Mayor Leonard Desiderio

Unfortunately, I must begin this message with frustrating news about the Townsends Inlet Bridge. As you may recall, two weeks ago the County informed us that, due to unforeseen challenges related to the current bridge repair project, the T.I. Bridge will not be open in time for this year’s Memorial Day weekend.

Following that regrettable news, this week we learned that the bridge will be closed well into the summer season.

A statement from the County Engineer’s Office dated April 8 said: “Based upon the best information available to the County at this time, it is estimated that the Townsends Inlet Bridge will not open before late summer.”

Obviously, this is a very disappointing revelation, not only for our residents and visitors, but also for our business communities (both in Sea Isle City and Avalon) because merchants and restaurateurs on both sides of the inlet rely heavily on the T. I. Bridge to bring customers to their doorsteps.

That being said, we are going to press the County to continually give us transparent and thorough updates throughout the summer – and to keep work on track so the bridge can be re-opened as soon as possible.

As challenging as it is to deal with a bridge closure, not having convenient access to Avalon, our neighbor to the south, certainly won’t hinder the good times that await everyone who will be spending time in Sea Isle City this spring and summer.

With that in mind, I am confident that people will continue to flock to our town, our sandy shoreline will soon be filled with happy beachgoers, our Saturday night concerts will continue to “rock” audiences at the Band Shell, and all of our special events will take place as planned.

Speaking of special events, please join the members of our Environmental Commission this Saturday, April 13, for Sea Isle City’s annual Spring Beach Clean-Up, which begins at 10 a.m.

As is the case each year, this event is a wonderful gathering that allows volunteers to make a positive impact on our local eco-system – plus it can be a lot of fun.

My thanks go to the members of the Environmental Commission for once again organizing this important effort.

Special thanks also go to our friends at Approach Clothing Company for donating T-shirts for the clean-Up volunteers, Spinners Pizza, Ice-Cream & Grill for supplying coupons for free ice cream cones to everyone who donates their time on Saturday morning, and to Mike’s Seafood for serving a complimentary buffet luncheon immediately after the clean-up.

Thank you all.

If you have driven along JFK Boulevard this week, you may have noticed contractors planting new Trident Maple trees on both sides of our City’s entrance corridor.

In addition to looking terrific, the new trees are also salt tolerant, so we expect them to do very well.

Like everyone else who has been involved with this important beautification project, I am greatly looking forward to seeing our new maple trees flourish during the spring and summer months – and provide us with spectacular color in the autumn.

Recently, Police Chief Tom McQuillen approached me with the idea of designating two parking spaces in front of City Hall, which can be used as an “Exchange Zone.”

For those who are not aware, an Exchange Zone is a place where people can conduct legal transactions in a public setting. For example, if you need to perform internet business with a stranger, you can meet that person at our future Exchange Zone, because it’s an area that is under constant surveillance and obviously just steps away from our Police Department.

When the SICPD creates the Exchange Zone in the weeks ahead, it will also prove to be useful in other ways as well. We will let you know when it’s up and running, so to speak, and how the public can best utilize this modern new amenity.

Smile … You’re in Sea Isle!

Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio