OCEAN CITY – It looks like the Board of Port Wardens is going to have fewer visitors.
At this week’s Mayor and Council meeting, officials agreed to amend Chapter 106, Entitled Waterways, in a unanimous vote. This will allow repair of previously approved boat and personal watercraft lifts without going back to the Board of Wardens.
At last week’s meeting, City Engineer Terry McGean explained, “This will lesson the caseload and burden on the department.”
There is apprehension that even though this will decrease caseload for the Board of Port Wardens as well as city staff, that it will also decrease a revenue stream. As written, he ordinance would eliminate the $287 fee charged for inspection and approval of boat lifts.
Councilman Doug Cymek questioned whether the town would get enough in fees to offset the cost of the department.
“My concern is we’re only collecting $32 for the building permit,” he said. “I don’t think we can process these and do these inspections at that rate. I think a building permit should be more like $150. I want the town compensated for the work.”
Also, in previous discussions, there was distress over whether this notion will bring up other issues in what is covered in existing and what is new construction.
“Are there any loopholes in this that could create a problem for something approved and built years ago?” asked Councilman Joe Hall.
McGean assured the council safeguards were in place.
“They’re still required to get a building permit, so we would likely catch anything like that through that normal inspection process,” he said.
The council appeared to work past all concerns this week, passing the ordinance on first reading.