Rebuild Pavilion Suggestion Archive


The following suggestions regarding pavilion construciton were received in the Fall of 2014.  Continue to use this page to submit your feedback!


If you have ideas please email Mayor Matt Doherty at  Your ideas and suggestions will then be posted here.  Check back frequently for updates!

Suggestion #15

Received October 8, 2014

Revise the responsible bidding ordinance to allow for more bidders, with the goal of reducing costs, while safeguarding workers, employees, and the public from shoddy workmanship. Rework the pavilions plan to include much-needed open-air pavilions at 8th and 13th (which would also prevent large buildings from being constructed there), in addition to the John Taylor and the Howard Rowland Pavilions. Consider partnering with a private company to manage rentable space in the John Taylor Pavilion in exchange for upfront investment and monthly rents to help defray the construction costs. Also consider having a changing room by the Howard Rowland Pavilion so that beachgoers don’t have to change in the washrooms (or their cars). Place a new pavilions package out to bid after revisions have been made to the responsible bidding ordinance.



Suggestion #14

Received September 11, 2014

Idea: bidding process separate trades, not single lump sum!

Message: If you remove the just a "GC" or ‘Lump Sum” aspect from the bidding process & have the bid out to each trade separately the $'s will come in less! Each time just a GC bids on a project he adds a % to each of the trades, electric, plumbing etc.. if you just bid it separately you eliminate that. Also, eliminate "Just Union Shop" or “PLA agreement” then more contractors can bid on it, as long as all the bidding contractors are Bonded, pay the prevailing wage rate & hand in certified payrolls this pavilion will be built cheaper! 



Suggestion #13

Received September 11, 2014



Below are some of my thoughts on the boardwalk pavilions.


If the FEMA and insurance settlement equals $4.1M, than that is what should be used to build.  We need to work together and build both structures within that budget – it can be done.  If we collectively decide to expand the spend on the pavilions, then we must have a realistic plan on how to pay for the overages.  Perhaps we sell some of the Taylor Pavilion space as commercial condos to local business owners and charge them a maintenance fee for their portion of OpEx and make them responsible for their own Tenant Improvements (T/I)? Or lease some of the commercial spaces and formulate the rents to “more” than cover the note – this can be another area of revenue for the township/residents.  We have an opportunity to “correctly and responsibly” develop this area, which has an extreme opportunity to drive potentially significant lease and/or sale and management fee revenue for this town.  Increases beyond the $4.1M available funds should be paid through Lease/Sale/Management Fee revenues that are derived from both assets, not from tax payer dollars.  We must think like developers on this particular project – “how do we make it work where the asset produces the income to support itself…” 


Furthermore, we need to revisit the Construction RFP’s and all bidders involved (including engineering services) and determine why the construction costs were unrealistically high – what caused them to increase well beyond industry norms?  Correcting these issues will be crucial to bring this project within the $4.1M budget.  



Suggestion #12

Received September 9, 2014


In the local area, one of the most common forms of new residential construction is modular.  This is particularly true in both the towns of Belmar and Lake Como where lot sizes are limited.  There are many local companies which specialize in modular building.    


If you think about the limitations of the footprint for the pavilions, I think that a modular building should be considered. By virtue of the fact that the modular boxes need to be shipped in via truck, they are stronger than traditional stick built structures.  There are a number of advantages to modular construction including low cost and speed (built off site and out of the elements indoors).  Modular homes have come a long way in terms of the look / quality and can be customized a great deal – just look at some of the multi-million dollar homes on the north end of Spring Lake.


Although a different animal in terms of structure (brick, pools, lockers, etc)…the new pavilion in Spring Lake was built off site as a modular project and shipped in via truck.






Suggestion #11

Received September 3, 2014

Dear Matt,


If our beach is one of our most precious assets, let’s showcase it. Keep the boardwalk free of clutter, commercial development and giant smelly dumpsters. Use the commercial areas on the westside of ocean avenue to service beach goers. There are already plenty of places for food, t-shirts etc. 


Have modest gazebos/small open pavilions that provide shade and include rest rooms and space for beach badge sales.  


If the community needs more meeting space, put it downtown near the municipal building – not on the oceanfront. We don’t need to build a pavilion to provide space for out of town groups, weddings, parties etc. There are plenty of commercial venues available for that already. 


Keep the safety building to what is absolutely essential —we don’t need a police command center or extensive communications center and space for concessions. The proposed safety building was overkill. Avon offers a good example of a simple structure that blends reasonably well with the environment. 


Get rid of the food trucks. They’re a huge eyesore. They contribute to the parking problem and the junkie look of our beachfront. 


Confine entertainment to specific areas of the boardwalk/beach. Every inch of the boardwalk/beach has become a venue —  Zumba, drumming, volleyball, surf camp, bonfires, bands, movies,  singer/songwriters etc.  These things are are all great by themselves but altogether it’s become overwhelming. We need a balance between entertainment and quiet zones. 


Address the safety/quality of life conditions on Ocean Avenue. In summer, it’s unsafe for walkers and cyclists. The key here is having police enforce the law. That’s not being done now - even when asked. People jaywalk, double park in the middle of the street, drive through cross walks when pedestrians are in them, litter, make u–turns without signaling.  In the southern end of town, people urinate and vomit in the streets. 



Suggestion #10

Received August 29, 2014

As a property owner in Belmar I'd like to share my and others concern and help you get the pavilions built. Even though in the final tally they would only cost tax payers $15 a home it was too much . Think about what we are getting . We have no place to park our cars near our homes, it's impossible to leave and come back , we have to pay to get on the beach and we get parking tickets for being 10 minutes over on the meter. In other words why should ipay 1 penny when I get ZERO benefit? It's how a lot of think in Belmar. Unless one owns a business in town the tourists are nothing but a pain the ass to us homeowners. Shave a little off here and there and we will vote YES  but if it cost $2 I'm voting no




Suggestion #9

Received August 29, 2014



Per you letter to residents on August 20, here are our suggestions:


1) At the top of the list, eliminate the need for contractors/bidders to be Union Shops and have apprentice programs. In NY, it's estimated that union shops add 20% - 30% to total construction costs. The additional requirement that contractors have apprentice programs reduces the number of bidders to practically zero. These 2 provisions, which are promoting a political ideology, are not in the best interest of taxpayers who will ultimately pay for all this. The consequences, intended or unintended, are simply to drive the costs up.  


2. Build the 10th Ave safety and services pavilion as designed ASAP.


3. Move the food trucks out of the southern half of least distribute them equally from north to south, until new concession space is completed.   


4. ReBuild the Taylor Pavilion as it last existed, a large open room for dances, parties, meetings and craft shows. That should cost no more than $150-$200 per Sq Ft according to


5. And finally, right after Sandy struck you said we should build a protective steel sea wall to protect the ocean front Boardwalk and Houses. Mantoloking is doing this today. I believe you said it would be a 30 ft wall with 24 ft underground, all covered with a sand dune.



Suggestion #8

Received August 29, 2014

Mayor Doherty


I voted No for the rebuilding of the pavilions as presented by the Borough.   I always thought the Taylor pavilion was more than sufficient just the way it was.  I was not in favor of expanding the use to include more and more outside catering, parties etc.  The cost for the pavilions was out of line.  

My suggestion, put it back pretty much just the way it was. 

The various Belmar groups that used this facility in the past had no big issues with that layout. They made do very nicely with the accommodations.

We need the same size open floor plan for the main room,  wooden floor, nice windows, updated bathrooms ADA approved, a kitchen similar to what was lost, and of course the open deck in the rear.

I would think we can do this within the budget that we have. 



Suggestion #7

Received August 27, 2014

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Suggestion #6

Received August 27, 2014

While we will still believe the pavilions can and should be built, in the interim we share two other ideas for consideration:

Our area, specifically ocean avenue, truly needs a bike path to be fully family friendly.  One that were to span ocean ave but also connect the various aspects of town would be wonderful. People of all shapes, colors and sizes use the one in wildwood crest.  Belmar guests and families would benefit from this too.


Another idea includes a focus on the south end entry into town.  A welcoming redevelopment of the current fuel station, two liquor stores and deli combination would be a benefit to the entire community. 


Continuing the variety of concert and live music series', expanding them into shoulder seasons and the addition of more child friendly options and to-dos, round out our list of ideas. 


Thank you for all you do for the community.  



Suggestion #5

Received August 26, 2014

Dear Matt,

While I think getting input from the residence is a good idea, I think without more information this will be hard.  I think you need to give more details for the buildings such as the foot print of the buildings and what the town wants for the building.  If the building use is to stay the same they you should say that.  I think you will get better input

With the limited information here are my suggestions:

5th Ave.  Porches in the rear with rockers.  I have seen so many people enjoy the porch.

                If you are going to continue you to rent this it should have a kitchen.  Not a restaurant quality kitchen just a residential type (code allowed)

                Hard wood floors for durability and for use of parties and dances.

                Will there be a restaurant, stand or shop to be leased?  If so the electric should be adequate to accommodate these business.  Fixtures should be the responsibility of the tenant. This will limit the townships liability and expense for maintenance of the equipment.

                Bathrooms? 2 stale women 1 stale male

                Booth for sale of badges- maybe it should face out the side of the building for better access and less ware on the floors.


The Other building don’t know the size or the purpose of this building.  I think to house offices for LG and EMT.  Is there to be rentable units? Really need to know the foot print to see how to maximize the space.


We might consider going green when possible,  good publicity and can save money.  How about solar panels?  How about making the pavilion's useable year round for rent and extra office space for the town.



Suggestion #4

Received August 26, 2014

1.  Repeal the Ordinance that requires contractors to have an apprenticeship program to work in Belmar.  This will provide for more and varied contractors to submit bids and increased competition.
2.  Do not use the same engineer for both the municipality and the project if a new RFP (request for proposal) is required.  Such an arrangement is a disservice to the community.  The Boro engineer has a time & material contract which is the most expensive way to design.  Unfortunately, we already spent ~$1M on architectural/engineer design.  Should Maser continue as the project engineer, replace them with a different Boro engineer.

3.  Rebid and build the 10th Ave pavilion after the Ordinance requiring 'contractors have an apprenticeship program to build in the Boro' has been repealed (see 1. above), and pay as much of the $1M engineering costs as possible from the FEMA and insurance money.  

4.  Use a new RFP for the design of the 5th Ave pavilion with specific criteria that must be met, e.g., construction cost limits.  Do not rebuild the 5th Ave pavilion if a bond is required.  Save beach utility surplus money until we have enough to build the pavilion.  Otherwise, leave the tent as beachgoers like the shade, and it leaves more space for the beach-badge-paying public.



Suggestion #3

Received August 22, 2014


Mr. Doherty,
   I was watching the news two nights ago and saw a report on the pavilions you are currently trying to rebuild. It mentioned that you were looking for suggestions on how/what to rebuild.
  I am the owner of a timber framing company located in northeast PA. My shop is in Westtown,NY and we hand fabricate timber frame homes and commercial buildings. If you are not familiar with timber framing it is the art of joining large timbers together with using mortise and tenon joints and oak pegs to secure them together, much like they built homes 400 years ago. It is extraordinarily strong, durable and very beautiful to look at. The joints can be reinforced with hidden steel to make the structure even more resistant to any exterior forces. This is what I suggest for your pavilions.
    Designed properly timber frames are far superior to other building methods for strength and durability. The pavilions could be designed to be a timber frame with a SIP (structural insulated panel) enclosure system which would be extremely energy efficient and very strong. Without cluttering up the email with the fine details, there are many ways to make a building like this "hurricane proof". Its not uncommon to have a timber frame home be the only one standing in a neighborhood after a destructive storm like Sandy.
   Also, I live in PA now but I grew up in Jersey and spent 25 years I'm a Jersey guy at heart, it would be great to rebuild something that Sandy took away.
    Please see my website below for photos of some of our work and for a little more explanation of what we do. 
Good Luck and thanks for your time




Suggestion #2

Received August 22, 2014


"I think the pavilion design you had was fine. I would think we could keep same design but without union labor. Should keep costs down. The amount we paid for union labor to build the comfort station in the marina was absurd. Hope it all works out and we can get these much needed buildings done."




Suggestion #1

Received August 21, 2014


"upmost priority for the 2 pavilions should be that they are constructed to withstand the wind and water of the another bad hurricane.  both pavilions should have the same basic foundation as the original plan which incorporates them both be built about 5 feet above the boardwalk level

The structures themselves sould be built to withstand the wind and water of another hurricane.

The Taylor pavilion sould not be larger, but the same size to save money.  Perhaps a more efficient architectural plan could be utilized.

Most of the money should be in the new Police Building/  This incorporates money more wisely spent if agreed upon by the police professionals themselves.

Hence, the question is, can  the above goal be achieved with the allotted money allocated"

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Feedback Suggestion #1

Message: Rebuild the pavillions ASAP. Make the Taylor bldg. 2 story and have a rooftop lookout deck for the public to view the ocean. Hold educational seminars about the ocean, birds and other topics for the community/ schools up there too. Make a bike path along Ocean Ave an link it up to Main st. Hold a local or online fundraiser to raise funds for the pavilions. Also, ask companies to sponsor sections of the pavillion. Their business would have name on plaque in the lobby and they would make onetime donation. Start the flower beds along the beach/boardwalk again, they were so beautiful. Start a Belmar scholarship program like that in Kalamazoo Michigan, where kids go to college free if they attended the public schools. Have companies donate and public too. Good luck Mayor, you have done a fabulous job since the hurricane.