By MADDY VITALE
There were 900 entries in the lottery for only 112 kayak storage berths, which shows a lot of people are eager to get out on the water and enjoy the new kayak launch site in Sea Isle City.
The grand opening was the formal dedication ceremony of the Jim Iannone Fishing Pier & Kayak Launch site behind the city’s Dealy Field athletic and recreation complex, held Saturday. Iannone was a respected businessman and politician in the city.
During a Zoom meeting Tuesday night by the city’s Recreation Committee, members and city representatives, discussed the lottery system for the storage racks, construction of them and the large turnout for the ceremony.
“We will be following up with the winners in another email and we will explain how to retrieve their kayak identification tags,” Sea Isle Public Information Officer Katherine Custer said during the meeting. “We won’t allow people to chain up kayaks. They must be on the racks.”
Custer, the city’s representative on the Recreation Committee, explained that the identification tags will be distributed at Dealy Field.
The kayakers “will be able to get their tags and go on the water,” she added.
Custer said that the city is hoping to begin construction of the storage racks in the next couple of weeks.
Custer also addressed the grand opening saying how there were many people there.
“There were about 200 folks there,” Custer added.
The attendance showcased the anticipation and excitement over the $1 million facility that has a boardwalk-style pier jutting 132 feet out into the bay near 60th Street, next to the city’s Dealy Field athletic and recreation complex.
The center section serves as a fishing pier. Another section includes a “passive pier” featuring a covered pavilion.
“We already had people fishing there,” Custer said of people enjoying the new pier.
Arthur Iannone, chairman of the Recreation Committee, called the formal dedication ceremony “very nice,” and recalled a time when a new pier was in its planning stages.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said.
Custer added that about four years ago she toured the site by Dealy Field with a city official when the city was determining the best location for the pier and kayak launch site.
In addition to the lottery, members discussed some logistics to the new site.
Iannone asked about drop-off zones for the safety of people bringing their kayaks to the water and for people driving in to use the fishing pier.
Custer explained that Police Chief Tom McQuillen is working with city officials on selecting a drop-off zone.
“People will have a very safe area to do that with their kayaks,” she added.