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SEA ISLE CITY – This municipality’s City Council met May 30 and had one ordinance on its agenda for first reading that proposed later hours of operation and storage in certain areas related to sidewalk dining. 

Council voted to consider the ordinance with Mary Tighe and Jack Gibson voting no and Chairperson William Kehner and John Divney voting yes.

Since Council member Frank Edwardi was absent, procedural rules dictated that the ordinance could not move forward given the tie vote.

The major portion of the meeting was taken up with citizen comments.

Resident John Henry said he wanted to revisit “The issue that is my number one priority and that is the enormous waste of water in Sea Isle.

"Every morning I see water gushing down Central Avenue from the old city hall at 45th and Landis. This is water I am not using, but I still have to pay for it. It’s just plain wrong to have these excess water bills and no one in city administration recognizes that we have a water problem.

"The lack of water is the number one problem in the world, and here we are in Sea Isle just wasting it.”

City Administrator George Savastano promised to find out from Public Works the status of the water problem Henry described and see if there is an issue there.

Divney, segueing into another water issue from Henry’s comments, said, “I think we need to put up signs that indicate to traffic that they need to slow down when flooding occurs since vehicles, especially trucks, are creating wakes. These wakes are so large that they are not only damaging plantings but also flooding garages and in some cases even breaking garage doors with their force.”

Kehner said Solicitor Paul Baldini already is talking to the police chief to see how to improve speed enforcement and curb the effects related to that aspect of flooding.

A 20-year homeowner raised another issue related to living in Sea Isle City, saying “The quality of life here has become so poor. We can no longer enjoy our home when we come down on weekends because the music at the bar on 40th St. is so loud.

"It’s such a shame because the bar just blasts music all Saturday evening until 9 p.m. It’s outrageous to think there’s even a proposal to extend that to 10 p.m.

"We need some help and would like to know if this bar is even within the allowable decibel limits. I mentioned to my husband that if the situation does not improve we’re going to have to sell because I don’t want to live like this.”

Reacting to another resident’s remarks, the council acknowledged the problem that continues to confront the municipality: large groups, numbering 15-20 teenagers congregating on the Promenade and their underage drinking on the beach.

“They caused trouble last year, and already they’re starting this year. We need more police presence on the Promenade and better signage indicating the hefty fines when they get caught,” said the resident.

Henry suggested that the city does more “To keep these children busy such as dances or movies,” but Tighe noted, “These kids don’t want that kind of activity, they want to hang with their friends on the Promenade.”

She asked that the police chief is invited to an upcoming council meeting to address the concerns presented on noise, congregating teens drinking alcohol, and the wake issue due to speeding vehicles.

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

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