The new owners of the Steel Pier and the bridge over the Boardwalk from Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort to the pier have major plans that will make the property a recreational facility that will enhance Atlantic City's Boardwalk.
They will bring back the excitement of the original Steel Pier. Without a doubt, it will be the envy of any Boardwalk in the United States.
The Catanoso family and partner Paul Steelman, a renowned entertainment facility architect, are in the midst of developing the design. It is anticipated that it will take about three years for its full development.
This summer, visitors can expect to enjoy seven or eight new attractions. There will be one that will surprise everyone. The others will provide exciting rides and activities for all ages.
Over the next three years, development will begin of what eventually will evolve into a magnificent new edifice. There could be anything from a ballroom for dancing and events and the possible return of one of the former Steel Pier's most exciting acts.
It is expected that the bridge will be turned into a restaurant and entertainment center. It will have a great view looking out over the Boardwalk in each direction. It would be the only facility of this type in Atlantic City.
When completed, the new Steel Pier would have 80 percent of it activities indoors and would be open year-round. This would help fill the void for children and adult activities on the Boardwalk in the fall and winter seasons. I have had the privilege of seeing the architect's rendering. It is an amazing project, and one that will help restore Atlantic City as a year-round resort.
Class II police officers
Atlantic City has put out notice that it will hire 25 Special Law Enforcement Officers. The applicants will be subjected to background investigations and pre-employment physicals. The job is open to Atlantic City and Atlantic County residents.
It is anticipated the new officers will be working 40 hours per week at an hourly wage of $15, which is subject to change. Once selected, the 25 will attend the Cape May County Police Academy from April to June. At the conclusion of training, they will be assigned to Atlantic City's Tourism District.
Class II police officers carry a gun and can make arrests. They will have cell phones enabling them to report illicit activities and ask for assistance from regular police officers when needed. They will be assigned to patrol on the Boardwalk and Pacific and Atlantic avenues.
Last week, this column informed you that the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority's Special Improvement Division will hire 47 new ambassadors who will aid in providing safety for the Tourism District. They will begin their service Presidents Day weekend in February. In the spring, summer and fall seasons, there will be an ambassador on every block and a half on the Boardwalk, Atlantic and Pacific avenues. They will wear white uniforms similar to a police officer. They cannot make arrests but will have cell phones so they can report any criminal activities or violations of any city code.
One of the biggest complaints from residents and visitors is that they rarely see police officers walking on the Boardwalk or on the avenues. This will now be resolved by the hiring of the Class II officers and the ambassadors. Between the 25 Class II officers and 47 ambassadors, there will be 72 new hires to aid in maintaining the safety of the residents and visitors of Atlantic City.
This also will mean that more officers will be able to be assigned to the business and residential portions of the city. As has been noted previously, there are State Police troopers working within the city as well as other law-enforcement agencies. This is a big step toward making Atlantic City safe.
Atlantic City bicycle and pedestrian plan
The state Department of Transportation has assigned a team to provide a local technical assistance program for bicyclists and pedestrians. The first meeting of the steering committee to achieve this plan was held last week to discuss the benefits of biking and walking.
A group of local citizens spent two hours working with a trio of DOT employees to establish a vision statement.
This was an interesting experience as all involved felt there was a dire need to establish a plan that will permit pedestrians to safely walk through the city with hopes to develop a path for bicyclists.
A lot of questions were asked, including "Is Atlantic City a walkable and bike-able community?"
Most of those involved said it has much to be desired. Hopefully this group will come up with some answers that will make Atlantic City more accessible for walking and bike riding.
One other question that was asked was, "What changes would you like to see Atlantic City make to accommodate walking and bicycling?"
I would appreciate you sending me your thoughts so that I can bring them to the attention of the DOT representatives. By the way, nothing will finally be decided without public meetings to present your ideas of how the city can better accommodate walking and biking.
Please be aware that the obvious ideas such as permitting bike riding all day on the Boardwalk were discussed. It was pointed out why it couldn't be done. There may be other ways to do this, and that's why I'm asking you to send me your thoughts.
Latest demolition list
The following is the full list of demolition projects in Atlantic City I said I would present:
518 Atlantic Ave.; 120 N. Congress Ave.; 140 S. New Hampshire Avenue; 214 Seaside Ave.; 240 S. Vermont Ave.; 109 S. Lincoln Place; 111 S. Lincoln Place; 1200 Absecon Blvd.; 614 N. New Jersey Ave.; 507 Barrett St.; 663 N. Elberon Ave.; 5 Oceanic Terrace; 119 S. California Ave.; 425 N. Maryland Ave. (city owned old motor vehicle inspection station).
These were all approved by Atlantic City Council at its Oct. 19 meeting. Work should be under way on several of these cited properties. There are more to come. When they are approved, they will be listed here.
Pinky's Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky's Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, "WMGM Presents Pinky," airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. Email Pinky at: firstname.lastname@example.org.