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(July 13, 2018) As two projects at the Ocean City Municipal Airport approach their conclusions, someone discovered some trees needed to be removed and that has blocked the path to completion.

Ocean City, through Public Works Director Hal Adkins, requested a waiver for the bond required for the work, based upon a similar request the city had made 18 years ago for the Park and Ride facility in West Ocean City.

The county granted the request unanimously earlier this month.

The airport work is located in the critical area, defined as within 1,000 feet of tidal waters and wetlands, and has additional rules and regulation in place. Trees removed from somewhere inside the critical area must be replaced, sometimes at a higher ratio than one-to-one, depending on several factors.

To ensure this work is completed, the government usually requires a bond to ensure that the work being done meets standards before it is approved for use by the governing agency.

Under these circumstances, the city would be required to install native plantings elsewhere on the property, and it required a bond of 125 percent of the total labor and plant cost, determined to be almost $11,000 by Jenelle Gerthoffer, natural resources administrator for Worcester County.

The city agreed to the replanting, but asked the county to waive the bond — essentially asking the county to take its word for it that the work would be done appropriately.

The county agreed to the conditions, and granted the waiver.

The two projects the city is working on at the airport are obstruction removal plus environmental mitigation and runway standards rehabilitation.

Along with removing trees, the obstruction removal project also includes critical and tidal area mitigation, while the rehabilitation project intends to fix the pavement, increase the runway taxiway distance from 200 to 300 feet, demolish direct runway access taxiways from the terminal and provide for the required wingtip clearances from the taxi lane to transient parking.

No project completion date was provided. 

Brian has covered every municipality in Worcester at one time or another, and is one of the longest serving reporters in the region. He covers just about everything. He lives in Snow Hill with his wife, Lora, and two sons, Julian and Grady.

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