Egg Harbor City Council Advances Police Resiliency Program, Navigates Property Auctions and Infrastructure Projects

In a recent session, the Egg Harbor City Council tackled a range of issues, with the advancement of the police resiliency program leading the discussions. The meeting, presided over by Mayor Lisa Jiampetti, also addressed property auctions, including the public auction of a property on Deer Street, infrastructure projects like the Weiss Becker demolition and redevelopment plans, and the acquisition of new police vehicles amid budget considerations.

A key highlight of the meeting was the council’s focus on the police resiliency program. The program’s importance was underscored by the transition of an officer into a resiliency officer role, providing specialized support services to fellow officers. The resiliency officer initiative allows officers to access a statewide network for assistance and is seen as a step in supporting law enforcement personnel’s mental health and wellbeing. The council also acknowledged the departure of a detective who has chosen to pursue a career as a firefighter and discussed the process for identifying candidates for the now-vacant detective position.

The allocation of $45,000 sparked conversation about the possibility of purchasing a used vehicle to bolster the department’s fleet. With nine vehicles currently in operation and only some dedicated to patrol, the need for replacements due to wear and tear was evident. The council considered the benefits of leasing new vehicles and the importance of maintaining a rotational system to manage the fleet’s usage effectively.

Another point of interest was the upcoming auction of a property on Deer Street, previously known as Rick’s Power Plus. The property had been foreclosed due to the non-payment of taxes and utilities for 17 years. The council debated the proper handling of any funds that might be returned to the previous owner and ultimately approved the resolution to authorize the public auction with one dissenting vote.

The meeting also covered infrastructure projects, including the delay by the county in providing flashing signal equipment for the fire station on Philadelphia Avenue. The council granted an extension for the completion of this task, expecting it to be done by spring. Additionally, discussions on the Weiss Becker demolition and the redevelopment of the 400 and blocks of Buffalo Avenue, which received state aid, touched on potential additional costs for incorporating the intersection of Buffalo Street into the project.

The topic of infrastructure continued with the council addressing the progress of a project that had been ongoing for five years, including challenges and the impact of environmental factors. The council also reviewed the terms of a redevelopment agreement for a motion picture studio project, which involves the purchase of 31 acres of land and the commencement of construction, along with the council’s support for its application to the Inspire program with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

In terms of city maintenance, the council discussed the old water plant building, debating its structural integrity, potential repairs, and possible repurposing for future use. Additionally, the signage at the city’s west entrance was deliberated upon, with emphasis on regulatory requirements and the significance of the existing signs.

On the financial side, the Finance Redevelopment committee, led by Council member Steven Dash, is preparing for a meeting with Dr. Ruffin regarding St. property. The Public Works committee, on the other hand, highlighted the training of a new employee, equipment maintenance, and the decision to replace an old utility truck with a new one. They are also exploring the acquisition of an electric vehicle and an energy grant.

The council moved forward with resolutions approving the MOA for the team contract and the collective negotiations agreement, which included a debate over standby pay for the utility department. While some council members questioned the relevance of the provision given the absence of a utility department, a motion to approve the contract with the understanding of further discussion passed with one abstention.

Lastly, the council addressed budget transfers, with funds being reallocated from police salaries to police OE for equipment and to public works for radios and a gate, emphasizing the importance of reliable communication during storms. Additionally, the council approved resolutions ranging from the acceptance of a sustainable community energy plan, a refund for an overpayment of taxes, and a resolution regarding a liquor license for Shore Beverage Incorporated.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Lisa Jiampetti
City Council Officials:
Joseph A. Ricci, Jr., Donna Heist, Kim Hesse, Ingrid Nieves-Clark, Steven Dash, Mason Wright, Kasey Attianese, Nanette Galloway, Karl Timbers

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