FENWICK ISLAND – Officials with the Town of Fenwick Island have given the Public Works Department approval to build beach and park structures from leftover materials.
In a town council meeting last week, councilmembers unanimously agreed to a proposal from the Public Works Department, which requested $3,000 to construct two lifeguard stands and one bike rack from recycled lumber.
Public Works Supervisor Bryan Reed said last year’s attempt to build and utilize a lifeguard stand from the same material was deemed successful and cost effective, but he requested the council’s opinion and approval to construct two more, in addition to a bike rack.
Reed said the department will address and fix noticeable design and safety issues from last year’s stand, but added that lifeguards like the recycled structures.
“They had some concerns, but it was our first year doing it,” he said. “We see some things that we can change and make it better.”
Tim Ferry, captain with the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol, said water, rain and dew made the recycled lumber slippery, but said industrial strength tracking strips placed along the decking and railing fixed those issues.
“Hopefully in the long run it will be cost effective for the town,” he said. “I know that it is kind of expensive, but I wouldn’t do too much right now. I think we agreed that two would give us a good indicator for the next couple of years.”
In a separate conversation, Reed said the lifeguard stand that was built last year from recycled lumber was part of a test run to determine the effectiveness of the material in coastal conditions and added that issues found from that structure will be addressed in the new construction.
“The one stand has held up well,” he said. “It was our first year and we took the same design as the other wood stands. We found it is a little more flexible, especially under the duress of sunlight. But overall it did very well.”
Reed said the pre-painted lumber will be purchased from a stockpile in Pennsylvania, where last year’s materials were also bought. He said the cost of the salt-treated wood used in all other stands along the beach was cheaper, but he added that the time to assemble and maintain the recycled stands made it a cost effective alternative.
“The council is very interested in looking at things that are environmentally green,” Reed said. “They are interested in seeing how long they would last on the beach.”
The two stands will be added to busier portions of the beach, and the bike rack will be placed in the Fenwick Island Community Park, adjacent to the town’s business office.
Councilman Gardner Bunting made a motion to approve the construction and price of two lifeguard stands and additional bike rack, as long as the cost did not exceed $3,000. The motion was approved.