By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(June 28, 2018) The Ocean Pines Board on Saturday voted 5-0 to seek bids to replace the sanctuary crab pier.
Director Slobodan Trendic said a recent inspection recommended closing the pier because of its deteriorating condition and “overall safety concerns,” and an independent report called for its outright replacement.
Director Ted Moroney also suggested getting estimates on repairing the structure and exploring alternate locations, but Trendic and Association President Doug Parks opposed that idea.
Parks said his opposition came from a reading of the original turnover agreement and “from a practicality perspective.”
“I just don’t see any benefit … by moving it somewhere else,” he said. “It’s been established [and] it’s part of the environment that’s been created called Ocean Pines proper. I think we should give it due course and do whatever it takes [to replace it].”
Parks added it was probably a good idea to at least get an estimate for repairs.
“If that delta is big enough, we may want to have another discussion,” he said.
Trendic noted a shortage of parking near the pier was also a concern, but county officials explained to him the location near a protected wetland “almost eliminates the idea of creating a parking lot.”
Association Vice President Cheryl Jacobs said the issue was first brought up by residents “because of complaints about the parking.”
“Director Trendic is correct when he says we’ve got stormwater management problems, so with runoff you can’t address the parking by the suggestion of removing trees and creating a parking lot,” she said.
She added the issue of replacing or moving the pier was somewhat divisive.
“Unfortunately, we can’t get to a point where all of the people who are effected will show up and express how they feel … so we really have a true sense of everybody’s opinion,” Jacobs said. “I hope that when we get to the point of ultimately getting the information back from the RFP and [are] ready to make a decision that we, short of sending out engraved invitations, broadcast to the people who absolutely are going to be effected by whatever decision we make.”
The vote was unanimous with one director, Tom Herrick, not present because of a prior engagement.
A draft of the request for proposals is due back to the board for review and approval by Aug. 31.