MARGATE — After about a year of research, the committee looking to have a boardwalk rebuilt along the beachfront will present its findings Saturday.
The Margate Boardwalk Committee will present “A Margate Boardwalk for the 21st Century” at 10:30 a.m. at the Ross School on Granville Avenue. Doors open at 10:15 a.m.
According to committee President Glenn Klotz, the meeting will provide an opportunity to learn more about the proposed 8,500-foot boardwalk project, as well as a cost/benefit analysis.
“We went out and we spoke to a lot of people. We spoke to contractors, we talked to criminologists, finance people, municipal experts, we spoke to a lot of construction companies,” Klotz said.
And from that research, the group developed a 26-page report.
“It endlessly generates interesting information. We’re proud of the work we did, and we want the community to take us seriously,” Klotz said. “It might have been a theoretical, unicorn idea years ago, but now it isn’t.”
Klotz said the idea sprang last year from a conversation with Downbeach Buzz blog author Mel Taylor when discussing ways to improve the beach block after the federal and state replenishment project there.
“At the time it was just an answer to a question from Mel Taylor, and it was theoretical. I was kind of being half serious, and then I kind of sold myself on my own idea,” Klotz said.
He said he spoke with the city commissioners, who asked him to do more research, and in July of last year developed the committee, which is a registered nonprofit.
“We found out a lot of interesting things” about the history of boardwalks on Absecon Island, Klotz said. “Boardwalks are what we do in Absecon Island. We’re just trying to rebuild that system.”
He said maybe Longport would want to follow suit and an islandwide system will be built.
“It could happen in our lifetime,” Klotz said.
Margate’s boardwalk, built in 1906, was largely destroyed in 1944 during a hurricane. What remained of the boardwalk was swept away in the Ash Wednesday storm of 1962.
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Klotz said that during the meeting, a petition will be circulated asking for a referendum on a beachfront boardwalk and to poll second homeowners to get a sense of the desire for the project.
“We believe only a mandate from all of the owners and voters in this situation is appropriate,” he said.
To learn more about the Margate boardwalk project, visit themargateboardwalk.com or the Friends of the Margate Boardwalk group on Facebook.