The final steps in the process that will turn the former Traders Cove Marina site into a long-promised bayfront park are being taken.
The township council this week approved going out to bid for two phases of the project: one that will turn the present site into a park setting, and another that will complete the enhancements to the marina portion of the site aimed at generating revenue for the township.
Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said the second part of "phase two" of the project will get underway once bids are received and a contract is awarded. That phase includes grasses, trees, shrubbery, irrigation and the final touches to complete the park portion of the site.
The park is expected to be open for spring 2013.
The council also authorized bidding to begin for the marina site improvements at the park, which are expected to cost about $800,000, much of which will be funded through grants.
That portion of the project will include restrooms and amenities for boaters and park visitors, plus some new floating docks.
"By making this a transient boat stop for people up and down the intracoastal, it requires a laundry room, a certain number and bath units and the like," said Pezarras. "That's all included in the grant cost."
The park's position near the northern terminus of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway could make it a popular destination for transient boaters who want to tie up overnight or for a few days. Transient docking is expected to become a moneymaker for the marina.
The bathrooms for the site, which were taken out of a previous plan when the new township council cancelled plans for an accompanying splash park earlier this year, are now most likely going to be located where the old marina resource building stood.
The marina and facility improvements are expected to be completed in time for the 2014 boating season, most likely near the end of 2013, Pezarras said.
As the park stands now, curbing and light supports are in, fencing is being erected, the maintenance building is going up, and light poles are on order, said Pezarras.