OCEAN CITY — In the brief this week, the first wind turbine in Ocean City got postponed from the Planning and Zoning Commission’s agenda for a second time, the Ocean City airport plans its 50th anniversary and the town picked up an exorbitant amount of “trashed” items during the annual spring cleanup.
Turbine Pitch Postponed Again
At some point, a public hearing will be held to discuss the merits of having a wind turbine on the roof of a historic downtown property that will ironically be seen from the famous Ocean City Boardwalk.
If it comes to fruition, it will be the first wind turbine in Ocean City and is currently the first real attempt at installing one in the resort since the council passed an ordinance allowing them one year ago.
However, that public hearing will apparently happen in weeks to come as those tasked with installing the turbine asked for the planned public hearing at the Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday night to be postponed in order to continue their talks with neighboring property owners about their new ideas concerning how the turbine is going to look when finished.
“They originally wanted to install three turbines, but then came before you and said they wanted to look into the idea of having one vertical axis turbine,” said Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith on Tuesday. “Now, they are finding that the one vertical axis turbine is not going to produce as much output as they had hoped for, so they want to go back one more time and look into a larger turbine, and consult the neighbors again.”
The Planning and Zoning Commission granted the postponement of the hearing, but hinted toward a rule in the town code that states that if a proposal is withdrawn or denied, the applicant must wait at least four months to reapply.
“We just hope that when they come back the next time, they have the plan in place that they are hoping to have up there when all is said and done, said Commissioner Lauren Taylor.
Kitchenscapes Inc. has been hired by the Marino family, who has owned the 14th Street cottage since 1947, to install the turbines in addition to the massive renovations that the property has been undergoing in the past several months.
The Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) has publicly stated its support of the turbine project, as do various other members throughout the town’s hierarchy, but until they have the final plan in place, and go through the public hearing process, the wind turbine on the Marino Cottage still remains just an idea.
OC Airport Plans
The Ocean City Municipal Airport is about to turn 50, and on May 8, there will be an open house of sorts that will be open to the public at the airport commemorating five decades of service and presence in the community.
“We considered doing this during the annual Air Show but the runways will be needed for the planes participating in the Air Show, so it just didn’t work even though it would have been an obvious fit,” said City Manager Dennis Dare.
Airport Manager George Goodrow invited the Mayor and Council to the event, which he says ironically falls “almost 50 years to the day when the airport first opened in 1960.”
Recently, the council opted against an option that would have expanded to the desired 5,000-foot runway, but chose to simply repair the existing runways and actually voted to shorten the main runway to meet new safety standards and because the price of land acquisition for the aforementioned expansion would have been too great and perhaps controversial.
“I hope people go out there on May 8 and spend some time at our airport, as I think it will be a really nice day for the residents to see what goes on there,” said Mayor Rick Meehan.
The airport scales 578 acres just off Route 611 near in West Ocean City and, according to town records, accounts for 75 jobs, $3.5 million in income and about $358,000 in tax revenues.
Spring Clean A “Huge” Success
This winter’s cabin fever may have played a part in last weekend’s huge citywide spring clean.
After one of the coldest winters on record that forced many Ocean City residents to stay housebound for days on end due to debilitating snowstorms, Ocean City residents appear to have wanted to trim the proverbial fat their household inventories as last weekend’s annual spring clean saw double digit percentage increase in discarded items picked up by the city’s public works department.
In a memo from Solid Waste Manager Woodrow Shockley to several department heads and higher ups, Shockley reported a 36-percent increase in solid waste or discarded item tonnage during the Saturday and Sunday curbside pickup, citing 127.89 tons of discarded items were picked up, which is up significantly from the 81.77 tons picked up last year.
The lone decrease that the town measured was in the category of discarded electronics equipment, which saw a 19-percent decrease from 1.56 tons last year to 1.27 tons this year.