*Boardwalk redecking-2.jpeg

Ocean City Council members conducted the following orders of business at their regular meeting on Sept. 6:

Axe throwing

An axe-throwing business is officially approved to come to Ocean City.

Proposed for the second floor of the new Embers restaurant complex on 23rd Street and Philadelphia Avenue, the trendy entertainment venue received approval for a conditional use request from the resort’s planning commission in July, and final approval from council members Tuesday.

The owners and proprietors of Captive Escape Rooms, which has two locations in Ocean City, floated the idea several months ago with a set of rules that included restrictions for minor customers, and age requirements for staff. Planning commissioners adopted the rules in their findings of fact that went to council.

During discussions Tuesday, council members tweaked some of the language.

Councilman Tony DeLuca questioned why the recommendation included a requirement that all managers be over 25 years old and employees be over 18. It was explained that the business owners established those rules and shared them with planning commissioners, who included them in their recommendation.

After some discussion, council members agreed that they do not want to be in the business of managing each individual business — as Councilman John Gehrig put it — and took out the age requirements.

They opted to leave in a requirement that the axes be locked up at night when the facility is closed, which Gehrig also questioned but agreed to go along with, before unanimously voting in favor of the conditional use.

The business will join the new, renovated Embers restaurant and bar, a coffee shop and several retail shops in the complex.

Mini golf move

The owners of Nick’s Mini Golf are officially moving their 17th Street dinosaur themed course two blocks north.

Council members have approved a conditional use agreement to relocate the 18-hole miniature golf course to an empty lot on 19th Street.

Planning commissioners gave the conditional use agreement, with findings of fact, a favorable recommendation last month, which sent it to the council for final approval.

The findings of fact include a requirement that the project goes through the site plan review, and also state that the new course must conform to lighting and noise rules. Some neighbors expressed concerns to the planning commission about both lighting and noise, as the course will abut a number of residences.

Course owner Nick Geracimos told planning commissioners that the new location is safer, as it is next to a crosswalk, and will be upgraded to improve noise and lighting elements.

The course was forced to move from its 17th Street location when officials with the Harrison Group, which owns the property, submitted plans to build an office at the site.

Lumber bid

City Manager Terry McGean informed council members Tuesday that the next phase of the Boardwalk re-decking is advancing following receipt of an acceptable bid last month.

At a meeting last month, city officials opened bids from three companies vying to supply lumber to replace the boards from the pier to 15th Street. The first phase of the overall re-decking project, the replacement of the boards from 27th to 15th Street and the inlet to the pier, was finished last fall.

The bids for the next phase included pricing for several different types of wood, some more expensive than others. And while two of the companies’ estimates came in above the proposed $507,000 budget, bids from Baltimore-based Louis J. Grasmick Lumber Co. ended up coming in slightly below the total.

Council members agreed to let city staff review the submittals and make a recommendation without coming back together for a formal vote. They did not have a meeting scheduled before the bid needed to be awarded given the changing economic climate for materials. McGean said Tuesday that council members signed off on the Grasmick bid with no opposition to the staff recommendation.

Grasmick’s bids for different wood options came in at $465,898 and $449,546. The other two companies, one that won the bid for the current work, submitted higher numbers.

McGean has said the phase two re-decking work is set to begin in the fall, sometime after the events of the longer shoulder season have concluded.

This story appears in the Sept. 9, 2022 print edition of the OC Today.

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