A weekly update of stories previously reported
One Year Ago: Boys and Girls Club closes due to Hurricane Sandy
Among Hurricane Sandy’s casualties were the two buildings operated by the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City — on Pennsylvania Avenue and on Sovereign Avenue.
The damage to the buildings caused them both to be closed for a few months while organizers raised money from the community to reopen. And the centers are growing in popularity.
Executive Director Mekos Denson said the Pennsylvania Avenue site reopened Jan. 3, and the Sovereign Avenue site opened March 4. The organization is averaging more than 350 kids a week, which is about a 28 percent increase since before the storm, he said.
The club has seen a drop in available grants due to money spent on Sandy relief efforts, but Denson said they have been able to increase their offerings through donations and new partnerships with people, businesses and public agencies. The Atlantic City School District has been able to provide transportation for many of the participants.
“I believe we took a very calculated approach to target the ones that needed (the club) the most,” he said.
Fourteen Months Ago: State approves LED billboard in Egg Harbor Township
A controversial 60-foot LED billboard on the Margate Causeway in Egg Harbor Township was ordered to be demolished by a Superior Court judge on Aug. 23, but a related legal battle continues.
In August 2012, the state Department of Environmental Protection issued a Coastal Area Facilities Review Act permit that allowed the billboard to be built at the site. Northfield resident Richard Levitt, the chairman of the Northfield Planning Board, who filed a lawsuit in April 2012 to remove the billboard, said the permit and revised plans did not follow the spirit or the letter of the law. He and his attorney Steve Hankin said the billboard is not compatible with the law.
At the Sept. 19 meeting of the Margate City Commission, the body unanimously agreed to support the appeal of the DEP’s decision, Margate Solicitor John Scott Abbott said.
The appeal is in the Appellate Division of state Superior Court.
Abbott plans to file an amicus curiae brief to the appeal in support of Levitt and Hankin’s position. Abbott said the city is trying to get other towns to also support their cause.
“If the state will interpret the law this way, then this is a problem,” he said. “If they can do it here, where else can they do it?”
Abbott said a decision on the appeal is not expected for at least a few months.
Twenty Eight Months Ago: Port Republic City Hall torn down
In June 2011 Port Republic tore down its City Hall building on Main Street because of an oil spill that occurred earlier in the year.
The township has been working for the past two years on the plans for a new building, but Port Republic officials are making sure their plans are in place before moving forward with construction.
Mayor Gary Giberson said they have spent the past year working with the architect to scale the project down in order to save as much money as possible. The bids are expected to come in soon. Giberson said they hope to select a contractor and begin construction before the end of the year.
“It’s only a 3,700-square-foot building, it won’t take long,” he said.
Contact Joel Landau:
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