OCEAN CITY — An $8.7 million pump-station project in the city’s north end is advancing after being stalled for several years.

City Council approved a contract March 23 with Michael Baker International engineers to design the project, which will be a series of several smaller pump stations spread over the area between First and Eighth streets.

“I believe that the team at Baker puts us in the best position to get this job moving, but there are still steps ahead,” city Business Administrator Jim Mallon said.

Ocean City received a $5 million FEMA grant for this project, a result of the 2009 Veterans Day storm.

In 2013, council awarded a $403,000 contract to Paulus, Sokolowski and Sarto LLC for permitting and design work. A public information session was held on the project in late 2015, and in June 2016, the city issued a press release saying it was moving forward with a plan for a single pump station at Sixth Street.

“Based on feedback from neighbors, projected savings to taxpayers and Baker’s track record for success, the new project design will bring long-awaited relief to this flood-prone area,” Mayor Jay Gillian said in his weekly letter to residents Friday.

Gillian said the project could begin as early as late fall, but he cautioned against regulatory delays.

Mallon said the new plan will be more in line with initial cost estimates. He said there will be another town hall for affected residents in the near future.

Michael Baker also designed the midisland drainage project expected to begin this week.

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609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com Twitter @clairelowe

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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