Ocean Pines GM Discusses Impact Of Open Positions

OCEAN PINES – A discussion on open positions and labor savings highlighted the general manager’s report at this month’s board meeting.

Last Saturday, General Manager John Viola presented the Ocean Pines Board of Directors with his monthly general manager’s report, which focused on the impact outsourcing has had on the association and its budget.

“Our favorability is mainly due to revenue growth, reallocation and cost efficiencies, but we also have open positions,” he told the board. “People seem to hone in on that, and that’s fine, but these open positions, depending on where they are, we also lose revenue.”

Viola noted that while open positions have led to cost savings, it also impacts operations, pointing to the aquatics and recreation and parks departments as examples.

“It’s kind of an offset,” he said.

Within public works, Viola noted the department has four open, full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.

“Yes, we have open positions,” he said. “But it’s just like everybody else in the labor pool, local, regional and national. Not a surprise here.”

Viola noted, however, that those vacancies were being filled by outsourced work.

“Conservatively for public works, that comes down to having nine FTEs,” he said. “I’m short four, and we have five extra.”

Viola said outside contractors have been used to complete renovations at the administration building, paint road markings and handle bulkhead topsoil and sod, among other things.

“In the past, we had somebody who did that,” he said. “Now we outsource that because we don’t have the people.”

The association has also hired a contractor to complete a new drainage pipelining project.

“There has been tremendous savings on that, dollar-wise, in terms of labor …,” he said. “We would have had to rip up all of Ocean Parkway wherever these pipes were, so a tremendous amount of savings. It is reflected in the open positions, but we have outsourced.”

In an update this week, Viola added that an outside contractor was currently working on the new marina gas docks. He said the estimated cost of $633,500 included $350,720 for the docks, $169,521 for the gas lines and $113,259 for other expenses.

“We have all the permits, all the signoffs,” he said. “Just the other day, it went to fabrication. The outside company will build them, ship them here, and we have Fisher Marine that will install them.”

Viola said the project should be completed before the season begins in May.

“We’ve got to get these back by the end of March …,” he explained. “So we are on track for that.”

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.