Ocean Town Council Addresses Infrastructure Projects and Community Concerns

The Ocean Town Council meeting addressed a series of community concerns and infrastructure projects, including updates on various construction projects, the potential renaming of the 10th hole, and the appointment of a council liaison for the shade tree commission. The discussions also covered issues such as the delayed posting of meeting minutes, cannabis applications, and public safety with the use of e-bikes in local parks.

At the forefront of the meeting, the council discussed the progress on key infrastructure projects, notably the Deal Road sidewalks and the Sunset Avenue bike trail, with bids being received on March 13th. The One World Center project was highlighted for its significant advancement, having passed final electrical inspections with only the interior work like flooring, drop ceiling, and painting pending completion. A change order for additional insulation and structural work was necessary due to unforeseen issues during the inspection, but these have been resolved.

The possibility of installing a traffic light at the intersection of Cold Indian and Deal Road was brought up, alongside plans to reconfigure the sidewalk near Kepwell Park and realign roads to improve traffic flow and safety. Concerns about the visibility of the park’s entrance and the closure of an unauthorized entrance were also addressed. The council also discussed the Community Development Committee’s annual reorganization meeting, where applying for funding for restrooms at Kepwell Park and potentially repaving Wanamassa Point Road was on the agenda. However, religious restrictions affecting the use of pedestrian crossing buttons on Saturdays were raised as a point of concern.

Furthermore, the council reviewed the draft Strategic Plan and planned the placement of a sign at Potter’s grave on the walking path near the Human Services building. The council delved into proposed changes to the shade tree commission ordinances, emphasizing the necessity to align them with state law and ensure consistency among related ordinances. The benefits and budget of the shade tree commission were questioned, impacting the township’s approval of the commission’s replanting plan and the appointment of Dave as the council liaison, with humorous consideration given to deciding by rock-paper-scissors if necessary.

Another issue of community interest was the potential violation of the flag ordinance by decorative commemorative flags along Deal Road. The council proposed amending the ordinance to permit temporary use of strings or flags for municipal purposes and discussed involving the township manager in determining the allowed duration for such displays.

Residents voiced their concerns during the public comment session, notably about the delay in posting meeting minutes, which raised questions about the compliance with open or Sunshine laws. The council attributed the delay to staffing challenges and the council clerk’s workload. The council also shared that seven cannabis applications had been received and acknowledged the need to possibly eliminate applicants in certain categories due to state regulations and the council’s review process.

The renaming of the 10th hole was debated, and the council stood by its unanimous decision, based on criteria like service to the township and longevity. The council welcomed public input for future naming opportunities, including suggestions for the Band Shell’s naming. Deputy Mayor Fisher commended the success of the 175th-anniversary kickoff event and, along with Mayor John P. Napolitani, Sr., emphasized safety with e-bikes, praising the town staff’s organizational efforts.

The council also approved ordinances 2454 and 2455 after public discussions and introduced ordinance 2456, set for a public hearing on March 14th. Concerning land use, the council assured that ongoing applications would not be affected by ordinance updates, and a resident’s commendation for improved recycling information led to a query about the number of participants in a plastic sheet recycling program.

Public safety concerns were also raised about the use of electric bikes in parks, and the council considered regulations or enforcement to address potential hazards. A resident’s issues with their apartment, including rodent infestations and inadequate heating, were brought to the council’s attention, prompting discussions on involving the county health department and assurances to address the matter promptly.

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.
John P. Napolitani, Sr.
City Council Officials:
John P. Napolitani, Sr., Robert V. Acerra, Sr., David Fisher, Dc, Kelly Terry

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