Ocean View council works on draft capital improvement plan
Items considered for the first draft of the Capital Improvement Plan for Ocean View’s 2021-fiscal-year budget were discussed by the town council at their Tuesday, Dec. 10, meeting.
Dawn Mitchell Parks, town finance director, brought several matters to the council’s attention. They included:
• Employee merit increases.
Parks said that, nationwide, merit increases are between 3 percent and 3.3 percent for every employee who receives a “satisfactory” or higher rating on employee reviews. Councilman Frank Twardzik said he’s in favor of 3.3 percent “because these are merit increases, meaning they worked hard for this.”
“We’ve talked about how great our employees are. I’d like to see them get the higher amount. Retention is a big thing. We’ve got them here now. Let’s do what we have to do to retain them,” Councilman Tom Maly said.
“I appreciate that. I think it’s a good starting place,” Houck said.
“It is more indicative of what the staff deserves,” Mayor Walter Curran said, adding that there has been an improvement in staff efficiency. “We’re getting the work done faster and better,” he said.
• Departmental expenses.
Parks asked for permission for the Planning, Zoning & Development Department to have a separate budget.
“It narrows what I’m looking at and what I’m tracking, so I’m all for it,” said Ken Cimino, who directs that department. The council agreed.
The town council agreed on the importance of holiday and other public festivities.
Town Manager Carol Houck said $36,000 is budgeted.
Houck said the there is also money in the budget for the Fire & Ice Festival in January, though the Town of Ocean View won’t participate in the expanding Bethany Beach-based event this year because officials learned about it late. Funding is also budgeted for the Chicken Festival in June.
“Our community events, all these events, are bringing this town together in a way I haven’t noticed in the 15 years I’ve been hanging around down here. I think it’s a wonderful investment. … There are a lot of people looking to move here,” Curran said.
Councilman Bruce White said the town staff plans and prepares every detail of the many celebrations, “and I hope that doesn’t become a problem.”
Houck said some work has been outsourced.
“We learned with Cops & Goblins, and with the holiday event, it is a lot of hours and it is a lot of work. We made it work, but we now know there are a lot of areas where we need people sooner, or more,” she said.
By Susan Canfora