New Comfort Station Bids Opened; Roof For District Court Ahead

OCEAN CITY – City Manager David Recor presented the Mayor and City Council with a lengthy list of business items in need for approval this week.

During the presentation, Recor he hinted it may be more productive to simply add a consent agenda to future legislative sessions to approve such items with one vote. The following items were approved in one fell swoop this week:

New Comfort Station,
Stage Bids Opened

The Mayor and City Council recognized the low bid of about $940,000 by Black Diamond to construct the new Caroline Street Comfort Station and Stage and remand the bid to staff for review.

Four other bids came in for the project but all exceeded $1 million. The staff’s estimate for facility was set at $950,000.

After almost a year and three different sets of renderings, the Mayor and City Council approved the final design for the Caroline Street Comfort Station and Stage a few months ago. The final design reflected Ocean City’s traditional coastal style with a gable roof over the restrooms and stage, as well as the end porches and stage will have exposed wood trusses with a bow bottom-chord.

Actuarial Study Sole Sourced

Recor presented to the Mayor and City Council the request to sole source purchase actuarial services for a Risk Department Report using the firm, Madison Auditing Group, which completed the 2009 study.

According to Recor, the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission requires a completed risk actuarial study every three years. It recommend a study every three to five years. The 2013 fiscal year budget, which runs through June of 2013, includes $15,000 for this anticipated study.

The recommendation was made that the city contract with Madison Auditing Group based on certain beliefs that the Request For Proposal (RFP) results will be similar to the prior RFP results for this service, ranging from $15,000 up to $30,000. The firm has much of Ocean City’s information that will require some up-to-date data, but it will keep costs down. Using the same firm also confirms that the same methodology will be used.

The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve the request.

Baltimore Ave. Banner
Program Terminated

Public Works Director Hal Adkins presented the Mayor and City Council with a problem in installing banners advertising upcoming private and public events above Baltimore Ave.

According to Adkins, the “banner program” began in the early 1990’s and the initial sites to install the banners were established by an informal process where Adkins received approval from Delmarva Power & Light (DP&L) and Bell Atlantic at the time to use their utility poles at the banner locations and those same areas of installation are used today.

During a recent incident, Adkins contacted DP&L for permission to relocate a banner site and found out banner installations are not permissible in accordance with their current locations, especially in accordance with public safety.

Adkins recommended to the Mayor and City Council to terminate the banner installations along Baltimore Ave. and the council voted unanimously to approve his suggestion.

New Roof Ahead For
District Court Building

Adkins requested funding allocation and contract award for the planned roof renovations at the District Court building on 65th Street. The edifice is located adjacent to the Ocean City Police Department is part of the town’s public safety complex.

According to Adkins, the Mayor and City Council executed a lease agreement of 10 years with the State of Maryland in February of 2011 for the District Court at 65th Street. Within the agreement, it is the city’s responsibility to maintain the exterior of the building, including the roofing system.

The interior ceilings of the District Court building have become stained and are in need of replacement due to a leak where the District Court connects to the Public Safety Building. The leak needs to be fixed before subsequent repairs are made to the ceiling tiles, walls, and the carpet, which are interior costs covered by the State.

Ocean City’s roofing consultant estimated the unbudgeted cost to repair the roofing system at $36,000. The Mayor and City Council approved moving forward with having the roof repaired.

State Helps Fund
Variable Message Sign

Adkins requested the Mayor and City Council’s permission to move ahead with seeking local matching funds for a Variable Message Sign (VMS). He explained that the town currently owns two signs and is routinely forced to rent a third for traffic management, which has cost at least $19,000 in the past.

Ocean City submitted a front application for the purchase of one portable VMS and was approved by the state but a letter has to be submitted verifying the agreement to a local match in the amount of $5,750 and a signed maintenance agreement.

The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve the unbudgeted local match funds.

Kayak Launch MOU Extended

Next Adkins requested a five-year extension of the Ayres Creek Kayak Launch Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP).

Adkins explained that in September of 2010 the Mayor and City Council executed a MOU with the MCBP that had an initial term of two years that recently expired this past September. The construction of the Ayres Creek Kayak Launch has been successfully completed and the MCBP would like to have the MOU extended, without modification, for an additional period of five years.

The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve the extension of the MOU with MCBP.

Media Contract Extended

The final item Adkins presented is the Ocean City Transportation Department currently has a contract with Direct Media Inc for advertising efforts throughout the entire transit fleet that was initially approved in May of 2007 for a five-year period set to expire in the beginning of this past summer season.

Due to the timing, it was felt that a non‐incumbent firm may have difficulty securing advertising contracts at the beginning of the season, as well as the town may suffer losses in revenue, and in November of 2011 the council approved to extend the expiration date from May to Oct. 31, 2012 at which time a RFP process would take place.

During the RFP process, an issue concerning the absence of an approved Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal in the RFP document was raised and the process was placed on hold. The DBE information has been submitted to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) for review and approval.

While the DBE issue is being debated, it is now suspected that a Vehicle Advertising Agreement that begins on Nov. 1 may be too late in the season for a non-incumbent advertising agency to have sufficient time and access to local businesses in preparation for the 2013 season once again.

With that said, Adkins requested permission to extend the existing agreement from Oct. 31 to Sept. 1, 2013 and permission to re‐advertise the RFP in the spring of 2013 and the Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve.

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