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


GM Thompson tapped to take over Sandpiper talks

(June 11, 2015) Ocean Pines Association General Manager Bob Thompson will be the primary negotiator in an attempt to restart the stalled talks with Sandpiper Energy, the OPA Board of Directors decided last Wednesday.
According to several sources on the board, the decision was made following a closed session discussion.
Sandpiper, which converted existing propane lines in Berlin and West Ocean City to natural gas last year, hopes to do the same thing in Ocean Pines. The community, however, is believed to have a list of demands that include a new franchise agreement, repayment of legal fees and a turnover agreement.
“Bob Thompson will be back in the lead and can hopefully get things moving with Sandpiper,” a source said. “We haven’t heard from Sandpiper in six months, so it’s time for us to reach out to them.”
Thompson would inform the board on any significant progress via email, according to sources. The general manager would also provide an update during a closed session later this month, with a tentative deadline for an agreement set for July.
Chesapeake Utilities Vice President Jim Moore, who oversees Sandpiper, said the company is happy to work with whomever the board chooses to delegate.
“Bob is certainly a capable representative and we’ve enjoyed working with him in the past,” he said last week. “We continue to be optimistic that we will ultimately resolve all of our differences and an agreement will be reached.  Based on the ongoing nature of the negotiations, we do not have any further comment at this time.”
The board would be required to approve any contract, if negotiations go that far.
Sandpiper and the Ocean Pines Association have not had formal communications since Dec. 16.