I’m happy to report that the city has finally acquired the former Getty Station at the corner of Ninth Street and Bay Avenue. We took title to the property on Wednesday. Work will begin immediately to landscape the area and complete an open space park in time for summer. The process has been long, but the Ninth Street gateway will be greatly enhanced. No longer will the sight of abandoned gas stations greet visitors as they cross the bridge. As always, we will continue to seek other opportunities to acquire and preserve open space in Ocean City.
Our beach tags for the military are in, and beginning on Monday (April 16), they will be available to veterans and active members of the military. Veterans receive free tags (veteran only). Active military members, spouses and immediate children up to age 23 also receive free tags. The seasonal tags are available at City Hall, the Welcome Center on the Rt. 52 Causeway, the 46th Street Welcome Center and the Music Pier Info Center. Remember to bring proper military identification. The tags pay tribute to a different branch of the military each year, and this year’s tags honor the U.S. Marine Corps.
I want to remind you all that the 34th Street Bridge will be closed overnight on Monday (from 10 p.m. April 16 through 5 a.m. April 17) to allow work crews to remove the concrete barrier and begin the final phase of smoothing the road surface. The Cape May County project remains on schedule to be completed in May.
With the warmer weather, paving crews will be at work in many areas of town. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we push to complete this work before the season. As we continue to add amenities to the downtown, construction of brick crosswalks at Eighth Street and Asbury Avenue will begin on Wednesday. Partial detours will be in effect.
Finally, I want to remind you that the Doo Dah Parade starts tomorrow (Saturday, April 14) at noon. It will run through the downtown on Asbury Avenue before returning up on the boardwalk. Erik Estrada will be grand marshal and also will host the fifth annual Mr. Mature America Pageant at 7 p.m. tomorrow on the Ocean City Music Pier. If you’ve never witnessed the Mr. Mature Pageant, you have to give it a try. Tickets will be available at the Music Pier, and at City Hall and welcome centers throughout town.
Jay A. Gillian