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News

Multiple Yacht Club info sessions preceed balloting

8/9/12 | By Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

OCEAN PINES – In preparation for the ballot question to be mailed Friday asking Ocean Pines Association members whether a new yacht club should be built, the OPA Board of Directors has organized several events to explain how the proposed $4.3 million Yacht Club project came to be.

On Monday, property owners were invited to a presentation at the Yacht Club by OPA General Manager Bob Thompson. Addressing a crowd of more than 100, Thompson explained what the costs would be, what it would buy, how the OPA can pay for it and why the work needs to be done.

As expressed in previous meetings, he said the cost of the building includes all aspects of the project, including construction materials, furniture and kitchen equipment.

The total cost will be paid in a small sum throughout the years by money collected through the Five-Year Funding Plan. Initiated four years ago, the fund guarantees the OPA can afford the project.

Most importantly, as Thompson has routinely expressed, is that repairs need to be done to the current structure no matter what people think of the proposed building.

The 40-year-old building’s rotted substructure, among other deficiencies, has forced the OPA to take action, he said.

Following the presentation, audience members were allowed to ask Thompson questions about the project or state their opinions.

“Great questions from the audience were answered and positive feedback was given,” said Teresa Travetello, director of marketing and public relations for the OPA. “A majority of attendees seemed like supporters of the new Yacht Club.”

In addition to Monday’s information session, a public hearing was conducted on July 21, when Thompson gave a similar presentation and responded to members’ questions and opinions.

Four guided tours were also headed by Thompson, who took people around the Yacht Club to give them a look at the building’s problems.

After each presentation, Travetello says there was positive feedback.

“One gentleman came to visit Bob [Thompson] after the meeting last night who was not for the new Yacht Club until the presentation,” she said.

Referendum ballots are due back to the OPA by Sept. 6, the results of which will be revealed Sept. 7.

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