• MARGATE – For the fourth year in a row, the tax rate for real property in Margate will remain unchanged. The Board of Commissioners introduced its 2015 municipal budget Feb. 19 with no increase in taxes.

    The $31.5 million budget calls for a tax rate of 60.1 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the same as last year. The average homeowner with a house assessed at $516,007 will pay $3,101.20 in municipal taxes this year.

    Salaries, pensions and debt service are up slightly, but overall spending is down $124,843, according to Chief Financial Officer Lisa McLaughlin.

  • Lt. Frank CulmoneLONGPORT – At its Feb. 25 regular meeting, the Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed to support Mayor Nicholas Russo’s recommendation of Lt. Frank Culmone as the next chief of police.

    Culmone will replace Police Chief Vincent Pacentrilli, who will retire April 1 after 29 years on the police force.

    Russo said Culmone has the two most important traits for a police officer – morals and ethics.

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday, Feb. 24 cancelled its bid solicitation to build sand dunes on the beaches of Margate and Longport.

    “Today, we notified the bidders that we are cancelling the solicitation,” said Steve Rochette, public affairs officer of the Army Corps Philadelphia District.

    The Army Corps had received two extensions to finalize the contract from two bidders vying for the job. The latest deadline to award the contract was Wednesday, Feb. 25.

  • MARGATE – A building boom in Margate should all but eliminate an increase in taxes this year, Chief Financial Officer Lisa McLaughlin reported at the Board of Commissioners work session on Feb. 5.

    It’s still under review, but a draft budget is complete and “I anticipate getting very close to a zero increase,” McLaughlin said.

    In her unaudited finance update, McLaughlin noted that the city increased ratables by more than $14 million, which brings the net taxable value of real estate in the city to $3,560,607,377.

  • VENTNOR – Ventnor Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association President Joe Iannuzzelli, backed by a dozen firefighters, attended the Board of Commissioners work session Wednesday, Feb. 11 at the Ventnor Educational Community Complex to ask whether a rumor he heard that the Ventnor and Atlantic City fire departments would merge is true.

    Mayor Michael Bagnell responded to his questions by saying that he is “just doing research” into the feasibility of merging the two departments.

  • Donna M. Peterson of Ventnor is the city’s new emergency management coordinator.VENTNOR – Since she was appointed Dec. 1 to lead the Office of Emergency Management, Donna M. Peterson has checked several items off her to-do list.She prioritized emergency responders as foremost for adequately protecting the city during the next big emergency event, improved technology and communication for first responding agencies and is working to finalize FEMA reimbursements from the last eight declared storms.

    “We’ve been very busy in a lot of different areas. I am trying to catch up on things, not just for myself, but for Ventnor City,” she said during an interview Friday, Feb. 6 at her office in City Hall.

  • MARGATE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has obtained a second extension of the deadline to award a contract to build sand dunes in Margate and Longport.

    According to Edward C. Voight, chief of Public and Legislative Affairs for the Philadelphia office of the Army Corps of Engineers, the bidders have agreed to extend their bid offerings for one month. The new deadline is Feb. 25.

    Additionally, The Downbeach Current has learned that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has not filed eminent domain proceedings in state court to obtain the easements needed to build sand dunes in Margate.

Downbeach Current | Longport, Margate, Ventnor

Letter: Disagreements were financial, not political

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Written by Opinion Monday, February 09, 2015 02:33 pm

To the editor:

Let’s look at the history of some issues in Margate to determine whether my criticisms of Commissioner Maury Blumberg are financial or political. First, there were the renovations to the ball fields, which required three bond issues to complete. I felt the first phase, renovation of the basketball courts, was necessary.

Read more: Letter: Disagreements were financial, not political

 

School board considering changes to schedule, curriculum

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Monday, February 09, 2015 02:17 pm

MARGATE – The Board of Education is considering curriculum and scheduling changes for the 2015-2016 school year at the Eugene A. Tighe Middle and William H. Ross schools.

Director of curriculum Audrey Becker, principal at the Tighe School, proposed the programming and scheduling changes at the board’s Jan. 29 work session. The changes would enable the district to comply with state health education requirements and allow it to add a life skills component to the curriculum starting in September, Becker said.

Read more: School board considering changes to schedule, curriculum

   

Beth Judah to celebrate Purim with ‘Mad Libs’ shpiel

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Written by Staff Reports Monday, February 09, 2015 02:14 pm

VENTNOR – Congregation Beth Judah will celebrate Purim 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4 with a service that incorporates television commercials into the liturgy. The Purim shpiel this year is titled “A Mad Libs Purim.” 

According to a news release from Beth Judah, the biblical book of Esther tells the tale of the Jewish community of Persia that lived in peace for centuries. There suddenly arose a new advisor to King Achashverosh named Haman who wished to exterminate all of the Jews. One of the king’s wives was a Jewess named Esther, who convinced the king that her life and the lives of her people were at risk, saving the day.

Read more: Beth Judah to celebrate Purim with ‘Mad Libs’ shpiel

 

Longport police chief announces retirement

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Monday, February 09, 2015 02:06 pm

LONGPORT – Mayor Nicholas Russo said Thursday, Feb. 5 that he accepted “with regret” the retirement of Police Chief Vince Pacentrilli, effective April 1.

“It’s time to move on,” said Pacentrilli, 58, who has been with the Longport Police Department for three decades.

Read more: Longport police chief announces retirement

   

Longport hires part-time tax collector

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Monday, February 09, 2015 02:05 pm

LONGPORT – The Board of Commissioners Feb. 5 hired certified tax collector Donna O’Brien to replace part-time tax collector Tom Hiltner, who retired in December.

According to Chief Financial Officer Jenna Kelly, O’Brien has all the certifications required by state law to do the job.

Read more: Longport hires part-time tax collector

 

Margate woman wins $250 in calendar photo contest

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Written by Staff Reports Monday, February 09, 2015 12:50 pm

Alexandra Sherman of Tomatoe’s Restaurant congratulates Inside Margate calendar contents winner Leslie Smith and her daughter Mackenzie, 14, of Margate Tuesday, Jan. 20 at Tomatoe’s in Margate. Alexandra Sherman of Tomatoe’s Restaurant congratulates Inside Margate calendar contents winner Leslie Smith and her daughter Mackenzie, 14, of Margate Tuesday, Jan. 20 at Tomatoe’s in Margate. MARGATE – Leslie Smith just happened to be at the right place at the right time with her camera phone ready. The Margate resident is the winner of the Inside Margate 2015 calendar contest. Her photograph, “Peering Through Pilings,” was selected from more than 70 submissions received by the Margate Business Association. 

Smith said she spends a lot of time on the beach and always has a camera handy. This time it was an iPhone. 

Read more: Margate woman wins $250 in calendar photo contest

   

Playground must come down, commissioners say

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Thursday, February 05, 2015 02:43 pm

The playground equipment at the rear of Borough Hall is no longer safe for children, according to the borough commissioners. The playground equipment at the rear of Borough Hall is no longer safe for children, according to the borough commissioners. LONGPORT – The playground in the park at the rear of Borough Hall could soon be a thing of the past. The Board of Commissioners said the equipment poses a potential hazard to children.

“It’s old and rusty and beyond repair, and children can get cut on it,” Commissioner Dan Lawler said.

He said that although there is no money in the budget to replace the equipment, a fundraising campaign could be launched.

The playset should be removed by the start of the summer season for liability reasons, he said.

“It would be the prudent thing to do rather than take the chance a child could get hurt,” Mayor Nicholas Russo said.

Read more: Playground must come down, commissioners say

 

Ventnor Elementary students of the month: Jan. 2015

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, February 05, 2015 12:00 am

Ventnor Elementary School Principal Carmella Somershoe recently announced the students of the month for January. The theme was tolerance. The students are, first grade: Jack Shelly, Jesmary Santos, Kayla Barrie, Jeremiah Gates and Damian Montes-Ramirez; second grade: Merrin McGeown, Aliviana Connoly, Jonathan Almodovar, Arden Hazlett and Alexis Marenco; third grade: Ashley Gallardo, Gracie Clark, Jack Chen and Marcell Snow; and fourth grade: Colin Roselle, Chase Calhoun, Ckassandra Fuentes, Jae Crump and Alex Balderas. Ventnor Elementary School Principal Carmella Somershoe recently announced the students of the month for January. The theme was tolerance. The students are, first grade: Jack Shelly, Jesmary Santos, Kayla Barrie, Jeremiah Gates and Damian Montes-Ramirez; second grade: Merrin McGeown, Aliviana Connoly, Jonathan Almodovar, Arden Hazlett and Alexis Marenco; third grade: Ashley Gallardo, Gracie Clark, Jack Chen and Marcell Snow; and fourth grade: Colin Roselle, Chase Calhoun, Ckassandra Fuentes, Jae Crump and Alex Balderas. Ventnor Elementary School Principal Carmella Somershoe recently announced the students of the month for January. The theme was tolerance. The students are, first grade: Jack Shelly, Jesmary Santos, Kayla Barrie, Jeremiah Gates and Damian Montes-Ramirez; second grade: Merrin McGeown, Aliviana Connoly, Jonathan Almodovar, Arden Hazlett and Alexis Marenco; third grade: Ashley Gallardo, Gracie Clark, Jack Chen and Marcell Snow; and fourth grade: Colin Roselle, Chase Calhoun, Ckassandra Fuentes, Jae Crump and Alex Balderas.

   

Army Corps gets extension to award contract for Margate-Longport dunes project

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Wednesday, February 04, 2015 12:08 pm

MARGATE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has obtained a second extension of the deadline to award a contract to build sand dunes in Margate and Longport.

According to Edward C. Voight, chief of Public and Legislative Affairs for the Philadelphia office of the Army Corps of Engineers, the bidders have agreed to extend their bid offerings for one month. The new deadline is Feb. 25.

Additionally, The Downbeach Current has learned that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has not filed eminent domain proceedings in state court to obtain the easements needed to build sand dunes in Margate.

Read more: Army Corps gets extension to award contract for Margate-Longport dunes project

 

Longport board schedules special meeting

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, February 04, 2015 12:04 pm

Commission reschedules Feburary meeting

The Longport Board of Commissioners scheduled a special meeting 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 5 at Borough Hall to appoint a new certified tax collector. Other agenda items include approval of a temporary emergency appropriation and disposal of surplus equipment.

The Feb. 18 commission meeting has been rescheduled to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25 at Borough Hall. 

   

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