled since they were part of the bid.
But township officials are now planning to reinstate plans to build the bathrooms and the playground area with grant funding, and two residents at a meeting on Tuesday called for a reconsideration of the splash park idea.
"Maybe the water park there would've been a better thing," said Dominick Rappoccio, who serves on the township planning board, after hearing the plans for the area that would've been the splash park location.
Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said at the meeting that the location where the splash park would've gone will be a grassy area which might contain picnic tables or barbecue grills.
"The fact that it's a grassy area means it's not going to produce income," said Rappoccio.
Township officials were hoping that users fees generated by the splash park, along with bigger ticket items such as boat slips and transient docking, would help the site become a money-maker for the township.
Township resident Bill Wright, who also came to the meeting, suggested partnering with a private firm to build a splash park at the site and sharing in the revenue.
But Council President John Ducey, citing "hard financial times," defended the council's vote against the splash park contract, saying it was what is best for the township's financial picture. Ducey also said there were concerns over traffic congestion if a splash park was added to the park site.
Councilman Jim Fozman said officials are actively pursuing a $1.2 million grant that will provide for bathrooms and showers so the site can offer transient docking services. He also said the council is looking to reinstate the playground area that will be designed with disabled children in mind.
"Things happen, sometimes, in phases," Fozman said. "We're trying to get $1.2 million in grant money in the fall for the rest of Traders Cove, and it won't cost the taxpayers money."