OCEAN PINES – The committee tasked with finding ways to improve drainage in Ocean Pines continues its efforts this month.
Ocean Pines Association (OPA) General Manager John Bailey told the board of directors last week that the drainage working group was still developing its recommendations, which were intended to be presented in July.
“The drainage working group started out with today as the day we would present a final report on drainage in Ocean Pines,” Bailey said. “While the draft report is underway, the process slowed down because of a very interesting development. It seems there is indeed a legal and practical conundrum as to who is responsible for the drainage ditches.”
Bailey said the association’s governing documents had revealed that there were some sections of the Pines where OPA was responsible for drainage issues and there were other sections where OPA was not responsible.
“Even within those two broad categories there are additional legal issues about specific areas of responsibility,” he said. “Now that’s as clear as the mud and the muck in the ditches right?”
Bailey said it was a legal mess but that OPA legal counsel was reviewing the issue and should have some information for the association within the next week.
“With that information in hand we can finish the draft of the drainage report, circulate it to the full working group for sign off and then provide the membership with a complete and very enlightening report,” Bailey said.
He added that the final report would include a variety of recommendations, including funding needs that could be incorporated into OPA’s budget for the coming fiscal year. He said funding recommendations included money for additional personnel dedicated to preventative maintenance for the ditches, field GPS equipment, a second vacuum truck, additional piping and engineering services.
Bailey expects the expenses associated with improving drainage in the community to impact the operating budget as well as OPA’s road reserves.