Coke, Pepsi Vying For OC Beverage Franchise

OCEAN CITY – As the Mayor and City Council prepare for the holidays, they worked their way through a lengthy agenda on Tuesday afternoon. The following items were scheduled to be discussed:

Once again, Pepsi and Coke-a-Cola are in competition to fulfill Ocean City’s beverage franchise, as they were the only two bids received. The bids are being reviewed by city staff.

In October, Recreation and Parks Director Tom Shuster said that Ocean City’s current beverage franchise contract with Pepsi is set to expire April 1, 2012. In the past, the town has used a Request for Proposals (RFP) method for soliciting interest in the beverage franchise, and he suggested to the Mayor and City Council for the same procedure to be used again.

Shuster added that an RFP has been conducted twice in the past and the current contract was set to fulfill five years next April.

Chief Gives Department Update

Police Chief Bernadette DiPino announced that the department will be graduating a number of police officers today, and Ocean City will be receiving the top three graduates from the academy. The new police officers will be on duty next year.

The police department is also in the midst of hiring new officers for the January academy and is waiting to have the number of officers to be trained approved.

As 2011 comes to a close, the police department is reviewing Ocean City’s Part One Crime and DiPino said she is confident that crime will be down this year.

The chief’s last announcement was to dispel rumors that she had taken a job in Baltimore. She added that she loves Ocean City and is remained focus on keeping it  safe.

“Well, especially since I become the acting Chief of Police if she leaves,” Mayor and Acting City Manager Rick Meehan joked.

Right-Of-Way Update

According to Public Works Director Hal Adkins, in 2007 permission was granted to conduct an extensive field surveying effort, deed research, and platting of the entire original 75-foot wide Right of Way of Baltimore Avenue that was created in the late 1880’s.

The goal in conducting the effort was to verify the alignment and boundaries of the original right of way from the Sinepuxent Beach Company Plat and to document a point in time the encroachments that exist into that Right Of Way. That effort was completed and Adkins asked for approval to record the document, in the name of the Mayor and City Council, in the Worcester County Land Records, in Snow Hill.

The Mayor and City Council unanimously approved for the document to be set into the record as well as requested for letters to be sent to property owners involved.

Stormwater Funding Granted

City Environmental Engineer Gail Blazer explained that in 2007 Ocean City had made available a stormwater management retrofit program using the stormwater management mitigation funds to offer grants up to $2 thousand as a cost share in the program.

The program helps older developments install structural stormwater measures or reduce impervious surface but a recent interest in the program has depleted the original funds that were set aside for cost share.

Blazer requested the approval of $20,000 be transferred from the stormwater mitigation fund to the cost share program and the council voted unanimously to approve.