In a statement released Thursday night, Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian said he is "willing to consider" using the city's money to help finance the redevelopment of a marina on the bay at 10th Street.
The former Dan's Dockside Marina and Seafood Restaurant on the 900 block of Palen Avenue has been abandoned for several years. The bank-owned lots include underground fuel tanks that may be leaking.
Ocean City's Gill family, owners of the Tackle Direct business, presented a redevelopment plan to the Ocean City Planning Board on Wednesday.
The plan calls for a marina, transient slips, a fuel dock, a pumpout station and a three-story building. Once home to 11 marinas, Ocean City currently has no fueling station for boats.
The Planning Board determined that the redevelopment plan is consistent with the city's Master Plan — a small step in a long process that includes approval of both redevelopment and site plans.
The full text of Gillian's statement is as follows:
STATEMENT BY MAYOR JAY A. GILLIAN
SEPTEMBER 26, 2013
Last evening the Planning Board reviewed the Gill family’s proposed Redevelopment Plan for the former Dan’s Dock property at 10th Street and the Bay. The Board will be forwarding their findings to the City Council shortly.
This project will do much more than establish a marina, fuel dock and other commercial activities at the site. It will improve the entire neighborhood by replacing a badly leaking bulkhead and reducing the frequent and extensive tidal flooding that occurs there.
The Redevelopment Plan contains a provision that the City may participate in the project by assisting with the financing of some portion in accordance with state statute. Local governmental involvement in a project such as this is not at all unusual and, in fact, is often a necessary catalyst for the redevelopment.
I am willing to consider the financial involvement of the City under certain terms and conditions that would be worked out should the project move forward. The conditions for my support include provisions that guarantee repayment of any City financing within a reasonable time frame. Additionally, I expect the agreement to provide for no significant risk for the City.
The clean up and revitalization of this area of our community is much needed and long overdue. My Administration has been exploring ways to address these problems since I took office over three years ago. The neighbors deserve better. The public benefits resulting from this redevelopment plan are numerous and I have confidence in the Gill family.
I look forward to hearing from the public, the Planning Board and the City Council as this project hopefully moves forward. There will be many additional opportunities for such input, including a community meeting that I am requesting the Gills and their professional team hold in the near future.