Mayor Leonard Desiderio

The City had a great July 4th holiday weekend, and as I’m sure most people are aware, we did have an unexpected accident, when some of the fireworks exploded onboard the ocean barge.  Fortunately, and most importantly, there were no injuries sustained as a result of the accident.

Unfortunately, the fireworks show did have some gaps in it; and the finale was not what we expected. As I said, there were no injuries, and I’m sure this was in large part due to the crew following the proper safety protocols, which included them operating from inside a solid metal safety box, also known as a shooter shack, that protected them from the explosion.

We’re awaiting an official report on the incident, and we’re also working with the fireworks contractor to obtain a credit for the portion of last week’s display that was not launched.

I also want to report on another unfortunate accident that occurred yesterday afternoon, when the Starfish charter vessel apparently struck the Townsends Inlet Bridge and began to take on water. Fortunately, there were no injuries and all passengers were removed safely.

Preliminarily, it appears that strong currents may have contributed to the accident; and when it occurred, the pilot put out a distress call, which was responded to by several boats in the area, which assisted in helping get over 20 passengers off the boat. Preliminary indications are that the bridge did not suffer significant damage. The incident investigation is being conducted by the Coast Guard.

In the good news department, I’m pleased to announce that we were notified by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection this week that our next cycle of beach replenishment is scheduled to take place next year.

The update that was provided by the Army Corps of Engineers indicated that they are looking to award a beach replenishment contract in mid-March of 2023. This project is estimated to be about $30 million, and it includes Sea Isle City, Strathmere, and the southern section of Ocean City. This will be our second round of beach replenishment under our 50-year federal program for shore protection, which started in 2015.

On council’s agenda today is a resolution authorizing a contract agreement with Public Works employees that will extend through the end of 2023. The agreement is consistent with the other contracts previously negotiated and places the city in a sound position in advance of our budget preparations for next year.

I want to acknowledge and thank all the members of the Communications Workers of America in Sea Isle City. Along with our police, EMTs, and management staff, our city workers are the heart and backbone of this government – they keep the city clean, safe, and well maintained; and they do this with honor and professionalism on a daily basis.

Also on the agenda today is a resolution listing the fire department’s approved duty crew members. The resolution is needed as part of the city’s established program that provides for stipends to fire department volunteers in order for them to be stationed overnight in the firehouse during selected times.

I want to thank all the members of the Sea Isle City Volunteer Fire Department for their dedicated service to this community. The fire department does an outstanding job; and the city’s partnership with them in providing public safety services and response to the public is stronger than ever.

And as always, please remember – we are one Sea Isle City, and together we will all be stronger than ever.

Leonard C. Desiderio

Mayor of Sea Isle City