The Ocean City Council approved its Annual Transportation Plan Grant application this week, with alternative options explored to secure transit vehicle upgrades not included in the state request tally.

(April 5, 2019) After resort government officials caught wind that Maryland Transit Administration fiscal year 2020 funding would be limited, the Ocean City Council approved its Annual Transportation Plan Grant application this week for roughly $7.8 million, or about one-third of the amount originally proposed.

Public Works Director Hal Adkins told the city’s Transportation Committee during its January meeting that of a dozen requests totaling more than $22 million, state officials hinted that only three items would likely be approved. That would include $7 million for the Public Works campus plan construction, $200,00 for Public Works campus plan construction management and $785,000 for one year of bus fleet preventative maintenance.

During its meeting on Monday, the council voted unanimously to request $7.8 million in the fiscal 2020 annual transportation plan, which requires a local capital match of 10 percent or $80,000.

The requested funding is to the Federal Transit Administration through the Maryland Transit Administration,

The application seeks $7.01 million for campus plan construction, with local match requirements met through the assessed value of donated land; $200,00 for the plan’s construction management, with a local match of $20,000; and $785,000 for one year of vehicle preventative maintenance, with only $600,000 anticipated and a local match of $60,000.

In January, Adkins said although the annual transportation plan request included roughly $10 million to replace 21 buses that have surpassed the federal government useful life criteria, other avenues were explored to obtain fewer transit vehicles.

“Had the funding been available, they would not be replacing 21,” he said. “We were lucky if we got one-to-three a year.”

Adkins said because of several years of extensive state funding for construction of the 65th Street Public Works project, replacement money for buses would be unavailable for a comparable period.

“This will be the third year of funding and, aggregately, when … approved that will be roughly $18.1 million in federal cash that will be coming your way over the three-year period, matched with your land,” he said.

To help compensate with replacement vehicles, Adkins said last year Ocean City purchased five buses for $1 each that were beyond the MTA useful life criteria and plan to match that total this spring.

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