Ocean City Today

Ocean City’s gold-plated public works campus

Readers' Forum
Mar 08, 2018



printed 03/09/2018



I have always been perplexed about how low cost government projects mushroom into multimillion-dollar boondoggles.

I believe the current public works “campus” is such a project. The total adjusted cost of the project is now estimated to be $25.1 million, with Ocean City taxpayers share of the cost being $8.7 million.

The Maryland Transit Administration, a state agency, is paying for the remaining project’s cost. By boring down into the details of project cost analysis, we find this project includes $7,863,000 or about 30 percent of the total project’s cost, for the construction of a new public works administration building.

After review, the MTA decided to pay for only 43 percent of the building’s construction. By comparison, the MTA is paying 100 percent for a $5.3 million for the construction of the bus storage structure, because the costs to construct a four-story, multi-level parking facility with a rooftop helicopter landing pad was too high.

A $1.2 million surface parking lot is being added to the “campus.” I do not believe a new parking lot is needed. Many days when I drive down Coastal Highway and pass the public safety building parking lot located between 65th and 66th streets, I see very few vehicles parked in the eastern most section of that parking lot.

Now, I recognize that many may believe the completed “campus” should be dedicated as the “Hal Adkins Public Works Campus” to recognize the many years of his outstanding service as Ocean City Public Works director.

I fully agree with the view that Mr. Adkins has done an exceptional job for the Ocean City taxpayers and visitors. However, I believe that there is a much cheaper approach to recognize the 33 years of Mr. Adkins’ outstanding service.

I think we should take $1,000 dollars and have a bronze plaque engraved with the “Hal Adkins Public Works Depot” and installed at the 66th Street public works entrance. Clearly, while it may be too late, this gold plated “campus” should be subjected to a detailed evaluation by an independent party to determine other areas where this project’s costs can be reduced.

Joseph Potter

Ocean City

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