EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Planning Board will hear more from Seaview Harbor on April 21 when it resumes its hearing on the neighborhood’s attempt to join Longport.
Seaview Harbor residents are expected to stress a lack of services that comes from being a relatively far-flung community, as well as the closeness of ties to Longport. Taxes are another issue that is driving the discussion. Individual residents paid an average of more than $24,000 in property taxes in 2013, following a 2012 reassessment. Had they been taxed at Longport rates, they would have paid less than $7,700.
Monday’s hearing ended with testimony from two part-time residents who stressed the community is paying for services they either do not receive or do not use.
Kevin P. Kohler, of Maple Glen, Pa., and Sunset Boulevard, recalled his parents moving to the community in the early 1960s when he was a 10-year-old. When the mail came in to the Longport post office, he was frequently called on to deliver it.
He also discussed how the original plans for the community were significantly bigger, but a lack of dredging attention from the township after the death of the builder resulted in parts of the community washing away. Trash was not collected and police coverage was spotty in those years, Kohler said.
The next speaker was John Dabek, of Sewell, Gloucester County, and Sunset Boulevard, who discussed a survey that had been distributed in the community. Out of 32 full-time residents, five households had school children, totaling nine children.
He said the survey shows four of the children go to private schools, while the balance go to schools in Margate, Ocean City and elsewhere with their parents paying tuition. Dabek said they paid tuition because he was told elementary school students would face nearly two-hour bus rides within the township.
He also pointed to other questions about medical facilities, recreation, libraries, restaurants and churches.
Dean Marcolongo, special counsel hired by the Planning Board on this matter, questioned whether or not these answers were hearsay.
“There is very little social interaction with residents in the community and Egg Harbor Township,” Dabek said, adding later, “We are so disconnected from the rest of the township.”
Earlier in the meeting, board members reacted angrily when Seaview’s attorney John Paul Doyle started the hearing by questioning the board’s independence. Mayor James “Sonny” McCullough, a Seaview resident, would have to either move or resign if the section moved to Longport. As mayor of Egg Harbor Township, he had a role appointing every Planning Board member, and Doyle suggested they may have a conflict.
McCullough, who did not attend, said Tuesday he has recused himself from the discussion. He also announced plans to move elsewhere in the township because he is unable to afford the new, higher taxes.
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