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Workgroups, projects done in June, public pools concerns

By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer

Photo by Josh Davis
Ocean Pines Operations Director Colby Phillips provides details about projects completed in June during the board of director’s meeting last Saturday.

(July 11, 2019) Ocean Pines Interim General Manager John Viola and Operations Director Colby Phillips updated the board of directors Saturday on several projects being pursued by Viola’s newly created volunteer workgroups.

Implementation of the new NorthStar software is on track thanks to the leadership of IT Manager Steve Grabowski and Finance Director Steve Phillips, as well as the efforts of several workgroups, Viola said. Grabowski is also looking into adding guest Wi-Fi at the Yacht Club.

Viola said construction of the new Golf clubhouse remains on track and on budget, as does the expansion of the Ocean Pines Police headquarters. The new golf cart barn is also expected to come in under budget.

Work groups are also assisting with the Matt Ortt Companies contract negotiations to manage food and beverage operations, and Viola credited Executive Secretary Michelle Bennett for leading a compensation study workgroup.

Construction of the new Craft Club building is likely to begin later this month, Viola added. Recreation and Parks Program Supervisor Debbie Donahue was recognized for her work on the Craft Club project, as well as on the installation of the new White Horse Park playground equipment in June. The playground finished $600 under budget.

The crabbing pier demolition is also likely to occur in July, Viola said, with Public Works Operations Manager Nobie Violante helping to lead that effort.

Viola said Steve Phillips and accounts payable supervisor Geraldine Tate are working on the annual audit, while Colby Phillips is leading workgroups and teams of employees in the areas of bulkhead maintenance, dredging and drainage.

Four companies are working on bulkhead repairs, with projects on Eastern Mallard finished and Ebb Tide about halfway done. Work will move next to the Pintail area, with Fisher Marine Construction Inc. expected to finish bulkhead repairs along West Mallard within the next two weeks, Phillips said. All four projects are currently under budget.

However, the department will not work on new bulkheads during summer, Phillips said, and will only be completing current projects.

On drainage, Phillips said one bid was received for the planned pipe replacement on Watertown Road, but the association would seek additional bids before bringing the project to Viola and the board. She added pipe replacement on Boston Road had been completed.

“While we have the dry weather now, this is the best time to get the ditches cleared out,” Phillips said. “We have Atlantic Stone Walls coming in to help us with some of our larger ditches that have to be done by hand, and [the company] will be starting on Burr Hill this coming week.”

Phillips added that Public Works finished 14 of 34 drainage work orders in June. The department fielded 142 total work orders during the month, with 107 being completed. Public Works crews are also mowing the grass at Ocean Pines’ facilities, easements and parks.

Phillips also addressed a concern about nonresidents overcrowding Ocean Pines pools, which turned out to not be nearly as large an issue as some residents initially thought.

“We hit capacity pretty early but I just wanted to highlight two of our busier pools,” Phillips said. “Between Monday and Friday this week at the Yacht Club we had 1,803 guests, 132 of those were nonresidents. The rest were all residents and members. I know there’s been some conversations about nonresidents. At Mumford’s pool, 1,492 guests were there between Monday and Friday, and 127 of those were nonresidents.

“Our residents are using the pools … which is great,” she continued.