OCEAN PINES – The Ocean Pines Association will move forward with installing its first electronic sign along Ocean Parkway.
Last Saturday, the Ocean Pines Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve a $22,118 capital request to install an electronic sign at the North Gate entrance to Ocean Pines. General Manager John Viola said he was seeking the board’s authorization to contract with Phillips Signs for the installation.
“We’ve certainly heard about this for like 15 years,” he said. “Well, it’s going to happen, hopefully with approval today.”
For a number of years, the Ocean Pines 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.
As part of that effort, the board last month voted to have Viola seek cost estimates for the purchase and installation of digital signs in Ocean Pines. He told the board last Saturday staff recommended using Phillips Signs to install the first sign, which will be placed in the existing wooden frame at the North Gate bridge.
“There was a demonstration at the administration building the other day, and it was pretty impressive,” he said. “So we will be coming forward today for approval for one sign at the north gate bridge. If we get approval today, it will take about six to eight weeks lead time to get it and then install it.”
During last Saturday’s board meeting, Director Steve Jacobs questioned the cost. While he said he supported the project, he asked if the association could get a cheaper price if it bought more signs in the future.
“My question is we are only approving the one sign now,” he said. “Assuming we use the same contract, can we insist as best as possible to get some sort of quantity discount? If that’s the direction we’re doing in, and I suspect that is, then I think there’s a need for us to make it clear we need to drop the cost down as best we can.”
Director Elaine Brady, liaison for the communications committee, said it was something to pursue.
“I don’t disagree …,” she said. “When we do go forward, John is a master at negotiations. He’ll probably be able to get us a discount if we go forward with the rest of the project.”
Viola told the board he was only tasked with getting a cost estimate for one sign. While he noted the cost was reasonable, he said he would work with the vendor to secure a lower price.
“We got a very good price here,” he said. “We’ll try to get a cheaper price. I did mention that high level to them, and they said they would work with us. I don’t think it will be a major discount, but this technology is coming down.”
With no further discussion, the board voted unanimously to approve the capital request.