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GM reports work heating up as temps cool

By Greg Ellison

Staff Writer

(Oct. 10, 2019) As temperatures begin to cool down, capital projects and fiscal forecasting are heating up in Ocean Pines.

General Manager John Viola provided an update on a wealth of ongoing and upcoming plans during the Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 2.

Speaking the day after an official groundbreaking on the new Ocean Pines Golf Course Clubhouse, Viola said construction is about to commence.

“As far as concrete and the next steps, that will all start in the next couple of days,” he said. “The project is to go to May 1, possibly June 1 [which] is in the contact.”

Viola said work to expand the police/administration building would begin this month, and that the pre-fabricated golf cart barn would be erected in mid-November.

“We’re working with the Golf Pro [John Malinowski] to make sure that minimal disruptions happen during the busy time at the golf course,” he said.

Viola said construction on the new craft building is in progress with a projected wrap up by December.

To prepare for bulkhead repairs, Viola said negotiations are concluding for a staging area to keep the equipment for the project.

“We haven’t had our own staging area since we shut down at the Swim and Racquet Club,” he said. “The staging area will help us save money.”

The signed contract for the staging area, which was awaiting board approval, was completed in closed session after the meeting.

Since presenting plans to address bulkhead repairs, spot dredging and drainage issues at the last board meeting, Operations Director Colby Phillips has continued updating the projects with assistance from Public Works Operations Manager Nobie Violante and Public Works Director Eddie Wells.

“That will be part of the budget process since it’s not just for the current year,” he said.

Viola said Director of Finance Steve Phillips and IT Manager Steve Grabowski are continuing to install NorthStar accounting systems, with a go-live date later this month.

Viola and Steve Phillips are also continuing to prepare a request for proposal for a financial services firm.

“We will contact our current auditors to let them know as a courtesy what we are about to pursue,” he said.

Work on a pay-rate compensation study is ongoing with Executive Secretary

General Manager John Viola provided an update on a multitude of projects and ongoing plans during the Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 2.

taking the lead on team effort, Viola said.

“We’re waiting for Sibson [Consulting], the outside firm we hired, to come back to us in the next couple weeks,” he said.

Final recommendations and potential future steps based on the compensation study should be ready in early November, Viola said.

Upcoming fiscal 2020/2021 budget processes are now coming to life with departmental presentations beginning to take place, Viola said.

“I had the police department in today going through the budget, as well as golf,” he said.

Taking a peek at the current fiscal year ledgers, Viola said the golf course bottom line is trending positively despite the extensive construction work planned.

“Despite all the change down there, the golf course financials are basically on track with budget,” he said. “A key performance indicator, golf fees, are up.”