Equipment mobilization for LBI beachfill starting soon

Beachfill contractor Great Lakes Dock and Dredge Co. could begin mobilizing equipment as early as this week on Long Beach Island, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as the Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project is still on track to start later this month.

Dredging operations will commence in Ship Bottom, with pipe landings at Eighth Street and 23rd Street. “From each landing site, construction will first progress north and then flip and progress south,” said ACE Public Affairs Officer Rochette. “Beachfill operations are expected to last 35 days within the borough of Ship Bottom.”

Two dredges, the Padre Island and the Dodge Island, are scheduled for this part of the job. After Ship Bottom is complete, crews will move to southern Long Beach Township, around 106th Street in Beach Haven Park, and then progress south to Holgate. Five pipe landing sites will be necessary for this section of the project.

“A third dredge, the Liberty Island, is scheduled to mobilize to the project site in August 2015 and begin operations in one of the remaining sections of the project,” dependent on the outcome of eminent domain proceedings, as well as weather and overall progress, Rochette noted.

No more than 1,000 feet of beach will be closed as work progresses along the Island; closed sections are “rolling,” said Rochette, and advance as the beachfill progresses. Great Lakes anticipates construction to progress approximately 100 feet per day.

Under the base contract, all work is required to be complete by April 12, 2016, though there are currently options on the contract for further work that, if awarded, could add time to the contract completion date. Weather and mechanical delays may also cause a change in the construction schedule and completion date.

For the duration of the project, “sand will be pumped through a series of pipes onto the beaches within the municipalities of Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom, Beach Haven and a small section of Surf City over a length of 12.7 miles,” the Army Corps explained. “The sand is then built into a dune and berm system designed to reduce potential damages to infrastructure, businesses and homes that can occur from coastal storm events.”

The contract also includes the construction of dune crossovers, dune fencing installation and dune grass plantings.

Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck said recently that if there are no last-minute delays or problems due to weather, the Ship Bottom part of the project should be completed in time for Memorial Day weekend. “Dune grass will have to be replanted, but that will be done in the fall,” he stated.

The mayor believes the Ship Bottom work will take less time than in the other municipalities because it already has some areas with a strong dune structure.

“But still,” he noted, “we saw how vulnerable we were after Superstorm Sandy. This work will strengthen our beaches so that we’ll have better protection the next time a major storm hits us.”

The LBI project was only partially completed when Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore in fall 2012. Prior to that, “the Army Corps completed the initial construction of the project at Surf City in 2006; Harvey Cedars in 2010; and Brant Beach between 31st and 57th Streets, in Long Beach Township, in 2012,” an ACE press release stated. “The Army Corps repaired beaches in Surf City and Harvey Cedars in 2012 after Hurricane Irene, and fully restored the beaches within all three communities after Hurricane Sandy in 2013. The restoration and repair work was funded 100 percent through the Army Corps’ Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program. The current contract will complete the initial construction of the dune and berm system on Long Beach Island.

“Construction is funded entirely by the federal government through the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (PL113-2), commonly known as the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill. Following the completion of initial construction, the project is eligible for continued periodic nourishment.”

Updates on the project will be posted to the ACE website – www.nap.usace.army.mil – as information is available.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper

Equipment mobilization for LBI beachfill starting soon 


Long Beach Blvd work begins in Ship Bottom & Surf City

The Ocean County Road Department is currently leading an overlay project to mill and resurface Long Beach Boulevard, from the Causeway to the northern border of Surf City. Earle Asphalt Co., the contractor hired, will be replacing bad pipes and rebuilding some of the “older, substandard” drainage structures during the next couple of weeks, Ocean County Engineer Frank Scarantino told The SandPaper.

“We determined that the road surface was in need of replacement, and we had some drainage issues that we knew needed to be addressed that were urgent,” he emphasized.

During this phase of the project, cars are not allowed to be parked on the Boulevard in this area from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Any vehicles on the roadway at that time run the risk of being towed by local law enforcement.

Handicap ramp upgrades that require curb and sidewalk construction will take place for a week after completion of the drainage work. Minor modifications to the traffic signals, including push buttons for pedestrians, will also take place. The surface of the Boulevard will be milled down and repaved overnight after Memorial Day. The entire project is expected to be wrapped up before school ends, around June 20.

“It should be pretty easy-going, and they’ll be done with the tough work before Memorial Day, before traffic gets significant,” Scarantino stated.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper

Long Beach Blvd work begins in Ship Bottom & Surf City 


Concerned about your school taxes?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 may be “D” (decision) Day!

The Long Beach Island Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Tuesday April 14th at 7:00 pm at the Ethel Jacobsen Elementary School, 200 Barnegat Avenue, Surf City.

The results of the most recent study that was commissioned by the Board will be released at this meeting. This study includes recommendations relating to the potential consolidation of the two separate elementary schools that currently serve less than 300 students.

The matter of consolidation has been “studied” and debated (most recently at least) for more than five years without a resolution while your tax dollars continue to be spent. Your voice on this issue matters and your attendance at this meeting is critical to having your opinion heard!

We recently posted this Letter to the Editor of The Sandpaper on our website.

Further details of LBI School District spending, as compared to other districts, may be found on this page.

 

Concerned about your school taxes?

 

 

 


NOAA reviewing application for Rutgers’ seismic survey

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service is currently reviewing an application for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals in connection with Rutgers University’s seismic project slated for this summer, 15 to 50 miles southeast of Barnegat Inlet. As explained on the Federal Register, at federalregister.gov,

“NMFS has received an application from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in collaboration with the National Science Foundation for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals by harassment incidental to conducting a marine geophysical (seismic) survey in the northwest Atlantic Ocean off the New Jersey coast June through August, 2015. The proposed dates for this action would be June 1, 2015, through August 31, 2015, to account for minor deviations due to logistics and weather.

 

“Per the Marine Mammal Protection Act, we are requesting comments on our proposal to issue an authorization to Lamont-Doherty to incidentally take, by Level B harassment only, 32 species of marine mammals during the specified activity.”

The comment period for this application ends April 16.

Led by scientists from Rutgers and the University of Texas at Austin, the proposed study would examine the geologic record of past sea level changes and the effect on shoreline resilience.

“Superstorm Sandy demonstrated the vulnerability of people, natural resources and infrastructure to the extremes of weather along the Jersey shore,” a Rutgers media statement from May 2014 noted. “Matching new 3D acoustic images to existing information will provide knowledge of shoreline stability during times of sea level change and climate variability.”

As explained further on the Rutgers Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences website, geology.rutgers.edu/slin3d-home,

“sediments beneath the Jersey coast, both onshore and offshore, contain a long record of shoreline response to Earth’s natural cycles. By studying these sediments, geologists know that past sea level rise has at times moved the shoreline 40 miles west of its current position; at other times sea level fall has drawn the shoreline 80 miles east of today’s, reaching as far as the edge of the continental shelf.”

The project would document the record of these changes by collecting acoustic images of the history preserved in the layering of sediment beneath the continental shelf. With it we intend to track patterns of shoreline response to the Earth’s ever-changing sea level.

Rutgers’ website details the background, methods and goals of the proposed research, as well as federal and state environmental compliance procedures.

The NSF-funded study was scheduled to take place last summer, but was postponed after the R/V Marcus G. Langseth experienced equipment problems.

Many on the shore, from environmental groups to lawmakers to fishermen, oppose the project because of concern over the seismic airguns’ potential affect on sea life and fisheries commerce. The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection legally challenged the study last year, but was stymied in court.

Congressmen Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.-6th) and Frank LoBiondo (N.J.-2nd) recently released a joint statement in response to NOAA’s review of the IHA request – which must be granted in order to begin the seismic survey – in which they urge the agency to reject the application.

“With New Jersey’s coastal economy still rebounding from the effects of Superstorm Sandy, our fisheries cannot afford to take yet another hit this summer,” said the lawmakers, who expressed apprehension about possible disruption of marine mammal migration patterns and fish spawning.

 

“Seismic testing in the Atlantic puts our coastline at further risk, posing a serious threat to our coastal resources and the state’s economy,” they added. “The environmental and economic impacts of allowing seismic blasting will be felt up and down the Jersey shore, and we urge NOAA to take action that will stop this project from moving forward.”

Address any comments on this application to Jolie Harrison, supervisor, Incidental Take Program, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Md. 20910, or email ITP.Cody@noaa.gov and include “0648-XD773″ in the subject line.

For more information, visit federalregister.gov.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper

NOAA reviewing application for Rutgers’ seismic survey 

 


Letter to the Editor: Key school meeting

Letter to the Editor: Key school meeting 

Note: This is resident letter to the Editor of the Sandpaper

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, April 14, the Long Beach Island Board of Education will hold a special meeting at Ethel Jacobsen Elementary School at 7 p.m. regarding the future of that school and the Long Beach Island Grade School.

In 2010, after the school budget failed and $900,000 was lost from the budget, the school board had a feasibility study completed to ascertain if the two schools could be consolidated. The feasibility, completed in January 2011, concluded that consolidation was possible at either school site but an addition would be needed at either site to meet current state standards for public education.

The study proposed an addition with costs at either site, but the other site would need to be sold to fund the addition. An addition at the EJ School would cost $9.4 million with the sale of the LBI Grade School yielding $8.7 million. An addition at LBI Grade School would cost $3.4 million with the sale of the vacant park land in Ship Bottom next to EJ School yielding $2.86 million. The sale of the EJ School and land in Surf City has a deed restriction. If the board attempts to sell the EJ School and it is no longer used as a school, Surf City municipality has the right to buy back the land for about $230,000.

So, in 2011, the board voted to sell the LBI Grade School and add an addition onto the EJ School. The LBI Grade School was put up for sale and remains up for sale. The real estate market took a downturn and then Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012. The LBI Grade School was damaged and closed. The students all attended the EJ School with temporary modular classrooms from 2012 to 2014. These were cramped quarters and less than optimal conditions for learning and instruction, but everyone persevered. The remediation and restoration of the LBI Grade School was a tumultuous topic. Many discussions were had, but the board voted to remediate and restore the school. This was completed in March 2014 and the LBI Grade School reopened and has remained operational since March 2014.

The LBI Grade School is still for sale. The board is still committed to consolidating the schools. A major assumption was that consolidation would lead to cost efficiency and savings. However, no cost analysis has been completed. No calculation on the rate of return of the investment of the addition has been done. It is a bold assumption to state that consolidation will save the district money without any data.

There are many unanswered questions on the true cost of the addition. Where will the savings come from when a 21,740-square-foot addition is added to the current building? How much will it cost to remove or go around the sewage pipe on Third Street that currently runs through the proposed addition site? How much will permanent modular classrooms cost? How long will they be needed? Where will they be placed? Is it safe to have them near or on an active construction site? Will the EJ School remain open or partially open during construction?

What about the proposals from Surf City and Ship Bottom municipalities in August 2014 that suggested an addition onto LBI Grade School? Has that even been considered or explored? Is it wise to even consider building an addition on the EJ School when the district does not own the land the school sits on? Would Surf City exercise its right to the land if the EJ School were destroyed by fire or another major storm? Where would the children go to school then? Beach Haven? Stafford?

Now imagine what your taxes would be if that happened? (The current district rate for 2014-2015 in Beach Haven is 0.101, Stafford is 0.73, our Island consolidated rate range is from 0.044 to 0.046). This would be a substantial increase in tax rates. What would be the long-term consequences to businesses and the community if no elementary schools existed on the Island?

Shouldn’t a cost savings analysis be done first? What if an addition costs more? What if an addition costs more at either school site? Should the district still consolidate anyway? What if it is more cost effective to keep both schools? What is the current budget shortfall if any for operating the two schools at present? What is the current financial health of the district? Do we have a viable district and for how long? Can we maintain it?

The school board, after meeting with the mayors of the municipalities of the consolidated school district, hired a local engineering firm to evaluate both schools since the feasibility study, Superstorm Sandy and restoration of LBI Grade School has been completed. The purpose of the special meeting on April 14 is to present these reports, have a public discussion and answer questions. So please make time to attend for the future of our school district and for the integrity of our community.

Stacey Fuessinger, Ship Bottom 

- Reposted from The Sandpaper


Sprint for Life takes off on April 11th

Sprint for Life takes off on April 11th Both competitive and casual runners are invited to participate in the Sprint for Life benefit scheduled for Saturday, April 11, beginning and ending at the waterfront/boat ramp park in Ship Bottom.

Event coordinator Maria Pennisi said registration is underway for the 5K run, which begins at 12:30, immediately followed by a 2-mile fitness walk.

Fee for the 5K run and fitness walk is $20 before April 3 ($17 for USATF-NJ members) and $25 after that date up until the time of the race. Each participant gets a free T-shirt.

A “Kidz Mini-Sprint,” which begins at 11:15 a.m., is open to children ages 4 to 11. Fee for the quarter-mile race is $10 ($20 for both the sprint and mini-sprint.)

An after-race party will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at Joe Pop’s Shore Bar, where there will be a free buffet and drink specials. Ted Hammock and Jason Booth will provide live entertainment. Sprint participants pay $5; those who want only to attend the party are admitted for $10.

Proceeds benefit the National Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of New Jersey. A competitive runner herself, Pennisi began the event 13 years ago in tribute to her father, Vito “Vic” Pennisi, who at the time had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. After he died in 2009, Pennisi was even more determined to continue the cause.

Since the event’s inception, she estimated the event has raised approximately $85,000. In addition, some money raised will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House, which serves families of seriously ill children undergoing medical treatment

“We started out with a turnout of around 200, but since then we’ve averaged between 700 and 800 people,” said Pennisi, a Manahawkin resident.

People can register by calling Pennisi at 609-709-4576 or logging onto shipbottomsprint.com. Donations can be made at any time to the National Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of New Jersey by sending them to Pennisi at  P.O. Box 423, Ship Bottom, N.J. 08008.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper

Sprint for Life takes off on April 11th

 


Get ready for Easter!

Get ready for EasterBreak out the sunny smiles and the new duds, and look for signs of the rascally rabbit’s egg-hiding pranks. Even if spring isn’t really ready for it, Easter is coming on Sunday, April 5. Area churches will be welcoming, especially on this Holy Day, and sunrise services oceanside, bayside and lakeside add a special meaning to the morning.

On Long Beach Island:

Sunrise service at Barnegat Lighthouse at 7 a.m. with the Zion Lutheran Church; on the beach oceanside at 130th Street in Beach Haven at 6:30 a.m. with the First United Methodist Church of Beach Haven; on the beach oceanside between Centre Street and Engleside Avenue in Beach Haven at 6:15 a.m. with the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish.

*   *    *

Children 10 years old and younger can meet the Easter Bunny and receive Easter candy at the Beach Haven Exchange Club’s annual Easter Egg Hunt, held at Veterans Bicentennial Park on Saturday, March 28, at noon.

*   *   *

The Surf City Volunteer Fire Co. and the Easter Bunny host a pancake breakfast and more on Saturday, April 4, from 8 am to noon at the firehouse, and the Surf City Police Department hosts its second annual Easter Egg Hunt the same day, in front of Borough Hall, 813 Long Beach Blvd. Children 10 and younger with caregivers are invited to drop by anytime between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. to hunt for eggs and enter a jelly bean guessing contest to win a prize.

On the Mainland:

Sunrise services in Barnegat at the Barnegat Docks off East Bay Ave. at 6:30 a.m.; ecumenical sunrise service in Tuckerton at Tuckerton’s Lake Pohatcong at 6:30 a.m.

*    *    *

The annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Tuckerton Seaport for children ages 6 months to 12 years with caregivers is planned for Saturday, April 4, with registration at 10:30 a.m. and the hunt to begin at 11 a.m. As in years past, the little ones get to go first, but there will be hundreds of eggs and everyone gets a prize.  The Tuckerton Pride and Celebration Committee, the Red Men Tribe # 61 Degree of Pocahontas and the Seaport sponsor the free hunt.

*    *     *

The Ocean Acres Civic Association hosts its annual egg hunt at the Stafford Township First Aid building on Nautilus Drive this Saturday, March 28, for children ages 2 to 9. Those with last names beginning with A to M are welcome at 10 a.m.; the second hunt, at 11:15 a.m., is for those with last names from N to Z. Registration is required; call Larry at 609-597-4327 or Lou at 609-978-8212.

*    *    *

The Olive Garden Restaurant of Manahawkin will host its first Easter egg hunt on Saturday, March 28 (rain date March 29), free and open to the public, complete with a visit from Miss Stafford, Mariah Marino, and an Olive Garden gift basket to be raffled off to benefit the Stafford PBA’s holiday toy drive, which the restaurant also supports with an annual motorcycle toy run.

Bring the whole family to Olive Garden, located at 234 Stafford Park Blvd., for a morning of egg hunting, light refreshments and photo ops with the Easter Bunny.

The event is divided into two age groups: children ages 1 to 5 at 10 a.m., and ages 5 to 10 at 10:30. Stop in or call Joann Cunningham at 609-978-1202 to sign up. Nearly 100 kids have already signed up, according to Cunningham. “So far we’ve had a great response to it,” she added.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper

Get ready for Easter


Barnegat Light holds the line on municipal taxes

The borough of Barnegat Light will be able to hold the line on municipal taxes due to an increase in ratables and a concentration on paying down the debt service.

The 2015 budget introduced at the March 11 meeting of borough council included a general appropriation of $3,341,612. The borough’s tax rate will remain at 19.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The municipal purposes tax rate does not include county or school taxes.

A public hearing on the spending plan is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 8.

Last year, taxes had gone up one penny, and no one from the public commented at the hearing.

The total net valuation of taxable property in the borough is now $1.08 billion.

Recently, the borough refinanced its municipal debt and obtained a financing rate of .68 percent. The borough paid down $381,285 of its total debt.

Lifeguards, previously the lowest-paid on the Island, will benefit with money included in the introduced budget. A total of $725 more per week is allotted to be divided among squad members.

“That will put us more in line with the other towns. Hopefully they will be happy, and next year we can give them a raise again to get them closer,” said Councilwoman Dottie Reynolds, chairwoman of the beaches and parks committee.

The Barnegat Light Beach Patrol is a six-time champion of the Island-wide lifeguard tournament.

Beach badge sales for this year are already above the dollar amount of this time last year, Reynolds noted.

“We have sold $10,700 worth of badges; that is now more than $2,000 over this time in 2014.”

Water Line Breaks, Check for Gas Smell

In other decisions, when a resident’s water has to be shut off by the borough after a water line break, the fee will now be higher than before, if the crews have to come out after-hours.

The after-hours shut-off fees were raised to $200, compared to the former $75. Borough council members said the new charge reflects closer to the actual cost of paying the crews to come out.

“We’re not doing this to penalize anyone,” said Mayor Kirk Larson.

“It’s just to break even,” said Michael Spark, chairman of the water and sewer committee on council. “It can take four or five hours to find the shut-off valves if they’re under the snow drifts” and complete the job, he said.

“We’re paying the guys double-time to come out,” Spark said, and he also referred to the union contract that requires pay for a minimum number of hours when the employees are called out after-hours. “That’s what plumbers charge,” he added, speaking during the caucus meeting.

The prolonged cold snap caused 25 to 30 water line breaks in town, Spark said.

Apparatus of the outer parts of natural gas meters is also cracking under the cold in a few cases.

In his public safety report, Councilman Frank Mikuletzky advised homeowners to be aware for the smell of gas because there were “quite a few” cases of gas leaks in the past month. Some were in the diaphragms of meters and some in pipes.

One recent leak filled a garage with gas on 20th Street, and another on Sunday, March 8, came from a meter in High Bar Harbor.

“It seems like a good idea to walk around where the meter is and take a sniff. If you smell gas, report it and get away from it,” Mikuletzky reminded.

Touch-Ups Planned for Borough Hall

Two bond ordinances were introduced on first reading – one to appropriate $200,0000 for beach walk replacement, and another to appropriate $150,000 for repairs and improvements to the old Borough Hall on West 10th Street.

The repairs would include painting outside and new carpeting inside, said Borough Administrator/Clerk Gail Wetmore. The old Borough Hall section of the building houses the courtroom, tax assessor’s office and an annex station of the Long Beach Township Police Department, which is contracted to patrol Barnegat Light.

After a short executive session, council agreed to authorize spending up to $5,400 to LSRP Consulting for remediation where an underground storage tank used to be in the public dock area. The tank was removed in the past, but the remediation had not been done, borough representatives said.

Borough council accepted the resignation of Assistant Treasurer Paula Bastian, who is taking a position as the new temporary chief financial officer in Eagleswood Township.

In other business, council decided to raise the fee for lease of the 16th Street bayside bulkhead from $250 per week to $500 per week. A barge company and other businesses have been using the site for its easy access to the inlet.

In answer to a question during the public comment portion of the meeting, Wetmore said that soon all of the Island towns will be getting together to work on obtaining the credits for the Community Rating System that allow discounts on flood insurance. Currently, each town pursues those discounts separately, and some towns are qualifying for higher discounts than the 15 percent that Barnegat Light residents are receiving.

A resolution to oppose the proposed closing of “Gitmo,” the Guantanamo Bay prison detention camp in Cuba, was penned by Mayor Larson and passed with a vote of council.

“I hope it gets around the country,” the mayor said this week. “I don’t want them to bring those prisoners into New York,” he remarked at the caucus meeting.

Release of five Yemeni prisoners in January 2015 drew media attention to President Obama’s pledge to close the camp. Four were transferred to Oman and one to Estonia. The previous month, four detainees had been sent to Afghanistan and five others to Kazakhstan.

The borough Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday, April 4, at 10 a.m. at the West 10th Street recreational area.

Playground repairs and upgrades on West 10th Street will start April 6.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper

Barnegat Light holds the line on municipal taxes


Beach replenishment beginning in Ship Bottom next month

Beach replenishment slated to begin in Ship Bottom next month

The schedule for beach replenishment on Long Beach Island has changed once again, with contractor Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. now set to begin dredging in Ship Bottom in late April.

Work for the LBI Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project, a joint effort between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District and the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, was previously expected to begin in southern Long Beach Township. However, as ACE Public Affairs Officer Steve Rochette explained, “Great Lakes modified the schedule based on equipment availability and operational considerations.”

Great Lakes plans to mobilize two dredges, the Padre Island and the Dodge Island, to commence the beach renourishment. Pipe landings will be made at Eighth Street and 23rd Street in Ship Bottom when the work begins next month. “From each landing site, construction will first progress north and then flip and progress south,” said Rochette. “Beachfill operations are expected to last 35 days within the borough of Ship Bottom.”

Crews will then move to southern Long Beach Township, and will progress south to the end of the project in Holgate. Five pipe landing sites will be necessary for this section of the project.

“A third dredge, the Liberty Island, is scheduled to mobilize to the project site in August 2015 and begin operations in one of the remaining sections of the project,” Rochette noted.

No more than 1,000 feet of beach will be closed as work progresses along the Island; closed sections are “rolling,” said Rochette, and advance as the beachfill progresses. Great Lakes anticipates construction to progress approximately 100 feet per day.

Under the base contract, all work is required to be complete by April 12, 2016, though there are currently options on the contract for further work that, if awarded, could add time to the contract completion date. Weather and mechanical delays may also cause a change in the construction schedule and completion date.

Last year, the Army Corps awarded a $128 million contract to Great Lakes for this project, which involves dredging approximately 8a million cubic yards of sand from an approved borrow area 3 miles offshore.

As the Corps reports, “The sand will be pumped through a series of pipes onto the beaches within the municipalities of Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom, Beach Haven and a small section of Surf City over a length of 12.7 miles. The sand is then built into a dune and berm system designed to reduce potential damages to infrastructure, businesses, and homes that can occur from coastal storm events.”

The contract also includes the construction of dune crossovers, dune fencing installation and dune grass plantings.

The LBI project was only partially completed when Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore in fall 2012. Prior to that, “the Army Corps completed the initial construction of the project at Surf City in 2006; Harvey Cedars in 2010; and Brant Beach between 31st and 57th Streets, in Long Beach Township, in 2012,” an ACE press release stated. “The Army Corps repaired beaches in Surf City and Harvey Cedars in 2012 after Hurricane Irene, and fully restored the beaches within all three communities after Hurricane Sandy in 2013. The restoration and repair work was funded 100 percent through the Army Corps’ Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program. The current contract will complete the initial construction of the dune and berm system on Long Beach Island.

“Construction is funded entirely by the federal government through the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (PL113-2), commonly known as the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill. Following the completion of initial construction, the project is eligible for continued periodic nourishment.”

Updates on the project will be posted to the ACE website – www.nap.usace.army.mil – as information is available.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper

Beach replenishment beginning in Ship Bottom next month

 

 


Flood insurance rate hikes affect everyone in April

Surcharges and other fees plus a 15 percent flood insurance rate increase to many property owners along the shore come into effect on April 1, according to Jeff Wyrsch, co-owner of the Van Dyk Insurance Group.

“I think they are going to be pretty significant across the board,” he said on Monday.

Annual surcharges and the implementation of something called a reserve fee are part of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 that replaced the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012.

The Van Dyk Group and other insurance agencies that handle flood insurance received the following message from the National Flood Insurance Program.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is implementing a new law that slows some flood insurance rate increases and offers financial relief to some policyholders who experienced steep flood premium increases in 2013 and early 2014. Known as the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, the new legislation also continues efforts begun in 2012 to align insurance rates more closely with risk. As a result, beginning April 1, 2015, some rating options will change, flood insurance rates will increase (or decrease), and other charges will be revised or added. The changes will affect new and existing policies.”

According to Wyrsch, “Shortly after Sandy, the NFIP implemented a reserve fee of 5 percent of the (individual’s flood policy) premium, and that is being increased to 15 percent of the premium. It’s called a reserve fee because theoretically, it’s to be set aside in case another storm like Katrina or Sandy comes along. But it’s really a matter of trying to stop the NFIP from losing money.”

In addition, the NFIP has implemented new surcharges that for the owner of a primary residence will be $25 annually, but for the owner of a second home or a business will be $250 annually.

Annual rate increases for all risk classes could go up as much as 15 percent. Those currently receiving subsidies because of their Pre-FIRM status (those who owned their homes before the National Flood Insurance Program and flood insurance rate maps came into existence) will see at least a 5 percent increase.

The news for second homeowners and businesses is that they will go up 18 percent. This is bad enough, but Biggert-Waters would have been more egregious, allowing rates to rise to full risk in one year.

On the other hand, ratepayers may be able to save money if they decide to change their deductible from $5,000 to $10,000. “They could get a discount of 40 percent on their premium depending on whether the bank holding their mortgage agrees,” said Wyrsch. “You never know how these things are going to function in reality.”

Wyrsch said he wanted to get the news out that rates will be going up no matter where a person lives in the flood zone and no matter how big or how small the home is. “Flood insurance is not based on the value of the home; it’s only based on how high it is elevated and if it has been significantly improved and is no longer grandfathered.”

The NFIP now requires photos of a property when it changes hands.

Those who have elevated their substantially damaged homes since Sandy should see a huge rate decrease based on how much they have elevated out of the risk of flood waters.

For more personalized information, call your flood insurance agent; for general information, go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Insurance Reform webpages.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper, 3/18/15

Flood insurance rate hikes affect everyone in April


A memorable winter at Barnegat Light Coast Guard station

mainIt seems as if the winter of 2014-15 is finally fading away. True, the National Weather Service in Mount Holly is predicting sleet for much of the mainland area on Friday night, and the thermometer will probably dip just below freezing a few more times before a gasping and dying Old Man Winter draws his last breath. On the other hand, daytime highs will be in the 40s and even the 50s in the coming week. Let me hear you say a big hallelujah!

No more getting up in the morning to dig out your driveway, scrape the ice off your windshield and keep a sharp eye out for black ice. Can I get a giant amen?!

It was definitely a cold winter – New Jersey state climatologist David A. Robinson reported that it was the third coldest February, with an average temperature of just 22 degrees, and the sixth coldest month overall in the state since records started being kept in 1895. Robinson also said the average temperature in New Jersey for the “meteorological winter” of December through February this season was 29.5 degrees, making it the 21st coldest winter in the past 120 years.

Still, if you’ve lived in New Jersey much of your lifetime, you’ve probably seen worse. Many people can recall February 1979, when the average temperature was 21.9 degrees, the second coldest February in recorded New Jersey history. As for the entire winter, 1993-94 logged an average temperature of 29 degrees.

What, however, if you’re not from New Jersey? What if you grew up in a southern clime? It just so happens that several crewmembers of U.S. Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light grew up in our nation’s most southern clime: Florida. Seaman Casey Vockell, for example, lived in Jacksonville and hadn’t experienced a northern winter, even a mild northern winter, until this year. He’s surely got some stories for his Floridian buddies.

“In Jacksonville it was a big deal when it got below freezing,” he said.

Vockell was assigned to Station Barnegat Light after he completed basic training in Cape May last summer, so he said he was lucky to experience a “gradual change” in the weather upon being stationed on LBI. Still, as the winter set in, he realized he wasn’t in Kansas – oops, make that Florida – anymore.

He noticed that he was adding more and more hoodies to his civilian wardrobe, and he realized he wouldn’t miss “getting up early to de-ice the 47s.”

If you think cleaning off your automobile after a snowstorm or scraping your windshield clear in freezing rain is a pain, imagine if your car or truck sat in the freezing waters of Barnegat Bay all night. That is exactly what the station’s 47-foot motor lifeboats do. Ice quickly builds on a boat’s surface during freezing weather because of wind-driven spray. Indeed, ice can become so thick and heavy that it can capsize a vessel. That means much of the time of a Coastie (or any mariner, for that matter) serving in cold weather will be spent chipping ice.

“De-icing,” said Vockell, “is important to the boat’s stability and to prevent slipping on the deck.”

And what tools do Vockell and his mates use for de-icing? “Shovels and mallets,” he said.

High tech!

Chief Warrant Officer Kevin A. Speer, commanding officer at Station Barnegat Light, said his crew has been busy fighting the elements this winter. Luckily, the season has been otherwise quiet.

“We’ve been iced in for the last month,” he said.

His 25- and 24-foot boats were taken out of the picture by the weather. His 47-foot MLBs could get through the ice to the open ocean, but only slowly and deliberately.

“We could respond to SAR (search and rescue) as needed,” said Speer. “We can always get out, but the question is getting back. We’d probably have to go somewhere else to tie up.”

The 47-foot MLB has been the backbone of the Coast Guard’s small boat fleet since the late 1990s, when it replaced the aging 44-foot MLB (one can be seen at the Tuckerton Seaport), introduced in the mid-1960s. The 47-footers were launched with great fanfare because they were much faster than the 44s, with a top speed of 25 knots (29 mph), as compared to their predecessors’ top speed of 14 knots (16 mph). That allowed the Coast Guard to close many small boat stations because the effective range of the remaining stations was greatly increased.

Like the 44, the 47 is a self-righting vessel that can quickly turn upright if capsized, an extremely useful ability when deployed in heavy surf. The 47 can right itself in less than 10 seconds.

The 47, though, isn’t quite as versatile as the 44. The newer boat has a draft of 4 feet, 6 inches, which means it can’t operate in as shallow water as the 44, which had a draft of 3.3 feet. And the 47’s hull is aluminum while the 44’s was reinforced steel, so while the 44s were used for breaking harbor ice, the 47s are not.

“We were talking about the 44s this morning,” said Speer, who enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1990 and was certified as a surfman on the 44 in 1996.

So icebreaking is one experience Vockell won’t be able to describe to his friends and family in Florida. He surely will, however, be able to tell them plenty about chipping ice.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper, 3/13/15

 

A memorable winter at Barnegat Light Coast Guard station


NRC releases annual report on Oyster Creek power plant

NRC releases annual report on Oyster Creek power plantThe Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Lacey Township was one of 19 high-performing reactors nationwide that needed to resolve safety issues this year, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a letter Friday.

The plant had 3.5 unplanned scrams per 7,000 critical hours in the third quarter of 2014. That put the plant into the ”white” performance threshold from “green,” which is the safest.

The issues, described as having “low safety significance” have since been resolved, the letter said. In the fourth quarter of 2014, the plant had 1.8 unplanned scarms per 7,000 crtical hours, placing it back into the “green” threshold.

“Your staff’s evaluation appropriately identified the primary root and contributing causes for each of the reactor scrams that contributed to the White performance indicator,” an annual assessment letter for Oyster Creek said.

NRC releases annual reportSuzanne D’Ambrosio, a spokeswoman for Exelon Generation, the owner and operator of Oyster Creek, said in a statement that none of the operational challenges posed any threat to the health and safety of the plant, our workers or the general public.

However, the NRC said it has not yet finalized the significance of two apparent violations at the power plant.

One apparent violation was a preliminary “yellow” finding of “inadequate application of materials, parts, equipment and processes associated with electromatic relief valves.”

The second was a preliminary white finding of “failure to review maintenance process results in inoperable emergency diesel generator.”

The assessment letter said the final safety significance of these apparent violations may affect the NRC’s assessment of the plant’s performance.

“While these violations fail to meet Oyster Creek’s high standards for operational excellence, they do not represent a larger pattern of safety and reliability issues at the station,” D’Ambrosio said in a statement.

- Reposted from The Press of Atlantic City, 3/6/15

NRC releases annual report on Oyster Creek power plant

 

 

 

 


State meeting on fishing industry rescheduled

Due to inclement weather the meeting of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council, originally scheduled for March 5, at the Atlantic County Library has been rescheduled.

The meeting has major agenda items concerning striped bass, summer flounder and black sea bass. The meeting has been rescheduled to April 9, 2015 at 4PM.  It will now be held in Manahawkin at 260 East Bay Avenue.

State meeting on fishing industry rescheduled

 

 


Patriotism maintained at causeway bridge work site

Patriotism maintained at causeway bridge work siteBoth east and west-bound lane closures on the Causeway bridges will continue throughout the next few weeks as the center medians on the east and west thoroughfares are removed and then replaced with temporary barriers, Stephen Schapiro, Communications Director of the NJ Department of Transportation, told The SandPaper. The project is expected to begin on Monday, March 9, weather permitting. One lane in each direction will remain open to motorists throughout the length of the project, Schapiro assured.

Lane closures this past week were coordinated with Schiavone Construction Co.’s current work to include reflectors on the center area of the main bridge, which local officials requested, Schapiro said.

Although a pair of American flags has been hanging from the cranes at the work site since Schiavone began working at the location, passersby may have only recently noticed them. The flags, which “are usually taken down during the work shift when the cranes are in use and put up when the shift is over,” Schapiro explained, appeared more visible when smaller, 8-by-10-foot flags were recently switched out for larger, 10-by-15-foot flags.

One of the flags has also recently remained on display as Schiavone has ceased using one of the two cranes.

Schiavone hangs American flags at all of its project sites, Schapiro noted.

“Contractors often hang flags to show the pride and patriotism that everyone on a project feels in helping to build the country’s infrastructure,” he said.

Patriotism maintained at causeway bridge work site

- Reposted from The Sandpaper, 3/4/15

 Patriotism maintained at causeway bridge work site

 

 

 


What’s going on with Flood Insurance Rate Maps

What’s going on with Flood Insurance Rate Maps

FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map Seminar

Many people have fears that since Superstorm Sandy, their flood insurance rates will go up out of sight. But according to FEMA flood insurance expert Steven Ardito, the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps have yet to take effect and most of the provisions contained in the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 – meant to get the National Flood Insurance Program out of debt – have been repealed. The Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act passed in 2014 will slow the increases of premiums, especially in regards to ownership.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency held a personalized seminar on the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Feb. 26 in Stafford Township. Those who brought their Base Flood Elevation (BFE) survey with them and current flood insurance bill could get a pretty good idea of where their rates would be going once the FIRM map is adopted. The map has another year of making the rounds of government offices and public hearings before it is stamped “final.”

Indeed, the seminar on Thursday was part of the public vetting of the map.

Because the seminar was a one-on-one personalized session, the first stop for this reporter (whose Sandy-repaired house in Tuckerton Beach is on the wait list to be elevated) was a sit down with a FEMA Region 2 mitigation outreach person, Andrew Mortin. With my address in hand, he quickly pulled up a satellite map that showed my street and the roof of my small house. He discovered that my risk, under the flood insurers’ rating, would increase slightly because I am placed in an AE zone 9 on the new map rather than the AE zone 8. But because I was planning to elevate above my BFE of 9 feet above sea level, I could thumb my nose at the change. Tuckerton, I told him, has required in their ordinances that houses in Tuckerton Beach be elevated an additional 3 feet (of what they call freeboard), plus the one foot required by the state; I would be at 13 feet above sea level.

Mortin was impressed. “I applaud Tuckerton for that. I think that will greatly diminish the risk of flood damage.”

Mortin said anyone could, and should, access the preliminary flood map and learn their flood zone by going online to region2coastal.com.

Anyone who disagrees with the zone category where his or her house appears can appeal the map by going to his or her municipal flood plain manager with technical information that proves a disparity.

Since Sandy, I had done a number of stories on preliminary Flood maps, and I needed a refresher course from Mortin on just what map we were now concerned with.

Mortin explained that FEMA was at work on a new FIRM map that they had started in 2009 and were two-thirds finished when Superstorm Sandy hit. The first maps that were given to the public were for reconstruction purposes only and had nothing to do with insurance. “That was the ABFE (advisory base flood elevation) map for people who wanted to rebuild quickly. Then in January of 2013, we released a more final map but it was still a preliminary work map to be used only for construction. Now in January of 2014 came the Advisory Flood Insurance Rate Map. And after appeals we will release the Revised Preliminary FIRM.”

From this I learned that only the FIRM map was relevant to insurance rates. Okay.

So next was a sit down with Ardito, a FEMA Insurance Program Specialist. He looked over my flood insurance declarations page and pronounced it sub-par for information, so he wouldn’t give an opinion on whether I was paying too much. He did see a misstatement that said I was built on a slab and not on a crawl space, when I am up on three feet of concrete blocks.

Also we couldn’t figure out why my house, which was built in the early 1970s before the flood insurance rate maps were developed (pre-FIRM), was not grandfathered for a subsidy. But no matter, those subsidies would be going away eventually, he said.

The fact that some time in the future, my house will be elevated above the base flood elevation and be “in compliance,” means I will pay around $450 a year for flood insurance rather than the $1,700 I am paying now. Good deal.

“Even if the zone changes, that doesn’t mean that you will be penalized in your rate,” said Ardito. “Every time a map changes, homeowners can’t go out and bring it into compliance,” he said. “We understand that.”

For those who are not raising their homes and are below the base flood elevation for their area, a simple thing they can do to lower insurance rates is to install flood vents, he said.

There is a rather complicated scale that insurance companies use to bring up a base flood elevation artificially if the homeowner installs vents. “If your foundation’s lowest floor is at 3.01 feet, and the next floor elevation is at 6.04 feet, if the proper storm vents are installed you would gain 3 feet of betterment: The insurance considers that you are at 6.04 feet.”

His last advice was for each individual to talk to his or her insurance agent.

But for those who are elevating, each foot above the BFE, up to four feet, means a substantial reduction in rates. “For an example, in theory, for a house worth $250,000 and covered for $10,000 in contents, if at base level or elevation 0, the homeowner would expect to pay $1,200 a year,” he said. “Then for every foot above, they would see a discount. For 1 foot above BFE they would pay $900; for 2 feet $700; up to 4 feet, when it would be $450. To go any higher makes no difference in the rate – at 5 or 6 (feet above BFE) it would still be $450.”

So freeboard does work?

“That’s also based on whether the structure is resilient and code-compliant,” he said.

Ardito said the marketability of homes that have been mitigated is much higher than those that have not. Flood insurance rates are transferred to the new owners, no matter how many maps are done during the lifetime of the house.

“That was taken away with the Biggert-Waters Act, but that has been gutted,” he said.

To find guidance on installing flood vents, Ardito suggested going to the region2coastal.comwebsite, click on technical bulletins and find TB 1-08, which describes the type of vent that should be installed.

As for those dreaded V-zones, they apply to properties where high-velocity wave action is greater than 3 feet during a storm and experience such waves about once a year – a 1 percent chance of occurrence every year.

Sandy did not affect the FIRM, said Ardito. “Sandy far surpassed the 100-year event in magnitude, and that’s not what the maps are for. One such event does not change the maps.”

FEMA has just a few more counties to go in New Jersey with their public road show. When asked to describe the public response thus far, Ardito said that in general, people were pleased with the information they received. “All homeowners are basically the same when they come in: they are anxious and nervous about the unexpected. I would say we have a lot more happy people afterwards than when they first come in. They are getting information they might not get elsewhere, and that’s our reward.”

- Reposted from The Sandpaper, 3/4/15

What’s going on with Flood Insurance Rate Maps


Ocean Energy Management holds public meeting on offshore oil exploration

U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) and Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.-6th) have commended the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s decision to hold a public meeting in New Jersey before the federal government moves forward with a five-year offshore leasing plan that includes opening parts of the Atlantic Ocean to offshore oil and gas drilling.

The announcement comes in response to a letter composed by Menendez, Booker and Pallone expressing concern over any drilling in the Atlantic, and asking for a public comment meeting to be held on the proposal.

“I thank the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for accepting our request, and look forward to the opportunity for local residents, business owners, fishermen and community leaders who would be most impacted by offshore drilling to have their voices heard,” said Menendez. “Our state’s coastline and economy would be shattered by an oil spill near our shore, and I believe this important public forum will help prove why we must kill the drill.”

Booker commented, “This public meeting is an important first step in helping the Obama administration understand the severity of the environmental and economic risks to New Jersey if oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean’s fragile ecosystem is permitted. I know that New Jerseyans will make their voices heard and make it clear that fossil fuel exploration off the Atlantic coast would be a devastating – and potentially irreparable – mistake.”

“Oil drilling in the Atlantic would put New Jersey’s shore communities and our state’s economy at significant risk,” added Pallone.  “And those who will be most seriously impacted by the choices we make today are those of us who call the beach our home, rely on it for our livelihood, or come to enjoy it year after year.”

According to a press release from the office of Menendez, he, Booker and Pallone “have been strong advocates for better environmental protection and increased transparency in the five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program plan, criticizing closed-door meetings without advocates for the protection of shore economies and clean water. In a July 2014 letter to President Obama, they urged his administration to keep the Atlantic Coast off limits for oil and gas exploration, stressing that the environmental and economic consequences of an oil spill near the Jersey Shore would be catastrophic.”

- Reposted from The Sandpaper, 2/26/15

Ocean Energy Management holds public meeting on offshore oil exploration


New webpage details Rutgers’ proposed seismic study

New content on the Rutgers University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences website – at geology.rutgers.edu/slin3d-home – details the seismic survey slated for 15 to 50 miles southeast of Barnegat Inlet this summer, pending successful completion of the National Science Foundation environmental compliance process.

Scientists from Rutgers and the University of Texas at Austin propose to examine the geologic record of past sea level changes and the effect on shoreline resilience via the planned seismic study. As a Rutgers media statement from May 22, 2014, explained, “Superstorm Sandy demonstrated the vulnerability of people, natural resources and infrastructure to the extremes of weather along the Jersey shore. Matching new 3D acoustic images to existing information will provide knowledge of shoreline stability during times of sea-level change and climate variability. … The study will be limited to 34 days of imaging similar to a medical sonogram of the ocean floor.”

The NSF-funded survey was scheduled to take place last summer, but was postponed after the research vessel experienced equipment problems.

Many on the Jersey Shore, from fishermen to environmental groups to lawmakers, opposed the project, expressing concern over the seismic airguns’ potential effect on sea life and fisheries commerce. The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection legally challenged the study, but was stymied in court.

Though the survey later came to a halt when the R/V Marcus G. Langseth was moored for repairs for a number of weeks – meaning the study could not meet the required 30 days of completed work by the project’s Aug. 17, 2014, deadline – NSF senior public affairs specialist Maria Zacharias noted at the time that research efforts are expected to be rescheduled for approximately the same time this year.

Rutgers professor Gregory Mountain, the study’s principal investigator, has said he cannot comment on the project due to continuing litigation, but he spearheaded the creation of the new website to provide background on, and answer questions about, the survey.

“We can’t prevent storms or sea-level rise,” the site reads, “but we can anticipate their arrival. One way to prepare for the future is to understand the past by embracing the geologist’s creed: ‘Look to the Earth and it will teach you.’ Sediments beneath the Jersey coast, both onshore and offshore, contain a long record of shoreline response to Earth’s natural cycles. By studying these sediments, geologists know that past sea-level rise has at times moved the shoreline 40 miles west of its current position; at other times sea-level fall has drawn the shoreline 80 miles east of today’s, reaching as far as the edge of the continental shelf.”

Rutgers and University of Texas at Austin scientists want to document the record of these changes in what they say is “the best way possible – by collecting acoustic images of the history preserved in the layering of sediment beneath the continental shelf. With it we intend to track patterns of shoreline response to the Earth’s ever-changing sea level. This website describes the background, methods and goals of our proposed research, and how we are following federal and state environmental compliance procedures.”

The site includes sections for FAQs, research, background, compliance and photos. A “shipboard blog” will also be posted from sea if the proposed seismic survey moves forward.

- Reposted from The Sandpaper, 2/26/15

New webpage details Rutgers’ proposed seismic study


New flood map open house

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), FEMA Region II will be hosting two public meetings to present the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for comments and appeals. The FIRM determines the insurance rates for the National Flood Insurance program. These meetings will begin our 90 day appeals period prior to FEMA issuing a Letter of Final Determination (LFD). The LFD initiates the 6 month adoption period before the new maps become effective. All appeals will be resolved prior to LFDEffective FIRMs become the basis for community floodplain management and insurance requirements.

The first meeting will be conducted at the Ocean County Complex, Cafeteria, 129, Hooper Avenue, Toms River,NJ 08754 on February 25, 2015 from 4:00PM until 8:00 PM The second meeting will be conducted at the Ocean County Southern Service Center (OCSSC) 179 South Main Street, Manahawkin, NJ 08050 on February 26, 2015 from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM.

New flood map open house 

 


Photos of cold and snow gripping LBI

 

t600-Cold Frozen Bench 2

The recent cold temperatures and snow have everyone thinking about the warm days of summer that are surely just around the corner – aren’t they?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bench and the railings in Barnegat Light are covered in ice. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

A bench and the railings in Barnegat Light are covered in ice. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice in Barnegat Inlet (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

Ice in Barnegat Inlet (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An ice machine at Lighthouse Marina in Barnegat Light seems right at home at the ice-covered docks. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

Even this crow doesn’t look amused by the winter weather. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

Even this crow doesn’t look amused by the winter weather. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifth Street in Beach Haven. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

Geese and ducks gather around open water in Barnegat Light. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

Geese and ducks gather around open water in Barnegat Light. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lone Canada goose seems to stand watch over the sleeping mallard ducks. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

A lone Canada goose seems to stand watch over the sleeping mallard ducks. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bay bathing beach in Harvey Cedars. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

The bay bathing beach in Harvey Cedars. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A dock near the Harvey Cedars Yacht Club is festooned with hanging ice. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

A dock near the Harvey Cedars Yacht Club is festooned with hanging ice. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A solitary channel marker is all that can be seen in the vast expanse of the frozen bay. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

A solitary channel marker is all that can be seen in the vast expanse of the frozen bay. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow covered dunes in Surf City near Third Street after Monday night’s snow. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

Snow covered dunes in Surf City near Third Street after Monday night’s snow. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The snow meets the ocean in Surf City. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

The snow meets the ocean in Surf City. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Empty, snow-covered Surf City beach Tuesday morning. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

Empty, snow-covered Surf City beach Tuesday morning. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow-covered dunes in Surf City near Third Street. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

Snow-covered dunes in Surf City near Third Street. (Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Reposted from The Sandpaper, 2/17/15

Photos of cold and snow gripping LBI 

 

 


BL gets “phenomenal” rate on money borrowed

Barnegat Light borough refinanced its municipal debt and was able to obtain a financing rate of .68 percent, which is down from last year’s rate of 1.03 percent.

The “phenomenal rate” on the borough’s $1.198 million in bond anticipation notes was reported by Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Flanagan.

PNC Bank was the successful bidder among 26 bidders contacted.

In other matters, the recent water main break at 11th Street and Long Beach Boulevard is repaired, township officials said at the Feb. 11 monthly borough council meeting. Resident Connie Higgins thanked the borough public works crews who were on the job in freezing conditions.

Repaving over the dirt-covered site will be done after the ground thaws, said Borough Administrator/Clerk Gail Wetmore. Meanwhile, the spot in the right lane of traffic is barricaded.

Discussing the Island-wide free bus shuttle service, Barnegat Light Borough Council members who have been in touch with Long Beach Township officials reported that the township is looking into getting grants to fund the bus so that towns would not have to be asked to contribute the $10,000 each that was requested last year.

After the meeting, The SandPaper contacted township Mayor Joseph Mancini by email to inquire, and Mancini wrote, “We still need municipal support this year and hopefully this will be the last.”

Long Beach Township administers the shuttle bus program that was started in conjunction with the Long Beach Island Chamber of Commerce. No further discussion on the shuttle took place at the February meeting.

In his Docks and Harbors Committee report, Councilman Ed Wellington said there are still four boat slips available at the municipal dock on West 10th Street.

Thirty-two municipal slips are leased from April 1 through Dec. 1 at a fee of $2,000. Those interested may call borough hall at 609-494-9196 or stop in at Borough Hall, 10 East Seventh St. Borough Hall hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.  to 3:30 p.m.

Relating to preparation of the 2015 municipal budget, a bit of good news came in last month when beach badge revenues from last summer exceeded the amount that had been anticipated. The sales of almost $232,000 worth of badges was almost $30,000 over what had been anticipated, reported Councilwoman Dottie Reynolds, Beaches Committee chairwoman.

“However, it was less than 2013, which was less than 2012. Our sales are going down but really not enough to affect the budget,” added the summary in the meeting minutes.

In his committee report on police and public safety at the February meeting, Councilman Frank Mikuletzky advised residents to lock their vehicle doors.

“There was a little bit of activity in High Bar Harbor,” he said. “Somebody called, and that’s how they caught them.”

A recent report on 2014 activity from the Long Beach Township Police Department, which patrols Barnegat Light by contract, showed police responding to 3,277 calls in Barnegat Light, of which 1,612 were property checks. Traffic stops numbered 532, and there were 10 car accidents, three driving under the influence arrests and 10 warrant arrests, among other activity. Police responded to 101 first aid calls and 27 fire calls.

The Long Beach Island emergency information brochure has been added to the website of the Barnegat Light Taxpayers’ Association, BLTA officer John Tennyson said. The public can find it at barnegatlighttaxpayer.org under the heading newsletter and resources.”

The outline of procedures and resources in the event of a disaster was published by the Offices of Emergency Management of the six Long Beach Island municipalities plus Stafford Township.

BL gets “phenomenal” rate on money borrowed 

- Reposted from The Sandpaper, 2/17/15