(Oct. 11, 2013) The City Council was skeptical this week of its own estimate that allowing people to run on public roads will cost $11,397.31 to the taxpayers, given that the town might not permit private organizers to put down their own traffic cones.
Chris Klebe, head of OC TriRunning, appeared before the council Monday to confirm his Oct. 31 event. The “Seaside 10” consists of a 10-mile race that starts and finishes at the inlet parking lot, but stretches far north up Coastal Highway. Five-kilometer and one-mile races also take place on the Boardwalk.
Councilwoman Margaret Pillas asked Klebe if he saw any way to reduce the cost to the city to hold his event.
Klebe said a major burden to the city appeared to be the manpower necessary to place massive numbers of orange cones along the race route. For his races in Assateague and elsewhere in the county, Klebe’s group does this itself.
“For some reason, in town, we’re not allowed to do it,” Klebe said. “We could absorb that cost if we could get approval from you to do it ourselves… I believe it had something to do with insurance issues.”
“Government always costs more money because we have so many regulations …and you don’t,” Pillas said.
The city’s estimate for the event includes $2,868 in police costs to have Ocean City Police Department officers provide lead and chase vehicles for the races, as well as do traffic control at 11 intersections on Coastal Highway.
The estimate also includes $8,529.31 in public works costs, noting that the “event area is quite large and spread out from the inlet to 69th Street, and requires significant use of city items and resources.”
“Even public works is noting that it requires significant resources and overtime from the departmentsaid City Manager David Recor said. “I applaud Mr. Klebe’s suggestion that they could set up the route.”
“Let us work together on that,” he said. “If there’s an opportunity to reduce the cost, we will commit to doing so.”