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.
Fire calls, Parking, Reeds, and Rescues
Fire Chief Roger Stanford reported that the department had 106 fire responses in July, which was a record, and 134 EMS responses, which were equal to last year.
Police Chief Tom Schutta said the hiring process to fill one full-time officer vacancy is underway.
The Police Chief was asked to comment on the Reeds’ loading zone expansion on Third Avenue. Discussion ensued regarding safety concerns from the Chief. That area of Stone Harbor is congested, he said, and he believes a parking expansion of 25 feet would be too much from a safety perspective. He recommended Council consider a 16-foot expansion as a compromise that would also better address his concerns about pedestrian safety. He also noted the upcoming changes at the 96th Street and Third Avenue intersection and would like to see that project implemented and assess its impact on the proposed Reeds project. Council members recommended engaging with the county for recommendations; and prioritizing improvements at the 96th Street intersection for public safety reasons.
Councilmember Reese Moore provided an update on downtown parking. He stated the objective of the parking system is to generate adequate turnover in parking spaces in the business district. That is the chief reason for paid parking there. There have been 182,000 park mobile transactions since May 1st. There have been 2,700 parking tickets generated in the same time period. In percentage terms, the councilmember stated that 1.5 percent of people who come to Stone Harbor’s business district are not using the Park Mobile app as it is designed. As far as revenue generation, Stone Harbor is tracking at the same level as last year.
Beach Patrol Chief Sandy Bosacco presented the Lifeguard Report. In July, they experienced seven rescues, five medical emergencies and found seven lost children.
Shannon MacPherson presented the Recreation and Tourism Report saying the basketball league had 448 athletes participating, and held its championship game last Wednesday, with over 250 spectators. The bocce league is continuing on Wednesdays. The championship game will be Wednesday, August 30th.
The SHPOA Harbor Hustle 5K will be held Sunday, August 20th.
The Move and Groove class continues on Wednesdays at 11:00.
A high-intensity interval training class will start on Thursdays at 4:15 p.m. beginning September 14th.
Tennis clinics for kids are being scheduled, following a successful spring session.
An extension of the Farmers’ Market is being considered for an additional two weeks, until September 17th.
Sand and Birds
Council Member Robin Casper advised Council that the Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a special meeting to discuss conclusions and recommendations from the beach maintenance feasibility study. Recommendations from the committee will be shared at the next meeting. This urgency of the matter is necessary given the 2024 budgeting timeline. Council members urged the committee to include the potential benefits and cost of different beach projects.
Bird news includes updates on nesting birds such as piping plovers and American oyster catchers at Stone Harbor Point. The Black Skimmer colony has been successful with reduced disturbance thanks to stewardship efforts and police patrols.
The Council approved a number of ordinances and resolutions, including:
•Ordinance 1650 to amend a previous ordinance (number 1629) in the Borough of Stone Harbor, to adjust the salary range for the borough administrator.
•Ordinance 1653 to rename a staff position to Recreation Assistant and to establish an hourly wage range for that position.
•Resolution 2023-S-183 to award construction of 114th Street pumping station to Schiavone Construction for $1.28 million.