Ocean View discusses reserves, capital spending

At the Sept. 19 Ocean View Town Council meeting, Council Member Roy Thomas introduced concept ideas to establish a Long-term Capital Reserve Fund and an Emergency Fund specifically for the town.

Thomas produced a proposal for an Emergency Reserve Fund for Ocean View. The proposal highlighted the fact that about 50 percent of revenue comes from real estate tax, while the other 50 percent for the town comes from transfer tax.

In the case of a natural disaster, that could result in about a 50 percent drop in revenue, if homes and properties are severely damaged. Thomas noted that the town has an obligation to supply basic services to its citizens during a time of crisis — something for which the town should be prepared.

The reserve would be funded with $1 million of the current fund balance and approximately $500 per developed lot in Ocean View.

The Long Term Capital Reserve Fund, also introduced, would be a systematic method of building reserves, focused on the annual expense of capital assets over the years versus haphazard expenses for capital assets.

Thomas said this fund would be important because, when looking at the future funds for the town, the revenue is wearing out and there would be no funds to replace it. He also stated that, due to inflation, the money needed to be spent on capital improvements would be unattainable. Thomas presented the problem of capital spending: “While great for the citizens of Ocean View, it has set up a huge unfunded liability.”

The reserve would be crucial in the event of a natural disaster and for potential replacement or refurbishment of capital assets. “This would be good for protecting the future of the town,” said Thomas.

Thomas said he hopes the proposal will be in the interest of the council to turn into an ordinance and make legal.

Also discussed at the Ocean View Sept. 19 meeting:

• Amendments to the Ocean View code related to fees for subdivision of land and fees charged by the town office.

• Discussion of the Route 26 Design Standards Ordinance.

• Amendments to the Ocean View code related to revising the “Sunset Rule” for subdivisions and establishing timeframe for submission of final subdivision plans from the date of preliminary subdivision plan approval.

• Amendments to the Ocean View code related to the submission of final site plans.

• Amendments to the Ocean View code related to property maintenance to improve the look of the town.

• Water update: Water bids are due next week for USDA review, pipes will begin to be laid.

• Manpower and salary study for the Ocean View Police Department.

• Updates on the new police station construction project.