New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, charged with the upkeep of some of Atlantic City’s most important public buildings and spaces, yesterday approved spending up to $2 million on two sets of bathrooms in Boardwalk Hall. That might sound like a lot, but – the Authority was told – the bathrooms have been out of order for decades and major plumbing work is needed. Plus, SOSH Architects did a 500-page report with details of all the beautiful fittings, so at least some of the high costs are transparent. But there’s another reason why it costs multiple police-and-fire-salaries to refit a bathroom in a city that is struggling to meet its debt payments and where the same state that approves of $2 million bathroom upgrades is trying to cut public safety jobs. Because Boardwalk Hall is run by the state, it has to pay prevailing wages to trades for any work done, which increases the cost.
What’s more worrying for the city at large – and casts a different light on CRDA’s commitment to maintaining the city’s public places – is that at the same meeting, a group of CRDA maintenance workers stood up to say that they are worried about their jobs, given cuts coming to CRDA’s budget (since some casino tax money has been diverted from CRDA to the city). They earn $11 an hour and are only employed 9 months of the year, which seriously limits their benefit entitlements. The board’s response was that they have funds (from luxury tax bonds) that are available for improvement work but not for wages. Still, there are many possible improvement projects in Atlantic City. Why spend so much now on some bathrooms that no one has used in decades? Philly.com has more details.
Buena Teacher Arrested
A Folsom man who was a teacher at Buena Regional High has been arrested (in Florida) for allegedly having a relationship with a 17-year-old girl student at the school. The man also allegedly tried to persuade the girl not to cooperate with police. Lynda Cohen at BreakingAC.Com has the details.
A group of seventh-graders at a Glassboro school came up with their own plans for expanding Rowan University’s new Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park – and they got to present them to the associate director of the park. The ideas – which included details such as a hands-on exhibit for a visitors’ center and a “build-your-own-dinosaur” activity – would create somewhere that would be a pretty cool family destination for South Jersey. It will be interesting to see how the project progresses and how the students’ ideas might be incorporated. NJ.com has the details.
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The rest of today’s headlines include rumors swirling around the Route 40/Gravelly Run shopping center, a look at how the Federal immigration order could change enforcement – or not – at the shore, and news on how it could get a little easier to remember to appeal your property tax assessment (from next year). All that and more below:
Atlantic County Bar Association Accepting Scholarship Applications–The Atlantic County Bar Association is accepting applications for itsr annual scholarships, which will be awarded in August. The scholarships are awarded annually to Atlantic County law students who are admitted to an American Bar Association-accredited law school. Shore News Today
Munoz Announces Run for Atlantic County Sheriff–Former Egg Harbor City Councilman Dennis Munoz has announced his candidacy for Atlantic County sheriff. Munoz, a Democrat, is a retired Atlantic City police officer and an Army veteran who served with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 11th Special Forces Group. Shore News Today
Local, County NJ Governments Vetting Who Can/Can’t Post on Social Media–New Jersey has been no stranger to individual public officials causing an uproar through their personal social media pages. But when the page or handle speaks on behalf of the entire town or a whole department, more scrutiny is involved. New Jersey 101.5 – Proud to be New Jersey – New Jersey News Radio
Suit accusing chief of harassment, wrongful firing can continue, judge says–Officer Jason DeMent claims he was not allowed accommodations for a rare disease affecting his vision. NJ.com
Eight South Jersey artists to start following on Instagram–Art can be found anywhere in South Jersey - from the tip of the cape to off-shore and up the coast. Press of Atlantic City
CRDA spends $2 million to renovate Boardwalk Hall bathrooms–ATLANTIC CITY — The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has approved spending $2 million to upgrade four sets of out-of-service bathrooms at Boardwalk Hall. Press of Atlantic City
Big, Bold Reminder to Appeal Your Property Assessment by April 1–Many homeowners in New Jersey don’t know they have a right to challenge their assessment if they think it’s too high, and that there’s a deadline for filing an appeal, which is generally April 1. From next year, new legislation will require the official property assessment notice — that by law must be mailed to homeowners every January — to include in bolded letters a reminder about the April 1 deadline for filing an appeal. www.njspotlight.com
Buena Regional Teacher Charged in Sexual Relationship with Teen Student–A Buena Regional High School teacher has been arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a teenage student. BreakingAC
Glassboro Students Present Plans for Fossil Park–Six Glassboro Intermediate School seventh-graders devised and presented a plan to expand Rowan University's Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park. The students shared their proposal directly with Heather Simmons, the park's associate director for external affairs, when she visited GIS in February. NJ.com
Federal immigration order unlikely to change enforcement at the Shore–Local officials predicted little change by Shore-area police departments after the Trump administration Tuesday issued tough new guidelines on immigration enforcement, bolstered by the hiring of 10,000 new Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Asbury Park Press
Rumors Swirl About What Could Be Coming to the Gravelly Run Square Shopping Center–It seems like there's no shortage of rumors and guesses as to what businesses or stores could be apart of the not-even-built-yet Gravelly Run Square shopping plaza on the Black Horse Pike in Mays Landing. Cat Country 107.3