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.
Working Session and Council Meeting
96th Street Bridge and More
Cape May County Commissioner Will Morey and County Engineer Bob Church gave updates on County projects including the 96th Street Bridge and Third Avenue reconstruction.
Plans for the 96th Street Bridge replacement project are about 60% complete, with a public information meeting planned once they reach 100%. The historic integrity of the bridge would be maintained. The profile of the bridge would remain the same, but the approaches would be raised and tapered.
Clearance under the bridge would be about 16 inches higher. Pedestrian and cycling lanes would be enhanced. Work should begin in September 2025 and be completed by May 2028.
The rebuild of the 104th Street bridge is now complete.
County Road projects include resurfacing Third Avenue from 80th to 99th Streets (excluding the 96th street intersection). A study for an all-pedestrian solution at that intersection is being conducted. Resurfacing work is planned to commence in March 2024 and be done in phases, as follows: 80 – 86th Streets – Spring, 2024; 86th – 99th Street – Fall, 2024. No work would be done during the summer months.
Flood Mitigation, Insurance and Zoning
Construction Official Ray Poudrier reported that two reviews of our recent Community Rating System (CRS) submission regarding flood mitigation efforts are now underway. The goal is to improve our CRS rating, resulting in flood insurance discounting to homeowners.
Poudrier gave a PowerPoint presentation regarding site elevation ordinance requirements within the Borough. Home height is measured from the Design Flood Elevation line, which is 12 feet above sea level (not land grade) and the maximum height above that level (i.e., peak of roof) is 31 feet, which applies to every home in the Borough. Some homes within the Borough may be lower due to changes in ordinances over time.
Affordable Housing, Cannabis and Health Insurance
Borough Administrator Manny Parada gave the following updates:
•Affordable Housing: A proposal regarding the Borough-owned home on Third Avenue has been submitted to the Borough Council. The proposal is planned to be reviewed and considered at the Oct. 17 Council Meeting.
•The Borough Drug and Alcohol Policy has been revised to reflect the NJ State legalization of cannabis (which is still not allowed in the workplace under NJ law).
•The Borough was recently notified of a 7.7% increase in State Health Insurance premiums for 2024 (vs. +22% in 2023). The Borough plans to consider other options in early 2024.
Pump and Dump
Borough Engineers DeBlasio and Associates reported the following:
•Work on the 114th Street Pump Station began on 10/2/23.
•Third Avenue force main replacement for sewer is now underway from 80th – 99th Street.
•A state environmental permit was obtained for the elimination of outfall pipes on 110th and 114th Streets.
Storm Damage, Roofs, and Trash
Administrator and Public Works Director Parada reported:
•There was significant sand loss during the recent Storm Ophelia. Sand movement occurred according to expectations. Dunes remained intact.
•More ParkMobile signage is being deployed. Free parking is now in effect during the off season.
•The Borough Hall and Fire House roof will both need replacement due to age, wear and tear.
•The last Bulk Trash Day is Monday, October 16th.
•Once per week trash collection is now in place for Fall.
SHPOA ON THE STORM
During the public comment section, Geoff Woolery, a member of SHPOA’s Sustainability Committee, spoke on behalf of SHPOA regarding the beach impact of Storm Ophelia.
Appreciable sand was lost to both the dunes, from the persistent NE winds, and the near-beach shore, from the severe high tides. Two recommendations from the Beach Feasibility Study, sand capture and beach scraping, should be considered in the near term to address these issues. Geoff emphasized that the Beach Feasibility Study, which has been tabled, needs to be resumed ASAP.