By Liz Sheehan |
SANDY HOOK – Is there a marina in Fort Hancock’s future?
David Hoder, a civil engineer based in Fair Haven, presented that possibility at a meeting of the Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee last month.
Hoder, a member of the Sandy Hook Foundation, a nonprofit group that supports programs and projects at Sandy Hook, said he had done marine harbor and marine planning work and had been asked by the committee “what it takes to create a mooring field” at the site in Sandy Hook Bay. He was not making a proposal as a business matter.
“This is just in the talking stage,” Holder said Tuesday.
He told the committee the project would need approvals from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as environmental studies of the area chosen. Hoder discussed depth measurements in the bay and underwater conditions that might limit placement of moorings.
Although he did not suggest any specific spot for the facility, Hoder said any site would need to be in a place near parking and rest rooms.
The Fort Hancock 21st Advisory Committee was formed in 2012 to make plans for the fort’s future, after a 60-year lease issued by the park service in 1999 to James Wassel was terminated. Wassel, a Rumson developer, was to renovate and commercially developed more than 36 buildings at the historic fort, but was unable to prove he had the financial ability to fulfill the lease.
Last year the park service leased the first of the buildings at the fort and at the February meeting the committee announced there were now letters of intent issued for leasing of eight of the fort’s buildings.
One of the buildings, a former bachelor officers’ quarters, is under consideration for leasing by the nonprofit Affordable Housing Alliance advocacy group, to be used for several one-bedroom affordable apartments.
Leases for five of the buildings, formerly used by the U.S. Army as a gas station, mule barn, bakery and sergeants’ and officers’ quarters, are being discussed with Joseph Kachinsky Jr., a construction official in Middletown and Rudolph Wobito.
The Monmouth County Vocational School District has met with park service officials concerning a former mess hall and barracks. The school district operates the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) at Fort Hancock.
This article was first published in the March 23-30, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
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