I want to extend my best wishes to Scott Simpson, his family and the entire team at Playland’s Castaway Cove for a smooth rebuilding process after last weekend’s fire. All owners on the boardwalk and all of our guests benefit from the success of this attraction.
I will do whatever I can to make sure the city facilitates a quick recovery. I want to reassure the public that all of Ocean City is looking forward to a spectacular summer of 2021.
I’d also like to thank the Ocean City Fire Department, Police Department and Public Works Department, along with all of the first responders from our surrounding communities who assisted in the response to the fire. Their great work and bravery – in extremely difficult conditions – helped save the boardwalk and neighboring businesses from further damage.
In addition, I am grateful to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team, Cape May County Fire Marshal’s Office, Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office for their help in the investigation.
Investigators are continuing their work at the site, but I’m hoping to be able reopen the boardwalk block in front of Playland later this weekend.
I received a number of emails this week inquiring about the potential demolition of a historic home on the 600 block of Wesley Avenue. The property is part of our Historic District, which is governed by ordinances designed to preserve the character of the neighborhoods near the Ocean City Tabernacle, where Ocean City was founded and first settled.
Our Historic Preservation Commission denied an application to demolish the structure, and that triggered a period where the property must be offered for sale to somebody who would want to preserve it. Our commission chair will seek the owner’s appraisals to make sure the property is being listed at fair market value. This is the procedure outlined in our ordinances.
The city also received a lot of inquiries about the water utility bills that Ocean City property owners received this month. New rates went into effect this month and the charges are presented in a new format. These rates are set by the New Jersey American Water Company and the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority, which are regulated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. This FAQ on our city website explains more about your water and wastewater service charges.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
Mayor Jay A. Gillian