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Ocean Pines amenities continue solid fiscal run

Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Viola and his team recently provided their monthly report on current community initiatives and assured homeowners that amenities remain profitable.

Yacht Club-file

The Ocean Pines Yacht Club is pictured on a crowded night.
File photo

By Tara Fischer, Staff Writer 

Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Viola and his team provided their monthly report on current community initiatives and assured homeowners that amenities remain profitable at the Saturday, June 15 meeting of the Board of Directors.  

The Yacht Club Tiki Bar expansion was officially unveiled just before Memorial Day Weekend. Since its grand opening, Viola maintained that the additions have had a profitable impact on the community.

“I have been to the Tiki Bar on the aquatics and Yacht Club sides,” he said. “It is enhanced … the feedback is so positive. The original Tiki Bar needed a lot of renovations, more than I thought.” 

Recreation and Parks Director Debbie Donahue updated residents about ongoings at the skateboard park. Donahue said the person who built the ramp is expected to provide an assessment in the coming months. The Public Works Department has scheduled repairs, particularly for structural cracks and a power wash is anticipated. 

Unfortunately, despite skaters’ requests for benches, the association has opted against seating installation. Donahue said that these types of accommodations have been continuously damaged and the community cannot justify wasting thousands of dollars on frequent replacements. Hidden cameras, often monitored by recreation and parks staff, have been positioned to deter vandalism. 

Viola said the soft shoreline project to reduce erosion at the South Gate Pond is on schedule. The association is collaborating with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program on the project, and they have received a grant for $150,000. Of the funds, $50,000 has been allocated for site work.

The initiative addresses water quality, shoreline erosion, parking lot issues, pond edge wetlands, and fishing access. 

“We are going to enhance the fishing experience,” the general manager said. 

Viola updated the community on maintenance efforts. Showers have been repaired at the Ocean Pines Beach Club, aquatics officials have conducted daily safety inspections, and playground equipment at Bainbridge and Bridgewater parks is to be power washed to remove oxidation. 

To beautify the neighborhood, Public Works has placed summer flowers throughout Ocean Pines and replaced the banners at the north and south entrances.

According to Viola, the marina has received the Clean Marina Award from the Department of Natural Resources. Additional merchandise has also been added, including fishing tackle, shirts, and retail items like snacks, ice cream, and beverages. 

The OPA general manager noted that the marina’s total fuel sales for May totaled $79,041. 

The golf course’s maintenance is on track, including repairs to leaks in the old irrigation system. For 2024, the amenity has secured $271,000 in profits, not including memberships.  

“The golf course is the economic powerhouse driving this engine of Ocean Pines,” Viola said. 

Memberships for all amenities, sans tennis, have increased from last year. 

Viola assured that the community “has a good product, and the numbers show it.” 

Director of Business Administration Linda Martin said that the racquet sports center has seen an uptick in pickleball and tennis players over the past month and that there have been several days where all the courts were in use. 

The director reminded residents of the seventh annual Pink Ribbon Pickleball Round Robin on Friday, October 4. The entry fee is $40 per person. 

As for the aquatics department, Martin said that the lifeguards are fully staffed for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, and new flooring at the splash pad was installed at Swim and Racquet on June 4. 

Board President Rick Farr provided a financial update. 

“A few months ago, John Viola and I had an opportunity to go in front of the County Council, requesting funds for Ocean Pines,” he said.  “I am happy to report that the county has given us for our police department $550,000. As for recreation, we have received $20,000; for the fire department, we have received $51,000. For our roads, we have received $195,000.” 

The following OPA Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Saturday, July 20, at 9 a.m. in the Clubhouse Meeting Room.

This story appears in the June 20, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.