The recently issued FEMA Advisory Maps have become a cause for concern among property owners at the Jersey shore. Be assured that we are working hard to obtain the facts so we can keep Sea Isle’s homeowners accurately informed. Toward that end, I will soon be travelling to Trenton with other Cape May County mayors to meet with the Governor’s cabinet and FEMA representatives to discuss our concerns and gain substantive information that I will pass on to you. We are grateful for the efforts of Senator Jeff Van Drew in facilitating this important meeting. Please use the links in the “FEMA Flood Elevation” section below to learn more about this issue.
Through the cooperative effort of the City, the Tourism Commission, and the Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization, we’ve embarked on an exciting campaign to expand our marketing area. A picture of a billboard that was rented by the Tourism Commission near Lincoln Tunnel is found below in “Recent Photos.” Tools like this will get the message to our North Jersey and New York neighbors that our gem of an island to their south is open for business and ready to offer visitors the vacation of a lifetime. Please note that the expense for the billboard was funded entirely by the Tourism Commission with no taxpayer dollars spent.
The largest ribbon-cutting ever held in New Jersey will take place on Friday, February 15, on the promenade. The ribbon will stretch the entire length of the promenade and the cutting will officially launch Polar Bear Plunge Weekend and Sea Isle City’s 2013 visitor season.
Saturday, February 16, is Sea Isle’s much-anticipated Polar Bear Plunge. We expect this year to be the best ever with several brand new additions to the festivities. Safety, of course, always comes first and, in the interest of your safety, we ask that plungers only enter the water in the designated plunge area. Also, in the interest of your safety, you are reminded that the promenade is closed north of 32nd Street. The last three blocks of the promenade are blocked off to secure that area for repairs necessary due to damage caused by super storm Sandy. Contractors are being lined up and repairs will begin shortly after Presidents’ Day Weekend. Rest assured that the north end of the promenade will be safe for your strolling pleasure well before the 2013 summer season.
Sunday, Day Three of Polar Bear Plunge Weekend, is highlighted by the Annual Run/Walk for Autism. Please support this important event, knowing that all proceeds go to Autism research.
Smile…You’re in Sea Isle!
Leonard C. Desiderio, Mayor of Sea Isle City
CITY COUNCIL MESSAGE:
Currently, entering the City from the mainland comes with some traffic advisories. Instead of the normal two lanes in and two lanes out on JFK Boulevard, traffic is restricted to one lane in and one out, all in the regularly eastbound lanes (on the southern side of the median). There are stop signs at Central Avenue but no operating traffic lights. Caution is highly recommended during this roadway construction, which is scheduled to be completed before Memorial Day Weekend. Using caution is especially important with the summertime crowds soon to be arriving for Presidents’/Polar Bear Plunge Weekend.
Polar Bear Plunge activities will begin on Friday, February 15 with contests to choose the King, Queen, Prince and Princess, who will reign for the coming year. Jitneys will be operating on Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. (Saturday morning); on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. (Sunday morning); and also on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Registration for the Polar Bear Plunge is available online as well as in person at the registration trailer on Friday evening and on Saturday up to the time of the water activities. Costume contest registration takes place from 10:00 a.m. until 12 noon on Saturday under the family tent, located in the Municipal parking lot next to LaCosta on JFK Boulevard. The family tent will also house market vendors and children’s activities such as face painting. Enhancing Saturday’s plunge will be a parade forming along the basketball courts on JFK Boulevard at 1:15 p.m. Traffic detours will be in place for safety. The parade will include the Polar Bear King, Queen, Prince and Princess and the famous Fralinger String Band. The parade route will be eastbound on JFK Boulevard to Pleasure Avenue. The royal family will then head south on Pleasure Avenue to 44th Street, where they will enter the beach to start the festivities, while the band continues north at Pleasure Avenue and onto the Band Shell stage at Excursion Park, where their music will be broadcast over the public address system.
Sunday’s keynote event, the Polar Bear Run/Walk for Autism, will have online registration until February 14 as well as in-person registration on Saturday, February 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and on Sunday, February 17, from 9:00 to 11:55 a.m. The race will start promptly at 12:30 p.m. on the Promenade at JFK Boulevard. Immediately following the race, under the big, heated tent at LaCosta, you can enjoy food, refreshments, live music, magicians and face painting. Remember – all proceeds go directly to Autism research. Make your tax exempt donation payable to Polar Bear Run-Walk for Autism.
To all of the “sweethearts” who receive this newsletter – Happy Valentine’s Day!
Best regards from the Members of City Council
Lagoon Dredging – The contractor, Wickberg Marine Contracting, of Belford, NJ, has completed dredging Rio Grande Lagoon, Rio Delle Isole, Rio Del Amore, and Rio Delle Luna. The contractor is currently working at Rio Delle Stelle.
All lagoons being dredged are as follows:
Rio Grande (south side of 47th Place)
Rio Delle Stelle (between 46th and 47th Place)
Rio Delle Luna (between 45th and 46th Place) Completed
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)
The project provides for the ability of private property owners adjacent to the project area to enter into an agreement with the dredging contractor to dredge their private slips (at the private owner’s expense). In conjunction with the City project, properties at the above locations do have the required permits to perform private slip dredging.
As part of this project, consistent with the commitment to afford the opportunity to private property owners to have their slips dredged (at their own expense), the City continues to work with the Army Corps of Engineers and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to obtain permits for previously identified areas of need, including the western side of Venicean Road (along the Intracoastal waterway) and along Sounds Avenue (in the area of 38th Street). Permits for these areas are expected to be obtained in the near future, in order to allow time for these property owners to come to agreement with the dredging contractor to have their slips dredged prior to completion of the overall project.
Sewer and Road Reconstruction on Central Avenue (49th to 69th Street) – The project has been contracted to the firm of Lewandowski Construction Industries, Inc., of Waterford, NJ. The contractor is currently milling 54th Street to 51st Street in preparation for temporary paving on all ditches. The sewer portion of the project is expected to be completed this winter; after which the entire roadway will be resurfaced (we expect to perform base paving in the spring with final surface course paving in the fall, following the 2013 summer season). South Jersey Gas Company has been notified regarding a relocation of lines on 65th and 66th Street due to a conflict in that area. The project will provide for an upgraded sewer system and new road surface for the entire one mile stretch of roadway. This section of sewer has been problematic for years, with continuous maintenance issues; and this project will not only provide for appropriate sewage infrastructure, it will assist in decreasing the amount of ground water sent to the county sewage treatment plant, thus saving in unnecessary costs associated with the treatment of “infiltration” water.
Utility Reconstruction on Landis Avenue (54th to 69th Street) – NO CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS UPDATE – The project has been contracted to F.W. Shawl & Sons of Marmora, NJ, and will provide for water and sewer line replacement in advance of the County project to resurface Landis Avenue from 54th to 69th Street. The contractor has completed the utility main replacements on Landis Avenue including laterals and is in the closeout stage with punch list items being completed. The County is scheduled to resurface Landis Avenue from 54th to 63rd Street in the spring of 2013. 63rd to 69th Street is now planned to be resurfaced following the summer of 2013.
Inflow and Infiltration (I & I) Remediation – NO CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS UPDATE – The firm of Video Pipe Services, Inc. of Newfield, NJ, has substantially completed the project, and is in the process of working with the City Engineer to close-out the project. The need for this project was identified over the past several years through a comprehensive investigation and analysis of the City’s sewer system. Sewer systems are prone to both inflow (overland water entering the sewer system through manhole covers and other surface openings in the system); and infiltration (entry of groundwater into pipelines through cracks, deteriorated pipe, and pipe joints). The effects of I & I are symptoms of deterioration of the sewer system that must be corrected to avoid more problematic maintenance issues and potential failure of the sewer system. I & I is also costly, in that the City must pay for the unnecessary treatment of water that enters the sanitary sewer system. This is the first phase of a multi-year citywide sewer maintenance and improvement project that will ensure the continued viability of the City’s vital sewer infrastructure. The next phase of I & I work will involve replacement of sewer lines that cannot be substantially corrected through internal, “no-dig” repairs, as were performed in this phase. As those projects are engineered and prepared for bidding and construction, we will provide updates on the specific details of the projects.
Utility Reconstruction, Various Streets – The project includes replacement of deteriorated underground utilities (water and sewer) in several streets, as part of the City’s comprehensive road and utility program. The project is being performed by Garden State General Construction, Inc., of Rio Grande, NJ. Following utility work, the streets will receive new surface paving. The following streets are included in this project:
1. 42nd Street, Landis Avenue to Promenade
2. 48th Street, Landis Avenue to Promenade
3. 50th Street, Landis Avenue to Promenade
4. 51st Street, Landis Avenue to Promenade
5. 60th Street, Landis Avenue to Central Avenue
6. 43rd Place
7. 79th Street, Landis Avenue to Central Avenue
8. 60th Street, Landis Avenue to Beach End
With work substantially completed on 42nd, 48th, 50th and 51st Street the contractor will be starting restoration of 60th Street. A second crew will begin work on 79th Street next week.
JFK Boulevard Reconstruction, from Bridge to Landis Avenue –The County received bids for the project on December 12, 2012. The apparent low bidder was Asphalt Paving Systems, Inc., of Hammonton, NJ, in the amount of $3,773,000.00. A preconstruction meeting for the project took place on January 9th, at which time details for the project were reviewed, along with the proposed construction schedule. Construction is currently in full swing, with concrete and utility work taking place along the length of the boulevard.
The following are some of the important details regarding the project:
1. The north side of the boulevard is closed, with two-way traffic diverted to the south side of JFK Boulevard from the foot of the Bridge to Landis Avenue.
2. The project will be coordinated with the City to ensure minimal disruption during Polar Bear Plunge.
3. The majority of the work will be completed prior to the 2013 Memorial Day weekend, and there will be two lanes along each side of the boulevard open for Memorial Day Weekend and no access restrictions for that weekend.
4. The project is scheduled for substantial completion by mid-June, 2013.
5. Final completion of the project, including all punch list items, is scheduled for fall 2013; with no work to take place during the summer season.
6. The project construction is being completely funded by the federal government.
Water Well and Well House Construction at 50th Street – The contract is being performed by B&H Contracting, Inc., of Folsom, NJ, in the amount of $1,363,000. The drilling and setting of the well has been complete. Water quality sampling for tests have been taken. Demobilization of the drilling rig and storage trailer has been completed. The state has approved the method of sealing the old well, and that process should begin to take place soon. Ultimately, the project will provide for the capability to deliver approximately one million gallons of water each day to City residents, and will help to ensure the viability of our critical water infrastructure now and into the future. The project is expected to be completed prior to the summer 2013 season.
Mill/Pave Overlay of Various Streets – The project has been awarded to the firm of South State, Inc., of Bridgeton, NJ, in the amount of $317,185.66.
The following streets are included in the project:
30th Street (Landis to Bay End)
34th Street (Landis to Central)
38th Street (Landis to Central)
39th Street (Landis to Central)
40th Street (Central to Cini)
40th Street (Cini to Kneass)
Cini Street (39th to 40th
47th Street (Central to Park)
Roberts Avenue (77th to 79th
86th Street Landis to Pleasure Avenue
Roberts Avenue (56th to 54th).
Concrete ADA improvements and asphalt paving are nearly completed. One additional portion of Roberts Avenue will be paved in the near future. Line striping will be done when the weather allows.
2013 POLAR BEAR WEEKEND EVENTS:
Giant Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony & Official Start of the 2013 Visitors Season: Friday, February 15, along the entire length of the Sea Isle City Promenade (exact time soon to be announced). Join your neighbors and friends during the largest ribbon-cutting ceremony in New Jersey’s history – and help tell the world that “We’re Ready” for 2013 in Sea Isle City! For additional info, phone 263-9090.
Polar Bear Prince & Princess Contest: Friday, February 15, 2013, 6:00 p.m., under the Family Tent at LaCosta, JFK Boulevard and Landis Avenue. Contestants must be 12 to 16 years old, must wear appropriate attire and must be available to lead plungers into the Atlantic Ocean on February 16. Judging will be based on appearance and personality. Winners will receive a crown, sash and an iPad Mini from the Chamber of Commerce & Revitalization. All other participants will receive gift certificates. Pre-registration fee (by February 14) is $20. Same day registration fee is $25. Visit www.lacosta-seaisle.com to download an application form, or phone 263-9090 for more details.
Polar Bear King & Queen Contest: Friday, February 15, 2013, 7:00 p.m., under the Family Tent at LaCosta, JFK Boulevard and Landis Avenue. Contestants must be at least 21 years old. Winners will ride on an ice throne during the 2013 Polar Bear Parade prior to leading plungers into the Atlantic Ocean on February 16. Judging will be based on the amount of money a contestant personally raises for Autism (50%) and Personal Interview/On Stage Questions (50%). For additional details or to download an entry form, visit www.lacosta-seaisle.com or phone (609) 263-3611.
Costume Contest: Saturday, February 16, 12 noon, under the Family Tent at LaCosta Complex, JFK and Landis Avenue. Same-day registration; contestants must be registered plungers. All contestants will be invited to participate in the Polar Bear Parade to the Beach at 1:15 p.m., which will lead plungers and spectators to the weekend’s main event: The Plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. Costume Contest winners will be announced at 4:00 p.m. during an After-Plunge Party at LaCosta. Visit www.lacosta-seaisle.com for more details. (Don’t miss this hilariously entertaining annual competition!)
Polar Bear Parade to the Beach: Saturday, February 16, 1:15 p.m., JFK Boulevard and Landis Avenue. The Procession will include the members of the 2013 Polar Bear Royal Family, live music, Polar Bear Costume Contest participants and other revelers.
Plunge into the Atlantic Ocean: Saturday, February 16, 2:00 p.m., on the JFK Boulevard Beach. All participants must be age 12 or older to take the plunge. Fee: $25 (includes an official 2013 Polar Bear tee-shirt and wristband for access to JFK Boulevard Beach). Info: 609-263-3756 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Visit www.lacosta-seaisle.com for additional details or to download a registration form. To register by mail, send completed form to 4000 Landis Ave, Sea Isle City, New Jersey 08243. Plungers can also register in person at the “Official Registration Trailer” in front of La Costa Lounge on Friday, February 15 (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) and Saturday, February 16 (8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.).
Please Plunge Safely! It’s never a good idea to enter the ocean on an unprotected beach. Please plunge only at JFK Boulevard, where members of Sea Isle City’s Beach Patrol and other water rescue teams will be positioned.
5th Annual Polar Bear 5K Run/Walk for Autism: Sunday, February 17, 12:30 p.m., JFK and the Promenade. All participants will enjoy an After-Party & Award Ceremony under the heated Family Tent at LaCosta, featuring food, music, awesome door prizes, face painters & magicians for the kids, and other fun. Pre-registration fee by February 14 is $20 for walkers and $25 for runners; Registration fee after February 14 is $25 for walkers and $30 for runners. Register during Plunge Weekend at JFK and Landis Avenue, online or by downloading an official registration form at www.mikesseafood.com. Proceeds benefit Autism charities. (Info: phone 609-778-8418 or email email@example.com).
POLAR BEAR JITNEY SERVICE:
A fleet of jitneys will be available to shuttle festival-goers to and from events during Polar Bear Plunge Weekend, Friday-Sunday, February 15-17. Jitneys will run along Landis Avenue (between JFK Boulevard and 94th Street) on Friday (5:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.), Saturday (10:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). The fee to ride the jitney one-way is $2.00 per person prior to 11:00 p.m. and $4.00 per person between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED DURING POLAR BEAR PLUNGE WEEKEND!
Volunteers are needed to help make the 2013 Polar Bear Plunge Weekend a success. Individuals, families and organizations are asked to donate a small amount of time to assist with registration and giving directions to event participants. If you can help during the Plunge on Saturday, February 16, please phone 609-263-3611. If you can volunteer during the Polar Bear 5K Run / Walk for Autism on Sunday, February 17, please phone 609-778-8418.
POLAR BEAR BEACH TAGS NOW ON SALE:
Polar Bear Beach Tags are back! These special edition tags are available for purchase at the preseason price of $20.00 each at the Welcome Center Beach Tag Office, 300 JFK Boulevard, seven days a week, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – including during Polar Bear Plunge Weekend! Polar Bear Beach Tags are seasonal tags that will be valid for the entire 2013 beach season. Plus, they make wonderful gifts and they’re a perfect addition to any beach tag collection (263-1771).
FEMA FLOOD ELEVATIONS:
There is a lot of information – and misinformation – circulating around town concerning upcoming changes to the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). Sea Isle City’s Administration and City Council are working in close consultation with State and Federal agencies to clarify and bring the most up to date information available to our property owners and residents. City officials will continue to bring you the latest and most accurate information regarding this very important subject as it becomes available.
For a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” and a link to the Governor’s Rule, please read the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s February 5 press release by clicking HERE. For additional information and copies of the new advisory base flood elevation (ABFE) maps, please visit www.region2coastal.com/sandy.
UPCOMING CITY HOLIDAYS:
Lincoln’s Birthday (Tuesday, February 12) and Presidents’ Day (Monday, February 18) are City Holidays. City Hall will be closed on both days and curbside trash and recycling collections will not take place on February 12 or 18. All curbside collections will take place one day later than usual during the weeks of February 12 and 18 because of those holidays (however regular curbside collections will take place on Monday, February 11).
Please Note: The Public Works Trash and Recycling Depot (next to the Bridge on JFK Boulevard) will be closed on Lincoln’s Birthday and open on Presidents Day (until 2:45 p.m.). The Sea Isle City Welcome Center & Beach Tag Office (300 JFK Boulevard) will be open on both Lincoln’s Birthday and Presidents’ Day.