Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo

410-641-0039

OPA prepares to resolve storm water management problems

OCEAN PINES—The search is on for
a contractor to map and analyze storm water drainage conditions in Section 3 of
the Ocean Pines community, according to a request for proposal that is
scheduled to close on Sept. 12. Meanwhile, one new director is proposing using
the intellectual resources that may already exist in the membership to address
the issue.

Newly elected board members Jack
Collins and Bill Cordwell made storm water management a major focus in their
individual campaigns, and recently commented on how they would like to see the
community go forward on the issue.

While he said he appreciated that
the OPA was trying to address the flooding issues, Collins said he had a
different approach in mind. He suggested tapping resources within the OP
membership, such as retired engineers and individuals who are experienced in
drainage and storm water management, in order to form an ad hoc committee with
specific start and end dates.

Based on the scope of work
described, the contract would help Ocean Pines Association officials establish
a benchmark of the situation as it currently exists, before attempting to
remediate drainage problems in the 222-acre area that have plagued property
owners for years.

“The
Association believes that these multiple storm water issues associated with
Section 3 of Ocean Pines can only be quantified with a comprehensive study of
the entire watershed,” according to the RFP.

The area covered under the
contract would include Beauchamp Road to the north,

Route 589 to the west, Ocean
Parkway to the south and Sandyhook Road to the east.

Collins, who first raised storm
water management as a campaign issue, said such a committee would be charged
with coming up with an approach to alleviate the immediate problem and
determining whether a comprehensive study would be needed.

“I understand that one was done
in 2009,” he said, adding that he wanted to find out where that is and review
it to see whether it could still be used.

Cordwell said that he would like
to see the OPA develop a comprehensive plan that would address flooding in all
areas of the community, not just Section 3. Other problems exist in Section 2
and other smaller areas, he said.

Even with the RFP, Cordwell said,
“There may still be parts of the community we are not going to be able to do,”
such as individual properties with elevation issues where a homeowner would
have may have to seek a permit to do grading to alleviate a specific or unique
problem.

Cordwell said he welcomed the
request for bids to analyze the problems because, “We want to have prof tell us
what we can and cannot do so we can make some common sense solutions that are
fact based.”

He said the mapping and analysis
would help the board determine “What we need to do and how to go about doing
it.”

According to the OPA, “The
existing storm drain system consists of roadside ditches which extend to larger
collection ditches which then carry the storm water from Ocean Pines across
Beauchamp Road to the adjacent residential development of River Run. There is
an existing wet pond in the Section 3 watershed, between Beaconhill Road and Pinehurst
Road, which acts as a storm water pond for a portion of the watershed.”

But officials said the existing
storm water pond might not be big enough to handle larger or sustained storm
events and that the network of roadside ditches and driveway pipes vary in
elevation and condition, which depending on their depth and size could
contribute to inconsistent water flow.

Moreover, the RFP continued, “the
main collector ditches leaving the existing pond do not appear to be large
enough for the size of the upstream watershed.”

The contract is scheduled to be
awarded Sept. 30. Once awarded, the supplemental survey is scheduled to be
completed by Oct. 15, the aerial mapping by Oct. 30, the modeling and storm
drain analysis by Nov. 15, and the report is due by Nov. 30.

Proposals should be addressed to
Mr. Bob Thompson, General Manager, OPA,
239 Ocean Parkway, Ocean Pines, Md. 21811, and are due by Sept. 12. Additional
questions may be directed to 410-641-7717 x 3001 or mbennett@oceanpines.org.