One-Sided Debate

Colin Bell, the candidate for the Second Legislative District in the New Jersey State Senate, stood by himself on the stage last night at what was supposed to be a debate at Dante Hall in Atlantic City, after his opponent, Chris Brown, cancelled yesterday morning.

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CRDA To Auction $15 Million Of Banked Atlantic City Real Estate

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is preparing to sell off some of its Atlantic City real estate holdings, according to documents filed on its website.

“The CRDA seeks an experienced professional firm to market and auction surplus real property owned by the Authority and no longer necessary for its operations,” says the request for proposal. The real estate to be auctioned off ranges from a half-block package in the Inlet with a valuation of $6 million, to a $300 non-buildable alley on North Massachusetts Ave.

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Atlantic County School Enrollment Still Falling

School enrollment across New Jersey has recovered from lows reached after the recession, but in parts of South Jersey including Atlantic County, enrollment is still falling. Enrollment in Atlantic County dipped to a new low of 43,515 in the last school year, with small districts such as Margate and Ventnor as well as larger districts including Buena Regional leading the declines. The area more broadly has been experiencing a population decline – but the school enrollment numbers show that it is not just older people and childless millennials who are moving away. Families are moving too. In districts such as Margate and Ventnor the decline in school enrollment has been compounded as the communities become dominated by second-home owners.

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Mapping New Jersey’s Shrinking School Districts

More than half of New Jersey’s school districts have shrunk in the last six years, reflecting wider population moves toward urban areas as well as net migration from the state. School districts are shrinking at a rapid rate in the Northwest of the state, as well as in Southern shore communities such as Avalon, Margate and Ventnor.

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Mazzeo Calls for Talks on Combining Atlantic County Utilities Authority With AC’s Water Authority

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo hopes there will be new discussion about combining Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) with the Atlantic City water authority, according to a letter he sent on Wednesday. “The time is now to ensure that Atlantic City’s prestigious water company stays in public hands,” wrote Mazzeo in the letter addressed to the two top executives at the authorities and lawyer Jeff Chiesa, who is charged with overseeing the state takeover of Atlantic City. The ACUA and the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority (ACMUA) last year held talks about working together to help the city water authority generate more income, which would help bolster the city’s own financial position. “I’m writing today in the hopes that this letter will help renew the conversation in an effort to bring together two well-run utilities authorities for the sake of the public good,” Mazzeo wrote. The fate of Atlantic City’s water authority has been uncertain since the precarious position of the city’s finances put pressure on officials to sell or lease it.

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Atlantic City Mayor Expects To Increase Promised Property Tax Cut

Atlantic City property owners could see a tax cut of more than 5 percent this year after the state budget released some funds to the city and county, Mayor Don Guardian told WIBG 1020 in an interview on Monday. City residents will be”very surprised at the considerable decrease, way beyond just the 5 percent that we had promised them,” Guardian said. The state last week passed its budget after a three-day partial shutdown caused by a political standoff over school funding and legislation related to the state’s largest health insurer. The state’s new school funding package will help ease the tax burden for residents in Atlantic City and Atlantic County, Guardian explained. At the same time, the state has promised Atlantic City $13 million to fund tax appeals, which means the city will not have to issue new debt, he said.

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