The Brigantine Garden Club and some local residents are not happy with how our new traffic triangle & embedded garden area at 31st street is coming along. Astro-turf and a less-than-beautiful fountain structure are just two items that have volunteers, residents and business owners in an uproar. Did the City change it’s mind about some recent agreements & plans over the past few months?
Here’s the Brigantine Garden Club’s side of the story: Back in the 1980’s, we gifted the city with a water fountain and surrounded it with flowers. It was award winning. (Click thru to see pics) It’s been maintained by volunteers ever since.
About a year ago, (DPW) Department of Public Works chief; Ernie Purdy, informed us that the corner was being revamped to change traffic flow. The fountain would need to be destroyed. He asked that we research prices for a new replacement fountain. We spent countless hours on this project.
In the fall of 2012, we met again with Purdy, along with John Doring of DPW.
DPW told us it was too expensive to replace or move, but would be no problem to pour concrete and create a new fountain at the triangle.
On April 10, 2013, the Garden Club met again with Purdy as well as City Manager; Jennifer Blumenthal. They informed us the budget wouldn’t allow for a fountain this year, but the City could do it in 2014. This was satisfactory to all. They also asked us to investigate different plantings that would work.
The new fountain would feature 3 dolphins and a center spout, representing that Brigantine had the world famous, Marine Mammal Stranding Center in town. Everyone was excited about this idea.
This past week, we looked into buying low lying Japanese yews that wouldn’t require cutting. If planted in late fall, they wouldn’t need watering either. We were waiting for a call from the City, when we heard ASTRO-TURF was being installed at the newly rebuilt triangle. Bad idea. Astro-turf does not absorb water, and makes flooding a possibility.
Also, DPW’s Doring informed Debbie Ples; Garden club liaison to the city, that the City was building a wooden box and laying plastic down as a replacement to our former, award winning fountain area. This is not acceptable. The City said it had to be done due to the astro turf being laid down this week.
Astro turf is very expensive and requires a trained person to upkeep it properly. It gets extremely hot and isn’t attractive in a public setting, especially in such a large area like this high profile triangle in the middle of town.
No one from the City even had the common courtesy to call or meet with us to discuss.
The Brigantine Garden Club wants the City of Brigantine, Jennifer Blumenthal and Ernie Purdy, to live up to their agreement with us. This fountain and garden area at our new, 31st street triangle, must feature a concrete pool, agreed upon fountain, and appropriate live plantings.