As a courtesy to our SHPOA Members, we’re bringing you a summary of each Stone Harbor Work Session and Council Meeting. Intended as summaries, these intentionally don’t have a lot of details and are not a substitute for the official Borough minutes.

Work Session

Beach Safety
Beach Patrol Captain Sandy Bosaco and Fire Chief Roger Stanford reported on current beach conditions as well as recent rescues. Given current challenging beach conditions with sand shifting during the “Mothers’ Day Storm,” there are currently very strong rip tides. This has resulted in two recent rescues in Stone Harbor during lifeguard hours and two rescues by the fire department when lifeguards were not present. They emphasized the warning to NOT ENTER THE WATER when lifeguards were not on duty. Additional signage with warnings is being considered as well as communications via social media. Also, conditions at 123rd Street will require additional signage to keep people off dangerous rocks.

Accounting and Finance
Engineer Marc DeBlasio reported that all work for the 2020 Utilities and Roads program has been completed and was below budget by $189,177. In addition, all work for the 2021 Utilities and Roads program has been completed, with some remediation remaining for the tennis court resurfacing. The Beach Patrol building is progressing well with a target completion date in the third week of June. Design plans for the Third Avenue water and sewer are being completed this Summer and will be bid out in Fall. New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) grant applications for resurfacing part of 96th Street are being submitted.

A significant discussion was had about a potential change order regarding two outside-facing doors at the Beach Patrol building to improve aesthetics. No immediate decision was needed, but Council will reconsider in the future.

Tax collection and utility collection were reported by Tax Collector Deborah Candelore. Tax Assessor Margaret Slavin reported on April and May real-estate transactions and with 37 deed transfers, 28 active listings, and 20 pending listings.

Coastal Engineer Doug Gaffney reported that a letter was submitted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) regarding beach conditions for an emergency permit to regain vehicular access to the Point at 123rd Street. The general permit for beach maintenance does expire in Sept 2022, so a new general permit will be requested. In addition, an individual permit will be requested, which will allow greater flexibility on beach maintenance. The Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) has completed the initial survey for a potential Fall beach fill. The cost per cubic yard is expected to be double what it was last time, driven primarily by the increased cost of fuel. The schedule would likely include bids being sent out in Fall, with the fill occurring in Winter. Councilwoman Jennifer Gensemer asked if we could explore getting an emergency permit from the ACE to address current beach conditions, given the dangerous rip currents.

Public Works
Interim Public Works Director Charlie Jones reported on the cleanup after the “Mothers’ Day Storm,” the start of the synthetic turf project at Borough Hall, the trash convenience center now in place. All seasonal employees have been hired and are in place. Tippers are being installed on all the trucks. The Public Works team was thanked on behalf of the Garden Club for their support. A new Public Works Director and Recreation Director will be joining soon. Charlie was thanked by several Councilpersons on the impact he’s had in his role.

A bipartisan Infrastructure application was submitted that would cover part of the cost of the 2022 Utilities and Roads program; will hear back within the next month.

Discussion Items
A discussion was held regarding the expansion of a liquor license to two new restaurants at Stone Harbor Square.

The Lot Grading Ordinance’s upcoming changes were discussed related to reconstructed or significantly improved houses requiring an elevation of 6 ft. Also discussed were driveway requirements and bulkhead specifications triggered by the above reconstruction or improvements.

The appraisal process for the 112th Street open lot has been initiated before initiating a public sale of the property.

Stone Harbor Elementary School Parent Teacher convention on June 16th requesting permission for beach access was discussed.

Council Meeting

Public Comment
Geoff Woolery, Chair of SHPOA’s Sustainability Committee, shared SHPOA’s perspectives and concerns regarding the current condition of Stone Harbor’s beaches. Storms like the Mothers’ Day nor’easter, where 200,000 cubic yards of sand were lost, aren’t anomalies and will reoccur. NJDEP has declared it a two-year storm. Periodic beach replenishment is required by design – Stone Harbor missed the replenishment in 2019, and getting one in 2023 is not a done deal. He emphasized that participation in the 2023 beach fill is imperative. There is also a need to conduct a detailed cost-benefit analysis of other potential options to help manage our beaches. We need to ensure that all permits are in place such as the one Avalon is now using to secure its north end. The state of our beaches is not just a recreational issue but a safety issue. Access to The Point is currently dangerous. Gullies and sandbars along the entire length of the beach are causing dangerous rip tides even when the ocean appears calm. Stone Harbor has already had several off-hour rescues as have Wildwood and Ocean City. SHPOA strongly supports developing a long-term plan of action. We always hope for the best but must begin to prepare for the worst. And time is of the essence.

Another public comment was regarding the urgency to pass the Lot Grading Ordinance given the significant amount of construction that will begin in Fall.

There was also a request to allow homeowners on 93rd Street to run power lines under the street at the time of installation of the pump station.

Appointment and swearing-in of Cassandra Tirelli to Temporary Detective
Appointment and swearing-in of Anthony Tirelli to Police Sergeant
Swearing-in of John VanEtten to Full Time Officer (resolution passed previously)
First reading for a potential Bond be issued for $410,000 for improvement of municipally owned beach property and the replacement of ramps
First reading for ordinance related to changes of specific dates for Beach Vehicle Permits  Reduction of 2020 Utility and Road Program
July 4th fireworks expenses
Liquor licenses renewal for Quahogs and Union League
Release of Closed Session Meeting Minutes in 2019
Honoring Monsignor Liam Quinn on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his ordination
Authorizing various jitney owners to operate in the Borough

To view documents for the Work Session Meeting, please click this link:

To view documents for the Council Meeting, please click this link:

To watch a video of both meetings, please click this link:

To read past Stone Harbor Council Meeting summaries, please click here:

To watch recordings of past meetings, please click here: watch-mayor-and-council-meetings-online.