16 Aug Borough Meeting Highlights 08-06-2021
Dear West Wildwood Neighbors,
The eighth monthly borough meeting of 2021 was held on Friday, August 6th at 7:00 pm in Borough Hall and approximately 25 people were in attendance. Mayor Ksiazek, Commissioners Banning and Segrest, Municipal Clerk Donna Frederick, Deputy Clerk Carl O’Hala and Solicitor Lyons were present. Jim Oris, a representative from the Borough’s engineering firm of Remington & Vernick, was also in attendance.
Ordinance #595 (2021) relates to the Fair Housing Act.
Resolutions #2021-095 through #2021-099 relate to the following:
1. Clean Communities Grant in the amount of $4,035.
2. Authorizing engineering fees of $48,000 regarding the resurfacing of “A” Avenue (a grant in the amount of $185,000 has been awarded).
3. Authorizing engineering fees of $21,775 regarding United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant application for full sewer reconstruction on a section of Maple Avenue (Neptune to Arion). You may recall at the regular meeting in August, 2019, a SEARCH grant from the USDA was awarded in the amount of $30,000 for this part of Maple Avenue. It was camera scoped and found to be in very bad shape. It was decided that this would be the next project after the Poplar Avenue project.
4. American with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramp construction for the Borough’s police department (a reimbursable grant was awarded and coincided with the beach ramp completion).
5. A new member of West Wildwood’s Volunteer Fire Department was authorized.
The commissioners each presented their reports and they should be available in their entirety on the Borough website. If you need a copy of any reports, please request it via our email below or you can OPRA it directly from Borough Hall.
Public Works – 93 work orders were completed for the month of July.
Police – residents are reminded to lock up bikes and not to reserve parking spaces. Parents should remind their children not to block the roadways by riding bikes in large groups, but instead ride in single file. Golf carts need to abide by the same driving and parking laws as motor vehicles. A motor vehicle moving violation will be issued if necessary.
Finance – expenditure accounts are running about 55% at July 31st. The bond sale to support capital improvements was completed at a very favorable rate of less than 3%. The borough commissioners are scheduled to appear before the Local Services Finance Board on August 11th (see update in The Cape May County Herald 08/14/21). The BOWW would like to issue a bond for repayment of the Ferentz judgment. The previous administration accelerated the
judgment payments from 13 years to 3 years. The bond will enable the payments to be stretched out over 5 years because the 3-year term cripples the borough from a financial perspective.
Public comments included the following:
• Inlet at J & Pine Avenues will be evaluated by the borough engineers for repairs.
• The county will be contacted regarding the manholes on Glenwood Avenue.
• The Poplar Avenue sewer reconstruction is not complete. Engineers determined some of the sewer pipes are sagging and need to be repaired by the contractors. Once the repairs are completed, the final surface will be applied to Poplar Avenue. The target date for completion is October.
• A resident questioned the validity of the 5-year contracts awarded to the BOWW police department and the police chief by the previous administration. The usual contract length spans about 3 years. On the advice of the solicitor, auditors and other professionals, the current administration does not plan to challenge these contracts. Their goal is to put the matter to rest and take a path forward that is financially prudent and in the best interest of the entire borough.
• A final ruling related to the ethics charges filed against former Mayor Fox has not been issued. Hearings have been completed at this time.
• No new third-party lawsuits have been filed against the BOWW.
• The existing policy regarding annual employee reviews will be reworked. In the new year the employees will be requested to set goals. A six-month review along with a year-end follow up will be part of the process. The reviews will be in writing.
• The NJ DCA (Division of Community Affairs) will complete a feasibility study and assessment of the BOWW’s police department. The DCA will evaluate the police department and make suggestions regarding the services offered by the police department.
• Faded yellow curbs will be repainted by Public Works if necessary. Please contact the borough office to report any locations that need to be refreshed. Please be reminded you are not allowed to park within 25 feet of a crosswalk whether there are yellow curbs or not. You must abide by state statute.
• A resident asked if the borough would consider issuing an electronic newsletter to communicate with residents. The borough does not collect residents’ e-mail addresses at this time. The borough is looking into possibly mailing a newsletter bi-annually to all residents.
• The Beautification Fund has been established. The BOWW cannot directly sell or solicit products. Several fundraising ideas were discussed. The solicitor added that the commissioners would have to recognize any organization as community based. It was suggested to reach out to the fire department or ladies auxiliary and work together since they are already recognized by the borough.
• The Living Shoreline Project was discussed. The cost to get to the permitting stage will be a little under $30,000. Once the proposal is submitted, the DEP can come back to the borough and request additional studies. There are a lot of unknowns but the engineering firm gave the borough an idea that it could be $100,000 just to begin to search for grant money. The mayor indicated that there may be alternatives to the project such as a standard breakwater structure. The commissioners are open to all avenues in order to protect the whole island.
We urge you to listen to the audio from the meeting to have a better understanding of actual comments which is available on our website.
Enjoy your end of summer 2021,
The CTWWW Advisory Council
Trish Sinnott – President
Mary Anne Welsh – Secretary
Jim Bannan – Director
Susan Czwalina – Treasurer
Vacant – Vice President
Vacant – Director
Vacant – Director
Vacant – Director