Five Things to Know From City Council's Meeting on Thursday
Slow-going for bayside dredging, a steering committee for Merion Park road improvements, health plan savings and more.
At its public meeting on Tuesday, City Council approved the first reading of zoning changes for the old Wawa and Peter Lumber properties and honored three men for assisting in ocean rescues, but here are five other things from the meeting that might be of interest.
- Business Administrator Mike Dattilo reported that the city has applied for an extension to its permit for bayside dredging. The current permit is good through Nov. 30, but the extension would allow dredging to continue through at least the calendar year. "They have been going slower than expected," Dattilo acknowledged.
- City Council approved a move from a state-sponsored health benefits plan to a private plan. The move could save the city $700,000 or about 2.4 percent on what it would cost to stick with the current plan.
- City Council gave its support to a county plan to make improvements on Bay Avenue between Sixth and 18th streets. The work would include drainage work, repaving, curbing and ADA compliance. Because the project will receive some federal funding, the local government had to approve the work.
- Councilman Keith Hartzell and Councilman Antwan McClellan acknowledged the 100th anniversary celebration of Ocean City's Shiloh Baptist Church.
- Mayor Jay Gillian promised residents of Merion Park that he would include them in the process of planning for road and drainage improvements. "I can't stress to residents enough how important Merion Park is to me," Gillian said. He said the city has committed $1.2 million to improve some of the worst-rated roads on the island, and that an outside engineer has been surveying and analyzing the project. Gillian said he wanted to gather some information so he could "come intelligently" to meet with neighbors. In public comment, a small parade of Merion Park residents had expressed their frustrations with the pace of improvements and lack of communication. They also said they fear a repeat of Bay Avenue and Bartram Lane improvements that they say simply moved water from one place to another. In a letter to Merion Park residents, Gillian said he would form a steering committee of residents.