As the autumn months wind down, I am happy to report that each of our fall festivals was a tremendous success – and I am grateful to every person who helped make those events so memorable.
You may be aware that the City is considering a County proposal to reconfigure the parking spaces along JFK Boulevard, changing them to “back-in” angled parking. This would be part of the County’s future project to reconstruct JFK Boulevard from the bridge to Landis Avenue (currently anticipated to start in fall 2012). To determine if this will meet our community’s needs, in the late fall/winter months the County will re-stripe the parking spaces in front of the Public Safety Building in order for this type of parking to be tested by the public, which will give us time to gather your feedback. Please keep in mind that we realize some residents have concerns about this issue, however no decisions will be finalized until we consider the public’s opinion – so let us know what you think after you give it a try.
At the October 12 City Council meeting, I announced we would be receiving a $5 million reimbursement in November from the State of New Jersey for our south end beach-fill project. I’m pleased to let everyone know that we received the payment on November 1st. Through the efforts of the administration and City Council, in conjunction with our partnership with the State Bureau of Coastal Engineering, we received reimbursement for the expanded beach-fill project, which will greatly enhance the storm protection capabilities (as well as provide increased recreational value) to our most precious natural resource.
CITY COUNCIL MESSAGE:
In conjunction with the administration, Council has been working on our City’s capital plan, which covers the next five years. We will continue making infrastructure improvements, including the next phase of our Beach to Bay corridor project, which will be completed in time for the 2011 summer season. We also will soon be discussing the scheduling of our 2011 City Council meetings; those dates will be made public in the near future.
City Council members are looking for your feedback regarding our morning and evening council meetings – to determine if holding only morning meetings is sufficient – so please let us know your thoughts! As a reminder, our next City Council meeting will take place during the evening on Tuesday, November 9, 6:00 p.m., inside Council Chambers on the second floor of the Public Safety Building, 233 JFK Boulevard.
We are currently in the process of forming a “Fishing Pier Committee,” which will look at our public bulkheads and other areas where public fishing piers might be added. Realizing that we now have several public bulkheads along the bay that could be utilized for family fishing, our goal is to one day add piers to those locations if appropriate. This concept emerged during one of our Capital Plan Workshops. We encourage anyone with new ideas to attend our next workshop on December 14 or contact any member of City Council. You can find our email addresses on the City’s website, www.seaislecitynj.us .
UPDATES ON CITY PROJECTS:
CAPITAL PLAN WORKSHOP: The City is in the process of capital plan development. On October 26, a very productive public workshop with City Council was held to review the administration’s draft of the five year capital plan. Based on the feedback received at that meeting, the plan will be revised for public discussion and review at the next scheduled workshop on December 14, at which time council will be presented with a resolution to adopt the Capital Plan for 2011-2015.
80TH STREET WATER TOWER PROJECT: Major renovations began on September 13 at the 80th Street Water Tower, which was built in the mid-1960s. Allied Painting of Cherry Hill has been contracted to tackle this huge effort, which will ensure that the tower will serve our City’s ongoing needs. The project will include rehabilitating the interior and exterior of the tank (namely spot-welding where needed, sand-blasting and re-painting) and also making structural improvements, such as adding a new catwalk that will meet current OSHA standards. Look for scaffolding to go up around the tower in the near future, which will then be covered with a giant shroud to protect the local environment as work continues. This important project, which has a cost of $688,751, is expected to be completed in December.
MARINA BUILDING CONSTRUCTION: Work on our new Marina Services Building is expected to commence later this month and be completed by April, 2011. The new building will have space and storage for all of our marina maintenance efforts, as well as public restrooms. There will also be separate restrooms and showers for those who rent our municipal boat slips.
SOUTH END DUNE FENCING: Following our successful beach replenishment project earlier this year, the City has hired Turfscapes of Williamstown, NJ, to install new dune fencing and plant dune grass from 73rd to 94th Street, which will help maintain the structural integrity of our dune system. The cost to complete this project is $87, 366.
32nd STREET RAMP & 85th STREET BATHROOMS: Renovations have begun at the 85th Street public bathrooms, where work will be completed in time for the 2011 summer season. Also, the access ramp to the Promenade at 32nd Street will soon be renovated and made more pedestrian-friendly. Both of these projects are being performed by in-house forces.
PERMITS: The City is in the process of applying for permits to dredge our City’s lagoons. Permits must be acquired from the Army Corps of Engineers and the State Department of Environmental Protection before such a project can begin. The objective is to perform a dredging project in 2011.
T.I. BRIDGE: For the past several weeks, the Townsend Inlet Bridge connecting Sea Isle City and Avalon has been closed for painting and general maintenance. According to the Cape May County Bridge Commission, the bridge will remain closed to vehicular traffic until at least November 12. For updates, visit www.followthegull.org.