Boardwalk Camera Bid Accepted

OCEAN CITY – The second time was the charm this week as a bid was accepted to enhance the Boardwalk’s camera network.

In early December, the City Council voted to re-bid the work to install an enhanced camera network on the Boardwalk. At that time, there was only one bid received on time and one late bid received out of 10 expected bids.

City Engineer Terry McGean explained this week it is usually city protocol to re-bid projects that are expected to have a competitive bid if there is only one or a couple bids received.

“In this case, I felt it was nothing very specific or proproitary in this bid. I felt we should have had more competition for the project and that is why I recommended you reject the single responsive bid that we had and rebid it, which is what we did,” McGean said.

This time around the city received three bids on time. The two high bids were Royal Plus Electric in Ocean City, with the price of $99,740, and Singhal Company Inc. in Ocean City with the price of $135,210, but did not include the required bid bond.

Again, the only responsive bidder that included a bid bond was the apparent low bidder of Stoika Construction in Berlin with the price of $91,990. The staff estimate for the project was $100,000.

The City Council voted unanimously to accept Stoika’s bid and remand the bid to staff for review. The bid will return to the council for its approval following staff review.

The project includes cable from S. 1st Street to Worcester Street, cable from Worcester to Talbot streets, and cameras at Dorchester Street, North Division St., 1st and 2nd streets and at 5th, 7th and 12th streets.
According to McGean, there is already about 100 cameras installed throughout the Town of Ocean City, mostly within the Public Safety Building that is all connected to the same software system. The new cameras will be added to the existing software and two new work stations and a large video wall at the Dispatch Center was included in the budget of $150,000.
The Mayor and City Council voted in August to use part of $1,170,000 cost savings from the Boardwalk reconstruction project and Fire Station 4 project in the 2012 bond issue to fund Boardwalk safety enhancements, such as the cameras and call boxes.
Coming off a summer with an increase in serious crime activity on or around the Boardwalk, the installation of cameras have been referred to as a form of increased intelligence to deter criminals from coming to Ocean City.
Any area where you have a high volume of people, we do have our incidents. However, perception is reality. As we look forward, we are looking at technology,” said Police Chief Ross Buzzuro in an interview last year. “Even before that, we are looking at how we can maximize our resources, our personnel, their placement on the Boardwalk, trouble spots that we have previously seen and how we can place our officers in a deliberate fashion as we move forward.”

Buzzuro furthered, “We also want to introduce technology in the form of video cameras as a force multiplier so we can have those additional eyes that can give us assistance and place them in strategic places based on our data from previous incidents. That will help maximize our defense and maximize public safety. You have the personnel, the ground forces, and the introduction of more technology for the Boardwalk in the form of video cameras.”
When asked if the department utilized the current cameras on the Boardwalk as a way to react to crime incidents taking place, then-Public Information Officer Michael Levy, who has since retired, said that was not the case.
“It’s not an active system. It’s a passive system. We use them when we need them for big events. For the most part, the ones that are active now are used for tourism and for accountability,” Levy said.