Council Okays Public Works Purchases, Changes Meter Ordinances

OCEAN CITY – The Mayor and City Council had its first work session together on Tuesday and members worked their way through a list of business, including numerous items presented by Public Works Director Hal Adkins and approved.

Radar Device Purchase OK’d

According to Adkins, the purchase of a Ground Penetrating Radar would advance the department’s capabilities to complete accurate underground service line locating.

The need for such a device hasn’t come up until recently because Delmarva Power is conducting massive investments in Ocean City with upgrades to their underground cabling and it’s required to contact “Miss Utility” to have utility companies come out and mark the location of underground lines.

In Ocean City, the town is required to mark water, sewer and storm drain lines. Adkins asked to purchase a 2450GR Ground Penetrating Radar Device for $24,440. The funds will derive from the Wastewater Enterprise Fund.

Platting Work Funded

Adkins explained over the last year the department has completed extensive research on the original platting of the Baltimore Ave. corridor from North Division to 15th streets. This project was completed in an effort to establish the actual right-of-way lines of the platted road from the 1800’s to uncover the original property markers for the adjoining landowners, identify the specific location of the unimproved portions of the right-of-way and to record any and all encroachments that exist in the right-of-way.

He asked to complete one last issue regarding the overall Baltimore Ave. right-of-way, meaning the balance of the road from South 1st St. at the Inlet Seawall, north to North Division St. to continue the effort done in 1991 when Baltimore Ave. from South 1st St. to North Division St. installed new sidewalks to coincide with the actual right-of-way line.

Adkins furthered that the southern section of Ocean City was actually platted at three different points in history. One land plat addressed the original section of Ocean City from South Division to North Division streets, one addressed the area from North Division heading north and a separate plat addressed the area of South Division heading south into what was then known as South 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc., that lead to the old fish camps that were located where the north tip of Assateague and the Inlet reside today.

To complete the effort, Adkins requested to reallocate existing capital funds, about $21,000, that were used to fund a now completed storm drain retrofit program back in 2005 and 2006.

Rental Car Lease Renewed

Currently, the rental car concession lease at the Ocean City Municipal Airport is with Express Rent-A-Car of Ocean City, Inc.

According to Adkins, the service was last bid on Jan. 13, 2004, and at that time the town received three bids, from Enterprise, Hertz and Express. The other bids were nearly double then what Express offered.

Express Rent-A-Car was issued a five-year contract at that time to expire Oct. 31, 2009. At that time, the expired contract came to a Mayor and City Council executive session and the council decided to give a three-year extension, until Oct. 31, 2012.

Adkins asked for the council to extend Express’s contract for another three-year period at the current rate of, $984 rent a month, to be the most financial reasonable option.

Parking Meter Dates Tweaked

Adkins brought to the Mayor and City Council’s attention confusion between two laws regarding Ocean City’s paid parking enforcement.

According to Adkins, the first resolution was needed to make all paid parking locations "non-date sensitive".

Historically, the town would commence paid parking on April 1 of each year and remove it in October, but the dates were removed from the language due to the fluctuation in the date of Easter and the growing calendar of special events. The dates were replaced with the language “specific weekends" to allow the town the ability to maximize our potential revenues.

Adkins went on to explain that the next ordinance’s intent was to create a situation in which the Cale Machines would not be in effect during certain weekdays during shoulder seasons to enhance the attractiveness of visitors into the downtown area without having to pay to park but reinstated “date sensitive” enforcement.

Adkins recommended removing specific dates from the ordinance, such as April 1, May 24, May 25, Sept. 3, Sept. 4, and Oct. 14, and instead change it to use language that reflects the resolution, such as, "the Friday of Memorial Day weekend thru the Monday of Labor Day weekend".

With the council’s approval, the amendment will move to a Monday night legislative meeting for first and second reading.