The Bradley Beach boardwalk, which had been closed since March 30 in response to the coronavirus threat, is now open for exercise purposes. The borough’s beaches have remained open.
“The promenade and beach are now open to be utilized for exercise purposes only,” reads an announcement posted earlier this week on the borough web site. “Please continue to practice social distancing, as well as other [Centers for Disease Control] guidelines.”
Mayor Gary Engelstad authorized Police Chief Leonard A. Guida to reopen the boardwalk last weekend if the sidewalks along Ocean Avenue became too crowded to practice safe physical distancing.
“With the only pedestrian access on the east side of Ocean Avenue, the chief on Sunday allowed walking on the boardwalk,” Engelstad said at a special Borough Council meeting earlier this week.
Guida and the mayor agreed that persons who sat on benches along the boardwalk were not in violation of any guidelines or directives as long as they maintained proper distancing from others.
Engelstad said he was “in favor of urging people to wear masks outside,” though there is no official requirement to do so.
According to the mayor, a quota system will be established limiting the number of beachgoers based on available space once the beach badge season begins. The mayor said that the number of season badge holders would be calculated into the quota. Daily badges would only be available until the quota is reached. Engelstad says state law provides that beach access cannot be limited to residents only.
During the public comment portion of the online meeting, Enrique Ottaiano asked how season badges could be purchased in light of the temporaery shutdown of borough offices and how the badges would be distributed.
Council President John J. Weber said season badges could be purchased through the Viply app on mobile devices. Once purchased online, the badges can be picked up in person at the Cliff Avenue booth beginning on May 11 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The special meeting was called so the council could act on a state order allowing towns to extend the grace period for the payment of second quarter property taxes to June 1.
The resolution authorizing the extension was approved unanaimously.
Engelstad directed Borough Administrator David G. Brown II to post information on interest for back taxes paid after June 1 on the borough web site.
Resident Thomas J. Coan asked if the council would consider extending the deadline for payment of sewer bills.
The mayor said he will add the item to the agenda for discussion at the next regular council meeting on Tues., May 12.