OC Reviews Current Projects, Looks Ahead To New Work

OCEAN CITY – An update to the resort’s Capital Improvement Plan was presented this month, marking current projects, completions, additions and subtractions.

During last Tuesday’s work session, City Engineer Terry McGean presented an update of Fiscal Year 2015 Draft Capital Improvement Plan (FY15 Draft CIP).

“This is a living document so as time goes by we add new projects, while other projects take a higher priority and other projects drop off and take a lower priority, and you will see that happening here,” McGean said

Current projects underway are the Fire Station 4 in North Ocean City that is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month and a move in date of September; fire headquarters addition design was approved by council last week and construction is scheduled to begin this winter on 15th Street; St. Louis Avenue’s last phase of its’ three-year redevelopment project will be completed this winter; the Ocean City Beach Patrol’s new headquarters design was approved and bids are currently being accepted by subcontractors with construction scheduled to being this fall; the Roland E. Powell new performing arts center is scheduled to be completed this December; and although permitting and bid issues held up canal dredging, the first phase will start Sept. 15, and the second phase has been approved to be 50 percent funded.

Projects completed this year were the Public Safety Building and Service Center Roof Replacement, 51st St. Production well and well house, Dukes Ave. Pump Station, Old Landing Rd. Pump Station, the rebuilding of two clarigesters at the Wastewater Plant, and several streets and neighborhoods included in the ongoing paving program.

Projects identified by staff to start within the next five years are projects that have a relatively high monetary value, a long life and result in the creation of an asset or the revitalization of an asset.

In general, CIIP projects include construction of new town facilities, remodeling or expansion of existing town facilities, purchase and development of land, operating equipment and machinery for new or expanded facilities, street construction, reconstruction and resurfacing, and planning and design costs related to specific capital projects.

The FY15 Draft CIP projects are broken up into the categories of Public Safety, General Public Works, Municipal Complex, Highways and Streets, Recreation & Parks, Environmental, Technology & Communication, Convention Center, Airport, Water and Wastewater.

Funding sources include debt funding of bond finance supported by the General Fund, bond finance supported, the city’s food tax, user fees, wastewater fees and water fees, as well as capital equipment lease and state loans.

“Pay As You Go” and other funding sources that are not typically debt related are federal grants, state grants, general fund, prior project balances, stormwater fees, Vehicle & Equipment Trust Fund, Wastewater Fund and Water Fund.

McGean added a new category this year, “Unfunded in Current Year.”

“While we started out with the good news with all the things that we accomplished, there are some things that we wanted to do this year that we were unable to find the money for,” McGean said.

Within the FY15 Draft CIP, McGean highlighted there are no new bond projects for FY15.

“We are building what we already funded. It is a planning year, so we are not looking for any new bond projects in FY15,” McGean said.

McGean also highlighted the Eagles Landing Irrigation System will be replaced, which is being funded by Worcester County, and now that the city has received the deeds to the Downtown Recreation Complex from Worcester County the FY15 Draft CIP was updated to reflect upgrades to the complex and Ocean Bowl Skate Park in conjunction with the St. Louis Avenue project and the costs associated to that.

Unfunded projects include utility undergrounding in Little Salisbury, network backup systems and a gap street improvements/stormwater due to the council only approving $1.35 million out of the $2 million project total.

FY15 Draft CIP new projects include the Whiteside Building replacement that is the public works maintenance facility on S. 1st Street and Philadelphia Ave., city wide security upgrades that have been discussed at length during Police Commission meetings, council chambers audio/visual upgrades, equipment replacement of the generator, chillers and tower at the Public Safety Building, the Lifesaving Museum elevator and stairs, consolidating the water tanks at 15th Street and Worcester Street by taking those down and building a new water tank at 1st Street, Chicago Ave. bulkhead repairs and the relocation of Department of Public Works yard.