Battered Berkeley Island County Park Needs $3 Million to $5 Million In Repairs, Freeholder Says

Park off Brennan Concourse will remain closed for an indefinite period, Freeholder John C. Bartlett Jr. says


Berkeley Island County Park was already battered by time and tides and in need of "loving care" before Superstorm Sandy hit on Oct. 29.

But now the park will need more than that. Freeholder John C. Bartlett Jr. estimates it will take between $3 million to $5 million to rebuild the park off Brennan Concourse in Bayville that juts out into Barnegat Bay.

The 30-year-old park was inundated by flood waters, which destroyed the bathrooms, "totally" knocked out the fishing pier dock and severely eroded the roadway in the parking lot on both sides, Bartlett said.

"It did a job on it," said Bartlett, who has been liaison to the county Parks and Recreation department for three decades. "The whole park needs to be rebuilt."

County officials had already planned renovations to the park before Sandy struck. The 30-year-old facility was badly in need of an upgrade, but Sandy made things worse, much worse, Bartlett said.

"It's a shambles," he said during a break in the Ocean County Board of Freeholders caucus meeting last week.

The park has been closed since Sandy hit and will probably remain so for some time. County officials may be able to regrade portions of the roadway to open Berkeley Island for strictly passive activity, but there will be no restrooms available for some time.

"We are kind of putting it on hold," he said.

Park employees were already concerned about erosion along Cedar Creek on the south side of the park before Sandy hit. Now, Bartlett estimates that between 10 to 15 feet of roadway on each side of the parking lot is gone.

"It (the park) was certainly tired and needed redeveloping," he said. "We had gone out for RFPs (requests for proposals). But after the storm hit, we pulled that back. It needs to be rebuilt."

"It will be rebuilt," Bartlett added. "It will be first on the list."


BayvilleDad February 03, 2013 at 01:01 PM
but there will be no restrooms available for some time. "We are kind of putting it on hold," he said. LOL
BayvilleDad February 03, 2013 at 01:02 PM
I love the park and hope it get open soon.
Dee February 03, 2013 at 02:06 PM
I love parks too, but shouldn't the unsafe and deteriorated Beachwood shopping center be first on someone's list???
Judys 15 February 03, 2013 at 02:33 PM
One is a public park, owned and operated by Ocean County, and one is a giant, private piece of property owned by Priscilla Oughton of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida. Is there any comparison?
Poindexter McSmash February 03, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Do you notice that no one is allowed in the park? Before when it was just woods, you could go there for a walk to clear your mind. BUt now the insurance company owns it. And since you might get hurt by some fallen stick, it's forbidden to venture in...
Dee February 03, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Let me clarify, I was not comparing one to the other or suggesting the "Sandy" money be used to clean up the mess at the shopping center, I was simply stating that in terms of prioritizing lists, I would like to see more action taken by our elected officials who oversee both to be focused on the shopping center which affects more Berkeley Township residents than the park. I have been to the park many times when my children were young, and there was never more than a dozen people there utilizing it at any given time. I've read and heard a lot of blah, blah, blah about the fines being levied against Priscilla Oughton, but she and her attorney have blocked them as we'll, and I see this as being tied up in the court system for a very long time, while our property values decline in part to the rotting mess as you enter Bayville.
smrh February 03, 2013 at 03:45 PM
I really hope they fix it! I have been going to that park since I was pretty much a baby! And now that I have a child he was going to the park as well! It was nice cause it was never really crowded and he was able to play on the playground equipment with out getting trampled by other kids. its a nice family park and I really hope it gets fixed!
Chief Wahoo February 03, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Pretty much everything in ocean county is in shambles and was BEFORE Sandy , you all just do not realize what a dump OC has become and how badly your taxes haves been mismanaged. Just wait for the spin to begin when they try and increase your property taxes 33%. Wake Up Sheep !!!!!
Dave February 03, 2013 at 05:24 PM
I think we need to determine our priorities. While the park has been good for recreation, right now we need to focus our money and energy on other areas of Berkeley Township and its residents. I can't see restoring the park for several years.
foggyworld February 04, 2013 at 01:24 AM
This could be a more expensive restoration than folks realize. In recent years it has been proved that concrete is the worst thing possible to put down next to the Bay so some sort of permeable surface will need to be found. It will probably be more expensive.
Jo February 04, 2013 at 05:03 AM
I had the opportunity to view Berkeley Is. in Nov. Yes, the park did receive much damage, and is in need of restoration, but however Mr. Freeholder, as a semi-retired Eng. - I think 5Mil. is a little far fetch $3.5 mil. is pushing the envelope. I also witness the cleanup of Moorage Field, Cedar Creek Golf Course (Berkeley) and several smaller parks in Bayville, I know its a County Park, but why could'nt FEMA just remove the oversize limbs and misc.debris while they were in the area - now the county is goimg to add this to the bottom of their list! I must also have to agree with Chief (Wahoo) - Ocean County is getting dumpier by the day.. too many shabby store fronts, road debris, messed up roads, both county & local streets.. Too many deteriorated homes, including the foreclosed homes - the city(s) should take the bull by the horns, repair the exteriors & grounds of these properties - like they do in Nth. Jersey and other states.. send the Banks the bills and place a Mech.Lien on these properties that are bringing down the cost of neighboring homes! In Bayville, with Mayor Amatto, I think it will be a long time before we see any action of any type....
mike February 04, 2013 at 05:44 AM
What could possibly cost $3 to $5 million at that park? It's just dirt with a bulkhead around it.
Irina February 04, 2013 at 03:31 PM
The Berkeley elected officials have ignored this eyesore for so long, giving the opportunity for Oughton to get away with it being in the condition its in. So don't expect any cleaning up of that that site in our lifetime. Maybe the policial donations made by Oughton to Ocean CTY officials have helped the elected officials turn a blind eye. As for Berkeley Island County Park....fix it...but $5M for repairs is BS. I was there last week and there is no $5M wouth of damage.
Irina February 04, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Moorage Field, Cedar Creek Golf Course (Berkeley) and several smaller parks in Bayville (TOWN PARKS) Berkeley Island (COUNTY PARK) 2 different budgets, 2 different entities. The county has no business fixing a town park. NOR would I want my tax dollars to fix YOUR park. You should be bringing this to the attention of your town elected officials.
Penny Wise February 04, 2013 at 04:39 PM
5 million dollars is way too much money to give some politically connected contractor for that scuzzy little park. Tear down all the "amenities" including pier, bathrooms, play equipment and the ancient picnic cover and let it become a nature park. Are we afraid that if these accommodations are not provided ...some government teat sucking loser will sue ?
Peter M. Clausen III February 05, 2013 at 04:22 AM
now you see how your elected officials are representing you and spending your money. just don't forget it next time you vote! Berkeley Township sold that park to the county for $1. what about the AT&T property at Good Luck point? who owns that now? Follow the money trail. it will always lead to somebodies pocket.
Joyce Twerdak March 20, 2013 at 09:52 AM
Guess after reading the comments i'll have to find another avenue to walk and clear things in my mind. Sad part about this is it may have not been much but just seeing a mix of elders walking, babies being pushed in carriages, young and old alike crabbing and fishing brought you back to a simpler time in life. Passing people on the walkway and actually saying "good morning" and meaning it. Sitting on the bench and looking across the bay at the now defunct ferris wheel. Just because it didn[t supply food stands and $5.00 rides for the kiddies didnt mean you couldn't have a nice time. Families came for an outing and this was a serene place to do this. Rode up to it just this past week and sadly it was still fenced. Will always remember the times my husband and I could just enjoy...going for a simple walk. Shame if you don't fix it...there are far too many places just being droppedby the wayside. Maybe for some this place was not the "in"place to go but to others it provided an escape....a "simple" yet enjoyable escape.
Julissa Campos May 17, 2013 at 03:34 AM
I really hope this is getting fixed once I found this I fell in love quiet and an escape. My daughter loved how she could go crabbing and play in the swings. I thought it was a great park. I hope and pray it's being fixed. This was our new past time spot to relax.


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