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April 4, 2014

NRTAC Meeting Minutes

NRTAC – Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Meeting Minutes: April 4, 2014

Seth Sloan (“Seth S”)
Edward Poole (“EP”)
Kelli Keenan (“KK”)
Arlene Wright (“AW”)
Nick Campsiano (“NC”)
Tony Andretta (“TA”)
Keith Sluka (“KS”)
Dominic Barone (“DB”)
Rose Fabiano (“RF”)
Bob Rinaolo (“BR”)

Not in attendance:
Janetlee Pillitteri
Madi Siclari
Vic DeLuca
Greg Caponegro

Also in attendance - Thomas Toohey (council member) (“TT”)

Meeting commenced. Introduction of TT (note - this is TT’s first time in elected office, he is an educator).

Discussion of the Inlet - TT had meeting with DEP and has continued discussions on the Inlet. TT has concerns with the dunes project - specifically, the anticipated shoaling of the Manasquan Inlet. The question is whether the beach replenishment project is going to cause a problem with the Manasquan Inlet. TT contends that the Inlet needs to be dredged. TT stated that the beach owners, fisherman and boaters know about the littoral drift - there are concerns for the commercial marinas and fishermen. Per TT’s conversation with the DEP, the DEP has similar concerns as well. DEP said that their long-term planning is to continue dredging the Inlet. A letter was ultimately drafted to the attention of army corp of engineers (“ACOE”) regarding these concerns and getting the Inlet dredged. The ACOE letter was posted in The Ocean Star, TT recently put the letter and related matters before the council. The letter addressed this specific issue. In a recent PPB council meeting, the Mayor said that he was concerned that the ACOE letter might hurt the dune project going forward; specifically anything that jeopardizes the dune project by giving government the opportunity to cater to the influential, who do not want dunes, is not a good idea. TT and others agree that it is a fair point, but The Ocean Star picked up the story and that is how it became known. The majority of the PPB council don’t believe addressing the Inlet concerns will negatively impact the dune/beach replenishment project, but the Mayor does have his concerns. The Ocean Star article on the ACOE letter helped get the issue and the Inlet concerns out there.

Question to TT - What do the businesses say about the beach replenishment project? DEP, town attorney and the ACOE have been talking about beach replenishment. The State has hired a number of different law firms to deal with the beach businesses and residents and negotiate beach replenishment/dune matters. EP and Seth S highlighted that no one has discussed this matter with Harbor Head (which actually owns the beach) and the Beaches Condos. Per EP, Harbor Head would actually sign the easement. TT is going to discuss this lack of communication with the PPB council.

Question to TT on flood insurance and the impact on flood insurance rates if the dunes go in. Per Seth S and TT, FEMA actually rates towns for flood insurance based on their flood preparations and plans and what are the state of the buildings and elevation in such town are part of the criteria. PPB just went down from a rating of 9 to 8 (a 10 rating is the worst rating) - which gives PPB residents a 10% flood insurance break, but. for example, Mantoloking is rated a 5 and Mantoloking residents get a greater discount on flood insurance due to the town’s rating. TT stated that PPB is going to continue getting its flood-related paperwork filed on time to help with the rating. Previously PPB failed to timely file the required paperwork to address the town’s rating. Seth S asked what does the town need to do to get its rating lower? TT said it’s a bit unclear what specifically needs to get done, but will follow up.

Question on the dunes and whether the maintenance of the dunes is on the part of the owner. The town has thus far refused to enforce the maintenance of the dunes. ACOE have said that the replenishment and replacement of dunes is on them, but the ACOE would need access to the beach. Various NRTAC members mention that it’s their understanding that if there is federal money given, then there needs to be public access to the beach. Accordingly, if federal funds are given for the PPB dunes and the beach replenishment, then free public access must be given to the beach. TA notes that the big question is who will then clean the beach, pay for insurance, etc. As of now, per TT, the overall dunes/beach replenishment project will start in September. The project will start in the south and go to the north. South Seaside Park will most likely be the test location for the project. PPB may be the test case for giving private beaches the public access scenario. But there is more to come on this potential situation. TT did state that the DEP is sensitive to PPB’s tourism season and given that sensitivity the dunes/beach replenishment project may be from Sept to June.

KK asked about the Waffles and More property and other inlet property that the town may purchase. This is allegedly a hot issue with PPB council. TT states that PPB is moving forward with the purchase, but its now an issue of where the funds will come from. Price was $435K for property (which currently has 3 buildings on it), with total costs expected to be less than $475k. PPB is considering putting in public bathrooms in the area and maybe a visitors center. FEMA will provide some money towards the bathrooms.

Discussion continued to the Surf Taco area by the Risden beach area. This area is owned by PPB. PPB and council are still trying to figure out what will be there as surf taco was destroyed by Sandy; per TT this area will be fixed, it’s just a matter of what will go there.

Discussion of proposal by a mobile advertising company to have low-speed shuttle cars in PPB to possibly shuttle people from one end of the boardwalk to another (noting the cars would not be on the boardwalk and would end running around 10pm). It would provide no money to the town nor would it cost the town money. The business would be paid for advertising that would be on the cars. Council has asked a further formal proposal from the advertising company to address matters such as proposed routes. Ultimately the cars/shuttles would be free of charge for people to take. DB proposes the idea of having a trolley. DB and other NRTAC members discuss getting people up and down Arnold Ave and the draw of the downtown area.

Update on Route 35 construction - one lane going each way is scheduled to open in the very near term.

EP and NC presented a formal Saturday garbage pickup proposal to PPB council Garbage issue and proposal is currently before council and per TT and Seth S a town-wide Saturday garbage drop off spot/arrangement is being seriously considered by the PPB council; however, the costs to be charged for this drop-off program is still an open matter and its very likely that the town might charge people a fee for garbage bags that must be used for the Saturday drop-off. More to come.

Seth S has requested that the PPB council refer to “taxpayers” and not “residents” during council meetings.

Discussion on rebuilding of the boardwalk. It’s the NRTAC members’ understanding that the town owns the middle 16 feet of the boardwalk and then the merchants own the rest. TT is going to confirm for NRTAC what part of the boardwalk the town owns and what part the merchants own. EP asked whether the merchants being charged for any of the boardwalk rebuild? The rebuild of the boardwalk was covered by FEMA (which gave over $1MM) and then Jenkinson’s contributed certain funds.

Discussion of the PPB Town Budget. Per TT, a draft will be introduced next meeting. Seth S has requested a draft of the Budget by next week and will follow up with Bill Mayer on the status thereof.

Seth S went to a meeting with the directors of the Chamber of Commerce. As a result of such meeting, Seth S asked that group what, if anything, would the nonresidents receive from being in the chamber - what’s the benefit to NRTAC? Some suggestions discussed is that NRTAC would obtain free membership to the chamber; a couple spots of board of directors; or free admission for certain events and in exchange NRTAC would be willing to send out event information on behalf of the Chamber to our mailing list. Seth S will further discuss the possible NRTAC/Chamber relationship with the Chamber and get back to NRTAC.

TT asked NRTAC for input on Lake of the Lillies and if any of us live around the lake - The town is trying to establish native plants and vegetation around the lake. Town needs to make a decision on whether they are committed to a Lake of Lillies project to address the quality of the lake. The town would have to borrow $120K for the project, which gives some council members pause. The lake deteriorated because after the homes were built there was no lake shore or buffer. The project would maintain the integrity of the lake shoreline. KS suggested that the overall town and its residents might be more supportive of the project if, for example, benches were placed around the lake so that people, in addition to those residents immediately around the lake, can enjoy and benefit from the project. Discussion of Little Silver Lake and certain odors and smells that are currently coming off the Lake. The town is going to pursue all the avenues to get funds to dredge the Lake, which is needed.

NRTAC thanked TT for his attendance and TT left the meeting.

Discussion of July 12 second annual nonresident meeting. The Antrim school is reserved for the meeting. Seth S will reach out to Bill Mayer to ensure all the council are aware of the meeting. The executive committee of NRTAC will meet on May 30 to discuss the agenda. Bill Mayer and the Mayor will be in attendance at the meeting and at this point we are not having any other council members. Chamber of Commerce may send a speaker. Seth S is coordinating with AW and others to have a local real estate agent to discuss the PPB real estate market. Seth S will discuss this with the Mayor as well. The police department will also have a representative at the meeting (we may have Chief O’Hara to discuss the public safety). Ray Savacool will hopefully be in attendance to discuss the dunes, the beach replenishment project, flood insurance and other related matters. KK will update all announcements for the meeting, including the Ocean Star and Patch announcement. KK will also send out a save the date to our email distribution. We will discuss the annual meeting further at our next meeting.

Meeting called to an end.

Next meeting - Friday, June 13 at 7:00pm

Published June02, 2014 | NRTAC Minutes | 1884

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