KEYPORT WATERFRONT REVITALIZATION, NEARLY 30 YEARS IN THE MAKING
On Saturday, May 22, 2010, at 12:00 Noon, Mayor Robert Bergen and members of the Keyport Council will finally cut the ribbon on the Keyport Borough Waterfront Park and Promenade for a grand opening celebration of a project nearly thirty years in the making. The new pavilion will be set as the center stage for the festivities, which start at 12:00, noon with the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting and rededication ceremonies for the Pier and Boat Ramp. Dignitaries from the County and State as well as Public Officials from our neighboring towns will be in attendance.
In January 2007, the NJDEP Bureau of Coastal Engineering broke ground on a project to transform the shore protection and public access of the Keyport Borough Waterfront through a partnership of State, County, and Local funding. The bulkhead replacement project included 1,450 linear feet of the American Legion Drive Bulkhead from the Municipal Boat Ramp to the recreation area known as Fireman's Park. The project, while providing vital protection of the Borough's coastal bay front, provides for greatly enhanced, recreational public access to this area. The municipal fishing pier which lies west of the center of the bulkhead project was also rehabilitated through partial funding from the NJ Green Acres Program.
Last fall marked the completion of the final phase of the waterfront revitalization project. The new "Waterfront Park" is a total of four (4) acres consisting of a lawn area for passive recreation, an open air pavilion, a pedestrian plaza with a decorative clock, a variety of sitting and planting areas, reconstruction of American Legion Drive and a free public parking lot. Pedestrian circulation is encouraged throughout the site which connects Fireman's Parking Lot, W. Front St. Mini Park, Beach Park Children's Area, the Historic Steamboat Dock Museum, the Municipal Boat Ramp and the downtown dining and shopping district. The site also includes a 300 ft. Rain Garden that has been constructed as a way to divert rainwater from the new parking lot in an effort to provide an environmentally friendly process to filter it before it reaches the Raritan Bay. The area is attractively landscaped with perennial plants native to the region and cared for by the Keyport Garden Club.
With over 20 years as a Public Servant in the town of Keyport, Mayor Bergen understands the financial contribution that the waterfront revitalization will bring to the local economy. First conceived in the late 1980's, the town officials undertook the ambitious public project as an economic development venture to attract visitors, businesses and new residents. Newly constructed and outfitted with the finest amenities, the Keyport Waterfront Park and Promenade is an ideal setting for everyone to enjoy, said Mayor Bergen.
We are extremely proud of the new waterfront Park and Promenade said Councilman Joe Sheridan and I am pleased to have played such a significant role in the Borough's waterfront revitalization. We are certain the public as a whole will enjoy the new waterfront as a very unique public attraction, he continued.
May 22 is a great day for the citizens of Keyport, said Councilman Ken McPeek. We have waited so long to celebrate the opening of our newly constructed waterfront, come and enjoy the fun and educational activities, he added.
The waterfront makeover incorporates elements natural and man-made, and is designed to appeal to sophisticates and schoolchildren alike, said Councilman Steve Gross. What better way to attract new investment to our Keyport Family.
The Art Society of Keyport (ASK), a newly formed non-profit started by Councilwoman Susie Sefcik along with many local artists will unveil one of five mosaic art bins created to promote the borough's recycling program. They hope to complete the installation of five by mid summer. We hope the project will enhance community pride and support tourism and economic development, said Councilwoman Sefcik.
The festivities include free children's activities and a pancake-eating contest hosted by Keyport IHOP. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair to relax and enjoy live entertainment by Keyport's own American Celts Pipe & Drum Band, Fusion Core Drum & Bugle Band, the Rhythm Doctors and Brookdale Big Band. Fire Chief Jim McTiernan and the KFD boat will lead the Keyport Yacht Club in the parade of sails and Captain John will host a cruise at 2:00 PM and again at 4:00 PM at no charge to the general public. There will be a Taste of Keyport boasting scrumptious sampling from our local restaurants. Some of the participating restaurants include the Bulkhead Bar & Grill, Drew's Bayshore Bistro, Gourmet Pizza City, Johnny Tomatoes, Keyport Fishery, Lenora's Cafe McDonagh's Pub, Seaport Diner, and Trinity.
"We have all been looking forward to the much needed renovation to our waterfront and this Ribbon Cutting signifies the townÕs commitment to something we can all be proud of for generations to come. Finally, everyone will be able to enjoy the beautiful views KeyportÕs Waterfront has to offer," said Councilwoman Christian Bolte. "This truly is a time to celebrate."
For more information, visit www.keyportonline.com or call 732-739-5138.