Disciplined Spending?

Nov 27, 2019

To the Editor:

Last week’s SandPaper includes a letter from an individual who presents a more positive opinion of just how well the Beach Haven residents are served by the borough council (“Disciplined Spending”). He is entitled to his view, which may not be shared by others, certainly not by those who rejected the recent Green Acres vote by such a great margin, about two to one against approval.

This was the fourth time voters rejected the proposal even after receiving personal letters, considerable advertising and other efforts by the borough. The money might have been better spent on a new door handle for the $7 million town hall as the handle has lost the brass plating. The money could also be used to provide additional lighting for the second-floor parade deck facing the street. Who knows, Prince Andrew might visit Beach Haven and we need to be prepared.

The writer advises that the borough has been able to reduce the borough tax rate from the 2015 level. While he gives credit to the borough, he does not consider that the 2016 re-evaluation may have been responsible as well as the growth in the tax base new construction provided. The writer also credits the increase in the Water Utility Fund surplus to borough management. Really, I think the huge increase in the water charge had been responsible for the funds.

The voters who rejected the additional tax might also considered the borough debt, provided at $14,166,334, which amounts to about $13,000 for each of the 1,102 individuals who vote in Beach Haven. They might also have visited the borough garage where three huge tractors reside. They may have counted the number of snow plows, and considered that the average snowfall in Beach Haven over 50 years is less than 6 inches over the entire winter. They might wonder why we have a fleet of police cars that can hold several individuals and are capable of doing a hundred miles an hour. If a city like New York can use electric Toyotas, why does a town a fraction of the size of Central Park need to buy more-expensive-to-maintain, large SUVs?

The voters might also consider the new borough policy to approve any new project if it provides additional tax base without any consideration to the quality of life lost. Consider the new homes that do not face the street, the monstrosity between Fifth and Sixth streets – would you consider living there?

The Victoria Rose does provide the ability to get to know your neighbor and all who walk by just a few feet away. Consider the growth in the size of some restaurants. Where will visitors park?

And the worst is yet to come. In a week the borough land use board will be asked to approve the most recent assault on the quality of life in Beach Haven, the proposed hotel at Morrison’s. The 300 or so who attended the borough meeting at Surflight learned a lot. The rooftop bar proposed will seat about 200, as will the restaurant. The hotel will have 102 rooms. There are about 35 boat owners who live weekends on their boats. Some parking spaces will be reserved for the nearby club and party boat guests, and the marina will dock another 70 or so boats.

The land use board will consider if the 278 parking spaces to be provided for employees and all the various guests will be enough. What do you think? Enough? What might the quality of life become in this area with expanded restaurants, a new restaurant and now the hotel?

The good news for some is the new hotel and the tax it generates if the borough does not provide taxpayer-paid incentives others have received will bring in additional funds that could cover the cost of the door handle for town hall.

Do you think, as Mr. Kakstis does, that Beach Haven has disciplined spending?

Howard Buerkle

Beach Haven

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