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Facilities Advisory Group Approved

OCEAN PINES — Bob Thompson, Ocean Pines Association general manager, told the board of directors last week he was jump-starting the planning process by inaugurating a facilities planning group to help refine the work of the 10-year task force. 

The task force provided a list and loose plan for dealing with the replacement of various structures around the association.

Much of the task force’s work revolved around identification and prioritization of amenities and assets. The difficulty became that list items, such as the Swim and Racquet Club deck repair, weren’t supposed to be priorities.

The facilities planning group would spec out each of the projects, estimating how long before repair and replacement are critical.

Unlike board-appointed committees, this group was selected by Thompson to help him get a better handle on what will be required for the upcoming fiscal 2012 budget.

“They’re just advisory for me,” Thompson said.

At the July board of directors meeting, the group will report on their findings and recommend actions the board can take. Thompson said the group would then give the directors a quarterly update on its activities. He added that he hoped to get the group’s initial recommendations approved by the September board meeting so he could incorporate their plan into the budget.

Board member Dave Stephens opposed to Thompson’s plan to get advice on facilities improvement, pointing out that plenty of work had already been done by previous committees. 

“This isn’t a step forward to resolve these issues,” Stevens said. “Not at all.”

Tom Terry, president of the board of directors, disagreed. He said Thompson needed more up-to-date and focused information to best prepare the budget. Moreover, although there were recommendations made by the 10-year task force, there isn’t a real plan for implementation.

“There was some good solid work done … that needs to be put in place and go forward,” Terry said. “It’s nine moths later, I don’t want to wait another nine months. Let’s get going.”

The board endorsed Thompson’s decision to seek additional advice on how to proceed with the facilities issues.

Thompson also presented the board with a packet containing all of the correspondence and documentation he could find on the Carrollton Lane issue. Residents in the surrounding area have been trying to get the board of directors to open the road to two-way traffic as a way of easing congestion and thru-traffic on nearby roads.

Although it is wider and would accommodate more traffic than the roads that surround it, Carrollton Lane has been somewhat privatized by the residents who live there. The residents say the sales-people assured them the road was a one-way street but whether it really is and whether it should be is a decision the board of directors is expected to make at their next meeting.

During his report, Thompson told the board golf is up from last year in supplemental play by 70. Altogether, he said, the golf management company has already booked nearly 500 more rounds than last year, including more than 200 rounds for OPA residents who aren’t golf club members. 

In an effort to make the facility more accommodating and appealing, Thompson told the directors he was considering a way to open up the pool area at the Yacht Club during the evening for bands and additional seating. One potential solutions is to convert the gate that now separates the pool area from the bar area to a rollaway partition.

Although the solution is by no means settled, Thompson said in order to expand the space and service, the OPA would have to keep a lifeguard on duty while the area was open in case someone falls in. He said the cost of keeping an experience lifeguard on would be covered by selling an additional dinner or two, so if the expansion was needed the cost would be worth it.

Work has been completed at the Swim and Racquet Club and Thompson renewed his apology to the area’s residents for the mess during the project but said that as the weather breaks the inconvenience would prove to be worth it.

“It now gives as a very nice and usable park area,” he said. 

He also said that he’s been working with Fisher Marine to find a different staging area for when the company does bulkhead work around the association.

Although he was able to restrict the company from starting before October and required that they finish before May, Thompson acknowledged that the work and its detritus were inappropriate for the park area.

Terry also announced that after consulting with its legal team the board of directors has elected not to pursue the suit against the Mid-Delmarva YMCA over the land along Gum Point Road.