Less than two weeks after the city hired an engineering firm to begin the process of reconstructing the storm-battered boardwalk, city officials announced that a series of public meetings will be held in order to gather community input on how residents would like to see the iconic structure rebuilt.
The city and Sustainable Long Island, a non-profit organization that promotes economic development, environmental health, and social equity, have teamed up to launch a “Boardwalk Redevelopment Focus Group,” an initiative that includes a series of meetings that will be held throughout Long Beach over the next two weeks, where residents are encouraged to attend and offer input.
Additionally, the City Council, under its broader Long Beach Listens initiative, has launched an online survey on its website that “is being administered to identify what values are important to residents and business owners for consideration in developing the boardwalk destroyed during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.”
“We’re doing a much more comprehensive and in-depth public engagement process than people had expected,” said City Manager Jack Schnirman.
The survey, for example, asks residents to determine the level of important “issues and values” affecting the boardwalk, ranging from environmental, economic, aesthetic and recreational issues.
The first meeting was held on Wednesday, which focused on residents living between the east side of Grand Boulevard and the west side of Long Beach Road.
A final meeting scheduled for Feb. 20, a city-wide focus group meeting that will take place at City Hall, where a presentation of the findings from the online surveys and all previous focus groups will be given.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Schnirman said that removal of the boardwalk is nearly complete. “These focus groups are open to all members of our community,” Schnirman said. “Residents are encouraged to attend and provide input on what is most important during the rebirth and rejuvenation of our legendary boardwalk.”