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Board taps GM to continue talks with Sandpiper Energy

(Aug. 6, 2015) Following a closed meeting on Thursday, the Ocean Pines Board of Directors voted unanimously to allow General Manager Bob Thompson to continue talks with Sandpiper Energy.
The board had given Thompson a two-month window to strike a deal during a previous closed meeting, with a deadline set for July.
Sandpiper converted existing propane lines in Berlin and West Ocean City to natural gas last year and hopes to do the same thing in Ocean Pines. A franchise agreement is believed to be central to any new deal the community would sign.
“Basically, the board agreed to have the general manager continue the discussions,” Board President Dave Stevens said on Monday. “It was kind of an arbitrary deadline, and as long as conversations are going on we’re going to continue.”
Stevens said he was satisfied with the results of the discussions thus far.
“Happy or not happy all depends on what your expectations were,” he said. “When I see something that’s actually a tangible gain, then I’ll be happy. Certainly the conversations are good and certainly they should be continued.”
In November of last year, Stevens read a letter to Sandpiper during a public meeting that asked for a franchise fee, reimbursements for legal costs incurred during negotiations and a turnover agreement
While Stevens said a new franchise agreement was still central to signing a new deal, he said “other things are just on the table.”
“I don’t know where Sandpiper is,” he said.
The board would be required to approve any contract, if negotiations go that far.
Prior to talks resuming in June, Sandpiper and the Ocean Pines Association had not had formal communications since December 2014.