In or out?

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SOMERS POINT – The ball is in their court, so to speak.

The city recreation board heard residents voice their objections to building new tennis courts on Wayne Drive, Councilman Dennis Tapp reported at the city Council meeting Thursday, Dec. 20. Their arguments did not fall on deaf ears, as the board failed to carry a motion to approve the Wayne Drive site.

City Councilman Dennis Tapp said the residents had concerns about increased traffic and the presence of a heavily lighted facility in a residential neighborhood, as well as the lack of plans for a restrooms. He said one board member was absent, and the vote was a tie.

Tapp said the board will bring up the issue again at its next meeting in January – discussing alternate locations or improvements to the Wayne Drive plan – and bring it up for another vote after the council reorganization meeting scheduled for Jan. 5.

In other business, council recognized the Somers Point Historical Society on its 25th anniversary. President Sally Hastings said the Historical Society hopes to expand its facility at a former church next to City Hall.

“Renovations have been ongoing since 2001, but the basement has not been dealt with,” she said. “We’re at the point where we need to expand our display space, and we’re looking towards using the basement for additional display space.”

Hastings said funding for the Richard Somers monument is on track, and she expects a dedication to take place in August.

Council also honored local veterans advocate Fred Vineyard for winning the Silver Helmet Award, the top honor given by AMVETS. The award has been given annually since 1954, with past honorees including John Wayne, Joe DiMaggio and President Harry S. Truman.

Council approved several other resolutions Thursday, including one that encouraged the federal government to avoid one aspect of the fiscal cliff that calls for $1.2 trillion in cuts to discretionary spending (or “sequestration”) that would “cripple or eliminate core local government programs.”
The resolution encouraged President Barack Obama and Congress to “craft a balanced approach to deficit elimination that includes both sensible decreases in federal spending and additional revenues and shares the burden evenly, not disproportionately harming national economic growth by shifting costs to local governments or harm national defense.”

Council also approved a resolution supporting a determination made by the New Jersey Department of Transportation calling for modifications to speed limits along certain segments of Route 52.


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