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Monday, May 20, 2024

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Generators Would Allow Crest Pier to Become Cooling Center

Generators Would Allow Crest Pier to Become Cooling Center

By Christopher South

Wildwood Crest Logo - Use This One

WILDWOOD CREST – After the recent blackout that hit the Wildwoods, Wildwood Crest Mayor Don Cabrera asked the Board of Commissioners if they should get an estimate for emergency generators at the Crest Pier.

Cabrera said both Wildwood and North Wildwood use their recreation centers as cooling or warming centers and the Crest Pier is the largest building in the municipality. He said if there is another large-scale blackout, the borough might need a larger place for people to go.

Cabrera said there are emergency generators at the police side of Borough Hall, but only a small area that could be used by the public in an emergency. There are also generators at the Wildwood Crest Volunteer Fire Company, which run off natural gas.

Public Works Superintendent Joseph Bond, who attended the July 19 meeting, pointed out that a natural gas supply could be cut off, as it was in some more northern communities after Hurricane Sandy. 

Cabrera said some years ago, the borough talked about partnering with the Crest Memorial School to use the school as a cooling or warming center but said the idea “fell through the cracks.”

Commissioner Joseph Schiff, who oversees public safety, said there were potential problems with using the school as a shelter.

“One was that the generator was awfully big and awfully loud for the area,” he said.

Another problem was that moving people into the school building could become a problem when it was time for them to move out. Both problems, it seems, would be more significant if the school was conducting classes.

Cabrera said he didn’t think there was anything wrong with getting a cost estimate for installing generators at the Crest Pier.

“If we move forward, we have to do it in a time frame when it could be included in the capital budget for 2024,” Cabrera said.

Both Schiff and Deputy Mayor Joseph Franco agreed that an estimate would be in order, and Cabrera asked municipal engineer Mark DeBlasio to coordinate with Bond on what would be needed. Bond said he favored diesel-fueled generators because diesel is a more reliable fuel, as it can be more easily delivered in an emergency situation.

Contact the author, Christopher South, at csouth@cmcherald.com or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.

Reporter

Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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