As a courtesy to our SHPOA Members, we’re bringing you this summary of the Stone Harbor Work Session and Council Meeting on October 19, 2021.
Engineer Marc DeBlasio presented an update regarding the beach patrol building project; advising the building foundation would be fully complete soon.
The hiring process is ongoing, with plans underway to hire and train four new candidates. The Stone Harbor Municipal Court is operating smoothly, with all activities being held virtually.
Fire Report for September
52 FIRE, 84 EMS calls. The activity pace has not slowed down this fall.
Beach Patrol Report
Stone Harbor Beach Patrol kept a couple of stands open during September and performed nine serious rescues. All equipment has now been secured for the winter.
About 125 people attended the first annual paddle tennis tournament, with positive feedback on the competition and quality of the event. The Borough has winterized the tennis courts. Paddle tennis is going strong this fall.
On Oct. 9, Stone Harbor held its first vintage/classic car show. Twenty-six cars were exhibited with great feedback from visitors and merchants. The Tourism Department plans to make this an annual event.
Stone Harbor will hold several events throughout the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday period. The event will be called “Island Holiday” and is inspired by the movie “Elf.” A carousel will again be present at the Water Tower together with holiday music in the business district. The Borough plans to hold a pet parade, tree lighting, and the Thanksgiving Holiday Parade Saturday evening.
Engineer Marc DeBlasio presented a design for the pump station at the Bird Sanctuary. He plans to have a model of the pre-fab building ready for full review with public works. Construction is currently planned to be complete by June 2022
The meeting began with a presentation on the State of the Stone Harbor Museum. Mike Turner, Museum president presented a detailed outline of Museum activities in 2021 and plans for the next year. The presentation highlighted a number of key activities, including the Museum hosting the movie “Miracle on 81st Street,” the story of the African-American community established on this street. Museum membership continues to grow and currently stands at 351 active members with an annual renewal rate just over 60%. In January, the museum closed to update the window displays and re-arrange the interior displays. After re-opening in June, the number of visitors increased by 176%. The Museum is searching for a director and is currently exploring splitting the position into two: a curator, and an administrator. The SH Museum media presentation will be posted on the Borough website shortly.
Following the presentation; Council members voted on several items including:
•Approval of the 1st reading of the 2022 water and sewer rates. There are no changes to the quarterly minimum, the quarterly allowance or the irrigation rates. Excess usage rates are increasing. Excess water usage will increase from $3.75 to $4.50 per thousand gallons. The 2022 sewer rate for excess volume will be $2.25 per thousand gallons.
•Council members reviewed the “Courts Ordinance” which establishes a new Residential Zone D in Stone Harbor. The ordinance updates property setbacks and permit designs, including new second floor area/deck ratios. Following the Council discussion, members passed the ordinance on First reading with a 3-3 vote. Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour broke the tie. The ordinance comes up for second and final reading at the meeting on November 15th.
•Council approved a bench dedication program for Stone Harbor. Applicants can apply to dedicate a bench by submitting a written application together with a fee of $2,000. The benches will be sited at Borough-chosen locations, and the benches will become the property of Stone Harbor.