VENTNOR – Time to purchase a new calendar for 2020. One of your first entries should be for the Downbeach Seafood Festival at Ski Beach.
The city approved a resolution Thursday, Nov. 14 approving a license agreement for Good Time Tricycle Productions, LLC of Linwood to hold the festival noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, with a raindate of Saturday, Sept. 19.
The resolution also includes an ancillary agreement that the State of New Jersey must issue an alcoholic beverage concessionaire license for the event.
Good Time Tricycle President Jon Henderson attended the meeting to let commissioners know the festival will not run out of beer like it did toward the end of the festival held in September, which was very well received by the community. He also said the 2020 festival will end with a fireworks display at dusk.
“In 20 years of producing festivals, we never ran out of beer, and I throw a major beer festival,” Henderson said.
It will be the ninth consecutive year that Good Time Tricycle has held a seafood festival. For the first seven years, it was held at the much larger Bader Field in Atlantic City. Henderson said changing the venue to the smaller Ski Beach location completely changed the vibe of the festival to more of a neighborhood event. Nevertheless, more than 6,000 people attended the smaller version in Ventnor, which is what the organizers expected, Henderson said.
“It’s a fantastic area,” Henderson said. “The level of intimacy from Bader Field to Ski Beach changed the entire festival.”
Henderson was receptive to hearing suggestions from residents about ways to make the festival better.
He said some restaurant owners who serve their best dishes during the event were apprehensive about downsizing the festival from two days to one day and switching to a smaller venue, but they left the festival happy about the change.
In other business, the commission agreed to hire two new police officers through an intergovernmental transfer agreement. The Police Department hired Christopher J. Luisi and Robert Scarborough as a full-time police officers effective Nov. 16. They were sworn in at a private ceremony held at City Hall on Monday.
The board also authorized a $4,500 increase to a previously approved not to exceed $28,300 a year contract for SOSH Architects to provide design services for city projects. The additional cost is needed to design new bathrooms at the Ventnor Pier.
It also agreed to award a $50,647 contract to Waterworks Supply Company of Pompton Plains to furnish the city with 20 new fire hydrants.
The board also adopted an ordinance creating the Ventnor Plaza shopping center redevelopment plan, and an ordinance raising height limits for new residential construction to 31-35 feet, with offsets for dormers, chimneys and parapets, depending on the width of the lot.
According to Commissioner Lance Landgraf, the change is needed because new homeowners want 10-foot-high ceilings in their newly constructed homes. The change eliminates the need for property owners to request variances from the Planning Board and will lessen the number of applications that need to be heard before the board.