Clean up continues in Ocean City after Sandy

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Administrator lays out plan to pay for superstorm

OCEAN CITY – Clean up after Superstorm Sandy will continue through the weekend, city administrator Mike Dattilo said.

Dattilo, during his administrative report at the Nov. 15 City Council meeting, said that for the third week in a row, the city is continuing to remove trash, debris and sand from the streets of Ocean City.

“We’re going to stay at it aggressively. That was the mayor’s direction from before the storm even ended,” Dattilo said, noting that Mayor Jay Gillian was not present because he was dealing with repairs to his amusements in Ocean City and Sea Isle City.

“Trash and recycling is essentially back to the normal schedule; next week isn’t normal because of the holiday,” Dattilo said.

Trash normally picked up on Thursday will be picked up on Friday, and Friday’s trash will be picked up Saturday, he said. Materials should be placed away from telephone polls and sewers. Debris left after trash is removed should be cleaned up before it has a chance to get into the storm drains.

“Supplemental trucks will be out in force over the weekend,” Dattilo said.

Street sweepers out in force where it’s appropriate, he said, noting that the street sweepers cannot clean up materials that are still wet.

Sand removal is continuing in the south end and in the boardwalk street ends, Dattilo said.

At the next council meeting 7 p.m. Nov. 29, the city will be ready to present total costs for damage, clean up and repairs, as well as a time table for the repairs.

On the next meeting’s agenda, Dattilo said he expects several emergent condition resolutions to authorize work already authorized under the state of emergency. He said this includes clean up of city buildings where there were health and safety concerns.

“The law allows us to arrange for those types of cleanups and for you to approve them after the fact,” Dattilo said.

He said there is also likely to be an emergency appropriation of funds “to get us through the end of the year.”

Dattilo said that although the city will be able to make line item transfers to cover some of the costs incurred during and after Sandy, all costs are not likely to be covered through those transfers.

“As we get closer to the meeting, we’ll know a ball park figure of what that dollar amount might be to get us through the rest of the year,” he said.

Dattilo said for council to also expect a capital bond ordinance for needed repairs, some which will be reimbursable through federal and state funding, and a resolution to waive some construction permit fees for work related to the storm.

Dattilo said that he was waiting to find out if about $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding, disseminated through the federal government, could be freed up for assistance money to businesses and qualifying residents, without adversely impacting other items in the CDBG plans such as Americans with Disabilities Act projects. Dattilo said that money would likely be in the form of loans.

He said the city will also consider amending its Council on Affordable Housing plan to provide funds for income-qualifying residents.

Both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Association have set up offices in Cape May Court House to help residents and businesses with recovery. Dattilo said the SBA may be setting up a location on the island.

“We’re optimistic that they’ll be setting up a permanent location in Ocean City,” he said.

Steve Cole, of Oxford Lane thanked the city for the “fantastic job that they have done in the clean up and getting us back to where we need to be.”

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