Week in News: Island Beach Access, Flood Maps, Sea Bright Rising
Find out what you may have missed this week from our neighbors in Monmouth and Ocean counties
Island Beach State Park Partially Reopened To Public, Three Months After Sandy
Seaside Park — Nearly three months after superstorm Sandy swamped Island Beach State Park, sections of the park are now open to the public, free of charge.
“This partial reopening of Island Beach State Park is an important benchmark in the state’s recovery from Sandy,” Gov. Chris Christie said. “While there is still much work to be done, we know that having even partial access to the park is important to residents and visitors and we are thrilled to welcome them back.”
Read more on Berkeley Patch.
New Jersey to Adopt FEMA's Flood Elevation Maps, Christie Says
Jersey Shore — New Jersey will adopt the Federal Emergency Management's (FEMA) Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps, clearing the way for residents and business owners along the Jersey Shore to rebuild better and stronger, Gov. Chris Christie announced during a press conference in Seaside Heights Thursday afternoon.
Read more on Brick Patch.
City to Require New, Rebuilt Homes in Flood Zone to be 2 Feet Higher
Long Branch — Homes or businesses built or rebuilt in the city's flood zone will now be required to be 2 feet higher than the base flood elevation.
The Long Branch Council made the requirement official by unanimously passing its revised flood prevention ordinance during Tuesday night's meeting.
Read more on Long Branch-Eatontown Patch.
Early Bar Closing Dropped; Revised Parking Plan Coming this Summer
Point Beach — Point Beach Council late Tuesday night unanimously tanked an ordinance mandating that bars stop serving alcohol at midnight, but there was a lot of acrimony over talk of a new parking plan.
The council, as anticipated, voted on first reading to repeal an ordinance for bars to stop serving alcohol at midnight, a measure that was blocked temporarily by the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control last summer. The ordinance to keep closings at 2 a.m. is scheduled for public hearing and adoption at the Feb. 19 meeting.
Read more on Point Pleasant Patch.
Woody's Ocean Grille Re-Opens: Light at the End of a Dark Sea Bright Road
Sea Bright — Driving into Hurricane Sandy-ravaged Sea Bright on a freezing winter's night lately is like getting a harsh slap of sorrow square in the face.
It's dark. It's quiet. It's what loss looks like — stark and sad. It's been that way for a while now, save for the few businesses that stay open into the night. But this night was different. There was another light and a spirit of warmth that emanated from a now re-opened Woody's Ocean Grille.
Read more on Rumson-Fair Haven Patch.
Stafford Opts Into FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program
Stafford — Stafford Township Council Tuesday night unanimously adopted a resolution to participate in the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
The funds will be granted to the state, which will then distribute them to local governments and eventually to those who applied in those municipalities, said Administrator James Moran while explaining the procedure to apply.
Read more on Barnegat-Manahawkin Patch.
Lawmaker Calls On JCP&L To Release Substation Plans
Jersey Shore — Assemblyman Sean Kean is repeating a call for Jersey Central Power & Light to present a plan to raise power substations prone to flooding during major storms.
Kean, R-Monmouth and Ocean, in a release specifically mentioned the Glendola substation in Wall, where he is also the municipal attorney, and substations in Sea Girt and Manasquan.
Read more on Wall Patch.
Increased Security Continues in Brick Schools
Brick Township — Officials in town say that increased security patrols at Brick Township schools in the wake of the December shooting in Newtown, Conn., will continue.
In a joint statement released by Superintendent Dr. Walter Uszenski and Police Chief Nils R. Bergquist, it was explained that since the Connecticut incident, detectives from the Brick police department's Investigations Division have been randomly attending each school throughout the day and evaluating the current security measures that are in place.
Read more on Brick Patch.
More Valet Parking Coming to Downtown Red Bank
Red Bank — It will soon be a bit easier to park downtown.
The Red Bank Borough Council unanimously approved a resolution at its regular meeting Wednesday evening that allows for the expansion of valet parking services on Broad Street.
Read more on Red Bank-Shrewsbury Patch.
Social Networking Policy Holds School District Staff to 'Higher Standard'
Lacey — School district staff members will have to be more mindful of what they post on Facebook after the Board of Education approved the first reading of a social networking policy.
The policy, which was introduced at Tuesday’s school board meeting, advises employees that communications, publications, photographs or other information that is “deemed inappropriate” by the board could be cause for firing non-tenured staff or certifying tenure charges.
Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge Closure Starts Monday
Monmouth — The official word is out on the schedule of the pending Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge closure.
After review of the potential ill effects of Hurricane Sandy-recovering Sea Bright and myriad public objections raised, Monmouth County officials have revised the closure schedule for the upgrade the safety systems on the bridge, closing it on weekdays starting Jan. 28, but reopening it to accommodate weekend traffic, a county release said.
Read more on Little Silver-Oceanport Patch.
Flood Maps Could Alter Shoreline 'Considerably' and at 'Unimaginable' Cost, Mayor Says
Toms River — The state's adoption Thursday of the current Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency could change Toms River's shoreline, and at a high cost, Mayor Thomas Kelaher said.
Read more on Toms River Patch.
Manasquan Predicts $77M in Ratables Lost in Hurricane Sandy
Manasquan — Manasquan officials are grappling with how to deal with an estimated $77.09 million loss in its ratable base after Hurricane Sandy's devastation.
A January budget presentation focused on the tax impact of the storm as the borough begins to prepare the 2013 municipal budget. Among the concerns are increased cost of emergency and long-term rebuilding, and decreased revenue from tax appeals and loss of the ratable base.
Read more on Manasquan-Belmar Patch.
Man Struck and Killed By Train in Long Branch
Long Branch — A man was struck and killed by a train near Branchport Avenue in Long Branch on Monday afternoon.
Long Branch Police Capt. Jason Roebuck said it "appears to be a suicide," but that NJ Transit should be handling the investigation because it occurred on their property.
Read more on Long Branch-Eatontown Patch.