Cranes

Multiple excavators demolish portions of the Ocean City Department of Public Works’ 65thStreet campus as part of the department’s large-scale campus renovation on Feb. 4. 

(Feb. 14, 2020) After almost four decades of fuel storage service, it was time to say goodbye to four underground 8,000 gallon tanks at the 65th Street Public Works facility. 

Two tanks held diesel, while the other two held natural gas. 

“They [the tanks] date back to a time period of probably 1983, 1984, so we’re approaching 37 years or so,” Public Works Director Hal Adkins said. “It was one of the first projects built up there when the town took over Playland and started building the bus barn, the purchasing department and the fuel depot.” 

Adkins said although the fuel depot had renovations done in the 1990s, the tanks remained untouched. 

Over the last several years, the public works department has been revamping its main headquarters located at 65th Street.

During the design phase of the project more than two years ago, the fuel tanks had been tested and passed Maryland Department of the Environment standards, so replacement tanks had been left out of the scope of the project, Adkins said. 

However, with the fuel depot phase of the public works facility project beginning recently, the fuel tanks were inspected once again, but this time they failed, which forced Adkins and his department to siphon out the residual diesel and gas from the tanks and discard them. 

The department then scrambled to re-establish a new fuel depot. 

After pouring over a year’s worth of fuel consumption data, Adkins and staff met with Maryland Transportation Administration officials, who agreed to cover 50 percent of the cost of the new tanks. 

In total, the replacement of the fuel tanks costs $608,605, which means the city would pay $304,302.50. 

The removal and replacement work will be handled by Harkins Contracting Inc. 

Councilman Matt James wondered whether the cost of the work provided by Harkins was reasonable. 

“I’m able to say it’s reasonable. We also have an engineering firm … and they have to do an analysis at every single proposed change order to make sure it is in line, and that was done as part of this,” Adkins said. 

The council approved the request, with Councilmen Lloyd Martin and Tony DeLuca absent.

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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