Meeting With Commissioners

Our meeting with Commissioners Mancini and Bayard is scheduled for next Saturday, June 27th at 10:00 am in the Township Municipal Building in Brant Beach. Commissioner Lattanzi is unable to attend. The meeting will begin promptly at 10:00 am as our guests have another Taxpayers Association meeting to attend following Holgate’s meeting. I hope you all can attend this very critical meeting next Saturday and that you will continue to support the Association’s work by renewing your membership. We have some additional activities planned for later this year and we are continuing to build up a fund for dune vegetation plantings that will be utilized upon completion of the beach replenishment project. As you may know, the beach replenishment project does provide for some dune vegetation. However, the HTA will plant other plants to further strengthen the berm. We will see you on Saturday

Beach Dune Projects

(1) Christie Administration and United States Army Corps Announce Schedule to Move Forward on Beach and Dune Projects. Read about these plans

(2) Sand for Beach One

It was reported yesterday, Friday, October 18, 2013 that the Holgate Marina will be dredging soon and that the 15,000 cubic yards of sand that they will be removing will be taken to Beach One.

In a conversation with the Holgate Marina, it was verified that AshBritt will begin dredging starting on Oct. 24th or 25th. This is certainly good news to help protect the remaining dune and get us through the next six months until the replenishment project begins.

After Storm 10/11/2013

We received several inquiries today regarding the condition of the beaches as a result of the slow moving storm. We have attached three photos of beach one taken at 12:30 pm this afternoon. We looked again at 5:00 pm and the tide had receded. Some of the snow fence has been washed away and the water had been lapping at the top of the dunes. We’ll take another look in the morning.

20131011-3

20131011-2

20131011-1

Dune Grass Planting Postponed

Due to the expected poor weather conditions, this Saturday’s scheduled dune grass planting is postponed for one week. The new date is Saturday, October 19th at 10:30 am. Please let Bill Hutson know if you intend on participating in next Saturday’s dune grass planting. His phone number is 609-492-6363. We need to have a good idea of the number of people attending so proper arrangements can be made. Thank you for your help in this regard.

In addition, camping on the beach at 68th Street (which requires an insurance certificate) is also being postponed due to poor weather conditions until Friday, October 18th.
Please let us know if you have any questions.

Board of Commissioners Meeting

We attended both the executive session and the regular session of the Board of Commissioners this past week. In addition to reporting on the information presented at these meetings, we also want to let you all know about the following upcoming events:

Tom Beaty announced that there will be a second presentation of “Beach Replenishment 101” at the Beach Haven Volunteer Fire House on Wednesday, October 9th at 6:00 PM. This will be a similar presentation to the one in July at Tom’s home in Holgate, with additional discussion/participation by the US Army Corp of Engineers. If you live/own in Holgate or Beach Haven, please plan on attending. Dan Barone’s presentation alone is worth it. The physical changes that LBI has undergone in a visual time lapse are amazing.

A dune grass planting event is scheduled for Saturday, October 12th. Anyone interested in participating and helping the community is encouraged to meet in the south end Holgate parking lot at 10:30 am. Bring your dune grass planting tools with you. The dune grass planting that occurred on April 6th was very successful. We think that watering the plants was very valuable in this regard. If you have watering cans, bring them also.

A fall clean-up of all of Holgate is planned for Saturday, October 26th. Jersey Cares has 5,000 volunteers scheduled to help all the communities along the Jersey shore to acknowledge the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. One-hundred volunteers are available to Holgate. Tom Beaty and Bill Hutson will co-coordinate the morning’s activities. If you are interested in participating in another event designed to improve our community, please let us know. We are in the process of setting up the clean-up areas. If you have a preference as to where you would like to be assigned or know of a particular area of concern, let us know that also. More information will be forthcoming as to starting time and areas. We had an immensely successful clean-up on May 4th and look forward to having another one.

Board of Commissions Meetings:

Lattanzi

The Health Department is offering flu shots Monday through Friday from October 21st until November 1st. Flu shots are given from 10:00 am to noon at the ACME Parking Lot trailer. The Health Department is also offering free cancer screenings. Please refer to the Township web page for further details.

Bayard

Recycling materials should not be put in plastic bags. The County has reported that the plastic is jamming their equipment. Recyclables in plastic bags will not be picked up in the future.

Mancini

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Friday, October 18th at 4:00 pm. The Mayor asked that all men plan on attending wear pink in acknowledgment of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The next meeting of the Land Use Board is scheduled for Wednesday, October 9th in the multi-purpose room.

The lights on the boulevard will be turned off on Monday, October 7th. He also mentioned that the Police Department will be enforcing the Keep Right – Pass Left law.

The 18 mile run sponsored by St. Francis and the Jewish Center will take place on Sunday, October 13th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The Office of Emergency Management announced the postponement of the annual nuclear power plant drill scheduled for October 8th until further notice due to government shutdown.

The Mayor stated that he had met with a three star general from the ACE (Army Corps. of Engineers) and that he now expected that the reauthorization of the beach replenishment projects will be completed toward the end of the year. He stated that the beach replenishment project will begin in March as all properties would have been properly prepared for eminent domain to the satisfaction of the ACE.

We attended the executive session of the Board of Commissions on Monday. We brought up two issues; first the severe erosion of the dune at Beach One and the difficulty senior citizens were having gaining access to the beaches. The Township was well aware of the beach erosion issue and the Mayor asked Commissioner Bayard to address the problem. This week the Township has been working on the beach installing geo-tubes and pushing sand. This is a stopgap measure to protect the area until the beach replenishment project is completed. In regards to the beach access issue for seniors, this is the second time we raised this issue at a meeting. We had received a couple of e-mails from residents in the Susan Avenue area. We feel this problem will not be addressed before the beaches are replenished. One issue that is weighing heavily on the finances of the Township was stated at the executive session. Right now the Township has received only $859,000 of the $10,000,000 FEMA claim for clean-up and repairs almost one year after the storm. In the meantime, the Township had borrowed the money to finance the work and is incurring interest charges on the debt obligation. Getting the remaining work done in the south parking lot (rebuilding the bathhouse etc.) and repairing the park area at the Bond’s Life Saving Station are delayed so as to avoid additional debt that taxpayers would pay. With the government shutdown now for five days and with no end in sight, it’s anyone’s guess as to when the funds will be forthcoming.

Chamber of Commerce Established on LBI

LBI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

P.O. Box 2298

Long Beach Township, NJ 08008

Website: www.LBIChamberofCommerce.com

E-Mail: LBIChamberofCommerce.com@gmail.com

Fax: 855-LBI-4LBI

September 25, 2013

Dear Friends & Business Owners:

We are excited to announce the formation of the LBI Chamber of Commerce. The Mission & Goals of the Chamber are to promote and stimulate commerce and tourism on Long Beach Island. The success of the Chamber in carrying out its Mission & Goals will be determined by the extent of participation by the Island’s business community, by the nonprofit, religious, and charitable organizations that enhance life on LBI, and by those businesses from off the Island that serve its residents and guests. We welcome you to apply for membership in the Chamber.

Although the first General Membership Meeting of the Chamber has yet to occur, significant groundwork has been completed. We are happy to announce that each of the six towns that comprise the Island are members of the Chamber and will participate as members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. We are also thrilled to announce that the membership of the former LBI Business Alliance unanimously resolved to become members of the Chamber and the Chamber has resolved to accept the Alliance membership. Lastly, the Chamber has sufficient funds to begin the start-up aspects of the Chamber as well as to begin the business of pursuing the Chamber’s Mission & Goals.

The Executive Committee and Board Members invite you to a ‘First Call, Last Call’- First Call of the new LBI Chamber of Commerce and Last Call for the Summer Season. Join us at Nardi’s Tavern, October 23rd from 6pm to 9pm to learn more about the Chamber and ask any questions you might have about our Goals & Mission. We also want to hear your ideas. Additional information on this event will be posted on our web site.

Look forward to seeing you,

Kevin Thomas, President

Pat Sepanak, Vice President

Bill Hutson, 1st Vice President

Dave Wyrsch, Sr., Treasurer

Lynda Wells, Secretary

Survey Results – Park, Playground and Beach Access Areas Bonds Lifesaving Station

On Wednesday, July 17, 2013, a survey was initiated to determine what the residents of Holgate preferred for the replacement of the park and beach access area west of the former Bonds Life Saving Station at the bay ends of Janet and Joan Streets. Thus far, ninety-one (91) responses have been received. The following can be gleaned from these responses:

  • Ninety-one (91%) of the respondents prefer that the tennis courts be re-built.
  • Seventy-five (75%) of the respondents want the basketball court to be re-built.
  • Thirteen percent (13%) want to see more swings and gym equipment installed for the children.
  • Eleven percent (11%) would like to see more benches (seating) especially if a gazebo is not included in the rebuilding.
  • Only eight percent (8%) would prefer a gazebo in lieu of the tennis courts.

In general, the overwhelming majority of residents want the park and playground areas to be rebuilt as they existed prior to Sandy with some improvements such as additional swings and benches. I have learned that the residents of Holgate want very much to be part of the decision making process and they get upset when changes are made based on the input of only a few. Most residents would be in favor of a gazebo if there were enough space and funds available. Some see the shade provided by a gazebo to be a positive amenity. However, there was some concern that a gazebo would attract “visitors” lingering after hours so closing the park at a reasonable time is required. Most see the addition of a gazebo as an additional benefit but not at the expense of the tennis courts. If space, funds and/or economic justification of a gazebo are untenable, a lot of “Good Will” within the community will accrue just by adding additional benches for seating

Several e-mails I received were extremely interesting and informative and I wanted to share them with you.

“Hi – We have a house on McKinley and Rosemma. Our kids have grown with Holgate as their second home. They have often utilized the tennis court at the park with my older one starting a life-long love of tennis because of it. We have always enjoyed the informality of the local tennis court. We have seen many kids and families having a great time learning to play. It is a wonderful asset to the neighborhood. Two years ago when we were looking for a new house my kids insisted that we remain near the tennis court, this was their only demand. We would like to see the park rebuilt as it was. Perhaps the town could add a gazebo to the previous plan to add additional seating and enjoyment.”

“Thank you for keeping us aware of the townships plans for park. Being an avid tennis player for twenty years, we chose Holgate for the special place that it is to live, but the tennis courts were the icing on the cake when we chose to buy a beach property. I would love to see the tennis courts replaced. The courts add value to Holgate, attracts wonderful tennis families to our neighborhood and it sure beats driving all the way into town and paying to play. Many of my renters are also tennis players and I would like to be offering this amenity next year to my repeat renters.”

“I strongly support the reconstruction of the tennis and basketball courts. As the only sports facilities on the south end, they are an important amenity for summer visitors and residents. A well placed gazebo could serve as some additional seating for viewing the basketball court, tennis court and sunsets. Also, a new signup board/bulletin board for players to meet up or arrange play times would be a nice addition as would a tennis and ball throwing practice wall facing the basketball court. We have such a play wall setup in our neighborhood park at home and it attracts a lot of kids. Finally, a water fountain would be a great addition. Thanks for your efforts.”

“Dan: Thanks for your response. Of course, many of us who live near the park are sensitive to these issues. Years ago, the township tried to put in a boat slip at the end of Joan. Luckily, vigilant neighbors protested and the lands were marked as federally protected wetlands (although that sign was lost to Sandy). Several years ago, I was on a task force that suggested the alternative to the big Barney slide. It was nice that the township gave us a jungle gym that was brown and sort of blended in with the environment. However, at first they wanted it to have all this “castle” stuff on top of it. Many of us see how unattended children climb on top and jump off or kids push each other off; and it scares us and opens the township up for more liability. The township also wanted to cover the walkway. Again, many of us told the township that people like to sit in the sun out there and many were afraid children would climb up on top of it. They agreed after they saw some photos. People urged the township to put more benches in the park. It never happened.”

“Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the reconstruction of the little Holgate bay-view park. We have lived in the area for 28 years; on Joan Road. To cut to the chase, we would like to see the dune fencing replaced, the dunes rebuilt and planted, the tennis court rebuilt, a bench placed by the tennis court and another by the play area and maybe the reconstruction of the half-court basketball court and a few garbage cans. We say maybe on the basketball court since it has caused noise and other disturbances for local residents over the years.

A number of years ago the town commissioners prepared a plan for the area that included decks, a dock, multiple tennis courts and a full basketball court, bathrooms and on and on. It was this proposal that caused a resurgence of the Taxpayers Association. The neighborhood was galvanized against the plan and ultimately it was scrapped. The consensus then, and I believe now, from the local residents is that this is one of the only places on the island that has remained mostly in a natural state and it should continue that way. Much of it was purchased with Green Acres money which greatly limits what can be done on the property. Later when the town wanted to build a gazebo on the site we modified their proposal to include the current seating deck and boardwalk that a few people use each night to watch the sunset. I don’t think that the current proposal for a gazebo will do anything but create a “party place” in the middle of a residential area. We asked for some playground equipment and they provided us with the requested equipment. We asked for the tennis court to be resurfaced and that was done.

The park was quite a bit larger when we moved here. There was a bulkhead that extended from the north boundary for about 200′. Once the township removed that we have seen about 20′ of beach disappear. The drain pipe used to be longer by from 20′ to 30′ but as the beach became smaller the pipe extensions were removed. Several years ago the township made this a guarded swimming beach cordoned off for safety. The first year there was a lifeguard there full time that was so bored (no swimmers at all) that we gave her books and magazines to read to pass the time. The next year the lifeguard was only there part time and the third year the swimming area was gone all together. What you do see is parents teaching kids about nature. You do see people watching the birds feeding along the shore line, and you do see kids having fun on the playground equipment.

We note that the parking lot at the southern end of Holgate has been doubled in size. Would it not make more sense to place the gazebo on the bunker or some other area where there is parking and bathrooms? A gazebo on the bunker with views of the ocean, wildlife area and bay makes much more sense than locating it in the last little nature park in Holgate and maybe in the Township.

We suggest that the Taxpayers Association support the return the park to its former state. Let’s keep a little bit of green space and nature in Holgate.”