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(Oct. 4, 2019) The following took place during Tuesday’s Ocean City Council meeting: 

Firefighter retirements

Mayor Rick Meehan and council members honored the service of firefighter and cardiac rescue technician David N. Cropper and firefighter and paramedic David H. Pruitt.

“[Former mayor] Fish Powell told me one time, ‘If you’re ever in a pinch, if you’re ever in trouble, you call David Cropper,’” Meehan said. 

“I couldn’t have done what I did without the support of the volunteer fire company and the city,” Cropper said. “I don’t feel bad about leaving, I think we’re in good hands … Thank you all, it’s been a ride.” 

“It’s hard to lose 80 years of combined service to our community in one afternoon,” Meehan said to Pruitt. “Forty years of service is a tremendous accomplishment, and ... one of the staple parts of [Ocean City] was David’s service to our community.”

“I would like to thank the city, my coworkers, and fellow city employees,” Pruitt said. “[They] made my career great here and I got a lot of fond memories and remember everybody ... I think the department will be one of the best in the state. Thank you all.”

Bid opening

City Engineer Terry McGean said the estimate for cart bridge renovations at Eagles Landing golf course would be $180,000. 

The renovations would include redecking and general repairs. 

McGean said the cost was only for the labor and equipment, not the materials. He said the costs were separated to ensure the right materials are bought for the project, and to save costs. 

If the city purchases the materials, it can do so tax-free and save around 6 percent on costs, rather than having the contractor buy the materials at a taxed value. 

Bidders submitted two bids — one that combined costs for renovation of bridges CH, 4, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18a and contingent wale replacement, while an alternative bid focused on costs for renovation of bridges 10, 11, and 18b. 

Council Secretary Mary Knight presented five bid bonds to the council: 

-Corman Construction, combined $245,000, alternative $27,600.

-Mar-Allen Concrete Products Inc., combined $377,833, alternative $75,103.

-Bluefin Construction, combined $116, 875, alternative $17,000.

-A.J.T. Holmes LLC, combined $88,140, alternative $11,810

-Apex Business Solutions, combined $136,940, alternative $16,400

The council voted unanimously to remand the bids to city staff for further review. 

Funding laws change

McGean told council members that funding laws relating to the convention center had changed. 

In the past, construction costs were split 50/50 between the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) and the city. Now, that ratio is 60/40, MSA and city respectively. 

In addition, contributions to the Convention Center Capital Reserve Fund increased from $50,000 per year from the city and MSA to $100,000. 

McGean said this increase is due in part because the size of the convention center would greatly increase after renovations, and also because of projected costs of repairing and replacing outdated equipment. 

He said a new Construction and operations agreement between the city and the MSA needed to be completed to reflect these changes. 

The council voted unanimously to approve the new convention center construction and operation agreement between the MSA and the city.

Transfer of funds

The council approved the transfer $30,000 from the deferred revenues account toward mitigation programs. 

City Environmental Engineer Gail Blazer presented to the council a slideshow of projects funded by the mitigation fees. 

These projects included rain gardens, pervious paving, rain barrels, tree planting and beach district plants. 

The approved funding will be broken down into three focus areas: Stormwater projects, $10,000, critical area projects, $15,000, and afforestation projects, $5,000. 

Floodplain management

The council approved the floodplain management and hazard mitigation plan progress report, presented by Director of OCDC Bill Neville. 

Essentially, a community rating system (CRS) review conducted in 2017 resulted in a classification change to 6a, which resulted in a 20 percent discount for flood insurance premium costs. 

This means premium costs would be cut by $1.48 million dollars total, or $57 per policy.

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