Category Archives: Town of Ocean City Press Releases

Reminder: Change Your Clock & Change Your Battery!

changeclock(March 7, 2014) – As daylight savings time approaches, the Ocean City Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to remind residents and visitors to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms and to change the batteries in each device. Working smoke alarms are vital in the notification of a fire, allowing individuals adequate time to escape.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the most common reason for smoke detector failure in the United States is missing or dead batteries. “It is estimated that approximately 900 lives could be saved annually if all homes had working smoke detectors,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley.  “It is important to install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement, and outside each sleeping area.   Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be tested at least monthly and should have the batteries replaced twice a year.”

The Ocean City Fire Department’s Office of the Fire Marshal recommends that a smoke alarm also be installed inside your bedroom, especially if you sleep with your doors closed.  Alarms mounted on the wall should be positioned 4-12 inches from the ceiling, while ceiling-mounted alarms should be positioned four inches or more away from the nearest wall.

In addition to smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms are required in all residential dwellings that contain fuel-burning equipment or attached garages.  Fuel burning equipment could be gas water heaters, furnaces, dryers, fireplaces, wood stoves, or engine exhaust.  Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on each level of the dwelling unit, and be audible in all bedrooms within the dwelling.

“A simple way to remember to change your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries is to change the battery when you change your clocks,” Hartley continued. “This Sunday, March 9, when you change your clock, also change your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries and advise your loved ones to do the same.”

For more information on how to keep you and your family safe, or to request a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, or 9-volt battery, please contact the Ocean City Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal at 410-289-8780 or visit


Open House for FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps

(March 4, 2014) – Many citizens have heard about the newly-proposed Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), which have been drafted by FEMA and affect much of Ocean City from the previous flood hazard zones. Residents and property owners may have questions about whether their property is still in a flood zone or proposed to be removed; when the proposed flood zone maps will be approved and what the process is to make the proposed maps effective.

In order to answer these questions and concerns by citizens, a proposed FIRM Open House is being held at Ocean City’s Roland E. Powell Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway, on March 12, 2014, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.  There will be two presentations given, one at 6 p.m. and another at 7 p.m., with an opportunity after the presentation for citizens to speak with representatives from the Maryland Department of the Environment, FEMA, and the Ocean City Department of Planning and Community Development.

“This is an opportunity for us to work with our state and federal partners to help clear up any questions or concerns that our community may have regarding how the new maps may affect their property,” said Matt Margotta, Director of the Town of Ocean City’s Department of Planning and Community Development.  “We want our residents and property owners to fully understand how this change will affect them. We will have the proposed maps displayed during the Open House and citizens will have the opportunity to speak with a government representative to answer their questions and hopefully ease their concerns.”

Additional FIRM information is available online at the Maryland digital flood insurance rate maps outreach website at  It’s recommended that citizens purchase a flood insurance policy, even if they’re not required to do so.  More information can be found on the National Flood Insurance Program’s website at:  For additional information regarding the open house, please contact the Ocean City Planning & Community Development Department at 410-289-8798 or 410-289-8942.



Town of Ocean City Now Offering Online Services for Building Permits and Business Licenses

(March 3, 2014) – The Town of Ocean City is continuing to expand the online services offered to our citizens by allowing citizens, contractors and business owners the opportunity to apply for building permits (plumbing, electrical and mechanical) and business or rental licenses online.  Beginning March 3, the new online services will be available by visiting the town’s website.

By simply going online, contractors and citizens will now be able to complete the most common steps in the building permit process including applications, payments and scheduling inspections.  In addition, the online program will improve access to permit information by allowing citizens and contractors to perform inquiries directly from the Internet.
“We are very excited to offer an online option to our property owners and contractors,” said Ocean City Planning and Community Development Director, Matt Margotta.  “This will vastly improve the permit process, speed up the scheduling of inspections and will allow users to check the active permit review status.  Not only will this service be a large benefit to our customers, but it should reduce inquiry calls from the public and allow the resources of our building department personnel to be maximized.”

Along with the building permits, the new online services option allows for businesses to complete routine tasks associated with business licenses.  Citizens can search for licenses, renew licenses and pay for licenses, as well as perform “what if” scenarios to determine the impact of changes on a license.

“Having an online service for business and rental licenses is an exciting option to offer our community,” said Michael Sherman, Licensing Inspector for the Town of Ocean City.  “This will allow businesses and property owners to renew a license and pay any associated fees directly online. We hope that it will make their life a little bit easier and will be a more effective way to maintain the town’s business and rental licenses.”

While there is some limited functionality with the service, the town is confident that the new tools will be an extraordinary benefit to the citizens of Ocean City.  For questions or inquiries, citizens should visit or email for building permits or for business or rental licenses.


Snow Accumulating in Ocean City, As Winter Storm Travels Through the Area

(March 3, 2014) – The snow has started to cover the sand, and the roads, in Ocean City, as another winter storm travels through the lower eastern shore today, March 3. With freezing temperatures and a mixture of snow and sleet, the current weather, which began this morning, is expected to last into the evening hours. Ocean City is expected to accumulate approximately four inches of snow and experience sustained winds of 20 to 25 miles per hour, and gusts upward of 35 miles per hour.

The Town of Ocean City’s winter storm plan is in effect as crews and contractors continue cleanup efforts.  Liberal leave for Town of Ocean City employees has been authorized for today, Monday, March 3, and all Ocean City Recreation and Parks programs have been canceled. In addition, the regularly scheduled Mayor and City Council meeting set for tonight at 6 p.m. has been canceled.

“We are experiencing the expected wintery mix of ice, snow and sleet in Ocean City,” said Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Director Joseph Theobald. “The State of Maryland has implemented the Snow Emergency Plan and we certainly encourage citizens to stay home and avoid traveling on the roads. Anyone who is on the roads today should be very cautious.”

The Ocean City Public Works Department is working diligently to clear roadways and parking lots, however; citizens are encouraged to limit travel.  If it is essential to travel, drivers should use extra caution and reduce speed if they must be on the road. For more winter driving tips, please use extra caution and follow these winter driving safety tips:

The Ocean City Fire Department is reminding citizens that ice on ponds, lakes and lagoons is unsafe.  “Each year hundreds of people are injured in ice water accidents,” said Ocean City Fire Department Lieutenant and Water Rescue Commander, Del Baker. “Many think that because the bay, pond or other body of water has been frozen for a few days, they can “skate” or play on the ice.  It is important to understand that even though the ice may look strong and safe, there is always the danger of falling through the ice and into frigid water.

The Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Department is continue to monitor the storm and will continue to update residents and visitors as services change. Please follow @townofoceancity on twitter or visit for updates.


News Release: Town of Ocean City Monitoring Current Winter Storm

(March 2, 2014) – The Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Management Department is currently monitoring the path of the approaching winter storm.  A Winter Storm Warning for Ocean City and all of Worcester County has been issued by the National Weather Service, beginning at 4 a.m. Monday, March 3, lasting until midnight.

With temperatures dropping to approximately 20 degrees, snow, sleet, and light ice accumulation of five to nine inches are expected.  Rain that may possibly begin tonight, March 2, will likely transition to a brief wintery mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain during the morning hours.  The wintery mix should become primarily snow across the area by midday, resulting in hazardous travel.

The Town of Ocean City’s winter storm plan is in effect as crews and contractors prepare for the possible snow and ice accumulations.  With the potential plowing efforts occurring tomorrow, March 3, Ocean City’s Department of Public Works is requesting all “on street” parking be limited, if possible.  Citizens who have use of a private driveway or adjoining parking lot are asked to please park in those locations.

Due to the expected inclement weather, the City Manager has authorized liberal leave for Town of Ocean City employees for tomorrow, March 3. Currently, there has been no change to ADA and MEDTRN service, Ocean City recreation programs or the regular session Mayor and Council meeting.  The Town of Ocean City will continue to monitor the storm and update residents and visitors as conditions and services change.