STONE HARBOR - The borough is hoping to win funding from the county’s Open Space Review Board to fund construction of a Sept. 11 memorial.
“We think it’s important for everybody to remember what happened that day,” Mayor Suzanne Walters said Wednesday.
Last May, a piece of the World Trade Center steel was brought to town and unveiled by Bill Baroni, deputy executive of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
At the time, Baroni said, “It was our home. It was your home. It was the place from which 3,000 people didn’t go home.”
He also stressed the need for remembrance.
“We are passionately committed to making sure what we lost on Sept. 11 -- the people who never got to come home, the people who never got to come to the shore for the summer, the people who never got to coach another Little League game or serve on a police department, fire department or rescue squad -- will be remembered,” he told the audience that day.
Today, the steel sits in Borough Hall waiting for a permanent home at a proposed memorial site on a piece of land owned by the borough at the end of 2nd Avenue at the southern end of town.
Walters said the borough formed a committee last year and came up with a tranquil memorial park set among the borough’s wetlands. The park, named the Point of Peace, was designed by Scott Taylor of Taylor Design Group.
The park would highlight the steel girder taken from the World Trade Center and feature a globe noting the locations where the four planes went down in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pa. and would be lighted at night.
Borough Administrator Jill Gougher said the project, including the park and bathroom facilities is estimated to cost $502,000.
Walters said the borough initially suffered sticker shock when it learned the cost, which covers everything from landscaping to the additional restrooms, and opted to approach the open space board.
She said the borough has long paid into the open space fund as do the county’s other municipalities, but it has never before applied for any funds.
Leslie Gimeno, planning director for Cape May County said Thursday that the county’s open space program began in 1989 and since that time it has preserved 3,135 acres of farmland at a cost of $32 million and 1,190 acres of open space for $25 million.
The program collects about $4.9 million annually from county taxpayers.
Gougher said the borough expects to submit its application to the review board next week after Tuesday’s regular council meeting.
Then, if the application is approved this spring, the park could be built and dedicated possibly by Sept. 11 of this year, Walters said.
The location is a busy one in the summer and Walters said she would like work to get started as soon as possible.