I would like to provide updates on a number of ongoing projects:
- With the recent completion of bridge construction on W. 17th Street, our mechanical dredging contractor now has access to dredge under and around the bridge. I will ask City Council to approve a change order to get this area properly completed.
- The city provided a temporary launch area for the Ocean City crew teams near the 34th Street Bridge as the ramp area was available due to dredging operations, which are now complete in that area.
- Work on the north end drainage project continues to make good progress. The final phases include installation of pumping stations and work on Bay Avenue. Project completion is anticipated in the spring.
- All new pumping stations in the mid-island drainage project in the Fourth Ward are now operational. We do not yet have a firm date for paving this spring, but the contractor is required to provide notices to property owners when they restrict access. The city has committed to screening and landscaping the electric transformers at each of the pumping stations.
- Reconstruction of the Surf Road beach access to replace stairs with an accessible ramp is nearly complete.
- Drainage and road reconstruction work at West 55th Street continues. The storm drainage system at this location will be replaced, and the road from Dory Drive to the bay will be elevated. This work will improve drainage conditions and eliminate much of the regular road flooding that occurs adjacent to several properties on the south side of West 55th Street. This project is expected to be complete before Memorial Day weekend.
- Contractors are continuing work on restoration of the northern and western shorelines of Shooting Island in the bay off the area between W. 17th Street and Tennessee Avenue.
- South Jersey Gas is installing safety valves along gas mains on streets throughout Ocean City. The work requires interruptions of service, and property owners are getting calls from the contractors (CTX and Lantier Construction) requesting access to relight pilots. These calls are legitimate.
- The pool at the Ocean City Aquatic and Fitness Center will close starting on Monday (March 11). A repair and maintenance project is expected to take six to eight weeks. Members can inquire at the Community Center about options during the pool closing.
City Council will consider a resolution to adopt our five-year capital plan at the public meeting on Thursday (March 14). This is a road map for our infrastructure investments in the coming years.
At the same meeting, Finance Director Frank Donato will make a presentation for projected expenses and revenue in our 2019 municipal budget. Council will vote to “introduce” the budget, which includes zero increase to the tax rate for this year.
Council will then work on potential revisions until a final public hearing and vote in April.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
Mayor Jay A. Gillian