A MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR:
As I have said in the past, maintaining public safety is critical to the success of any community - and having a sound, reliable police force is necessary in order to keep the public safe and secure. Last week, I personally witnessed our local law enforcement officers perform their duties in the midst of an unusual situation. During a potentially dangerous standoff, which followed a violent domestic disturbance inside a private residence, our police department was forced to call in the Cape May County SWAT Team. For seven hours, the situation was very tense until the suspect in question surrendered to authorities and the night ended peacefully. Throughout that evening, however, I was greatly impressed with the professionalism shown by our police officers and by the county's SWAT Team, which includes three members from our own police force. I would like to thank both of those organizations, as well as the members of the Sea Isle Ambulance Corps and Sea Isle's Volunteer Fire Department, who also responded to the scene. It was clear to me that each of the men and women who helped bring that situation to a peaceful conclusion realized that the safety of the surrounding neighborhood - and everyone involved - was the number one priority. My hat goes off to each of them for their devotion to our community.
While mentioning public safety, I am pleased to announce that the city is currently exploring the possibility of placing more stop signs along Central Avenue from the downtown area to the South End. Additionally, to help control traffic along Landis Avenue, we are working with county officials to add a flashing light on Landis Avenue near the bend at 83rd Street, which should help slow traffic there as well. We will keep you posted as both of those projects develop.
Sea Isle City's Community Day will take place on Saturday, May 21, at the Community Lodge. During that event, representatives from local organizations will share information with the public, and many of our city's department heads will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have. Plus, there will be family activities and other worthwhile attractions, including a BBQ fund raiser, which will benefit the Sea Isle Ambulance Corps. Also on May 21, Funland Amusement Park will officially open for the season. So, mark your calendars and don't miss any of the fun on Community Day.
As the 2011 season unfolds, keep in mind how important our beaches are to everyone who summers here. To ensure that we will always have strong beaches with plenty of sand, we are working with FEMA and the New Jersey DEP regarding future beach replenishment projects. As any Boy Scout will tell you, it is always best to be prepared, and that's why we want to be in the position to add sand to our beaches whenever we need to do so. After all, there's no need to wait until the next natural disaster to plan what our response will be. We'll let you know how that effort develops as well.
A MESSAGE FROM CITY COUNCIL:
During our most recent City Council meeting, which took place on Saturday, April 16, we were pleased to announce that the minutes from all recent City Council meetings (beginning January 2011) can now be viewed on Sea Isle's website, www.seaislecitynj.us (click the Government/Council tabs). The minutes, which are provided by the City Clerk's office, are not a transcript of the meetings but rather a brief synopsis of the agenda and citizen comments. Providing the minutes to the public on our website is an example of our continued commitment to the openness and transparency of your local government. Minutes from other council meetings (prior to 2011) are also available through the City Clerk's office at City Hall.
In place of individual parking meters, the City has recently installed new parking kiosks in the Marina District, along the south side of JFK Boulevard and also on West Jersey Avenue. For everyone's convenience, these easy-to-use kiosks will accept cash, credit cards and debit cards. During the next council meeting (Tuesday, April 26, 10:00 a.m.) representatives from our police department will demonstrate how the parking kiosks function. Much more information will also be available at Community Day (May 21) and throughout the summer.
Also during our last council meeting, there was much discussion about the New Jersey state law that requires motorists to stop for all pedestrians at every corner and in all crosswalks. Council wants to remind all residents and visitors that the law states that all motorists must stop whenever a pedestrian is on a corner, whether there is a crosswalk present or not. Our police department will be monitoring this issue closely throughout the summer
JFK BOULEVARD BASKETBALL COURTS & PLAYGROUND: Work is continuing on the replacement of the basketball courts, the provision of new lighting, fencing and sidewalks, and the 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 remains on track for completion prior to the summer season.
EXCURSION PARK ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX: Work at the new band shell continues. The band shell's siding is being installed, as are the electrical systems, which will support the state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment to provide for the City's full entertainment lineup during the coming season. The promenade's landscape walls have been completed, along with the decorative "compass" paver area. The beach pavilion is framed, and the installation of the pavilion's roofing, cupola and railing will follow in the next few weeks. The contractor remains on track to complete this project prior to Memorial Day Weekend and in time for the City's Tri for Our Veterans Triathlon.
MARINA BOAT RAMP: Construction of the concrete boat ramp has been completed and it has been opened for operation. The City has already received several compliments about the improved conditions for boat launching.
MARINA BUILDING: The steel superstructure of the building has been erected and the installation of roof decking has commenced. Delivery of the siding and finished roof material is expected within the next 2 to 3 weeks, which will allow the contractor to enclose the building and complete the facility prior to the summer season. In addition to Marina operations, the new facility will include public restrooms.
80TH STREET WATER TOWER REHABILITATION AND REPAINTING: The finishing touches of the project are being accomplished, and the refurbished water tower has now been painted with "Townsends Inlet Sea Isle City." The tank has been refilled and is expected to be placed back into operation before Easter weekend. This was a critical project to maintain the City's infrastructure in order to ensure the delivery of water during peak demand.
85TH STREET LIFEGUARD STATION/PUBLIC RESTROOMS: Work continues with the installation of exterior siding, decking and interior renovations in order to completely rehabilitate the structure, provide for handicapped accessible restrooms and additional restroom facilities, and provide improved storage capacity for lifeguard operations. The project is being performed by City Public Works forces, providing for overall cost savings. Any contracted work for a project of this size would require the payment of New Jersey prevailing wage rates, which exceed the rates being paid to the City's employees. The building will be completed prior to the Memorial Day weekend.
59TH STREET FISHING PIER: Necessary structural repairs and re-decking of the fishing pier is also being performed by City Public Works forces in advance of the summer season. The project is substantially completed, and the pier will be opened for use by the public before the end of April.
47th PLACE BULKHEAD: The City has contracted with Walters Marine to replace the deteriorated bulkhead at the 47th Place street end (contract amount $133,644). Last year, City staff, in conjunction with the City engineer, rated the condition of all of our bulkheads citywide, and 47th place topped the list of those needing repairs. The necessary permits were acquired to perform the project, and work is expected to be completed prior to the Memorial Day weekend.
53rd STREET BEACH STREET END: The City is systematically replacing beachside street-end bulkheads, recently completing 53rd Street. The 51st Street end will be reconstructed next. This work is being performed by City Public Works forces.
DID YOU KNOW:
• The Townsend Inlet Bridge (between Sea Isle City and Avalon) will be temporarily closed for cleaning and painting at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, until 6:00 a.m. on Friday, April 22. This is one of three possible overnight bridge closings on that span, with the next due to take place sometime next week (weather permitting). A "Reverse 9-11" message was sent-out to alert Sea Isle's residents. To sign up for Sea Isle's Reverse 9-11 system, visit www.seaislecitynj.us and click on the "City News" link.
• The next City Council meeting will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 26, inside Council Chambers, 233 JFK Boulevard, 2nd floor.
• Volunteers are needed for the Sea Isle City Environmental Commission's Annual Spring Beach Clean-up on Saturday, April 30 (rain date: May 1). Due to construction on the Promenade, registration for this event will take place at the Beach Tag Office, 125 JFK Boulevard, on the day of the clean-up (beginning at 10 am). For more info, phone (609) 263-2081.
• Sea Isle City's Police Department will host a free Prescription Drug Collection Event for unwanted medicines at Police Headquarters, 233 JFK Boulevard, Saturday April 30, 10am to 2 pm. For more info, phone 263-4311.
• Sea Isle City's 2011 Municipal Election is Tuesday, May 10, during which voters will choose a mayor and two city council members.
• 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 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.
• A City-Wide Yard Sale, hosted by the SIC Chamber of Commerce and Sea Isle Revitalization, will take place on Saturday, May 7, 7am to 1 pm. To add your name to the list of participating homes (which will be distributed to shoppers on the day of the yard sale) phone 609-263-9090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Property owners who don't add their names to that list will also be welcome to sell items on May 7 - but the list will surely bring more customers to your door, so sign-up today! No fee is required to participate in this event.
• Sea Isle City Mother's Day Weekend Shopping Event is May 7-8. For more info about the many bargains that will be available at local shops and restaurants, visit www.seaislechamber.com or www.seaislerevitalization.com . You can also phone 609-263-9090 for more information.
• On May 9, enrollment begins for the Sea Isle City Recreation Department's many summer programs. Registration applications will be available online at www.seaislecitynj.us . For more details phone 263-0050.