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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Assessments lowered by $1 in draft budget

But no guarantees come with first round proposal

By Greg Ellison

(Jan. 6, 2022) Despite anticipating reduced revenues of $1.2 million in the next fiscal year, the proposed Ocean Pines budget for FY 2022/23 cuts a dollar off assessment fees.

Association officials released a draft budget late last month as they prepared to hear departmental presentations early this week.

Although the draft budget is subject to changes as it goes through the process, assessment rates at this point are $996 for non-waterfront lots and $1,611 for waterfront properties. Both figures were one dollar higher during the current budget year. The new budget will go into effect in May.

Association officials estimated that this fiscal year’s final figures will include roughly $18 million in revenues, while the budget at this juncture anticipates $16.8 million in FY 2022/23, a reduction of a little more than $1.2 million.

On the expense side, the current year is expected to close with just under $17 million at $16.99 million, while the forecast for next year is slightly less at $16.88 million.

Ocean Pines reserve accounts, which include replacement, bulkheads, roads, drainage and new capital, are estimated to end the current budget year on April 30 with a balance of about $5.5 million.

During FY 22/23, reserve account contributions are planned at $3.3 million, with expenditures of $2.8 million. That would leave a balance of $5.9 million when the budget year closes on April 30, 2023.

Reserve account contributions for FY 22/23 include $1,750,166 for replacement, $1,063,850 for bulkheads, $350,000 for roads and $100,000 for drainage.

Reserve account expenditures for FY 22/23 includes $924,515 for replacement, $1,169,921 for bulkheads, $350,000 for roads, $400,000 for drainage and $6,000 for new capital.

The Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department is earmarked for a boost in association funding, with FY 22/23 budgeted at $1,038,922, which represents an increase of $316,772 over the $722,150 contributed during the current budget year.

In terms of capital projects, the FY 22/23 budget includes $600,000 to upgrade the golf course irrigation system.

Several minimal increases to amenity fees are also included in the FY 22/23 draft budget.

These include weekly parking rates at the Beach Club, with family, individual and non-member rates jumping to $135 compared to $75 in the current year.

Daily rates for swim facilities are also slated to bump up slightly for both residents and non-residents.

Daily swim rates for adult residents would increase to $10 from $8 this year, with fees for children 5-17 jumping to $8 from $6 and children 1-4, who were previously free, now costing $3.

Daily swim rates for adult nonresidents in the new budget would be $15, up from $12, with children 5-17 costing $13, up from $10, and children 1-4 now costing $5.

Tennis rates are also changing a wee bit.

Daily tennis rates for residents would drop from the $10 charge, while pickleball and platform tennis would go up to $8 from $6.

Nonresident daily rates for tennis, pickleball and platform tennis in the new year are currently budgeted at $10 across the board . This would be a $2 reduction in tennis fees and a $3 jump for pickleball and platform tennis over the current budget year.

Golf cart fees for FY 22/23 are budgeted at $25 for 18 holes and $15 for nine holes, up from $22 and $12 in FY 21/22.

Greens fees for non-member property owners and guests are budgeted at $59 for 18 holes, up from $54 in FY 21/22, with the cost for nine holes remaining unchanged at $35.