Officials say loss of 10% of sand was expected, intended to save property.

O.C. BEACH FIX: $12 MILLION

January 22, 1992|By C. Fraser Smith

Maryland's $44 million beach-replenishment program at Ocean City will need a $12 million patching job after the Jan. 4 storm -- but the project more than demonstrated its value as ...

...

TC protector of the resort city's $4 billion tax base, state and federal officials said today.

About 10 percent of the sand pumped onto the beach in recent years was swept away by the huge waves -- a result fully anticipated by the project's architects.

"The concept all along was to sacrifice sand to save the structures and the jobs," James N. Peck, assistant secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, told the state Board of Public Works.

"If it had not worked, a lot of people wouldn't be in Ocean City this summer," said Ocean City Mayor Roland E. "Fish" Powell. "They'd have had to cancel their summer vacations."

Mr. Powell said about $8 million of the $12.2 million needed to make repairs is being held in an escrow account, but it may not be needed.

Charles M. Hess, deputy district engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers in the Baltimore District, said the cost of restoring the lostsand may be covered by the federal government. A request is under review now in Washington, he said.

Asked if he thought taxpayers beyond Ocean City would resent having to pay the repair bill, Mayor Powell said, "Anyone with a normal brain who can think this out will support it."

As for costs Marylanders might have to assume, he wondered, "Where would people go to spend their [vacation] money? To the Caribbean?"

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