From the City of Sea Isle City February 23, 2012
Did you miss Sea Isle’s 2012 Polar Bear Plunge Weekend? If so, you should mark your calendar right now for next year’s plunge, because the level of energy that lit-up our town last weekend was not to be missed. As many of you may already know, this year’s plunge attracted record crowds that easily out-paced last year’s numbers. What a wonderful and exciting feeling it was to see thousands and thousands of plungers run into the ocean as an estimated 50,000 spectators looked-on from the beach, promenade and other vantage points along our shoreline. It was an awesome weekend with unseasonable weather that many of us won’t soon forget.
It was also wonderful to see so many local businesses open their doors during
plunge weekend – including many of our restaurants, which reminded everyone
about our terrific dining options. I was also happy to hear how pleased
residents and visitors are with Sea Isle’s new library and other recent city
improvements. Few things make me happier than hearing people say that they like
what they see when they come to town – and the good news is things are only
getting better here in Sea Isle City!
Also this weekend, our hard-working staff at the Beach Tag Office sold over
1700 commemorative Polar Bear Beach Tags, which obviously were very much in
demand. For those who did not have the opportunity to purchase their Polar Bear
tags (which can be used as seasonal beach passes for the entire summer of
2012), they are still available at City Hall and the Beach Tag Office for $20
each (while supplies last).
In addition to all of the fun people were having on the beach and at businesses
around town, 2012 Plunge Weekend also featured a free musical performance by
the Strathmere Ensemble (Sea Isle’s favorite “adopted” orchestra). I am very
grateful that the gifted musicians who make up the ensemble continually share
their talents with us. We can all look forward to hearing more of their music
at the Band Shell on July 2, so be sure to mark your calendar for that event as
I can’t end this message without thanking everyone who helped make this year’s
Plunge Weekend a reality, including Jimmy Bennett and his team at LaCosta, who
did a great job organizing many of the events, Mike Monichetti and the folks at
Mike’s Seafood, who’s Polar Bear 5K Run and Walk for Autism has grown to be one
of Sea Isle’s largest and most successful athletic competitions, and the many
members of Sea Isle’s Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization, who organized
volunteers, purchased prizes for the contests and gave their usual first-rate
effort to ensure the plunge’s success. I also want to thank our city employees,
especially the members of the Sea Isle City Police Department, the Sea Isle
Ambulance Corps, Sea Isle’s Volunteer Fire Department, the Sea Isle City Beach
Patrol and the Public Works Department, who all worked together to ensure that
everyone was safe and had a good time. Special thanks also go to the Cape May
County Sheriff’s Department, the United States Coast Guard, the New Jersey
State Police, the Strathmere Fire Department’s Cold Water Rescue Team, and the Belle Plain and Upper Township Ambulance Corps, who were also here to ensure public safety. A great job was done by all!
Even though the plunge is over, we have many other family-friendly events on
our horizon, including Sea Isle’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish
Celebration on March 17, which will be followed by many other enjoyable spring
activities and attractions. Then, before you know it, instead of polar bears,
we will be seeing sun worshippers and summer bathers on our beaches. So, be sure
to enjoy what’s left of this mild winter!
Smile…You’re in Sea Isle!
Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio
CITY COUNCIL MESSAGE:
City Council would like to congratulate all of the volunteers and City staff who supported the various activities during Sea Isle’s 2012 Polar Bear Plunge Weekend. Also, we would like to report that the pilot program for the Atlantic City Jitneys
servicing Sea Isle City during the plunge was very successful. Although details
are still being finalized, we expect the Jitney service to be available on
weekends starting Memorial Day Weekend and then continuing through June. Daily Jitney service will begin in late June and continue through the summer.
During our last council meeting on February 14, we awarded a contract (valued
at $719,336) for lagoon dredging to Wickberg Marine Contracting, Inc., of
Belford, NJ. After Wickberg Marine has completed preparing the dredge spoil
site to receive additional material (i.e. the soil that will be dredged from
the bottom of our canals), dredging is expected to start in mid-April in the
lagoons adjacent to Park and Venicean Roads (Rio Grande and Rio del Isole).
Also on February 14, City Council introduced Ordinance #1514, which is intended
to clarify the interpretation of a fully enclosed tavern or restaurant as it
pertains to outdoor sales of alcoholic beverages. Specifically, it sets forth
requirements that an establishment must meet to be “fully enclosed,” which
would enable the establishment to stay open and sell alcoholic beverages past
11:00 p.m. in those outdoor areas. This ordinance does not require any changes
to our outdoor sidewalk dining regulations. A public hearing and vote on
Ordinance #1514 will take place on March 13, at 6:00 p.m., in Council Chambers.
During our next City Council meeting on February 28, at 10:00 a.m., we will
hold a public hearing on Sea Isle City’s 2012 Municipal Budget. To view Sea
Isle’s 2012 Budget, visit our City website, www.seaislecitynj.us and click the
“Government” and City Budget” tabs. Also on February 28, we will review and
vote on resolutions that will authorize the issuance of bonds (valued at
approximately $14 million) to convert our short-term debt to permanent
Please Note: City Council’s March 13 meeting will be an evening meeting that
takes place at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.
Best Regards from the Members of City Council
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 includes 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 following is the most up to date information on the project status:
The Weeks Marine dredge “E.W. Ellefsen” continues to pump sand from Corson’s
Inlet. The sand replenishment of Sea Isle’s north end (1st to 15th Street) has
been completed, along with the beach-fill from 40th to 49th Street. The
contractor is currently working on replenishment of the beach between 30th and
40th Street; and following that, will replenish 49th to 52nd Street. Operations
downtown were relocated prior to the Polar Bear Plunge event in order to
provide clear access to the beach. Sand dune fencing installation has commenced
and will follow the replenishment, providing for a row of fencing along the
entire length of the project.
The beach-fill operation runs 24/7, and does not stop for any holiday.
Phase 2 of Excursion Park, Beach to Bay Corridor – This project involves
streetscape improvements to the public corridor along JFK Boulevard (Promenade
to Landis Avenue) and widening of the sidewalks along each side of this
corridor by 3 feet. The contractor, Fred M. Schiavone Construction, has
completed base street paving for the entire project area, has completed
landscape planter walls, and has installed most of the landscaping and sod.
Sidewalk pavers have been substantially completed for the entire project.
Within the next two weeks, the utility companies are scheduled to relocate
poles on the south side of the boulevard as needed, and remove poles on the
north side. Final paving of the street is expected to be performed in March.
With the contractor taking advantage of the favorable weather over the past few
months, the project is now anticipated to be completed in early April.
Demolition of Existing Library/Beach Tag Facility and Conversion to Parking Lot
(NO CHANGE FROM
PREVIOUS UPDATE) - The schedule has been slightly revised from prior updates;
and demolition of the old library facility is now anticipated to take place 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
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 commenced with preparation of the site for the Welcome
Center addition as well as renovations to the existing Community Lodge. Piling
installation for the addition has started and is expected to be complete within
the next week. The City has successfully relocated the Lodge activities to the
old Library Building; and the renovation work 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
Improvements to T.I. Park – The contractor, Axios, Inc., has completed
demolition of the existing ramps and decks, and is in the process of framing
the new decks and 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.
Lagoon Dredging – On February 14, City Council authorized the
award of a contract to Wickberg Marine Contracting, of Belford, NJ, in the
amount of $719,336. Last week, letters were 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 plan for advancement of the project is as follows:
*In the next two weeks, the contractor will mobilize his equipment on site and
start 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 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)
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).
Sewer and Road Reconstruction on Central Avenue, 49th to 69th Street –
This project has been contracted to the firm of Lewandowski Construction
Industries, Inc., of Waterford, NJ. The project will be performed in two
phases, the first being from 49th to 61st Street (prior to the 2012 summer
season) and the second phase from 61st 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 first phase will start at 61st Street and
proceed northward to 49th Street. Notices to residents affected by the project
will be issued in advance of the work. The contractor started mobilization of
equipment and materials onto the site this week, and construction is scheduled
to begin next week.
Utility Reconstruction on Landis Avenue, 54th to 69th Street (NO CHANGE
FROM PREVIOUS UPDATE) - 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 is scheduled to start work around March 1 and complete
the project around mid-May.
Inflow and Infiltration (I & I) Remediation (NO CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS
UPDATE) - 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 need for this work was identified over
the past three 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.
The project is expected to be completed by March 2012.
Utility Reconstruction, Various Streets (NO CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS UPDATE)
- The City is embarking on 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. The work will be
completed in the spring, with a summer hiatus, then a fall completion is
planned. 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 from Sea Isle Bridge to Landis Avenue (NO
CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS UPDATE) – 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 will include the addition of widened
sidewalks, decorative lighting, streetscape improvements and landscaping, and
elevation of the road surface, which will assist during times of flooding. The
County Engineer and the design engineering firm Urban Engineers will give a
presentation on the JFK Boulevard project on March 7, 2012, at 5:00 p.m., in
the City Council chambers. The County will contact by letter owners of
properties adjacent to the project. The purpose of the presentation is to help
to ensure that all are aware of the scope and impact of construction as well as
the timing of the project.
The County is currently working toward submission of final plans to the
Department of Transportation in order to ultimately secure funding for this
project so they can go to bid and award a project for a fall 2012 construction
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.
On Tuesday, March 6, the Historical Society will host an Open House, 10:30 a.m.
to 2:00 p.m. inside their museum at the SIC Library, where society members can
answer questions from the public. Also on March 6, a formal program will take
place in the library’s community meeting room, which will include a panel
discussion featuring local residents who eye-witnessed the storm (some of whom
were air-lifted to safety on the mainland by military helicopters).
Then, on Saturday, March 10, at 10:30 a.m., a second Open House will begin
inside the Historical Museum, which will be followed by another panel
discussion with additional eye-witnesses. Also, 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 (609) 624-7929.
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.
--2012 Dog License renewal is now due ($8.20 per license or $5.20 for
spayed/neutered dogs). License Tags are available at City Hall, 4416 Landis
Avenue, weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Current proof of rabies vaccination
must be provided (263-4461, ext. 200).
--The Sea Isle City Recycling Yard, located adjacent to the Sea Isle
Bridge near the Municipal Marina, is where you can drop-off trash and recycling
after a weekend-visit to Sea Isle City (without the worry of your trash cans
blowing away in the wind). This winter, the Recycling Yard is open on Saturdays
and Sundays (10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.) and Mondays and Fridays (7:15 a.m. to
2:45 p.m.). No bulk trash or LP tanks will be accepted at the Recycling Yard.
For more information about Sea Isle’s trash and recycling regulations, phone
263-6000 ext. 14. Don’t Forget: Recycling is mandatory in Sea Isle City!
--Free “Open Gym” Sessions for Pre-K to 4th Graders will be offered from
4:00 to 5:00 p.m. on March 7 & 21 (263-0050).
--The next City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 28,
at 10:00 a.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.
--Sea Isle City will host a Free Rabies Clinic for Dogs and Cats on Saturday,
February 25, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., in the garage of the Public Safety
Building, 233 JFK Boulevard. Sea Isle City Dog Licenses will also be available
for purchase during this event (263.4461, ext. 200).
--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
--S.O.S. (Save Our Strays) has healthy and friendly cats that are in need of
good homes. Anyone interested in adopting a cat can contact the volunteers
at S.O.S. for more details (609-972-5887 or www.seaisleciats.org). Also, if you
see a stray cat walking the streets of Sea Isle City, please phone S.O.S. so
they can attempt to identify the cat and render assistance if needed.
--The T. I. Civic Center's Spring Open House is set for Saturday, March 3, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. (263-3002, www.senaworld.org ).
--Cape May County Engineers will present information regarding Sea Isle’s
future JFK Boulevard Project (Landis Avenue to the Sea Isle Bridge) on
March 7, 5:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 233 JFK Boulevard. The purpose of
the presentation is to ensure that the public is aware of the timing, scope and
impact of this project. It is anticipated that work will begin in the fall of
--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,
--Girls Weekend, hosted by the SIC Chamber of Commerce and
Revitalization, will feature special offers and bargains at retailers and
restaurants throughout town, Friday to Sunday, March 23-25 (263-9090,
--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 Kids will take place at Dealy Field
on Wednesday, March 28, 4:30 p.m., Rain Date: April 4 (263-0050)