By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(March 14, 2019) Ocean Pines’ new organizational structure already appears to be paying dividends, as directors across several departments are taking second looks at some of the projects and proposals started by now former General Manager John Bailey.
For example, Bailey had budgeted $620,000 to replace drainage pipes on Cathell Road and Ocean Parkway, the Boarderlinks Condominium, and on Mumford’s Way.
Colby Phillips, in providing an operational report last Saturday with Finance Director Steve Phillips, said one of the pipes has since been repaired.
She said Public Works Director Eddie Wells realized the pipe near Mumford’s Landing had been repaired about seven years ago.
“They dug up the road a couple weeks ago to see if we were able to repair the other side of that pipe [and] they found a golf [ball] sized hole … and were able to repair it,” she said. “They got the work done in one day, which will save the association from the road reserves $244,000 out of the next fiscal year.”
Three other large drainage pipes are expected to require replacement.
Phillips said public works would focus on drainage problems in areas that have “the most immediate impact,” and the department has also developed a 14-page draft on drainage.
“Everybody realizes … how important that is to the community, in trying to find the resolutions there,” she said. “Our first goal is to figure out what we can do, but also review the budget for next year as well, to make sure that if there’s areas where public works can’t get to, that we have some service agreements priced out … so it doesn’t delay action going forward on those drainage issues.”
She said association workers were also looking into cost-saving alternatives to the current bulkhead replacement program “to reduce the increase in costs that were associated with losing our staging area.”
“We’ve been meeting with the county in trying to come up with some ways that we can take some of that expense away,” Phillips said. “We’re just organizing better our RFPs and our projects going forward, so that we can make sure that we’re staying on top of all these huge areas that need the attention.”
Phillips said public works personnel are in the process of addressing about 100 different tasks that need to be done before the summer season starts, including regular maintenance and regular site checks to Ocean Pines parks.
She said the association is also looking into installing electric gates for boat ramps at White Horse Park and Mumford’s Landing.
“We’re just now starting to look at what those costs would be and how we would handle that,” Phillips said.
On the administrative side, Steve Phillips said the IT department started to implement the new Northstar software system and an outside project consultant would soon put together an implementation timeline.
He said a separate point of sales and management system, known as “Toast,” was being set up for food and beverage operations at the yacht and beach clubs.
Additionally, Phillips said Baltimore firm Gross Mendelsohn is working on “hopefully wrapping up these forensic audits” of association finances.
“Gross Mendelsohn is working to perform their final procedures and aim to issue reports here near the end of the fiscal year, in the next couple months,” he said.