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Water service lines work concerns OPA board of directors

OCEAN PINES–The Ocean Pines Association board of directors wants to invite a county representative to its next meeting to discuss anticipated work to replace approximately 250 aging water lines along Ocean Parkway.
“It doesn’t make one bit of sense,” Director Marty Clarke said during the board’s April 9 meeting. “We as a board ought to do something.”
Clarke said the board is dealing with the new Yacht Club still under construction, the golf course that is struggling financially and now the county would be messing up Ocean Parkway for “five months right dead in the middle of our season.”
Director Jeff Knepper said perhaps the work would not be started until fall, but the bid documents specify that the contractor “shall commence work within thirty (30) calendar days of the award of contract.” The total time for completion is 180 calendar days.
A pre-bid meeting was held Friday, April 11, at the Water and Wastewater Division Office at the Ocean Pines Wastewater Treatment Plant. Bids will be accepted until 1 p.m. Monday, April 28, at which time they will be opened.
Staff in the county Public Works Department will review the bids and then recommend one of the bids for approval to the Worcester County Commissioners. The commissioners could reject any or all bids. Although they occasionally reject bids, that is a rare occurrence.
The commissioners, who approved the bid documents during their April 1 meeting, have scheduled regular meetings May 6 and 20. If the review process is completed, they could award the work to one of the bidders during either of those meetings.
The deadline for an issue to be placed on the county commissioners’ May 6 agenda is 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 30.
Depending on the complexity of the project and bids received, the county staff tries to submit their recommendation for the bid award to the county commissioners for the next meeting following the bid opening, which is often a matter of only two days, according to Kelly Shanahan, the county’s assistant chief administrative officer. However, complex projects or bids, which require significant review and verification, might not be presented until the second meeting after the bid opening.
For example, the recent proposals for design of the Ocean Pines wastewater collection system improvements were opened on Monday, March 10, but the review took two weeks and the recommendation was not submitted until March 26 for the commissioners’ consideration during their April 1 meeting.
The contractor who is awarded the work for the replacement of the Ocean Pines water lines would be required to start work within 30 days. That would mean work could begin in May or June and continue through the summer.
General Manager Bob Thompson said he was well aware of the work to replace the water lines.
“I just don’t have the dates,” Thompson said.
Ocean Pines Public Works Director Eddie Wells was already working on issues, such as the condition of Ocean Parkway after the completion of each day’s work, Thompson said.
President Tom Terry expects the issue to be resolved satisfactorily.
“We have a pretty good, very good working relationship with the county,” Terry said.
Director Jack Collins had alerted the board to the work because he “figured it would be a big issue” because it includes “just about every address on Ocean Parkway.”