Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Mayors of the Wildwoods explain the request for non-permanent residents to remain at primary residences during the COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak


The mayors of the four municipalities of the Five Mile Island of the Wildwoods are urging non-permanent residents to remain at their primary residences rather than relocate to their homes in North Wildwood, Wildwood, West Wildwood and Wildwood Crest.

The Five Mile Island of the Wildwoods has always been and will continue to be a welcoming place for people from all over to visit and enjoy our beautiful public beaches, parks, boardwalk and local businesses, especially in the heat of our tourist/summer season.

During the tourist/summer season (typically May through September) our essential municipal public departments - police and fire, as well as our hospitals, grocers and businesses - increase staffing and supplies based on the anticipated increase in population to prepare for the needs of our vacationers/non-permanent residents.

However, during the “offseason” (typically October through April), staffing and supplies are significantly lower, based on the needs of our permanent full-time residents. In coherence with Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Orders 103 and 104, most private businesses on the island, including restaurants, are now closed or operating on a limited schedule, with limited supplies.

With many businesses closed and because of concerns of putting a stress on food services, pertinent supplies and the capabilities of our medical system necessary to support the permanent full-time residents of the Wildwoods, we as the mayors of North Wildwood, Wildwood, West Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, are urging non-permanent residents to stay home at their primary residence, rather than relocate to their second homes in the Wildwoods.

“With March’s typical numbers for staffing/supplies and most businesses running on restricted hours, mandatory closures, and limited goods, our barrier island can not support such an expedient and drastic increase in population during this time if the year,” said City of North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello.

“We as the mayors of all four towns, which have been through multiple major coastal storms that required evacuations, understand how debilitating emergencies can be on our barrier island, which is why we are stressing our second homeowners to stay home, rather than relocating to the Wildwoods during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said City of Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron.

“It is in the best interest of the Wildwoods, as well as the second homeowners of the Wildwoods and Cape May County, for everyone to stay home at their primary residences, rather than debilitating all supplies and infrastructure on our island during this state of emergency. This is simply a matter of human compassion. I prefer access to Cape May County and the Wildwoods’ bridges temporarily closed unless living here year-round, employed on the island or caring for a senior or person needing assistance,” said Borough of Wildwood Crest Mayor Don Cabrera.

“Being the smallest of the municipalities of the Wildwoods, West Wildwood understands the strain this could put on our municipal departments, infrastructure and permanent full-time residents, which is why this message is so important,” said Borough of West Wildwood Mayor Chris Fox.

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