Two New Jersey shore towns affected by a massive fire that destroyed parts of their boardwalks and dozens of businesses last month have jointly hired a contractor to do demolition and cleanup work.
Seaside Park and Seaside Heights officials agreed this week to hire South Toms River-based Eagle Paving Corp. The company will receive roughly $4.7 million for the work, which should get started sometime next week and take up to 60 days to complete.
Eagle Paving Corp. is operated by William Majors, owner of Funtown Pier, which was mostly destroyed in Superstorm Sandy, the Asbury Park Press reports. The massive fire destroyed the remainder of the pier.
Due to the emergency nature of the cleanup, state officials allowed the towns to skip a closed bidding process and instead allowed them to seek quotes.
Two of the four interested firms proposed a lower cost than Eagle Paving, but officials felt the bids were too low for the job to be done well.
The work will not impact the municipal budgets of the municipalities.
Bob Martucci, Seaside Park administrator, tells the Asbury Park Press that Seaside Park and Seaside Heights received $2.5 million from the state’s Economic Development Authority’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery fund.
The state’s Economic Development Authority has set aside $15 million from programs offered to help in the recovery from Superstorm Sandy to assist the fire-impacted business owners. The money will not affect the funding earmarked for residents recovering from the superstorm.
The fire has been blamed on the failure of electrical wiring impacted by Superstorm Sandy floodwaters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.