SEA ISLE CITY - A federal spending bill includes an earmark of $250,000 to help put a wind turbine on a former landfill in the city's remote northern end.
The Fifth Avenue landfill, which has been closed for about 30 years, stretches along the ocean and bay in a uniquely rural part of the barrier island. Landis Avenue is the only road that runs past it.
"I think it would really be something special for Sea Isle if we're able to get the windmill," Mayor Leonard Desiderio said Friday evening. "I think it's a long process, but this is a major first step."
The U.S. House of Representatives-approved Energy-Water Appropriations bill also would fund $250,000 for a turbine on a waste site in Penns Grove, Salem County.
The turbine funding came at the request of the South Jersey Economic Development Authority, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd. The spending plan still needs approval by the Senate and the signature of President Barack Obama.
Desiderio said early plans envision a 150-killowatt windmill that could shave $125,000 off the city's annual electric bill. The city hopes to find other state and federal funding for the proposed project, he added. He said the proposed windmill site is ideal because of its openness to wind coming off the ocean and bay.
Because the site was a landfill, it is one of the few areas in the city without homes or buildings nearby.
Sea Isle City has been considering capping the old landfill, which raised environmental concerns when erosion began exposing old trash to the waters of Ludlam Bay.
The House bill approved this week also includes $6.5 million for beach replenishment in Ocean City's northern end; $500,000 for beach replenishment in Sea Isle City and Strathmere, Upper Township; $400,000 for environmental restoration at the Lower Cape May Meadows; and $300,000 for beach replenishment in Stone Harbor and Avalon, according to LoBiondo's office.
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