Sea Isle City, NJ Newsletter March 2012

From the City of Sea Isle City March 8, 2012

 

MAYOR’S MESSAGE:

The past two weeks have been very eventful here in Sea Isle City, and I have a lot of good news to share. First, I am thrilled to announce that FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) has informed us that our town has finally achieved eligibility to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System (CRS), which will result in Sea Isle’s property-owners receiving discounts of approximately 10% on their flood insurance premiums. That means that an estimated $400,000 will be saved collectively across town. It has taken many years to achieve this worthwhile goal, however Sea Isle City has come a long way and has made tremendous strides to get into this program. I am very grateful to all of the homeowners, who have cooperated and made the necessary improvements to their properties that helped us become eligible for the CRS program. And, I am also thankful to Sea Isle’s Construction Official, Neil Byrne, for his ongoing efforts. This is a very exciting time for Sea Isle City, and big news for everyone who owns a home in our community!

It’s interesting to point-out that our new FEMA rating was announced very close to the 50th Anniversary of the infamous March Storm of 1962, which was a dark hour in our town’s history. During that storm, Sea Isle’s boardwalk washed-out to sea, many homes and businesses were turned to rubble and flood-waters covered much of our island.

To commemorate the storm’s 50th Anniversary, the Sea Isle City Historical Society has created temporary exhibits featuring photographs, artifacts and videos that clearly depict the storm’s impact on Sea Isle City. They also have scheduled special panel discussions with residents who were carried to safety on the mainland in military helicopters during the storm. Also, on Saturday, March 10, a Coast Guard helicopter demonstration will re-create the feeling of the emergency evacuations that took place fifty years ago. I want to encourage everyone to stop-by the Historical Society’s museum, located on the first level of Sea Isle’s new library at 48th and Central, and learn about the storm of ’62 – and how Sea Isle City came together to rebuild in the years that followed.

In other news, our city’s current construction projects are progressing very nicely. Phase 2 of our Beach-to-Bay project has already resulted in beautiful improvements that make our downtown beach-front area better than ever. Plus, sewer and road reconstruction work has begun along Central Avenue, from 49th to 69th Street, which will continue until the summer season arrives and then recommence in the fall. Also, work is wrapping-up on our beach replenishment project, which has pumped huge quantities of sand onto our shoreline. When you also consider that Sea Isle’s 2012 Budget was recently passed with a 0% tax-rate increase, you can see that we have carefully planned for all of our public improvements in a manner that prepares us for the future while using your tax dollars wisely.

In closing, I would like to invite everyone to attend Sea Isle’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 17, at 3:30 p.m., along Landis Avenue, 93rd to 63rd Street. It will be a very festive event that your entire family will enjoy, so put on your favorite green sweater and join the fun on Saint Patty’s Day – because everyone is Irish on March 17!

Smile…You’re in Sea Isle!


Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio


CITY COUNCIL MESSAGE:

On February 28, during our last council meeting, we unanimously approved Sea Isle’s 2012 Operating Budget, which reflects no tax-rate increase. This is the third year in a row that Sea Isle City has maintained the same tax rate. Also, our 2012 budget was among the first in the state of New Jersey to be adopted this year.

At our next council meeting on Tuesday, March 13, at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, we will have a second reading, public hearing and final adoption on ordinance # 1514, which regulates the outdoor sale of alcohol after 11:00 p.m.

City Council would like to congratulate Sea Isle City Historical Society President Mike Stafford and his team of volunteers for successfully commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Storm of 1962. On Tuesday, hundreds of people attended an interesting Panel Discussion, which featured local residents who shared their stories of the storm. Next, on Saturday, March 10, the Historical Society will host a second Panel Discussion with new speakers, which will be followed by a Coast Guard helicopter demonstration over the wetlands directly behind the library and museum on Central Avenue. The helicopter demonstration will honor the emergency evacuations that took place in 1962, when many of Sea Isle’s residents were air-lifted to safety on the mainland. The demonstration promises to be an exciting event that everyone will enjoy. More details about the 50th Anniversary Commemoration can be found below.

Best Regards from the Members of City Council


PROJECT UPDATES:

Please Note: As we head toward the summer, the push is on to complete projects in advance of our busy tourist season. Our objective continues to be to maintain and improve Sea Isle’s public assets and infrastructure in order to provide our residents and visitors with the best quality of life, and fulfill the City’s vision of Sea Isle as a premier destination resort, while maintaining a small town, community atmosphere.

North End and Downtown Beach Replenishment Program – The project included the placement of sand at several areas of the beach on the entire island, including portions of Strathmere and Sea Isle City. Sea Isle’s project area is from 1st to 15th and 30th to 52nd Streets. The contractor, Weeks Marine, has completed beach-fill placement and has removed the dredge from Corson’s Inlet. Dune fence installation and dune grass planting is 90% complete, and is expected to be totally completed within the next week.

With the project substantially completed, the City will be coordinating with representatives of FEMA to obtain reimbursement of 75% of the eligible costs of the project. The beach-fill and dune reconstruction from 1st to 15th and 40th to 52nd Street was previously determined to be eligible for FEMA reimbursement, based on the damages that had occurred in a November 2009 storm event, which was a federally declared disaster. The beach from 30th to 40th Street, while not eligible for FEMA funding, was 75% funded by the State of New Jersey, as the City was successful in its efforts to obtain available funds from the state’s dedicated shore protection funding source.

Please see photos below of Sea Isle’s beach replenishment efforts and new dune fencing…

 

Phase 2 of Excursion Park, Beach to Bay Corridor – This project involves streetscape improvements to the public corridor along JFK Boulevard from the Promenade to Landis Avenue, and widening of the sidewalks along each side of this corridor by 3 feet. The contractor, Fred M. Schiavone Construction, is in the process of placing the surface pavement, in efforts to open up the street for the coming weekend. The landscape planter walls, landscaping, sod and sidewalk pavers have been substantially completed for the entire project. New, relocated utility poles have been placed; and the electric, cable, and phone utilities are scheduled to relocate the overhead wires over the next two weeks. Delivery of the new, decorative light poles is scheduled for April, at which time the project will be able to be completed.

Please see photos below of Phase 2 construction, taken earlier this week…


Demolition of Existing Library / Beach Tag Facility and Conversion to Parking Lot – NO CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS UPDATE – Demolition of the old library facility will start in April. Construction of the parking lot will follow immediately afterwards. The completion of the parking lot will be prior to Skimmer Weekend (June 16 and 17).

Construction of Welcome Center Addition to the Community Lodge and Renovations of the Existing Lodge Facility and Site – The contractor, R. Wilkinson and Sons, has completed piling installation for the Welcome Center addition and the handicapped access ramps. Renovation work inside the Community Lodge is in progress, to completely rehabilitate the restrooms. The City has relocated the Lodge activities to the former Library Building; and the renovation work in the Lodge will be complete in order to allow re-entry into the Lodge at the end of March. The Welcome Center addition is scheduled for completion by mid-June. The project will provide for improved heating, ventilating and air conditioning in the existing lodge; improved restroom facilities that comply with handicapped accessibility requirements; improved access to the lodge that also complies with handicapped accessibility requirements; and a complete addition of a Welcome Center. The project is the culmination of several years of public discussion about the need for a Welcome Center, as well as the need for continued utilization of the current lodge facility.

Improvements to T.I. Park – The contractor, Axios, Inc., has completed framing for the new decks and ramps and is in the process of installing the deck on the access ramps. The project involves replacement of all the ramp and pavilion decking with Timbertech (plastic material similar to that used at the Marina); replacement of the wood railing with aluminum; addition of a handicapped ramp at the southern end of the park; and other various improvements to the facility to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Given the magnitude of the work and the removal of existing ramps and accesses, in order to ensure public safety, the park will be closed to public access while the construction takes place. The project is expected to be completed by early April.

Please see photos below of T. I. Park, taken March 6…

Lagoon Dredging – On February 14, City Council authorized award of a contract to Wickberg Marine Contracting, of Belford, NJ, in the amount of $719,336. Letters have been issued to property owners adjacent to the lagoons, advising them of the particulars of the project, and providing contact information for the contractor, in the event the property owners wish to participate in the project.

The current status of the project is as follows:

*The contractor has mobilized his equipment on site and has started construction of dike walls in the dredged material disposal area, located west of the library, adjacent to Rio Grande lagoon (Rio Grande is along 47th Place). Dike construction will take approximately 6 weeks.
*Dredging of Rio Grande Lagoon and a portion of Rio Del Isole (along Venicean Road) will take place from about mid-April through May.
*Dredging work will cease over the summer and re-commence after Labor Day, when the remainder of the lagoons will be dredged.

The lagoons to be dredged are as follows:
Rio Grande (south side of 47th Place)
Rio Delle Stelle (between 46th and 47th Place)
Rio Delle Luna (between 45th and 46th Place)
Rio Del Amore (between 44th Street and 45th Place)
Rio Delle Isole (along the east side of Venicean Road)
Rio Del Barache (between 43rd Place and 44th Street)
Rio Del Affare (between 42nd and 43rd Place)
Rio Delle Ponte (along Park Road on either side of 43rd Place)

The project provides for the ability of private property owners adjacent to the project area to enter into an agreement with the successful dredging contractor to dredge their private slips (at the private owner’s expense).

Please see photos below of the preparation efforts at the dredge disposal area adjacent to Rio Grande Lagoon, taken March 7…

Sewer and Road Reconstruction on Central Avenue (49th to 69th Street) – The project has been contracted to the firm of Lewandowski Construction Industries, Inc., of Waterford, NJ, and will be performed in two phases. The first phase is from 49th to 63rd Street (prior to the 2012 summer season) and the second phase is from 63rd to 69th Street (following the 2012 summer season). The project will rehabilitate or replace the deteriorated underground sewer system, as well as provide for reconstruction of the entire one mile stretch of roadway. The contractor has mobilized on site, and is currently working between 60th and 63rd Streets (traffic is currently detoured between 60th and 63rd on Central Avenue). Work will proceed through the spring, then be halted for the summer. The current plan includes installation of the required manholes and sewer lines, along with reconstruction of the street surface from 63rd to 49th Street, prior to the summer season.

Please see photos below of the construction on Central Avenue near 63nd Street…


Utility Reconstruction on Landis Avenue (54th to 69th Street) – The project has been contracted to F.W. Shawl & Sons, of Marmora, NJ, and will provide for water and sewer line replacement in advance of the County project to resurface Landis Avenue from 54th to 69th Street. The contractor has started to mobilize on site and work will start this week. The project is scheduled to be completed around mid-May. The County is scheduled to resurface Landis Avenue, from 54th to 69th Street, either in the fall of 2012 or spring of 2013.

Inflow and Infiltration (I & I) Remediation –The firm of Video Pipe Services, Inc., of Newfield, NJ, is in the process of performing work associated with internal repairs of sewer pipelines and manholes throughout the City. The portion of the project involving sealing of sanitary sewer mains has been substantially completed. Repair and lining of sewer laterals identified as needing corrective work is in progress, and that work is now scheduled to be completed in April, which will complete this phase of the I & I remediation. The need for this project was identified over the past several years through a comprehensive investigation and analysis of the City’s sewer system. Sewer systems are prone to both inflow (overland water entering the sewer system through manhole covers and other surface openings in the system) and infiltration (entry of groundwater into pipelines through cracks, deteriorated pipe, and pipe joints). The effects of I & I are symptoms of deterioration of the sewer system that must be corrected to avoid more problematic maintenance issues and potential failure of the sewer system. I & I is also costly, in that the City must pay for the unnecessary treatment of water that enters the sanitary sewer system. This is the first phase of a multi-year citywide sewer maintenance and improvement project that will ensure the continued viability of the City’s vital sewer infrastructure. As indicated above, this project is expected to be completed by April. The next phase of I & I work will involve replacement of sewer lines that cannot be corrected through internal, “no-dig” repairs, as are being performed in this phase. As those projects are engineered and prepared for bidding and construction, we will provide updates on the specific details of the projects.

Utility Reconstruction, Various Streets – The City is in the process of preparing plans and specifications for a project to replace deteriorated underground utilities (water and sewer) in several streets as part of its comprehensive road and utility program. The following streets are currently being engineered for utility work in order to put the project out to bid; and the City expects to advertise for construction bids within the next three weeks. The work will be completed in the spring, with a summer hiatus and a fall completion. Following utility work, the streets will receive new surface paving. The following streets are included in this project:
1. 50th Street, Landis Avenue to Promenade
2. 51st Street, Landis Avenue to Promenade
3. 60th Street, Landis Avenue to Central Avenue
4. 43rd Place street-end with guide rail barrier
5. 42nd Street, Landis Avenue to Promenade
6. 79th Street, Landis Avenue to Central Avenue
7. 60th Street, Landis Avenue to Beach End
JFK Boulevard Reconstruction, Bridge to Landis Avenue – The County has been working with the City for design of the project to reconstruct and reconfigure JFK Boulevard from the Bridge to Landis Avenue. The project limits also include reconstruction of Landis Avenue from JFK Boulevard to 40th Street. The project scope will include the addition of widened sidewalks, decorative lighting, streetscape improvements and landscaping, drainage improvements, and elevation of the road surface, which will assist during times of flooding. The County Engineer and the design engineering firm of Urban Engineers (which is under contract to the County), along with the City Engineer, made a presentation on the JFK Boulevard project on March 7, 2012 in council chambers, at which those in attendance were informed of the project details and the proposed timing of the project. The meeting was attended by approximately 30 members of the public and the media, with the opportunity for questions and concerns to be raised. The engineers addressed issues relative to drainage, traffic, the proposed elevation of the road surface, changes to the road configuration, and the new streetscape. The project involves federal funding, and the next step is for the County to obtain authorization from federal and state agencies to proceed to bidding. If authorization is received, the County will put the project out to bid by July in order to award a contract for a fall 2012 construction start. In this event, construction will take place between October 2012 and May 2013.

Paving of 43rd Street from Landis Avenue to Park Road – The City will receive bids for construction of the project on March 14. The work will involve final re-surfacing of the street. This paving project will finalize a complete reconstruction of this section of 43rd Street, which previously received new water and sewer lines. The paving work will be completed prior to the summer season.

A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE CITY’S WATER DEPARTMENT
:

Beginning March 10, the Sea Isle City Water Department will be flushing the City’s water system over the next few weeks. During this period, residents may experience temporary low water pressure and/or a discoloration of their water. The City’s Water Department recommends that residents check the color of their water prior to doing laundry. Should you experience long periods of low water pressure and/or discoloration, please call the Public Works Department at (609) 263-6000. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE STORM OF 1962
:

The Sea Isle City Historical Society, in partnership with the Cape May County Library System, will host a series of special events to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the infamous March Storm of 1962, which devastated Sea Isle. Throughout the month of March, there will be exhibits and displays in the lobby of the SIC Library, 48th Street and Central Avenue, featuring photos and artifacts from the storm.

Don’t Miss These 50th Anniversary Events on Saturday, March 10…

At 10:30 a.m., the Historical Museum will host an Open House inside their museum on the first level of the Sea Isle City Library, which will feature a Panel Discussion with eye-witness accounts to the Storm of ’62 (including the military helicopter evacuations that air-lifted residents to safety on the mainland during the storm). At approximately 1:00 p.m. on March 10, a Coast Guard Helicopter Fly-by and Aerial Demonstration is scheduled to take place over the wetlands directly behind the library, which will recreate the feeling of the evacuations that took place in 1962.

For additional information about Sea Isle City’s 50th Anniversary of the Storm of ’62, phone Sea Isle City Historical Society President Mike Stafford at (609) 624-7929.

Please see pictures below of Tuesday’s Discussion Panel and the large audience that was in attendance…

VOTE FOR SEA ISLE CITY:

The 2012 New Jersey Top Ten Beaches Survey is now underway – and Sea Isle City is one of the hottest towns on the list! Conducted by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and The Coastal Research Center at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, 2012 is the 5th year for the annual survey, which rates 48 beach communities from Sandy Hook to Cape May. In 2010, Sea Isle City ranked 5th among the state’s beach towns, and in 2011 Sea Isle City was 4th! You can let the entire Garden State know that Sea Isle City is NUMBER ONE, by casting your vote online at www.njtoptenbeaches.org . Voting is fast, easy and free – and it will help everyone learn that Sea Isle City is wonderful shore community.

FEBRUARY 2012 POLICE REPORT:

1. Investigations Conducted: 16
2. Adult Arrests (Criminal, Disorderly Persons, Ordinance, DWI): 8
3. Juvenile Arrests: 0
4. Motor Vehicle Summons Issued:
Moving Violations: 35
Parking Violations: 5
5. Public Service Calls:
Assist Public/Motorist: 14
Medical Calls: 19
Property Checks: 653
Alarms: 30
Suspicious Person/Vehicle: 4
Escorts/Relays: 8
Walk-In Complaints: 5
School Zone Patrol: 58
School Bus Escorts: 42
Motor Vehicle Stops: 111
Fingerprint Detail: 2
9-1-1 False Alarms: 15
Lockout Assists: 2
Domestic Violence Calls: 6
Animal Calls: 5
Check Resident’s Well Being: 8
Messages Delivered: 2
Investigations: 8
Disturbances: 8
Thefts: 2
Warrants/Subpoenas: 4
Fights: 6
Noise: 3
Fire: 1
TOTAL: 1,016
6. Code Enforcement Violations: 4

The above information was provided by the Sea Isle City Police Department.

DID YOU KNOW:

–Sea Isle City now offers an online view and payment option for municipal property tax bills and water/sewer utility bills (visit www.seaislecitynj.us and click on the “Tax & Utility Payment Center” icon at the bottom of the homepage). You can mail a payment as always or pay online through your checking account or with your credit or debit card. Please Note: Online viewing is free; however a convenience charge will be applied if you pay your bills online.
–The next City Council meeting will be an evening meeting on Tuesday, March 13, at 6:00 p.m., on the second level of the SIC Public Safety Building, 233 JFK Boulevard. The public is invited to attend.
–Bulk Trash will be collected on the following days: 1st Thursday of Month from 1st to 44th Street; 2nd Thursday of Month from 45th to 70th Street; 3rd Thursday of Month from 71st to 94th Street. Brush and branches will be collected on all streets on the 4th Thursday of Month.
–The City of Sea Isle City will gladly arrange a Welcome Home Ceremony for any members of the military as they return to town. To arrange a “Hero’s Welcome” for your favorite Sailor, Marine, Soldier, Airman, National Guard or Coast Guard service member, phone Mayor Desiderio’s Office (263-4461, ext. 245) or Commander Chick Haines at VFW Post 1963 (263-1711). You can also find a “Welcome Home Ceremony” application online at www.seaislecitynj.us (via the “Quick Links” and “Downloadable Forms” tabs).
–A Free Income Tax Form Preparation Service is available to Cape May County residents of any age with incomes under $50,000 until April 15 at several locations around the County. This service is provided through the Volunteer Income Tax Program (V.I.T.A.). For additional information, phone 609-886-3400 or visit www.capemaycountygov.net (click the “News and Information” tab).
–Sea Isle’s 22nd Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Saturday, March 17, 3:30 p.m., 93rd to 63rd Street (263-4461, ext 230, www.kixmcnutleys.com).
–Commemorative 2012 Saint Patrick’s Day Beach Tags will be available for $20 each on March 17 at the Beach Tag Office, 125 JFK Boulevard, 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon; and also at KIX-McNutley’s after the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Starting Monday, March 19, any unsold tags will be available at City Hall, while supplies last (263-4461).
–Girls Weekend, hosted by the SIC Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization, is Friday to Saturday, March 23 to 25 (263-9090, www.seaislechamber.com).
–The Ocean Drive Marathon/5K is Sunday, March 25, JFK Boulevard and the Promenade, 10:00 a.m. (609-52-0880, www.odmarathon.org).
–Sea Isle’s 2012 Easter Program for Children (up to age 11) will take place at Dealy Field on Wednesday, March 28, 4:30 p.m., Rain Date: April 4 (263-0050, www.seaislecitynj.us).
–The S.I.C. Environmental Commission’s Annual Spring Beach Clean-Up is Saturday, April 21, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Volunteers (families, individuals, scout troops, civic clubs and all others) are needed for this important event. No pre-registration is required – just check-in at JFK and the Promenade on April 21 (263-2081).


RECENT PHOTOS:

On February 19, the Strathmere Ensemble performed at the Sea Isle City United Methodist Church. The free concert was well-attended…

On February 22, seventh grader Eddy Kennedy won the VFW Post 1963’s Patriot’s Pen Competition. Shown with the young writer are VFW Junior Vice-Commander Mike Rodgers, Senior Vice-Commander Joe Smith, and Bishop McHugh Principal Laura Tomlin…

Sea Isle City’s Commemorative Saint Patrick’s Day Beach Tags will serve as seasonal passes for the summer of 2012…

 

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