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County briefs 3/20/15

(March 20, 2015) The Worcester County Commissioners discussed the following issues during their meeting last week.

Bond could be sought

Crediting favorable interest rates that, county officials suspect, might be rising in the coming year, the county approved a measure to allow a consolidating refund bond to be investigated.

Net savings could be as much as $800,000 County Treasurer Phil Thompson said, taking into account the estimated $150,000 cost to seek the bond.

Four projects: an EMS radio upgrade, Berlin rubblefill cap and closure, portion of landfill cell five construction and Mystic Harbour WWTP interconnections, included in this year’s capital improvement plan may be financed by this bond.

Sewer may miss deadline

The public portion of the private/public partnership for the sewer lines may miss a May 7 deadline owing to some bureaucratic approvals that may not come down, but the commissioners didn’t seem very concerned and voted to allow the project some flexibility on the timeline.

Mark Cropper, representing the project, said all of the other deadlines should be met without issue and the May deadline could be met, but there is some uncertainty on when necessary rulings may be obtained.

Cropper said the project needed an approval from Maryland Department of the Environment, a state dewatering permit needed to be granted, and State Highway needed to approve a road crossing.

Pregnancy policy adopted

State law requires counties to have policies and procedure regarding pregnant workers included in their employee handbooks, and before now Worcester County had no such policies formalized.

They introduced the additions in the middle of February, and amended codes need to be posted for two weeks before they can be formally adopted. Having received no comments on the proposed policies, County Administrator Harold Higgins proposed approving it without additions or corrections. The commissioners voted unanimously for adoption.

Late bid

The commissioners denied a bid for a housing rehabilitation project tendered just two minutes from the cutoff time.

The bid was then awarded to Shoreman Construction Company.

County endorses alliance

In June 2014 Worcester County, Wicomico County and Ocean City formed the Mid-Atlantic Amateur Sports Alliance to “link and leverage combined assets” in the realm of amateur sports.

The memorandum of understanding between the counties and resort gathers the OC Tourism Director, Worcester Director of Parks and Recreation and the Wicomico Director of Recreation, Parks and Tourism to develop plans, a budget, respond to proposals, provide group rates and blocks and provide information to prospective event organizers.

Commissioner Joe Mitrecic first made a motion to exclude Worcester Director of Parks and Recreation Paige Hurley and insert Economic Development Director Bill Badger, but the motion failed for lack of a second. A. Chip Bertino made the motion to accept the proposal as written, which passed.

Cedar Hall boat ramp bids

The bid to reconstruct the Cedar Hall boat ramp, as well as extend and add wheel stops has been awarded to Murtech, Inc. for approximately $174,000.

Ocean Downs part of OP

Having paid the nearly $720,000 for 63 equivalent dwelling units of sewer service and having the deed approved by the commissioners, Ocean Downs is now officially a part of the Ocean Pines Sanitary Service Area.

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