By WILLIAM E. CLEARY SR
GLOUCESTER CITY NJ--Finally after decades of promises there are some positive signs happening at the former Coast Guard Base, King Street and the Delaware River, Gloucester City.
The Coast Guard Base was vacated in 1987. And several years
Each election some politician running for office would announce a grandiose plan for the site but nothing much came of those promises but more development studies.
PHOTO: FLOATING DOCKS ARRIVE.........to enlarge click.
This past week however the City installed floating docks, gangways and a loading platform on the pier. The docks will be used to tie up the City’s 65 foot sailing vessel, The North Wind, along with the Philadelphia base Flag Ship Charters. Plus this improvement will enable larger boats to safely dock at the pier.
Money to purchase the $30,000 docks came from a state improvement grant.
Earlier this month Mayor Bill James said, "The pier is one of our gems. We haven't used it, and were going to begin to use it. We're starting to take action, we're going to make things happen."
Several businesses and residents helped out with the installation donating their labor, knowledge and equipment.
Tuesday the Mayor said, “Gloucester City is fortunate to have so many civic minded businesses and people that are willing to contribute to projects such as this. On behalf of the citizens of Gloucester City I like say thank you to all of you.”
Those involved included: Lou Sarlo (photo above) and his son Lou Jr., Capt. Chuck Reed, who provided his maritime skills and leadership , John Schmidt who donated his labor, Barron Iron works, Ferry Fence and employees from the City Water Department.
Last month the Planning Board and Zoning Board approved a resolution from the Gloucester City Historic Preservation Commission for 29 new homes to be built adjacent to the old Coast Guard Pier.
The resolution passed by the City Planning Board ensures that the new development will be constructed with historic architecture features including a mixture of historic-era looking siding and bricks.
The developer will still have to come before the board to receive variances for construction. One issue that is still undecided is whether or not the new homes will be powered by solar energy.
Finally, a concrete sign of progress on the river front. Thank you to the Mayor and City Council for their courage and vision and thanks to all of the volunteers who believe in the future of this great river town. To the naysayers, I say take a walk through our beautiful park, see how clean and clear the Delaware River has become, walk the brick pathway along the river and behind the senior citizens' building and take a walk around the former Coast Guard base. It's a million dollar view looking across the Delaware to the skyscrapers in Center City. Dozens of brand new homes will soon be constructed on this site. Soon there will be an outdoor cafe along the river. Hundreds of people fill the park each evening to fish off the pier, to exercise, to watch the hundreds of boats that fill the water every night, to gaze at the sunset with their loved ones, to push their children or grandkids on the swings and playground equipment or to simply sit in the shade and chat with friends. three evenings a week there are yoga and Pilates classes right in the park! It's clean, secure and well-manicured. What are YOU waiting for?