By PETE WALTON
A bicycle sharing program wants to begin operating in Bradley Beach and other shore towns.
Rentatives of JerseyBike and its parent company P3 Global Management made a presentation at this week’s meeting of the Bradley Beach Borough Council.
John Kelly, the company’s manager of business development and operations, said there would be no cost to the borough for the firm’s services. He said a fee could be paid to the town once the enterprise was covering its costs.
Initially, bicycles would be available near the train station on Main Street and at the beachfront. Kelly said research would be conducted to identify other locations.
Membership in the bike share program would cost $95 a year for individuals. Shorter terms would also be available. Subscribers could also use bikes in Point Pleasant Beach, Woodbridge, several Hudson County communities, and West Palm Beach, Fla.
Mayor Gary Engelstad said that if the borough chose to approve a bike share program, proposals would have to be invited from other companies in addition to JerseyBike, which now has 30,000 users and says it is the largest bike share program in the state.
Subscribers can pick up bikes using the Nextbike app on smart phones or a keychain card with an embedded chip. Electronic locks and GPS monitoring help keep the program operating smoothly.
Also at the meeting, Julia S. Rand of the Bradley Beach Arts Council announced plans for Ireland at the Beach, described as “a celebration of Irish drama, poetry, song and dance.” The event will take place on July 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. in the gazebo at Fifth and Ocean Avenues.
Planning Board member Alan Gubitosi suggested to the council that when the borough is asked to cooperate in bringing large events to town or ones involving state liquor permits, it conduct a limited level of review even though it is not required by law to do so.
Gubitosi said that a review could help avert situations such as the recent last-minute cancellation of the popular Lobster Fest.
This year’s event had to be cancelled when the council became aware of problems with the tax-exempt status of the Bradley Beach Chamber of Commerce, which contracted with event promoters The Passion Group to put on the festival.
In an effort to rescue the event, the council voted on June 12 to partner with The Passion Group directly but utlimately was unable to do so because of state bidding requirements.
Elizabeth Konopacki of Whiting, a jewelry designer who had planned to sell her wares at Lobster Fest, blamed borough resident Thomas J. Coan for the cancellation, saying he had mounted a “one-man crusade to destroy a great event.”
Coan, who denied allegations by some officials and residents that his goal was to do away with Lobster Fest, raised the issue of problems with the chamber’s tax status in 2017 with Gubitosi, who helped Councilman Norman Goldfarb negotiate arrangements for last year’s festival.
Council President Dr. Harold Cotler said after this week’s meeting that the borough was not aware of the chamber’s tax status problem until Coan raised it recently. Cotler said that by then, there was not enough time to resolve the issue.
Gubitosi said at the council’s June 12 meeting that he advised the chamber of the problem after Coan discussed it with him in 2017. Gubitosi did not say that he discussed the matter with anyone other than the chamber.