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.
Early Re-Opening of Stone Harbor Point
During a re-cap of Public Works Projects, Supervisor Robert Brewer announced that storm damage restoration at Stone Harbor Point had been completed and that the Point and the 123rd Street public parking lot would reopen to the public on July 6. The Borough had initially anticipated that the area would be closed until July 8. Brewer stated that 500 tons of sand and 120 tons of gravel had been used to restore the beach and walkway at a cost of $15,000. Councilmembers praised the Public Works Department for quickly repairing damage to the Point.
Utility and Road Projects
Councilmember Bunny Parzych reported that work on the 2021 road and utility projects had been completed and yielded a surplus which would be redirected to ongoing water projects. The anticipated improvements will be included in a change order to improve water chlorination at the 80th Street well and 95th Street pumping station. Councilmember Parzych stated that the Borough has also applied for grants and low-interest loans through the bipartisan infrastructure law and clean water programs. Borough Engineer Marc DeBlasio also noted that the Borough had applied for transportation grant funding for improvements to 96th Street.
Trash Collection Regulation Becomes Effective
Council President Reese Moore stated that the new solid waste ordinance, approved on June 21, would become effective July 15, requiring trash receptacles to be moved outside of fences for collection if they are behind pool enclosures, or pet enclosures, if the pet is present. Stone Harbor homeowners are required to use ANSI Z245.60 -2008 Type B plastic trash receptacles of at least 32 gallons, but less than 96 gallons, by May 1, 2023.
93rd Street Pumping Station
Geoff Woolery, Chair of SHPOA’s Sustainability Committee, recommended that the Borough subject the plan for the 93rd Street pumping station to a rigorous peer review, a standard practice, before proceeding with a project of this scope and complexity. Acknowledging the necessity of proceeding expeditiously with the long-delayed project, he asserted that it is first necessary to have a clear written description of the design basis for the project. He asked what the project is intended to accomplish — whether it is intended to meet the challenges of a 5-year, 10-year, or 100-year flood plan. He emphasized that the proposal should then be subjected to a detailed independent peer review to examine whether it would meet the goals of safety, reliability, operational and financial viability. He expressed concern that the projected cost increase from $11.5 million to $19 million is an indication that the complexity of the project may have not been fully understood by the engineering firm engaged by the Borough. He concluded that a peer review would provide confidence in the project’s success. Responding to a question, Woolery estimated that a peer review would take approximately two months to complete only if the project has a well-designed basis and the appropriate technical team is available.
Justine Herzog, a professional engineer, and Stone Harbor property owner, spoke in support of a peer review and also emphasized the importance of completing a design basis before beginning the project. She stated that a project typically goes through three phases: 1) concept; 2) level two engineering, where specifics regarding the construction and engineering are finalized; and 3) final project estimates, which are generally within 10 percent of the project’s final costs. Herzog warned that without a solid design basis, cost overruns could amount to a 70 percent increase. Herzog asserted that a successful design for the 93rd Street pump station would allow it to be used as a template for the construction of additional stations as needed in response to rising sea levels.
[Note: See the article in the Cape May County Herald related to these public comments. A subscription to the Herald is required to read the article: https://www.capemaycountyherald.com/news/government/stone-harbor-residents-urge-review-of-pump-station-plan/article_5884d9b2-fefe-11ec-bc0d-2f2af04dd930.html]
112th Street Lot
Sister Mary Ellen of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary spoke in opposition to the Borough’s intention to re-purpose borough-owned land for residential development. She described the 35×110 foot lot as land resulting from the Borough’s vacating of what would have been the extension of First Avenue, adjacent to the convent. She explained that the order had commissioned a study by Mike Lucey of Water’s Edge Environmental, which found that the land meets the definition of a wetland and critical wildlife habitat under New Jersey’s environmental regulations. She reported that Mr. Lucey had emphasized that the DEP would make the final determination regarding the land use, but maintained that the permit would be denied if the legal definitions were applied. Sister Mary Ellen noted that this is in direct contradiction to the findings in a study funded by the Borough, performed by Lomax Consulting, and presented at the April 19 Council meeting. She urged the Council to consider Lucey’s findings in determining the best use of the property. The Council accepted the study into the public record.
[Note: See the article in the Cape May County Herald related to these public comments. A subscription to the Herald is required to read the article: https://www.capemaycountyherald.com/news/government/nun-presents-report-contradicting-stone-harbor-consultant/article_134a5b42-fe2c-11ec-91ba-a34c15059d89.html]
Ordinances and Resolutions
The Council approved:
Bond Ordinance 1610 – appropriating $410,000 for a bond to be issued for beach improvement, including replacement of two ADA ramps at 114th and 119th Street.
Ordinance 1611 – amending the regulations regarding Beach Vehicle permitting to prohibit access by motorized bicycles, scooters, skateboards or hoverboards and requiring an application for seasonal vehicle access from September 1 to September 30 annually.
Council considered and approved several resolutions, including:
Resolution 136 – Authorizing emergency appropriations to fund the Beach Patrol After Hours program to provide four lifeguards to man rescue efforts from 5:00 to 7:30 PM, 7 days per week for $25,000.
Resolution 138 – Appointing Megan Brown as Deputy Clerk.
Resolution 139 – Appointing Lisa Marcolongo as Assistant Administrator.
For documents discussed at the meeting, please follow this link: https://stoneharbornj.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/DOC070122-07012022155741-1.pdf
To view a video of the meeting, please follow this link: https://youtu.be/i2eE9tMSAjc
To read past Stone Harbor Council Meeting summaries, please click here: https://www.stoneharborpoa.org/news/.