Voices From The Readers

Focus Tax Dollars On Attracting Culture

Editor:

west o bottle shop

I just sent in payment for my county taxes. Before I sent if off, I happen to look on the back to view where my money was going. I understand the reasoning behind property taxes and haven’t any reservations for paying my share. But I do feel that it is unfair since my property is of seasonal usage/nature. We don’t use any services for eight to nine months of the year and we have no voting rights in the town of Ocean City. This is enough to have a special tax rate for those of us fortunate enough to have a small place in OC.

On another note: it’s unfair that I should have to pay 48 percent for education. Number one, I have no children (paying for education is a must for all in our hometowns, this I understand and agree with). But paying this 48 percent in a resort town such as OC is really quite unfair.

Since we all must pay for education (and it’s a good thing), why not change the percentage rate to 3 percent for education and given back the other 45 percent to culture and recreation, which is a low in Ocean City. There should be more focus on the Eastern Shore culture and recreations. Things like information about the watermen and their craft and the fisheries, like how do they get the tuna in a can. Do the crabs jump out of their shells and into the 12-ounce containers? What’s with the current around the Route 50 Bridge? Why do some boats drift out of the Assawoman Bay and why don’t they run into the jetty?

Since Ocean City was originally a fishing village, why not bring that atmosphere back to town. Quite frankly, I’m tired of going to bars for entertainment. No wonder everyone is drunk in OC, there’s nothing else to do. How much shopping can one do in stores that carry all the same stuff?

Thanks for listening. I hope this helps to bring more exciting things to do in Ocean City. It’s a great town, visitors need something else to do.

Ssharon Schmedes

Linthicum, Md.

Rude Treatment

Editor:

As a resident of Ocean City, I am generally proud of our town. The clean beaches, the boardwalk, fine dining and family atmosphere as well as ample adult entertainment.

On July 4th I was gravely disappointed in the manner in which I as well as my wife and 3-year-old child were treated by the staff on a tram that was traveling north from the Inlet.

We had promised our child a trip to the Boardwalk since the fireworks had been postponed until the following night. We took the tram from the north station to the southern end of the boards.

It came to our attention that there was a safety concern with our tram car, brought to light by another driver traveling north.

Upon approaching the north side of the pier we came to a “Mexican Stand-off” with a northbound tram. After several minutes, the northbound driver crept up to our tram and asked the driver what was wrong with her headlights. She replied, “The only lights I have are the high beams so I leave then on all the time for safety”. Apparently, they flash the headlights to signal the opposing Tram they can pass.

We arrived, a little later than need be to the south end station.

After a pleasant evening, we decided to walk awhile before boarding a tram to return to 27th Street. In the area of 4th Street, we hailed a northbound tram for the return trip. There were approximately four or five seats open behind the driver in the first car.

The driver “rudely” told us there where no seats and the tram was full. I pointed out the seats behind her. She ignored me and drove away. After stopping a few hundred feet in front of us, I again approached the tram and asked the conductor if we could ride the rest of the way. He stated they were full. I told him two or three times that there where seats behind the driver.

He ignored me and they pulled away. Please keep in mind that this is the same area of the tram that we sat on the way down earlier due to the stroller.

Upon making it to the station, I asked a tram conductor for a supervisor’s name and phone number. He could only give the first name of the supervisor, no last name or telephone number.

What kind of customer service is that?

The transportation department needs to get on the ball and make sure the trams are always safe and that the employees treat people with respect and are informative when asked a question.

I work in public safety and if I treated people the way I was treated, and a supervisor got hold of the information I would be disciplined for my actions.

Please get on the ball and keep our town in top notch form.

Michael W. Anuszewski Jr.

Ocean City 

Community Needs Help

Editor:

My wife and I are resident property owners within the 21862 zip code growth area. We reside dead center of the area targeted for growth. I have lived here for 53 years. Of the original Showell residents, only 10 or less remain. Once there were two garages, the owners are deceased and the businesses are now closed, and one accounting business, an electrical contracting business and two country stores, all have met the same fate. The post office is closed, the poultry processing plant is closed and the church has only a hand full of remaining members. Development and growth would help revitalize our community.

For years, we in the community had to contend with the odors, feathers and noise, traffic and plant personnel. Now the poultry plant is closed. The plant condition is worse now that when it closed. The now defunct Perdue Plant is a cancer on the community as well as the county. It will take someone with financial means to demolish the plant. The demolition and the clean-up on the site will be very costly. I personally do not want the idle plant to remain in the community as an eyesore and environmental hazard such has happened with Golden Pride in Stockton.

We are trying to preserve farmland in the county. This is one reason why Showell was designated as a growth area. The Perdue site has the infrastructure needed to accommodate the growth envisioned by the county planners.

Affordable housing is desperately needed for our law enforcement, educators, fire fighters, nurses and medical staff, etc. The tourist industry of the county also needs workers. These people can no longer afford to live in our county. The county can assist with the need for affordable housing.

Route 113 north of Showell is marked for industrial development. By encouraging the Showell growth area, that will enable the wastewater treatment plant to operate. A portion of the sewage capacity could be earmarked by the county for use in an industrial park or complex. The area is already served by a railroad track and an existing sewer line that runs from Bishop parallel to the tracks to the existing sewage treatment plant in Showell. Hopefully, an industrial park could bring higher paying tech jobs to the area that could further strengthen the economy.

Traffic shouldn’t be a concern in the growth area as it is on Route 589. The new dual highway through Showell is more than capable of handling the growth in the area.

The Perdue property has a state of the art sewage treatment plant built by Perdue around 1999. The wastewater treatment plant and the discharge are already permitted by the state. The perdue property has several six-inch wells for the water needs of development. This sewerage treatment plant cannot sit idle for long without serious deterioration. Once it goes beyond a certain point, it may not be cost effective to make it operable again.

There are much bigger issues than just allowing the developer to develop the Perdue property. It is my understanding that the developer has plans to purchase the wastewater treatment plant and pay for all upgrades and conversions necessary to treat human waste. They also are going to pay for all improvement to the property, which includes demolition of existing poultry processing plant. Also it is my understanding the developer plans to turn over the completed wastewater treatment plant with approximately 3,000 EDU’s of additional capacity to the county at no charge.

The site could be used for a regional sewage treatment facility for the north end of the county. We can eliminate a hodge-podge of small private sewer plants taken over by the county such as Mystic Harbour or Assateague Point. In the future as septic systems fail in Piney Island, Shingle Landing Road developments and other residences in the watershed, the county could offer sewage treatment. This could reduce the nutrient level in the Bishopville Prong, Showell Prong and the St. Martins River.

I know a few commissioners are adamant about zero discharge into our rivers and bays. It is my understanding if an industrial business purchased the Perdue site with current active zoning and discharge permit the business could then discharge hundreds of thousands of gallons of effluent per day into our waterways.

The ADC plan was endorsed by an expert in the filed, our own retired county sanitarian. The entire planning commission overwhelmingly endorsed the ADC plan for development. These individuals the commissioners have entrusted to give their honest, unbiased opinion. They have advised the commissioners that they need to vote favorably for the ADC plan.

At least with ADC Builders proposal, the commissioners can curtail and eliminate discharge. With ADC’s plan, the commissioners and the county planners would be in total control of events.

I only see positives with no down sides if development is allowed to happen. Allowing the developer to build the proposed development could be considered secondary to the greater benefits the county could see for decades into the future.

Linwood A. Hadder