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CORRECTION: A June 21 page three story about the Sea Isle City Council meeting made an incorrect reference to the city's newsletter. Business Administrator George Savastano corrected some information on the Townsend’s Inlet Civic Center that originally appeared on SeaIsleNews.com which is not affiliated with the municipal government.

SEA ISLE CITY – Sea Isle City’s City Council held a second reading and hearing on an ordinance June 13 regarding amending permitted hours when music, dancing, and entertainment are prohibited. 

At the beginning of the session, Mayor Leonard Desiderio asked the council to withdraw consideration of the ordinance.

President William Kehner said the council was ready to vote it down, but wanted to give the large public turn-out an opportunity to comment.

James Bennett, the owner of LaCosta Lounge Bar, said “At first I requested that the hours be extended for live entertainment at my establishment. But after polling the neighborhood, I want to rescind this request.”

Resident Bill Kelleher said, “We’ve had it. We can’t take it anymore. I even needed to contact the state liquor (Alcoholic Beverage Control) board because no one on council or the mayor answered my emails. We have a mayor who owns a bar and a council president who works at one.

"The quality of life in Sea Isle has gone downhill to where we’re looking at setting up a Town Watch. There are drunks passed out on our porch, property damage, and the noise is so unbelievable, my grandchildren can’t even sleep.”

Resident Pat Wilson concurred with the previous remarks and was “Really worried about the community. Sea Isle is unlivable on weekends. And I’m afraid my long-term renters won’t be coming back because everything is so out of control.”

Council and Savastano said they had not received Kelleher’s original emails but were “Committed to doing everything possible to improve the situation.”

Council voted down the ordinance.

Bridge Closure Update

Desiderio announced, “Hopefully, hopefully, the TI (Townsend's Inlet) Bridge will open the week of June 26. This is news as of 10 minutes ago, and with the nature of the work, there are no guarantees. The contractor has identified the most difficult parts of the work, so we have our fingers crossed.”

SIC, Uber Join for Hero Pledge

Desiderio said that the city, along with Bellmawr as the only two towns in the state, has teamed up with Uber for the “Hero Pledge” for designated drivers June 26.

“There will be a discount for those drivers and for new Uber customers there will be a $20 discount for a future ride,” he said.

Flood Management Plan

Solicitor Paul Baldini gave a summary of the Flood Management Plan which is designed to improve Sea Isle City’s status to a Class 4 municipality per FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] guidelines with the accompanying 30 percent discount in flood insurance.

“It’s well-known that 25 years ago, Mayor Desiderio started to address the city’s FEMA trouble and now we are on the verge of having the best rating attainable. Our plan augments the Watershed Management Plan we introduced last year and means we accept the county’s flood plan and have assessed the goals, hazards and future activities to mitigate flooding and are committed to periodic reviews. We hope that by the end of this year we will have the Class 4 designation and ask for the public’s input before final adoption by Council June 27,” said Baldini.

Correction to Newsletter

Business Administrator George Savastano said he wanted to correct information that had appeared in the city’s newsletter on the status of the Townsend's Inlet Civic Building.

“There was mention of working out something regarding a sale, but this building is in foreclosure and has been for a long time. There is then ‘no time to make a deal’ as was written in the newsletter. Further, the property is not zoned for public use as was written but is zoned C-2 that is for mixed use development.

"And there is no possibility of a New Jersey ‘Main Street’ grant because we are not a Main St. community. We tried obtaining that designation a few years ago, but you need a full-time executive director which we did not want.”

Chief of Police Update

SIC Chief of Police Thomas D’Intino said the police are trying to continually improve how they address the “problem with juveniles that started last year.

"This year we are looking to have adequate police coverage especially as 11 recruits graduate from the academy in time to be on duty for the Fourth of July. We also are hoping that a couple of new initiatives we’re working on with city administration for Thursday nights and a coffee house on Fridays will give the juveniles more to do.”

To contact Camille Sailer, email csailer@cmcherald.com.

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