WRITTEN BY MICHAEL FEELY, October 08, 2013
A committee of council members Rick DeLucry, Andy Simpson and Frank Kern, along with the City Manager and City Engineer will study the issue.
The major flooding caused by Sandy was a result of bay water overflowing bulkheads which were set too low. In some cases there were no bulkheads at all. This issue has, in some cases, pitted neighbor against neighbor.
Councilman Picardi noted Gov. Christie’s recent executive order dealing with protective dunes and suggested that the issue was “private interest vs. public safety.” Members of council have anticipated that the issue will affect bayside homeowners who do not have the financial ability to correct any deficiencies with their bulkheads.
One example of this complicated issue was raised by John Butler, who has a residence at 1001 E. Shore Drive which suffered flood damage from Sandy. Butler plans to rebuild, and would like to keep the boat ramp that has been there more than 40 years. Before he can rebuild, the bulkheads need to be replaced.
Butler asked the city to approve a bulkhead cutout for the boat ramp. He requested that he be allowed to install a flood gate and have the cutout at “elevation 7.”
City Engineer Ed Stinson told council that it would be preferable if the elevation was raised to 8 feet. Council agreed to allow Stinson and Butler’s engineer to come to an agreement, with the understanding that Stinson’s decision would be final.