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Rescue of Historic Life Saving Station on Solid Foundation

The Ocean City landmark now rests on a new foundation as work to create a maritime museum continues.

U.S. Life Saving Station 30 at Fourth Street and Atlantic Avenue in Ocean City was elevated earlier in fall 2013.
U.S. Life Saving Station 30 at Fourth Street and Atlantic Avenue in Ocean City was elevated earlier in fall 2013.

Restoration work on the U.S. Life Saving Station 30 at Fourth Street and Atlantic Avenue is proceeding, and the historic building is now resting on a strengthened foundation 8 inches higher than its predecessor.

The entire structure had been elevated to allow the foundation work, and the completion of that phase marks a milestone in the development of a maritime museum that will re-create the era between 1885 and 1915 when the men of Station 30 rescued ships and sailors in distress and provided shelter and medical assistance on a what was then a remote coastline.

There's some possibility that restoration work could be complete by summer 2014, but because of strict guidelines governing work on historic structures, it's hard to predict, according to John Loeper, chairman of the nonprofit U.S. Life Saving Station 30.

Loeper said the group already is collecting artifacts for the museum, and on Wednesday received a Lyle gun in pristine condition. Lyle guns were used to fire rescue lines over the surf and onto ships foundering offshore.

The working cannon could be used to put on demonstrations for Ocean City visitors who would be able to witness a mock rescue, Loeper has said.

The U.S. Life Saving Service was a precursor to the modern Coast Guard.

Though the station sits two long blocks and a quarter-mile from the beach, it has never moved. In its day, the station was on the beach. The same storms in the early 1900s that eroded 10 blocks of Longport deposited sand on the north end of Ocean City, according to Loeper.

The city bonded for nearly $1 million to purchase the property in 2010 and end a decade-long battle to save the station from demolition.

The city has also funded $750,000 to match New Jersey Historic Trust Grant for the restoration of the building. The nonprofit group has promised to reimburse the city for the full cost of the restoration and developing the museum.

Restoration work includes the foundation work and replacement of the roof, windows and porch of the historic building.

OCnjOC December 06, 2013 at 09:02 PM
The whole thing is being coordinated by the attorney who tried running for surrogate. These attorneys are bloodsuckers who cannot find legitimate work so they come up with these schemes. They try to say that honoring dead people we never met is more important than taking care of the people who are here now. They are like funeral directors who try to shame people into spending more.
Eric Sauder December 07, 2013 at 11:01 AM
What is even more offensive to me is using tax payer money to fund someone's private business. Word is the votes are there for the Palen Avenue project. Oh sure its just a loan. So is the money that was spent on the life savings station. There's no question they're going to do it. As always they're counting on the fact that no one will hold them accountable for what they do. Did your representative ask you? No? Then who ARE they representing? Where is this going to stop? If no one wants to invest their own money in this project tear the building down and let it revert to open space, Place a lien on the property for the cost of demolition and wait for a motivated investor to step up and do it on his own. Its a lie to say nothing will happen there unless taxpayer money is used to do it.
Eric Sauder December 07, 2013 at 11:11 AM
Lets be clear abut this. What your government is doing is using your money to float a loan to a favored son. Once they get you to believe that the only other option is to let that property sit and deteriorate they got you. I remember sitting in on a council meeting some time ago (I forget now what it was about) when council members openly discussed how they could "sell" an initiative to the public. There's your selling point for Palen Avenue.
Eric Sauder December 07, 2013 at 11:24 AM
The next step is to confuse the issue. All kinds of people are going to come forward to testify to how great it would be to have a marina and restaurant at that site. They're going to talk abut how its a blight on the neighborhood. But no one is going to talk about HOW its being done or the residential portion the taxpayers are also financing. You saw something similar with retaining walls. The issue is whether or not we should be using fill to elevate, necessitating retaining walls, and not how high those retaining walls should be. Me? I've taken to pacing around at the back of the room. Not a good thing I know.
Eric Sauder December 07, 2013 at 11:31 AM
What a shame (don't you think?) that the only way that Ocean City can attract commercial investment is thru using taxpayer money.
Frank December 07, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Eric, If you think you have all the answers then why dont you run for City Council or Mayor?
Eric Sauder December 07, 2013 at 11:43 AM
Someone has to Frank. If no one does this will only continue.
Frank December 07, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Eric - again you are fighting a losing battle - you need to accept the things you can not and will not change. Have you thought about moving to another town? I have lived in several and while each have their own quirks local politics remains the same....
Eric Sauder December 07, 2013 at 11:49 AM
You might be right but I never was exposed to it like this before. And no, I'm not going to accept it. The fact that it is accepted is why it exists.
Frank December 07, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Eric - If you want to initiate change you should try to earn respect and choose your battles. You criticize "everything" which simply negates every comment you make. This is unfortunate because I do think you are very intelligent. I really don't know what else to say except most of your comments are falling on deaf ears. If you think the powers at be are listening - you are sadly mistaken. Your continuous crusade is merely an exercise in futility.
Frank December 07, 2013 at 11:57 AM
Honestly Eric since The Patch changed the format most people dont even read the comments. I just look occasionally out of curiosity.
Eric Sauder December 07, 2013 at 01:09 PM
Well Frank I think someone else is posting on this site as much as I am. And I'm not addressing the powers that be but the citizens of this town. I learned a long time ago that appealing to them is like spitting in the wind. I suspect this was a done deal long before the public got wind of it (as was the 2nd Street Marina.) My hope is that the citizens of this town will step up and take back control of municipal government. That hasn't happened either, but I'm not going to accept government of, by, and for special interest.
Mr. B December 07, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Eric, what is your problem with the City getting involved with Palen Ave. Project? This happens in every City, Every State and in Fed. Govt. It is a was to encourage develpment, which builds a stronger tax base which increases income and provides for better services.
Eric Sauder December 07, 2013 at 05:46 PM
As I said before we need to keep government out of business and business out of government. Here they seem to be one in the same.
Frank December 07, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Eric - This my friend is the American way! You act as if this is unique to Ocean City. This is a resort town that relies on tourism in order to generate income. Of course the government is involved with commercial interests...it makes sense. You might find this offensive but you are amongst a very small crowd.
Eric Sauder December 07, 2013 at 10:43 PM
So if I secure a loan for you for a $mill or two to invest in your business what is that worth to you? If my good friend and erstwhile business partner buys a distressed commercial property and I can get it rezoned to residential, and tweak the zoning further to maximize what you can build and sell, what is that worth?
Eric Sauder December 07, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Public money should be used for public, and not private investment. As a taxpayer I don't want to invest in someone's private for profit venture. And I shouldn't be forced to.
Matthew December 08, 2013 at 10:47 AM
Eric you want it all. Cuts in department spending avoid tax diollars to create revenue. New roads new this new that. How do we pay for all of this without spending some said tax dollars? Also you did not answer the question why do you run for some type of office?
Eric Sauder December 08, 2013 at 11:10 AM
The argument that financing this project will create tax revenue is a false one. That property is generating tax revenue now. Whether or not those taxes are being paid they still accrue. Most of the value is in the land. Improvement could increase the assessment somewhat. But that's not the issue. The issue is whether public funds should be invested in private for profit business. Yes responsible spending is a requisite since there's only so much money in the pot, and we need to find the money to address our infrastructure needs. The money that should have been spent on maintain our infrastructure was spent elsewhere, and Ocean City is showing the strain from it. Now we have to borrow money for infrastructure. That's like using a credit card to buy groceries. I want responsible government and a government that serves the needs of the community. Is that too much to ask?
Eric Sauder December 08, 2013 at 11:21 AM
I would be happy to back another candidate if independent who runs on a platform that will bring positive and much needed change to Ocean City. I backed Councilman Guinosso out of the 4th Ward. I don't always agree with him but I do know he cares about the people of this town and is sincere. I stated some time ago if no such candidate surfaces I might run if only to cast a meaningful vote in the upcoming election.
Eric Sauder December 08, 2013 at 11:25 AM
The last ward election "single family" was the buzzword. That led to Coastal Cottage. Come one people. Who are you fooling?
Eric Sauder December 08, 2013 at 11:26 AM
I don't think we can borrow enough money to meet our infrastructure needs. We need to maintain it as we go.
Eric Sauder December 08, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Employee costs are far and away the biggest chunk of the budget and yes we need to get them under control. The insiders are living high off the hog on Ocean City. I heard somewhere that appx 70% of the public employees of this town don't even live in Ocean City. Neither do most of the developers. OC is just a cash cow to them.
Eric Sauder December 08, 2013 at 11:38 AM
When the citizens of this town are ready for change it will come.
Frank December 08, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Matthew - Eric does not hear what you are saying. He simply chooses to deflect back to his opinions. I assure his opinions are only shared by a small group.
Frank December 08, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Eric - You are delusional if you believe the majority of citizens agree with your crusade.
Eric Sauder December 08, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Anyone else want to weigh in as to why our streets are in such terrible shape?
Frank December 08, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Eric - I am not interested in anyones "uninformed" opinions.
Frank December 08, 2013 at 12:59 PM
The streets (and our infrastructure) are in terrible shape due to decades of neglect from previous administrations...end of story!
Frank December 08, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Eric - I am sure you will spin this into one of your conspiracy theories. Perhaps you should run for office...you certainly "deflect" and "spin" topics like a politician.

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