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


Vendors brief board, public on Ocean Pines reserve study

(July 23, 2015) Ocean Pines continued to move toward a formal study of how to build and maintain its reserve fund, along with how much that fund should be, as it met last Friday with representatives of three companies that perform that service for homeowners
Each company provided a roughly 30-minute presentation on how it handles what are better known as reserve studies.
OPA Board President Dave Stevens began the meeting at the Community Center by saying its primary purpose was to familiarize the board and the evaluation team with each company.
Board Treasurer Jack Collins and Parliamentarian Tom Terry also attended, as did General Manager Bob Thompson.
Douglas Green, president of Richmond-based Design Management Associates spoke first.
“Having worked with associations since 1986 … I have a pretty good idea of how associations work,” Green said, adding that he formed the company to “specifically to do work with homeowners associations.”
Green displayed a sample reserve analysis and touted the “entirely new process” used by DMA, which includes software and “integrated services” that creates subaccounts in order to track different components of a particular community.
He said the community would receive a spreadsheet and support from the company, including virtual meetings.
“We tend to customize everything to suit our clients,” he said.
DMA’s service would include quarterly review and annual reviews, as well as a five-year update.
The company recently performed similar studies for Montgomery Village, located in Montgomery County, as well as communities in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.
Michelle Baldry, representing Reserve Advisors, spoke next.
Baldry said RA was the largest company of its kind in the eastern half of the United States, with 35 engineers on staff and a satellite office in Arlington, Va.
Because the company has experience with organizations including country clubs, churches, schools, municipalities and Ronald McDonald houses, Baldry said RA has “seen anything and everything.”
The engineering team, Baldry said, would meet with department heads in Ocean Pines during an evaluation period, and the study would be delivered on a cloud-based software platform, a portion of which could be tied to an annual subscription fee.
RA’s reference list included the GlenRiddle community association, marina condominium and townhomes, as well as four communities in Bethany Beach and a dozen in Ocean City. The company also listed references in Rockville, as well as Virginia, Florida and Arizona.
Pete Miller from Annapolis-based Miller Dodson Associates closed the session with a slide show.
Miller said reserve studies are a key component of financially sustainable communities.
“Our goal is to help you meet your goal,” Miller said. “We’re here to help you achieve financial stability.
“We want to make sure … that we meet the goals of the board in the property values being protected and enriched,” Miller added. “If you don’t have adequate reserves, that means at some point in the future there’s going to be an increase in assessments … It’s a cycle that, with proper planning, we can avoid.”
Along with the study itself, Miller Dodson offers “follow-up actions,” including a strategic funding plan and “additional support and education.”
The company performed similar studies in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and New Mexico.
Board Vice President Marty Clarke, who watched the meeting online, said he was “very impressed with the caliber of the final three” companies.  
“One would be hard pressed to make a mistake in choosing,” he said.
Stevens, speaking on Monday, also said he was pleased with the meeting.
“The meeting was for the evaluators who had already read in detail the proposals and did a whole lot of background,” he said. “They were pretty much up to speed and I was a little bit up to speed, probably a little more than the average board members were. So, it was basically all about them.”
Stevens said he expected to have a recommendation for the full board during the July 30 public meeting.
The full meeting packet is available online at