Boardwalk Committee Meeting Highlights – February 8, 2017
Mandate of the Boardwalk Committee: to listen to the concerns of the public and local businesses, direct concerns to the right places, and to get feedback from local officials.
Development Projects: Funding was approved for Boraie’s Beach at South Inlet. 250 units of multi-family housing, parking garage, retail shops, grocery store, and restaurants. Some housing units will be used for low-income residents. Located behind Showboat Hotel.
AC Police Dept: Tanger Outlets has provided funding for the police department’s “Park and Ride” program which will put more officers on bicycles in the coming weeks. The funding will help purchase support equipment, in addition to the bikes themselves.
Officers continue to deal with issues in the Pacific Avenue area, including code violations, warrants and summonses. Overtime has been restricted by the State Oversight Committee, which makes some of their duties more difficult.
There are new initiatives to get “non-violent” offenders out of jail quicker, creating new processes for arrests, which take longer and often forces overtime.
Increase of issues related to large number of homeless and indigent persons who are “sent” to Atlantic City from other municipalities. Atlantic City’s wide array of social services is the main attraction.
There are approximately 1.9 officers for every 1000 people in Atlantic City, which includes residents, workers, tourists, and others… which is below recommended averages.
Part time police officers who work 20 hours a week, will be soon be switching to 40 hours/week summer schedule. Add 15-20 officers to the staff, and shifts will start earlier in the day than they do during the off-season. These officers are primarily responsible for patrolling the Tourism District and Boardwalk, except when needed for emergencies.
License & Inspection: Revisions to the Boardwalk Tram program are underway. Specifications for a new tram operator contract will be announced in March. There were 300,000 trips last year, and L&I is working to address issues of questionable business practices.
Advertising on the trams may be permitted with the new contract. The Rolling Chairs program is being re-evaluated as there are a number of issues. Regulations need to be strengthened and enforcement is often difficult.
The Parking Meter program on New Jersey Avenue and the beach blocks has been successful, with meter revenue tripled from the previous year. It is hoped to add another 300 meters over the next year. Enforcement issues are still being addressed. State Oversight has been a challenge because all projects must be thoroughly documented. At times, for example, demolition of condemned properties on Belfield must be approved by the Oversight.
Beach Leases are up for renewal at this time. Most existing leases are expected to be approved.
Special Improvement District (SID) . Started “deep cleaning” in preparation for the season. Up to 23 workers are replanting trees, building seating, street identifiers, and benches for new areas of Boardwalk. There were 36 “deep heavy cleanups” in 2016, and 5 have already been completed this year, including at Belfield, where 5 truckloads of debris were removed. Boardwalk Comfort Stations are cleaned, stocked, and maintained by Special Improvement District (SID). Boardwalk Ambassadors scan them every 30 minutes. Editors Note: Mayor Don Guardian does un-announced finger-checks of Boardwalk urinals.
The Class II police funding has been extended for one year. The Ambassadors budget has been cut from $2 million to $1 million.
SID is funded at the same level as last year, but has been doing much of the same, which costs more, with the same budget. Everyone is waiting to see from the State Overseer how funding will work next year and in the future.
City Parks are cleaned and maintained twice a day in the summer and once per day in the winters.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 8, 9:30 a.m.