OCEAN CITY – New directions are being explored concerning the minimum liability coverage for commercial operators flying out of the Ocean City Municipal Airport, as well as ways for the town to sell surplus equipment more quickly.
Historically Ocean City has sold all surplus equipment twice a year through an auction at 65th Street. Recently an ordinance was passed to allow a list of specialized equipment to be sold through a website called govdeals.com
“The sales went extremely well and we are now gaining revenues far in excess of anything we ever experienced in the past,” Public Works Director Hal Adkins wrote to the council. Last week, Adkins asked if there was mechanism to modify the city code to allow the town’s purchasing director upon approval from the city manager to sell surplus equipment as it becomes available without having to wait for the somewhat lengthy process of first and second readings of the Mayor and City Council to grant approval through ordinance form.
Adkins said this would maximize the revenue stream by allowing the sale to be listed on govdeals.com the minute the piece of equipment was available for disposal. Also, it would minimize the volume of vehicles that may take up space in the impound lot, avoid the need for passage of individual ordinances each time surplus equipment becomes available for sale, and to allow for timely revenues.
“You are just asking to speed up the timeline in which this process can happen so you can sell something,” Councilwoman Margaret Pillas summed it up.
A concern arose over the council that the new ordinance would skip over its approval of the process all together.
“I never imagined, envisioned, or desired that the city manager would not have to notify you,” Adkins said.
City Solicitor Guy Ayres suggested drafting an ordinance allowing a provision for the process to sell surplus equipment to be done by resolution. This way the Mayor and City Council still approve equipment but it is done without a first and second reading of an ordinance. The council agreed and voted unanimously to move forward selling surplus through the process of resolution.
Next Adkins and Airport Manager Jamie Giandomenico presented a glitch pertaining to revenue lease insurance levels for operators at the Ocean City Municipal Airport.
According to Giandomenico, the town has an administrative policy that sets the minimum liability coverage for commercial activities at city facilities inclusive of all special events. The requirement is set at a $1 million Combined Single Limit (CSL) with no sub limit.
After some research, Giandomenico found that an “industry standard” for small aircraft liability in conjunction with a commercial aviation firm of this size is $1 million CSL with a $100,000 sub limit per person.
“We are basically requesting you consider an exemption in that policy that lets the tenants at the airport, those local businesses, satisfy their obligation for liability insurance with the $1 million and $100,000 sub limit,” he asked.
At this point, Ayres stepped in saying that $100,000 doesn’t cover it.
“Most people that drive down the highway have more coverage than that,” he said. “I am not so convinced that this coverage is not available. I am convinced that they don’t want to pay the additional fees.”
Adkins said, “Yeah, they probably can buy it but you are going to drive them all out of business,” Adkins added. “They don’t make enough money to pay for it.”
Councilwoman Mary Knight said it wouldn’t be fair for the town to require liability coverage outside of the industry standard. She asked, “Why wouldn’t we just take this recommendation and go with it?”
The council came to a consensus to have staff conduct further research.