Officials Break Ground On Major Drainage Project In Ocean Pines

Officials Break Ground On Major Drainage Project In Ocean Pines
Pictured, from left, are Commissioners Chip Bertino and Jim Bunting, Ocean Pines Association President Larry Perrone, Ocean Pines Association Directors Colette Horn and Doug Parks, Vista Design Principal Richard Polk, Worcester County Environmental Programs Director Bob Mitchell and Maryland Coastal Bays Program Watershed Coordinator Steve Farr. Photo by Bethany Hooper

OCEAN PINES – Officials celebrated the start of an improvement project at Bainbridge Pond with a groundbreaking ceremony this week.

On Wednesday, officials broke ground at the site of a new improvement project at Bainbridge Pond in Ocean Pines.

The association says the project will achieve nutrient reduction by improving the quality of storm water runoff and improving flood protection resiliency through the retrofit of Bainbridge Pond and improvements to outfall channels within Ocean Pines.

Culvert replacements will be installed for Pinehurst, Sandyhook, and Beaconhill roads, while drainage swale enhancements and pond retrofit will be done within the Bainbridge Pond Park.

Construction is slated to begin this week, according to the Ocean Pines Association (OPA).

“We’re all working for the same end goal here, and that’s for the citizens of Ocean Pines,” said Bob Mitchell, the county’s director of environmental programs. “At the end of the day, it will help with flood resiliency, and it will help with cleanup. It’s a win-win, and we look forward to getting it done.”

Through its partnerships with Worcester County and the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Ocean Pines was able to use $549,000 in grant funding from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and money from the association’s drainage reserve to dedicate more than $800,000 for the project.

“Ocean Pines is very appreciative, and we’re hoping this is just the first of many we can take care of because this is a big issue,” OPA President Larry Perrone said.

Director Doug Parks, the association’s project liaison, explained the Bainbridge project was years in the making. He said what started out as an idea to seek grant funding for a water quality project had turned into an effort that addressed drainage issues as well.

“I want to thank the county because we as an HOA, as an entity, could not apply for grant funding, so we had to have someone who was an advocate for us,” he said. “So between Maryland Coastal Bays working us through the process and the county supporting us, we really arrived at this point. If it wasn’t for that collaborative effort, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Worcester County Commissioner Chip Bertino, who represents Ocean Pines, also recognized county and association staff – including Mitchell, OPA Public Works Director Eddie Wells and former Director of Amenities and Operational Logistics Colby Phillips – for their assistance.

“I think this is an opportunity to show how the community can come together …,” he said. “It just goes to show when people look at the same thing and come up with ideas, anything is possible.”

Officials this week also praised the efforts of Sen. Mary Beth Carozza and engineering firm Vista Design. Company Principal Richard Polk said the project would not be possible without a collaborative approach.

“Without the help of everyone standing here and other Ocean Pines staff, this never would have happened,” he said. “The green-light thinking every time there was something that came up, the ability to work through issues as a team and resolve them as a team, is why we are here today.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.