“This is a huge step forward,” said Ocean View Mayor Walter Curran, as the Ocean View Town Council voted 5-0 on Nov. 13 to award the contract for the Woodland Park Drainage Project to A-Del Construction Co. Inc., at a cost of $454,560.55.
The project was originally broken into three phases, but in the end, it was combined into one phase.
“The money budgeted for the project was $565,000 for the three phases,” said Ocean View Director of Planning, Zoning & Development Ken Cimino, noting they were under-budget with the A-Del contract. “We hope to get that project started, shovel-in-the-ground, realistically, first of December/end of this month.”
The Town only received two bids for the project, the second being from Paul’s Paving Inc., at $594,988.11.
Cimino said the roadway patching project will start later this month.
As part of the project, he requested $50,000 of additional patching work along Daisey Avenue.
“It represents basically 25 percent of the original contract amount. We have funding already in place in our DPW street-maintenance budget, additional funding in 2020 that we could pull back from projects we’ve deemed not necessary.
“We have the opportunity to jump ahead for a change,” said Curran, encouraging the council’s support.
Town Solicitor Dennis Schrader noted that the contract in question is a unit-price contract, not a fixed-fee contract.
“There is a public safety issue there with the roadway in its current state. It’s been neglected for years,” added Police Chief Ken McLaughlin. “Traffic is increasing each year on Daisey Avenue. It’s become quite the cut-through… I would certainly encourage the council to include that work as well.”
The council voted unanimously to include the stretch of road in the patch-work project.
Town takes steps to address tax issues
Also on Nov. 13, the council voted unanimously the stop using the Sussex County method of calculating property taxes and to revert back to the Town’s previous method, used prior to this budget year.
“This is us correcting our mistake,” said Curran.
The Town sought bids for appraisal services and received three bids, from Appraisal Services, Pearson’s Appraisal Service and Tyler Technologies.
A contract with Appraisal Services was approved on Tuesday with a vote of 5-0, for a cost of $133,920, with the stipulation that a certificate-of-insurance be provided to the Town by end of business on Friday, Nov. 16.
“We have to make sure whoever is working out there … that that company is covered, so that if anybody should get hurt, it would come under their insurance,” explained Curran.
If the certificate is not received, the Town voted to instead go with Pearson’s Appraisal Service, at a cost of $145,942.50. Both companies proposed a timeline of completion by Feb. 1, 2019.
In other Town news:
• The speed limit on Muddy Neck Road between Parker House and Double Bridges roads has been reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph. The speed was reduced, with the approval of the Delaware Department of Transportation, after concerns were raised regarding safety.
“There will be a time period where people will get kind warnings,” noted Curran.
McLaughlin said there will be at least two months of written warnings for those who travel 45 mph in the new 35 mph zone; however, he cautioned that those who would’ve received tickets in the old speed zone will likely still receive them during the transitional period.
• The Town of Ocean View entered into a lease agreement with the Lord Baltimore Landing community, allowing temporary parking of Town vehicles and staging of equipment, utility vehicles, etc., for a cost of $10 per year.
The agreement was a result of McLaughlin noting that parking at the Wallace A. Melson Municipal Building is limited.
McLaughlin said Ocean View is one of the few area towns with its own Emergency Operations Center. In the past, the building has housed the Delaware National Guard, Verizon and propane power companies, among others.
“What that means for the citizens of Ocean View, is when that ends, we get taken care of first,” he said. “It’s a really big benefit to our community.”
• Councilman Frank Twardzik praised OVPD Sgt. Sid Ballentine, who arrested two individuals trespassing on a property in Woodland Park in the middle of the night last month.
“It’s a small community,” said McLaughlin. “After a couple of years, you get to know what cars belong and what don’t…
“Both [suspects] were wanted. One was a fugitive from the state of Maryland… One of them had 53 felony arrests. There’s no doubt in my mind they were down there up to no good. We’re fortunate Sgt. Ballentine was out there and was vigilant.”
“They’re to be commended,” said Twardzik. “He is typical — and I don’t mean that in a common word — but he is typical of the officers you have under your jurisdiction. They are all a cut above; they all take the extra step and they all watch out for all of us. So, I want to say, ‘Thank you.’”
By Maria Counts