As a courtesy to our SHPOA Members, we’re bringing you this summary of the Stone Harbor Council Meeting on May 4, 2021.
In adopting the Borough’s $19.3 million budget, which includes a 9 percent tax increase and cuts to the beach and bay reserve, Council also agreed to study Borough finances with an eye towards long-term planning. Councilpersons Reese Moore and Jennifer Gensemer had previously said they were concerned with the budget process. Moore outlined several objectives including writing a 10-year fiscal plan and a thorough study of Borough debt.
Water Usage Up
At Council’s May 4, 2021 meeting, the Borough noted that water usage is up 20% over this time last year. The Borough plans to send out conservation notices and to step up enforcement of the use of the water for irrigation. Please check this link to find out when you can water your lawns and gardens as well as tips for saving water: https://stoneharbornj.org/mandatory-water-irrigation-schedule-in-effect/
Council passed Ordinance 1587, which regulates cannabis in Stone Harbor. The ordinance prohibits possession of cannabis in public areas and bans sales, cultivation, and manufacturing in the Borough. Deliveries (which must be in-person) can only be made by vehicles owned by state-licensed distributors, driven by their employees. Distributors must also be licensed by Stone Harbor.
Public Works Updates
The workforce is down by one-third and Stone Harbor is actively trying to fill its deficit of nine full-time employees and 13 seasonal workers. Council fast-tracked a resolution to raise the hourly pay rate in order to attract applicants. Public works has managed to stay on target for prepping Stone Harbor for the season by raking the beach, installing concession stands, placing trash cans at beach entrances, and completing the 95th St restrooms.
The Marina is up and running, the boat slips are all full, and the Aqua Fence requested for the boat ramp is scheduled to arrive in late June.
Renovated parking meters are up and in effect as of May 1st.
Villa Maria by the Sea: Unofficial Update
Sister James addressed many questions Islanders are asking regarding the progress of the IHM Retreat House teardown. The process is a long one, for many logistical reasons. One major obstacle is that there are two layers of asbestos under the exterior white vinyl. The asbestos must be removed with great care. Weather affects this, as well as the disposal of hazardous waste. She reported that hopes are high for the start of a three-week teardown to commence later this month.
Continuing projects around town:
A change-order resolution was passed which provides funding for the exterior of the water tower to be painted the same color to be completed before Memorial Day.
Street paving projects on 104th, 106th, and 108th streets will continue through June, resuming after Labor Day until December on 99th, 101st, 102nd, and 103rd streets.
Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour announced that 85% of the 874 full-time Stone Harbor residence have received at least one shot of a vaccine; 40% of the county is fully vaccinated with a goal of 70% by the start of the summer season.
The Covid Vaccine Distribution Center in Avalon will be closed May 14, and be relocated to Lower Cape May Regional High School on May 17th.
Orsted Wind Power Project Meets Resistance
Some Cape May County residents, local elected officials, business owners, and local fisheries have been concerned about the Orsted wind power project. As a result, County Commissioners passed a resolution asking Orsted, PSE&G, and the state to engage the public and be more transparent about the project. A meeting will be forthcoming with coastal community mayors and various organizations to discuss the true effects that this project will have on the local environment. Here’s a pretty comprehensive story on the project: https://www.inquirer.com/science/climate/nj-offshore-wind-energy-commercial-fishing-20210419.html
94th Sanitary Sewer Pump Station is Completed!
To watch the Council meeting, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFsbE9hV2Lg
To read past Stone Harbor Council Meeting summaries, please click here: https://www.stoneharborpoa.org/news/.
If you are not already a member of SHPOA and own property in Stone Harbor, please join SHPOA by clicking https://www.stoneharborpoa.org/join/