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.
Stone Harbor Beach Fill to Begin this Winter
Coastal Consultant Douglas Gaffney announced that the Army Corps of Engineers had completed preliminary design and expected to begin the bidding process for a $28.5 million project to pump sand onto Stone Harbor and Avalon beaches. The project is expected to begin in December 2022 and conclude by May 23, 2023, building up the beaches from 100 to 115th Street and south of the 122nd Street parking lot. Gaffney anticipated that the Borough would request that the project focus on the northern beaches, rather than the Point, due to the large amount of sand currently surrounding the southern tip of Seven Mile Island. Gaffney stated that Stone Harbor and Avalon would split $2.5 million in local cost share. He explained that Stone Harbor is expected to receive 2/3rds of the sand and would likely pay a corresponding portion of the local cost. He added that because the sand will be pumped from Townsends Inlet. Stone Harbor would also incur the cost of the booster pump necessary to support the project.
Protecting Stone Harbor Point
Police Captain Christopher Palmer spoke in support of Resolution 145, which would limit boater access to Stone Harbor Point by allowing increased enforcement and prosecution of trespassers using the protected area for recreation. Palmer reported that the Wetlands Institute had asked for assistance when boaters began to overrun the Point, utilizing the protected area for relaxation, swimming, barbecuing, running dogs, and consuming alcohol. He called it a “destination spot” with upwards of 40 to 50 boats arriving during the weekend. He noted that for the first time since 2016, the Institute warned that human activity threatened the ongoing conservation efforts. Palmer concluded that specific regulations regarding beach access would be necessary to prevent increased boat traffic and ecological damage to the Point.
93rd Street Pumping Station
Tom Thornton, with the engineering firm Mott McDonald, briefed the Council on the rising cost surrounding the 93rdStreet Pumping Station, projecting the current cost at $19.1 million based on the final design. Reviewing the project, he stated that the Borough had received a $2.7 million grant in 2016 to pay for a $3 million project to prevent back bay flooding in the area from 89th Street through 98th Street. He noted that during the review of the 75 percent design in 2020, costs had increased to $11.5 million. He attributed the latest projected increase to changes in the plan from initial to final design, global supply chain shortages, inflation, and modification of engineering components, including extending the pipe through the Reed’s property, protection of existing structures, securing the bulkhead and water main, along with other modifications. He emphasized that the design criteria to eliminate flooding for a 5-year rain event and limit flooding in a 10-year rain event, is the underlying reason for the cost of the project’s escalating costs. The Council is expected to consider a motion during the August 2 meeting to terminate the contract with Mott McDonald and begin exploration of alternative solutions for flood control mitigation.
The Council unanimously approved an ordinance and a number of resolutions, including:
Ordinance 1612 – adopting additional regulations for grading and managing lots regarding stormwater runoff, including an exemption for certain driveways.
Resolution 142 – authorizing reconstruction of 122nd Street from Second to Third Avenue at a cost of $765,000.
Resolution 143 – authorizing engineering services to support a Public Works Department investigation of an underground storage container.
Resolution 144 – approving the final change order for emergency sewer replacement at 102nd and 103rd Streets and Third Avenue.
Resolution 145 – authorizing the addition of a rule or regulations to the existing code at 156- 6(A) which governs beach access and permitted activities.
Following a closed session, the Council unanimously approved the following motions:
Authorizing the solicitor to intervene in Cape May County’s opposition to a petition filed by Ocean Wind before New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities regarding condemnation and easements on private property for the purpose of constructing an offshore wind farm. Council did not state a position for or against the petition.
Authorizing the Administrator to consult multiple appraisers to help determine the fair market value of the 112th Street & Beach Lot.
For documents discussed at the meeting, please follow this link: https://stoneharbornj.org/agendameetings/watch-mayor-and-council-meetings-online/borough- council-agendas-minutes/
To view a video of the meeting, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQKAvYlbpBE
To read past Stone Harbor Council Meeting summaries, please click here: https://www.stoneharborpoa.org/news/.
To watch recordings of past meetings, please click here: watch-mayor-and-council-meetings-online.