EGG HARBOR CITY — Despite concerns over Covid-19, Egg Harbor City officials have decided to open Egg Harbor City lake for residents at its meeting on Thursday, May 14. However, some limits will be in effect.
“There will need to be limitations on beachgoers due to the lack of lifeguards,” Councilwoman Donna Heist said. “And for now, the hours the lake will be opened will be limited to 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We have advertised for lifeguards and if we hire more the hours can be expanded.”
Council also agreed to extend the deadline to apply for seasonal badges at a cost of $7 from May 31 to June 15.
In addressing concerns about opening the lake, Mayor Lisa Jiampetti said, “Our residents deserve to be able to use the lake.”
The lake is scheduled to open on Memorial Day weekend.
The council also introduced an ordinance to ban short-term rentals of under 30 days in the city. According to city attorney Angela Maione Costigan, the ordinance is designed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as issues such as noise, debris and poor maintenance of property by those renting for a short-term.
Proposed penalties are $750 for a first-time violation, $1,200 for a second and $2,500 for a third infraction. “We want people to take this seriously,” Costigan said.
“People are coming to our area to get away from epidemic areas,” Mayor Jiampetti said. “It’s a health issue.”
Council President Angelo Lello said he prefers to see restrictions on the rentals rather than a ban. A public hearing on the ordinance will take place at the May 28 meeting.
The council also introduced its 2020 municipal budget with a two-and-a-half cent increase on the tax rate, but also plans to discuss it further at its Thursday, May 28 meeting which will start at 6pm.
If the two-and-a-half cent increase remains in place, a property owner with an assessment of the city’s median value of $120,580 could expect an increase of $30.15.
A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for the June 11 meeting.