Raven SantanaAug 10, 2017, 10:48 pmAug 11, 2017, 8:16 am

Years after Sandy, Belmar mayor says area is thriving with redevelopments

Mayor Doherty shares how far the Jersey Shore town has come

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The borough of Belmar is known for its beaches, bustling downtown, and beautiful marina where Mayor Matt Doherty explained how the area has fared since Superstorm Sandy.

“We've been very aggressive in our economic development. We've had a more private investment in Belmar in the last seven years than the previous 20,” Mayor Doherty said.

Nearly five years after Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the shore town, displacing 1,300 residents at one point, he says the borough has had one of the most successful rebuilding projects along the Jersey Shore after the storm.

“Before Superstorm Sandy we had 143 businesses in town, now we have more than 160. So not only have we maintained and brought more business here, we've increased business,” Doherty said.

He says instead of increasing property taxes, the borough looked for other solutions to generate revue, like allowing a private investor to rebuild in town.

Despite all the improvements, Mayor Doherty pointed out that there is still work to be done to help everyone in the community.

“Our biggest challenge is affordability of housing. For example, we have many seniors that lived here for decades. While they can cash out of the house there’s no real place in town for them to move and their getting displaced in other communities when they want to stay in Belmar,” he said.

The mayor says he plans on finding contractors that can come in and build affordable housing like apartments or condos that seniors can afford so they can still stay in the town they love.

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