Highlands’ Concrete Gazebo To Be Dismantled

first_imgBy Joseph SapiaHIGHLANDS – The borough is now working with a contractor on setting up a date to remove the controversial Super Storm Sandy memorial that sits on the Sandy Hook Bay beachfront.The borough has awarded an approximately $10,000 contract to Red Bank Recycling to dismantle and dispose of the 1,100 square foot concrete gazebo that sits on borough property behind the Robert D. Wilson Memorial Community Center, said Borough Councilman Doug Card.The takedown of what some have dubbed “Shorehenge” will likely happen in late November or in December, Card said.The borough of Carteret had indicated it “is very interested’’ in hosting the memorial, Card said. But no formal agreement has been worked out between Highlands and the Middlesex County town, which sits where the Rahway River and Arthur Kill meet. So Highlands is going forward with dismantling the memorial, Card said. “I want to give Carteret fair opportunity, but how much time? We’ve given them six or seven months (already).”The new deadline for Carteret is the date determined between Highlands and Red Bank Recycling on Shorehenge’s removal, Card said. “The (Highlands) community has spoken. They don’t want it there.”The Tilt-Up Concrete Association, a trade group based in Iowa, constructed the memorial – with donated goods and equipment valued at $250,000, along with donated labor – in the fall of 2015. At the time, Tilt-Up was holding its annual meeting in New Jersey and was looking to make a gesture of good will in the area. Highlands was picked because it was heavily hit during 2012’s Super Storm Sandy.The memorial has been controversial because of its look and the way it blocks the view of the bay. Also, in December or shortly after the memorial was built, the state Department of Environmental Protection declared the borough needed approval for Shorehenge through the Coastal Area Facilities Review Act (CAFRA), which it never got.“The state of New Jersey sees it as an improper structure,” Card said.The borough could seek CAFRA approval, but there is no guarantee of an approval, Card said. If it is removed, the DEP wants the property returned to its original state.Tilt-Up is willing to pay for the CAFRA permit process, which would cost an estimated $10,000 to $15,000, Card said. But Tilt-Up is not willing to remove Shorehenge if it does not get CAFRA approval.“We are of the understanding the town does not want to apply for a (CAFRA) permit to legalize the structure and has decided to have it removed,” said DEP spokesperson Caryn Shinske. “Consequently, we are exercising discretion in giving the town time to review its structure removal options.”Representatives from Tilt-Up and Carteret could not be reached for comment.To this day, the memorial’s controversy includes whether the borough actually OK’d its building in advance or simply explored the idea of building it. No matter which, the borough did not stop its construction once underway.last_img