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


OPA financial picture illuminated

By Greg Ellison

(Sept. 5, 2019) Positive financial trends were highlighted by OPA General Manager John Viola and Treasurer Larry Perrone during the board of directors meeting Saturday

Viola opened his report with a status update on a multitude of current projects.

Viola said the upgrade to NorthStar financial systems is moving forward.

“The update we received this week is that we are still on track, give or take a week or two,” he said.

The project to replace the Golf Course Club House is also on track, Viola said.

“We will probably see some activity there in September,” he said. “The police building and cart barn [projects] should begin in October.”

Viola also commented on the recently completed food and beverage contract to retain the services of the Matt Ort Company, and then moved to the efforts to cross-train OPA employees.

“We will be more efficient and that will definitely help as far as our budget and expenses moving forward,” he said.

Viola said OPA Secretary Michelle Bennett is taking the lead for the team working on a compensation study.

“We are doing a lot of the work on the compensation study ourselves,” he said.

Viola said site work would commence this month on the new craft building.

Plans are also underway to provide Wi-Fi at the

OPA General Manager John Viola provides updates on the financial picture and in progress projects, while Operations Director Colby Phillips follows the slide presentation, on Saturday during the Board of Directors meeting.

“The last update I received is they are waiting on Comcast,” he said. “Once we have all that in place, we should have guest Wi-Fi.”

Viola said a request for proposal to select an accounting firm is nearly completed.

Upcoming fiscal 2020/2021 plans are also developing.

“We’re already working to begin the fiscal 2020/2021 budget process and are putting together capital schedules now,” he said.

Focusing on financial changes through the end of July, Viola said three months into the current fiscal year the OPA net operating budget is favorable by about $308,000.

Treasurer Larry Perrone’s report illuminated the revenue balance at the end of last fiscal year on April 30 to the current levels as of July 31.

Perrone said reserve funds were about $8.8 million to open the current fiscal year. That number included $5.2 million in replacement reserves, $2.5 million for bulkheads and $1.1 million for road repairs.

“Remember, we’ve got four major projects going on right now and our total replacement reserve spend is about $4.3 million as we move through the year for projects scheduled.

Since April replacement reserves have grown to $6.4 million, with the total available for bulkhead repairs up to $2.8 million.

“Basically our bulkhead program has been shut down for two years, but now it’s up and running again,” he said.

Perrone said funds for road repairs also grew to around $1.4 million by the end of July.

“We haven’t done roads in a couple of years,” he said.

Looking at upcoming expenses, Perrone said cost estimates for the Golf Course Club House project are currently about $1.6 million, with expanding the police/administration building slated to run about $1.3 million.

“By the end of the year we’re projecting that our total reserve account should be just under $5.2 million,” he said.

Perrone also said investment income has been excelling lately, with approximately $15.8 in cash as of July 31 divided into $4.8 million invested in CDARs and $11 million invested in money markets.

“Through July, because of some good decisions in regard to CDARs and money markets we’re averaging a 2.5 percent return,” he said.