WILDWOOD – Commissioners were questioned about decisions being made regarding beach events during their regular meeting March 12.
After a closed-door executive session, the Board of Commissioners passed a resolution establishing the fees they plan to charge for beach events according to a report in the Wildwood Leader.
According to that resolution, an event with fewer than 500 participants will pay $4 per participant for a beach event permit. An event with more than 500 participants but less than 1,500 participants will pay $3 per participant, and an event with more than 1,500 participants will pay $2 per participant.
“We’re trying to make sure that we balance the responsibility to everyone, so we've come up with some plans to try to generate revenue from the beach that would help offset or stabilize taxes,” said Mayor Ernie Troiano, Jr. “Some people don’t like that and have threatened to do this and that, to a point where they want to take us to court.”
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Haroula Rotondi, owner of Original Hot Spot on the Wildwood boardwalk expressed, “Unfortunately with the people you’re talking about, whether you’re a fan or not, they are part of the reason this town is so huge,” said Rotondi. “They constantly give, they constantly do. Everybody is going to look out for themselves, but in the same aspect they constantly try to bring good families to the beach.”
Rotondi also asked for confirmation on whether there were no scheduled events on the beach. Troiano confirmed that no events had been scheduled as of March 12, but they will be.
“We’re in the process of coming up with a fee schedule,” said Troiano. “If some people choose to take a different path, it’s not because of us. When you put what is made and what the city is asking for, you’re talking millions of dollars to pennies, and that money that we ask for is for tax relief and stability. We’re not making money on the deal. We’re trying to help those people to be able to afford to stay here.”
“We’re just trying to help the taxpayers in town, not to target a certain individual or company,” said Commissioner Pete Byron. “We’re here trying to move the town forward.”
Troiano expressed that the council is pro-business, but also pro-taxpayer.
“There’s probably three quarters of the town that pays to maintain those beaches, who don’t see anything from it, so those people who make money off of it, we support you, but we have to look at trying to help everybody who lives in the town, and that’s what we’re doing,” said Troiano. “We’re not here to kill these events.”
Changes to Beach Peddler’s License Approved
Changes to the beach peddler’s license, which were introduced during the Feb. 26 meeting, were given a second reading and public hearing. The changes passed and will be published into law. Commissioner Anthony Leonetti recused himself from voting.
Some of the changes include a raise in beach peddler license fees to $3,000, along with a payment plan of three installments. Also, the word ‘resident’ was replaced with the word ‘domicile,’ meaning that new, potential beach peddlers must prove that they live in Wildwood and receive mail from an address in the city.
There were several other ordinances up for second reading and public hearing, including ordinances providing for general capital improvements ($2,503,000) various improvements to be undertaken by the Water Utility ($500,000), and sewer ($262,600). All three were approved.
An ordinance amending annual sewer rental charges for the use, operation, maintenance and construction of the sewerage facilities of the city were introduced for first reading. The proposed ordinance states that the basic annual service fee will change from $3 to $4 for each 1,000 gallons of actual metered water consumption at the property during the preceding year, provided that in no event will the basic annual service fee be less than $125, previously $120.
MUA to Continue Recycling Electronics
Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) has decided they will continue to pick up electronics such as televisions, computers, etc. for recycling in Wildwood. During the MUA’s Mar. 5 meeting a plan was presented which would tally the amount of electronics recycling each municipality sends to the MUA every year. The per ton cost of disposal, currently $160, would be assessed against the total tonnage sent by each municipality, and that amount would be withheld from the municipalities’ annual recycling rebate.
According to Troiano, it’s going to cost approximately $100,000 to keep the program going. The recycling rebates for the whole county are about $450,000, so the MUA is going to take the $100,000 out of that to keep the process going.
“I’m pretty much in agreement that it’s a smart move on their part to continue to do that,” said Troiano. “If not, you’d see those TVs, computers, etc., scattered all over the highways.”
Bulk Trash Collection
Commissioners passed a resolution stating that the city will hold free bulk furniture collections May 1–2. They will hold a second collection in the fall.
There can be no more than six items per family, for either single or multi-family dwellings and businesses.
These will be the only free bulk trash pickups for the year 2014.
To contact Erin Haskell, email firstname.lastname@example.org.