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OPA board expected to approve Yacht Club kitchen funding

OCEAN PINES—Representatives from Harkins Construction Inc., AWB Engineering, and Savoy/Brown Consultants, say the proposed increased kitchen-related costs for the new Yacht Club, from $234,300 to $690,030, were prompted after conversations with Worcester County Environmental Health Director Edward Potetz  made it clear the existing equipment would likely not pass inspection.
Pressed for a “drop dead” completion date for the Yacht Club project, Don Smith of Harkins predicted early April, barring unforeseen major problems and depending on the schedule of inspections.
During a Nov. 6 work session, OP General Manger Bob Thompson told the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors equipment costs might have to be sharply increased because the condition of equipment that was slated to be transferred from the old facility to the new Yacht Club was more deteriorated than initially thought.
At press time, the board was expected to vote on whether to absorb the additional costs during its regular meeting on Nov. 20.
OPA President Tom Terry said earlier in the day on Nov. 20 that he expected a motion to approve the additional funding request to pass since the board was more thoroughly briefed on how the cost overruns evolved.
“I think the board understands the explanations more clearly now than we certainly had before,” he said.
However, Terry added, “If the motion passes, it will be passing with the understanding that this will be the only request for additional money” and that the Yacht Club should be able to be completed without any additional funding being requested, he said.
Rob Brown, of Savoy/Brown, told the board when his firm was hired to design the new Yacht Club kitchen, he had inventoried every piece of kitchen equipment in the building. But he described a conversation with Potetz during a recent chance encounter at an industry convention where it became clear to Brown that Potetz would not allow much of the existing equipment that had been sitting in the Yacht Club kitchen over the years to pass inspection.
Prior to that, Brown said he had been operating under a “value engineering” concept as suggested by Thompson. Brown described the “value engineering” concept, as finding the least expensive way to go forward using as much of the facility’s functioning equipment as possible, which he said was not always the best method. The cheapest way was not always the best way, according to Brown. Thompson clarified that he was advising that the new design did not need to incorporate a “top of the line” objective.
Brown said that bidders for the job of equipping the new kitchen had been winnowed down to two companies of relatively equal capability and quality of work product. He recommended that if the board approved the additional funding request he would be able to negotiate best and final offers from both firms in order to make a selection and proceed with the installation portion of the project.