(Nov. 20, 2020) The following took place during Tuesday’s Worcester County Commissioner’s meeting:
The commissioners voted to install Commissioners Josh Nordstrom, Joe Mitrecic, Ted Elder, Diana Purnell and Bud Church to the Tri-City Council Executive Board.
Elder will serve as second vice-chairman, Nordstrom as treasurer and Mitrecic as immediate past chairman.
The motion passed six to one, with Church in opposition.
Christmas gift cards
The commissioners agreed to use money from the canceled annual holiday luncheon to increase gift cards for county staff from $30 to $40.
The gift cards may be used to purchase a turkey or a ham at the Walmarts in Berlin and Pocomoke City.
Administrative staff requested 660 gift cards for a total expenditure of $26,400.
The commissioners approved a resolution to adopt reclamation standards for county-owned borrow pits to qualify for an exemption from the state surface mine law.
The exemption is provided for borrow pits maintained solely in connection with the construction, repair and maintenance of the public roads system of the state or of the county.
The commissioners accepted the bid by Murtech Inc., of Salisbury to handle the Public Landing boat ramp and finger piers project. Murtech made the lowest bid of $74,717.
Other companies that submitted bids included Berlin-based Brittingham Construction, $94,950.12, and Baltimore-based Marine Technologies, Inc., $359,924.
Commissioner Josh Nordstrom asked why there was such a large gap between the bids.
Tom Perlozzo, director of recreation, parks, tourism and economic development, suggested it could be an issue of proximity, as Marine Technologies would have further to travel and transport equipment, but “I have no idea why the third bid is that high,” he said.
Nevertheless, the bid amount was 100 percent reimbursable through a Department of Natural Resources waterway grant. The project is scheduled for completion by next April.
The commissioners voted to approve items one through three on the consent agenda, which included a speed study on Greenbriar Drive, a Newark spray irrigation, and small project agreement for River Run.
The county public works department did a speed study on Greenbriar Drive from Oct. 20 to Oct. 27, at the request of resident Tiffany Nichols.
The study found 408 vehicles traveled through the area at an average speed of 23 mph. Thirty-five percent of vehicles went above 26 mph, while 65 percent went below or at 25 mph.
John Ross, public works deputy director, recommended posting a 25 mph speed limit on Pin Oak Drive, which would cover Greenbriar Drive.
Newark Spray Irrigation Facility contractor Bunting and Murray Inc. requested a change order to add 42 days to allow for the delivery of a package suction lift pump station.
The company had placed the order on March 23, but later learned that production was delayed because of covid-19-related staff reductions at the manufacturing facilities.
The package is expected to arrive by the end of this week.
Later in the meeting, the commissioners approved closing documents for Maryland Department of the Environment funding for the county’s spray project.
It is a 50 percent loan, 50 percent loan forgiveness deal.
River Run Development Associates LLC submitted a small project agreement for improvements to the River Run pump station number one.
The work will increase the station capacity needed for the final build-out of the River Run Development, as well as to accommodate the Windmill Creek subdivision on Beacuchamp Road, Ross said in a letter.
Several special event applications were approved on Tuesday, including a USA Softball contract, powerboat race request and a Ride Maryland’s Coast request.
The softball contract is for the Girls 18U National Eastern Championship Tournament slated for July 28 through Aug. 1. It will be held at John Walter Smith Park, Northern Worcester Athletic Complex, Showell Park and Newtown Park fields.
Because of its reoccurring nature, the county administrative staff requested the contract be approved by administration, as long as there are no changes to the contract.
Commissioner Chip Bertino asked for clarification on the request to ensure it applied to only the softball contract, and Perlozzo confirmed that it did.
The Power Boat Race is scheduled for April 30 to May 2, at the West Ocean City commercial parking lot and boat ramp, while the Coastal Bike Festival is slated for April 10, and will begin and end at the West Ocean City Harbor and the commercial parking lot.