Mayor Jay Gillian, center, says the city will analyze plans for possibly renovating the old public safety building. By Donald WittkowskiMayor Jay Gillian said Thursday night that his proposal to overhaul Ocean City’s antiquated public safety building “is not a done deal” and stressed he will not try to force the $17.5 million project on taxpayers if it does not work.Speaking during a City Council meeting, Gillian emphasized that he has not made a final decision and will only do so after the project is thoroughly analyzed and discussed with local residents to solicit their opinions.“Nothing’s going to be force-fed,” he said. “The police station is not a done deal.”Gillian and members of Council indicated they would like to hold a town hall meeting to outline the project to the public before any votes are taken to possibly move forward with construction. A meeting date would be announced later.“A massive town hall meeting, I think that would be a step in the right direction,” Councilman Keith Hartzell said in comments echoed by other members of the governing body.Under Gillian’s plan, the public safety building would be renovated and expanded to create a more modern headquarters for the police department and municipal court. The project is one of the centerpieces of a proposed $112.2 million, five-year citywide capital plan that Gillian unveiled Tuesday night.The antiquated building, more than 100 years old, is the headquarters for the police department and municipal court.Gillian originally proposed tearing down the building and replacing it with an all-new public safety complex, but now considers the renovation plan the most cost-efficient option. The red-brick building, which was originally a school, is more than 100 years old and badly in need of updating.In promoting the project, the mayor said it would save a historic building, would not require the purchase of any land, would not eliminate any parking in the downtown business district and would not cause any interruptions in service during construction.The first floor of the old building at Eight Street and Central Avenue would be removed to comply with flood requirements by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Gillian noted that much of the project’s construction cost will come from stabilizing the building once the first floor is removed.The mayor, though, noted that he has some reservations about the cost. He told Council that the city will perform a cost analysis to determine if the project could be changed or scaled back in any way to save money.“When we put the $17 million there, your heart stops,” he said, alluding to project’s estimated price tag in the capital plan.The public safety building would be the single-most expensive project among a total of $52 million in citywide improvements that are proposed in 2017 as part of the five-year capital plan.“It’s a big one,” Gillian said. “It’s a big chunk of change.”Council members indicated they are in favor of holding a town hall meeting to discuss the proposed project with the public.Michael Hinchman, an Ocean City resident and former president of the local government watchdog group Fairness In Taxes, objected to the project’s cost. He believes it is simply too expensive. In remarks to Council, Hinchman said the city should consult with professional builders and Police Chief Chad Callahan before making a decision about the renovation plan.The replacement or renovation of the public safety building has been the topic of debate for years. Gillian noted that his administration has explored many options in its quest to resolve the issue once and for all.Hartzell said the city has reached “a critical crossroads” with the project. He promised that the plan will be thoroughly studied, including discussions with taxpayers, before it comes to Council for a vote.In other business Thursday, Council took the first step toward transforming two blighted, former gas station sites along the Ninth Street gateway into landscaped green space. Council authorized advertising for construction bids for the projects.Under the plan, the old BP and Getty gas station sites next to each other at the foot of the Route 52 Causeway bridge would be turned into small parks as part of a beautification strategy for the Ninth Street corridor, the main artery into town.The city bought the BP property last year for $475,000. The old building and fuel pumps were demolished to remove the eyesore. The site remains empty while awaiting the landscaping plan.Negotiations continue for the city to buy the old Getty site. City spokesman Doug Bergen expressed hope this week that a deal will be completed.In an interview after the Council meeting, Gillian said he would like to have both the BP and Getty sites converted into green space by Memorial Day weekend, the start of the peak summer tourism season.The city wants to create a more inviting entryway to welcome visitors as they arrive in town on the Ninth Street corridor.The abandoned old Getty gas station on Ninth Street is being eyed for redevelopment into landscaped green space.
Taludaa village in Bone district accounted for the greatest share of evacuees, with 894 residents fleeing their homes. Tingkohubu and East Tungkohubu villages in Suwawa district recorded 700 and 626 evacuees respectively. “This is temporary data as our officers are still collecting data in difficult conditions in the field,” Hamim said as quoted by kompas.com on Friday, adding that the Search and Rescue (SAR) team had been evacuating residents since Thursday.The flood also affected the northern part of Gorontalo city. The local administration reported that some 1,150 residents were affected by 1.5-meter high waters in the area, tempo.co reported.“We are still focusing on evacuating and rescuing residents who have been trapped by the flooding,” Gorontalo SAR operational head M. Rizal said.The SAR team has established a public kitchen to feed the inhabitants of eight shelters in Bone Bolango and Gorontalo, where displaced residents are staying and storing their belongings.“The water rose so fast that we could only carry important items, and we left the rest behind,” North City resident Bagis Suleman told Kompas.Heavy rains at the headwaters of the Bone River are believed to have caused the flood. The flood spread to the forest enclave of Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park before hitting Bone Bolango and Gorontalo City. (mfp)Topics : The Bone River in Gorontalo breached its banks on Thursday, inundating swaths of Bone Bolango regency as well as the northern part of Gorontalo city.Twenty-six villages in the regency’s six districts were hit by the flood. The waters forced 5,407 residents, including 22 infants and 22 toddlers, to flee their homes, Bone Bolango regent Hamim Pou said.The districts affected by the flood included Bone, Suwawa, North Suwawa and Botupingge. Floodwaters also swept away the Molintogupo bridge, which connected South Suwawa to Central Suwawa.
Advertisement Comment Metro Sport ReporterFriday 27 Dec 2019 10:30 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link966Shares Granit Xhaka started Arsenal’s first game under Mikel Arteta against Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)Mikel Arteta has told Granit Xhaka he will be allowed to leave Arsenal, but not until the summer transfer window.The Switzerland international was stripped of the captaincy by Unai Emery back in November after he clashed with his own supporters during a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.Following a period on the sidelines, Xhaka was gradually reintegrated and has started four of Arsenal’s last five Premier League games, only missing the defeat against Manchester City due to concussion.The 27-year-old produced arguably his most influential performance of the season so far at Bournemouth on Boxing Day, as Arsenal came from behind for force a draw in what was Arteta’s first game at the helm.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTDespite having regained his place in the side and receiving the public backing of his new manager, who earlier this week revealed he wanted to sign him for Manchester City, Xhaka wants to return to Germany and is said to have already agreed a deal in principle with Hertha Berlin.✅ First game as our head coachA thank you to all our fans from @m8arteta 👊 pic.twitter.com/yyPU9WPBNj— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 26, 2019 What Mikel Arteta has told Granit Xhaka about his Arsenal future The Bundesliga club, who are now managed by Jurgen Klinsmann, have tabled an opening offer of €25 million (£21.3m) but the Gunners are hoping to recoup somewhere close the £35m they paid Borussia Monchengladbach for Xhaka in the summer of 2016.And, despite giving him public assurances over his future, Bild report that Arteta is happy to sanction Xhaka’s move but wants him to delay his departure until the end of the current campaign, a stance which is said to have annoyed the player’s representatives.‘Look, I will say it frankly and honestly, we are in agreement with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin,’ Xhaka’s agent Jose Noguera told Blick on Thursday.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘We have told Arsenal’s club boss Raul Sanllehi and sporting director Edu Gaspar, as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta.‘Arsenal was informed about all the steps, the player and Hertha are clear. It’s only about the transfer fee of the clubs.’Arteta, meanwhile, has already issued the Arsenal board with his list of transfer priorities ahead of the winter window with defensive and midfield reinforcements top of the agenda.Adrien Rabiot, who has largely been out of favour since his summer switch to Juventus from PSG, is a loan target, while Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel has been monitored.MORE: Granit Xhaka agrees deal to leave Arsenal and sign for Hertha BerlinMORE: Mikel Arteta reveals details of chat with Granit Xhaka amid Arsenal exit rumours Advertisement
His announcement came as the Commission prepares for a review of the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive later this year, with Dombrovkskis indicating there would be a limit to how much disclosure would be prescribed in a revised version of the legislation.“Not every detail can – or should – be fixed in law,” he said. “There is also a need for clear reporting standards for companies to apply.”A European Commission spokeswoman told IPE it was “normal practice” in the world of corporate reporting for standards to accompany legislation and that it was possible this could also become the case with regard to non-financial reporting.She said the Commission expected to reach an agreement with EFRAG by spring on the work it could do.The upcoming review of the NFRD and Dombrovskis’ fresh announcement about European standards comes as investor bodies have been calling for improvements in the availability and quality of non-financial data about companies.Aleksandra Palinka, senior regulatory policy advisor at the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), said the group welcomed the Commission’s intention to support the development of non-financial reporting standards given that, as Dombrovskis said, not every detail could or should be fixed in legislation.However, consistency at international level was key, she said.“If European standards were to be developed, it is important to build on existing international frameworks,” she said.Charles Tilley, CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), which provides a framework for company reporting, made a similar point.“Any European solution will ultimately need to be a global solution”Charles Tilley, CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council “The environment does not acknowledge borders,” he said. “Any European solution will ultimately need to be a global solution and whilst we congratulate the European Commission on their leadership on this urgent matter, we encourage them to create something that can be applicable globally.” The EU Council, the body for the bloc’s member states, last year suggested the Commission consider the development of a European non-financial reporting standard. The measure was one of several outlined by the Council in a document about its ideas for the next stage of the Capital Markets Union project.Building on what existsIn his speech Dombrovskis indicated the Commission would not be starting from scratch on reporting standards, but using as a starting point “the best and most widely accepted elements of what exists today” and tapping the expertise among “those organisations and individuals who can best contribute to the process”. Source: EU Audiovisual servicesValdis Dombrovksis unveiled the intention to develop European non-financial reporting standards plan at a conference this week“Along with the new taxonomy system, better corporate information will be the cornerstone of our strategy,” he said. “I will enable financial market participants to disclose their sustainable investment to their clients.”The IIRC’s Tilley welcomed the Commission’s intention to build on the work that had already been done in this domain.“It is important that anything the European Commission creates is based upon the work of the standard setters and framework developers already prevalent in the market and it is right that executive vice-president Dombrovskis has committed to this,” he said.EFAMA’s Palinska said investee companies and investors needed to be actively involved in any process of developing standards.The EU Council, the body for the bloc’s member states, last year suggested the Commission consider the development of a European non-financial reporting standard. The measure was one of several outlined by the Council in a document about its ideas for the next stage of the Capital Markets Union project.Since the end of 2018 EFRAG has had a forum for discussion on “non-financial topics”, the European Corporate Reporting Lab. It was established on the back of the Commission’s March 2018 sustainable finance action plan. Last autumn it announced that its next project would be on “Reporting of non-financial risks and opportunities, and linkage to the business model”.A spokesperson for EFRAG said it could not comment on what was said at the Commission’s conference this week.This article was updated to add comments from an EC spokeswoman. The European Commission is going to “support a process” to develop European non-financial reporting standards, according to Valdis Dombrovskis, Commission executive vice president.In a speech delivered this week at a conference about the Commission’s climate change-informed economic growth plan – the European Green Deal – Dombrovskis said the Commission would be inviting the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) to begin preparatory work on the standards as quickly as possible.The existence of many overlapping international reporting standards and set-ups confused companies and investors, who also found this situation expensive, Dombrovskis said.“The EU is well placed to address this situation – and show leadership in building consensus for a set of standards that can be widely accepted,” he continued.