A MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR:
There are many exciting developments unfolding here in Sea Isle City and I have much good news to report. First, I am very happy to tell you that our 2011 municipal budget has been passed. This is a fiscal plan we can all be proud of, which will result in no increase to our tax levy. That means that even though our town’s value continues to rise, we are not paying any additional taxes – which everyone is happy about. Thanks to a cooperative effort involving the Administration, City Council and the Sea Isle City Finance Department, we were able to accomplish all this with no reduction in services, no layoffs to city employees and no furloughs – and in this economy, that’s great news!
Once again this year, United States veterans and active military personnel are eligible to receive free seasonal beach tags, courtesy of Sea Isle’s VFW Post 1963. To ensure that there are enough of these special-issue tags for each of the many vets and military members who live in and visit Sea Isle City, I have worked with the local business community to raise additional funds for this effort. Thanks to the extra money that was raised, the VFW will be able to purchase more beach tags for the men and women who greatly deserve our respect and thanks – in addition to a free summer on the beach. To pick-up your free beach tag, bring your valid “D.D.214” discharge papers or active military service membership identification cards to the VFW (next to the Sea Isle Bridge) on Wednesdays (2:00 to 5:00 p.m.), Fridays (2:00 to 6:00 p.m.), Saturdays (2:00 to 5:00 p.m.), and Sundays (2:00 to 5:00 p.m.).
Because numerous residents expressed a desire to have additional one-way streets added to Sea Isle City’s Townsends Inlet section, we hosted a successful public meeting last Saturday to discuss the issue further. Now that many residents have voiced their opinions, we will continue to examine this issue and determine the feasibility of making changes on specific streets in T.I.
When you take your family to the beach this summer, you will notice that many of Sea Isle’s beach entrances will have new Mobimats (carpet-like pathways made of rigid plastic that allow beach-goers to easily and safely walk over the dunes). The City has purchased enough of these wonderful mats to cover nearly all of our beach entrances (depending on conditions), and we now anticipate that more and more people will be able to enjoy a day at the beach because of this worthwhile investment.
I have recently spoken with County officials regarding other local projects – one being the planned resurfacing of Landis Avenue (a county road). Engineers have begun preliminary work on this project, which will result in a new road surface between 54th and 69th Street in 2011-2012.
Another County project that has heads turning is the new Sea Isle City Branch of the Cape May County Library. This project is moving along nicely and we are all looking forward to the library’s Grand Opening later this year.
No matter where you turn, things are looking better than ever here in Sea Isle City!
A MESSAGE FROM CITY COUNCIL:
City Council is proud to announce that during our March 15 meeting we introduced and adopted Sea Isle City’s 2011 municipal budget. Thanks to a zero tax increase in this year’s budget, we received no comments when the public was given the opportunity to voice their concerns – which confirms to us that it is a sound fiscal plan. Sea Isle’s 2011 budget, which has a General Appropriation amount of $24,033,367.81, can be viewed in its entirety online at www.seaislecitynj.us (click the “Government/City Budget” link).
Also during the March 15 meeting, Mayor Desiderio announced that veterans are now eligible for a Cape May County Veterans Discount Card, which will entitle them to 5-15% discounts at selected businesses throughout the county. To take advantage of these savings, veterans need to obtain a Veterans Photo I.D. card from the county. Veterans must apply in person at the County Clerk's Office with his/her original form DD-214, United States Military Honorable Discharge or U.S. Military Service Papers (unless the document was previously recorded with the Cape May County Clerk). Veterans must show proof of identity and domicile in Cape May County. Acceptable documents are a New Jersey Driver's License, a New Jersey Non-Driver Identification Card, or Cape May County Voter Registration Card, showing a Cape May County address. The County Clerk's Office is located at 7 N. Main Street (Route US 9), CMCH, NJ 08210-5000. Hours: Monday through Friday (except holidays) 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional info: 609-465-1010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Council would like to congratulate Mayor Desiderio for being selected “Freeholder of the Year” by the New Jersey Conference of Mayors. The mayor will officially accept this honor, which distinguishes him among all of New Jersey’s freeholders, at The Borgata Hotel-Casino on April 28.
As summer approaches, we would like to remind our residents, business owners and local organizations about Sea Isle City’s Beach Path Adoption Program. Volunteers are needed to help maintain cleanliness and safety along our many beach access ways, and all are encouraged to participate and adopt a beach path. Please contact Sea Isle’s Public Works Department (263-6000) for additional information and to arrange having your name placed on a sign at your beach entrance.
Your City Council members are looking forward to a wonderful summer season filled with exciting events and lots of beach time – so be sure to purchase your 2011 beach tags before May 15 at the “pre-season” price of $15.
CITY PROJECT UPDATES:
JFK BOULEVARD BASKETBALL COURTS & PLAYGROUND: On March 15, the City awarded a construction contract for this project to Asphalt Paving Systems, Inc. in the amount of $631,000. The project will replace the severely deteriorated basketball courts and provide for new lighting, fencing and sidewalks, along with resurfacing of the entire playground area adjacent to the basketball courts with a cushioned safety material similar to that at the Dealy Field complex. The playground equipment will be completely new (purchased under separate contract), with state-of-the-art, handicapped accessible equipment for children of all ages. The project received very competitive bids, and the contract awarded to Asphalt Systems was over $100,000 less than the original estimate. Work is in progress and will be completed prior to the summer season.
EXCURSION PARK ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX: Work continues on construction of the new band shell, the promenade and the new pavilion. Framing of the bandshell has been completed; and landscape walls which will outline the new promenade seating area are over 50% complete. The contractor remains on track to complete the project prior to Memorial Day Weekend in time for the City's Tri for Our Veterans Triathlon event.
MARINA BOAT RAMP: Construction continues on the replacement of Sea Isle’s deteriorated boat ramp at the Municipal Marina. The installation of the cofferdam necessary to build the new boat ramp has been completed, and the project completion date is scheduled for the end of April.
32ND STREET PROMENADE RAMP: The City's Public Works forces have substantially completed the replacement of the access ramp to the promenade at 32nd Street. The project required removal of the entire existing ramp and substructure as well as the reconfiguration of the alignment of the ramp.
NORTH-END LANDFILL REMEDIATION WITH USE OF DREDGED MATERIALS/PASSIVE PARK DEVELOPMENT – Environmental investigation and engineering continues on this project, which is funded in part through an agreement with the NJ Department of Transportation. The City obtained the required landfill disruption permit, which will enable our environmental scientists and engineers to complete subsurface investigations prior to the end of this month, at which time disturbance of the landfill is severely restricted due to the presence of various species of migratory birds on the site. The objective remains to develop a Passive Park for recreation, as well as perform necessary containment of eroding landfill areas.
SEWER AND ROAD RECONSTRUCTION ON CENTRAL AVENUE (49th to 69th STREET) – The City has completed engineering work required to reconstruct Central Avenue from 49th to 69th Street. The total cost of the project is estimated at 3.2 million dollars. The current plan is to perform construction in the fall of this year, as the City has been determined to be eligible for grant funding from the federal government for this project in the range of $750,000 to $1 million. If we wish to receive those grant funds, we must wait for final approval from the federal agency overseeing the grant (U.S. Department of Agriculture) prior to going out to bid for the project. We are hopeful that we will receive that approval by May of this year, however, that will not allow us to perform the project until following the summer season, as the disruption to the road and surrounding neighborhood will be considerable and inadvisable during times of peak occupancy and peak traffic.
47TH PLACE BULKHEAD WORK: The City awarded a construction contract to Walters Marine for $133,644 for replacement of the deteriorated bulkhead at the end of 47th Place. The contractor is preparing to mobilize and perform the work prior to the coming summer season.
DID YOU KNOW…
• Girls Weekend is this weekend, March 25-27, when many local restaurants, boutiques, shops, pubs, salons and inns will feature discounts for ladies. Info: 263-9090.
• Revised 2nd Quarter 2011 Property Tax Statements reflecting homestead rebate credits will be mailed on March 25, 2011 to qualifying property owners and their mortgage companies of record (if applicable). The State of New Jersey is no longer sending Homestead Rebate checks directly to qualifying property owners. Homestead Rebates are now applied directly to home owner’s 2nd quarter property tax billing. If you have questions regarding the amount of your rebate credit, please contact the State Division of Taxation Help Center at (888-238-1233).
• The next City Council meeting is March 29 at 10:00 a.m. inside Council Chambers at the SIC Public Safety Building, 233 JFK Boulevard, second level.
• A Red Cross Blood Drive is scheduled on Thursday, April 7, at the Saint Joseph Church Auditorium, 44th and Central Avenue, 1:00 - 7:00 p.m. Info: 263-8737.
• The S.I.C. Department of Recreation's free Easter Program for kids (up to age 11) will take place on Wednesday, April 13 (rain date April 14), 4:30 p.m., Dealy Field. This event will include an egg hunt and other activities as well as a visit from the Easter Bunny. Info: 263-0050.
• Sea Isle City’s 2011 Visitor’s Guide is now available. You can pick up a copy at City Hall and other municipal offices – or you can view an online version at www.seaislecitynj.us.
• Attention bargain hunters! Sea Isle City is hosting a Citywide Yard Sale on Saturday, May 7, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. No permit is required to participate in this event, so why not clean out your attic, closets and garage and make some extra cash?
• Sea Isle City’s 2nd Annual Community Day (formerly May 7) has been rescheduled to Saturday, May 21, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., inside the Community Lodge, JFK and Park Road.
• Sea Isle City is once again a contender in the 4th Annual “New Jersey’s Top Ten Beaches” contest. In 2010, we were rated #5 on the list of the Garden State’s best beach resorts and this year we hope to be #1, so please visit www.njtoptenbeaches.org and vote in all three categories: Family Vacation, Day Trips and Eco-Tourism. –And tell all of your friends to vote too!
• Sea Isle City’s VFW Post 1963 has a new website: www.vfwpost1963.com .