Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

Although numbers can be a difficult read for many, Ocean City property owners would be well suited to read the Town of Ocean City’s Report to Citizens that arrived in mailboxes this week. It contains a tremendous amount of worthwhile information. Here’s some highlights in my opinion:

After experiencing significant declines in recent years, the volume of construction permits issued by the town increased in fiscal 2013 to 1,660 compared to 1,525 in 2012. That’s a 9-percent increase and a sign that real estate market confidence is starting to return.

The value of those construction permits also jumped as expected, thanks largely to the 67th Street Town Center, a $5.5 million commercial development. In total, the estimated value of construction increased 2 percent, from $35.4 million in 2012 to $36.2 million in 2013.

The town’s advertising budget has jumped 59 percent since 2009 when $3.7 million was spent compared to $5.9 million in 2013.

Approximately 39,640 tons of trash was processed in fiscal 2013.

Fifty-three percent of the revenue collected from the city stems from property tax collections, while 19% comes from other taxes, 18% from charges for services and 9% from capital/operating grants and contributions.

Of the city’s total $71 million in expenses, nearly half of it is spent on public safety, which eats up $34 million. Other top expenses are economic development/tourism, $8 million; recreation and culture, $7.6 million; highways and streets, $7.1  million; sanitation and waste removal, $6 million; general public works and beach, $5.3 million; interest on long-term debt, $1.6 million; and general government, $1.1 million.

The town has 524 full-time employees, 207 of which work in public safety. The general employee roll balloons by 165 employees in the summer season.