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
Public Safety
The Fire Department reported that it responded to an April 12th fire in Avalon, had 25 fire responses, and 29 EMS responses in March.
Lifeguard captain Sandy Bosacco reported that preparations are underway for summer 2024.
Police reported that in March they conducted 33 motor vehicle stops and issued 11 summonses. There were two motor vehicle accidents, two suspicious vehicles, four animal complaints, and 28 open doors were found.
Recreation & Tourism
Recreation Director Shannon MacPherson introduced a new program: “Fun Friday” mornings for toddlers each Friday beginning April 26th at Chelsea Park.  After-school sports programs are being considered for the elementary school students on Wednesday afternoons.  The return of the Beach Challenge Sandbag tournament, in partnership with the group 31 Heroes is scheduled for June 30th.   The traditional Surfside Rugby tournament plans to add a second day this year and would be held the weekend of July 12th-13th.
The Open Space committee plans to meet in June to review several playground bids for the 80th Street and 97th Street playgrounds.  For the summer of 2024, the 80th Street playground will have other activities including a Gigantic Jenga. basketball and bocce. Tennis will be available at the 97th Street rec area.
Tourism Director, Jenny Olson, reported that the Garden Club will hold a “Yard Sale” in the Tower parking lot on Saturday, May 18th.
Memorial Day weekend will begin on Saturday, May 25th with the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Turtle Trot race, which is now US Track & Field accredited.  The return of the Stone Harbor Farmer’s Market begins Sunday, May 26th and will have 34 vendors, 3 Food Trucks and nine rotating vendors in the “pop up” spot.  The Memorial Day holiday ends with the annual American Legion parade on Monday, May 27th.
Natural Resources
Wetlands Institute Director Lenore Tedesco reported that the back bay water is unusually high, essentially drowning the grasses.  They are awaiting a bay report, which is delayed, from Stockton University on the situation.  The Wetlands Institute is working with the Army Corp of Engineers to repurpose dredged materials to help elevate the marshes.  A fall 2024 project endeavors to elevate 12 acres of marshes, with 100 acres restored to date.
Update on the sand for summer 2024: Roughly 700,000 cubic yards of sand were added last summer.  An early report from October indicates that there are 900,000 cubic yards, of which 600,000 are offshore as sandbars, leaving 300,000 onshore.  The hope is that that a large portion of the offshore sand returns to the shore, which is cautiously expected. The borough is awaiting a beach survey from Stockton on this matter soon.
CAFRA Public Access 
There was a discussion regarding two adjacent properties on the bay that are being developed.  A Coastal Area Facilities Review Act permit requires that for permit approval, any projects that are two or more residential units, need to provide public access.  The state Department of Environmental Protection has given an alternative solution that would charge the applicant $7/sf or $4,690 that would be put into another public access project in the borough.  
Regular Meeting
Council approved amendments to the Fiscal Year 2025 budget and adopted it. Under the $22.2 million budget, the local tax rate will go up from $0.302 to $0.312.  They added $13 million to the six-year capital budget for water and sewer improvements. In the operating budget, they used some beach tag revenue to offset lifeguard wages and to give raises to some non-union workers. 
SHPOA President, Rich Fuchs, commented on the budget on behalf of SHPOA.  His remarks will be summarized in a letter being sent to Council and will be shared with SHPOA members.
There was some discussion on the merits of spending $375,000 on consultants as part of a creation of a Storm Water Utility including $200,000 for a financial consultant, and $175,000 is for an engineering consultant – both required by the state for to provide an analysis for funding and managing the utility.  A storm water utility would incentivize property owners to lower their runoff to the sewer through mitigation of impervious surfaces.
For more information on the budget, please see the Cape May County Herald story at
Also members can take advantage of the SHPOA member discount to subscribe to the newspaper (see below).
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NOTE: The Cape May County Herald recently had  articles related to topics covered at this Council Meeting. These articles can be found along with others as part of their coverage of Stone Harbor.

As you may know, our friends at the Cape May County Herald are offering SHPOA members only an exclusive discount for Herald subscriptions — 25% OFF with code “SHPOA” — and they are also providing your association advertising space in print and online for us to promote the association and the initiatives important to our members.

To subscribe and use the discount, please click on and use promo code “SHPOA” at checkout to claim your 25% discount. Only valid for new subscribers.
To read past Stone Harbor Council Meeting summaries, please click here:

To watch recordings of past meetings, please click here: