OCEAN PINES – Ocean Pines Association (OPA) officials agreed to explore a variety of options related to the controversial crabbing pier in the Whitetail Sanctuary neighborhood.
On Saturday OPA’s board of directors voted unanimously to have General Manager John Bailey seek proposals for three options relating to the pier, which has been closed much of this year. The board wants Bailey to get proposals for the removal of the crabbing pier, the replacement of the pier with an observation platform and replacement of the existing pier.
“This will allow demolition of the existing pier while retaining the right to replace the existing pier,” Director Ted Moroney said. “In addition, OPA will have pricing of options at Whitetail Sanctuary and options for potential relocation.”
Last month, residents of the Whitetail Sanctuary community shared traffic and safety concerns associated with the crabbing pier located off Charleston Road. The pier, which is in need of repair, was closed earlier this year.
Residents of the surrounding homes told the board last month they wanted to see the pier converted to a nature preserve. They said the pier didn’t have adequate parking and that there were issues with littering and people using it at night, among other things.
At Saturday’s meeting, Moroney said he wanted Bailey to issue an RFP (request for proposals) for removal of the existing pier, issue an RFP to replace the pier with an observation platform, and issue an RFP to replace the current floating pier. He said he wanted Bailey to report to the board with what he’d learned by Oct. 15.
“This is a continuing subject that the board needs to move forward so a decision can be made and implemented,” Moroney said.
Director Slobodan Trendic said he supported the motion but wanted the board to review the RFPs before they were issued. Moroney agreed to amend his motion to include that stipulation.
The board voted unanimously in favor of the motion, though several directors said they didn’t believe the board typically needed to review RFPs.
“It’s an operational issue,” Director Frank Daly said. “We are not operations people.”
Doug Parks, president of the board, agreed.
“I’m not in the business of developing and reviewing RFPs,” he said.
Trendic said he simply wanted to review the documents in this case because he wanted to be sure the RFP called for replacement of the pier with existing materials, not anything more expensive.