Ocean City Seeks Grant Funds For Skate Park Reno

SNOW HILL – The Town of Ocean City is seeking county support to update the Ocean Bowl Skate Park.

As municipal representatives presented their annual grant requests to the Worcester County Commissioners last week, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said the resort was seeking funding as it renovated the skate park. He said the town was seeking $250,000 in Program Open Space funds to help pay for the expansion and renovation of the skate park.

“If you want to go by one amenity that’s always busy it’s the skate park in Ocean City,” Meehan said. “It’s time to redevelop, rebuild and expand that.”

Meehan told the commissioners the resort was in the process of moving forward with a $5.5 million downtown recreation project.

“One of the components of that project is to redevelop, rebuild and expand the skateboard park,” he said. “The Ocean City skate park is one of if not the oldest skateboard parks in the United States. It has provided a recreational amenity for our residents and our visitors and all Worcester County kids.”

Meehan said the skate park renovation was estimated at $750,000. The resort is asking Worcester County to contribute $250,000 in Program Open Space funds to the improvement project.

“We haven’t received any Open Space funds since 2017,” he said. “The last time we received funding was in the amount of $20,000. We hope you’ll take that into consideration because I really believe that’s something that’ll help benefit all of us.”

In addition to the skate park funding, during last week’s grant request Meehan told the commissioners the resort was seeking a 5% increase in its unrestricted grant.

Last year, the town received an unrestricted grant of $2,616,056.  He said the 5% increase—about $130,803—would help the town with growing personnel and infrastructure costs.

“Everything we seem to do in municipal government has gone up dramatically over the past couple years,” Meehan said.

He added that Ocean City was not seeking an increase in its grants for tourism, recreation, the Ocean City Downtown Corporation, the convention bureau, or park and ride.

“We’re not asking for any increases just that those continue to be funded,” he said.

Meehan said Ocean City also appreciated the county’s efforts to support EMS costs in West Ocean City. He said the formula used to reimburse the town in 2022 had worked well.

“We’d like to continue with that formula moving on to FY 24,” he said. “The total cost to provide the service over and above grants received was $354,212. We’d like to request that amount to cover those costs, as the formula would indicate.”

The resort is also requesting $80,000 from the county to help expand the City Watch program, which is the network of cameras located throughout Ocean City.

“Public safety remains our number one priority…,” Meehan said. “Those cameras have been extremely important for our Ocean City Police Department and for the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies when they’re in Ocean City, to reconstruct accidents to be able to identify people who have committed crimes, who have left crime scenes.”

He added that the cameras had been invaluable during unruly car rallies in the past.

“We want to continue to expand that program, which we think benefits everybody and we would like to request some help and assistance with that in the amount of $80,000,” he said. “I think that really helps and assists law enforcement throughout Worcester County.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.