ATLANTIC CITY — Transformation.
That word will characterize the resort during 2023, Mayor Marty Small, Sr., said during his “State of the City” address at the Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association kickoff event on Jan. 13 at the Palladium Ballroom at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino.
“We’ve been doing amazing things in the great City of Atlantic City, but we want to take that to another level in 2023,” said Small. “We’re going to be bold, we’re going to be aggressive, we’re going to tell it like it is, and we’re going to think outside the box.”
Small plans to transform the way the city provides tax relief, handles policing, cleanliness and youth and seniors programming. Small also said he wants to see Bader Field become a “multi-industry site” that more than doubles the city’s ratable base.
“We’re always going to be a casino town, but now we’re going to show the world we’re so much more than just that,” Small said.
Small said in a prepared statement that taxpayers can expect a tax decrease for the fifth year in a row.
The tax collection rate rose to 98.2 % in 2022 (pending adjustments), from 97.7% in 2021, a 0.5 percent increase. Two more property auctions are expected this year and the city will make aggressive investments to benefit taxpayers.
“Atlantic City will go from one of the highest taxed to one of the lowest taxed by 2034,” Small said in the statement. “Both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s upgraded Atlantic City’s bond rating in 2022.”
The police department will also see shifts revised to include three 11-hour schedules.
The first will go from 7 a.m.-6 p.m., the second from 4 p.m.-3 a.m. and third from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. with no officers off all weekend. The city will add 20 new full-time officers, implement a citywide camera and surveillance system and bolster the bike patrol. Speed enforcement will be enhanced by 20 additional radar units to vehicles, the mayor said.
In terms of cleanliness, the Public Works’ Project Community Cleanup initiative, which started in 2022, will continue. Work crews will encourage residents in different neighborhoods to take a greater interest in their respective communities. Public Works will also adopt a “we see it, we cut it” approach with grass, “regardless of who owns the lot,” Small said.
Small said his administration plans to build on the improvements to youth and senior services that are already underway. Last year, the City of Atlantic City Youth Services, Multicultural, Antiviolence and Senior Services divisions were all introduced.
“Combined these divisions produced an unprecedented number of activities for Atlantic City youth and senior citizens,” Small said.
The NFL flag coed football league was established in partnership with the National Football League. This year, the Jr. National Basketball Association and Jr. Women’s National Basketball Association will debut. The mayor also plans to continue the Small Business Academy, the Ernest Trans Trucking School and the Atlantic City Infrastructure Program.
Small also said the city would work hard to attract more families to the resort and control the narrative.
The Showboat Hotel’s Island Waterpark will open this summer featuring waterslides, zip lines, a lazy river, treehouse, wave pool and a nightclub. The old 40/40 club on Atlantic Avenue is slated to become a Dave & Buster’s family entertainment center.
Small said the city will use its website, social media accounts, COMPSTAT and CITSTAT programs which both help residents address quality of life and safety issues with city officials and police to control the resort’s image.
“The City of Atlantic City will put all the facts out there, tell it like it is and continue to increase transparency,” Small said.
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