(Nov. 20, 2020) The St. Martins by the Bay Homeowners Association can let out a sigh of relief, after the Worcester County Commissioners approved on Tuesday an intergovernmental loan to aid the development of its newly established water sanitary service. 

The commissioners approved the water sanitary service request back in June, after receiving a petition filed by at least 67 percent of property owners at the subdivision to do so. 

The St. Martins by the Bay Home Owners Association proposed a water connection for public water with the Ocean Pines Sanitary Service Area, and in doing so, it would abandon its private water plant and supply well. 

To pay for the project, the association is seeking United States Department of Agriculture funding. 

However, as part of the loan application process, the association must prepare a preliminary engineering report (PER) and an environmental report (ER). 

While the Worcester County Department of Environmental Programs could do the environmental report in-house, a third-party engineering firm would have to conduct the preliminary environmental report, Environmental Programs Director Robert Mitchell said. 

“We got our bids and they came a little higher than expected and the community cannot front this cost,” Mitchell said. “They’re taking care of their water treatment plant right now and are trying to hopefully limp on by until they get water from Ocean Pines.” 

The lowest bid came in at $9,640, according to a letter Mitchell wrote to the commissioners. 

The Worcester County Sewer Committee met in November to review the matter, and found that an intergovernmental loan could cover the preliminary report costs. 

Mitchell said the loan would be added as a project cost to the loan amount it would receive from the federal agriculture department, and that the association would pay it back.

Josh covers everything Ocean City government and crime. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2019 with a B.A. in French and Journalism.

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