• 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

French music of olde subject of Bay-Atlantic music lectures

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Wednesday, January 28, 2015 04:18 pm

Paul M. Somers Paul M. Somers Learn about French music of a century ago and see early 20th century Paris as an arts garden with many different flowers at the February installment of music lectures by Paul M. Somers sponsored by the Bay-Atlantic Symphony.

In this installment, listeners will be taken back to the artistic and political turmoil in Paris during the Roaring 20s. It was in this atmosphere that many French (and non-French) composers thrived, such as Claude Debussy, Aaron Copland, Sergei Prokofiev and Maurice Ravel, as well as nonmusical personalities such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Alice Toklas and others. 

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MBA accepting scholarship applications

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Wednesday, January 28, 2015 04:10 pm

MARGATE – Submissions are being accepted for the Margate Business Association’s Daniel and Maria Walters Scholarship Program. Each year, the program awards two $2,500 college scholarships to high school seniors who have attended Margate schools.

The program has awarded more than $70,000 since its inception in 1999.

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Ventnor introduces new salary ordinance

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Wednesday, January 28, 2015 03:47 pm

VENTNOR – The Board of Comissioners Jan. 15 introduced this year’s salary ordinance, which lists salary ranges and benefits for city employees.

Some positions at the high end of the salary range increased as much as $10,255 for the water and sewer superintendent, while others decreased. The low end of the salary ranges remained stable.

Read more: Ventnor introduces new salary ordinance

 

‘Bag It’ screening rescheduled

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Wednesday, January 28, 2015 03:44 pm

MARGATE – A screening of the award-winning documentary “Bag It” has been rescheduled to 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 at Steve & Cookie’s by the Bay due to the storm that passed through the area Tuesday.

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Ventnor, Longport to share plumbing code official

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Wednesday, January 28, 2015 03:41 pm

VENTNOR – Ventnor and Longport have been sharing services for housing inspections since 1999 through an interlocal agreement that shares the cost of subcode officials.

Ventnor commissioners agreed at their Jan. 15 meeting to pay $4,750 more toward that obligation in exchange for the services of Longport’s plumbing subcode official.

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Letter: Dunes are just another pork barrel project

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Written by Opinion Wednesday, January 28, 2015 12:00 am

Letter: Dunes are just another pork barrel project Letter: Dunes are just another pork barrel project To the editor:

Giving the state a green light to proceed with the dunes project is not prudent. It is nothing short of government by dictatorial fiat. With personal rights being abridged at warp speed in the name of security, it's no surprise property rights are now being seized in the name of safety. Our forefathers fought a long, bloody revolution to endow future generation with individual rights unheard of at the time.

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Letter: Margate achieved its objective in court

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Written by Opinion Wednesday, January 28, 2015 12:00 am

Letter: Margate achieved its objective in court Letter: Margate achieved its objective in court To the editor:

Readers of the recent Press of Atlantic City article “Judge lets state proceed with Margate dune project –for now” may have concluded that Margate got buried in the sand by the court. But reading the judge’s ruling in its entirety indicates that Margate was successful in achieving its objective, receiving the relief it had asked for at this stage of the legal process.

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Letter: Dunes are not the solution

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Written by Opinion Tuesday, January 27, 2015 12:00 am

Letter: Dunes are not the solution Letter: Dunes are not the solution To the editor:

The fight over the Margate dune project is difficult enough without having elected officials make false and misleading statements in the press. 

The Jan. 22, 2015 edition of The Current quotes Ventnor Mayor Michael Bagnell as saying, “This all started when a handful of beachfront residents got the ball rolling to block the dunes.”   Nothing could be further from the truth. There has been staunch opposition to this project by the majority of Margate voters since it was first announced.

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Vintage Jazz Band wows older set at Ventnor Coffee

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Monday, January 26, 2015 03:16 pm

DeMarzio plays rhythm guitar and vocals for The Vintage Jazz Band that got its start at Village Grande, an over-55 community in Egg Harbor Township. DeMarzio plays rhythm guitar and vocals for The Vintage Jazz Band that got its start at Village Grande, an over-55 community in Egg Harbor Township. VENTNOR – When Ventnor Coffee went before the zoning board for approval to continue offering music at their Dorset Avenue shop, owners Michael Einwechter and Christine Pagano said coffee shops are centers of social interaction for the community and safe havens for young people who like music. That premise was evident Friday, Jan. 23 as the shop was packed with people listening to a local jazz band – only the audience was filled with teenagers of a different era – the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s. 

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Ventnor City declares code blue

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Written by Staff Reports Monday, January 26, 2015 02:55 pm

VENTNOR - Due to expected dangerous wind chill temperatures through most of this week from nor'easter Juno, the Ventnor City Office of Emergency Management is declaring a Code Blue, effective 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26 until 8 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 29.

The combination of windy conditions (wind gusts up to 50 mph) and the snow will result in blizzard conditions. Low temperatures will range from single digits to lower 20s. Wind chills will be much lower.

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