POCOMOKE CITY: Mayor asks residents to report what they see

Pocomoke Mayor Todd Nock

BY JANET BERNOSKY, Eastern Shore Post —

Pocomoke City Mayor Todd J. Nock urged residents to remain vigilant and continue to report suspicious activity to proper authorities in their neighborhoods.
Nock made the statements after the Pocomoke City Council’s meeting on Monday, March 4.

His comment stems from a recent event in the Heights neighborhood, which drew attention on social media.

The incident involved a Delmarva Power employee offering to help residents with their lights.

Initial reports, however, failed to identify him as such, triggering momentary confusion and concerns online until the situation was resolved.

Some were skeptical and thought the man’s motives were nefarious.

Comprehensive plan

Following a presentation by Planning Director Dan Brandewie regarding the status of outside bids received for the development of a new comprehensive plan, Nock urged the

council to first consider using the skills and talents of city employees as much as possible before accepting any outside bids.

“This is our town,” Nock stated. “We are outsourcing this to someone who doesn’t know Pocomoke City.”

Addressing Brandewie, Nock said funds allotted for consultant fees would be better spent on public projects, such as new sidewalks.

When Brandewie expressed concerns that he lacked sufficient staff to undertake the project, Nock suggested that he request additional staff during the upcoming budget planning process.

The mayor also stated that Worcester County officials have already pledged to help the city with GIS mapping capabilities as part of this plan.

Council voted to reject the bids and unanimously accepted the mayor’s plan to initially develop the plan in-house.

Capital plan

Amy Sommer, with the firm Charles P. Johnson & Associates, was invited to speak about the current five-year Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal years 2023-2027, developed by her firm with input from city staff.

The major goals of the program include the creation and budgeting of large-scale capital projects, to identify funding sources for these projects, and to establish repair and replacement cycles for city-owned facilities and equipment.

It also allowed for the creation of a reserve, or “rainy day,” fund for unexpected capital needs, and called for funding as many improvements through grants, when possible.
Other important goals include attracting new businesses and full-time residents, establishing new green spaces (while improving existing ones), ongoing neighborhood revitalization, increasing tourism, creating a mixed-use and walkable community, and prioritizing riverfront access, bikeways, and more.

In other news,

— Council voted to accept $6,000 in grant funds from the Maryland Department of Health to add fluoride to the local water plant.

— With the current moratorium set to expire on March 30, council conducted a first reading on a resolution to extend the moratorium on cannabis business development in the city for another six months.

This would include potential businesses engaged in the growing, processing, and/or selling of cannabis, including on-site consumption establishments. The moratorium was initially enacted to allow time to study zoning requirements and to seek public input.

— At the request of City Manager John Barkley, council agreed to set the date of March 25 from 6 to 7 p.m. for the first in a series of budget work sessions, open to the public.

— Barkley praised Police Chief Arthur Hancock for the success of his public safety forum held on Feb. 28

Pocomoke Mayor Todd Nock
. Barkley expressed the hope that similar events will happen in the future.

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