Pines Fire Station Efforts Continue

OCEAN PINES – Efforts continue to secure a consultant for the creation of a South Station capital campaign.

Last Saturday, General Manager John Viola presented the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors with an update on efforts to secure a consultant for the creation of a fundraising feasibility study. As an Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department (OPVFD) looks to construct a new South Station, a workgroup has been established to kickstart a capital campaign.

“I want to give an update on the group that we put together to address the fundraising, feasibility studies and everything that should be done before we even start to address a new building,” he told board members last week.

In June, OPVFD leaders held a town hall meeting to discuss proposed South Station renovations, and the funding needed to make the project a reality. Officials told community members they are proposing an $8.6 million renovation that calls for a demolition of the station’s living and administrative quarters, the addition of a two-story building, and a new bay.

OPVFD officials say state contributions totaling $1.6 million and department reserves of about $1 million will also go toward South Station Improvements. The department is also seeking the community’s support to fund the remaining $6 million. In July, however, Director Frank Daly noted an existing memorandum of understanding between OPA and the fire department excluded funding for South Station improvements, but called for a joint capital campaign to raise funds for construction.

To that end, the board voted unanimously to direct the general manager to form a workgroup to evaluate and select a fundraising professional for a capital fundraising effort.

In a report last week, Viola noted efforts to find a consultant for the creation of a feasibility study that will be used to launch a capital fundraising campaign began in September, when the workgroup issued a request for proposals

“I said I would come forward today with the team with a recommendation,” he said. “We need a little more time to evaluate.”

Viola noted that the workgroup received responses from seven firms, plus some individual consultants. He said new information the workgroup received had prevented members from making a recommendation to the board on Saturday. Viola asked the board to give the workgroup another 30 days to make a recommendation.

“This is not a showstopper, this is actually a good thing,” he said. “We have gotten some really interesting information and we just need a little more time.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.