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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette



(Jan. 29, 2015) The Worcester County Commissioners also discussed the following issues during the Jan. 20 meeting.

Excursion train

The commissioners approved funding for the Phase II study of the excursion train proposed to connect Berlin and Snow Hill.
This study will offer a detailed business plan and an economic impact analysis that includes financial information on infrastructure.
Stone Consulting, which performed the Phase I study, will also complete the next-phase study at a cost of about $20,000.
Berlin will contribute $5,000, the Maryland Delaware Railroad will pay $5,000, Snow Hill will contribute $3,000 and the Worcester County Economic Development department will pay the balance of $7,317.
No date was given for the study’s delivery.

Census blocks

Though there is no guarantee it will comply, the county will ask the Census Bureau to change the borders of the census blocks in Ocean Pines so the borders of the neighborhood will be represented more accurately.
The change will allow for more complete analysis and statistical data as well as lead to more complete numbers for election purposes.

WCED to attend conf.

The commissioners approved travel expenditures totaling about $3,000 for members of the Economic Development Department to attend two conferences.
The first is the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg Pa., in February. Director Bill Badger said the event draws crowds of about 350,000 and will be the first official unveiling of the Ocean City Visitor Guide.
The next is the Global Real Estate Convention in Las Vegas in May. Badger said he had personal appointments there with targeted retailers such as Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Harris Teeter and Target.
The commissioners approved both requests.

MuniCap study approved

When Goody Taylor built the Riddle Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant, it did so with the understanding it could charge $23,535 for each of the 247 EDUs the plant generated.
This cost has discouraged growth in the area, according to Economic Development Director Bill Badger. Phase I of the study involved reviewing the existing plan as it related to the costs per EDU. Phase II will evaluate each of the funding options that emerged from the previous study.
The options are to first, do nothing and allow the situation to continue, second, implement tax increment financing or third, to designate a special tax arrangement for a designated area.
Tourism gets state grant
Each year the Tourism Department gets a grant from the state for advertising and marketing the county. This year’s share is about $116,800, which is down from previous years, according to Lisa Challenger, Tourism Director.
The most Challenger recalled receiving from this grant was about $166,000, she said.

Shelters split $127,750

The department of Housing and Community Development awarded $127,750 in grants to Diakonia and Samaritan Shelter to prevent homelessness.
Diakonia received $97,750 and Samaritan Shelter took the remaining $30,000.

To donate water system

Ocean Downs doesn’t want to be in the water business any longer, but the county isn’t sure about the condition, scalability and appropriateness of its structure meshing with existing facilities.
A study has been commissioned by J.W. Salm Engineering to determine the state of the Ocean Downs water system at a cost of almost $15,000.
Ocean Downs has offered to pay for half of the study.