A New Borough Hall on a Beer Budget


highlands boro hallWhat do you do when your municipal building was destroyed by Sandy, then you left it sit for almost 2 years, you are almost out of money you can bond and FEMA is going to stop reimbursing you for the trailers you are renting as a short-term fix for a municipal building?

Get creative..

Some options that are being considered:

Using the Solution Center as Borough Hall.

Using the Community Center as Borough Hall.

Consolidate buildings with another town and run out of one of their buildings. (Mayor Nolan noted in the last council meetings that 2 towns have offered, but he has declined.)

 

16 thoughts on “A New Borough Hall on a Beer Budget

    1. highlandsblog Post author

      He didn’t really give more of an answer than “we” as a town were approached and he didn’t think it was right, that those towns were worse off than we were. So don’t know which towns, and can’t think of any in our immediate vicinity that are worse than us.

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    2. Kat

      Wouldn’t it make sense to “suck it up” even if it’s a town worse off and share temporarily until we get some one in office who has an actual plan at least?

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    3. NoLongerNew

      For some reason the powers that be HATE any sort of outside help, unless it puts dollars in our coffers, like FEMA reimbursements.

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  1. GrumpyCat

    “What do you do when your municipal building was destroyed by Sandy…”

    I’m tired of hearing people use “destroyed” when “damaged” is the accurate word. My house, and most of my neighbors’ houses, had as much water as borough hall did. But we fixed our houses, and put them back together. There wasn’t really another option.

    So (putting aside the absolute idiocy of not having flood insurance when the town is in a flood plain), why isn’t this an option for borough hall? And why are “we” declining options without discussion? Makes you wonder what else has been offered and declined that might help put things back together.

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    1. highlandsblog Post author

      ok point taken, more appropriate word should have been “damaged” and not destroyed. – I exaggerated to explain why we still aren’t back in.

      I think all options are being considered. However, it needs to be within a shoe string budget, until Highlands can start be healthy again.

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    2. GrumpyCat

      It’s not just you saying that. I’ve heard it over and over, including from borough leadership, and from day 1, post-Sandy.

      Union Beach had houses that were destroyed. Most of the houses of Highlands weren’t.

      When our leaders exaggerate the damage, it only makes us look stupid compared with towns that had real destruction, in the true sense of the word.

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    3. NoLongerNew

      Maybe “all options are being considered” but that wasn’t the case all along. After the storm Mayor Nolan said “We will not be going back into borough hall.” It wasn’t followed up with “anytime soon.” His comment made it seem pretty cut and dry that he was determined to get us a new borough hall. I can’t figure out any other reason why it took 14+ months to get contractors and architects in there to figure out how to fix the damage.

      I’m not buying this FEMA compliance line. That might be today’s reason, but it wasn’t the reason in November 2012. Sea Bright managed to repair their damage and get their borough hall back up & running within weeks. I haven’t heard any mention that FEMA or their insurance company is giving them a hard time because they didn’t do any flood mitigation, like raising their electric outlets.

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  2. kerry

    Where’s Rick Korn? And our new First Aid building? They could haven given me ten grand “To bring business into town”

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  3. Jennie

    How could we possibly use the Community Center when that is not yet “rebuilt” either? Are there plans for rebuild that I missed for the Community Center?

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  4. Johnny U

    They have had a standing offer from someone that owns a lot out of the flood plain. A new municipal building would be built. The boro wouldn’t have to bid it out or be involved in that part of the process. It would be a lease with a buyout at the end. This would mean no heavy bonding a private contractor would build it this would save tons of money. Its been offered with not even a hint of consideration. And its in a municipal zone what more could be offered. The options are limited the problem seems to a lack of making a decision and sticking with it.

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    1. ejlduffy11

      If the old hall is beyond repair, why is it still standing? There windows to the basement are wide open, and it is a home for massive amounts of stray cats and other vermin. There are letters missing on the front of the building and its just another massive eyesore downtown. I live a block away and its embarrassing to drive past that building on a daily basis. Just like everything else in town that is beyond repair, it should be torn down and sold to somebody who would build to code and add value to this town. We are quickly turning into Keansburg and nobody but Councilman Card seems to care.

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  5. barbara iannucci

    Any temporary solution is a negligent waste of time, energy & resources … aka a waste of taxpayer’s money. Temporary is not acceptable 2 years after a disaster. Not to mention that the Community Center is in a high risk zone and you can kiss goodbye any funding that might be available. This was recognized on the county level today at a MC Planning Board Workshop. The county is now identifying what county owned properties & structures are in high risk zones in order to either move them or define what mitigating measures can be taken. So why on earth would a municipality move their town hall right on the waterfront?

    What bothers me is that Nolan missed the July meeting, Kane missed the August meeting … so you know they were not present during the 2 months of closed and public sessions where the town hall issue was discussed. Only to find out that they held private discussions between the 2 of them, and then drop this bombshell at the first meeting they both attend together about temporarily moving town hall into the Community Center. No communication to the other council members dealing with the issue, or even informing our appointed town officials about this so called great solution they thought up. This is not how a governing body should function. Time to either step up their game – or step aside – so we the public paying for such lame decisions can begin bailing Highlands out.

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    1. NoLongerNew

      People have been asking “What happens when FEMA stops paying for the trailers?” I guess they got their answer.

      I know that the wheels of government turn slowly, but Highlands moves so slow it’s almost going in reverse. Twenty months after the storm and this is the best they can come up with? Where is the cost analysis to rehab borough hall vs. build new vs. the lease Johnny U mentions vs. every other option out there?

      Oh, that’s right. They’re too busy deciding that residents should only have 2 minutes to speak and discussing the noise ordinance instead of moving forward on the real issues. Maybe the meetings wouldn’t go so late if they cut the bullshit out of their executive sessions.

      Sasha’s is closing. Maybe the borough can lease that property until they figure out what they’re doing.

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    2. Don Ryan

      I don’t know of any solution. All I can say is if they want to fix borough hall I will paint for free. Get the paint and I will donate my time. I’m a professional painter and wouldn’t mind helping out.

      Liked by 1 person

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