SPRING LAKE — The Spring Lake Borough Council heard a presentation on plans for improvements to the area surrounding Lake Como, including adding additional pathways and plants, pending the award of an Open Space Grant from Monmouth County.
The plan, which has previously been denied three times by the county due to lack of available funds, calls for $500,000 worth of improvements: $250,000 covered by the grant and $250,000 matched by the borough.
The improvements, which have already preemptively begun with the removal of non-native plants and bushes along the Spring Lake side of the lake, include: restoring the lake’s shoreline with native plants; stabilizing the lake’s banks; adding a paved walkway and jogging trail; adding benches; repairing the wall; improving drainage outfall; and adding plant islands.
The plan was presented at Tuesday night’s meeting by Matt Moran, of borough engineer Peter Avakian’s office.
“This time we really had a great opportunity to tell [the county] what we’re doing,” he said over the speakerphone at the meeting, which was held both in-person and remotely.
One of the main goals of the project is to connect Wreck pond at the southern tip of the borough with the boardwalk and beachfront all the way north to Lake Como and then west to Marucci Park. In all, it would be about 2.66 miles of uninterrupted pathways for walks and joggers.
“The main part of the entire focus is to get a walking path from Marucci Park to the beach,” Mr. Moran said.
The proposed eight-foot-wide, 3,2000 feet long walking path would cost an estimated $260,000 of the project’s $500,000 budget, according to the concept plan, and will be made of flexiplate.
“It’s a straight shot, a really good walking path for someone who wants to walk or just get out in nature. That’s really the key to our whole application is that walking path and restoring the shoreline too and the wall [along the lake] the best we can,” Mr. Moran said.
The plan also calls for native plants to be planted along the shoreline, which Mr. Moran should mitigate problems of geese landing on people’s lawns and making a mess. The local plants proposed include soft rush, blue flag iris, duck potatoes and pickle weeds. Other proposals in the plan include tearing down some existing trees as well as planting new ones.
Mr. Moran said that since the borough has previously applied for the grant and already has a concept plan drafted, that Spring Lake is “much further ahead” than other municipalities applying for similar grants.
He said that Lake Como is also applying for an open space grant for its side of the lake, and hopefully “one big walking path” will surround the entirety of the lake, similar to the path around the lake in Diving Park.
The borough will learn if it has received the grant by February of 2021, Mr. Moran said, and if accepted, can beginning working on it by fall of 2021 to be completed in February of 2022 and ready for the 2022 summer season.
The next borough council meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at borough hall, 423 Warren Ave., as well as remotely via Google Meet.
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