Pines To Seek Bids For Digital Signs

OCEAN PINES – Officials in Ocean Pines last week agreed to seek bids for digital signs.

Last Saturday, the Ocean Pines Board of Directors voted unanimously to have General Manager John Viola seek cost estimates for the purchase and installation of four digital signs. Director Elaine Brady, liaison for the association’s communications committee, said new digital signs would improve messaging throughout the community.

“It’s another tool in our toolbox,” she said.

For a number of years, the communications committee has been actively working on plans to upgrade the association’s information boards with electronic signs. The group has even gone so far as to seek a county text amendment to permit on-premises electronic signs within an established residential community.

Back on the agenda for discussion this week, Brady said she was seeking the board’s approval to move forward with the project. She said the communications committee had proposed removing the 22 existing information boards and replacing them with four digital signs, one at each of the three entrances to Ocean Pines and one at the community center.

“Those are really the highest trafficked areas,” she said.

Brady argued there were several downsides to maintaining the association’s current information boards. She noted that several man hours were spent each week changing each of the boards, which had different messages at each location.

“Unless you are willing to drive from The Point, down on one end, all the way to the north gate bridge and back, you are never going to see all the messaging,” she said. “And it’s static.”

By installing digital signs, Brady said the association could include several messages on one board. She added that those messages could changed or fixed immediately.

“With digital, the messages rotate …,” she said. “You will see the messaging will be a lot more effective.”

During public comments, resident Lora Pangratz shared her concerns regarding the proposed digital signs. She said she had concerns about the cost of maintenance, as well as the commercial look of digital signs. Cheryl Jacobs, chair of the communications committee, said the signs would look no different than the existing information boards. Officials noted the association would retrofit the existing frames to hold the four digital signs.

“As you go by it at the north gate, or at any of the locations, it’s going to look absolutely identical to what we have now,” Brady added.

After further discussion, the board voted to have Viola secure bids for the digital signs with the goal of gathering cost estimates. Should the board proceed with the project, Brady said all remaining information boards along the parkway, except for the one at the Yacht Club, would be removed.

“It will still be maintained by Matt Ortt Companies,” she said.

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.