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Letter From Mayor: Skate Park, Merion Park Work on the Way

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian updates the public on two projects.

The skateboard park in Ocean City at Sixth Street and Boardwalk shortly after it closed in the fall of 2011.
The skateboard park in Ocean City at Sixth Street and Boardwalk shortly after it closed in the fall of 2011.

December 6, 2013

Dear Friends:

This is a quick update on two capital improvements that many people are interested in.

We have settled on the location of the skatepark. The administration will recommend to City Council that the park be located just north of the Sports and Civic Center near the shuffleboard courts. 

A conceptual design has been developed in consultation with Spohn Ranch Skateparks, one of the leading such companies in the country.  We will review this conceptual design with interested stakeholders for their input over the next two weeks.  We then finalize the design and go to bid just after the first of the year. 

The road and drainage improvements for Merion Park are nearing final design.  Earlier today our engineering consultants on this job, Baker Engineers, reviewed the project with City staff and a group of neighbors.  The project is on schedule to go out to bid by the end of January, with construction beginning by the end of March.  I appreciate the patience of the residents and property owners of Merion Park as this challenging project was closely studied.  We will invite the entire neighborhood to a public information center on the project in early 2014.

Have a great weekend.

Warm regards

Jay A. Gillian

Frank December 08, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Eric - FYI I have always posted under "Frank".
vic December 08, 2013 at 01:14 PM
scott halliday builds the most units in ocean city. scott lives in ocean city.
Frank December 08, 2013 at 01:38 PM
Vic - Eric will undoubtedly find fault with that too!
vic December 08, 2013 at 01:55 PM
eric offers many valid concerns. it's just that there are simply too many battles to fight.
OCnjOC December 08, 2013 at 03:03 PM
"Great to have the community investing in our youth. The access to a skatepark will help our young, progressive surfing athletes to stay ahead of other communities they compete against." These welfare cheats always use "the children" argument. Open up a commercial skate park if so may people want it.
SandyFeet December 08, 2013 at 05:32 PM
The skateboarding youth of Ocean City have been very patient waiting for their skate park to be rebuilt and replaced. The new long awaited promised park will give these kids a place to safely skateboard as opposed to finding random places to skate, i.e. city streets, city property etc. Also, a place for kids to socialize, practice and enjoy their sport. We look forward to the completion of the new park this Spring! Please keep us updated! THANK YOU!!!
Eric Sauder December 08, 2013 at 07:21 PM
I agree about the skateboard park. There seems to be little for kids to do. I've had to shoe them out of a private parking lot more than once. Not something I like to do but am required to do. Its too bad it has taken so long. Hopefully no one will want to use this new skate board facility for parking.
Eric Sauder December 08, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Yeah too many battles and some of them you have to fight over an over again. Most of what I commented on, in regard to zoning in particular, was in the Planning Board three years ago. I've been following it ever since. Apart from the new Beach and Dune Zone, which met with legal challenges, that's about it. It all went thru, good bad and ugly.
Eric Sauder December 08, 2013 at 10:50 PM
OK Frank. I didn't mention any names. I have to laugh. The subject is likely a Dolphins fan. Jimmy Slade was a running back for the Miami Dolphins (one of the screen names he used.) And there's (thank god right?) only one of me. You won't be seeing the second occurrence on here again. It would be nice if everyone posted under their own name. I can appreciate an honest discussion and an honest opinion. I just think its kind of spineless to attack someone anonymously, and that does happen on this site.
Lisa McGuigan December 08, 2013 at 11:22 PM
I agree that the kids have been patiently waiting for the skate park There isn't much for the teens to do especially when it gets colder out. We all really miss the skatepark I'm curious who the parties are who are approving the design
Frank Brady December 09, 2013 at 08:15 AM
Hopefully this promised skatepark will get done ASAP. The youth of OC have been patiently awaiting its arrival. Thank you OC for stepping up and moving this project forward.
Big c December 09, 2013 at 10:34 AM
Eric there is a 500.00 dollar street restoration fee. I just had to pay it to get gas service. I wonder if every one has to pay it, and what they will do with it. My street is a nightmare . Third and haven water lays for days there.
Eric Sauder December 09, 2013 at 11:15 AM
I feel the need to explain where I was coming from and to apologize for jumping all over this. There are areas of town that probably should never have been developed. Merion Park is one of them. And we're now beginning to build new residential neighborhoods on land in the middle of the island that floods constantly (along Haven and Simpson.). That land was in commercial but not anymore. So the point is we now have no choice but to address the flooding problems in neighborhoods that never should have been developed. The people that live (or will live) in those neighborhoods are citizens too and have the right to seek remediation. That is what I meant by paying for the mistakes of the past. Unfortunately we're making the same mistakes for the future too. Just wait. Pressure will be brought to bear to address the flooding problems in those new residential neighborhoods soon enough There are areas of town that still flood regularly we haven't addressed. Now there will only be more of them. The ordinances that will likely be challenged legally are the new X zone where historic properties were exempted, and the practice of building with fill and using retaining walls. In the first case certain property owners are being discriminated against. In the second existing property owners will likely be flooded as a result of new construction. The new Hospitality Zone will likely increase flooding in that part of town too. Increasing the density and intensity of development in that zone will create even more runoff. The outfall pipes in the Corinthian neighborhood don't have the capacity, and neither will the outfall pipes in the new Hospitality Zone, which is modeled after the Corinthian concept. We faithfully give the developers whatever they want and wind up paying for it later. Its going to cost the taxpayers mucho bucks to fix the streets that were damaged as a result of decades of unchecked development. Think of it as a tax deductible contribution to your local developers here in Ocean City. Unless something is done to hold the people who are responsible for tearing up our streets its only a matter of time before we're going to have to do it all over again.
Eric Sauder December 09, 2013 at 11:26 AM
So yeah, its good we're addressing the flooding problems in Merion Park. We have no choice now but to do it. I hope it works. Its not going to be easy keeping water out of a low lying area bordering on marsh land.
Eric Sauder December 09, 2013 at 11:35 AM
How the heck are we ever going to get caught up with the effect of decades of over development when we continue to redevelop at a break neck pace?
Eric Sauder December 09, 2013 at 11:47 AM
I had a gas line run into my house a couple of years ago and there was no fee. Maybe its something new I don't know. Thanks for the info. Whatever the fee is it should be sufficient to cover the cost of periodic street repaving. To my way of thinking its a cost of doing business and should not be a cost to the taxpayer.
Eric Sauder December 09, 2013 at 11:51 AM
I also had my electrical meter replaced and wasn't charged for that either. I was just talking to another property owner that had to pay to replace his meter. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Big c December 09, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Eric I am a tax payer. Not a full time resident. My question is, are all new homes being charged this fee? Or just people like me rebuilding from sandy. With all the new construction they should be collecting a boat load of money. What are they doing with it?
Steve Beseris December 09, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Two thumbs up for the Mayor and City Council for moving ahead with a plan for replacing the previously dismantled OC Skate Park. Saying the new skate park has been anxiously awaited by the kids in our town would be an understatement. I skate with my own children, and a whole lot of the local OC kids on a regular basis, and I can say for sure that they are really excited to hear the news that a plan is taking shape. On a number of occasions I’ve counted over 20 of them out at Amanda’s Field Skate Park. It’s great to see so many engaged in such a healthy pastime, but it’s also been kind of sad noticing how many don’t have access to rides out there. So keep up the good work and let’s get this plan in motion so all of our OC kids can participate in this healthy pastime/passion. Thanks.
Eric Sauder December 10, 2013 at 03:58 PM
I don't know C but I'll try to find out.
spdrat99 December 10, 2013 at 08:34 PM
OCnjOC, "These welfare cheats always use "the children" argument. Open up a commercial skate park if so may people want it." You need to support successful community programs that promote empowerment ideology for our youth instead of worrying about YOUR OWN lousy welfare entitlements. While your at it, try working a little harder and save your own money for retirement instead of waiting for all of what the government takes from me!
Eric Sauder December 12, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Big C I spoke to a council member and that $500 fee originates with and is payable to the gas company. So no, the City never sees that money. There's some discussion about bonding street repairs but what is needed (in my opinion) is periodic resurfacing.
Eric Sauder December 12, 2013 at 12:37 AM
I don't know if its assessed to the builders but I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't.
Big c December 12, 2013 at 06:05 AM
Eric, I payed the fee at 12th street. Payable to the city of ocean city. The gas co. Told me the city is requiring them to pull a permit to open the street now. So that is 500.00 plus the permit fee. My problem with it is I already had gas service before I demolished the house.
Big c December 12, 2013 at 07:03 AM
Community operations zoning/ street openings. How is it that council people do not know about these charges? I don't mind paying if they fix the street. But like I said 3 rd and haven is a mess. I am reguired to put in Sod I guess to make the property look good, yet water lies in the street for days. Where does the money go?
vic December 12, 2013 at 09:19 AM
people were complaining about all the street openings after streets had been repaved, so council passed an ordinance charging utility companies $2500 for street cuts. the utilities sued and the fee was reduced to $500. the utilities pass the fee to the developers, who then tack on the fee in the price of the home. homeowners are required to have a certain percentage of their property permeable, that's why grass is required.
Big c December 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM
The city collects the money. I am required by code to instal sod and sprinklers, the street looks like it has been through a war. Where does the money go?
Eric Sauder December 12, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Sorry for giving out bad information. Sometimes bad information is the only information you can get. I heard about the sprinkler systems from someone else. I think that's over reach. I mean with the size of yards here its easy enough to hit it with a hose if you want to water your yard. And with the cost of water, and particularly sewer, who can afford to water their yard? The sewer fee is assessed by the county and amounts to another indirect tax. I pay as much as $200 a month for water and sewer in the off season and I live alone. Anyway I'll try to find out where that money goes.
Eric Sauder December 12, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Vic I think you can still use stones as along as there's no water barrier. That's really hard to enforce though. The fact that no one will hold the builders responsible is a sure indication of who controls government.
Eric Sauder December 12, 2013 at 03:19 PM
New construction went in next to me and a sprinkler system was installed. It operated until the property was sold at which time the owner shut it off.


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