By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr
Sea Bright – As a result of COVID-19 the Borough Council has been holding virtual meetings. The governing body are able to see each other using “GoToMeeting” software while the general public have to call in and listen to the meeting.
On June 16, Sea Bright discovered another bump in their system as 20 minutes into the meeting everyone was disconnected. “The planning board was having a meeting later in the evening and they use the same software we do and someone signed into that meeting 30-minutes early which booted us out of our meeting,” said Christine Pfeiffer, Municipal Clerk. She added that the July 16 workshop and July 21 council meeting will be on video and hopefully all the bugs will be ironed out.
Another COVID side effect is that Oceanport has closed their municipal court, which Sea Bright uses. However, this past month Rumson has allowed the borough to use their virtual courtroom which has been a big success.
Several resolutions were approved. The first was No. 121-2020 which approved several volunteer firefighters who applied to join the Sea Bright Fire Department. They also approved 122-2020 which authorized the hiring of a Class I Special Police Officer, who assists with beach and summer issues.
Resolution 123-2020 gave all non-union employees of the borough a 2.5% raise, which was already approved in their budget.
Seabreeze Wines & Spirits has closed and their liquor license was transferred to K&R Holdings of Sea Bright, LLC which will open a new establishment called Sea Bright Wine & Spirits in accordance with resolution 127-2020.
As the governor has relaxed some of the COVID-19 restrictions, the borough council has waived all outdoor dining permit application fees for the 2020 summer only.
In redevelopment news, the council approved resolutions 99-2020 which authorized the planning board to review the plan for Block 15, Lots 2, 3 and 4 which are on Ocean Avenue and River Street. That area is known as “downtown” and the plans might include a hotel. Another area sent to the planning board was Block 13, Lots 13, 14, 15, 18, 20, 21 and 22, along with Block 14, Lots 12 and 14, Block 15 with Lots 5,8,10,11 and 12. This area is known as the “riverfront” and will have residential homes/condos built.
Councilman Jon Schwartz stated that he was very happy with the way the beach has looked so far this season. He said that last Friday it appeared to have more people than what they get on July 4. Brian Kelly, Mayor of Sea Bright said, “I think a reason for the large numbers is that Sandy Hook is only allowing 50 percent occupancy.”
Councilman William Keeler said that along State Highway 36, Ocean Avenue, there are 18 pedestrian crosswalks. The borough is looking to install solar-powered crossing lights. Keeler stated that he has narrowed it down to three different styles and gave his fellow governing body locations in Red Bank, Little Silver and Rumson where they could observe the different style lights. He added that it will be up to the state, as it’s their highway on which light is installed.