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


St. Martins by the Bay eyes Ocean Pines water

By Greg Wehner, Staff Writer

(May 26, 2022) The Worcester County Commissioners May 17 session was full of public hearings, with the county having hearings on improving the water at St. Martins by the Bay, applying for Community Development Block Grant funds, and changes to the Capital Improvement Plan.

St. Martins water

St. Martins by the Bay sign

Residents in St. Martins by the Bay hope to connect to the Ocean Pines Water System and are currently seeking grants with the Worcester County Commissioners.

Residents at St. Martins by the Bay have a situation: their water comes from a well and sometimes that means letting consumers know their water must be boiled before they can drink it.

During the meeting, the Worcester County Commissioners held a public hearing on applying for a state grant to help cover the costs of connecting the community to the Ocean Pines Water System.

A total of 58 residents would be served if an eight-inch water main is extended to the system down Beauchamp Road to St. Martins Parkway and into the community.

The estimated cost for the project in November 2021 was $1,545,991, which included the design and       construction. But with the costs of materials increasing, the Public Works Department recommended raising the estimated price to $2 million.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to apply for the grant.

Community Development Block Grant

The Maryland Community Development Block Grant Program is federally funded and designed to help municipalities improve neighborhoods with revitalization efforts, economic development, and improved community facilities and services.

This year, over $7 million is up for grabs, and a public hearing on whether to apply for the grant was held during the meeting on Tuesday.

The commissioners agreed to apply for CDBG in the amount of $500,000 to help fund the county-wide owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program. The vote was unanimous.

Capital improvements

The commissioners held a public hearing to amend the five-year capital improvement plan for FY 23 through FY 27.

The biggest changes to the plan include removing the $3.25 million set aside for Ocean Pines Spray Irrigation and update the Ocean Pines Belt Filter Press from $3.55 million to $4.6 million.

The commissioners unanimously approved the amendments.