I am happy to report that Sea Isle City's residents and visitors are already enjoying the 2011 summer season - and the many local activities that are entertaining and delighting those in search of family fun. The 1st Annual Fish Alley Festival, which took place on June 11 at Sea Isle's Marina Park, was a huge success, and I would personally like to thank everyone who helped make that event so memorable (especially the hard-working members of Sea Isle's Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization). I am sure the Fish Alley Festival will evolve into yet another exciting attraction that people will look forward to attending year after year.
I am also happy to tell you about the tremendous amount of positive feedback I have received regarding Sea Isle's new Entertainment Complex at JFK Boulevard and the Promenade (home of our resort's new Band Shell). Two weeks ago, the Band Shell's inaugural concert took place with a performance by the wonderful Strathmere Ensemble, who entertained hundreds of spectators filling the benches and grassy lawn at Excursion Park. That concert was just the beginning of many exciting events scheduled to take place this summer at the Band Shell - so be sure to check our City's calendar of events for a complete list of happenings, including additional concerts, outdoor movies, family dance parties and the new Sea Isle City's Got Talent Contest.
The Entertainment Complex will be alive with activity this weekend during Sea Isle's annual Skimmer Festival, which is organized by our Tourism Department. The festival will kick-off on Saturday morning, June 18, with a huge Seaside Market along the Promenade. There will also be a Food Court in front of Excursion Park, children's activities, a sand-sculpting demonstration and other exciting events on Saturday. Then, on Saturday evening, come to Excursion Park at 7:30 p.m. for the Band Shell's official ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will take place prior to a performance by the Sensational Soul Cruisers at 8:00 p.m. Skimmer Festival Weekend will continue on Father's Day, Sunday, June 19, with an Antique Auto Show on the Promenade, free historic trolley tours and live music - so plan on enjoying another full weekend of family-fun here in Sea Isle City.
As you walk or drive through town this summer, be sure to also notice other new additions that have recently been completed, including the new basketball courts and playground on JFK Boulevard, the new rides at Gillian's Funland Amusement Park and the new landscaping at the base of the Sea Isle Bridge. With these projects and many others now finished - and several other plans currently being formulated for additional improvements - it's no wonder that people consider Sea Isle City "the place to be" at the Jersey Shore.
See you in Sea Isle!
Mayor Leonard Desiderio
CITY COUNCIL MESSAGE:
As a follow-up to a past City Council message regarding road work on Central Avenue (49th to 69th Street), it was announced at our June 14 council meeting that we will learn by June 17 if we are approved for U.S. Department of Agriculture grant money, which will help pay for that project. The USDA grant is anticipated to be in the $500,000 to $1 million range, with the balance in loans. Once we are notified about that grant, we will move forward and put that project out for bid this summer so we will be ready to start work in the fall.
During our last council message, we discussed raking the beach in Sea Isle's North End, which is only an issue due to Environmental concerns as per our Beach Management Plan. The NJDEP was contacted and permission was granted to rake that beach, which has since been completed. We will be requesting permission from the NJDEP prior to July 4th Weekend to rake the North End again as needed.
A Zoning Ordinance Meeting was originally scheduled to take place after our council meeting on June 14, however that meeting was postponed and will now take place on July 19 at 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. All are encouraged to attend as we discuss landscaping, window-sizes in commercial businesses and design standards.
On July 1, our scheduled City Council Reorganization Meeting will take place at Sea Isle's new Band Shell at Excursion Park, 12 noon. During that meeting, Sea Isle's recently re-elected Mayor and Council Members will be sworn in to office. All are invited to attend this event.
At the June 14 Council Meeting, there was a presentation made by the Administration regarding our much-debated Welcome Center. Concept plans were presented and discussed publicly at that meeting. Council voted to move forward with construction documents for a new Welcome Center in front of and adjacent to Sea Isle's Community Lodge, JFK Boulevard and Park Road. There will be additional opportunities for public discussion as the project moves forward. Please see Project Updates below for additional info.
Best Regards from the Members of City Council.
JFK BOULEVARD BASKETBALL COURTS & PLAYGROUND: Work has been substantially completed on replacement of the basketball courts, provision of new lighting, fencing, sidewalks and resurfacing of the entire playground area adjacent to the basketball courts with a cushioned safety material similar to that at the Dealy Field complex. Items remaining to be completed include installation of benches at the basketball courts - to be installed the week of June 20; and completion of a small area at the corner of the playground. The facility will be open to the public for use on Friday, June 17.
LAGOON DREDGING: The City is in the process of performing the required environmental and engineering work required to obtain permits to perform needed dredging in several of our City lagoons. The objective is to accomplish the dredging in the fall of 2011. The lagoons being examined for dredging include the following areas:
Rio Grande (south side of 47th Place)
Rio Delle Stelle (between 46th and 47th Place)
Rio Delle Luna (between 45th and 46th Place)
Rio Del Amore (between 44th Street and 45th Place)
Rio Delle Isole (along Venicean Road)
Rio Del Barche (between 43rd Place and 44th Street)
Rio Del Affare (between 42nd and 43rd Place)
Rio Delle Ponte (along Park Road on either side of 43rd Place)
38th and Sounds (in waterway adjacent to the Sounds Avenue properties)
47th PLACE BULKHEAD: The project has been substantially completed, including restoration of the concrete and pavement. The bulkhead will serve to properly secure the City's right of way at this location, and is one of several bulkhead reconstructions to be accomplished over the next few years, as the City works to ensure proper upkeep of vital bayfront infrastructure.
MARINA BUILDING: The contractor has received delivery of the roofing and siding material; and work has commenced on enclosing the building. The current schedule for the project is for the building to be roofed and sided within the next three weeks, with substantial completion of the facility in August.
UPCOMING CAPITAL INTIATIVES: In furtherance of the City's adopted Capital Plan, the administration will present a funding ordinance to City Council for introduction at the July 19 council meeting. Projects expected to be included in that funding ordinance include the following:
*The next phase of the beach to bay corridor improvement, from the Promenade to Landis Avenue on JFK. Conceptual design work for this phase is currently in progress.
*Welcome Center addition to the Community Lodge - following presentation of concepts at the June 14 City Council meeting, council approved continued work on completion of the design. This project is expected to be advertised for construction bids in August.
*Demolition of old Library on JFK, and construction of parking lot.
*Reconstruction of bulkheads at 43rd and 46th Place (permitting work currently in progress).
*Various road reconstruction projects, including 48th, 50th, and 51st Streets, all from Landis to the Promenade, and 60th Street, from Landis Avenue to Central Avenue. These projects, which include extensive underground storm or sanitary sewer work to be done in advance of the road surfacing, are scheduled to be accomplished starting in the fall and completed prior to summer 2012. The Public Works Department will also be working with the City Engineer to determine road surfacing work that can be accomplished without underground utility work. This list will be established over the next several months.
*Improvements to Townsends Inlet Park, including handicapped accessibility improvements and replacement of deteriorated wood decking with recycled plastic decking. This work will be completed over the fall/winter in advance of the 2012 summer season.
The City's Capital Plan was adopted by City Council in December 2010 - for details go to the City's website www.seaislecitynj.us, go to the "Government" tab at the top, scroll down to Administration and click on the link for Capital Pan 2011-2015). Annually, the City Administration and City Council work together to develop a five year capital plan. The development of this plan involves community input, through publicly held workshops, as well as at regular council meetings. For a summary of the capital project process that determines how projects come to fruition, go to the City's website, click the "Projects" tab at the top and then click on the link for "Capital Project Process."
DID YOU KNOW:
• The Summer Trash and Recycling Collection Schedule went into effect on June 13, and collections now take on 1st through 44th Streets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 45th through 70th Streets on Mondays and Thursdays and 71st through 94th Streets on Tuesday and Fridays. Remember: Recycling is mandatory in Sea Isle City! For more info, phone 263-6000, ext. 14, or visit the city's website for recycling directions (click the "Government/Public Works/PW Home" tabs).
• The next City Council meeting is a Reorganization Meeting on July 1 at 12 noon at the Band Shell. At that time, Mayor Desiderio and the recently re-elected City Council members will be sworn in.
• Skimmer Festival Weekend is this weekend, June 18-19. The festival features a giant seaside market & food court, live music, sand sculpting demo & contest and kid's activities on Saturday, and an antique auto show, live music and free trolley tours on Sunday. Info: 263-TOUR.
• A Band Shell Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place this Saturday, June 18, 7:30 p.m., prior to a free concert by The Sensational Soul Cruisers, 8:00 p.m.
• Sea Isle's Weekly Farmer's Market will take place every Tuesday starting June 21, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00p.m., JFK and Pleasure Avenue. This popular event, which is hosted by the Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization, will feature fresh produce, flowers, crafts and many other items. Info: 263-9090.
• Beachcomber Guided Tours begin Tuesday, June 21 at 10:00 a.m. and will take place each Tuesday and Thursday morning throughout the summer. Tours cost only $1 and are fun for the entire family. Info: 263-9643
• The Sarah the Turtle Festival is Thursday, June 23, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Excursion Park. This free event is a must for all kids! Info: 263-TOUR
• Sea Isle City's Got Talent Contest will begin on Friday, June 24, at 8:00 p.m. at the new Band Shell and will continue each Friday night until August. Info: www.seaislecity'sgottalent.com .
• Tidal Wave will perform a free concert at the Band Shell on Saturday, June 25, 8:00 p.m. Info: 263-TOUR.
• Good Tymes Oldies Band will perform a free concert at the Band Shell on Monday, June 27, 7:30 p.m. Info: 263-TOUR.
• Sea Isle's Free Family Night Dance Parties with DJ Jeff will begin on Wednesday, June 29, 7:30 at Excursion Park. Info: 263-TOUR.
• Sea Isle's Free Outdoor "Movies Under the Stars" will begin with a showing of "Megamind" on Thursday, June 30, Dusk, Excursion Park. Info: 263-TOUR.