Marine Park Meeting Nov. 9

first_imgBy John Burton RED BANK – All three proposals for Marine Park are out as far as the Parks Recreation Chair is concerned, as well as the criteria set up to evaluate the proposals.Borough Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who chairs the council’s Parks and Recreation Committee, said she will recommend that the council reject all three proposals submitted for projects at the borough-owned but Super Storm Sandy damaged tennis courts area in Marine Park.Schwabenbauer said she will offer her recommendation at the next regularly scheduled council meeting for Nov. 9.As for the reasoning, Schwabenbauer said, “The thing is, we received so much feedback from the public saying they didn’t want to do Jetsun.“And because of that we really can’t do Jetsun,” she acknowledged.Jetsun Enterprises, a private group of investors, had offered what was the most ambitious, but what became the most controversial and politically-fueled of the three plans submitted to the council’s requests for proposals (RFPs) back in April.That plan called for the construction of an 18-hole miniature golf course, synthetic, year-round ice rink, a food concession stand, a boathouse offering canoe and kayak rentals; there would also be driven golf carts to take patrons to and from off-site parking.The other plans call for rebuilding the tennis courts and operating them independently from the borough, providing the borough with a portion of the proceeds; and a boathouse and catering hall that would offer boat rentals and recreational and educational programs sponsored by the Navesink River Rowing Club and Navesink Maritime Heritage Association.When evaluating the three plans the parks and rec committee relied on quantifiable criteria in making its determination. And by that matrix, the Jetsun proposal was the clear winner, “by a head and shoulders,” Schwabenbauer said. All three councilmembers who served on the parks and rec committee, Schwabenbauer, Edward Zipprich and Kathy Horgan, made the determination to endorse Jetsun. The parks and rec volunteer advisory committee did the same, Schwabenbauer said.Given the parks and rec committee is dismissing the criteria, it was only right it reject all proposals, Schwabenbauer maintained. “You have to throw out the whole process.”In response to Schwabenbauer’s decision, Jetsun Enterprises principal Douglas Boonton said, “Needless to say we are disappointed in the decision as we feel we answered the RFP properly as laid out by the town back in April. All bidders expended a lot of time and resources to ensure their proposals had a positive impact on the community. This will only result in further inaction at the site and ultimately a detriment to the residents and visitors alike.”As it stands there is no plan to reinstitute a request for proposals for the location. “If it was up to me, in the short term anyway, we would clean it up, plant some grass and put in some picnic tables,” Schwabenbauer said.Schwabenbauer had hoped to offer her decision at the Oct. 28 council meeting, but it was canceled due to a lack of a quorum.The borough red clay tennis courts are a favorite for the sport enthusiasts, given it was one of only a couple of public red clay courts in the state. The courts, which date back to 1930, were severely damaged by Super Storm Sandy.The Jetsun proposal faced growing opposition from many who saw it as too expansive and detrimental to a public park.last_img

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