North Wildwood backs SID budget

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NORTH WILDWOOD – City businesses will contribute the same amount as last year to the 2013 Boardwalk Special Improvement District budget.

Under the proposed budget, approved by North Wildwood City Council Tuesday, boardwalk businesses in the city have been assessed to contribute $55,000 to the overall SID budget, while Wildwood businesses are assessed at $255,000. The assessment is in addition to regular property taxes on businesses within the district.

The budget still faces a public hearing next month, and Wildwood must approve it as well.

The district will also discuss maintaining North Wildwood’s boardwalk restrooms. Currently, the SID is responsible for Wildwood’s bathrooms. According to the SID’s 2013 budget and report, the district has entered into an agreement with North Wildwood about maintaining its bathrooms as well. 

In addition to the $55,000 assessment, North Wildwood will pay $25,000 to the SID for the maintenance of the three restroom facilities at 15th Avenue and the Beach.

The $55,000 assessment on North Wildwood boardwalk businesses will be used to pay the principle portion of a zero-interest loan to rehab facilities at 25th Avenue and Boardwalk, as well as provide daily cleaning and litter patrol to the city’s boards.

The total budget for the district comes in at $1,730,000. In addition to the levies provided by municipalities, the budget is supplemented by a $225,000 Coca Cola sponsorship, and just over $1 million in income from tram cars. A craft show, funds kicked in from Wildwood’s Business Improvement District, and income from a contract, are also listed as income to the district.

According to the report, the SID is a legal, self-governing district that has provided services to the Wildwoods boardwalk since 1997. An elected, volunteer board of directors oversees the district.

Patrick Rosenello, executive director of the SID, said that businesses are assessed in both cities and then pay a tax levy based on that assessment to the city. The city, after collecting the funds, turns them over to the SID.

Rosenello, who is also the North Wildwood City Council president, said the SID budget has not changed much since the previous year. He added that the largest change to the SID budget came in 2011, when the district took over maintenance of Wildwood’s boardwalk restrooms.

Besides boardwalk restrooms, the SID also oversees operation of the tram car, which is one of the largest expenses in the district’s overall budget. For maintenance of the cars, the district plans to spend $35,000. An additional $7,500 is budgeted for lease of the tram car office, as well as $65,000 for the tram warehouse. Also, $670,000 is utilized for wages in the SID’s budget.

According to Rosenello, the boardwalk entertainment provided by the SID is another large expense for the district. The budget allocates $175,000 to boardwalk entertainment, such as the Friday night fireworks, weekly parades, and other events on the island’s boards.

Rosenello said that managing the boardwalk’s bathroom is another large chunk of the district’s budget. Bathroom staffing comes in at $140,000 and supplies for restrooms are $30,000, according to the district’s budget.

While the report explains that the SID has installed new trash cans, benches, and a sound system on the boardwalk in the past, more needs to be done.

“In general the boardwalk, while well maintained, is in need of significant streetscape enhancements,” the report states. “Additional major improvements are still needed to the public restroom facilities, boardwalk entrances/street ends, and the infrastructure of the boardwalk.”

North Wildwood passed the resolution introducing the SID budget on Feb. 5, with Rosenello and Councilman Salvatore Zampiri abstaining from the vote. No one voted against the budget. The public hearing on the budget is set for 7 p.m. March 5.

Christie Rotondo can be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story at www.shorenewstoday.com.

 


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