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Pines meeting recaps drainage, dredging, bulkheads

Ocean Pines Association Operations Director Colby Phillips provides status reports on a number of infrastructure issues during the Board of Directors meeting on Saturday.

By Greg Ellison

(Sept. 5, 2019) Colby Phillips, Ocean Pines Association operations director, reviewed plans to address drainage issues, ditch cleaning, road maintenance, bulkhead repairs and dredging requests during the board of directors meeting on Saturday.

Solving the long-standing drainage issue in Ocean Pines is not feasible, Phillips said.

“Unfortunately, the drainage problem isn’t something that we are able to fix, but we are working really hard to try and improve it,” she said. “We’re going to continue to educate the public along the way on pieces we’re going to be working on and what things [they] can do to help.”

In addition to the completed pipe replacements on Mumfords Landing and Boston Drive, other work scheduled for the current fiscal year include the Watertown Road, Borderlinks Resort and smaller neighborhood pipes at an estimated cost of $443,000.

Phillips said an annual plan, in addition to the public education element, would also renew the focus on maintaining clear, unobstructed ditches along roadways and yards.

“We’re going to continue to address the failing pipes and we’re also going to create a ditch maintenance list,” she said.

The goal is to compile a list of ditches located beside and behind homes that require clearing and to schedule return visits once these issues are addressed.

Turning to pipe replacements slated for fiscal 2020/2021, Phillips said four each on Pinehurst Road and Sandyhook Road are estimated to cost roughly $167,000 per location.

Two pipes on Beaconhill Road are included at an estimated cost of more than $83,000, with inlet/outlet piping to Bainbridge [Park] being handled in-house.

Phillips said cost estimates are being sought to install a “weir” structure, or low-head dam, at the outfall of Bainbridge Pond, as well as constructing a large berm along the western edge bordering Beaconhill Road.

“We’re looking to work our way backwards to Bainbridge Pond and get a weir structure put in at the dam,” she said. “That will help us when getting ready to get a large storm; we can control the outflow of the water.”

Phillips said the berm improvements, in addition to gaining control of water flow, should be help the adjacent properties.

“The homes that sit on [the Beaconhill Road] side get really flooded when the pond raises up,” she said.

The fiscal 2020/2021 pond maintenance work represents the first phase planned, she said, adding that the cost estimates received just a day earlier were in line with initial cost estimates of roughly $354,000.

“It doesn’t mean we’re not looking in other areas,” Phillips said. “This is just the first section that we need to start in based on all the studies … and what we’ve evaluated.”

Work slated for this fall includes Allendale Court, Bimini Lane, Brookton Lane, Burr Hill Drive, Clubhouse Road east/west, Laport Court, Newport Drive and the Sports Core parking lot.

Phillips said work on Clubhouse Road would be completed in the spring in conjunction with the corresponding capital project.

The second phase of road repairs, estimated to cost roughly $324,000, is slated to include Admiral Avenue, Beach Court, Drawbridge Road, Fosse Grange, Garrett Drive, Ivanhoe Court, Juneway Lane, Raft Road, Weeping Willow Court and Willow Way.

The first phase of bulkhead repairs is set to begin in October and should be wrapped up by the end of April 2020, Phillips said.

Letters have been mailed to affected homeowners, with individual meetings planned this month, Phillips said.

The original schedule of homes requiring bulkhead repairs was slightly altered due to unforeseen circumstances.

“The worm damage to these homes’ (bulkheads) is so bad we had to jump around and re-order where we are on the bulkheads,” she said.

In the future, vinyl will be used for bulkheads because of their longevity, Phillips said.

Work completion dates depend on the weather, with final phase one costs being presented to the OPA Board of Directors when obtained, Phillips said.

Winding down with an update on spot dredging permits obtained through the Army Corps of Engineers, Phillips said 18 of 20 annual requests have been submitted, with an Oct. 15 cutoff for evaluation quickly approaching prior to the submission deadline of Nov. 1.

Turnaround time through the Army Corps of Engineers usually takes at least six months with work anticipated to begin in October 2020.