(Jan. 24, 2020) The following took place at Tuesday’s Ocean City Council meeting:
The Ocean City Chamber of Commerce awarded the Beautification Committee first place for the 2019 Chamber Lights Award in the service-building category for decorating City Hall.
The committee received a plaque, which will be displayed in the City Hall lobby.
City Council approved meeting minutes from a Jan. 6 and Jan. 14 council meeting, as well as private event requests for the Ocean City Air Show, June 13-14, Endless Summer Cruisin’, Oct. 8-11, and Ocean City Elks Lodge 2020 military banner program.
Police Commission — Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro reported that officer calls for service increased by 23 percent, while citizen calls for service decreased by 4.2 percent last December.
The police department continues to struggle with seasonal officer and public safety aide recruitment, but will host another testing date in February.
The next meeting will take place on Monday, Feb. 10, at 9 a.m. in the Public Safety Building on 65th Street.
Tourism Commission — City Councilman Matt James said the commission approved to move a sports complex report for the mayor and council to review.
The commission discussed its fourth strategic goal of expanding tourism, which included extending the summer weekend by making Thursday the new Friday.
The commission went into closed session and marketing agency MGH presented its 2020 marketing plan proposal.
The commission voted to send a favorable recommendation to the mayor and city council.
The next meeting will take place on Monday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. in the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street.
Transportation Committee — City Councilman Tony DeLuca reported that ridership was down in January compared to last January.
The transportation department currently has 67 drivers — 61 part-time drivers and six full-time drivers — and expects 44 or so seasonal drivers to return this summer.
The department will attend four job fairs from February to March, and has a recruitment goal of 155 drivers.
The city has sent a letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation requesting seven articulating buses, which hold up to twice as many passengers as the average 40-foot bus.
The meeting went into closed session, and the committee voted to ask the mayor and City Council to send out request for proposals for its bus and tram advertisements.
The council voted to send out the request for proposals, with Councilman Dennis Dare in opposition.
Several council members, such as James, Dare and Councilwoman Mary Knight expressed concerns with the aesthetics of tram advertising, as well as with non-family friendly advertising.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday Feb. 11, at 9 a.m. in the Public Works building E on 65th Street.
Green Team — DeLuca said the meeting began with a word from City Communications Manager Jessica Waters, who told the group that the city was spreading the word of its Protect Our Sand & Sea “source reduction” program.
DeLuca also mentioned a presentation from Ed Potetz of the Worcester County Health Department regarding the statewide Styrofoam ban that becomes effective oon July 1.
DeLuca said the ban affects all food industries and charitable organizations that use or distribute Styrofoam food service products, but excludes items used for meat packaging.
Entities with large stores of Styrofoam may request a one-year waiver.
Otherwise, if an establishment is found with Styrofoam products, it has 90 days to get rid of it, otherwise it faces a fine up to $250.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 11, at 3:30 p.m. in the City Hall executive conference room.
Bike Committee — DeLuca said the Public Works Director Hal Adkins brought to the group’s attention a metal guardrail that was recently installed next to Hooper’s Crab House in West Ocean City.
The guardrail cut off slivers of the adjacent street parking, making it so cars parked there would be a few inches into the road.
Adkins said he would email SHA Assistant-District Engineer Jana Potvin to see what could be done.
DeLuca also announced that Mayor Rick Meehan had agreed to participate in a Mayor’s Bike Ride event set for May 1.
This was part of the group’s effort to host more bike events to become certified as a Bicycle Friendly Community.
The Bike Committee also has a new web page thanks to city web designer Bill Funkhouser. The page can be found at: oceancitymd.gov/bpac.
DeLuca also announced that the committee would work with hotel and motel owners to obtain license of use agreements, which the city needs to create an official bike path from the inlet to the Delaware state line.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. in the City Hall executive conference room.