City Council Updates: Bay Avenue, Bulkheads, Budget

City Council Updates: Bay Avenue, Bulkheads, Budget

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A county project to improve Bay Avenue between Sixth and 18th streets started on Feb. 24.

City Council had a full agenda for its public meeting 7 p.m. Thursday (March 13) at the Ocean City Free Public Library. But here are five things that might be of special interest:

  • BAY AVENUE IMPROVEMENTS: Ocean City Business Administrator Mike Dattilo updated City Council on a Cape May County project to improve drainage and repave Bay Avenue between Sixth and 18th streets. Delays with New Jersey American Water Company replacing water mains have set back the county’s schedule in improving the road. Work likely will not be done by Memorial Day, he said. If the roadwork can’t be completed by summer, it will resume in the fall. In the meantime, the worst stretch of pavement between 15th and 18th streets will be milled down to a surface that will be rough — but not as treacherous as the existing collection of potholes.
  • REVISED BULKHEAD ORDINANCE: City Council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that governs construction of bulkheads. The existing ordinance pertains only to bulkheads on the bay side of Ocean City. Proposed revisions would add oceanfront bulkheads, change references to the outdated “Director of Public Works” and change the scale used to measure elevation (to NAVD 1988). Minimum elevation of the top of bulkheads must be 7 feet (NAVD 1988) on the bay side and 11 feet on the oceanfront under the proposed ordinance. (The tide level during Superstorm Sandy reached 7.25 feet (NAVD 1988). The Planning Board will review the ordinance and a public hearing is tentatively scheduled for April 10.
  • $72 MILLION BUDGET TIMELINE: Finance Director Frank Donato updated City Council on the timeline for adoption of a city budget that proposes a 2.89 percent tax levy increase. Donato said he thought the draft budget could be formally introduced to Council in two weeks, and a public hearing and potential adoption of the budget could take place in the second week of April.
  • GIFTS OF LAND: City Council approved the final readings of three ordinances to accept gifts of real estate from private owners. The lots are part of unbuildable wetlands — some near the 3700 and 3800 blocks of West Avenue and others near the Ocean City Homes neighborhood farther south.
  • SUPPORTING NBC40: City Council approved a symbolic resolution supporting NBC40 as a vital source of information, “particularly in weather emergencies.” A new owner may be interested in selling the television station’s frequency at auction.
  • WELCOMING THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS: City Council voted to welcome the Special Olympics to New Jersey. The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games will be held June 14-21 at university campuses in Mercer County. Ocean City Aquatics and Fitness Center Director Karen Pratz is serving as the assistant head of the New Jersey delegation to the Summer Games. Ocean City Primary School teacher Carrie Merritt and Ocean City Recreation Department supervisor Lisa Rumer are coaching athletes in the sprint triathlon, a new exhibition event to be held for the first time in summer 2014. Ocean City Stingrays swimmer Dan Hendrixson, 15, earned a spot on the 24-member New Jersey aquatics team.

For detail and supporting documentation on all agenda items, see the City Council Agenda Packet.

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