WILDWOOD – Mayor Peter Byron and Gov. Phil Murphy met virtually Feb. 9 to discuss state funding to replace the Wildwood Boardwalk, Byron told the Herald.
“We had a really great Zoom. He told me to put everything together, get it up to him and he's going to give us every consideration, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Byron said, in an interview.
The meeting was the first time the two interacted directly since a visit by Murphy last April (https://bit.ly/35mDIky), held on the boards, in front of the press, after a section of the boardwalk overturned in a windstorm, the mayor said. Wildwood officials, for years, maintained the boardwalkmust be replaced.
Murphy vetoed a bill to send $56 million to Wildwood for boardwalk repairs in 2019 (http://bit.ly/3qtCHQ5). Byron said the governor made a commitment to help during his April visit, and the Zoom meeting was another step toward fulfilling that promise.
“I knew all along that the governor is a man of his word,” Byron said. “We had a really fantastic meeting. He told me what we needed to do and that we needed to get it up to him expeditiously.”
Byron said time is of the essence, as the state is working to finalize its 2021 budget. CME Associates, the city’s engineering firm, is finishing a cost analysis, a preliminary engineering report, and a description of how the project would meet environmental regulations, according to the mayor. The city plans to send that report to Trenton by Feb. 19.
Byron would not say the estimated cost of the project. Murphy did not respond to an email request for comment.