Dan Gottlieb of Margate, provides the following reasons why Margate should NOT build a new boardwalk:
#1. This is, first and foremost, an economic issue. The $20 million estimate to build the boardwalk would almost certainly fall on the backs of Margate taxpayers.
Furthermore, the $20 million estimate is wildly optimistic and doesn’t even include, lighting, engineering fees and crossovers. Not to mention the ongoing costs of repair and maintenance, electricity, security, liability insurance, trash removal and more.
The total project cost could easily be double the early projection of $20 million.
#2. There is no funding mechanism in place to pay for this other than Margate taxpayers and there is no evidence to support the notion that the state of NJ would fund it.
#3. Even in the highly unlikely event that the state was to allocate funds for such a project, why would Margate residents want it?
Margate’s character and quality of life is fundamentally different than other shore towns with boardwalks, such as Atlantic City, Ocean City and Wildwood. And Ventnor, our next door neighbor, has both higher taxes and lower property values than Margate…in part due to their boardwalk.
Margate also has a lower crime rate than towns with boardwalks, including Ventnor.
We still don’t know the impact of the dune project on property values and taxes, and it would be foolish to undertake a major new project of this magnitude until that becomes clearer.
Margate has had to bear the brunt of an enormously disruptive beach project for the past two years…and that work is still not entirely completed. Why would we want to further disrupt our beach experience, which is such a major part of Margate’s appeal and allure to both residents and visitors?
#4. If Margate was to find a way to fund a major infrastructure project, then it must address the city’s most pressing need… flooding from the back bay. That has been the city’s major problem for decades.
We’ve already “fixed” (and we use that term loosely) something that wasn’t broken with the dune project. Unfortunately, that was out of our control…forced upon us by a vindictive Governor, the Army Corps and the DEP. This is very much in our control.
Let’s leave well enough alone and, next time around, let’s address the real problem that adversely affects all Margate homeowners, directly or indirectly…namely raising the back bay bulkheads and other protective mechanisms to mitigate against flooding from future storms.
Dan Gottlieb, Margate.