Ocean City News In Brief

OCEAN CITY — In the brief this week, a recap of the smaller and perhaps less sexy stories coming from the Mayor and City Council’s weekly work session.

Mayor Asks For Second Look At Uniform Requests

Outfitting the local public safety personnel is a task that might be overlooked by the regular citizen, but if you look at the budget allocation for putting uniforms on the town’s bravest and finest, the allocation is right around $310,000.

Perhaps, then, it was no surprise that Mayor Rick Meehan spoke up after the bids to award the company that will create the town of Ocean City’s police uniforms were opened and proposed that a second look was given to the item sheet to make sure that all of the items were absolutely necessary.

“I know that there was a previous conversation with the public safety division to look at their list and make sure that the quantities of items that they are asking for are absolutely necessary,” said Meehan. “If we cut some of these listed items by, let’s say 10 percent, that will save us another $30,000.”

The submission, which is a lengthy list of everything from oxford shirts, shoes, badge covers, name plates, handcuffs, raingear, pants, cycling pants, shorts, hats, pins, holsters, CPR masks and even drug evidence bags (5,000 requested by the Ocean City Police Department), is done every year in order to uniformly outfit the town’s police and fire departments and was called the respective department’s “bare-boned submission” by a public safety representative in response to the mayor’s aforementioned query.

Eight total bids were opened with the council deciding to remand the bids to staff to evaluate the company to award the bid to.

Town To Back Up

Vital Information

The council voted to spend a little over $15,000 to contract Sunguard, the town’s software vendor, to acquire a System Recovery Service (SRS) in the event that the town incurs an informational disaster by way of a system crash.

“It’s just like an insurance policy,” said Information Technology Manager Nancy Bloxom. “They are willing to allocate space on their system for us in the instance that we have a crash.”

According to Bloxom, the town’s recovery contract with IBM, who handles the town’s hardware, would only supply the town with a 14-day loaner system post-disaster until the town purchased a replacement system, which Bloxom determined to be far too risky.

The budget allocation for such a back-up system was actually $20,000, so the system to be purchased from Sunguard will be under budget.

Effort Underway To Protect

Vital Financial Reports

Finance Administrator Martha Lucey has become a practical shoe-in to win an award for her poignant financial reports on an annual basis, but the fact remains that she is the only person in Ocean City that knows how to do those vital reports.

So, it was notable on Tuesday that City Council granted Lucey her request for a sole source purchase from Harris Computer Systems (for $12,045), of the software needed to do these reports.

“This program does what I do manually now through Excel and Word programs,” said Lucey, “but it will allow someone other than me to work on it, and learn the training and documentation that we currently don’t have.”

The council’s only question toward Lucey about the purchase was Councilman Jim Hall’s tongue in cheek quip: “This isn’t going to keep you from winning those awards every year is it?”

Requests For Airport

Hangar Work Sent Out

Back in March of 2007, the council approved a request from Public Works Director Hal Adkins to bid on the creation of a new “box-style” hangar at the Ocean City Airport that would be called Hangar J.

The idea, according to Adkins, was to build a new hangar to give a bit of leeway to a “filled-to-capacity” facility and see if the rent revenue created by the housing of planes in the new hangar would cover the cost of the building itself.

“We’ve been doing a lot of administrative things since then for this product including a number of permits, environmental issues, and dealing with such groups as the Army Corps of Engineers, and now that all those things are resolved, I’d like to move forward and finally bid this project,” said Adkins.

The council, who voted 6-1 with Councilwoman Margaret Pillas in opposition to the project back in 2007, voted unanimously this time around, as Pillas seemingly changed her mind and voted for the project on Tuesday.

“It won’t cost the Mayor and Council anything at this time, I just want to see if this will work,” said Adkins.

Hangars A through D were built between 1983-84, Adkins oversaw the build of Hangars E and F in 1999 and G, H, and I in 2006.

Hangar J would be 310 feet long, and 62 feet in depth, and Adkins noted that there is a waiting list to fill the hangar with planes.

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