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Pines budget started off year in red

Ocean Pines Treasurer John Viola last Friday provides an overview of association financials during a daylong board of director orientation meeting in the community center.

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 30, 2018) In bringing new and returning board members up to speed on the Ocean Pines Association’s financials, Treasurer John Viola on Friday gave a briefing of the first three months of fiscal 2019, which missed budget projections by $69,000.

Some areas beat estimates, including the yacht club (profitable by $75,000), golf ($23,000), the marina ($16,000) and racquet sports ($15,000).

Others areas posted losses: general maintenance (off $54,000), information technology contract-services (off $45,000), legal fees (off $35,000) and the beach club (off $35,000).

Viola said the glaring negative in aquatics, below budget so far by $115,000, was “kind of expected” and would work itself out. Partially to blame, he said, was the decoupling this year of pool passes from beach club parking passes. Beach club parking was $46,000 higher than budgeted estimates.

“Aquatics was unfavorable. I read a lot about it. We did have some weather situations,” he said. “It was a shift because of some changes … but over time you will see the revenue.

“Aquatics is not down as much as you think,” Viola continued. “It will balance out.”

He said reserves as of July totaled $10.3 million, including an unusually high $6 million in replacement reserves. Viola said that was because budgeted country club renovations, estimated at $1.3 million, had not yet been expensed.

Borrowing a quote from General Manager John Bailey, Viola said August was a key month to breaking even for the year.

He said the board would at some point need to address the $1.6 million operating deficit accumulated during the last two fiscal years, adding other important decisions coming up were the estimated $500,000 to purchase new financial software and the pending finalization of a long in-progress reserve study.

To view Ocean Pines monthly financial reports, visit