By Greg Ellison
(Nov. 7, 2019) In addition to updating the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors on current efforts to remedy storm water drainage issues, Operations Director Colby Phillips reported last week that potential long-term solutions are being examined with state officials.
Phillips said on Saturday that exploratory conversations were held the previous Monday with Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Department of the Environment officials, along with a representative from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Extension Office.
The topics covered included the possibility of expanding Bainbridge Pond, ecological improvements at Wood Duck Park and holding community educational seminars regarding flooding preparations and resources.
“One of the things we discussed is additional funds would have to go through [Worcester] county since we’re not a government agency,” she said.
On working with the University of Maryland Extension office, Phillips said, “They look for ways to provide solutions to the community issues that we’re having on water drainage and storm water.”
Phillips said discussions with state environmental experts led to possible long-term solutions that would not affect the first phase of drainage pipe replacements slated for next year.
“They had actually mentioned expanding Bainbridge Pond and making it larger because it holds so much water from that area,” she said.
Improvements at Wood Duck Park were also on the agenda during last week’s meeting.
“It’s starting to corrode and deteriorate from the erosion over time,” she said. “They had talked about planting some vegetation that would absorb and help in that area.”
Educating residents about flood hazards was another area explored with state officials.
Phillips said plans are underway to offer a community workshop next year about hazard mitigation options.
“There are homes where [the association] doesn’t have property to help but people might be in areas where they can actually receive grants,” she said.
Switching to the immediate, Phillips also reviewed the present fiscal year cost of pipe replacements, which is estimated at roughly $482,000 from a budgeted total of $620,000.
“The Watertown Road pipe is getting ready to start,” she said. “Bids are going out for the Borderlinks [Resort] pipe replacement that will look to begin after January.”
Smaller neighborhood pipe replacements requests will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, Phillips said.
Among the pipe work already completed were problem sections on Boston Street and
, with the latter being completed in house for a savings of about $250,000, Phillips said.
Work to tackle a ditch maintenance list is also underway.
“We’re starting at the south end of Ocean Parkway and working our way north” she said.
Brush is being cut back and cleared from intersections along Ocean Parkway,
“We’ve gotten a lot of people reaching out to us that when they’re coming out with buses … they can’t see,” she said.