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STONE HARBOR - Stone Harbor Borough Council is proceeding with plans for a new Beach Patrol building estimated to cost $2.4 million. 

The building has been the subject of discussion for years. An initial design was presented to the council in August 2018.That design, estimated at $4.2 million, included a new set of public restrooms and extensive landscaping, as well as the construction of the building.

Almost immediately, cost became an issue. Many residents balked at the price tag, including the Stone Harbor Property Owners Association (SHPOA). With expected investments needed for resiliency projects, SHPOA and others questioned the high price for the new building.

Discussions have been ongoing for several years, with everyone in agreement that new quarters for the Beach Patrol were needed, but at a lower cost. The council appears to agree with the $2.4 million estimate.

To get to the new, lower price tag, the building was scaled back in terms of square feet, but Beach Patrol Capt. Sandy Bosacco said it is still responsive to the organization’s needs. 

The basic design remains the same- a two-floor building, with storage bays on the ground floor, office space on the second, and a crow’s nest for an expansive view of the beach.

“This building fits the style of Stone Harbor,” said Council President Ray Parzych.

Concern about the rapidly rising cost of building materials added to a sense of urgency to complete the project. There is a push to have the design documents out to bid in early June, with an award possible in July and shovels in the ground right after Labor Day.

The goal is to have the new Beach Patrol structure operational by summer 2022. The borough decided to forego new construction for the restrooms. A modular building was purchased and is in place.

To contact Vince Conti, email vconti@cmcherald.com.

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