Half of Ocean City capital budget will go to roads in 2013

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OCEAN CITY — Half of the city’s capital budget for 2013 is set aside for paving and drainage improvements in the city, keeping in line with the city’s last two capital workshops, according to the administration’s capital plan presentation at the Ocean City Council meeting Jan. 17 in the Ocean City Library.

The five-year total for the 2013-2017 capital plan is $49,810,000, with a total of $25 million for paving.

Georgia Arnold, director of the city’s Office of Community Development, said that of the nearly $10 million capital budget for 2013, paving and drainage spending is at $5 million, and work is concentrated on 31st, 32nd and 33rd streets between West and Bay avenues.

City administrator Mike Dattilo added that there is “quite a bit of investigatory work” that will go into the design of these repairs.

“This ties into the Bayland Drive drainage improvements that we finished last year,” Arnold said.

The city is recommending a drainage area study from 48th to 51st streets on West and Haven avenues, and replacement of drainage pipes at 39th, 40th and 41st streets.

Other paving projects include: 31st Street between Bay and West avenues, 32nd Street from Haven to Asbury avenues, 33rd Street from Bay to West avenues, Simpson Avenue from 33rd to 31st streets, several alleys between 31st and 34th streets, Asbury Avenue between 39th and 42nd streets, 40th Street from West to Asbury avenues, and 42nd Street from West to Central avenues.

There are also New Jersey American Water- and South Jersey Gas-associated improvements.

Bulkhead improvements are proposed at 16th Street, Battersea Road and Tonga Harbor.

In 2013, beach and bay projects total $965,000, including ADA beach paths at $15,000, outfall upgrades at $400,000 and dredging at $550,000. Arnold said this was separate from any work related to Hurricane Sandy. In 2014, beach and bay projects total $130,000, and $2.28 million in 2015 with $1.75 million for beach fill and $550,000 for dredging.

Dredging between Glen Cove and Snug Harbor is budgeted to occur in 2013, with dredge spoils going into the Route 52 spoils site, expected to completed March 1.

Boardwalk funding remains the same as presented in December: Isolated replacements on the boardwalk are estimated at $75,000 per year in 2013-2017; and reconstruction averages $1.7 million per year in 2014-2017.

The city has budgeted $1.575 million for public buildings in 2013.

“We finally got the OK on the Fourth Street Life Saving Station for pre-qualified bidders,” Arnold said, referring to the state approval needed for work completed on this historic structure.

Construction documents are complete, she said, so the city will be bidding the project for exterior renovations, to be completed in 2013. There is $400,000 budgeted for the interior work in 2014.

“Were also putting some design development money in for a new public safety and court building, to be followed up with construction documents, and construction itself,” Arnold said.

Funds for the design of a new public safety building, including police, fire and court, is included at $220,000 in 2013, with a possible $750,000 in 2014. In 2015-2017, a total of $4.75 million is budgeted for construction of the building.

“We have quite a bit of information to share with you as we approach this possible project,” Dattilo said. “It’s just a plan and we don’t need for you to have complete consensus on each and every project in there because were not spending any money.”

As for the renovations to the ground floor of City Hall, which was flooded during Hurricane Sandy, the city has budgeted $255,000 for reconfiguration. Remediation work has been completed and the cost will likely be reimbursed to the city through insurance.

“This would be additional funds for reconfiguration of the ground floor, which we have a conceptual plan that will be discussed in the near future,” Arnold said.

Remediation work on the 29th Street firehouse, also damaged during Sandy, is budgeted at $285,000 and restoration of the fleet maintenance building is budgeted at $125,000. The total spending proposed for public buildings in 2013 is $1.575 million and $1.6 million in 2014.

Public facilities spending in 2013 is budgeted at $425,000 with $300,000 for general property improvements like irrigation, fencing and landscaping. In 2014, that budget jumps to $1.05 million with $750,000 in for improvements to Fenton Carey Field.

In 2013, the city has budgeted $815,000 for parking and traffic improvements, including upgrading the Fifth Street and beach parking lot, and the Moorlyn Avenue and Eighth Street parking lots – leveling the two and creating an alley to connect them.

Existing funds are available in 2013 for bike and pedestrian path improvements at $150,000 and downtown improvements at $107,000.

The large equipment and trucks budget for 2013 is $1.018 million with $675,000 to replace a pumper truck in the fire department.

“It’s been put off for several years,” Arnold said.

Dattilo said that since Hurricane Sandy, various other capital projects have been or will be completed. He said he has been asked many times how that spending relates to the capital spending over the next five years.

“As we’ve been saying ever since the storm … in terms of the reimbursements that we expect and we are continuing to have a good dialogue with FEMA … it really doesn’t,” he said.

He said the storm doesn’t impact the city’s ability to take on its ramped up capital budget this year, and still be responsible to future administrations and councils, and to taxpayers.

Click here to see video from the meeting

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