Ocean City Today

Canal dredging low bid may allow more work to be done

By Greg Ellison | Dec 21, 2017

(Dec. 22, 2017) With the low bid for a trio of canal dredging projects nearly $200,000 under the budgeted amount, the Ocean City Council on Monday opted to remand the matter to staff to explore expanding the effort.

Engineering Manager Paul Mauser said the work includes canals 54 and 57 in the Caine Woods neighborhood in north Ocean City, as well as canal 2A, located just south of Teal Drive near 15th Street.

“This would be three total canals and each canal is surrounded by two streets,” he said.

Council Secretary Mary Knight read three bids into record, with Berlin-based Brittingham Construction & Landscape submitting the lowest price at more than $271,000.

Recognizing the bid was significantly under the $450,000 included in the fiscal year 2018 budget, Councilman Wayne Hartman moved to remand the matter to staff for further review.

“Since this is below what we had budgeted … is there permitting in place where we could expand the work based on that low bid price if agreeable to all parties?” he said.

Contingent on the contractor’s willingness and the availability of the required permits, the matter could be examined, Mauser said.

“Right now, we have a number of canals out for permit,” he said. “There’s plenty of work out there.”

Based on Mauser’s opinion, Hartman amended his motion.

“If it’s agreeable by the contractor and the town … that we allocate work up to the $450,000 that’s budgeted,” he said.

Councilman Dennis Dare suggested staff prepare a report detailing which canals are in the pipeline for dredging permits.

“I think we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves,” he said. “I agree it’s something we can do more of, but we have to get that information.”

Dare also noted the city restricts work on dredging projects from June 1 to Sept. 15.

Council President Lloyd Martin acknowledged Hartman’s sentiments to get the maximum work done within budget limits.

“Send it back to staff to review the bids and find out where we’re at and bring it back to us,” he said. “Then we can make this call.”

Noting there are numerous canals that require dredging, Hartman said his motion would be contingent on all parties reaching agreement for any additional work.

“It’s not saying we’re going to do it [but] just to allow us to spend up to the budgeted amount,” he said. “It will improve waterways, improve property values and give people the use of their waterfront that they’re paying for.”

The council voted unanimously to send the matter back for further staff review.

“They’ll come back with recommendations on future streets that we’ll be able to work through and spend up to $450,000,” Martin said.

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