Ocean View to review resurfacing, police receive grants

The Town of Ocean View will be reviewing the micro-resurfacing done in a number of town developments in 2013, after receiving a letter from Kent Liddle, president of The Village at Bear Trap Dunes Owners Association.

“The Board of Directors of Bear Trap Dunes has maintained since early in the resurfacing project that the application to the surface was not properly done,” wrote Liddle in the Jan. 1 letter. “The surface continues to ‘peel’ and release sand and aggregate at an alarming rate. We fear it is entering the sewer system, as well as possibly reaching our many beautiful ponds.”

Liddle stated that the Board of Directors has retained Hillis-Carnes Engineering Associates “to evaluate the situation.”

“It’s their belief and our belief that there was something wrong with the roads that were done in May 2013,” said Liddle to town council members at the Jan. 13 council meeting.

Liddle said that if one travels through Bear Trap today, they would notice the issue.

“It’s a continuing problem, and we wanted to bring it to your attention.”

Liddle added that there is a three-year warranty for the work that was done on the road.

“I would urge council, if you feel you have the ability to do so, to file a warranty [claim] at least to protect ourselves to show there’s a problem. If we wait another six, nine months, it’s going to be three years.”

The council asked Liddle if there is a noticeable difference between the 2014 work versus the May 2013 work.

“Night and day,” responded Liddle.

Councilman Bob Lawless recommended that the Town review all the work done in 2013 on Town roads and file a warranty claim if necessary.

Town Administrative Official Charles McMullen said he had sent Liddle’s letter to the Town’s engineer and will provide their response to the council and Liddle once it is received.

“We all know there was a difference in the quarry from where they acquired the aggregate that was used in the 2013 streetscaping project,” added McMullen. “It’s a lighter aggregate. What’s coming up looks like sand; it’s aggregate nonetheless, and Mr. Liddle is right — it’s still leaching out now, two years later.”

“We will expand this look to everywhere they did work that year,” said Mayor Walter Curran.

Police department receives County grants

Curran also announced on Jan. 13 that the Ocean View Police Department would be receiving an additional $10,000 from Sussex County.

“Council understands the importance of public safety,” wrote County Administrator Todd Lawson in his letter to the Town, “and that is why they would like to grant your municipality an additional $10,000 for the Local Law Enforcement Grant. This is a one-time grant that will be added to the already budgeted $25,000 to your respective municipality for FY2015.”

Lawson added that the grant money would need to be spent by June 30, 2015.

Police Chief Ken McLaughlin noted that the County also granted the department $750 to help offset the cost of the department’s Narcan program, which allows officers to carry and administer the opiate-overdose treatment.

“I do plan on making an effort to attend the next County Council meeting to thank them in person,” he said.

“This is good news, obviously,” said Curran. “We very much appreciate it.”

“During his campaign, George Cole indicated that he would work diligently to support the interests of the Town of Ocean View and, in fact, here’s the first time he’s delivered on his promise,” said Lawless.

Curran added that the Town will also be receiving a similar grant from the County not specifically allocated for law enforcement.

The council took the opportunity to praise McLaughlin and the department for their diligence in making the Town a great place to live and visit.

“The best part of it all is that, with all that is going on in the country right now, it paints a really good picture of our police department.”

“Ocean View Police is one of the best small agencies in the United States,” added Lawless. “Its training level is second to none. I don’t know any other agency that has its officers undergoing training almost all the time. In fact, I was made aware that the State’s protocol for the use of Narcan had its genesis in Ocean View PD. We are blessed.”

In other Town news:

• A budget workshop will be held on Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. at town hall for the 2016 fiscal year, to review the first draft using the financial model.

• Town Manager Diane Vogel said EVOGov will present a new design concept for the Town’s website in the near future.

• Vogel said the bid for Phase I of the Assawoman Canal Trail has been awarded to Grassbusters Inc., with a bid just under $700,000. Once the contract is signed, they will submit construction specifications to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control’s engineering consultant for review and approval. Construction is anticipated to begin by late-February.

• Vogel said the Town’s Holiday in the Park event was a “huge success.”

“We had a great turnout thanks to the good weather,” she said, adding that the Town was thankful for those who volunteered, along with the participation of Curran and Lawless.

“I very much enjoyed being backup singer to our lead baritone [Bob Lawless],” said Curran of caroling in the park during the event.

He added that he was surprised to see so many young families in Town participating in the holiday event.

“It was so good to see so many young families here. The place was mobbed; it was a great time,” he said. “They had a really big crowd… It looks like Ocean View is going to catch on.”