OCEAN CITY – Town departments heard a few requests from the Mayor and City Council, and the following is a review of some issues discussed.
Spring Paving To Begin
According to Public Works Director Hal Adkins, the recent allocation of $1 million from the General Fund for street improvements will be used to repair a list of the town’s streets.
The streets Adkins proposed to begin with are 44th, 52nd, 61st, 67th, 91st, 92nd and 120th streets, Hitchens and Trimper avenues and the canals at Hitchens and Trimper.
The bidding for the project is intended to begin April 26 and the department plans to commence the work around May 10. The city hopes to have the work completed in time for the summer season. The council voted unanimously to approve the work.
Trolleys Loaned To Annapolis
According to Superintendent of Transportation George Thornes, in October the Mayor and City Council approved the loan of eight Ocean City trolleys to the City of Annapolis.
Annapoils has now expressed interest in having those eight trolleys transferred to their system. The department recommended the Mayor and City Council transfer four trolleys to Annapolis, which reserves four others for Ocean City’s express route needs.
The grant for the town to purchase the eight trolleys came in 2002 and in 2006 the trolleys were put into service and used for three seasons. In 2009, three different routes were established to market the trolleys, which were during peak times.
Despite efforts, ridership remained low and operating costs remained high, although the trolleys have remained successful during Ocean City’s special events. The council voted unanimously to transfer four trolleys to service Annapolis.
Inlet Dredging Responsible For Black Sand
Citizens have expressed concern over the dredging activity that has commenced in Ocean City’s Inlet. City Engineer Terry McGean explained dredging is being conducted in the due to sand being swept off the beaches and settling into the Inlet. Dredging in the Inlet has been conducted annually for the last decade.
In order for nearby marinas to be operated every year, the sand needs to be dredged before the busy summer season. McGean assured that even though it smells and looks bad within three to four weeks no one will be able to tell it was dredged. The black colored sand will be laid out on top of the beach for the sun to bleach it and then it will be mixed in with the rest of the sand.
Mayor Rick Meehan suggested creating signs explaining the operation, such as “Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Dredging Project” for the future to ease the concerns of others.
Paid Parking Machine Removed
Council President Jim Hall was approached by Atlantic United Methodist Church regarding the Cale machine in the city parking lot. City Hall and the church are adjacent neighbors and share a Cale machine that operates paid parking during certain time frames in the city and church parking lots.
Jim Hall explained that over the years municipal employees and visitors have parked in the church lot as well as the church’s visitors have parked in the city lot. He said the church has many events requiring overflow parking in the city parking lot. He said as a “good neighbor” the council should have the Cale machine removed. He asserted that it is “bad will” to enforce paid parking in the church lot.
A couple of council members were concerned over the loss of revenue. City staff has been working on a parking pass operation between the church and City Hall, but Jim Hall urged his council members to just have the machine removed. The council voted unanimously to have the machine removed.