Association Officials To Begin Budget Review

OCEAN PINES – Association officials will begin their review of the fiscal year 2024-2025 budget.

During this month’s meeting of the Ocean Pines Board of Directors, General Manager John Viola presented officials with a timeline for reviewing the proposed 2024-2025 budget. He said the board and members of the Ocean Pines Budget and Finance Committee would begin its review in the coming weeks.

“We do have it. We’re just finishing up the paperwork and putting it all together,” he told the board. “As committed, the (budget) binders will be available to B&F and the board by the holidays, which has been consistent with the last five years.”

The association’s fiscal year begins on May 1 of each year and ends on April 30 of the next calendar year. In preparation for the coming year’s budget, Viola said the budget and finance committee will hold a review Jan. 3-4, while the board will hold a review Jan. 11-12.

A town hall has tentatively been scheduled for Feb. 7.

“We don’t just budget for this year, we do look forward,” he said. “I have this whole team engaged to look forward over the next three, four years. We have a plan in place.”

Viola told board members this month the proposed budget will continue to focus on infrastructure. He said upcoming projects include an update of the golf course irrigation system, which he said was well overdue.

“We will continue robust bulkhead, drainage and road programs and address infrastructure, which is well overdue, specifically the irrigation system,” he said.

Viola noted, however, that the association continues to face financial challenges – including wage increases – as it prepares for a new fiscal year.

“I always talk about headwinds,” he said. “We do have statutory wage increase and the 401(k) police enhancement program. We will continue to move forward with that and budget for it, which will make us as comparable as we can be with LEOPS and the programs that the municipalities have.”

Viola added that the budget will also account for medical costs and liability insurance increases.

“We have that all build in there,” he said.

When asked if the bulkheads, drainage and roads programs were in line with the association’s strategic plan, Viola said it was.

“And we do update the strategic plan,” he added.

A copy of the association’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2024-2025 will be made available on the association’s website,

“This is the best part for me,” Viola said of the budget process. “This is the part I like a lot.”

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.