Land Use Regulations
Zoning Permit Applications
Fire Prevention
CMC Animal Shelter
Lifeguard Association
Volunteer Fire Company
Recreation Facilities Rental Information
Crest Pier Day Camp Information
Pool Schedule & Fees
Tennis Court Information
Festival and Craft Show Information
Getting Married in Wildwood Crest
Flood Protection/Insurance Information
STREET MAPS of Wildwood Crest







Attention Crest Residents!
Have an idea, listing, feature or comment on the web site?



Minutes of Special Commissioners Meeting   -   September 12, 2008

Note:  Complete Meeting Appears on Tape #26-08  on File in the Borough Clerk’s Office September 12, 2008
Wildwood Crest, NJ

Prior to the opening of the special meeting, Mr. Groon led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.


The special meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Borough of Wildwood Crest, Cape May County , New Jersey , was held in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room at 3:00 p.m.  On roll call the following answered to their names:

Gould - Cabrera – Groon – Yes


Mr. Groon read the following statement:  In compliance with the Open Public Meeting Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975, the notice requirements have been satisfied as to the time, place and date of holding said meeting by posting notice on the bulletin board in the Borough Hall and by fax transmitting and mailing same to The Herald, the Gazette-Leader and The Press on September 10, 2008 at 1:00 P.M.


Mr. Groon next announced the one-way in and the one-way out method of ingress and egress in case of emergency.


The purposes for this special meeting, and the only matters authorized for discussion, were the Rambler Road Park Project, and grant administration and application process for designation of Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program.


The Clerk gave an overview of the matters for discussion and for which the special meeting was held as follows: the call from the Planning Board and Chief of Police that the turn-around for the Rambler Road Park Project be reconsidered and the need for additional funding for that portion of the project. Additionally, with regard to the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program, he indicated that the Borough has hired Blauer Associates in the past to administer those grant applications. However, in 2008 the Borough retained Triad Associates as “grants coordinator” and, therefore, discussion would be required as to which of those firms would be authorized to administer the grant. Additionally, a specific program would have to be designated for that grant program. He indicated that the grant funds could be utilized for the Rambler Road Park Project, but the Borough Engineer had alerted the governing body to some difficulties in the infrastructure that may require more immediate attention.  He added that the Engineer had indicated that a grant could be pursued in the amount of $400,000 (with the Borough funding approximately $120,000 in a match) for Atlantic Avenue storm sewer reconstruction, from Cresse Avenue to Heather Road .


The first matter for discussion was the Rambler Road Park Project. Copies of the most recent plan were provided to the governing body for their review. Mr. Groon stated that this plan “made the budget,” i.e., it would come within the budgeted amount for the project. He added that the plan had been provided to the Planning Board for their review, and they did raise the issue of the turn-around.


Mr. Groon went on to state that the addition of a turn-around changes the plan by moving several aspects of the project such as the bike path and would have a much larger effect. The Clerk inquired if Mr. Groon was indicating that the turn-around should be put at Rambler Road or in the actual parking lot area. Mr. Groon responded that there was a feeling of the Planning Board that the turn-around within the parking lot would not have a major impact on the traffic load on Rambler Road . He indicated that the turn-around in the parking lot was designed for handicapped people. The Planning Board saw it as two separate turn-arounds for two separate purposes. He added that the Chief of Police also indicated his opinion that Rambler Road will still offer a significant traffic load because people will still go to the easiest and closest place to the beach. By placing the turn-around in front of the Nesbitt Center , the dynamics of the project change. It would move the bike path further west, and it would impact the playground, as well as the gazebo.


The Clerk stated that the key, based on what the Engineer had indicated at an earlier meeting, would be the increased costs being greater than what was anticipated in a minor design change. Specifically, it could be over $500,000. Mr. Groon concurred, stating that it would change a lot of things. He said that those types of considerations probably would not fall within the realm of Phase I, but would certainly fall within the realm of a secondary phase. He suggested a discussion of what to do for Phase I and whether to contemplate a Phase II to incorporate a turn-around.


Mrs. Gould inquired if Lt. Mayer, representing the Police Department, had been present for the earlier discussions regarding the turn-around, or if he was aware of the conversations that took place. Lt. Mayer responded that he had been briefed as to the discussions. Mrs. Gould inquired if it was his feeling, along with the Chief of Police, that the turn-around is a necessity. Lt. Mayer responded in the affirmative, indicating that in his discussions with the Chief, it would be required in at least a secondary phase.


Mr. Groon stated that the end of Rambler Road is congested, and a contributing factor to that congestion is the parking at the end of the street on both sides. He commented that perhaps there was a need to look at eliminating parking at the end of the street on both sides. That would open the end of the street. Mr. Groon inquired of the Engineer as to the width of Rambler Road . He responded that it is approximately fifty feet, and a standard turn-around would require “a hundred foot radius, or 100 feet wide.” He added that an off-set circle would be feasible, which would require a 38 to 40 foot radius.


Mr. Cabrera voiced his opinion that if a turn-around is added to Rambler Road , it would dramatically change the scope of the project. He indicated that if it is to be done, it should be done right. He suggested that it be a three phase project, with Phase I being the parking lot and landscaping; Phase II would be the turn-around, bike shop and Nesbitt Center ; and Phase III would be the bathrooms that were originally part of the plan to be part of a renovation project or reconstruction of the beach patrol building. He continued by saying that the beach patrol building should be included as part of the project because it is not functional as it is. He added that he believed that the area is the last recreational development area in the Borough, it is a hub with a lot of activity, and the Borough, in trying to get everything within the budgetary number, was compromising the quality of the project. Mrs. Gould concurred.


Mrs. Gould asked the Engineer for his thoughts. The Engineer responded that the project could certainly be done in phases.


Mr. Cabrera reported that he had spoken to Mark Blauer of Blauer Associates who was the grant writer who obtained $380,000 for the Borough in the last round of Small Cities funding and the funding was received by the Borough because the plan included ADA parking improvements, ADA bathrooms and some minor playground equipment. He stated that he asked Mr. Blauer about whether the entire $380,000 can be used for the parking lot only and the response was “yes.” Mr. Blauer suggested returning to the same funding source, and if the project is phased, some additional funds could be available for the bathrooms if they were included in another phase. That would free the current $380,000 to be utilized for the parking lot, but only for ADA expenses. The Engineer interjected that if the parking lot improvements include $380,000 of ADA improvements, those funds, plus the Borough’s match, can be solely spent on the parking lot. He added that the entire amount of the grant funds does not have to be spent immediately, and it could carry into a second phase. Mrs. Gould inquired if the Borough could re-apply if the entire amount were to be spent. The Engineer responded in the affirmative, but added that he would not suggest applying for the same project without spending any of the funds from the first grant. The Engineer stated that his recommendation would be to look at an alternative project for that funding source and then come back to this project the year after next. The Clerk concurred. and added that the Engineer has already indicated that there are some significant infrastructure concerns in the Borough that require more urgent attention. He added that the Atlantic Avenue storm sewer reconstruction, between Cresse Avenue and Heather Road , should qualify because it is in the “low to moderate income” designation of the Borough.


Mr. Groon stated that Mr. Cabrera’s suggestion of phasing the Rambler Road Park Project would do a couple of things. First, it would “push the bathrooms off” four or five years, and the condition of the bathrooms presently is marginal at best.  Additionally, it was his opinion that the suggested Phase II would be rather expensive.


Mr. Cabrera asked for confirmation of the funding sources being sought.  Mr. Groon responded that there is a pending grant application to the NJDOT Bikeway, as well as the Center Designation application which could assist with concrete work. The Engineer added that with the Bikeway grant, the Borough would have to be under contract with a contractor within one year of the date of the award.


The Clerk urged that a prioritized capital improvement fund, in conjunction with the Seaview Avenue reconstruction to be tied in with the bike path extension, be formulated. The Engineer stated that under the Phase II Seaview Avenue reconstruction, under construction presently, there will be bike lanes from Rambler Road onto Seaview Avenue and south to Nashville Avenue .


Mr. Groon stated his opinion that the parking lot aspect of the plan should be continued, with an adjustment of the bike path conditional on obtaining the grants. If the grants are not received, that could be incorporated into Phase II. The Engineer asked if in the event the Bikeways funding is received and the funds must be utilized, could the bike rental be moved temporarily to the Nesbitt Center and move tourism to another location for a short period of time.


Mr. Groon stated that under the current plan, the original parking lot was approximately $800,000 or $900,000. He asked what would happen if the Borough were to proceed with the parking lot as Phase I, and in the 2009 budget put money aside for landscaping, for a total of $1.1 million. Then, the bike path becomes alternate number 1 based on the results of the outstanding grant applications.


With regard to the parking lot, Mr. Groon stated that he has had suggestions from the public to make the parking lot bigger, to go back to the original design. He indicated that he has spoken to the Chief of Police, who feels that the parking lot is adequate on the current plan. The Chief also indicated that a second entrance was not needed. Lt. Mayer agreed, indicating that for safety and logistics, it is better to have a “one way in, one way out” configuration. Mr. Groon added that he has had someone else indicate that the drop off area should be extended. Mr. Cabrera questioned if a drop off is needed at all in the parking lot.


Mr. Groon asked that the increased parking lot be discussed first. Mrs. Gould indicated that she understood the Chief’s point since there are a lot of meters.


Mr. Cabrera suggested changing the drop off area to parking for craft show vendors. Mr. Groon disagreed, stating that the Borough is not obligated to provide parking for the vendors. Mr. Cabrera stated that the space is needed for vendor parking during craft shows. Mr. Groon responded that the parking lot should be increased and when needed, the additional spaces could be used for vendor parking. Mr. Cabrera stated that it comes down the economics, and there should be a multi-function use for vendors and parking, and if it is used for parking it could give the Borough an additional $30,000 to $40,000 for July and August by making the decision to reduce or increase the parking.


Mr. Groon inquired of Mr. Cabrera and Mrs. Gould if they were more comfortable with the smaller parking lot or the larger parking lot. Mr. Cabrera responded that he like the design of the larger plan with less parking because the other plan did not have diagonal parking. He suggested rather than 140 spaces, reduce that to 120 or 130. He said that the current plan included 97 spaces, which is reduced by 20 handicapped spaces. Mrs. Gould inquired if cars with handicapped plates or placards are required to pay parking meters. The Clerk responded that according to the Chief of Police, they are required to pay the initial fee, but are not required to return to the space to add more money if the time expires.


Mr. Groon inquired if the other Commissioners objected to “splitting the difference.” Mrs. Gould responded that she did not. Mr. Groon then went on to suggest a reconfiguration of the parking to eliminate a portion of the original parking plan, but maintain as much as possible the drop off, and continue with the flow as originally planned. He added that that would be Phase I, which would raise the cost somewhat, and include alternates for the bike path and for the landscaping. In that way, if grant funding is received from Centers of Place or the DOT Bikeways, it might be possible to include all three aspects. The Clerk stated that the timing of all three phases of the project was of concern to him. Mr. Groon responded that the Borough will submit the applications to the State and to CAFRA. The Engineer stated that it would be much easier to scale back. Mr. Groon stated that in order to submit the entire plan, a decision would have to be made regarding the buildings, and he did not think the Commissioners were ready for that phase. He asked the Engineer what would be the consequence of submitting only a Phase I plan and later submitting a Phase II plan. The Engineer responded that the Borough would be paying more for permitting, but it could be done. He continued by saying that it would impact timing since the Borough would have to wait “a long time” for the second permit. Mr. Cabrera inquired if they would be general or individual permits. The Engineer responded that they would be individual.


Mr. Groon suggested submitting the permit application for the parking lot, the bike path and the landscaping as Phase I. He added that if the Borough does not obtain the funding, the Borough would have to include landscaping funds in the next year’s budget. The Clerk stated that it was his understanding that the parking lot would cost approximately $800,000, leaving another $300,000 for the landscaping. Mr. Groon responded that he had hoped to put it all under “one umbrella” with the bike path being the grant.


The Clerk inquired of the Engineer whether the bike path would create a problem in terms of what would be needed at Rambler Road without the bikeways grant. The Engineer responded that the only thing he would need for the bike path on Rambler Road would be to eliminate the parking on Rambler Road as soon as possible, or at least by spring 2009, when the striping on Rambler Road will be completed.


The governing body all agreed to the suggested plan. The Engineer was requested to provide a revised plan that “splits the difference” in the parking lot and the other revisions as discussed. Mr. Cabrera inquired if the plan would show Phase II and Phase III. The Engineer responded that even if three phases are included, it would be possible to do two CAFRA applications, one for the parking lot (Phase I) and, after that the governing body would probably know where they were going with the road and buildings and that could all be included in the second CAFRA application (Phases II and III), which would save the third permit fee.


The next matter for discussion was the grant administration and application process for designation of a Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program project.


Mr. Cabrera stated that the Engineer had suggested that Atlantic Avenue storm sewer reconstruction at the cost of approximately $520,000. The Clerk interjected that the project would encompass between Cresse Avenue and Heather Road . The Clerk added that the estimate included $400,000 for the grant funding, and $120,000 matching funds. The Engineer stated that the actual estimate was $600,000 which included engineering, contingencies and construction costs. He added that if all went well, the $520,000 figure was a possibility. Mr. Groon stated that for budgetary purposes, the figure should be $600,000. The Clerk concurred.


Mrs. Gould indicated that the governing body needed to determine who would be the grant administrator for the project. The Clerk stated that a final determination was needed as to the actual project, since the Atlantic Avenue storm sewer reconstruction was the second item on the Engineer’s list of infrastructure priorities. He added that the Engineer had indicated that the first item on the list would not qualify for the “lower and moderate income” criteria of the Small Cities program. Mr. Cabrera added that Mr. Blauer of Blauer Associates had indicated that it would be good to deviate from the earlier types of projects and do an infrastructure project. The Clerk stated that whoever is chosen as the grant administrator must work with the Engineer in completing the application as has been done in the past.


Mrs. Gould stated that since the Borough had hired Triad Associates as “grants coordinator” for 2008, she suggested utilizing that firm for this project. Mr. Cabrera responded that Mark Blauer is “five for five” for the Borough in the Small Cities program and it would make sense to stay with him. He added that Mr. Blauer does not charge the “up front” fees that Triad does. He only gets paid when the Borough obtains grant funds.


Mr. Groon inquired as to when the other Commissioners were looking to complete the Seaview Avenue project. He continued by saying that in looking at the Borough’s requirements for base capital over the next five years, it was his opinion that the Borough needs to “get a handle” on where they were going. He inquired if Seaview Avenue was contemplated to be done in the 2009 budget. Mr. Cabrera responded that it was his recommendation that Phase III of Seaview Avenue be completed because it is needed. The Engineer interjected that Phase II is really worse, with the northern end of Phase III included. Mrs. Gould stated that she would like to see Seaview Avenue completed. Mr. Groon said that Seaview Avenue would then become the infrastructure priority for 2009 and, in his opinion, the Atlantic Avenue storm sewer reconstruction and the completion of Seaview Avenue would be the maximum to be done in 2009. He added that these projects would put the Borough at $3.4 million in bond indebtedness. He said that there could be no other borrowing for 2009. Mr. Cabrera inquired if Mr. Groon was speaking only of infrastructure. Mr. Groon responded that he was speaking of all capital improvement. Mr. Cabrera inquired if that would include equipment and recreational projects. Mr. Groon responded that “this is what we have committed.” He added that as a group, the commissioners must come up with the number that is consistent and stick with it.


The Clerk stated that he needed a definitive answer regarding an administrator to handle the grant application, and the designation of a specific project. Mrs. Gould inquired if a motion was required. The Clerk responded that it would be sufficient to note on the record that approval was granted by the governing body for the Engineer to move forward with the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program to be the Atlantic Avenue Storm Sewer replacement between Cresse Avenue and Heather Road . He added that a coordinator would also have to be named and that formal approval would be necessary in this regard.


Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that Triad Associates be appointed under their current contract to be the grant administrator in conjunction with the Borough Engineer for the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program for the Atlantic Avenue storm sewer replacement between Cresse Avenue and Heather Road . Mr. Groon requested a discussion of the motion.


Mr. Groon stated that he understood Mr. Cabrera’s support of Mr. Blauer, and Mr. Blauer’s success in the past, however it was his opinion that it would be a mistake to undermine the current grant administration procedure. Mr. Cabrera responded that the Borough has used a person who is “five for five,” and does not charge a fee up front. He went on to state that the Borough is “putting all of our eggs in one basket with one grant writer” and it was his opinion that it was a mistake. Mr. Cabrera stated that he was not opposed to the project.


Mr. Cabrera stated that he would like to offer for consideration that there be two motions, one to move forward on the Atlantic Avenue storm sewer replacement project, and the other to be the determination of the grant coordinator appointment. Mr. Groon stated that he had no problem yielding to a separate motion. Mrs. Gould withdrew her motion, and Mr. Groon withdrew his second of the motion.


Mr. Groon then motioned, seconded by Mrs. Gould, that the designation of the project for the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program be the Atlantic Avenue storm sewer replacement project, from Cresse Avenue to Heather Road .

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

Next, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that Triad Associates be appointed under their current contract to be the grant administrator in conjunction with the Borough Engineer for the preparation, filing, and administration of the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program for the Atlantic Avenue storm sewer replacement between Cresse Avenue and Heather Road, at the not to exceed total amount of $15,200.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes


Dated:        September 24, 2008

Kevin M. Yecco, Borough Clerk