Mayor Leonard Desiderio

As many of you know, we have been working to create a new kayak launch facility at Dealy Field, which is in direct response to ongoing requests from local kayakers, paddle boarders and other folks who desire more access to the bay and wetlands.

As the plans for this project evolved, we expanded the concept to include an ADA compliant kayak launch, as well as a fishing pier and a passive pier that will have a gazebo with unsurpassed sunset views.

The passive pier will also serve as an ideal location for wildlife viewing as well as a place to simply relax in the shade with a cup of coffee and the morning paper – and I can also envision the occasional marriage proposal taking place there as well.

Additionally, the new site will have kayak storage racks, which will be an added convenience for those who are eager to paddle on the bay.  

In short, we feel we have initiated plans for an exciting waterfront recreation space that many, many people will enjoy. Of course, making any new facility on the water’s edge requires planning and coordination with the State’s Department of Environmental Protection – which is a very good thing, because we all want to preserve the integrity and purity of our local ecosystem.

With that in mind, our City Engineer has begun the process of working with the DEP and applying for any permits necessary to make our future Fishing Pier & Kayak Launch a reality.

Early meetings with DEP representatives indicate that we have a strong chance to see our conceptual plans through to fruition; and, if all goes as expected, we hope to have this project completed in late 2019.   

Now that I have updated you on the plans for our future bayside fishing and kayak facility, no doubt you are wondering about the project’s overall cost. As you can imagine, an effort such as this can be quite expensive to construct – as anyone who has ever built a dock or pier can attest.

All told, the construction and materials costs for this project are estimated to be approximately $935,605. 

Now, before you go into “sticker shock,” allow me to explain the truly wonderful news that comes next: 

In August, in an effort to secure funding for this project, our City Engineer made a presentation to the Cape May County Open Space Board that included detailed plans, blueprints and an explanation on how this facility will positively benefit the community.

Following that presentation – and a discussion with County Officials regarding some minor adjustments to our plans – the Open Space Board sent me a letter on September 28, which included the following sentence: 

“After careful consideration the Open Space Board has decided to recommend the project for funding in the amount of $935,605.”

The letter went on to say that a shared services agreement was being drafted and “Once both the City and the County agree to the form and content of this document, a public hearing will be held by the Board of Chosen Freeholders, consistent with the requirements of the N.J.S.A. 40:12-15.2 et seq.

If no modifications to the project and/or the documents are necessitated by public hearing, the Freeholder Board can move to adopt a resolution and to execute the necessary documents as soon as 45 days after public hearing. “At that point, the funding will formally be reserved for your project.”

I am certain you will agree that this is, indeed, wonderful news for Sea Isle City. Naturally, we will keep you informed of any and all developments as this project moves forward. Until then, stay optimistic – and consider taking up kayaking as your next hobby.

On another note, the City’s Recreation Office is currently looking for people who wish to appear in this year’s Halloween Parade on Friday, Oct. 19.

Our annual Halloween Parade is always a lot of fun, because Sea Isle City is filled with creative individuals, families, organizations and business owners who make it a success year after year.

For information about entering this year’s parade, phone 609-263-0050 or download an application form in this newsletter’s “Halloween Parade” section.

And speaking of Halloween, we are adding a “Trunk-or-Treat” gathering at the Municipal Marina (next to the Welcome Center) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31 for people who would like to distribute candy to local kids but typically don’t get many trick-or-treaters at their front door.

For those who wish to distribute candy from their homes on Halloween Night, traditional door-to-door Trick-or-Treating will also take place in Sea Isle City from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. as usual.

To enhance the door-to-door Trick-or-Treating experience, our Recreation Office is compiling a list of addresses submitted by local property owners who will be distributing candy from home on Halloween, so families will have a better idea of which doors to knock on.  Our “Trick-or-Treat Route” will be available prior to October 31.

As you can see, there will be “something for everyone” on Halloween Night – so join the fun and make the most of this “spooktacular” holiday! For more details about what’s happening on Halloween in Sea Isle City, see the “Trunk-or-Treat / Trick-or-Treat” section of this newsletter.

This week’s “Shout Out” goes to the members of Sea Isle City’s Environmental Commission, who are hosting their annual Autumn Beach Clean-Up and Dune Grass Planting this Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon – Thank you for helping protect and preserve our beautiful island and waterways.

Smile … You’re in Sea Isle!

Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio