Ocean City Today

Northside Park security overhaul approved

City Council votes to solicit bids for complex upgrades including cameras, planters
By Katie Tabeling | Jul 20, 2017

(July 21, 2017) Northside Park will be the second government facility in the resort to receive a security overhaul, as the City Council on Monday voted to solicit bids to upgrade the complex.

The council voted 5-0, with Councilmen Dennis Dare and Matt James absent, to seek a contractor to renovate the 125th Street building and grounds starting in the fall. City Engineer Terry McGean and Engineer Technician Joseph Kurtz put the cost of the upgrades at roughly $92,400.

The plan had been to renovate the Northside Park lobby for aesthetic purposes, but Recreation and Parks Director Susan Petito said she also factored in the heightened protection measures the Homeland Security recommended to city officials in January.

“You sent us to the drawing board with Homeland Security opportunities to include in this project. We met with Homeland Security officials and our engineering department, and with their help, we’ve put together a comprehensive plan,” Petito told the council.

That plan identified needs for several interior and exterior cameras, installing card readers throughout the Northside park complex and removing exterior key access at some doors. Lock-out buttons would also be installed at both entrances, allowing recreation staff to secure the doors remotely.

Planters would be placed outside the west entrance of Northside Park to prevent anyone from crashing into people with a car or truck, similar to the ones installed for the same reasons outside City Hall.

Ocean City has $50,000 earmarked for security improvements to City Hall in the current budget, but adding the planters and removing officials’ names denoting assigned parking in the City Hall lot are the only measures that have been taken so far.

Under the Northside Park plan, the east side of the complex also will be fitted with a handicap-accessible electronic door and a second service window. As to the cosmetic or customer service changes, a second service window will be installed in the lobby, and the floor and ceiling will be renovated.

“It’s 33 years old, and it needs some updating,” Petito said. “But incorporating some of the upgrades for security and efficiency is also really important to our staff.”

The upgrades will be paid out of a fund set up years ago for Northside Park repairs. $800,000 was set aside in FY16 and another $185,000 was set aside in FY17.

Under Ocean City’s procurement policy, bids that are under $100,000 are handled internally. If job quotes come back within the estimated figure, the council has given the staff permission to choose a contractor and to proceed with the renovations.


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