• 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

Margate school board awards ADA access contract, rejects bids for HVAC work

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Thursday, January 15, 2015 03:05 pm

MARGATE – The Board of Education awarded a $372,000 contract Jan. 14 to make barrier-free improvements at the Eugene A. Tighe School, but rejected bids for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and ceiling renovations.

The board awarded the contract to Joseph Porretta Builders Inc. of Hammonton to install handicapped ramps at the main and cafeteria entrances to the school and replace concrete paving in the courtyard at the back of the school. Two internal ramps will be modified to comply with Americans with Disability Act specifications.

Read more: Margate school board awards ADA access contract, rejects bids for HVAC work

 

Neighbors fued over Margate’s effort to block dunes

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Wednesday, January 14, 2015 04:57 pm

VENTNOR – At a press conference on the Boardwalk Wednesday, Jan. 14, the mayors of Ventnor and Longport made it clear that they do not want the state’s pending dune project to be held up.

Neighboring Margate, which has sued the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and US Army Corps of Engineers in an effort to negotiate an alternative to the Army Corps’ shore protection plan, is the cream in the Downbeach Oreo cookie.

Read more: Neighbors fued over Margate’s effort to block dunes

   

Margate considers ordinance revisions

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Tuesday, January 13, 2015 01:15 pm

Proposed changes would reduce pool setback, raise minimum fence height

MARGATE – In his 40 years as zoning officer, Roger Rubin said he has never seen as much new construction here as there has been since Hurricane Sandy.

“It’s been a spectacular runup of residential and commercial new construction in 40 years. It’s unparalleled here,” Rubin said.

Read more: Margate considers ordinance revisions

 

Press conference on dunes project rescheduled

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Tuesday, January 13, 2015 12:44 pm

VENTNOR – A 2 p.m. press conference today that had been called by Ventnor Mayor Michael Bagnell and Longport Mayor Nicholas Russo to discuss the pending dunes project was rescheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14 because it conflicted with the governor’s State of the State address being broadcast from the State House in Trenton.

Russo said the press conference was postponed because Philadelphia television stations would be unavailable to cover it.

Read more: Press conference on dunes project rescheduled

   

Letter: Closing Margate Animal Hospital was the right decision

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Written by Opinion Tuesday, January 13, 2015 12:00 am

Letter: Closing Margate Animal Hospital was the right decision Letter: Closing Margate Animal Hospital was the right decision To the editor:

The last couple of years at the Margate Animal Hospital have been a little crazy. I sold the practice in May of 2011, and then in June of 2013, the new doctor informed me he was shutting down the practice. I had a decision to make: let my practice of 30 years go under, or come back and try to resurrect the client base.

Read more: Letter: Closing Margate Animal Hospital was the right decision

 

Letter: Ventnor’s unsung community leaders deserve thanks

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Written by Opinion Tuesday, January 13, 2015 12:00 am

Letter: Ventnor’s unsung community leaders deserve thanks Letter: Ventnor’s unsung community leaders deserve thanks To the editor:
Nowadays, you don’t hear about the men and women behind all the happenings that take place throughout the year. Many of them just like doing what’s best for their town by organizing and delivering great events and civil service. But someone should recognize them for all they do.

Read more: Letter: Ventnor’s unsung community leaders deserve thanks

   

Volunteers welcome to participate in MLK Day cleanup of bayside Ventnor

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Monday, January 12, 2015 02:54 pm

Bayside Ventnor before the last Surfrider Foundation community cleanup. Bayside Ventnor before the last Surfrider Foundation community cleanup. VENTNOR – Volunteers interested in participating in a Day of Service project one day earlier than the Dr. Martin Luther King Day national holiday can help three local organizations clean up Ventnor’s bayside on Sunday afternoon.

The South Jersey Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is joining the Ventnor Green Team and Sustainable Margate to clean up the bay area along Wellington Avenue, which is a catch basin for trash and debris.

Read more: Volunteers welcome to participate in MLK Day cleanup of bayside Ventnor

 

Meeting with DEP, Army Corps ‘unproductive,’ official says

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Friday, January 09, 2015 05:45 pm

PHILDELPHIA – A three-hour meeting Friday morning, Jan. 9 to negotiate alternatives to the state’s plan to build a sand dune in Margate was “unproductive,” according Margate Business Administrator Richard Deaney.

Deaney said about 15 staffers from the Army Corps of Engineers, eight representatives of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and four from Margate, including Deaney, Commissioner of Finance Maury Blumberg, environmental engineering consultant Charles J. Rooney of T&M Associates and special counsel Rob Andrews of Dilworth & Paxon met at the Army Corps’ headquarters at the John Wanamaker building in Center City. 

Read more: Meeting with DEP, Army Corps ‘unproductive,’ official says

   

Veterans mourn loss of Commander John Pettit

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Friday, January 09, 2015 04:08 pm

John Pettit drove the lead vehicle in Ventnor City’s annual Holiday Parade. John Pettit drove the lead vehicle in Ventnor City’s annual Holiday Parade. VENTNOR – Local veterans are mourning the passing of their comrade in arms, John T. Pettit of Atlantic City, who passed away unexpectedly Jan. 5. Pettit was the commander of the recently merged Greater Absecon Island VFW Post 215 of Ventnor.

Pettit died in his sleep early Monday morning. He suffered from heart disease but was extremely active in his community and with the VFW in both in Atlantic City and Ventnor. He was a 45-year member of Atlantic City Post 215 before it merged with the Ventnor post in August 2014 and was immediately elected commander of the new post.

Read more: Veterans mourn loss of Commander John Pettit

 

Commission considers Hiltner's replacements

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Friday, January 09, 2015 03:54 pm

Mayor Michael Becker administers the oath of office Jan. 8 to Linda Morgan, Margate’s new tax collector. Mayor Michael Becker administers the oath of office Jan. 8 to Linda Morgan, Margate’s new tax collector. MARGATE – The Board of Commissioners is considering ways to fill some of the jobs previously performed by former City Clerk Tom Hiltner, who retired on Dec. 31. The commission discussed how best to fill those jobs in an executives session at the Jan. 8 meeting.

Deputy City Clerk Rosie Freed was appointed in December to fill Hiltner’s job as city clerk, but she also said she intends to retire on Feb. 1. Freed said she is undecided if she will retire as planned or stay on to assist the city during the personnel transition.

 

Read more: Commission considers Hiltner's replacements

   

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