The administration continues to gather information on a proposed offshore wind energy project, and I provided this timeline to City Council at last night’s meeting:
June 21, 2019: The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities completed a cost-benefit analysis and granted the state’s first award for offshore wind to Ørsted. (BPU determined the project would create 15,000 jobs over the project life, $1.17 billion in statewide economic benefits, and enough power for 500,000 New Jersey homes for an extra $1.46 a month for ratepayers.)
August 27, 2019: Ocean City hosted its first town hall meeting for the public and City Council to learn more about the project.
Feb. 8, 2020: Ocean City hosted a second town hall meeting for the public. (This one included pictures of what it would look like.)
Oct. 20, 21 and 24, 2020: Ørsted hosted three more virtual sessions for the public.
End of March 2021: Ørsted expects to complete a construction and operations plan.
Spring or Summer 2021: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will issue a “notice of intent” about the proposed project. That will open a public comment and review period.
Next 24 to 27 months: BOEM will rule on the safety and environmental impact of the project in federal waters (the ocean) and the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection will rule on the environmental impact in state waters (where transmission lines cross the bay).
These are the facts.
There will be many opportunities for the public to express their support or opposition with the people who will make the decision.
I will continue to provide information and updates to the public. If it cannot be stopped, I will do everything I can to make sure Ocean City benefits from this project.
One of the requirements for the wind energy company’s application with the federal government is a survey of architectural and archeological resources in the communities along the coastline of southern New Jersey.
Please be aware that contractors for Ørsted will be taking photographs of older homes and buildings with ocean views.
Other contractors will be digging by shovel to confirm the presence or absence of artifacts under the 34th Street Bridge.
The contractor for Ocean City’s 2020-2021 bayside dredging program is nearing completion of scheduled work for the city after removing material from the mouths of lagoons including Snug Harbor, Glen Cove, Sunny Harbor and South Harbor. The contractor is now available to dredge private slips (at the owners’ expense) under the citywide dredging permit. Private slip dredging is permitted through the end of March. To learn more, click here.
I’m sad to report on the passing of two icons in Ocean City history. I hope you’ll join me in paying tribute to Richard Kabat, whose classic men’s shop became a model for Ocean City’s downtown shopping district, and Marilyn Moore, who became Ocean City’s first female commissioner in the 1970s.
Dick Kabat grew up in Ocean City, and after serving in the Air Force, he returned to work in the family business on Asbury Avenue. Kabat Men’s Shop was a class act in every way – from the meticulous exterior to the tailored men’s clothing inside. He was one of the driving forces behind the development of the Ocean City Community Center, which has become an invaluable community resource.
I was proud to serve with Dick on the Shore Memorial Hospital board, and he also served as president of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, Ocean City Retail Merchants, Ocean City Upper Township Rotary Club and Friends of Stockton State College Performing Arts Center. Most of all, Dick was always a true gentleman. I’m sure there are many like me who fondly remember shopping at Kabat’s.
Marilyn Moore was the Commissioner of Finance for Ocean City before a change in our form of government created City Council. She served under mayors Thomas Waldman and Luther Wallace. Marilyn later worked as a real estate agent in town and continued her career until the age of 90.
I hope you will join Michele and me in extending deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dick and Marilyn.
Finally, I want to ask you all to consider helping out our two veterans organizations in town: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6650 and American Legion Post 524.
With so many events canceled and so many restrictions still in place during the pandemic, these groups need some help to sustain their operations. I can tell you that they have always been there for the community whenever we need anything. Let’s return the favor with some donations.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
Mayor Jay A. Gillian