Long Beach Township LBI Chamber Of Commerce To Operate Free Bus Service

Dated: 03/19/2014

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Long Beach Township, in partnership with the Long Beach Island Chamber of Commerce, will run a free bus service along the Island this summer, continuing last year’s successful pilot program. At last Friday’s board of commissioners meeting in the municipality, Mayor Joseph Mancini and Commissioners Ralph Bayard and Joseph Lattanzi approved, on first reading, an ordinance amending an ordinance “implementing and creating a municipal transportation system by and for the Township of Long Beach,” and, in addition, approved a resolution to advertise for bids for six transportation buses. As Lattanzi said of the service, “At this point, we have nearly all the bugs worked out, so to speak, and I think I’m going to unveil it formally probably at the next meeting. But just to give you an overview, the plan is to have a joint venture project with us and the Long Beach Island Chamber of Commerce. We’re going to have the bus service throughout the entire Island. It will be a free service, based on a pilot program we ran last year that was very successful.” During the summer of 2013, the municipality ran a shuttle bus from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily from the township’s borders with Ship Bottom to the north and Beach Haven to the south. The Southern Regional School District donated the two buses utilized last year for the pilot program, which Lattanzi and Lt. Paul Vereb of the township police department worked diligently to establish. “The goals and the purpose of this are, I think, rather obvious,” said Lattanzi, “but just to state some of the general benefits: it reduces the number of cars in the summer; it reduces drunk driving at night; it helps promote businesses that were adversely affected by the storm, helping people move around and increase commerce; and it will also serve a secondary purpose for emergency management. “We expect to have the project pretty much finalized in the next couple weeks.” He added, “You may see one of our smaller buses being wrapped … with the hospital (Southern Ocean Medical Center) logo, to serve as kind of our template so that businesses can see what the wrapped buses will look like so we can go out and get bids for additional advertising funding. “I think this is going to be a great project. It should be relatively small cost, with the offsets from the advertising revenue. We worked very hard with the chamber and the towns to get this under way. I think it’s going to be a great thing this summer.” The resolution approved for the buses also included construction of public restrooms, a retaining wall, fencing and a handicapped ramp in Holgate, and construction of tennis courts in North Beach and Holgate. Also on Friday, the commission adopted a number of other ordinances, including one that, as Deputy Municipal Clerk Teresa Sgro had explained at the Feb. 21 commission meeting, “protects property owners in the township from uneccessary interruptions of utility service of all kinds. The Board of Commissioners has determined that as a matter of public health, safety and welfare, protection of individual property owners is necessary. The ordinance is intended to permit the interruption of utilities on properties not involved in a construction project only upon satisfactory proof that no alternative to the interruption of utilities is reasonably viable.” A related resolution was also approved. As Mancini explained during that previous meeting, “We ran up against a situation where somebody was going to set a home … and it was going to shut off the electric to 48 residences and a commercial property. We don’t feel it’s right that 5½ hours of electric should be turned off for the convenience of somebody’s new construction. There are other alternatives. So the resolution is a stop work order that we just approved unanimously. “And the ordinance goes on to give different methods and methodologies if you want to have the electric turned off; you have to come in and explain why you have to do it, what the alternatives are. I can’t imagine 48 properties without electric or heat for 5½ hours on Feb. 27. It’s not going to happen here.” The commission also adopted a bond ordinance authorizing the painting of the Brant Beach and Holgate water towers, as well as ordinances authorizing the purchase of various capital equipment and vehicles for the public works department, a beach truck, and equipment and lightning protection for town hall. In addition, the mayor and commissioners approved a resolution to introduce a temporary capital budget and temporary utility capital budget. As Lattanzi explained, the temporary capital budget and temporary utility capital budget were introduced so “the township can go forward with scheduled projects already on the books in a timely fashion.” The 2014 budget will be introduced at the March 21 commission meeting, with copies of the proposed budget available in the municipal clerk’s office. A public hearing on the budget will take place on April 25. Finally, Mancini said he met with the Ocean County Engineering Department, which offered to repave all the railroad cutouts in the township. Though the project was originally planned for spring, the mayor asked that the repaving be conducted after the beach replenishment – scheduled to begin this fall – is complete. “So they agreed on 30-day notice after we demobilize all the piping for the beach replenishment.” The next meeting of the Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners is 4 p.m. on Friday, March 21.
Courtesy of— Juliet Kaszas-Hoch juliet@thesandpaper.net
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Kim Pileggi

Greetings from Long Beach Island! I am a full time real estate agent specializing in LBI sales and summer rentals, servicing all of LBI and the surrounding mainland communities. I have earned several ....

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