Ten Things to Know About City Council's Thursday Agenda
Council will consider a full slate of measures related to the Schilling estate, Superstorm Sandy, the Bellevue Hotel and a Trenton bill that would eliminate beach tag fees.
City Council has a full agenda (see attached PDF for agenda and supporting documents) for its public meeting Thursday (Dec. 13) in the lecture room at the Ocean City Free Public Library.
The meeting will start at 6 p.m. with an executive session closed to the public, but council likely will reconvene for public session at the regular starting time of 7 p.m.
Here are 10 things that might be of special interest:
- In the executive session, City Council will discuss the granting of permits (amid a lawsuit) by the state Department of Environmental Protection for construction of a luxury home on undeveloped land along the Ocean City Boardwalk between 19th and 20th streets. Council had met in private in August to discuss potential litigation in the continuing debate over whether the Schilling estate lots should be developed.
- Council will vote on the first reading of an ordinance authorizing $2.4 million in spending and $2.3 million in borrowing for repairs and improvements related to Superstorm Sandy damage — including beach replenishment, boardwalk repairs and public building repairs (Ocean City Music Pier, 46th Street Fire House, Ocean City Beach Patrol zone headquarters and the Ocean City Community Center among them). See attached PDF for details. The city is seeking reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for all storm damage.
- City Council will vote on the second and potentially final reading of an ordinance that would waive permit and zoning fees for repairs related to Sandy. The fees would be waived through May 24, 2013.
- City Council will vote on a resolution to advertise for bids to improve the following roads: Seventh Street (from West Avenue to the Boardwalk), Eighth Street (from West Avenue to Atlantic Avenue), 11th Street (from Central Avenue to the Boardwalk), Pennlyn Place (entire length) and West Avenue (from Eighth Street to Ninth Street).
- City Council will vote retroactively to authorize $3,625,000 in extraordinary expenses related to the Superstorm Sandy cleanup. The resolution authorizes the city to use surplus funds or issue emergency borrowing notes.
- Under threat from the state to "use it or lose it," City Council will vote to spend $2.2 million in money it has collected (through development fees) for affordable housing to reconstruct and rehabilitate the empty Housing Authority units at Peck's Beach Village (damaged by Sandy). The city would allocate another $1.2 million for affordability assistance.
- City Council will vote to put a lien on the vacant property where the Bellevue Hotel stood at Eighth Street and Ocean Avenue. The city hopes to recover the $328,000 it spent to demolish and dispose of the condemned century hotel. The city will seek reimbursement for the costs of fighting a major fire there in a separate insurance claim.
- Council will vote on the following committee reappointments: Frederick Marcell to the Ocean City Library Board of Trustees; Dennis Swan to the Ocean City Lifeguard Pension Commission; John D. Dower as a member to the Local Assistance Board; Peter Probasco and Richard Menham to the Shade Tree Committee.
- Council will vote to go back into executive session to discuss appointments to the Ethics Board, Housing Authority, Utility Advisory Commission and Zoning Board.
- Council will vote on a resolution expressing the city's opposition to proposed state legislation that would eliminate the collection of beach tag fees in any town that accepts federal or state money for beach replenishment.