OCEAN CITY – It was not all public hearings and tabling of motions this week in local government. Here’s a wrap-up of some of the other notable items from the week at City Hall.
Town To Take Close Look At Special Event Expenditures
With every special event that takes place in Ocean City, the process and paperwork can be somewhat extensive, as each event asks the town for different things. Sometimes, the need is for tables, chairs and stage equipment, and other times it’s police and EMS presence, and in most cases, the town spends a variant sum of money for every event held in town.
This week, Councilman Jim Hall urged his colleagues and public works officials to get together and “create a model” for each event like Winterfest, Sunfest or Springfest so that future events can be managed by the previous year’s model.
“We need to know that we need 13 men or women here, and others there, and which roads should be closed and on down the line, so that the person who runs the even next year will know exactly what we need,” said Hall.
The hope in this case is essentially to make sure that too much of an expenditure is not spent at each event, such as the annual dog walk held in the spring.
“I’m not so sure we need as many officers during the Humane Society Dog Walk on the Boardwalk,” said Council President Joe Mitrecic, citing the largely volunteer-driven fundraiser held each April for the Worcester County Humane Society.
Council Okays Bargain Deal
For New Beach Patrol ATVs
The City Council approved the purchase of three ATV’s to be used by the Ocean City Beach Patrol that were budgeted for purchase this year anyway.
As per Purchasing Director Joe Sobczak’s request, the council will allow the ATV’s to be purchased early in order to gain an apparent savings due to bargains offered by the manufacturer.
Honda manufacturing company, which makes the ATV’s used by the Ocean City Beach Patrol, is apparently offering deals on the vehicles due to the lagging market and the town will save anywhere from $300-500 per ATV if they are purchased soon.
Approximately $18,000 was budgeted for the ATV’s for this year.
Town’s Water Department
Slammed By Service Calls
Councilman Jim Hall took time at the end of the City Council meeting to praise the Public Works Department of Ocean City, namely, the water department as over 100 service calls were attended to as a result of pipe freezes and water main breaks.
“I’ve been listening to the scanner all week,” said Hall, “and it seems like as soon as they got done with one, they were on their way to the next one. They did a great job.”
Perry Linz, superintendent of the water department for the town of Ocean City, said that in the entire month of January last year there were 78 total calls and in January 2007 there were 68 calls, and those numbers were easily exceeded in one very cold week in Ocean City.
“Most of the properties were vacant, and it could be due to the fact that many people don’t winterize their homes because it’s been so mild the last few years,” said Linz.
Public Works Director Hal Adkins praised Linz and his crew, saying while it’s not abnormal for there to be breaks this time of year, the number of calls was a bit abnormal because “we haven’t had a cold snap like that one in quite some time.”
City Lends Helping Hand
To Pocomoke After Fire
The City Council granted the town of Pocomoke the usage of two of its voting machines after much of Pocomoke’s voting equipment was damaged or destroyed in a recent structural fire in their Public Works building.
Pocomoke officials are reportedly in the process of purchasing new equipment for their April 7 election and happen to use the same type of voting machines used by both Ocean City and Snow Hill.
Snow Hill is also holding an election in May and will be unable to lend any of their machines. After approval, the machines will be lent to Pocomoke officials in April and returned after legal requirements for sealing the machines is met at the end of the election.