OP Community Center Referendum Date Set

PINES – The new Ocean Pines Community Center referendum question will be sent
out April 18, the Ocean Pines Board of Directors decided Wednesday.

in the hands of the populace,” said Ocean Pines Association President Glenn
Duffy. “Everyone I speak to is in favor. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Pines property owners will vote on this ballot question: “Do you approve the
Ocean Pines Association continuing construction of the new Ocean Pines
Community Center at a cost estimate of 5.4 million dollars?”

public hearing will be held on the topic on April 14 at 9 a.m. at the Ocean
Pines Country Club. Property owners should receive the ballot itself shortly
thereafter. The ballot must be returned to the OPA by May 16. The votes will be
counted that day at close of business.

temporary restraining order issued earlier this month, halting work on the
project, prompted the new vote. Ocean Pines resident Marty Clarke brought a
lawsuit against the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) after a petition drive failed
to force a new referendum over the increased costs for the construction of the
new community center.

first referendum approved spending $3.9 million on a 29,000-square-foot
building, but rising construction costs have pushed the price tag to $5.4

a groundbreaking ceremony was held in December, no actual site work had begun
by the time the restraining order was issued on March 9.

cover letter for the ballot attempts to make the case for the continuation of
the project, emphasizing expenditures already made and the costs of halting the
project with nothing built.

should be aware that the Association has incurred more than $900,000 in out of
pocket expenses to begin work…Your Board of Directors asks that you vote to
APPROVE the continuation of the project at an estimated cost of 5.4 million
dollars. We believe this amount reasonably represents the actual cost to build
this building if we can undertake it without further delay,” the letter reads.

said the Board would not campaign for a positive vote this time, unlike in

just hope the community passes the referendum for the second time,” he said.
“This whole thing is ‘no progress at any cost’ and I don’t think that’s the
spirit of Ocean Pines.”

A big majority voted
against a $5 million community center in 2001, said Clarke. “We’ll see what
happens at $5.4 million,” he said.