There are more than 4,600 abandoned homes spread across Atlantic County, with the bulk in Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Township and Atlantic City. Municipalities in the county have been collecting data on empty and foreclosed homes to try and force those responsible for the properties – the banks, or mortgagees – to take responsibility for their upkeep, in an effort to prevent neighborhood blight. We compiled an interactive map of the properties, using data obtained via an open records request from the Atlantic County Improvement Authority (ACIA). The data, obtained earlier this month, is not perfect. Some street addresses listed in the database could not be identified. And some of these properties may have already been sold.
The Casino Association of New Jersey last year hired Philip Norcross, brother of Democrat power-broker George, to lobby the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) on the topic of “economic development,” according to lobbying records. In recent years, Atlantic City casinos have received millions of dollars from CRDA for investments in their own properties, but last year, as part of the city takeover legislation, CRDA saw that chunk of its budget diverted to pay off city debt. A spokeswoman for The Casino Association of New Jersey, which includes all seven of Atlantic City’s remaining gaming properties, declined to give any details on its lobbying activity. A spokeswoman for CRDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Norcross did not return messages left on Friday. The lobbying records show that Norcross’ Optimus Partners also lobbied the legislature on behalf of the Casino Association on the topic of the takeover legislation.
In May last year Atlantic City’s water authority hired advisory firm Acacia Financial Group to craft a concession agreement that would help the authority both retain its independence and stave off a state takeover of the city. Acacia Financial helped draft two 100-page-plus documents chock-full of inside information and financial details but just a few months later it abruptly ended its $20,000 contract with the water authority because it had accepted another contract – with the New Jersey department that held state-takeover powers. New Jersey, now tasked with plucking Atlantic City from its financial death spiral, is sitting on a detailed plan that would help potential buyers put a price on one of the casino resort’s few remaining assets: its water authority. What’s more, the plan calculates the future water-rate rises that might be possible for the authority. “Their analysis sets forth what a combined rate structure could be, given a concession model,” said Bruce Ward, executive director of the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority said in an interview last month.
Atlantic County Improvement Authority is seeking sealed bids for demolition of two Atlantic City houses. One of the three-story homes is 2415 Arctic Ave between N. Georgia and N. Florida Aves. The other is 104 South Albion Place, just up the road from Chef Vola’s between Pacific Avenue and the Boardwalk. Bids will be opened at 2.30 pm on Tuesday Dec. 6.
Northfield has bids open for professional services and, separately, for a fire hose and equipment. The town is seeking professionals to provide services including bond counsel, municipal solicitor, labor relations attorney and land surveyor for next year. More details on the sought-for services are here. Proposals must be submitted by 4 pm Dec. 6.
Egg Harbor City is seeking help with legal, planning and engineering services next year, according to a request for proposals on the city’s website. Among other jobs, the city is looking for an attorney, bond counsel, an auditor and a municipal prosecutor and municipal land use planner. Proposals must be submitted by 3 pm on Dec. 1. Details are available here.
Atlantic City is seeking bids for the second phase of a project to prevent storm-water-related flooding. The work is part of a multi-million-dollar infrastructure project to reduce flooding in the city. The project, which began last year, is mostly being funded by federal grant money. The current project will install pumps at the Atlantis Ave end of the Baltic Avenue canal – which tends to flood when high tide coincides with heavy rainfall. According to the request for proposals, sealed bids will be received on Tuesday Jan. 10 at 11 am.
The west side of Lake Lenape Park in the Pinelands of Atlantic County is about to get a major refit, with Atlantic County and the Atlantic County Improvement Authority coming together to build a bathhouse and extend the number of camping sites along the water’s edge. The nearly 2,000 acre park is in the pinelands, which means there are additional hurdles to build or develop the area. The only bathroom at the site is at the boathouse at the southern end to the park and visitors to the 18-site campground in the northern section of the park rely on port-a-potties. Still, the $17-a-night sites are in demand throughout the April-November season, and the county’s parks department has been looking to extend camping options for some time. In fact, a plan to extend sewer, water and electricity lines out to the campsite area in the north of the park was part of plans formed two decades ago, said Glen Mawby, director of facilities management for the county.
Atlantic City, seeking to reduce costs by contracting out some of its waste removal among other municipal services, has a new proposal out that includes changes that came up in a pre-bid meeting with potential contractors. The fact that there was a pre-bid meeting and there were interested parties with questions is probably a good thing for the city (given how well the closed auction for Bader Field went). The changes are incorporated in this document here and mostly focus on requiring the contractor to provide waste containers to apartments and condominiums and defining “bulk waste” in some detail. Bids must be submitted by 11am on Tuesday Oct. 18.
Egg Harbor Township is looking to fill two positions, according to its website. The township is seeking a “deputy administrator” who needs to be an experienced leader with a masters in public administration or some related field. But if you don’t have that qualification or experience, never mind – maybe you are a yoga instructor? Because EHT is looking for one of those too. The township’s parks and rec department is looking to hire an “advanced” yoga teacher part time.