Spectators view the Atlantic City Airshow from the Ventnor City boardwalk.

By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY

VENTNOR – During the same meeting where the Board of Commissioners adopted a $900,000 bond ordinance to finance capital improvements at the Ventnor Educational Community Complex, it introduced two new bond ordinances that total nearly $17 million.

Ordinance 2024-012 will appropriate $14,110,689 to finance the replacement of a major portion of the Ventnor City boardwalk between Jackson Avenue and the Ventnor City Pier on Cambridge Avenue.

The bond is being put into place so the city can draw down funds when needed to replace sections of the boardwalk that are deteriorating below the boards. More than half of the bond will be covered by a state grant awarded in February.

The city was a big winner in Gov. Phil Murphy’s $100 million Boardwalk Preservation Fund competition, which provided Ventnor with a $7,110,698 grant to replace a portion of the wooden way, which is more than 60 years old.

“The money we got from the state got us from Jackson Avenue to about Surrey,” Landgraf said. “We would like to at least get to the pier with those renovations.”

Landgraf said the city originally requested enough money to do the entire boardwalk, estimated at $26 million. Ventnor plans to apply for other state and federal grants to fund the shortfall, he said.

The Ventnor Boardwalk was built in 1962 and is entirely constructed with wood that has deteriorated over time. Some of the pilings and joists have deteriorated from the weight of vehicle traffic. The project includes demolition of sections of the boardwalk and its foundation, and installation of new treated timber pilings spaced two feet closer than the existing spacing of 14 feet, to provide additional strength and a longer lasting product. ADA-compliant ramps will be installed at locations where needed. The grant requires that the funds be expended by the end of 2026.

The bond ordinance will provide an additional $7 million in borrowing capacity should the city decide to replace other sections of the boardwalk.

“We don’t have to spend that extra $7 million we’re putting in the bond, but we are preparing to be able to do that,” Landgraf said.

The board also introduced Ordinance 2014-013, which appropriates $2,857,142 for various capital improvements as follows:

  • $160,000 for Police Department equipment, technology, phone system, and purchase of an ATV for the beach
  • $140,000 for Public Works Department equipment and vehicles, including a utility truck and a pick-up truck
  • $120,000 for Fire Department equipment, personal protective gear, breathing canisters and medical equipment
  • $30,000 for Beach Patrol surf boats, safety equipment and storage sheds
  • $150,000 to replace street-end bulkheads
  • $100,000 for streetscape improvements such as trash and recycling containers and planters
  • $100,000 for drainage improvements to the stormwater management system
  • $200,000 for improvements to various municipal buildings, including Fire Station #1, City Hall and the Community Center
  • $1,000,000 for infrastructure improvements, including reconstruction of tennis, pickleball and basketball courts and replacement of fencing
  • $1,000,000 for beach replenishment

City Administrator Tom Ciccarone noted that two-thirds of the bond will cover beach replenishment and recreation improvements.

The city will make short-term repairs to the courts to ensure they are available for use during this summer season, and that major replacements would take place in the fall, Ciccarone said.

Landgraf said there is serious beach erosion near Buffalo Avenue that makes the beach unusable during high tide.

“We may have to discuss limiting the ability to put up canopies like they did in Wildwood,” because there is just not enough room for them, he said.

Public hearings and votes to adopt the ordinances will be held 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9 at Ventnor City Hall, 6201 Atlantic Ave. 050124_VCBondOrdinances

 

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Categories: Ventnor

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.