Ocean City Commits to Spending Big to Fix Roads, Beaches, Bays and Boardwalk

first_imgCity Council on Thursday unanimously approved a plan that calls for spending $51,597,212 over the next five years to fix up the city.The capital plan for 2014 to 2018 calls for spending more than $10 million a year, including $5 million annually on roads and drainage improvements alone.The ambitious plan is part of Mayor Jay Gillian’s commitment to addressing long-neglected infrastructure issues in the city. It will be funded by $49 million in borrowing over the next five years under a schedule of bond issues and debt service that takes advantage of historically low interest rates.In addition to the $25 million in road and drainage improvements over the next five years, the plan calls for spending more than $2 million on dredging, more than $7 million to replace the boardwalk between Fifth and 12th streets, $600,000 to repair docks at 2nd Street and Bay Avenue, $250,000 on a skateboard park, $750,000 for a turf field at Carey Stadium and $400,000 in bike lane improvements.Many of the planned appropriations could be offset by grants or other funding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for instance, could reimburse Ocean City 90 percent of marina repairs at Second Street.In a separate vote on Thursday, City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance appropriating $9,319,000 and authorizing the Issuance of $8,853,050 in bonds for the first part of the capital plan.The $9.3 million in spending will include:Ocean City Beachfront Improvements: Including but not limited to emergency berming, dune and ADA access improvements. $795,000Roads and Drainage: Streets, alleys, bulkheads and drainage systems — prioritized based on the City of Ocean City rating system. $5,000,000Public Building Repairs: Including but not limited to Ocean City Music Pier, Ocean City Free Public Library, Transportation Center and various HVAC systems. $905,000Public Recreation Facilities: Including but not limited to the marina and Second Street and Bay Avenue, the 52nd Street playground, irrigation improvements and other playground improvements. $850,000Parking, Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities: Repairs and reconstruction. $335,000Airport: Including but not limited to removal of runway obstructions. $75,000Equipment: For Music Pier, Community Operations Department and other departments. $100,000Radio and Communications Center Upgrades: $328,000Heavy Equipment Rehabilitation: $125,000Ambulance Rehabilitation: $200,000City Vehicles and Equipment: Mini-trash packer, beach rake, sweeper, public safety SUV, mini passenger van, 15-passenger van and replacement of passenger vehicles.A second reading on the bond ordinance is scheduled for March 27.last_img read more