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Thursday, June 20, 2024

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Middle’s Deputy Mayor Seeks Scotch Bonnet Pier Restoration Plans

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By Press Release

COURT HOUSE – Middle Township Deputy Mayor Ike Gandy called for the creation of a working group between the township and the Cape May County to develop a timely and achievable reopening plan for the family-friendly crabbing pier at Scotch Bonnet, on Stone Harbor Boulevard.  

According to a Middle Township release, the crabbing pier was “closed for repairs” nearly three years ago. No steps have been taken since then to address the safety concerns that forced the pier’s shutdown, in late July 2018.  

“For generations of Middle Township families, the Scotch Bonnet Pier was a summer tradition,” Gandy stated. “My grandfather took my dad crabbing there and my dad took me. We hate to see that special experience for families come to an end.”  

Gandy pointed out that many hard-working families can’t afford a boat or a fishing charter. 

“Regular folks should not be robbed of access to our waterways and affordable opportunities to fish, crab and enjoy the unique natural beauty of Middle Township,” Gandy stated.  

Middle Township has reached out to County Engineer Robert Church and Commissioner Will Morey to request a meeting with Township Administration and Municipal Engineer Vince Orlando. The township aims to discuss the challenges in repairing the pier and develop strategies for how to approach them. 

“We know there are structural issues, safety concerns, and parking problems to be addressed. This is not an easy fix,” Gandy stated, “but if we only did what was easy, we wouldn’t get much work done.”  

Gandy believes the time to act is now, as the county prepares for the paving and improvement of Stone Harbor Boulevard this fall. The pier is on the north side of the Scotch Bonnet Bridge, along Stone Harbor Boulevard.  

“The county should incorporate plans for a parking area and traffic-calming measures at Scotch Bonnet into their pending paving project on the Boulevard,” Gandy stated. “This would be a great first step to addressing the needed upgrades and ensure that we build real momentum to reopen the pier for our families.”  

Gandy lauded residents’ efforts to draw elected officials’ attention through a grassroots petition drive to reopen the pier. All three members of the township committee have signed the petition. 

“Nearly 1,300 residents and visitors who love the pier and cherish their memories crabbing with friends and family have signed the petition,” Gandy stated. “I would be honored to present that petition to the Board of Commissioners on behalf of the people of Middle Township.” 

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