Story Category: Public Works And Energy »
Council Approves Additional Money for Building
North Beach, MD - 10/15/2011
By Marty Madden
The fact that the Oct. 13 meeting of the North Beach Town Council ended harmoniously was a pre-Christmas miracle. At one point, even “Santa Claus” was upset.
The tough pill for the council to swallow was their unanimous approval of an additional $150,703 for town’s new Department of Public Works Shop Building.
The project is underway but during an Oct. 6 work session, Department of Public Works Director Don Bowen recommended the budget adjustment for additional site work that was needed. Bowen the mayor and council the money for the additional work is available in two of the town’s utility funds and a request for a state grant to be applied to the project is another possibility.
“We’re building a building that’s going to last this town a long, long time,” said councilmember Mike Benton.
Council vice chairman Gregg Dotson made the motion to approve the adjustment, adding he wanted to see the project completed.
Councilmember Gwen Schiada stated she wanted to see the state grant applied to the project so the town would not need to deplete utility funds.
Arguably the dourest comments on the budget adjustment were offered by councilmember Kenneth Wilcox. “I don’t believe this is the end,” said Wilcox. “There will probably be additional costs.”
The additional work includes fencing ($11,000), pavement/curb/gutter parking ($10,000), landscaping ($7,500), security system ($7,000) and stormwater management ($6,000). The project’s estimated cost is now $521,649.35.
In other council action, the town’s revised Flood Management Ordinance was unanimously approved. Town Engineer John Hofmann said the ordinance meets state requirements and an additional eight properties are now located within the North Beach Floodplain. A meeting for residents in the Twin Beaches area regarding changes in flood management ordinances will be will be held Oct. 25 at the Chesapeake Beach Town Hall, Hofmann said.
During the public comment period, town resident Guy Stone denounced a recent decision by the town events committee to change the annual “Christmas on the Beach” to “Christmas at Town Hall.” For several years, Stone has played Santa Claus at the outdoor event, which he indicated was a unique holiday event that brought large crowds, especially children, to North Beach.
“I believe the thinking was town hall would be more comfortable,” said Mayor Mark Frazer, who noted December nights on the Chesapeake Bay sometimes get very cold.
Stone opined that the colder the night, the bigger the crowd.
“I’m not one to argue with Santa Claus,” said councilmember Gregory McNeill.
“I get a sense we should leave it on the beach,” said Frazer, prompting scattered applause.
Contact Marty Madden at email@example.com
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