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Sunday, May 19, 2024

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No Marijuana Smoking on County Grounds; Toucan Exhibit Planned at Zoo

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By Al Campbell

CREST HAVEN – On county property, marijuana smoking is forbidden. That prohibition, by resolution of county commissioners, took place May 25.
Although voters Nov. 3, 2020, approved a statewide question to permit legalization of marijuana possession for adults 21 years and older, and the governor signed an act into law Feb. 22, its use won’t be allowed in places such as the county parks. 
Questioned by Commissioner Will Morey about the intent of the resolution, County Counsel Jeffrey Lindsay said the prohibition was similar to the prohibition of alcohol consumption on county property.
The resolution noted the act states nothing “shall permit a person to smoke, vape or aerosolize any cannabis item in a public place.”
Toucans Await Exhibit
Neil Byrne, president of the Cape May County Zoological Society, did something few have ever done at a meeting of county commissioners. He sought permission to build a toucan exhibit at the County Park and Zoo, fully paid for by the society. The only thing he asked of the county board was the passage of a memorandum of agreement to proceed with theproject. 
Byrne said a pair of breeding toucans await their new residence.
The birds have long bills, which can be orange, yellow, or other variations. They came to fame when a cereal company used “Toucan Sam” in its advertising.
Byrne also said the society was in the midst of a $200,000 fundraising campaign to build an exhibit for kangaroos and emus.
“Neil, you’re one of very few people that ever come in here and say you’re going to pay for it and you’re going to manage it,” said Commissioner Director Gerald Thornton. “We’ve got a lot of other projects that you can look at if you’d like,” he joked.
“I can’t remember the last time anybody came in here with a project and didn’t ask us for money. Well done,” added Thornton.
New Airport Terminal
An agreement approved by county commissioners, between the county and Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA), was a step toward building a new General Aviation Terminal and multi-purpose facility, at the Cape May County Airport. The DRBA operates the airport for the county.
To acquire ground for the terminal, the DRBA and Michael Peteani negotiated an agreement to buy the hangars and terminate his ground lease at the end of Hornet Road, for $460,000.
The county agreed to contribute $250,000 towards the terminal’s development and construction, according to the resolution. 
Also at the Airport
The county’s vision of a Tech Village at the airport took another step forward, with the passage of a resolution by the board. It permits the Atlantic County Improvement Authority (ACIA), which leased property from the county, to sublet units to technology-related firms.
The ACIA was approved to sublet Building 1, Suite 4 of Tech Village to AediCell at the county airport.
Other Actions
In other business, the board:
Approveda grant application for $761,274 from the state Department of Health for public health emergency preparedness, from July 1 to June 30, 2022.
The money, if awarded, would be used by the county Department of Health to upgrade, integrate and evaluate public health preparedness for and response to terrorism, pandemic influenza, Covid, and other public health emergencies.
Gave consent to a $100,000 commercial fishing revolving loan to Ludlam Bay Oyster Co LLC, on 46th Street, in Sea Isle City.  
The money will be used for business expansion.
Its terms are seven years, at 2% interest.
Establisheda countywide “no passing zone” determination at various intersections on county roads. The action took place to conform to the 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
Approveda $179,178 contract per year for three years with Microsoft for the license and maintenance of computers in various departments. There was a state contract in place, which removed the requirement for the county to seek bids for the contract.

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