OC Council Approves Modified Capital Project Plan

OCEAN CITY – The Fiscal Year 2015 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) was approved this week, advancing the priority of a few projects as well as funding a few more.

On Monday evening, City Engineer Terry McGean presented the CIP that had been updated since the draft was presented in August to reflect council comments and incorporate changes to the Wastewater Master Plan.

“The CIP is a living document and what you approve here tonight is really our guidance as we move into preparing the budget for FY16, particularly the ‘pay as you go projects’,” McGean said. “This does not include any bond projects in the current year and that has not changed.”

Changes made included reflecting the council’s previous comments; the construction of Sunset Park Pier’s priority increased from less important to important; Caine Woods street improvements priority increased from less important to important; and the priority of the replacement of Public Works Whiteside Facility located on S. 1st Street and Philadelphia Ave. increased from important to very important.

“Some good news is based on two recent decisions made by the Mayor and Council, as you recall we added the concept of the category “Unfunded in the Current Year” for projects that we were hoping to do but were not funded in the budget, and two of those projects we have been able to take off that list,” McGean said.

Those two projects are $650,000 in street improvements and overlays went from unfunded to funded by previous year savings and $110,000 for an Offsite Network Disaster Recovery that is now grant funded.

Final changes to the FY15 CIP were wastewater project additions to reflect the Master Plan, such as electric gear elevation, a Pista Grit replacement and the replacement of the 28th Street pump house.

The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve the FY15 CIP.

In August, McGean presented FY15 CIP current projects, completions, additions and subtractions.

Current CIP projects underway are fire headquarters redesign with construction scheduled to begin this winter; St. Louis Avenue’s last phase of its’ three-year redevelopment project will be completed this winter; Beach Patrol’s new headquarters has broken ground’ 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 has started and the second phase has been approved to be 50 percent funded.

CIP projects completed this year are the reconstruction of Fire Station 4 in north Ocean City, the Public Safety Building and Service Center Roof Replacement, 51st Street Production well and well house, Dukes Ave. Pump Station, Old Landing Rd. Pump Station, the rebuilt of two clarigesters at the Wastewater Plant and several streets and neighborhoods included in the ongoing paving program.

CIP 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, CIP 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 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, and Unfunded in Current Year.

Funding sources include debt funding of bond finance supported by the General Fund, bond finance supported, OCCC 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.

At that time, McGean 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 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.

FY15 CIP new projects included, the Whiteside Building replacement, city wide security upgrades, council chambers audio/visual upgrades, equipment replacement of the generator, chillers and tower at the Public Safety Building, the life Saving Museum elevator and stairs, consolidating the water tanks at 15th St. and Worcester St. by taking those down and building a new water tank at 1st Street, which was just approved by council last week, Chicago Ave. bulkhead repairs, and the relocation of Department of Public Works yard.