OCEAN CITY – Ocean City officials are still waiting to install camera surveillance equipment on municipal buses with grant money the town received late last year.
In a Transportation Committee meeting Tuesday, Brian Connor, assistant superintendent for transportation, told members there were delays in getting approval to solicit a request for proposal (RFP), which will push back the town’s installation timeline several months.
Last year, the town received a $500,000 grant to install hundreds of surveillance cameras both inside and outside Ocean City’s entire bus fleet, at the recommendation of the Maryland Transit Authority (MTA). Officials could then use the saved footage in the event of an incident.
The original goal to install cameras before the 2017 season begins is no longer an option, according to Connor, who now expects the equipment to be installed this upcoming fall at the earliest.
According to Connor, Maryland’s central regional transit system is crafting the RFP on behalf of four agencies across the state – including Ocean City – that have received money to install vehicle surveillance systems. The RFP, he said, has become a cooperative purchasing agreement for the agencies to ensure a lower cost in obtaining and installing the equipment.
Yet, he added the agency responsible for crafting the RFP has hit unexpected delays in sending a request to the MTA for a concurrence to solicit.
“I’ve been monitoring its progress over the last several months and I was just made aware yesterday that the director of purchasing for the agency championing this has been out on medical leave, but has most recently returned,” Connor said.
The agency now expects to send the request to the MTA over the next week and receive approval in the upcoming months before sending out the bid, according to Connor, who has volunteered to represent Ocean City in valuing the services and reviewing the RFP.
“It will certainly be implemented for next season,” he said. “Is it where I would like it to be? No. Would I like it to be this season? Yes. But there are many steps to go along in this project.”
Mayor Rick Meehan, chair of the committee, expressed frustration.
“I hate to see anybody out on medical leave, but I also hate to see something like that,” he said. “There should be somebody else that steps in so that you don’t hold up a project. A number of jurisdictions are waiting for it.”