Ocean City News In Brief

OCEAN CITY — Here’s the weekly recap of some of the smaller stories circulating around City Hall in the last seven days.

Town Saves Big With Bus Bid

If you notice the city buses looking a bit cleaner in the not so distant future, there is a logical reason for that.

The town needs a new facility to wash the city buses in, as the current one has been in operation for well over a decade, and is in disrepair according to town officials.  However, the town got a nice surprise of sorts on Tuesday when the bid was awarded for the project to Maryland-based MYCO companies for less than half of what was budgeted for the project.

About $225,000 was budgeted through grant money by the Maryland Transit Authority to install a gantry washer system, which is a vehicle roll-over three brush washing system, but the apparent low bid that city council voted to remand to staff for final approval came in from the MYCO Companies for only $84,906.

In addition, the town also came in just under budget in awarding Optiglass Inc, the bid to provide the town with just under $25,000 worth of spare bus parts in order to keep the fleet on the road, but with the addition of the new bus wash facility, shiny and pristine.

The proposal requires the company to complete the new facility, which will be located on the Public Works compound on 65th street in 60 days or less.

“We are really going to make them good looking for next summer”, said Transportation Superintendent George Thornes.

OC Airport Passes

With Flying Colors

At the City Council’s request during the budget process, folks coming in and out of the Ocean City Airport were asked to fill out a survey in order to rank and file the pros and the cons of the services provided and the things available at the Ocean City Airport.

Assistant to the City Manager Kathy Mathias was given the arduous task of compiling all the logged information and presented the overwhelmingly positive results to a somewhat surprised city council.

Mathias told council that 94 percent of airport users found the overall experience to be excellent or good, and 94 percent were happy with the customer service and 92 percent content with the services and amenities provided at the airport.

The one thing that surveyors said the airport lacked was a snack bar, WiFi capabilities and public transportation to destinations in Ocean City, such as the Boardwalk, restaurants or golf courses.

“This actually really surprises me that the response is this great because everyone that I know that has a plane has had some trouble down there at one time or another,” Councilman Jim Hall said.

Mathias noted that there were some negative sentiments found in a few of the surveys but said that the steps had been made to handle those concerns.

Monthly CO Reports

Coming Back To City

Councilman Jim Hall gets stopped on the street often to talk proverbial “political shop”, but he says he isn’t sure what to tell people who are asking about carbon monoxide (CO).

“This is what everyone keeps asking me: ‘What are you guys doing with carbon monoxide? How are you keeping the town safe?,’ and frankly, I don’t know what to tell them,” said Hall. “I don’t know exactly what the guys in the Fire Marshal’s Office are doing, but I know they’re doing something.”

Hall recommended that Fire Marshal Sam Villani come before the City Council on a monthly basis to give updates concerning not only the number of properties that have been checked for CO compliance, but when necessary, the names as well.

“I want him to come in here and say, ‘look, we checked out hotel A and restaurant B, and this is where we are inspecting next,” he said.

City Manager Dennis Dare said that Villani had already expressed desire to come back before the council on a regular basis to ensure the public’s knowledge of the evolving issue, and of course, for council members to have vital facts to tell when they are stopped on the streets.

Emergency Planning Meeting Set

The fall 2009 meeting of the Ocean City Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) will be held at the Ocean City Public Safety Building, second floor training room, at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15.  The Public Safety Building is located on Coastal Highway at 65th Street. 

Jeff Molner, Hazardous Materials Response Officer for Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), will discuss the capabilities of MDE and how they respond and function.

Updates for the Town of Ocean City facilities plans will be discussed.  The meeting should last about 1 1/2 hours.  For more information, contact 410-723-6646 or 410-723-6650.