NBTA Members – Attached is a flyer from ReClam The Bay (RCTB), a local 501(c)3 charitable organization, operating primarily in the Barnegat Bay estuary that provides education about the Barnegat Bay watershed (which includes Barnegat Bay, Manahawkin Bay, and Little Egg Harbor Bay) – how to conserve and improve it through shellfish-related, sustainable and resilient stewardship projects. RCTB is an all-volunteer organization that relies on contributions from individuals and businesses to support their efforts to grow shellfish, educate the public about water quality in the Barnegat Bay estuary, and other “in the bay” projects like living shorelines. One way RCTB raises funds is through annual raffle sales. Since so many community events have been canceled this year due to COVID-19, such as Chowderfest which is a major source of their income, they are reaching out to the taxpayer/homeowner groups on LBI to see if their members can support RCTB by purchasing raffle tickets. The attached flyer provides details on their raffle and how you can support RCTB. Drawings are held on October 4, 2020. You do not need to be present to win.
Hi All – Friday afternoon, Mayor Mancini delivered a Memorial Day weekend message via the Long Beach Township Facebook page. We have summarized it here for your review.
What’s Still Closed
- All public restrooms, Bayview Park, Holgate parking, all town gazebos, Terrace Beach, playgrounds, dog park, pickleball and tennis courts.
- All restaurants and bars are closed for inside dining. Curbside and delivery service is allowed.
- Gyms, yoga and all exercise venues
- Please wear a mask for curbside pickup and any stores you enter.
- Masks are not required on the beach. However, masks ARE required when walking over the dune to and from the beach where the walkway is less than 10 feet wide.
- Social distancing is required on the beaches. Please keep your group at least 6 feet away from others.
- The 68th Street beach will be guarded and there will be roaming lifeguard patrols in other areas.
- Please stay calm and be respectful of others on the beach.
- All garbage/trash must be placed in containers with lids or you will be fined. Uncovered garbage is susceptible to birds ripping open the bags.
- Please don’t discard your used masks and gloves on the ground. Put them in a proper garbage container or dispose of them at home.
What’s Open Beginning June 1st (subject to the Governor’s approval)
- More selected beaches will be open and guarded based on weather and water temperature
- Beach badges are required beginning June 1st. The Mayor recommends buying badges early as the Governor may require restricting badge sales.
- Public restrooms, Bayview Park, Holgate parking, all recreational facilities
- Long Beach Township building will open with some limitations.
- Short term rentals are allowed
- Outside dining will be allowed on a trial basis plus other businesses will be opening.
- On June 5th the Shuttle will begin operating on weekends only. No standing passengers allowed.
- On June 20th the Gator program will resume taking beachgoers. Protective shields will separate the driver from passengers. This service will be limited to seniors and handicapped individuals only and only two passengers at a time.
The Mayor also said Long Beach Township has recommended that the Governor’s Office direct the Alcoholic Beverage Commission to allow outside food and alcohol consumption until October 15th. Stay tuned.
As a final note, the Mayor mentioned let us all remember what this weekend is really about – remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is asking the public to keep an eye out for cold-stunned green turtles that have been washing up on Long Beach Island. The turtles are about the size of a dinner plate and weigh a few pounds. Twelve have already been saved by quick-acting residents who have seen them either floating in the water or inert on the shore.
“What happens is the quick change in water temperature stuns them, and if they can’t get their temperature above 50 degrees they die,” explained Bob Schoelkopf, director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, whose facility responds to endangered marine life along the entire state’s coastline.
“Most of the turtles have been feeding in the back bays and due to the high tides we have had recently, many will be washed up on the meadows or you may see them floating on the water. They can also be on the ocean side if the tides have brought them around,” said Schoelkopf.
“Time is a factor. It’s important that we get to them right away.”
Anyone who sees a green sea turtle should call the stranding center at 609-266-0538 and someone will respond, said Schoelkopf. The center will pick up these turtles in distress and transport them to the Turtle Rescue at Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange. Once a number of turtles are rehabilitated, the stranding center will take them south to warmer waters and release them to the wild.
Shore residents are encouraged to call the stranding center even if a green turtle they find seems to be dead. —P.J.
Two town-hall style meetings to discuss a $7.68 million referendum for renovations to the LBI Grade School are slated for later this month in Long Beach Township and Ship Bottom. The first meeting is set for 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Long Beach Township municipal complex. The second session will be held in Ship Bottom with a 6:30 p.m. start time on Monday, Oct. 21. Both sessions are open to everyone.
As we do every year before our September Membership meeting, the trustees held our reorganization meeting where we elected and appointed the officers of NBTA for the upcoming year. Three trustee seats were up for re-election and in keeping with our bylaws, if the number of candidates equals the number of open seats, an election is not required. That was the case this year.
Long term trustee and former President Pat Moran has retired from trustee service. We will miss his guidance, support and institutional knowledge of NBTA. Pat is responsible for many of the successes of NBTA over his years of service and we are sincerely grateful.
The seats held by Trustees Bob Van Buren and Mark Falco were also open. Both Bob and Mark agreed to serve again.
We welcome our newest trustee – Chuck Dudley – who will be replacing Pat Moran.
The following trustees were elected and appointed to officer positions and committee chairs:
- President – Bill Walsh
- Vice President – Skip Soriero
- Treasurer – Mark Falco and Tom Frangione
- Secretary – Barry Sullivan
- Beautification – Bob Van Buren
- Finance – Mark Falco/Tom Frangione
- Hospitality – Skip Soriero
- Membership – Eileen Szperka
- Municipal Affairs – Hank Fisher/Chuck Dudley
Your trustees will be following up on a number of topics and suggestions brought up by members:
- Directional arrows at the turnarounds
- Adjusting/trimming the flowerbeds at the North Beach signs on the median
- Stencils painted on the shoulders of the Boulevard to indicate biking/pedestrian traffic flow, specifically, is the shoulder wide enough to accommodate?
- Options for pickle ball lines/nets on the tennis courts at 1065 LBB
- How can members identify which of their neighbors are or are not members of NBTA and help grow our association?
- Summer 2020 Get Together – Our Hospitality Committee is looking at options for member events for next year. Possibilities include:
- A lobster bake like we did a few years ago or something similar
- A couple of smaller cocktail party events
- Timeframe – likely July or August
- There will be some charge but the organization will subsidize the event(s)
- If you have any ideas and/or would like to help out, please drop us a note at our website – nbtpa.org. We are always looking for ideas and volunteers, too.
Property Revaluation Update – August 2019
NBTA contacted Appraisal Systems, Inc., the firm selected by Long Beach Township to conduct the revaluation study and the LBT Tax Assessor regarding the upcoming revaluation study. All property owners will receive a letter – mid to late September – providing detailed information about the process. According to the assessor, work will begin this fall, but Appraisal Systems will not be working through the winter. Perhaps in recognition that we are largely a seasonal community.
While the timing has not been finalized, the study is expected to take 9 months to complete. But, with approximately 9,000 properties in the township, it won’t be quick.
The last LBT property revaluation was completed in 1996.
Water Meter Update
NBTA inquired with the LBT Water and Sewer Department about installing a separate water meter for outside water use because we heard from Mayor Mancini in June that LBT would be moving, at some point, to sewer billing based on water meter readings. Why does it matter? Sewer rates based on water meter readings assume that every gallon registered on the water meter ends up in the sewer system for treatment. Therefore, you would be paying some amount in your sewer bill for outside water use – like watering flower beds, filling pools, etc. – that did not ‘go down the drain’. According to the Water and Sewer Department, the township has no plans to change our sewer billing from a flat rate to a volume rate based on water consumption. That’s a slightly different message from what we heard in June. It remains to be seen what happens.
We had a good discussion about this topic in our meeting and received some helpful hints from members, such as:
- Consider the timing of when you will have your water meter installed. Many plumbers are busy in the late fall and early spring doing turn-on and turn-off work. This can impact availability and price.
- Meter placement and position – if you close up your home in the off-season, the water meter has to drain completely to avoid freezing and cracking. The meters aren’t cheap and replacing the meter is on you.
School Consolidation Plan
On August 28th, the LBI Consolidated Board of Education met and attempted to take formal action on a proposal to forward a referendum request to the State. They failed to get enough votes for the $7.6 million referendum to rehab the LBI Grade School and consolidate students and staff into the school in Ship Bottom. However, there is still enough time to meet the deadline for a December 10th special election on a referendum. The ballot question for the referendum must be set 18 days before a special election. If approved by voters for $7.6 million, expected tax impact is $8 for a home assessed at $300,000; $17 for an assessment of $600,000 and $28 for a home assessed at 1 million. The cost to educate in the LBI Consolidated District is $33,000 per student, over twice the state average of $16,000. The consolidation is expected to save $450,000 but that would be reserved for additional curriculum and staff. A former school board member developed a survey for taxpayers and voters to express an opinion at consolidation.
You can find the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/YBC5NT9 or search on LBI Consolidated School survey. Make your voice heard.
Shore Rental Tax Repealed
Last October, a new tax was enacted that added an 11.6 percent tax to short-term rentals done through private owners and online marketplaces – 6.625 percent Sales and Use tax and 5 percent Hotel and Motel Occupancy fee.
This changed effective August 8, 2019. The tax no longer applies to homeowners renting out accommodations.
According to one of the repeal bill’s sponsors, the law enacted in October 2018 was never intended to apply to private renters. The tax bill signed by the governor last October required homeowners who rented their homes out privately to collect and remit the tax to the New Jersey Division of Taxation and keep certain records documenting the rental.
On August 9th (after the bill sat on his desk since June 27th), the Governor signed the repeal bill.
Now, if a renter/vacationer books directly with an owner or through a Realtor, the tax does not apply. However, if a third party, such as Airbnb, VRBO or a travel agent collects the payment and issues the contract, then the tax applies.
Real Estate Info
If you haven’t seen the Summer 2019 Beach Briefs published by Benee Scola & Company, here is an excerpt from that publication:
“There are approximately 642 single family homes in North Beach. The average number of homes for sale per year since 2010 is 17 or 3%. The List Price to Sale Price Ratio has averaged 93%.”
This report shows the average price of a North Beach home in 1988 was $484,000. The average price rose to $1,290,000 in 2018.
Sand Dollar Real Estate reported the following:
Since the beginning of the year, freshman Long Beach Island Consolidated Board of Education member Eileen Bowker has been tasked with developing a strategic plan for the elementary school district. Coordinating schedules with the New Jersey School Board Association representative charged with helping develop and implement a plan to effectively target the district’s efforts and resources to move it forward hasn’t materialized.
A HAWK (High-intensity Activated CrossWalk) was installed on Long Beach Boulevard at the southern end of North Beach, where that section of Long Beach Township meets Surf City, in 2016. It has since caused some confusion.
The crosswalk system features push-button activation for pedestrians; when crossing pedestrians are not present, the signal simply appears off to vehicles. When the signal is dark to vehicular traffic, there is a solid hand, “don’t walk” indication for pedestrians.
“Once the pedestrian pushes the crosswalk button, the HAWK wakes up by displaying flashing yellow to vehicular traffic,” an instructional video, available online at youtube.com/watch?v=6_rym0bYINU, explains.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released the Interim Report for the New Jersey Back Bays Coastal Storm Risk Management Study. The objective of the study is to investigate problems and solutions to reduce damages from coastal flooding that affect population, critical infrastructure, property, and ecosystems.
The document describes the engineering, economic, social and environmental analyses conducted to date and provides an array of alternative plans. These plans and future study analyses are expected to result in the selection of a recommended plan for the region while minimizing environmental, social and economic impacts. Alternatives under consideration include structural solutions such as storm surge barriers, tide gates, levees, and floodwalls; non-structural solutions such as elevation of homes; and nature-based features such as marsh restoration and the creation of living shorelines.
At the request of the LBI Joint Council of Taxpayers (JCTA), we are sharing this information. NBTA members can access the interim report and additional info from a March 14th Army Corps webinar at:
Army Corps and NJ Department of Environmental Protection news releases can be found at:
The formal comment period ends on April 1st, however comments will be accepted after that date.
Comments by email: PDPA-NAP@usace.army.mil
Comments in writing:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Planning Division
100 Penn Square E.
Philadelphia PA 19107
Peter Trainor will be coordinating a response for the JCTA . You can also forward your comments to him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.