City may bond for Sandy repairs while waiting for reimbursement

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Estimated and confirmed costs of damages to public property in Ocean City from Hurricane Sandy Estimated and confirmed costs of damages to public property in Ocean City from Hurricane Sandy

OCEAN CITY – In order to start paying for repairs of public property damaged in Hurricane Sandy, city director of community development Georgia Arnold told City Council that administration would be looking to introduce a bond ordinance at its next meeting Dec. 13.

“We’re either going to get reimbursed by flood insurance or FEMA or our regular insurance,” she said. “But in the meantime, we have to get some of our repairs done.”

The capital workshop held Dec. 6 in the Ocean City Public Library focused on the future, but Arnold also gave a look at the present.

Sandy ripped through the island on Oct. 29, flooding many areas and displacing tons of sand. While a final estimate on damage from Sandy was not yet available, Arnold recapped what numbers the city had at this point. Sand loss due to Sandy is estimated at 850,000 cubic yards, about $10 million in damage, although the city is still waiting for US Army Corps of Engineer confirmation.

The largest loss was in the south end, from 34th Street south, at 323,556 cubic yards, or about $3.8 million.

Seven outfall pipes damaged have to be repaired at $190,000, a firm number.

“We are going to be in the position to upgrade the capacity of that Second Street outfall,” city business administrator Mike Dattilo said.

Dune and fence repairs are estimated at $10 million, confirmation pending.

While the loss at the beach will account for the biggest cost associated with Sandy, the bay areas also suffered damage, including the Second Street marina, Third Street bulkhead, Cardiff Road bulkhead and the Bayside Center.

Damage to docks and utilities at the Second Street marina total $478,000.

Councilman Tony Wilson asked how that damage would affect the city’s pending sublease agreement with Sean Scarborough to upgrade and operate the marina.

“If that agreement is completed, than this would not be our cost,” Arnold said. “It wouldn’t be our responsibility. We may have to do some demolition.”

Dattilo said that the damage needed to be itemized for FEMA and insurance purposes. Over the summer, the city entered into a sublease agreement with developer Sean Scarborough to upgrade and operate the Second Street marina, which is leased to the city by the county and part of the state’s Green Acres program. The deal received a lot of attention as many expressed concern over the privatization.

Because the county owned the land and it was purchased with Green Acres funding, both entities need to give approval for the city’s agreement to become legitimate.

Dattilo said that the exact status of the agreement is that Green Acres has approved the agreement and county approval is still pending.

At the 29th Street firehouse, flood waters from Sandy destroyed all the contents left inside at a cost of $61,000 and may have also damaged the foundation. The city is conducting an investigation on the cost of repair versus replacement.

“It’s going to depend on what the foundation is doing,” Dattilo said.

The 46th Street firehouse was also damaged and repairs are estimated at $25,000.

The Ocean City Community Center damage included a breach of the foundation, damage to the pool pump and to two lobby areas. The pool pump repairs and lobby remediation totaled $10,500, while the foundation fill is still under review.

The cost for repairs at the transportation center at Ninth Street, a historic structure, is still being developed. Repairs there will include floor replacement and rehabilitation of wainscot, restrooms and office.

Other damage includes an estimated $202,000 for boardwalk repairs, $85,000 for playgrounds and the golf course, $16,200 at the Bayside Center pool house and garage, $170,000 at the airport and golf pro shop, $32,000 at the Music Pier, $317,000 at City Hall for content damage and document salvage (an estimate on building repairs is pending), $245,000 at the vehicle maintenance building, $26,500 for beach patrol damage, and over $208,000 in traffic signals and communications.

“This is very much a work in progress,” Dattilo said.

Estimated and confirmed costs of damage to public property in Ocean City from Hurricane Sandy

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