Close Menu
Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


OP approves $31K contract with reserve study firm DMA

(Aug. 6, 2015) It didn’t come without a fight, but the Ocean Pines Board of Directors last Thursday approved a $31,800 contract with the Richmond firm, Design Management Associates, to conduct the study of what the community needs in the way of a financial reserve fund.
General Manager Bob Thompson said a reserve study had been a focal point of his work during the last several months.
After sending a request for information, a selection committee and several board members fielded presentations from three firms in July. A request for proposals followed and Ocean Pines residents Jerry Aveta and Ted Moroney, who were tapped to head a parallel capital improvement study, helped Thompson winnow the list down to one.
Thompson said DMA would perform a full review and that the contract would include base costs and an update, as well as an hourly rate for additional updates to the study.
“I just want to compliment you and the evaluation team,” Board President Dave Stevens said, noting that other homeowners associations that used each vendor were called for references. “This is a great job.”
Stevens said the selection provided “a promising link” to the capital improvement study.
Vice President Marty Clarke asked about a potential budget overage. The board approved $50,000 for a reserve study, but allocated approximately $16,500 from that to Salisbury University group BEACON to perform a comprehensive study, the third part of a touted “three-legged stool” of studies, in March.
The current numbers, Stevens said, were “just about right.”
Director Bill Cordwell worried the study being was rushed.
“If we’re going to do a full reserve study, I want to see a [capital improvement plan] first … to base this study off of,” Cordwell said. “It seems like we’re trying rush this through just to get it through this board. I’m about doing things once and doing it correctly and doing it right. I don’t want to base $35,000 just on maintenance of what we have now. We have too many projects that need to be done in the future.”
Cordwell added that without a capital improvement study, “I don’t know that we’re doing a full reserve study.”
“We had the CIP that the general manager took two years to put together, in ’13 and ’14, that had a list of potential projects and projected costs,” he said. “I just don’t understand why we’re not using that.”
Parliamentarian Tom Terry agreed that DMA should have access to previous data, while Stevens said the hard data of the old reserve, comprehensive and capital improvement studies were outdated.
“For me, it’s just a time thing,” Cordwell said. “I just think that we’re pushing this through at the last minute. The [request for information] was July 17, and then they had to have a [request for proposals] done by July 23. When we did the boat ramps, we gave them a month and all we heard was, ‘that wasn’t enough time.’”
Stevens admitted, “That was a worry.”
“On the other hand, they covered the bases. That impressed me a lot,” he said. “There’s also a good reason too. If we’re going to move into [the other studies], having this hard data prior to the next budget sessions is what’s going to be important.
“This will effect both short term and long term,” Stevens added.
Following public comments, Treasurer Jack Collins moved to enter into a contract with DMA. Despite the 20-minute debate that arose earlier, the vote passed 6-1, with only Cordwell opposing.