In recent weeks, Sea Isle City has received a great deal of coverage from news groups in Philadelphia and across South Jersey. A couple of weeks ago, Adam Joseph from ABC-6 made a series of live weather broadcasts from our new Entertainment Complex, and afterwards I heard from many people around the region who said how much they enjoyed seeing him "live in Sea Isle City." This summer, we have also spoken with reporters from many other television stations and news publications (including NCB-40, The Press of Atlantic City, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Metro Kids South Jersey Magazine) who have told everyone about Sea Isle's many attractions and events. Last week, I was even invited to participate in a live radio broadcast on Philadelphia's WCHE 15.20 AM, during which time I heard a variety of interesting comments and questions about the numerous activities taking place at our Band Shell, our successful public-private partnership with local business owners, and how people are enjoying themselves in Sea Isle City despite the challenging economy (thanks to our many free family events). Whenever I am asked how the summer is going, I am quick to respond with honest comments such as "Our island has never looked better!" "Sea Isle has more events taking place than ever before!" and "This really is our best summer yet!"
The summer is indeed going well, and the weather has been near-perfect - if you like the heat. I am beginning to think that this may be the first time I was correct in predicting "four straight weeks with temperatures in the 90's" (something I do every summer in hopeful anticipation). But, no matter what the weather, there's no better place to be than Sea Isle City - especially when you consider the wonderful people who call this town "home" or "home away from home."
And while speaking about the wonderful people of Sea Isle City, I would like to close by mentioning an upcoming event that I feel is a fine example of "what is right" in this town: The Annual Joe Distasio & Joe Romano Sr. Special Olympics Crabbing Competition on August 22. This year's competition, which is sponsored by the Sea Isle City Italian American Club and hosted by the members of the Yacht Club of Sea Isle City and the Townsend Inlet Yacht Club, will once again show the people of Sea Isle City at their very best as they volunteer their time and open their hearts to others. The competition welcomes County residents who have developmental disabilities and other mental and physical limitations, and each year I am greatly inspired as the Olympians remind each of us what good sportsmanship is all about - win or loose. I never tire of dealing with individuals who display such goodness of heart (both the Olympians and the volunteers) - and I am never more proud to be the Mayor of this fine City than on the day of the Special Olympics. I would like to thank all of this year's volunteers in advance and encourage everyone to make a donation to this worthwhile event. If you can't make a donation, please keep the Olympians in your heart on August 22 and be sure to count the blessings in your own life as you do so. (For more information about Sea Isle's 2011 Special Olympics, call 263-0700).
Smile...You're in Sea Isle!
Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio
CITY COUNCIL MESSAGE:
Our last council meeting on July 19 was very active, during which time we introduced seven new ordinances, three of which were bond ordinances. The first bond ordinance was for Beach Replenishment (for the north end and downtown beach areas, amounting to $5 million, of which we anticipate 75% in federal and state funding reimbursement). The next was a General Capital Funding Ordinance totaling $3.6 Million (major items are $1.4 million for phase two of Excursion Park, $550,000 for the construction of a Welcome Center at our Community Lodge, $350,000 for renovations to our existing Community Lodge, $350,000 for Lagoon Dredging, $150,000 for improvements to Townsend Inlet Waterfront Park and $500,000 for new City bulkheads). The third ordinance introduced was a Water and Sewer Utility Bond Ordinance for upgrading various utilities along Landis Avenue and other areas in anticipation for paving projects to take place next spring.
Also introduced on July 19 was an ordinance that will provide free beach tags to all active duty military personnel and their families. This was in response to a change in State law that now allows each municipality to make an individual decision whether or not to offer free beach tags to active military members and their families.
The last ordinance introduced on July 19 will allow the serving of alcoholic beverages at Excursion Park in a controlled manner and under special circumstances for non-profit organizations. This will allow us to highlight our Entertainment Complex and help fund future events for all to enjoy while still maintaining our family-friendly atmosphere.
Second reading and public comments for these ordinances will be held at the next council meeting on August 9 at 10:00 a.m. All of these ordinances are available for review on the City website (visit www.seaislecitynj.us and click on the Government/City Clerk/Pending Ordinance tabs). If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact any of your Council representatives.
On July 19, Architect Blane Steinman and Engineer Vincent Orlando made a presentation to Council and the public highlighting the plans for Excursion Park Phase 2 and Sea Isle's new Welcome Center. At Excursion Park, as part of our Beach-to-Bay Corridor Project, we will be adding street-scape improvements along JFK Boulevard (including widening the sidewalks, adding decorative lighting, the addition of an Information Kiosk, additional landscaping and other decorative amenities). After much discussion and investigation, the monies included in this bond ordinance for the Welcome Center construction are based on the fact that the Welcome Center will be a building-addition added to our existing Community Lodge, located at JFK Boulevard and Park Road.
Also on July 19, we held a workshop to review proposed design standards for new commercial structures. There was a great deal of discussion with various individuals and we feel we now have enough data that will allow us to enter the ordinance drafting stage. It is anticipated that this proposal will be available in August for further discussion.
PLEASE NOTE: The August 9 meeting has been changed from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. due to scheduling conflicts.
Best Regards from the Members of City Council
Public Library at 48th and Central - The new Cape May County Public Library continues to move forward to completion. The major focus is on completion of the interior of the facility, with an anticipated September opening of the Library. In addition to the County Library, the City's History Museum will be housed within the facility. Stay tuned for notices on the Library's grand opening (please see photos below).
Marina Building - The exterior roof and wall panel construction is moving along, with completion of the building still scheduled for August. Upon completion, the building will provide much needed facilities for marina maintenance, operations and storage; and the building will also include greatly improved public restroom facilities (please see photo below).
North End Entrance - The City's Public Works Department has started construction of the new landscaping and welcome sign at the City's north end entrance from Strathmere. The project was designed in conjunction with the council beautification committee and will be performed completely with in-house forces.
Solar/Wind Powered Lighting - The City, in cooperation with the South Jersey Economic Development District (SJEDD), is working on a pilot project to have solar/wind powered lighting installed on the promenade. If the project moves forward, the costs will be paid for with grant funding obtained through the SJEDD. The initial pilot project would involve placement of two light poles on the promenade (in locations where current street lighting is already in place). The picture below shows a potential style of light that could be used. The light fixture in the picture was temporarily placed to obtain data relative to sunlight and wind, in order to determine specifications for future placement on the promenade (please see photo below).
On July 19 the City Council introduced funding ordinances to advance several projects that are part of the city's capital plan. A public hearing on the ordinances will be held at the August 9 City Council meeting, after which Council will vote on adoption of these ordinances. There are three separate ordinances, as follows:
1. Providing for the north end and downtown beach replenishment program, in the amount of $5,000,000. The beach replenishment program involves the placement of sand between the north end and downtown, specifically 1st to 15th Street and 30th to 52nd Street. The total estimated quantity of sand to be placed is 430,000 cubic yards. The project is being done in partnership with the State Department of Environmental Protection and the community of Upper Township.
2. Providing for various general improvements throughout the City, in the amount of $3,600,000. The improvements include the following:
A) Phase 2 of Excursion Park/Beach to Bay Corridor, which 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.
B) Demolition of existing library/beach tag facility and conversion to parking lot.
C) Construction of Welcome Center Addition to the Community Lodge and renovations of the existing Lodge facility and site (please see rendering below).
D) Improvements to TI Park - The TI Park is in need of rehabilitation of the existing ramps and decks, specifically in order to make access to the pavilion compliant with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
E) Lagoon Dredging - Authorization of this ordinance will provide the necessary funds in order to go out to bid for the project and accomplish dredging in the late fall of 2011. 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 Venicean Road)
Rio Del Barche (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)
F) Bulkheads - The City engineer has performed an overall assessment of bay-front and lagoon bulkheads. The bulkheads on the south side of 46th Place (about 100 ft. west of Park Road) and on the north side of 43rd Place (also about 100 ft. west of Park Road) are in the most need of replacement.
3. Providing for improvements to the water/sewer utility, in the amount of $2,000,000. The improvements include utility replacements (water and sewer) on 48th, 50th, and 51st Streets, all from Landis to the Promenade, and 60th Street, from Landis to Central Avenue. Also included is 42nd Street, from Landis to Pleasure. In addition, utility replacement work is needed to be performed in advance of the County project to resurface Landis Avenue from 54th to 69th Street.
TAX PAYMENTS - PLEASE NOTE:
Because of the delay in State Aid Certification amounts, the grace period for the third-quarter tax payments (due August 1) is extended to August 22, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. As required by State Statute, payments received after the August 22 - 4:00 p.m. payment deadline will be charged interest from August 1, 2011.
DID YOU KNOW:
· The next City Council meeting is on Tuesday, August 9, 10:00 a.m. in Council Chambers, 233 JFK Boulevard, second level.
· The Phillies Phanatic will be at Gillian's Funland Amusement Park on Wednesday, August 10, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. All are invited to meet the Phanatic and pose for family photos (263-1363).
· Upcoming Free "Movies Under the Stars" at the Band Shell include Shrek Forever After on July 28, Hannah Montana the Movie on August 4, Alice in Wonderland on August 9, and The Love Bug on August 11 (263-TOUR).
· Sea Isle City's National Night Out celebration will take place on Tuesday, August 2, 6:00 p.m., Marina Park, 42nd Place and the Bay. All families are welcome to this free event, which will feature emergency vehicle displays, free bike locks and other gifts for kids, and plenty of family fun (263-4311, ext 2311).
· AARP Chapter 710 is hosting a bus trip to Tropicana Casino on August 10. $15 per person includes transportation and a show. Bus leaves the SIC Community Lodge at 10:15 a.m. All are invited at attend - not just AAPR members (624-2080).
· A Free Concert featuring Real Diamond (Neil Diamond tribute) will be held at the Band Shell on Saturday, July 30, 8:00 p.m. Then, on Monday, August 1, Jimmy and the Parrots will rock the Band Shell at 7:30 p.m. Other upcoming concerts include Beatlemania Again on August 6, 52nd Street (Billy Joel tribute) on August 8, Doug Brewin (Alan Jackson tribute) on August 13, Hawkins Road on August 15, Don't Call Me Francis on August 20, The Insiders on August 22, The Quails on August 27, and Star Band on August 29 (263-TOUR).
· Interested in Quality of Life issues? At 9:00 a.m., prior to the August 9 City Council Meetings, the Sea Isle City Police Department will present "Quality of Life" updates to Council and the public.
· Sea Isle City's Got Talent Contest takes place each Friday, 8:00 p.m. at the new Band Shell and will continue each Friday until the Grand Finale on August 12. (263-9090, www.seaislecitysgottalent.com).
· Family Fun Nights take place each Friday and Sunday evening at Gillian's Funland Amusement Park, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. featuring free strolling entertainment; Hosted by the City of Sea Isle City (263-TOUR).
· Recent Sea Isle City Press Releases can be found on Sea Isle's website, www.seaislecitynj.us, where you can read about upcoming activities in detail and see pictures from recent events. Click on the "City News" tab on Sea Isle's home page to view all press releases.
· The Sea Isle City Women's Civic Club 2011 Fall Card Party will take place at 12 noon, Thursday, September 15, Community Lodge. Tickets are limited, $16 pr person. No tickets will be sold at the door (263-1043 or 263-3341).
· Wildwood Catholic High School is looking for local host-families for their International Student Exchange Program. Families interested in welcoming students into their homes for the coming school year can phone Wildwood Catholic at 609-522-7257 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
· The Sea Isle City Environmental Commission's 24th Annual Beautification Awards will be presented on September 18. This contest is open to all properties (residential and commercial) that have shown improvement in their overall appearance, architecture and landscaping. You can nominate your property or a neighbors (263-2081).