Bike Absecon, Recount, Buzby’s – Monday’s Roundup

Bike Absecon
Cycling to and from Margate and Atlantic City could get easier in the near future, after several different grants were made to bike-related projects on the island. Ventnor and Margate have been awarded $275,000 from the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization to install 50 bike racks across the two towns. Atlantic County has issued a request for proposals for professional services related to the project on Friday and the document contemplates installing racks on public property. Under the current proposal, that would add racks to all beach blocks in Margate as well as sporadic locations throughout the city, and racks in Ventnor would be clustered around City Hall, the recreational fields and three different business districts. The racks could be installed within four to six months.

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Atlantic City Women, Underground Railroad – Friday’s Roundup

Read this great piece by the Inquirer’s Amy Rosenberg on the women-led effort to force a referendum if the state tries to sell or lease Atlantic City’s water authority. We’ve written about this before and it might seem like just an Atlantic City issue, but as more municipalities in South Jersey (remember Buena?) struggle to pay their bills, more public assets are going to be put up for sale and more public services will be cut. And taxpayers should be able to have a say in that process.

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Looking At The Casinos, Stockton – Thursday’s Roundup

One casino-industry figure that is not immediately obvious in all the press releases, but which surfaced in the city’s debt issuance last month, is casino employment. Employment across all the casinos fell 7 percent last year to 22,000 people (10 years ago, the casinos employed just over 40,000). Last year, the Taj Mahal’s closure contributed to job losses. But even in May this year (admittedly still the ‘off’ season), there were 61 fewer casino jobs in Atlantic City than there were in December. So that rising gaming revenue does not yet seem to be translating into jobs.

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Schools, Straub – Wednesday’s Roundup

The Asbury Park Press takes a look at what percentage of your property tax bill goes to schools. In Atlantic County, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that school-less (and close to child-less) Longport has the lowest percent of its property tax bill going to schools. Atlantic County in general is not as bad as you might think. You might be more surprised by Cape May County districts though. Upper Township schools eat up about 75 percent of the municipality’s property tax bill.

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Pinelands Pipes II, Small Recount – Tuesday’s Roundup

Just in case you were thinking that all the furore around the Pinelands pipeline proposed by South Jersey Gas (and others), would put anyone else off of proposing a large pipeline through the Pinelands, think again. The Pinelands Commission could vote this summer on a new proposal by New Jersey Natural Gas dubbed the “Southern Reliability Link”. The Asbury Park Press has the details.

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Blatstein’s PierAC, Norcross & CRDA, Opioid Antidote – Monday’s Roundup

In another revealing look at how the state uses casino taxes (and debt financing backed by those taxes), Amy Rosenberg reports for The Philadelphia Inquirer on an insurance contract that the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority awarded to George Norcross’ Conner Strong & Buckelew, in spite of paperwork irregularities. CRDA, which has seen a chunk of its funding diverted to shore up Atlantic City’s budget, supported its selection of the Norcross firm. For more, read our reporting on CRDA’s decision to award thousands in back pay to board members, the Authority’s pay raises to a third of its staff after it cut more than a dozen jobs, and the impending state audit that has taken longer-than-expected.

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Rebel Rebel, AC Guide – Friday’s Roundup

Rebel Rebel
I know the Revel is now Ten, but I still come over all Bowie when I start writing about it. Anyway, in no big news to anyone, Glen Straub won’t be opening the former casino anytime soon, The Press of Atlantic City reports. Other investors are still interested in buying the property, the article says. Read Route 40’s Bill Sprouse on the last time Revel wasn’t opening in June (2016). AC Guide
Looking for the definitive non-casino guide to Atlantic City?

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Tidal Flooding, Prescription Drug Monitoring – Thursday’s Roundup

Tidal flooding in the South Jersey area is set to be slightly worse than usual this year, due to rising sea levels and a potential El Nino pattern, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, citing a new federal report. Areas further inland and Philadelphia are also seeing more flood days each year, the report shows. Models show that an El Nino effect is expected to develop this year, between now and April 2018, and that would compound tidal flooding in coastal areas.

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Local Campaign Finance, Beach-Tag Vending Machines – Wednesday’s Roundup

Local Campaign Finance
The Atlantic City fight for mail-in ballots turned out to be the make-or-break in yesterday’s mayoral primary. Council President Marty Small won at the polls, but lost to Frank Gilliam when the mail-in ballots were counted, the Press of Atlantic City’s John DeRosier reported. That difference comes down to money and out-of-town contacts. Gilliam had raised a whopping $87,105 ahead of the election, according to his most recent campaign finance filing. More than double the $36,673 Small raised over the same period.

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Elections, Atlantic Coast Drilling, Club Wa – Tuesday’s Roundup

Elections
Atlantic County has some interesting primary elections today and The Press of Atlantic City’s John DeRosier has the rundown on the last few weeks of campaigning in the Democratic primary for mayor of Atlantic City, and the Democratic primary for a spot on the party ticket for New Jersey Assembly (District 2). Then, of course, there’s the race for governor (NJSpotlight has all the details on that race you ever needed to know). We’ll be covering the results as they come in on our homepage and Twitter. Atlantic Coast Drilling
President Trump yesterday opened the door to possible drilling off the Atlantic Coast, by five permits to allow companies to conduct seismic surveys with air guns, a technology used to explore for oil and gas, NJSpotlight reports. Conservationists have long fought drilling off the Atlantic Coast, which they say would harm marine wildlife.

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