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(March 27, 2020) The Worcester County Commissioners made the following decisions during their meeting on Tuesday, March 17. 

Emergency Services 

Commissioners granted project approval to spend $5,250 to purchase additional emergency dispatching protocol AQUA license and $234.50 for 911 public educational materials for an Emergency Number Systems Board project.

The projects total $5,484.50, which will be reimbursed to the county. 

Billy Birch, emergency services director, also gave an update on the Emergency Number Systems Board, Carl Hens Law, a state staffing study and 911 fee increases. He emphasized that the county can raise the collection fee .75 cents per phone line if there is a shortfall in the FY20 budget. 

In addition, he predicted a 15 percent increase in calls. 

The new infrastructure for the Emergency Number Systems Boards will allow residents to text or email 911 services. 

Bayside Road Bridge 

Commissioners granted a request to bid for the Bayside Road Bridge replacement project. According to Public Works, the project is estimated to cost $2,083.776. 

Typically, the state would fund 80 percent and the county 20 percent, but the state aid only has $980,733.33. With an FY19 State Highway Administration Transportation grant, the county would contribute about $543,479.67. 

The county had $2,176,000 in available funds for the project. 

John Tustin, public works director, estimated that project construction would start in September. He added that Delmarva Power has an overhead line across the bridge that it will relocate underground. 

Renovations 

Commissioners awarded bids for a housing rehabilitation project in Pocomoke and renovations to Diakonia. 

Three Guys Construction will complete work on the roof and gutter, crawlspace and bathroom of the Pocomoke house for $12,575. This is covered by the Maryland Community Block Grant. 

Spicer Bros will work on Diakonia’s building two roof for $26,240; OC Floor Gallery will work on building two flooring for $6,500; and East Coast Contracting will work on building one and two railing and decking and kitchenettes for $62,340.49. 

Public Landing 

Commissioners granted permission for the Worcester County Department of Recreations of Parks, Tourism and Economic Development to renew two state grants totaling $68,500 for the Public Landing parking lot, grading and boardwalk. 

Tom Perlozzo, director of recreation and parks, tourism and economic development, said that after a 2017 grant is paid out to Stacey Hart & Associates for engineering services at Public Landing, there will be $45,000 leftover. The grant was not encumbered at the end of FY19. 

A 2018 grant has $23,500 available. Both grants are fully reimbursable.

Elizabeth covers Worcester County issues for Ocean City Today. In 2018, she graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with a bachelor of arts. After graduation, Elizabeth spent a year with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Wilmington, Delaware.

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