Thursday, February 17, 2011

Strathmere Improvement Association - SIA Newsletter - February 17, 2011

In this issue: Trash Collection; Vote Saturday; New Township Tax; Freeholder Request; Bridge Railings; Babysitters;

Remember that because of the Presidents' Day Holiday, trash will not be collected until Tuesday, and recycling will have to wait until February 28...

We'll send out "refrigerator door" information in a few months. In the meantime, here is trash and rubbish collection information on the Township website. -


If you are registered to vote in Strathmere (actually, anywhere in New Jersey), elections for Fire Commissioners will be held this Saturday, February 19. Strathmere elections will be at the Firehouse and the polls will be open from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm. Please vote!

Upper Township held another budget workshop on Monday, February 14. While they did cut the proposed budget somewhat, it looks virtually certain that we will have a local purpose tax this year, for the first time since 1954. Under the latest proposal, a home in Strathmere assessed at $1 million would see a new Township Municipal Tax of $950 per year, in addition to the school and county taxes. Final decision on the level of the new Township tax rate awaits information on the changes in NJ State aid to municipalities...


Butch sent a letter to the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Cape May County, asking that speed limits be lowered and marked crosswalks be installed on Commonwealth Avenue (County Road 619). We'll keep you advised if and when they respond...


Unbeknownst to most of us, the Bridge Commission has been working on replacement railings for the Corson's Inlet Bridge for the last five years. They could not get the design they wanted to use approved for this bridge because it is "historic". The bids with a New Jersey-approved design came back last year significantly higher than expected, and the work (which is extremely labor-intensive) has now been redesigned to eliminate replacement railings on the bridge approaches, along with a few other changes to reduce costs.
At the Cape May County Bridge Commission Meeting this morning, a resolution was approved to advertise for the Re-Bid of the (permanent) railing replacements. These advertisements are expected to go out next week, with bids to be returned March 22, in time (hopefully) for Commission approval at their April meeting and the bid to be awarded immediately thereafter.
If all goes as planned, some preliminary work (relocation of utilities serving the toll booth) could be done over the summer, with the actual work on the railings to be started in September and completed by Memorial Day of 2012. The bridge will remain open during construction (no doubt with some delays here and there) and there will be no toll collection during that time.
The new railings will be almost identical to the "tubular" railings on the Great Channel Bridge (first bridge south of Stone Harbor), pictured below. One difference will be that the railings on our bridge will be galvanized prior to fabrication, which was not done on the ones shown here. You can see rust leakage at the joints, which hopefully can be avoided on our bridge.

In response to our question, Dale Foster, Engineer for both the County and the Bridge Commission, indicated that these replacement railings would have kept the Ford Expedition from going off the bridge.

An example of "Tubular" railings on the Great Channel Bridge (first bridge south of Stone Harbor)

We don't normally run advertisements in our newsletters, but we had a request from a member to see if we could help find a Strathmere babysitter for this summer.
We agreed to post this announcement and ask that anyone (or their children) interested in doing babysitting reply to this e-mail -  We will in turn provide your e-mail address to interested SIA members, with whatever restrictions you request, and of course to no one else. We suggest that an adult oversee any resulting babysitting interviews...


This isn't an advertisement, but kind of a "plug" for a relatively new community-based website called It was started in Connecticut in 2007 and purchased by AOL in 2009, with a promise to spend $50 million or more on the new venture. As of last December, Patch had established "hyperlocal" sites in more than 500 communities across the United States. They obviously hope to make a go of it by selling ads on the websites, and it remains to be seen how successful that will be. Here is their homepage - where you can find links for towns from Basking Ridge to West Deptford and from Havertown to West Chester.
The reason we bring it up here is that during the bridge closure, the Ocean City Patch website had quite a bit of up-to-date information on what was going on, including information from readers, so you may wish to check it out and make it one of your "favorites". This, of course, would be in addition to our hometown Strathmere Blogspot.

Thanks for your support of the Strathmere Improvement Association!
Butch Vandegrift - President
Linda Bateman -Vice-President
Donna Diefenderfer - Treasurer
Dorothy Addario - Recording Secretary
Ken Weaver - Corresponding Secretary

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