02 May **** Borough Meeting Highlights 4-01-2022
Dear West Wildwood Neighbors.
The fourth monthly borough meeting of 2022 was held on Friday, April 1st at 7:00 pm in Borough Hall. Approximately 20 people were in attendance. Mayor Ksiazek, Commissioner Segrest, Municipal Clerk Donna Frederick, Deputy Clerk Carl O’Hala and Solicitor Lyons were present. Chief Financial Officer, Elaine Crowley and Auditor Scott Barron were also present. Commissioner Banning was not present due to a personal matter.
Ordinance #601 (2022) – second reading-public hearing: Exceed municipal budget appropriation limits and establish a Cap Bank.
Resolutions #2022-022 through #2022-046 relate to the following:
Second reading – public hearing authorizing the reading of the 2022 budget.
Authorizing an indemnification agreement between the Borough and the County to permit the Borough to hold a July 4th parade on Glenwood Avenue.
Authorizing the filing of the 2021 recycling tonnage grant.
Authorizing a town-wide yard sale on Saturday, June 4th with a rain date of Sunday, June 5th.
Authorizing the refund of sewer escrow connection fees and overpayments of sewer connection fees and property tax and utility payments.
Opposing NJDEP’s proposed coastal regulations.
Accepting donation of waste clean-up event for West Wildwood joint community project to on Friday, May 20th.
Authorizing the request for obligation of funds and a letter of intent in connection with the Maple Avenue (from Arion to Neptune) sewer project with the USDA. The scope of the sewer project would be like that of the recently completed Poplar Avenue project. The loan amount is approximately $1.6 million with a grant amount of approximately $1.3 million. Solicitor Lyons explained that to move forward with the project and to pursue the funds, formal approval by the governing body is necessary.
The commissioner reports were presented, and they will be available in their entirety on the Borough website. If you would like a copy of any report, please request it via our email address below or OPRA it directly from Borough Hall.
POLICE (276 calls for service):
In the absence of Commissioner Banning, Mayor Ksiazek read the police report.
There were 69 property checks in March. Residents are welcome to sign up for property checks on the Borough website.
Fourteen motor vehicle stops, and 2 parking complaints/violations were also listed.
PUBLIC WORKS (74 work orders):
The street sweeper vacuum assembly has been delivered and it will be installed this month. If all goes well, we should see street sweeping by the end of the month or first week of May. A street sweeping schedule will be available soon on the Borough website. If possible, please move vehicles to help with the street sweeping process.
The Neptune Park gazebo will be replaced with a new pavilion. It has been ordered with an expected delivery date in approximately 8 weeks. The pavilion will have a new concrete pad, footers, updated electricity, and new lighting. The new structure is funded by a combination of Parks and Recreations allocations and the use of donations to the Beautification Fund.
Recycled plastic park benches, trash and recycling containers and flower planters (made from the repurposed Eagles stadium seating) will be sponsor donated for Neptune Park because of West Wildwood’s participation in the Springtime Recycling Clean-up Day on May 20th. To read more about the sponsors please visit the Borough website.
The existing benches at Neptune Park will be repurposed to Taggert Park and the playground. In the future, after bulkhead replacement at Taggert Park is complete, new benches should be installed.
New signage will be posted throughout the Borough regarding new ordinances passed last year. A reminder that West Wildwood is now a smoke free community. Smoking is prohibited on all Borough owned property, parks, and county open spaces.
The seasonal ordinance permitting dogs on the beach will expire as of April 30th. No dogs on the beach for the summer season.
Kayak storage racks will be moved to the beach for the summer season. Kayak storage rental runs from May 1 to October 30. Rentals are issued on first come, first serve basis and cost $75 for the season. Payment can be made at the tax office to reserve a space.
The daily noon siren can be operated manually in case of an emergency. It is being repaired with weatherproof boxes.
UEZ funding may be available by early summer.
The paving project on A Avenue should be complete by month end.
Repairs have begun on the storm inlets at Pine and J Avenues. This is where the large pothole was and the sunken storm drain.
The J Avenue condominiums have begun work on a new curb.
Phase #1 (full rehab) of the manhole repair project will begin on April 18th. The contract has been awarded to Standard Pipe Services from Newark, DE.
Phase #2 of the manhole repair project is in the bidding phase. The approach to phase #2 will be for the contractor to pull the manhole lid and if there is no visible sign of leaking, the contractor should move onto the next manhole. If leaking, the manhole will be repaired. Objective is to examine and repair as many manholes as possible. The hope is for Phase #2 to begin by May 2nd.
The redesign of the police department ADA ramp is in the works. The bids were rejected due to the high dollar amount and a redesign was authorized.
The Poplar Avenue project is complete, and reimbursement of $900,083 should be forthcoming.
The 26th Street shoreline project will be discussed at the next workshop meeting.
The Bulkhead ordinance is under review. The Borough will be adopting a unified ordinance with the City of Wildwood. Our standards will be the same or better.
DOT funding for Lake and Pine Avenues is available and will expire if not awarded by November 21, 2022. The commissioners are trying to coordinate these repairs with bulkhead work at Veteran’s Park.
The tax office is open 5 days per week.
Trish is the new employee in the tax office.
Key points of the budget include a 2% increase in the 2022 budget. Since property valuations increased by 2%, there will be no increase in the tax rate for 2022. The 2021 surplus is $426,000 with $310,000 applied to balance the 2022 budget.
The budget also allows for the purchase of new police radios, leasing of one new police vehicle (possibly August), furnace replacement in the public works building, park upgrades, storm resiliency, computer servers replacements, additional staffing and salary increases and street sweeper repairs (mentioned above).
The budget focus for 2022 is for repairs to the sewer system and completion of construction projects already funded through grants and capital appropriations.
Commissioner Segrest reported he prepared a spreadsheet to determine how a change in sewer billing based on actual consumption could impact homeowners in West Wildwood. He contacted North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest to review their billing modules. Wildwood water provided last year’s quarterly usage for homeowners. Billing would include 2 rates: a fixed rate of approximately $10/1,000 gallons for 12 months and a variable rate of approximately $60/1,000 gallons for the summer months. The summer rate includes all other costs. Based on the above estimates, 270 households would see an increase in sewer bills. It is possible these increases could be significant. The commissioner revealed 11 homeowners could see an increase of greater than $3,000 annually. These homeowners tend to have pools and/or sprinkler systems. Homeowners could consider installing separate water meters to avoid being billed for sewer for these water requirements. A decrease in sewer bills would occur in over 500 households if a change to actual consumption was implemented. The commissioners will discuss at a workshop meeting. If a change is authorized, there will be a one-year measurement period of water consumption. Commissioner Segrest emphasized identifying and repairing the leaks in the West Wildwood sewer system is the key to reducing sewer rates. For example, January water usage was less than 1 million gallons; however, sewer usage was 6.7 million gallons. Therefore, 5.7 million gallons was the result of leakage into the sewer system.
CMCMUA maintains daily records to monitor sewer activity on the island. The manholes selected were based on DEP records and professional recommendations. The contractor and borough engineer will work together. There are a total of 107 manholes. Commissioners are hopeful results from repairs will be obvious by mid-May.
The cost of a full manhole rehab is approximately $9,000. To caulk and patch repair a manhole is significantly less at approximately $3,000. Some suggested we start an “Adopt a Manhole Campaign.”
Closed sessions related to contractual matters, non-personnel matters.
The solicitor could not speak to police department staffing levels in an open public forum.
We encourage you to listen to the audio from the meeting to have a better understanding of actual comments.
See you soon,
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