OCEAN CITY – This week a few unscheduled items were brought up by City Council members, including the big addition of the Vietnam Memorial at the Ocean City Municipal Airport.
Councilwoman Margaret Pillas along with Mayor Rick Meehan announced the reveal of the Vietnam Memorial featuring a Huey helicopter now on display at the airport. The Huey arrived last summer and has been in process of being revitalized ever since.
According to the Ocean City Aviation Association (OCAA), the memorial will represent more than the Vietnam War. The display is in honor of all who has served in the United States Armed Forces.
In August, OCAA member Tom Oneto said the Huey helicopters were in service for almost 50 years before the fleet was retired this past July. The Huey served all branches of the military and the government.
The helicopter is 48 feet long, including the back rotator blades. It was stationed in Indiantown Gap, Pa., and was transferred to Ocean City’s Public Work Department on July 26. The display stands eight feet in the air on a 20-degree angle.
“The Huey is up at the airport,” the mayor said. “I went out and took a look at it, and you need to go out and take a look … it looks terrific, they did a great job. I was impressed.”
Meehan also announced that the Winterfest of Lights officially opened last Thursday and although the ceremony was moved indoors due to the threat of rain many still came out to take part in the Ocean City tradition.
“It was fabulous but you know what anytime you have the OC Stars come to the stage, it’s always fabulous, and the third and fourth graders from Ocean City Elementary did a great job,” he said.
The last item on the mayor’s agenda was a request he received from the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals group. The young professionals are a group of 25-40 year old members of the Chamber of Commerce.
“What they have done with the sponsorship of Ocean City businesses is they will take about 35 to 40 kids with the received donations to Wal-Mart near Berlin to buy presents for the less fortunate,” Meehan said.
The Young Professionals group has requested the city assist by supplying a bus to pick up the kids and their chaperones from the Park and Ride lot to transport them to Wal-Mart.
“I think it is a great idea,” Council President Jim Hall said as the remainder of the council voted unanimously to approve the request.
Councilman Brent Ashley brought up a discussion he had begun a few weeks ago, which is to allow horseback riding on the beach as a mechanism to generate revenue in the off season.
This time he said he had caught wind of an event organizer who is interested in doing it as a Christmas charity event.
Jim Hall clarified that the event organizer is approaching the special event permit process in the next week or so and is looking for a weekend when there are no other events scheduled.
“Hopefully, we will get it very soon,” Jim Hall said. “I think it is a great idea.”
One other item discussed was a continuation of a discussion that took place between Ashley and Councilman Doug Cymek regarding security in council chambers. Ashley wanted to continue the discussion publically.
“We had a quick response team come down and do an assessment several months back,” Cymek said. “They picked some locations within the room where they thought officers should be stationed … generally, you don’t talk about security in the public’s eye.”