News In Brief

Revision Of Electric

Cart Fees Passes

After an issue of whether to amend city code to lower the fees for an electric cart service to operate in the town flip-flopped in recent weeks, it was finally put to rest Tuesday during a Mayor and City Council work session when the council unanimously voted to approve the lessened fees.

Back on Feb. 27, owner and president of E-cruzers, LLC, Russell Rankin, came before the council to ask for lower licensing fees for his business. At the time, he was to pay $100 per cart in operation, similar to what taxicab companies pay. However, Rankin argued he was nothing like a taxi since he can only run east/west and uses electric, rather than gas, thus making him a green company.

The discussion was intense but the council approved a change to lower the fee from $100 to $25 per vehicle with a 4:3 vote. When it came to finalize the vote the following week, two of the council members for the change were not present, shifting the balance of power back, rejecting the lowered fees with a 3-2 vote.

However, comparing this issue with another from the past, Councilwoman Margaret Pillas suggested the council table the issue until all the members can be present again, ensuring a fair vote.

The amended fees were then voted on again Tuesday and were unanimously approved, surpassing Rankin’s hopes of at least getting a 5-2 vote this time around.

More Discussion On Carbon

Monoxide Detectors Planned

Toward the end of work session Tuesday, Councilman Jim Hall told officials to set aside some time in an upcoming work session to discuss the idea of mandating the use of carbon monoxide detectors in all single-family homes in the resort area.

The City Council recently approved an ordinance to amend the Fire Prevention and Protection code to require the use of carbon monoxide detectors in certain buildings.

With the threat of carbon monoxide being taken more seriously now, legislation was even introduced at the Maryland General Assembly that would look to have a similar effect to that of the ordinance passed in Ocean City all over Maryland.

However, neither of the legislative pieces has targeted single-family homes where the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning is just as real, but future talks by the council look to change that.

Stormwater Mitigation

Funds Requested

Another request made to the Mayor and City Council Tuesday came from city Environmental Engineer Gail Blazer.

According to Blazer, Calvin Ginnavan, from the Parks Maintenance Division, is installing a pervious paver system between the ball fields at Northside Park where a drainage problem is becoming a detriment to the area. Blazer said this would be a great opportunity to install a retrofitted pervious paver system that would be able to test rainwater after it is filtered through the system.

Currently she is waiting to hear back from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, which she asked for funding of the project, however is not sure if they will grant the full amount.

In order to make up any difference, Blazer asked the council if funds could be transferred from the Stormwater Mitigation fund, not to exceed $12,000, if need be.

The council unanimously approved Blazer’s request.