Dear fellow HCTA members,
Happy New Year- I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Holiday Season with family and friends. Here are a few updates on topics of interest:
LBI Consolidated School District: Thank you to the HCTA members who attended the Dec 15th LBI Consolidated Board of Education meeting. The HCTA put out an email alert for a strong show of attendance at the request of the LBI Joint Council of Taxpayers, and many of you were able to attend. As always, numbers make us heard and the extent of voter interest obviously made an impression on the Board. It was surprising, yet encouraging to hear the Board of Ed state unequivocally that they are opposed to consolidation of LBI with the Stafford elementary system.
The HCTA encourages continued taxpayers attendance at these Board Meetings. There is still work to be done, including lowering the average pupil cost to the state’s average. LBI Consolidated’s cost is about $21,000 per pupil; the state average cost is close to $11,200 per pupil.
Beach Replenishment: You may have read in the press or on our website that beachfront owners on 83rd street were awarded $480,000. It is the opinion of the HCTA that this is ridiculously large – implying the homeowner lost almost 20% of the value of their home when the new dune is only about 18 inches higher than the old dune, and received no value from the added safety of the dune, especially given that this house is one of only a few on the island allowed to be rebuilt that far out on the dune after the 1962 storm.
With this particular award, the town anticipated an appeal no matter which way the ruling went. The town filed the appeals paperwork and the court briefs were due on January 6th. Jon Oldham has said, “we’ll appeal and appeal until we can’t appeal any more.” The HCTA hopes that common sense will prevail in the appeals process, and that when the courts see this “impaired” view, the award will be overturned. The HCTA has posted the original article on this particular property, featured in the Press of Atlantic City, on our website home page, https://www.harveycedarstax.org .
Street-end dune walkovers – As we put out on the website, the town is doing their best to make sure that our street ends DO NOT look like Surf City. However, as anybody who has ever done a remodeling job knows, sometimes things have to look a lot worse during the project before the final product is done. Unfortunately that is the case with the street ends. The width of the Army Corp equipment requires that these have to be widened during the project. For the streets where the Army Corps is done, the Borough has already put up dune fencing to bring it back to a width of 8 feet. Additionally, the town will be purchasing a Bobcat so that they can maintain the walkover at a much narrower width than the current equipment they own allows.
Boulevard Safety: Local politics at their best! It seems that the mayors of Barnegat Light and LBT have convinced the county officials Boulevard Safety model was a bad idea – even though they have never seen the simulations. The HCTA is evaluating how we should proceed and where we can be useful to the Borough in this endeavor. The Mayor has stressed to the Ocean County Freeholders that the situation on the Boulevard is unsafe, and that the status quo will not work, and is trying to get them all together to view the computer model – this is a county road, we need the county on our side. Since LBT and Barnegat light undoubtedly have more voters than Harvey Cedars does, we hope the County officials don’t pander to politics at the expense of another child being hit by a car. But to level the playing field in case politics do rule, please consider having one or more voting members of your household register in Harvey Cedars. There is a link to Ocean County Voting Forms on the HCTA website under the “Links of Interest” Tab. In the meantime the HCTA has asked for an increased police and ticketing presence on the Boulevard.
Upcoming events: Please mark you calendars for the HCTA Second Annual Town Wide Yard Sale. It will be held on Saturday, May 29, 2010. Registration information will be forthcoming in the spring and will be posted on the HCTA website.
On behalf of the HCTA Trustees, I wish you the best this year. Sincerely,
Bryan Lewis President