Council Approves $389K Purchase For Future Well

OCEAN CITY – At a regular session of the Mayor and Council this week, the City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance that calls for the purchase of a property to be utilized by the water department, a purchase that carries a $389,000 price tag.

The property, known as 5102 Coastal Highway, will be used as a well site, and according to the town, has been under consideration for that use for nearly 20 years.

Perry Linz, superintendent for the Water Department, explained during first reading of the ordinance that the site had been included in the master plan 15 to 20 years ago as a potential well site. He added that it is an ideal location.

“It’s there and it’s the perfect opportunity to purchase the property,” Linz said earlier this month.

Funding for the purchase of the property will come out of Water Department user fees.

Further questions surrounding the purchase were addressed this week when resident Ellie Diegelmann voiced concerns over the town’s intent to purchase the land.

Diegelmann questioned what efforts had been taken to make sure the property would be affective as a well site as well as what actions had been taken to appraise the property.

Mayor Rick Meehan addressed the issue, explaining that the town has had an easement on the lot for years and had tested the site on numerous occasions with test wells. Meehan reinforced Linz’s original statement that the location was ideal for a midtown well site.

According to Meehan, a square foot analysis of the property was also done along with an appraisal. Meehan noted that an analysis and appraisal are done on every property prior to purchasing. He added that the price of the property is in line with the current real estate market.

“I can’t imagine that it’s big enough, that it could fit anything,” Diegelmann said of the property size.

“Actually you could put three condo units on it,” said City Solicitor Guy Ayres.

Ayres also addressed Diegelmann’s concern that the appraisal information is not included in the council packet, which is made available to the public prior to meetings.

“My preference would be not to do it until after the referendum period,” Ayres said. The referendum period is 40 days.

The council voted unanimously, with Councilwoman Nancy Howard absent, to approve the purchase of the property.