Let’s be honest. Do Margate officials really want to investigate the benefits of rebuilding our beloved Margate Boardwalk? Maybe boardwalk talk is too polarizing and risky to discuss as election season looms?
Glenn Klotz & the Margate Boardwalk Committee says rebuilding the Margate boardwalk would convert a ‘useless part of the beach’ into a ‘useful public space’. It would provide better access to the beach for seniors and the disabled. A rebuilt Margate Boardwalk would also offer a recreational amenity for walkers, runners and bicyclists. Note: NJ DEP is mandated to provide public accommodations in our public parks.
Let the public decide, says Klotz. Voters and taxpayers will and should have a voice. That’s why Klotz has just announced a ‘Rebuild The Margate Boardwalk Rally at Lucy the Elephant’ on Aug. 26, starting at 5p.
Rebuild The Margate Boardwalk Rally. Aug 26, 5p at Lucy The Elephant.
Commissioner John Amodeo recently met with Glenn Klotz and the Boardwalk Committee. Amodeo, facing an uphill re-election battle, agreed to hold a public meeting with all stakeholders. That includes the DEP, Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE)…and both full & part-time residents.
Amodeo, Blumberg and Becker are playing it safe. Waffling? Some think so. All up for re-election in 2019.
Amodeo mentioned cost as a hurdle. But bonding, & long-term / low-interest rate borrowing is just one way to help finance this project. Just like bonding for a second school or back-bay dredging.
Amodeo claims that approving a bond ordinance could increase taxes, but neglected to mention other funding sources such as grants, donations, sponsorships, and the millions of available new ‘ratables’ that come online each year.
Proponents believe a Margate Boardwalk can be rebuilt with a barely noticeable tax burden on residents. One key funding source is all those new ‘ratables’.
Ratables are property tax revenues that are spent or allocated, based on decisions made by Margate’s elected officials; Becker, Amodeo & Blumberg.
‘New’ ratables can become available when a modest home is torn down and replaced with a multi-million dollar home assessed with a much higher valuation and tax bill.
To date, public opinion has been mainly positive for rebuilding the Margate Boardwalk.
Klotz and the Margate Boardwalk Committee will soon publish it’s findings on the feasibility of re-building the boardwalk.
A public referendum question could be on the May 2019 election ballot if the commissioners agree to go to referendum. If not, the Margate Boardwalk Committee could easily get a petition signed by 10 percent of Margate voters to force a referendum question on the May 2019 ballot.
Part-time resident property owners (75% of taxpayers with no voting rights) should also be surveyed.
Elected officials accused of ‘not being totally transparent’ about the process? The Mayor & Commissioners looking to derail any forward momentum? We shall see.
Some news reports fail to tell readers that Margate would be seeking grants to offset some of the cost. And yes, permitting is always a battle. Nothing new there. Margate Engineer Walberg says the city will need to go through a typical permitting process with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The ACOE funded the controversial sand dunes & beach sewer pipes last summer.
The Margate Boardwalk war of words has begun. Some of it seen as propaganda peddled by journalists looking to gain favor with local politicians.
Ex: Some interpret Coastal Zone Management rules as being against a boardwalk because it could interfere with the dune and beach sewer pipe system. Klotz said the city received a SOP ‘standard operating procedure’ document. Nothing more.
Opponents of re-building the Margate Boardwalk believe this SOP form is the final word. ‘Not true’ says Klotz. ‘It’s just the beginning of the process.’