As a courtesy to our SHPOA Members, we’re bringing you this summary of the Stone Harbor Work Session and Council Meeting on October 5, 2021.
Employee Health Insurance
Administration & Finance recommends restructuring Borough employee health insurance programs for 2022. Key items include changes to premiums, deductibles and rollover provisions for employee plans. Changes to the plans, however, will not negatively impact employee coverage. The 2022 plan can be structured to reduce health insurance costs to the Borough by approximately $68,000 while not reducing employee benefits. Legal review and further discussions are required with bargaining units before proceeding with a resolution.
102nd Street repaving should be completed by year’s end.
$2.7 million is the cost of a contract to be awarded for 2022 road repaving.
The beach patrol construction project is on schedule, pilings are to be installed soon.
Courts/Linden Lane – Flood Elevation
Construction & Zoning advise current flood elevations for the Courts and Linden Lane do not conform with the rest of the residential zone in Stone Harbor. Staff is recommending all residential new construction conform to “design flood elevation” and building height permits. Staff and Council also acknowledged existing buildings can be raised per Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations.
Construction & Zoning reported they are very close to completing Council-directed edits and clean-up of the Courts/Linden Lane proposed ordinance which should be ready for Council by the next meeting.
Stone Harbor currently has 18 active property listings, and 31 under contract. All but one is due to settle by year’s end.
Public Works Updates
Public Works Director advised trash and recycling demand has been equal to last year at this time, as has water usage in the Borough. Trash pickup is now on the winter schedule.
Council raised concerns about three bay-end street bulkheads which are leaking: 82nd, 83rd, and 93rd. Discussion focused on county or FEMA grants; however, the process for grant approval, design, permitting and construction could last two or more years. Staff was charged with developing interim solutions or other creative ideas to get started more quickly.
2022 water and sewer rates were reviewed. There will be no change to quarterly minimum charges; however, excess water volume charges will be increased from $3.75 to $4.50 per 1000 gallons. A rate for excess sewer usage will be $2.25 for each additional thousand gallons. There will be no change to irrigation rates.
Council members discussed a proposal to prohibit private events on Borough-owned public property; i.e., roads or streets. There have been two requests this year to hold private parties on public streets. Concerns centered around Borough legal liabilities, noise complaints, blocked traffic flow and lack of parking during the season. Proponents pointed out the desire for neighborhood block parties and family weddings. Council will look to develop a draft ordinance and let residents and property owners weigh in.
The Borough has 13 memorial benches in Stone Harbor. Council agreed to increase the fee to $2,000 for a bench. Council discussed whether to remove and replace benches after 10 years. However, it was decided it is much easier to leave the benches in place until the end of their useful life as they are quite sturdy and do not require maintenance. Once the 13 benches are fully signed up, the program is scheduled to be closed.
At its regular Council meeting, members approved the following resolutions:
Establishing/Updating handicapped parking spaces throughout the Borough
Revising permit regulations to repair, replace for reconstruct sidewalks and curbs within the Borough
Granting a hardship application for a street opening permit to install utility lines
Approval of $500 grant to support the Cape May County Coast Guard community relations program
Following a closed session, Council approved the hiring of an outside consultant to review Stone Harbor Public Works.
If you want to view documents discussed that the meeting, please hit this link: https://stoneharbornj.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/October-5-2021-1.pdf