Sea Isle City plans to add lighting and surveillance cameras on the Promenade to improve security and also enhance the appearance of the popular, outdoor oceanfront walkway.
Decorative lighting will be installed along the Promenade’s entire length between 29th Street and 57th Street in 2018 and 2019 at a total cost of $500,000, City Business Administrator George Savastano said Tuesday.
The lighting will illuminate dark areas that have prompted safety concerns from members of City Council. City officials have been studying ways to improve safety on the Promenade following a series of arrests over the summer involving underage drinking and rowdy behavior by groups of teenagers.
“This will be to provide proper levels of lighting as well as to make it look better,” Savastano explained of the project’s safety and decorative benefits.
In a separate project, decorative lights will be added by next summer to the gazebo and outdoor seating areas in the heart of the Promenade at John F. Kennedy Boulevard. The estimated cost is between $10,000 and $15,000, Savastano said.
Savastano told City Council at its meeting Tuesday that new surveillance cameras also should be operating in the gazebo and seating areas by Memorial Day to provide an extra level of security.
The survelliance system will be linked directly to the Police Department. The new cameras will also allow police to keep an eye on the adjacent Excursion Park, the location of the city’s festivals and family-friendly events.
In an interview after the Council meeting, Savastano said the Police Department will study other possible locations for cameras before making recommendations to city officials.
“Surveillance cameras will be appropriate for security,” he said.
Surveillance cameras tied in with the Police Department are already in use at the city’s Public Works building, the Dealy Field athletic complex and the JFK Boulevard bridge entering town, Savastano noted.
Over the summer, the city was able to experiment with a surveillance camera overlooking the Promenade from a mobile police substation at 40th Street. The Cape May County Sheriff’s Department provided the substation, which doubled as a holding facility for teenage offenders who waited for their parents to pick them up after they were arrested or detained.
Also at Tuesday’s Council meeting, Savastano reported that new outdoor lights will be installed at Dealy Field’s Little League baseball park.
The new lighting will allow Little Leaguers to play games and practice at night for the first time. The $72,000 lighting project is currently in the design phase and should be completed by March, Savastano said.
In other business, Chief Financial Officer Paula Doll told Council that the city was able to sell $20 million in municipal bonds on Oct. 13.
The bonds are part of the city’s debt-management strategy, which takes advantage of lower interest rates in the marketplace to save money.
They carry an interest rate of 2.73 percent and maintain Sea Isle’s AA debt grade, reflecting the city’s solid financial foundation, Doll said.
AA is just two steps below the Wall Street rating agency Standard & Poor’s highest level of AAA.
The bonds primarily finance Sea Isle’s new $14 million City Hall. Other big-ticket projects funded by the bonds include a series of water and sewer projects throughout the city.