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Friday, April 12, 2024

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North Wildwood Reorganizes; Zampirri Remains President

North Wildwood Council members Salvatore Zampirri

By Rachel Rogish

NORTH WILDWOOD ─ Councilwoman Margaret “Peggy” Bishop and Councilman-at-large Salvatore Zampirri took the oath office Jan. 7.
Administered by Municipal Judge Louis Belasco, the oaths reaffirmed Bishop and Zampirri’s commitment to serving North Wildwood.
“I’m honored to serve as council for the first ward,” Bishop said, thanking residents for their votes in the 2019 election.
Zampirri, who will, again, serve as council president, has held office for 10 years.
Councilman Edwin Koehler also won re-election in 2019, but could not attend the reorganization due to illness.
More long-term civil servants include City Solicitor William Kaufmann and City Engineer Ralph Petrella. According to City Clerk Scott Jett, Petrella’s service stretches back to 1985, and possibly beyond. Kaufmann said he has been the solicitor for 20 years.
Freeholders E. Marie Hayes and Will Morey, along with County Clerk Rita Fulginiti, attended, expressing support for North Wildwood.
Roots run deep in North Wildwood, and Mayor Patrick Rosenello wishes to build on that foundation, as challenges face the city in 2020.
According to the mayor, the city implemented a long-term spending plan in 2019. By incorporating capital projects into the city’s budget, fewer funds will need to be borrowed. Rosenello believes taxpayers will benefit long-term, and will strengthen the city’s financial standing. Federal and state grants will be sought.
2020 Challenges
Four significant projects are underway, said Rosenello, including the reconstruction of 22nd Avenue and the Lou Booth Amphitheater. Renovations at the amphitheater must wait until fall due to the permitting process under the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Protecting infrastructure is paramount, said the mayor, as he explained the necessity of extending the seawall to Fifth or Seventh avenues. The bulkhead at John F. Kennedy Boulevard may extend as far as 13th Avenue due to storm damage and high tides.
A future pump station will also address flooding concerns by keeping the evacuation route clear in times of natural emergencies; i.e., hurricanes, nor’easters, etc. 
Repairing the city’s beaches has “crept up” into the city’s plans, according to Rosenello. Beach replenishment demands time and money; however, $10 million has been appropriated for these projects, and $25 million has been secured in federal and state grants, lessening the total cost of $35 million.
By working with neighboring communities and state agencies, city leaders continue to find ways to cut costs. City Administrator Ronald Simone said taxpayers would see a “slight” increase in taxes this year.
To contact Rachel Rogish, email rrogish@cmcherald.com.

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