The Ocean Pines Board on Feb. 5 agreed to set up a work group to recommend controls related to the new capital reserve fund.
The Board created the fund last year, to set aside money for new capital projects.
In the past, according to Director Larry Perrone, many smaller capital projects “didn’t get done or the purchases didn’t get made” because of the impact on assessments.
“It really wasn’t my main objective, [in] establishing this account, to put a lot of money in there so we could do gigantic projects,” he said. “This is really designed to do smaller-level projects or purchases … so that they don’t have a direct impact on the assessment.”
According to Resolution F-03, on Financial Reserve Accounts, the total balance of the fund cannot exceed $1 million.
Association President Doug Parks said he liked the idea of the new capital fund, but added, “we have to have the absolute proper controls.”
“You’ve heard me say before: any four directors can decide they want to build a bowling alley,” he said. “I like the idea of tying these spending initiatives to a strategic plan.”
In order to prevent reckless spending, Parks said, there needs to be a mechanism in place “to make sure that we are addressing the proper authority for how to select a project, transfer monies into the capital reserve fund, and how to approve expenditures.”
Parks said such a mechanism could come in the form of another resolution.
“I would be much more comfortable if we had a very succinct and solid reference,” Parks said. “Until that happens, I’m very uncomfortable.”
Perrone suggested using the Strategic Planning Committee as a review panel for new capital projects.
“I agree we need to [put] a little bit more process behind it,” he said.
However, Perrone said it was the recommendation of Bylaws and Resolutions Committee Chairman Jim Trummel to not include that in a resolution.
“[Doing so] would tie us down to exact compliance,” Perrone said.
“I don’t have a problem with that,” Parks said.
“I think the way that the thing would operate, it could create problems,” Perrone said.
Association Vice President Steve Tuttle suggested instead forming a small work group to continue the discussion.
“Let Larry lead it and come up with a set of policies or procedures and bring it back to the Board for consideration.”
Parks endorsed the idea.
“One of the reasons we want to have these kinds of discussions in public [is] so the membership understands what we’re thinking about, and so that when we arrive at a decision we’ve got the right amount of information before we move forward,” he said.
Later, during the meeting, the directors voted 6-0 to set a 6% delinquent fee interest rate for the fiscal 2020/2021 budget and approved a lease agreement with the Pine’eer Craft Club. One director, Camilla Rogers, was absent because of an illness.
Also approved 6-0 was a second reading to amend Resolution M-06, related to elections and referendums. Changes in the resolution clarify what constitutes validation of election results and allows the candidate forum moderator to ask questions in a random order, according to Association Vice President Steve Tuttle.