After six months of fiscal 2020, Association ahead of budget more than $550,000 

Major projects remain on track and largely within budget 

Ocean Pines General Manager John Viola delivers a monthly report during a Dec. 4 Board meeting.

Finance Director Steve Phillips supplies updates on the transition to new Northstar financial system.

Treasurer Larry Perrone on Dec. 4 updates the Board on reserve accounts and projections as of Oct. 31.

Once again, Ocean Pines General Manager John Viola had good financial news to report during a regular Board of Directors meeting.  

Viola, on Dec. 4, said the Association was ahead of budget more than $550,000 after the first six months of fiscal 2019/2020.  

That figure represents a more than $433,000 improvement over the prior year. Year to date, revenues beat budget estimates by $480,711, while expenses were lower than budget by $70,664. 

“Keep in mind, [in] the next six months we do utilize cash [and] we don’t have the revenue coming in that we normally do, so this number will come down,” Viola said. “We do have an estimate. [Finance Director] Steve [Phillips] and I feel comfortable saying that we definitely will be favorable to budget for the year.” 

Viola said the forecast for the end of the fiscal year is to retain roughly 70 percent of the $550,000 positive budget surplus. 

In October, the Association finished more than $33,000 better than budget, a nearly $11,000 improvement over the prior year.  

Year to date, the Yacht Club, Beach Club, Marinas, Tern Grille and Aquatics all have exceeded numbers from the prior year, while Beach Parking and Racquet Sports were down slightly. Golf was positive nearly $13,000, but that figure was roughly $4,000 behind 2018 numbers. Viola said there was a need for contract services at the course, which contributed to the decrease.  

The Recreation and Parks, Public Works, Administration and Finance departments were also ahead of the previous year, while Fire/EMS/Police and Public Relations posted worse than budgeted numbers. In both cases, Viola said timing was a factor and the departments should finish in the black.  

He also said half a dozen major initiatives either remained on target or had already wrapped. The Sibson Group employee compensation study has finished, and construction of a new Golf cart barn and craft building are on track to finish next month. The new Golf clubhouse and Northstar software rollout should both finish by next May, Viola said.  

Treasurer Larry Perrone said the impact to reserves was a projected $4.4 million balance by April 30, 2020, a decrease from just over $8.8 million at the start of the fiscal year. That includes almost $2.8 million in replacement reserves, $1.1 million in bulkheads and $569,000 in roads.   

“We’re comfortable with those numbers, at this point,” Perrone said.   

The fiscal 2020/2021 budget, meanwhile, is well ahead of schedule. Viola plans to deliver his budget draft to the Board before Christmas.  

“We are committed to handing over the binders and the proposed draft budget to [the Budget and Finance Committee] and the Board, Dec. 23,” he said.  

Phillips provided additional detail on the Northstar software implementation, specifically that the new systems are now live for Administration, Recreation and Parks, Public Works and the Sports Core pool.  

A landmark for the project was producing October numbers using the new software. 

“We were able to close the financials a little bit late, [but] we appreciate the patience,” he said. “We were able to get those out before Thanksgiving and produce them in the new system, so we are happy with that result.” 

Phillips said the Yacht Club should go live in February, followed by the Marina in April and the Beach Club and the rest of Aquatics by the end of April. He added total spending for the software transition forecasts to finish slightly over budget. 

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