Vandalism at the $400,000 Freedom Pier in Gloucester City has become a persistent problem. The pier, located at the former Coast Guard Base, King Streeet and the Delaware River, was opened with much fanfare in September 2011. Second Ward Councilman Nick Marchese issued the following statement today urging the public to help with policing the site.
cnbnews photo: A section of Freedom Pier
"Since Freedom Pier opened to the public in September of last year, many people have enjoyed visiting this parcel of land overlooking the Delaware River that no
one has ever been allowed to visit in past years. One of the negatives has been the numerous problems with lights, trash receptacles, and other improvements around the perimeter of the pier being vandalized. The city has made great strides improving this riverfront area. We have spent countless hours working on designing, obtaining approvals, and meeting with developers and professionals to make this project a reality. While this administration continues trying to bring new business into town such as Ott’s Restaurant to be built on Freedom Pier, these issues make that process tougher and tougher.
"The city has been fixing the damages as they occur, installed video cameras, increased police patrols and had private guard’s making evening surveillances. Even with these actions taken place, I visited the pier this past weekend only to find more and more damages occurring. It makes me sick to think this vandalism is most likely being done by people who live in Gloucester. How can we improve our social and financial condition within the city limits when this situation is continuing to hinder this process?
"I ask our citizens to please keep a watch out and report any suspicious activity taking place anywhere in Gloucester to our Police Department. The Police do a great job protecting us and our properties, but can only do so much. They could use our help keeping our community safe and a better place to live, work, and enjoy the improved areas that are being created for us, and future generations. Eventually these vandals will be caught, held accountable and prosecuted for the past and present damages. I also ask the parents in Gloucester City to advise their children to be aware that these actions will take place to deter further vandalism throughout our fine city.
"Thank everyone for your help with this matter."