As shore communities struggle to get back on their feet in time for Memorial Day, the delay in Sandy relief funds from the Federal Government could hamper those efforts…thereby putting a crimp in the economy of those communities, not to mention the pleasure so many of us have derived from just being on the boardwalks.

Work is scheduled to start later this month on rebuilding the Seaside Heights boardwalk destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

And Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers said it will begin despite Congress’ failure to vote on a $60.4 billion federal aid package created to help storm ravaged towns in New Jersey and New York.

And for most Shore mayors facing a long recovery, the aid package suddenly pulled by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is little more than a psychological blow.
"We’re going to continue moving forward because we’re on a timetable," said Akers. "There’s only one summer next year and we have to be ready for it."

In Belmar, where construction of a new boardwalk is to begin next week, Mayor Matthew Doherty said the longer the town goes without federal reimbursement, the more it will have to pay in interest rates on the loan it took out for the work.
"The further out it goes, the more expensive it is to carry out that debt," he said.

Brick Township Mayor Stephen Acropolis said critical decisions about rebuilding homes or replenishing beaches won’t be affected by the delay. But it’s the emotional toll that is most costly, he said.

"Psychologically, it’s not a good thing. People have had enough. It’s one more thing to pile on people that have already been bashed around enough," Acropolis said.

Seeing the pictures of devastation left in the wake of Sandy was emotional enough.

Now imagine a summer without being able to stroll along your favorite boardwalk…especially the one that may hold special memories for you.

Which boardwalk would it hurt the most not to be able to visit come summer?

For me, it would probably be Ocean Grove, especially being able to take that long walk from Main Ave. though the canopy with the mural of Tilly on the side as you enter Asbury Park.

Strolling along that stretch on a nice summer Sunday, which while doing nothing in particular, has special meaning for me nonetheless.

Which would it be for you…and what do you remember most about that boardwalk?