The reconstruction of two parks, plus improvements at Brick’s ocean beaches, are major aspects of the township’s annual capital budget for 2021.
Unlike the operating budget, which funds day-to-day expenses, the capital budget is bonded and funds larger infrastructure and facilities-oriented projects. This year’s capital budget is $10 million, up from $8 million last year due to a special measure to tackle floodwater projects. In what has become something of a tradition in recent years, Brick officials are planning the reconstruction of two parks – one large park and one small “neighborhood” park that is receiving a unique upgrade of its own.
Brick has allocated $375,000 toward the remaining cost of rebuilding Cedar Bridge Manor Park. The township began soliciting suggestions from residents about what the new park should feature in early 2020, has already secured funding for parts of its reconstruction, and will start work later this year.
Township Administrator Joanne Bergin said previously that residents asked to forego bocce courts and a horseshoe pit in favor of an expanded playground area with extra swing sets. Officials renderings for the park have yet to be released, but it is expected that the park will be improved in a manner similar to other parks in town, which received new landscaping, walking paths, basketball courts and other features.
The township’s original plan was to begin work on the park last year and have it ready by this summer, however state permitting held up the start of construction.
Both Cedar Bridge Manor Park as well as another park – Mallard Point Park – are located on the waterfront, and both require shoreline protection.
Brick will dedicate $75,000 to obtain permits to perform a future shoreline restoration project and rebuild at Mallard Point Park, located along Tunes Brook Drive. Located on Kettle Creek in the southernmost portion of town, Mallard Point will be the subject of an innovative program to improve the usefulness of the park as well as its natural beauty and safety. Brick first tried out the idea at Bay Harbor Park in 2015 – believed to be the first of its kind and scale in the state – and has received positive reviews from the Department of Environmental Protection.
The project at Bay Harbor involved installing new vinyl bulkheading, replenishing the beach and installing 300 cubic yards of stone breakwater that resembles two jetties. The breakwater protects the park in storms and prevents wave action from impacting the sand and eroding the berm.
Mayor John Ducey said the parks will remain open for the summer since they see heavy use, and work is expected to begin in the fall and continue through the winter season. A soft opening followed by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in the spring, potentially for Memorial Day weekend 2022.
Oceanfront Upgrades & Town Hall Maintenance
The capital budget also included several pieces of new equipment for the township’s most major park – its string of Atlantic Ocean beaches.
The township has allocated funding for two new rescue boards at $2,500 each, six waterproof rescue helmets at $1,134 each, 16 pairs of swim fins at $1,023 each and a jet-ski rescue board estimated to cost $2,000.
Brick will also install new LED lighting at town hall for $7,500, and install three sets of automatic entrance doors for the police department for $17,000. The township also approved the funding of a Ford F-250 utility pickup truck with a snow plow attachment for an estimated $50,000.