O.C. Takes Power to Clean Up Eyesore Gas Stations: Council Roundup

first_imgLong-vacant Getty and BP gas stations at the foot of the Ninth Street Bridge in Ocean City, NJ wlll be subject to a new abandoned properties ordinance. Download (PDF, 125KB) City Council on Thursday gave final approval to an ordinance that would allow Ocean City to take control of abandoned properties that become a nuisance or hazard.The ordinance authorizes the mayor to assign an officer to create an abandoned properties list based on a variety of criteria (see PDF below). The city would then have the right to take control of properties, borrow money to rehabilitate them, and recover costs through liens on sale of properties.Mayor Jay Gillian has said that the first targets of the ordinance would be three long-vacant gas stations at the foot of the Ninth Street Bridge — the first sights to greet visitors traveling the main route into Ocean City. Gillian said he would like to see the properties preserved as open space._________Also from City Council on Thursday:Don’t Feed Red Foxes: Council Wants to Get ToughPickleball Players Rally for Permanent Home in Ocean City_________The final reading of the ordinance was passed unanimously and without discussion or public comment on Thursday.If the city were to attempt to turn the gas station properties into open space, it would come at an expense. The city would have to negotiate or litigate compensation for the properties, if it were to seize them.Two of the properties are listed on the state Department of Environmental Protection’s list of “Active Sites With Confirmed Contamination,” and the cost of any cleanup would be factored into the compensation.In other business at Thursday’s meeting:Baker Report on Flooded Streets: Michael Baker International Company is expected to meet with the city administration next week to report on the results of a $44,720 engineering study of one of Ocean City’s most flood-prone neighborhoods, Business Administrator Jim Mallon reported. The company will make recommendations for remediating drainage problems in the low-elevation area bounded by 26th and 34th streets, West Avenue and Bay Avenue. A meeting with property owners in the neighborhood will follow the internal meeting at time still to be announced.MS City-to-Shore Bike Ride: Organizers the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride 2015, Chas Crits and Pam Craighead shared personal stories of their multiple sclerosis diagnoses, and asked City Council for the city’s continued support of the charity bike ride. The event included 7,000 bike riders, 1,200 volunteers and raised a record $6.5 million last year for MS research. The two-day event, which includes an overnight stay in Ocean City for most riders, is scheduled for Oct. 3 and 4 this year. The event is a boon for Ocean City businesses in the shoulder season, but nonetheless, Craighead thanked the city for “letting us turn the town upside down a little bit.” She said “everybody we inconvenience is part of the cure.”Historic U.S. Life Saving Station: City Council awarded an $80,691 contract to architect Michael Calafati to design the final phase in the reconstruction of the historic U.S. Life Saving Station at Fourth Street and Atlantic Avenue. Calafati is scheduled to complete work by the end of the summer, and construction on the Life Saving Station could be complete by May 2016, according to documentation included with the agenda. A nonprofit group hopes to establish a living museum at the site. Council members Pete Guinosso, Mike DeVlieger and Council President Tony Wilson asked for the administration to report on the timetable for the project. Wilson also asked for a report from the nonprofit U.S. Life Saving Station No. 30 on a promise to repay the city for its portion of renovation costs. “They owe us a lot of money,” Ocean City resident Al Keleher said in public comment.City Council Reorganization: The annual City Council reorganization meeting is scheduled for noon July 1 on the Ocean City Music Pier. Council will choose a president and vice president for the year.Historic District Letter: A letter to all residents of the Historic District will go out tomorrow announcing a meeting to discuss recommendations from the state historic commission on guidelines for the district.last_img read more