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Ocean City Asks for Update on Life Saving Station Fundraising

City Council approved a change order to a contract for exterior renovations at the historic site.

U.S. Life Saving Station 30 at Fourth Street and Atlantic Avenue in Ocean City was elevated earlier in fall 2013.
U.S. Life Saving Station 30 at Fourth Street and Atlantic Avenue in Ocean City was elevated earlier in fall 2013.
City Council voted 6-0 on Thursday to approve a $32,000 increase to what is now a $645,000 contract for exterior renovations at the historic U.S. Life Saving Station at Fourth Street and Atlantic Avenue.

Councilman Scott Ping, a perennial opponent of public spending on the project, was not present.

Crews working to repair the foundation noticed deteriorated cedar posts and improperly placed perimeter piers when the structure was raised in the fall. The deficiencies were not visible until the building was lifted (see memo in the Agenda Packet for more detail).

The city borrowed almost $1 million in 2010 to purchase the historic property and save it from demolition. The state awarded a $750,000 grant for renovations — but the city had to come up with a matching $750,000 to help the museum replace its roof and complete work on the foundation, windows and porch of the historic building.

The nonprofit group U.S. Life Saving Station 30 has promised to repay the city the full amount of what it spends on repairs to the building. The group is working to create a maritime museum at the site.

The resolution for the $32,000 change order was approved without discussion as part of the "consent agenda," but Council President Tony Wilson followed up on a suggestion by Ocean City resident Al Kelleher to ask the nonprofit group to report to City Council on the status of its fundraising efforts.

In previous reports to council, the group said that substantial fundraising cannot begin until the Life Saving Station renovation is complete and can welcome visitors.

U.S. Life Saving Station 30 operated in Ocean City from 1885 to 1915, rescuing ships and sailors in distress and serving as a place of shelter on a remote stretch of shoreline. 
Oceancity Resident January 10, 2014 at 07:23 AM
Such an incredible waste of taxpayer's money. Everything that the opponents of this project predicted is coming true. Once this was undertaken the taxpayers are on the hook for at least the next 50 years. How many government employees will it take to maintain and man this property and at what cost? How much will the final cost be to repair the dilapidated building? For what? So a couple connected individuals could block some new homes on the site?
vic January 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM
city council agreed to sell the city owned property at 15th and west in order to repay the bonds that were used to fund the life saving station. when is it going to be sold????? it was agreed that the life saving station project would not cost the taxpayers anything. liars! liars! liars!
George January 10, 2014 at 01:13 PM
Thanks Doug for taking the time to detail out this plan as you have. Very informative journalism.

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