Boardwalk Committee Notes, August 9. 2017

Atlantic City Boardwalk Chairman, Tom Lamaine, opened the meeting & introduced guests.

Special Improvement District – Rick Santoro:

  • The bright, green shirted Boardwalk Ambassadors have been downsized. Cut down in numbers from 35 to 19.
  • 15 Class II officers hired for the Boardwalk and Pacific Avenue. Remaining Ambassadors now work one single shift, 12 noon -8pm, daily. They also do overtime for special events like concerts, the Air Show and Miss America.
  • 12 sites throughout the city have been cleaned up since the last meeting. Graffiti removal, power washing, painting, removal of mattresses, human waste, condoms, needles and over- loaded trash cans within a foot of authorized jurisdiction has been ongoing.
  • Grammercy Avenue Boardwalk areas have been cleaned of weeds and sand.
  • Texas Avenue brick /shrubs that were damaged by a car have been repaired.
  • Unauthorized posters around the city (200) were removed and promoters were reminded that they are not permitted
  • Cleaning of some graffiti at Brown’s Park.  So far only one time and no vandalism.

If you see any problems of concern for SID please do not hesitate to call Rick at 609-402-8911.  SID is not responsible for private lots and properties.

The Atlantic City Airshow, Thunder Over the Boardwalk, is celebrating its 15th year in Atlantic City when it returns to our destination on Wed, August 23 from 11a until approximately 3p. The Thunderbirds, U.S. Army Golden Knights, GEICO Skytypers and more will bring thrilling aerobatic maneuvers over our beautiful free beaches and Boardwalk.

Licensing and Inspections – Dale Finch

  • The city received $276,000 from the parking meters for the month of July.  $70,000 last year. Diagonal parking is being looked into for Maine Avenue. There will be residential parking on New Hampshire Avenue from Atlantic to Grammercy. Flagship area is still a problem.
  • 45,000 Boardwalk tram riders in the month of July.
  • Rolling Chairs – the last block of rolling chair were awarded and will be approved at the City Council meeting. Royal Chair purchased 50 rolling chairs and will be wearing red Royal Rolling Chair shirts. Boardwalk Rolling Chair Co. will be wearing white shirts. The rolling chairs will hopefully be respectable, cleaner and professional. Will perception be improved?
  • AC Lifeguards, ACPD and AC Fireman were notified that they can no longer park illegally in beach blocks.
  • Legislation concerning short term rentals and AirBnB’s being worked on by the city. Will be introduced soon.

ACPD – Chief Henry White

  • 30 Class II Police Officers are on the boardwalk and are being funded by the CRDA  under the leadership of Captain Chris Kammerman.
  • There are 180 cameras currently hanging on poles on the Boardwalk. They run from Jackson Avenue to New Jersey Avenue approximately every 70 feet. They will eventually be installed north of New Jersey Avenue. The cameras are being monitored by vertical patrols at the Surveillance Center 24 hours a day.  Would like to see cameras extended to Pacific Avenue since there have been 70 arrests over the last 2 weeks.
  • Used needles are a BIG problem.  A discussion followed since the  Atlantic City Exchange Program seems to be inviting addicts from all over the area to come to town. One can get free needles and use drugs right here. 250,000  free needles have been given out. ACPD is working with the state to do away with the program. Tennessee Avenue between Atlantic and Pacific is the focal point. Program has outlived itself. Maybe we can contact local senators, Chiesa and Cunningham from the state, and the South Jersey Aids Alliance with our concerns?
  • Excessive Noise – ACPD will be trained and certified to operate devices to measure the decimals at Beach Bars, etc.  This should help in controlling the noise affecting the Ocean Club, The Ritz and other residents in the city. Noise is not to exceed 65 decimals. Tropicana video screens are very loud.

Chief White invited the Boardwalk Committee to hold its next meeting at the Surveillance Center at 2715 Atlantic Ave.

ACPD Tourist District – Captain Chris Kammerman

  • The Tourist District officers are all funded by CRDA
  • There are 30 officers on the Boardwalk and 15 on Pacific Avenue. They work 6AM-4PM and 3PM -1AM. April to October full time and October to April 20 hours a week. Officers should be walking in pairs not groups
  • Officers have written 1,209 quality of life violations and have made 89 arrests during July.
  • Bicycles still remain a problem. Some are too fast and some ride after hours, but in the big scheme of things, bicycles are not a top priority.
  • Can something be done about beggars? Begging permits have been done away with throughout the city.   Beggars are being sited and written up.

Steel Pier – Anthony Catanoso

  • The Observation Wheel is about 2 to 3 weeks away from opening.  The structure is finished.  There is an extensive deck, 3 huge swimming pools and a loading platform that needs to be finished. The technician will return from Italy in about 10 days to program the wheel and then the state needs to inspect. The wheel was originally supposed to be on a separate area, but that would have taken another year.
  • Lights on the wheel will be on 24/7.
  • Hoping for a Labor Day opening.
  • Miss America wants to film on the wheel so they can feature in the broadcast.
  • $15 for adults and $12 for children. 7 or 8 will fit in each gondola.  18 minute ride approximately 6 revolutions.
  • Hard Rock has already held meeting with Steel Pier and will be working with them . The bridge connecting the Steel Pier and Hard Rock is being discussed and negotiated.
  • When the wheel deck is finished, there will be a photo booth, retail store and a pub on it.  This is all in addition to the many activities already happenings at Steel Pier.
  • Zip Line has been approved and was planned, but Hard Rock asked Steel Pier to hold up on the plan.

Atlantic City Public Library – Robert Rynkiewicz Library Director

  • Atlantic City children and teens were invited to join the library’s Summer Reading Program.  Steel Pier sponsored it with a party and an opportunity to earn rides.
  • The library was awarded a grant, Fade to Books, which will allow the library to place displays of kids’ books at select barbershops in the city. Barbers will encourage their young clients to select a book to read as they sit in the waiting area.  Participating barbershops will decide on potential incentives for the number of books read.
  • Jacob Lawrence Centennial Exhibition September 1-30, 2017 –  Opening Reception Thursday, September 7, 2-4pm  The exhibition will feature 10 of Lawrence’s iconic prints.
  • The entire collection of the Atlantic City Historical Museum, formerly at Garden Pier, is currently being housed in the library.  It may be moved to Boardwalk Hall.
  • The library’s budget was reduced 70%.  22 staff members.

Members in Attendance Questions, Concerns, Announcements

  • NE corner of Melrose and New Hampshire Avenue is a mess.  Can anything be done ? This was addressed during the meeting. Dale Finch will look into, Not a SID issue.
  • How are cigarette butts being cleaned on the boardwalk ? Used to have a Billy Goat machine, but was not effective so brooms are being used, but SID is looking into other means since there seems to be large volumes on the boardwalk.
  • AC Exchange Needle Program and used needles – discussed during to meeting.  Contact local politicians and state representatives.
  • Bicycle riders going too fast and hours are not being controlled.
  • Taxi cabs are blocking the entrance to the Ritz on Iowa Avenue.
  • Can there be more signage/instructions for parking kiosks/meters ??