Saturday, February 24, 2024


Safari Café Gets Change Order

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By Al Campbell

CREST HAVEN – As preparation for the $2.03 million Safari Cafe continues at the Cape May County Park in Swainton, a $94,147 change order was approved by freeholders Oct. 27. The contract was awarded May 12
Edward Runyon, parks director, explained the change with R. Wilkinson & Sons Construction was required due to soil in an area, about 80 feet from the restrooms near an exhibit, was not stable enough to support the 80-by-60-foot concrete structure.
Runyon said about 700 cubic yards of requiredcompatible fill would be covered by the change order. 
He said the plan would allow for more of a courtyard area in front of the lion and would allow for ease of maintenance for vehicles to access the area.
Board Urges Yes Vote
Freeholders unanimously passed a resolution urging voter support of a Constitutional amendment to permit veterans who served in peacetime to be eligible for a $250 property tax deduction, and a 100% tax exemption for those who were disabled, but who did not serve in time of war. 
The vote will take place during the Nov. 3 general election.
Legion Post 239 Honored
The American Legion Post 239 in Tuckahoe, better known as the Aaron Wittkamp Colwell Post, received recognition by the board onattaining 100 years of service. A celebration was planned Oct. 31, along the Tuckahoe-Mount Pleasant Road, which was closed to traffic during the event. 
According to the resolution, the post was named to honor the memory of Army Chaplain Frank T. Wittkamp, and two Army infantrymen, John D. Aaron and Theodore R. Colwell, who died during World War Iin France. 
The post has continued to serve veterans and the community since its founding Oct. 29, 1920.
Murphy Urged to Take Actions
In two resolutions, freeholders urged Gov. Phil Murphy to increase indoor dining capacity in restaurants and to allow the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) office in North Cape May to resume activity as a licensing center to issue drivers’ licenses and permits, and to issue registrations, titles, and other services. 
The resolution noted that while other MVC offices reopened June 15, with modified services, Cape May County residents must travel to Camden or Ocean counties, where they find long lines. 
“The freeholder board finds that the current office designations impose a severe hardship upon the residents of CapeMay County, places the residents at a disadvantage to receiving services, and is unnecessary in Cape May County given the continuously low COVID-19 numbers.”
COVID-19-related Grant
The board passed another resolution to amend the current budget in the amount of $2.7 million for a CARES Act grant to assist and reimburse funds used for COVD-19 testing and other COVID-19 related expenses.”
Internet Meetings at Least Through November
 Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton urged the board to continue to meet through Microsoft Teams at least through November.
Those meetings, on the second and fourth Tuesday at 3 and 4:30 p.m. areaccessible to the public through a link on the main county website freeholder page (
There will be no Veterans Day ceremony, for the first time in many years, due to the COVID-19 threat. Instead, Thornton and Freeholder Jeffrey Pierson, a retired National Guard brigadier general, will record video segments that will be accessible to the public via the countywebsite. 

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