03-21-17

Town of Holden Beach – BOC’s Regular Meeting
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments – Lou’s Views


Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information
» click here
http://www.hbtownhall.com/files/122317956.pdf


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

There were no comments


2. Police Report – Chief Wally Layne

Police Patch
We are still in our traditional
break-in season. Wally thought we were out of the woods due to a five-week lull in activity. Unfortunately, we have had two (2) break-ins since the last meeting where flat screen TV’s were taken. Cautiously optimistic that things will remain quiet as the island gets busier

 .

Annual event – transition from home break- ins to vehicle break- ins. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. He used the term break-ins loosely since most of the vehicles were left unlocked. He preaches the same sermon to us each year to protect your personal property. Don’t be a volunteer victim! Remove all items of value from your vehicle when you are not driving it. Always lock your vehicle doors when you are not in it. Leaving items on display, whether on the dashboard or sitting on a passenger seat, is an invitation to opportunist individuals. Make sure to follow these important tips!

 Neighborhood Watch

  • Need to look out for each other and report any suspicious activity
  • Call 911 if you see or hear anything suspicious
  • Fill out Keep Check Request Form if you will be out of town
  • Submit completed Property Registration Form
  • Pickup copy of Protecting Your Home

Crime prevention 101 – Don’t make it easy for them
. a) Don’t leave vehicles unlocked
. b)
Don’t leave valuables in your vehicles
. c)
Lock your doors & windows – house, garage, storage areas and sheds

Keep Check Request Form
. a) Complete the form and return it to the Police Department
. b)
Officers check your property in your absence
.
Property Registration Form
. a)
Record of items in your home that have a value of over $100
. b)
Complete the form and return it to the Police Department


3. Beach Ambassador Program Recommendation –
Peggy Schiavone, Chair of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
a) Discussion and Possible Action on Recommendation – Commissioner Freer

Previously reported –
2009
Police took over Beach Patrol role previously handled by temporary seasonal employees

2016
Commissioner Freer broached the issue of the public’s safety on the beach strand by taking the tack that he would like to see us supplement the Police force. Previously he pointed out that the current budget covers only eight (8) officers which are really not adequate to meet our needs during the 100 days of summer. The approach he suggested should be one of improving awareness as well as enforcement. His recommendation was as follows:
.     1) Under the Police Department umbrella consider a part-time seasonal staff for the beach strand
    2) Under the umbrella of Parks & Rec Board entertain establishing a Beach Ambassador Program

2017
Target Ordinances –
    1) Fill holes
.     2) Remove gear
.     3) Stay off dunes
.     4) No glass
    5) Control pets – leash / waste

Purpose –
Put a friendly face out there to interact with guests
Educate guests about targeted ordinances to get compliance
Explain the purpose of the ordinance and consequences for non-compliance

Goals – keep beach protected, clean and safe

Agenda Packet –
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board met for their regular meeting, February 2, 2017 with a presentation provided from Oak Island on their Beach Ambassador Program. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board then met again for a special meeting on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 for discussion and a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners regarding the program.

The board discussed pros and cons of the program at length. Cons were discussed first and included the following:

  • Limited volunteer pool to pull from to meet the requirements of the program
  • Costs to Town and Liability Questions
  • Would have to call the police anyway if a problem arose
  • Who would run and organize it

Pros to the program were discussed as follows:

  • It is a nice idea to pass along information for a public relations purpose

Recommendations
Member Champion made motion to see what the police chief can come up with about a second officer during the prime-time season. Member Lohman seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Holden Beach considers ambassador program
Holden Beach is considering the implementation of a beach ambassador program, but it is proving to be tough sledding. The town’s parks and recreation advisory board recently met to consider the possible new offering, and while Town Manager David Hewett said the panel had “reservations” about trying to implement the program, the notion will likely be on the March agenda for the board of commissioners. “The devil is in the details,” Hewett said, noting the advisory board, “has several concerns, mostly about limited volunteers and liability. They did have an opinion that they thought it would be a nice public relations idea. But they have concerns from a practical point of view.”

Oak Island has an ambassador program — volunteers work in teams and travel the beach on foot. Ambassadors educate visitors about town rules regarding equipment, holes and dunes and report safety issues, rule violations and wildlife concerns.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170302/holden-beach-considers-ambassador-program

Peggy reviewed the Oak Island Ambassador Program presentation made to Parks & Recreation Board. Despite the Board thinking it was a good idea to have people on the beach strand the Cons outweighed the Pros. The Board’s recommendation was for the Police Chief to consider seasonal staffing. At this point, our Town Manager jumped in and ran with the ball. His position is that there are a host of negative issues and advises against the use of volunteers. What he proposed instead was a seasonal code-enforcement team. In order to provide the type of service the Board wants David recommended that we have a cadre of seasonal part-time ordinance code enforcement officials. The estimated cost of $18,000 to be funded from the BPART account. He benchmarked the functions of the Park Ranger position at Wrightsville Beach as a logical progression of what they envision us doing here.

We have built a world class beach and David expects that we will be besieged by the hordes of people that are going to come here. Anticipating lots of people coming here has him concerned about potential parking issues. The proposal allows us to pull the officer off the beach strand and back on the street to help address illegally parked vehicles. David urged them to support the proposal saying we’re in the big leagues now and we need to up our game.

To be continued …

A decision was made – Affirmation by consensus

 Park Ranger position at Wrightsville Beach
The Wrightsville Beach Park Ranger serves many roles for the Town of Wrightsville Beach. The Park Ranger helps with a variety of town ordinances pertaining to the quality of life our residents and visitors expect when living in and visiting such a beautiful area.  The Park Ranger serves the public for the betterment of Wrightsville Beach. The Park Ranger serves as a community outreach person for anyone who might have an inquiry pertaining to Wrightsville Beach ranging from questions about local laws and ordinances to general questions about what to do and how to achieve a great day in our beautiful community.

Holden Beach OKs paid beach patrol
The commissioners unanimously approved Town Manager David Hewett’s proposal to form a group of paid, part-time, seasonal workers to patrol the beach, their main function being to inform visitors about beach ordinances, especially when ordinances are being circumvented.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170322/holden-beach-oks-paid-beach-patrol

My Two Cents - CR II

Beach strand ordinance compliance is a real quality-of-life issue. The flashing educational signs on the Causeway have significantly improved beach strand ordinance compliance. Still feel strongly that the Town should adjust staffing to respond to the seasonal increase in work load. Delighted that the Board finally decided to address this issue. I have made my position abundantly clear regarding having a seasonal code-enforcement team / beach patrol on the beach strand. They need to be on the beach strand to enforce ordinances and to ensure the public safety. Regardless of who or how many patrol the beach strand we need high visibility for them to be effective.


4. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 17-04, An Ordinance Amending Section 94.03 of the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Frontal Dune Policies and Regulations – Building Official Evans

Previously reported –
Basically, there is a need for an exception to our ordinance which currently prevents any walkway from being built beyond the frontal dune. The exception will allow homeowners to go beyond the frontal dune only when there is a large distance to walk to the beach after that frontal dune. The building of walkways to the stable line of vegetation in these areas will help protect wetland areas and prevent trails or “cuts” in the dunes from all the foot traffic.

§ 94.03 FRONTAL DUNE POLICIES AND REGULATIONS
(A)          Definition. For this section, FRONTAL DUNES shall mean the dunes designated by a NC State Division of Coastal Management official as the “frontal dunes”; otherwise, they are the first mounds of sand located landward of the ocean beach with sufficient vegetation, height, and configuration to offer protection from ocean storms. Considering the fact that oceanfront property limits extend to the mean high water mark, the frontal dune may be located on private property.

Goal is to minimize people walking across the dunes. In other words, to protect vegetation and habitat while providing beach access. Everyone agrees that we need to protect the dunes it’s the how that needs to be figured out. Current ordinance does not address the unique situation on the west end of the island. The motion was made requesting the staff in conjunction with town attorney to draft exception to the rule

Agenda Packet –
At the request of the Board of Commissioners, and pursuant to the community’s interest, the BOC of Holden Beach so requested a draft to the walkway ordinance for consideration.

The Exception as written was reviewed by the Planning staff and Town Attorney and is presented as an alternative to the   current ordinance for protection of environmental sensitive areas.

The recommendation provides the best protection against abnormal erosion and human impact on those areas  of the vegetation that is crucial for the protection of properties.

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH ORDINANCE 17-04
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES,
CHAPTER 94: BEACH REGULATIONS

BE IT ORDAINED BY the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina that the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 94: Beach Regulations, be amended as follows:

Section One: Amend Section 94.03(C)(2){a){6) as follows (changes in red):

No structure other than the four-foot wide wooden walkway shall be located south of the landward toe of the frontal dune. This applies to decks, gazebos, sitting areas and other additions that a property owner may desire to make to the allowed walkway. Structures (other than the four-foot walkway) that exist when this section is adopted may remain in place temporarily; however, all such structures must be removed no later than December 31, 2003, to be in compliance with this section. A building permit is required if there are any repairs needed to walkway load bearing surfaces, such as supporting posts. Adding additional lengths to supporting posts shall constitute a repair. Exception: Town owned CAMA access ways may utilize a 6-foot walkway. Exception: Property Owners with lots that have more than 400 300 feet from the seaward toe of the frontal dune to the last line of natural stable vegetation, as determined by the local CAMA officer, may install a single walkway with a maximum width of 3 feet; of 4 feet inside width; the walkway shall be a minimum of 3 feet high with a maximum height not to exceed 4 feet; and shall terminate at the last line of natural stable vegetation. Walkways shall be permitted and built in accordance with all Federal, State and local building requirements.

Update –
Our current ordinance doesn’t work, the policies conflict with each other. Proposed ordinance gives some property owners options, that is they may install a walkway past the frontal dune to the last stable line of vegetation. This really is only applicable to the west end properties beyond the 1200 block. It addresses their concerns and recognizes the circumstances that dunes are being traversed to the detriment of the environment. Operative word here is MAY, property owner makes the call.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


5. Discussion and Possible Action on Encroachment Agreement between the Town and Windell Ray and Caryn Michelle Gibson – Town Clerk Finnell
Mr. & Mrs. Gibson desire to encroach upon the Hillside Drive public right-of-way owned by the Town for the purpose of constructing a walkway to cross the dunes and gain access to the beach.

Previously reported –
Hillside Drive no longer exists and lies below / underneath the dune pictured
New property owner requested easement for walkway across the dunes
Right is not transferable
that’s why we have to do this with each new owner
Walkway would encroach on the public right-of-way owned by the Town
Town policy has been to control access but we have approved this action several times before
Action would be consistent with what we have done for others

Agenda Packet –
The property owners at 226 Ocean Boulevard East, Mr. & Mrs. Gibson, desire to encroach upon  the Hillside Drive public right-of-way owned by the Town for the purpose of constructing a walkway to cross the dunes and gain access to the beach. Hillside Drive lies under the dune there. Before they can get a permit to build a walkway, the Board would have to approve an encroachment agreement.

Staff recommends approval of the agreement.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


6. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 17-03, Resolution Supporting Seasonal Population Adjustment Factor Sales Tax and Other State Revenue Distribution – Fiscal Operations Clerk Lockner

Agenda Packet –
The town’s portion of sales tax and state revenues are based on population estimates. The use of official population estimates does not accurately reflect the significant economic contributions, sales tax payments and service demands associated with our second homeowners and visitors. Therefore, the Town does not benefit from state distributive revenues because our population numbers are low.

S126 was introduced to the North Carolina Senate and would eliminate the current population factor and replace it with a new adjustment tied to the NC economic development tier system. This is harmful to tourism-dependent communities in that it could result in a significant loss of sales tax revenue.  The attached resolution urges the Board to recommend the NC General Assembly to enact legislation to establish a “seasonal population adjustment factor” to the distribution of sales tax revenues.  In supporting this addition, the town may benefit in increased revenue because the population estimates will be higher.

SENATE BILL 126
An Act to change the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) adjustment factor to one that varies by economic development tiers.
Read more » click here
https://legiscan.com/NC/text/S126/2017

Our annual population is <600 which does not take into account the influx of people during the 100 days of summer. Two times the housing units puts us close to the water systems annualized rate of >6,000. So, the logic is solid, our annualized population is ten times our actual population entitling us to a bigger piece of the pie.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 17-04, Resolution Supporting Dedicated State Revenue Source for Beach Nourishment – Shoreline Protection and Recreation Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
There is currently no State Revenue Source for Beach Nourishment. Over the past several years, NC politicians and leaders have repeatedly discussed the issue to exhaustion. With the Shallow Draft Inlet Fund now serving as a model for how such a fund could work, the question remained as to the source of the funding.

The NC Beach and inlet Management Plan (BIMP) was updated in December of 2016.The document recommends the establishment of a dedicated State beach nourishment fund with a dedicated State funding source to assist local governments with the significant expense of beach nourishment. The Town of Holden Beach knows firsthand how staggering the cost of such projects can be based on our current project. According to the BIMP, the following historical data points are listed for Holden Beach:

  • First year on record for nourishment was 1971.
  • Nourished a total of 49 times from 1955-201
  • Average Cost per year of $483,342 from 1955-2015.

The BIMP identifies 5 potential dedicated funding sources derived from the 8 oceanfront counties for a new State beach nourishment fund. Of these sources, staff recommends the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners urge the NC General Assembly to enact legislation to either:

  • Reallocate 50% of the existing State sales tax collections on short-term lodging sales ONLY from the 8 oceanfront counties, which will generate an estimated $25.2 million
  • Establish a new seasonal half-percent (0.5%} State sales tax on all sales in the 8 oceanfront counties ONLY during the months of May, June, July, August, and September, which will generate an estimated $25 million

Staff recommendation is to approve the resolution.

Resolution supports two of the five potential funding sources.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Beach and Inlet Management Plan
The North Carolina Beach and Inlet Management Plan is a joint project by the Division of Water Resources and the Division of Coastal Management. Management of the state’s inlets and beaches is presently achieved through multiple programs managed by the Dept. of Environmental Quality and its divisions.

An updated plan was completed by Moffat and Nichol and submitted to the General Assembly at the end of 2016. The original plan was completed in 2009. 

The updated plan includes new coastal and socioeconomic data and reflects policy changes that have been implemented since the original report. It also focuses on the latest beach nourishment and dredging activities completed over the past seven years. The 2016 BIMP also projects the funding needed to maintain the state’s coastline with three possible revenue options. The state held four public meetings in September 2016 to gather public comments on the plan.

Based on the current trend, the report indicates the scope and costs associated with dredging and beach nourishment will continue to increase into the future. Given that federal funding has decreased over the last decade, the recommendations outlined in the report include:

  • Dedication of a recurring appropriation of 17.5 million per year from the General Assembly to maintain the state’s deep draft inlets;
  • Dedication of a recurring appropriation of 25 million per year from the General Assembly to maintain the state’s beach nourishment projects; and
  • Input from eight coastal counties on the selection of an appropriate revenue source and how the funding will be distributed.

The purpose of the Beach and Inlet Management Plan is to preserve and enhance the value of the coastal resources of North Carolina through the development of a systematic management strategy for the coast’s 326 miles of oceanfront beaches and inlets. The plan divides the state’s coastal area into five regions and four sub-regions.
Read more » click here
https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/coastal-management/coastal-management-oceanfront-shorelines/beach-inlet-management-plan

BEACH AND INLET MANAGEMENT PLAN – (BIMP)
Read more
» click here
http://www.ncbiwa.org/files/Martin%20-%202016%20NCBIWA%20BIMP%20Update.compressed.pdf

Who should pay for beach nourishment?
State plan makes the case for $25 million annual pot to help maintain beaches, one of North Carolina’s largest tourism draws
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170224/who-should-pay-for-beach-nourishment

Legislators Eye Beach Sand Funding, Rules
Coastal legislators are skeptical that the legislature will OK a permanent funding source for beach re-nourishment as proposed in a recent update to the state’s Beach and Inlet Management Plan.
Read more » click here
http://www.coastalreview.org/2017/03/legislators-eye-beach-sand-funding-rules/

New Hanover officials express concerns over beach funding
As federal money dries up, towns along the N.C. coast want Raleigh to step in
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170317/new-hanover-officials-express-concerns-over-beach-funding

Push Continues for Sustainable State Shoreline Funding
As you may have seen recently in local media, the push for statewide shoreline funding is continuing to build momentum. At this point, it is important to educate inland business groups and legislators on the statewide economic importance of beaches. The draft resolution below is one method our advocacy partners are employing to show the multi-billion-dollar impact of our beaches on the economy of North Carolina.
Read more » click here
http://ncbase.org/push-continues-for-sustainable-state-shoreline-funding/

Wilmington Chamber Pushing for State Beach Fund
The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce is all in when it comes to forming a new state beach nourishment fund.
Read more » click here
http://www.wilmingtonbiz.com/government/2017/02/10/wilmington_chamber_pushing_for_state_beach_fund/15781

Oak Island weighs beach funding options
Town deciding how to fund a multi-year beach nourishment project. The town’s beach and inlet committee has discussed the options, but put off making any recommendations to council until at least after a work session with the government leaders scheduled for Thursday. But what committee members discussed were plans that would likely result in an increase in general property taxes and the creation of MSDs that would be tiered according to a particular property’s proximity to the shore. Per the discussion, there could be a beachside rate, a one-block-removed rate and a general rate for everyone else within town boundaries.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170318/oak-island-weighs-beach-funding-options

Legislation would allow half-cent tax on prepared meals to support beach, waterfront needs
State Rep. Frank Iler, joined by Rep. Deb Butler, will introduce legislation to allow Brunswick County and its 19 municipalities to enact a half-cent sales tax on prepared meals to fund shoreline protection and infrastructure projects. Iler and Butler said the local bill, if passed, would permit Brunswick County and its municipalities to enact the tax either by resolution or by referendum
Read more » click here
http://stateportpilot.com/news/article_7ddec9c4-0b35-11e7-99d8-93d28fd14293.html


8. Guest Speaker – Captain Cane Faircloth, Representing Area Boaters – Concerns Regarding the Lockwood Folly Inlet

Agenda Packet –
The Lockwood Folly Inlet is in the worst shape of our lifetime.  This crucial outlet to the Atlantic Ocean one of our most precious resources is in dire need of our attention.  Due to shoaling, water flow has dramatically slowed and shallow depths have made the inlet a danger for boats to navigate safe passage.  The Lockwood and its benefits serve several key factors to residents and visitors.  Lockwood Folly Inlet and its economic role, safety, water rescue access and environmental impacts are of tremendous importance to our community.

Economic Impacts and Recreation Value of the North Carolina For-Hire Fishing Fleet
Read more » click here
http://fishingthecarolinacoast.com/uploads/final_frg_rpt_07_feg_05_174.pdf

The 2009 study project, Economic Impacts and Recreation Value of the North Carolina For-Hire Fishing Fleet, takes a coast-wide look at operations of some 754 for-hire vessels during the study year: 27 head boats that may be licensed to carry up to 100 passengers; and 727 charter boats that typically carry four to six passengers.

According to the FRG study:

  • For-hire fishing passengers spend about $380 million per year.
  • With economic multiplier effects, this spending supports about $667.4 million in sales along the coast, and about 10,000 jobs

The consensus from the speakers and the audience is that the inlet is no longer navigable and is dangerous even for boaters familiar with the waterway. Worst it is not even scheduled to be dredged anytime soon. It is more than just a boating issue. They pointed out the economic, safety, and its role after storms. They asked the Board to make it a priority to have the inlet dredged.

No decision was made – No action taken

9. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 17-05, A Resolution Amending the Fee Schedule for the Town of Holden Beach – Fiscal Operations Clerk Lancaster

Previously reported –
Storm Vehicle Decals
The 2017 vehicle decals were not distributed with the February water bills as they had been since 2013. The proposal is to restrict supply, reducing distribution from four (4) to two (2) decals for free. A $10 fee will be assessed to anyone who needs to obtain additional decals above the two issued for free. This will be an agenda item in March, with decals being distributed with the April water bills.

My Two Cents - CR II

Town After Action Report – Hurricane Matthew, indicated that we need to review the process of distributing decals. Specifically questioned whether we should go back to tracking with database and the number of decals to be distributed. David had concerns that making it too easy people were not cognizance that they had received decals with their water bill. I do not see how this proposed change of restricting the supply of decals addresses the issue. In addition, two decals seem to be an arbitrary number that will not be adequate for a lot of households.

MINUTES –
Intended to send decals out in March, with a limit of two. Couldn’t get the Fee Schedule amended in time so it looks like it will be the April timeframe. By reducing the supply, we believe it will get their attention. It would be two free. You could buy another two to get a total of four. There is not a need for more than two vehicles when we are controlling access to the beach. After discussion, the topic will be a March agenda item.

Agenda Packet –
The proposed amendment would change the fee structure for vehicle decals. 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, it became apparent that the issuing of vehicle decals needed to be addressed and updated. The following are the proposed changes to the fee schedule.

Vehicle Decals – Residents currently receive 4 free decals in the February water bill. Residents can also purchase additional decals for $5.00 each before May 31st and $10.00 each after June 1st. For full time renters, the property owner must get the decals and distribute accordingly. Staff is proposing that only 2 free decals be mailed in the water bill and residents can purchase up to 2 additional decals for $10.00 each. For full time renters, the property owner can get the first 2 decals for free and up to 2 additional decals at $10.00 each and must distribute accordingly.

Vehicle Decals -On Island Businesses currently can purchase decals at $5.00 each before May 31st and $10.00 each after June 1st. Staff is proposing that the cost is changed to $10.00 each regardless of timing.

Vehicle Decals -Off Island Businesses currently can purchase decals at $5.00 each before May 31st and $10.00 each after June 1st. Staff is proposing that the cost is changed to $10.00 each regardless of timing.

First 2 decals $0
Additional decals (2 more max per property) $10.00 each
On Island Business $10.00 each
Off Island Business $10.00 each
Replacement Stickers $5.00 each

Town After Action Report – Hurricane Matthew, indicated that we need to review the process of distributing decals. Specifically questioned whether we should go back to tracking with database and the number of decals to be distributed. David had concerns that making it too easy people were not cognizance that they had received decals with their water bill. By limiting the number of decals owners were more likely to acknowledge getting them. The jury is still out on that.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Vehicle Decals
2017 Vehicle Decals will be mailed out to property owners in the April water bills. Property owners will receive two decals in their bills. If you would like additional decals, you may purchase two more at Town Hall for $10 each. It is the property owner’s responsibility to distribute decals to their tenants if you own a fulltime rental property.

The decals are your passes to get back onto the island to check your property in the event an emergency situation would necessitate restricting access to the island. Decals must be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the windshield, where they are not obstructed by any other items. Officials must be able to clearly read the decal from outside the vehicle.  Please note that re-entry will not be allowed if a current, intact decal is not affixed to the windshield as designated. It is important that you place your decals on your vehicles immediately to avoid misplacing the decals.

Emergency Info
Town has updated website, emergency info location changed to be more accessible
Read more » click here
http://www.hbtownhall.com/emergency-info.html


10. Discussion and Possible Action on Lease Extension Proposal for T-Mobile –
Fiscal Operations Clerk Lockner

Agenda Packet –
The Town’s water tower lease agreement with T-Mobile/ Black Dot has expired. The proposed agreement is a continuation of the expired lease with a lesser payment of $1000.00 as opposed to the current payment of $1505.00. They are requesting the agreement be renewed for another five years at the proposed lower rent.

The current yearly revenue from T-Mobile is $18,062; approving the contract would result in a revenue loss of approximately $6,000.

COMPANY YEARLY RENT
ATMC $29,028
VERIZON $36,572
US CELLULAR  $18,889
T-MOBILE $18,062

T-Mobile has attempted to renegotiate the contract before. No action was taken and the rate remained the same. This time they are looking to get a longer period with lower monthly payment. The concern is if they cut their rate other carriers will want their rate reduced too.

No decision was made – No action taken


11. Town Manager’s Report

Eastern Reach Project
The “Eastern” Reach Project will improve navigation in the Intracoastal Waterway at its intersection with the Lockwood Folly inlet and result in the placement over the course of the next three weeks of approximately 130,000 cubic yards of sand between Amazing Grace and 240 Ocean Boulevard East. The pumping of sand for the Eastern Reach Project is complete with the project ending at 226 OBE.  

Central Reach Project
The Central Reach project allows for placement of up to 1.31 million cubic yards of sand along 4.1 miles for the beach strand between 240 OBE to 781 OBW. Dredging officially began on Wednesday, January 4th. As of today, they have completed the project and are in the demobilization stage. The next phase of project is to meet the dune stabilization requirement which includes sand fencing and vegetation.

Hurricane Matthew Disaster Grant Approval
Holden Beach designation as an engineered beach means if there is a named storm event then we qualify for Category G FEMA reimbursements for replacing all the material that were lost during that event. The NC Department of Public Safety has advised the Town of Holden Beach that a $5.99 million disaster grant has been approved by FEMA for repair of beach strand damages incurred by Hurricane Matthew.  At the very least, the town anticipates replacing the 131,000 cubic yards of sand lost to the hurricane, along with recouping significant project area vegetation planting, sand fence and engineering costs. These are Category G funds only. We anticipate getting additional reimbursements of $350,000 for other expenses incurred from the storm

Takeaways:
.     1) This is not a lump sum settlement
.     2) We are not getting a check for $5.99 million
.     3) Funds dispersed on a reimbursement basis
    4) We can’t pay back the bonds early
.     5) Excess funds will go back into the BPART account fund

West end of the island is a low priority and is not considered an engineered beach. Therefore, federal grant funds can’t be utilized for that part of the beach strand. The Town has not planned on or budgeted for sand fencing and vegetation there. The area is not included in the grant. This Board will need to decide what needs to be done, when it will be done and budget accordingly.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
Resolution 17-01 adopted last month urging action on the FEMA flood map process
They have presented it to our legislators and the powers that be at FEMA
The surrounding communities are doing likewise

Bridgeview Park
Previously reported –
The park is across the street from Town Hall, on the water tower site, along the Intracoastal Waterway. The Parks and Recreation Board plans include a playground area, a screened-in multipurpose court, two Bocce courts, a picnic area, bathroom facilities and a boardwalk along the Intracoastal Waterway that will lead to two kayak launches. The board prioritized construction based on costs.

Update –
Construction of an approximately 40-by-40-foot picnic shelter has begun with completion expected by April.

Yard Waste Service Discontinued
Our new contract with Waste Industries has eliminated yard waste pickup. We are currently developing a scope of work to possibly continue the yard waste service by a separate vendor.  Town has sent out Request for Proposals for yard waste service. Expect to have bids and discuss at the next Regular BOC’s Meeting.


12. Public Comments on General Items

Eight members of the community spoke, topics included the following:

  • Inlet is dangerous and dredging must become a priority was the most popular topic
  • Lobbyist
  • Beach Ambassador Program
  • Curbside Recycling
  • Vehicle Decals

13. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3),
To Consult with the Town Attorney

§143-318.11. Closed sessions.
(a) Permitted Purposes. – It is the policy of this State that closed sessions shall be held only when required to permit a public body to act in the public interest as permitted in this section. A public body may hold a closed session and exclude the public only when a closed session is required:

(3) To consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege between the attorney and the public body, which privilege is hereby acknowledged.

Once again, the exact nature of the executive session was not shared with the members of the community that were in attendance. Since it was stated that the purpose of the session was to discuss some personnel matter we can only speculate, that the Executive Session was to discuss Town Manager – Performance Objectives / Evaluation / Contract.

Previously reported –
Let me get this straight. Our highest paid employee has not been subjected to a review with objective criteria in the eight years that he has been employed by the Town. REALLY? David Hewett was hired as Town Manager / Finance Officer in February of 2008, his current annual salary is $98,473. The Town Managers performance review is supposed to be done on the anniversary date of his hire which is February. The last performance review reported by the Board was conducted on April 1, 2014; so, it is now late by thirty-five (35) months. That year they gave Town Manager Hewett a 4% salary increase, retroactive to his February anniversary date, and a $5,000 bonus. Based on his current salary the increase and bonus combined translates to a @9% increase.

Update –
The Board conducts the Town Manager’s review in an Executive Session which the public cannot attend. Effective employee performance review systems require quantifiable metrics to accurately gauge each employee’s performance. It would be nice to know what performance metric criteria are used to do his review. Since they don’t share that with us we do not know what they are or whether they were met so we are not in any position to evaluate the Town Managers performance. The Board determines if the Town Manager has earned a merit increase and the amount, it’s their call. The Board is required to announce the amount of any salary increase in open session. After all, it is part of the public record and it’s paid for with tax money.

 

$98,472 salary went to $136,500

38.6% salary increase which is $38,028

Employment Contract

Severance Package

NC Governor Cooper salary is $144,349

.
The justification is as follows:
.     1)
David has two jobs, Town Manager and Finance Officer
.        • OIB Town Manager does both and gets paid $125,000
    2) Salary adjustment to $130,000
.       • Previous Board’s not addressing this
.       • No
annual reviews and related merit increases
.       • David has not had a merit increase since 2014
    3) Merit increase of 5% which is $6,500

My Two Cents - CR II

They sure can talk the talk, but apparently not walk the walk. Quite the negotiators: Aren’t they? Salary adjustment not only puts him above the average but makes him the highest paid Town Manager with the least amount of responsibilities. The lack of a merit increase for the last three years even at 5% a year would only be 15.76% which would make his salary $113,991. The 38.6% salary increase which is $38,028 seems ridiculously generous to me, but again – it’s their call. In addition, they sweetened the pot with both a contract and severance package neither of which are required. Establishing both were based on the recommendation of the Towns attorney. Our Town Manager will accrue one month of severance pay for each year of service, up to a maximum of twelve (12) months. That means David right now would get nine (9) months of pay (@$100,000) if he were let go without cause. He would not receive severance pay if he resigns or is terminated for just cause, including willful neglect of duty, conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or violation of honesty or loyalty standards. But wait, there’s more! They also gave him a year of health care for him and his family plus life insurance too. Maybe it’s me but giving him severance package seriously reduces this Board’s leverage. The threat of terminating him would be a pretty empty one since we currently have a $100,000 cost associated with doing that. You’d have to ask: What’s in it for the Town?

I do believe that it is critical for us to provide a competitive compensation package. Imagine what the increase would have been if we didn’t have so-called “fiscal conservatives” on the Board. To be perfectly clear this has nothing to do with how I feel about the Town Manager and the job that he is doing, it is strictly about the BOC’s fiduciary responsibilities to us. Assuming his peer group is the other islands in the surrounding communities, you might ask: How does his compensation compare to theirs?

Town Housing Units % AVG Staff % AVG Salary % AVG
Holden Beach 2,382 49% 24 42% $136,500 117%
Oak Island 8,733 112 $106,833
Ocean Isle Beach 3,323 49 $125,000
Sunset Beach 5,094 45 $98,180
Average 4,883 58 $116,628

Nothing to see here, move along folks!


General Comments –
Over fifty (50) members of the community were in attendance
Besides the condition of the inlet, I’m n
ot certain which of the agenda items were the big draw

The Mayor, Town Manager, and two Commissioners all stressed the importance of having a liaison. Alan had previously claimed the only way to get things done was to have someone personally carrying the ball and that we should have hired someone to represent us. I am not against hiring a firm to do so per se. That said, it doesn’t make any sense to me for us to go it alone, because I can’t imagine that we would have much clout with only our 600 voters. We would be much more effective as a group. Brunswick Shoreline Protection Consortium at one time did just that. If this is the path we want to take we need to be part of a consortium lobbying both federal and state government representatives. As a bare minimum, we should get with the other Brunswick County beach communities or the eight coastal counties if we are going to pursue this.  Several other organizations (N.C. Coastal Federation, N.C. League of Municipalities, N.C. Association of Resort Towns and Convention Cities, American Shore & Beach Preservation Association) already are lobbying on coastal matters, pursue legislative outcomes that benefit its members, and who engage with legislators throughout the year.

Budget
Kickoff of budget season
Meetings and workshops are scheduled
Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:
. 1) Raising taxes
. 2) Cutting spending
. 3) Operating more efficiently
The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st
Commissioners must adopt budget no later than June 30th for the next fiscal year
Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board.

Budget Season 2017 / Schedule

  1. 23 January BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives / Capital Program
    Only three (3) members of the community were in attendance
  2. 24 February Canal Dredging Working Group
  3. 3 March Departments input to Manager
  4. 15 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues                                                                                                      Only two (2) members of the community were in attendance
  5. 24 April Board Workshop Expenses
  6. 15 May Budget Message
  7. 9 June Special Meeting / Public Hearing
  8. 20 June Regular BOC’s Meeting
  9. 30 June Budget adopted

BOC’s Special Meeting / March 15th
Budget Workshop – Revenues
Changed date of
Board Workshop Expenses meeting to April 24th
Revenues are guestimates and are what they are
Ordinance No. 17-03 FEMA MATTHEW PW-152 GRANT
Moved funds of $5,996,227 from Revenue account #50.0363.0000 to Expense account#50.0810.0118

Takeaways are as follows:
   1) Ad valorem taxes estimated revenue of $2,623,191
.    2) Accommodations / Occupancy tax estimated revenue of $1,668,178
.         • Increase of 7 cents in tax rate from 15 cents to 22 cents per $100 of property valuation              .           generated additional revenue of
$818,265. So, ad valorem taxes exceed occupancy taxes again .           this year.
.    3) Water & sewer rate increase was effective July 1st; so far, they have not had any impact on usage


Hurricane Matthew –
hurricane-matthew-2016-cr

After Action Report
For more information
» click here
http://www.hbtownhall.com/hurricane-matthew.html


Holden Beach designation as an engineered beach means if there is a named storm event then we qualify for Category G FEMA reimbursements for replacing all the material that were lost during that event. The Town has determined that we had a hundred thousand cubic yard sand loss from Hurricane Matthew. This sand is estimated to cost $10 a yard ($1 million total) without a corresponding mobilization cost. David is attempting to add the hundred (100) cubic yard sand loss from Hurricane Matthew into our current Central Reach Project effort.

Category G: Parks, Recreational Facilities, Other – Repair and restoration of parks, playgrounds, pools, cemeteries and beaches;

Eligible work is documented on a Project Worksheet (PW). The PW is used to record a detailed description, the scope of eligible work, estimated or actual cost, and special considerations associated with the project.

Disaster Grant Approval
The NC Department of Public Safety has advised the Town of Holden Beach that a $5.99 million disaster grant has been approved by FEMA for repair of beach strand damages incurred by Hurricane Matthew.   

We are sorting through the details to be able to determine what exactly this approval means for the Central Reach Project. At the very least we anticipate being able to use the current dredges onsite to replace the 131,000 cubic yards of sand lost to Matthew, along with recouping significant project area vegetation planting, sand fence and engineering costs. 

Holden Beach to receive nearly $6 million disaster grant
The Town of Holden Beach says FEMA has approved a $5.99 million disaster grant to repair beach strand damages caused by Hurricane Matthew. In a newsletter, the town says they are sorting through the details to determine what this approval means for the Central Reach Project. This $15 million project called the Central Reach Project is designed to take sand from the ocean floor and pump it onto shore. The town says at the very least, they anticipate being able to use the current dredges onsite to replace the 131,000 cubic yards of sand lost to Matthew, along with recouping area vegetation, a sand fence and engineering costs.

Holden Beach receives disaster grant approval
The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved a $5.99 million disaster grant for repair of beach strand damages incurred by Hurricane Matthew in Holden Beach, the N.C. Department of Public Safety announced.

The town is sorting through the details to determine what exactly this approval means for its Central Reach Project, which is expected to be completed this month. Dredging officially began Jan. 4 with a window through the end of March.

The project is placing up to 1.31 million cubic yards of sand along 4.1 miles of shoreline, from 240 Ocean Blvd. E. to 781 Ocean Blvd. W. Town Manager David Hewett said the design life on the project, the town’s largest beach renourishment project to date, is 10 to 15 years.

Once Central Reach Project is completed, Hewett said, the town must work to stabilize the new dunes with sand fencing and vegetation, which will be a planting operation beginning in mid-March and lasting about 10 weeks. The town must also monitor the amount of benthic macroinvertebrates, like sand fleas and coquina shells, and record their impact on the beach over a three-year period.

 At the very least, the town anticipates being able to use the current dredges onsite to replace the 131,000 cubic yards of sand lost to the hurricane, along with recouping significant project area vegetation planting, sand fence and engineering costs.
Read more » click here
http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/holden-beach-receives-disaster-grant-approval

Ordinance No. 17-03 FEMA MATTHEW PW-152 GRANT
FEMA approved funds of $5,996,227

  • Replace the 131,000 cubic yards of sand lost to the hurricane
  • Vegetation planting
  • Sand fencing
  • Engineering design and permitting costs

Town does not expect to get reimbursed right away
Incorporated funds in the budget in order to be able to move forward
The Town has adequate resources to proceed until funds are dispersed
These are Category G funds only
We anticipate getting additional reimbursements for other expenses incurred from the storm


HBPOA

.
HBPOA website has videos taken from a drone to show you the impact Hurricane Matthew had on the island.

For more information » click here
http://holdenbeachpoa.com/


Central Reach Project –

central-reach-cr

The two hopper dredges the BE Lindholm and RN Weeks are both on site and dedicated to the Central Reach Project. Dredging officially began on Wednesday, January 4th. They anticipate that this will be a sixty (60) day project with work being done with a 24/7 schedule. They will continue to place sand on the beach strand as they transition down the beach moving to the west. When visiting the beach, please remember to stay clear of the work zone area as identified by orange fencing on the beach.

The contractor is putting around twenty (20) thousand cubic yards of sand on the beach daily. That translates into the size of a football field at a depth of six (6) to eight (8) feet. David is attempting to add the hundred (100) cubic yard sand loss from Hurricane Matthew into our current CRP effort. Holden Beach currently has an engineered beach and as such qualifies for Category G FEMA reimbursements. The Town has enough flexibility in its existing permit to add the hundred thousand cubic yards if we can get FEMA to approve a Category G Project Worksheet in a timely manner. We have a sixty (60) day contract with the vendor and our permits expire March 31st. At the current pace, they should complete the project with three (3) weeks left on the permit. It makes perfect sense to piggyback on this mobilization and avoid additional mobilization costs later. There is a very small window of opportunity but he plans on making a hard run at it.

Beach Nourishment IV - CR

 

Few weeks left in Holden Beach renourishment program
Since the new year, Holden Beach has been working to get their coastline into tip top shape before the upcoming tourism season. This $15 million project called the Central Reach Project is designed to take sand from the ocean floor and pump it onto shore.

Town Manager David Hewett said dredging will add storm damage protection, create habitats and increase the recreation area. While the area was already in need of renourishment, Hewett said they lost even more sand during Hurricane Matthew making this project a must. “We did experience some erosion from Hurricane Matthew,” Hewett said. “We have quantified about 100,000, approximately 100,000 cubic yards of sand loss and some vegetation, damage to the dunes, that kind of thing.”

The project is expected to be done within the next two to three weeks, just in time for the tourism season but more importantly turtle season. “In all reality, it’s the turtle season that permit windows that drives the actual dredging of the nearby areas,” Hewett said.

The town is also dredging near Lockwood Folly Inlet. It’s called the Eastern Reach Project. The purpose is to improve navigation in the Intracoastal Waterway which should be completed by the end of March.

Hewett says this warm and relatively quiet weather has worked in their favor to getting the work done on time.
Read more » click here
http://www.wwaytv3.com/2017/02/27/few-weeks-left-in-holden-beach-renourishment-program/

Central Reach Project  (03/18/17)
This morning saw the last offload of dredged material from the R.N. Weeks. Both hopper dredges have now departed the Holden Beach area. Shore crews will be conducting fine grading of the berm near the project’s terminus at 781 OBW over the next 24 hours or so. On Monday, demobilization should begin with the shore pipes being staged for overland shipment. I anticipate the beach being mostly devoid of construction related machinery and equipment within a week or so; although the submerged line that is beached just east of the pier may take a little longer due needing repairs prior to towing it away offshore.

Be advised that even though active sand pumping operations have ceased, demobilization activities occurring this coming week in and along the entire four miles of the project area will be just as dangerous (if not more) because heavy equipment will be moving throughout the project area intent on vacating as quickly as possible. Please remain vigilant if you visit the strand.

My Two Cents - CR II


The Town provided timely informative communications regarding the progress of the Central Reach Project.
KUDOS!

For more information, go to the Central Reach Project post


HBPOA

.
HBPOA website has videos taken from a drone to show you the progress being made on the Central Reach Project.

For more information » click here
http://holdenbeachpoa.com/

.
You can watch YouTube drone video flying west over the project here and moving east here


Terminal Groin –

Terminal Groin #6 - CR

Terminal Groin Presentation
For more information
» click here
http://www.hbtownhall.com/terminal-groins.html

What’s next?

The next steps include the following:
. 1)
Review Final EIS with USACE – November
. 2) Publish final EIS – December
. 3) Submit CAMA permit for review – December
. 4) Public Hearing – January
. 5) USACE record of decision – February
. 6) Federal and State permit issuance – Spring 2017

My Two Cents - CR II

At the October meeting Dial Cordy, an independent environmental consulting firm that works for USACE, gave a presentation on the status of the proposed Terminal Groin. Dawn York gave a brief overview of the Holden Beach East End Shore Protection Project, reviewed the tasks that were completed to date and outlined timeline of what and when next steps were to be completed. As it stands right now, they have yet to publish the Final Environmental Impact Statement therefore they can’t proceed to the remaining steps. So apparently, everything else scheduled after that has been placed on indefinite hold.

Ocean Isle Beach has all permits for terminal groin
The town of Ocean Isle Beach has received all the necessary permits to proceed with a terminal groin project to battle erosion on the east end of the Brunswick County island. The town needed approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before being able to proceed with the project, which includes construction of a 750-foot terminal groin structure approximately 148 feet east of Shallotte Boulevard. Slightly over half a mile of shoreline directly west of the terminal groin will be pre-filled with 264,000 cubic yards of sand that will be obtained by dredging Shallotte Inlet, according to a town news release.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170302/ocean-isle-beach-has-all-permits-for-terminal-groin

Ocean Isle: Terminal groin project permits approved
The town of Ocean Isle Beach has received the necessary permits to move forward with the terminal groin project. In a press release, this week, Town Administrator Daisy Ivey announced that the town will begin final preparations to put the project out for a bid and select a contractor. The terminal groin project includes the construction of a 705-foot structure and a 300-foot anchorage system. Over 3,000 feet of shoreline west of the groin will be pre-filled with beach compatible material through dredging from the Shallotte Inlet. Construction is expected to begin in November of this year.
Read more » click here
http://www.wwaytv3.com/2017/03/04/ocean-isle-terminal-groin-project-permits-approved/

OIB terminal groin approved, town plans to build in November
Ocean Isle Beach cleared the last hurdle to building a terminal groin on the east end of the island when officials received their Army Corps of Engineers record of decision permitting the project Feb. 28. Now town officials are prepping to be ready to begin building by November.

At the March 14 town meeting, board members unanimously approved a pre-construction services contract with Coastal Planning and Engineering of North Carolina to develop the final design, construction plans and contract bids for the terminal groin. CPE project manager Brad Rosov said the timeframe for bidding, contracting and moving equipment would take an estimated seven months so they would aim for a November start date to the terminal groin construction. Mayor Pro Tem Dean Walters said he was concerned about making the window in which they are permitted to build, which runs from November through April.

Rosov said the construction is estimated to take about four and half months. Rosov estimated cost at $5.7 million for the terminal groin and beach fill. He said the figure is based on real-world numbers based on the terminal groin project in Bald Head Island.
Read more » click here
http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/oib-terminal-groin-approved-town-plans-build-november

For more information, go to the Terminal Groin post


Calendar of Events –


Azalea Festival Logo
N.C. Azalea Festival
April 5th – 9th
Wilmington


Wilmington has been celebrating Spring Southern Style for more than 60 years. There’s something for everyone among their community’s rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture. This will be the 70th annual festival and is considered one of the top events in the Southeast.
For more information » click here
http://www.ncazaleafestival.org/


Southport Spring Festival LogoSouthport Spring Festival
April 14
th – 15th
Southport


Welcome spring in style at the Southport Spring Festival, a tradition for more than 25 years. This festival features a wide variety of activities.
For more information » click here
http://www.downtownsouthport.org/spring-festival/



.
Days at the Docks Festival

April 29th – 30th
Holden Beach
.

The annual festival occurs in April or May and is sponsored by the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association. It’s the Holden Beach way to kick-off the Spring and start the vacation season. In addition to the food and arts & crafts, enjoy live music & entertainment, a horseshoe tournament and the world famous “Bopple Race”. Lots of activities for the entire family!
For more information » click here
http://www.greaterholdenbeachmerchants.com/?page/101269/days-at-the-docks


Events
TDA - logo
Discover a wide range of things to do in the Brunswick Islands for an experience that goes beyond the beach.
For more information » click here
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/events


Calendar of Events – Island

SEARCH 5K - CR


SEARCH 5K

The event will be held here on Saturday, April 1st beginning at 10:00am. This is a free race to help fight childhood obesity. Last year they had approximately one thousand (1,000) participants. Please be aware of children and families on streets and sidewalks that morning.
.

SEARCH 5K program is an acronym for See Every Athlete Run for Conditional Health. The program focuses on a comprehensive running program for the youth in Brunswick County Schools. The purpose of the program and of this event is to work on reducing childhood obesity by promoting healthy, active lifestyles into adulthood.


Easter Egg Hunt - CR

Family Nighttime Easter Egg Hunt
The Town will hold its second annual nighttime Easter Egg Hunt on Friday, April 14th beginning at 7:00 pm. Teams of four will compete against each other. Participants will need to bring their own flashlights to the event. Participants MUST pre-register by March 16th, call (910) 842-6488 to pre-register.


HB Pier - CR

Easter Sunrise Church Service
Brunswick Islands Baptist Church and Holden Beach Chapel are sponsoring an Easter sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. Sunday April 16th at the Holden Beach Pier.


HBBC

Holden Beach Beautification Club Plant Sale
The Holden Beach Beautification Club is holding their 6th Annual Plant Sale on Friday, April 28th and Saturday, April 29th at the Emergency Operations Center, which is beside Food Lion located at 1044 Sabbath Home Road. Landscaping plants, perennials, annuals, herbs and gardening gloves will be available for purchase. All funds generated from the plant sale are earmarked for beautification projects on the island. Visit the Beautification Club’s website at http://holdenbeachbc.org/ if you are unable to attend the plant sale, but would like to make a contribution.



Days at the Docks Festival
This is either a one or two-day event. The festival occurs in April or May of each year and is sponsored by the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association. This year it is April 29th & 30th. It’s the Holden Beach way to kick-off the Spring and start the vacation season.


Pickleball Tournament
Holden Beach is holding their first town sponsored Pickleball Tournament May 5th & 6th. The tournament will be open to ages 19 and up. Teams will compete by self-ranking for men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Entry fees are $20 per person for one event, $5 for a second event. Registration must be received by May 1st.

For more information » click here
http://files.constantcontact.com/776eb497be/59c5f57d-c192-4ec6-a408-16f778613099.pdf


 

2017 Concert Schedule
The 2017 Concert Schedule has been released! Beginning on May 29th, concerts will be held on Sundays at 6:30 p.m. at the Holden Beach Pavilion.


Parks & Recreation / Programs & Events
For more information » click here
http://www.hbtownhall.com/parks—recreation.html


Reminders –

Smoke Detectors
Time change means time to check smoke detectors, too. The fire department is encouraging people to test their smoke alarms and change the battery. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, whether they are battery-operated or hard-wired.

Speed Limit
Please take notice – Speed limit seasonal limitations, in accordance with Town Ordinances.
Speed limit will change on OBW from 45mph to 35mph west of the general store.
This change will take place on April 1st
and be in effect through September 30th

Building Numbers
Ocean front homes are required to have house numbers visible from the beach strand.
Please call Planning and Inspections Department at 910.842.6080 with any questions.

§ 157.087 BUILDING NUMBERS.

(A) The correct street number shall be clearly visible from the street on all buildings. Numbers shall be block letters, not script, and of a color clearly in contrast with that of the building and shall be a minimum of six inches in height.
(B) Beach front buildings will also have clearly visible house numbers from the strand side meeting the above criteria on size, contrast, etc. Placement shall be on vertical column supporting deck(s) or deck roof on the primary structure. For buildings with a setback of over 300 feet from the first dune line, a vertical post shall be erected aside the walkway with house numbers affixed. In all cases the numbers must be clearly visible from the strand. Other placements may be acceptable with approval of the Building Inspector.


Neighborhood Watch - CRNeighborhood Watch –
Need to look out for each other and report any suspicious activity
Call 911 if you see or hear anything suspicious
Fill out Keep Check Request Form if you will be out of town
Submit completed Property Registration Form
Pickup copy of Protecting Your Home


Bird Nesting Area
NC Wildlife Commission has posted signs that say – Bird Nesting Area / Please don’t disturb
The signs are posted on the west end beach strand around 1339 OBW.
People and dogs are supposed to stay out of the area from April through November
    1) It’s a Plover nesting area
.     2) Allows migrating birds a place to land and rest without being disturbed


Upon Further Review –


Peddling on the beach stand is being considered by the BOC’s. Last month we attempted to get feedback from the community. Hopefully the BOC’s will consider the feedback as a guideline to determine their actions. These are the results of the poll: Should we allow peddlers on the beach strand?


Yes – What a wonderful idea!               9 votes             / 11%
No – What are they mashugana?        68 votes           / 82%
Whatever – Que Sera, Sera                   1 vote               / 1%
Other                                                        5 votes             / 6%

It is my understanding that the Board is not moving forward with this and will not take any action.


This month in the continuing saga of Mark Saunders and the Coastal Companies …

Developer sues Ocean Ridge Master Association for more than $600K
Coastal Communities, the developer of Ocean Ridge Plantation, has filed a lawsuit seeking return of $650,511 in what it claims are wrongfully billed and collected assessments by the Ocean Ridge Master Association (ORMA).
Read more » click here
http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/developer-sues-ocean-ridge-master-association-more-600k

Brunswick developer, Ocean Ridge association locked in legal battle
Coastal Communities wants Ocean Ridge Master Association, Inc. to pay back more than $650,000.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170325/brunswick-developer-ocean-ridge-association-locked-in-legal-battle


Corrections & Amplifications –

Shrimp Boat Southern Lady
Previously reported – 10-11-11 newsletter
Half submerged and prominently visible from the Holden Beach Bridge the
62-foot commercial shrimp boat Southern Lady is sinking on the north side of the ICW across from the Chapel. It has been over five years now, still no progress has been made with removing the shrimp boat Southern Lady because no one has jurisdiction to remove the abandoned boat.

There are navigational, environmental and public safety hazards. It’s a regulatory no man’s land: No one wants to deal with these boats. The Army Corps of Engineers removes abandoned vessels that block federal navigation channels. The United States Coast Guard moves recreational boats that pose environmental risks. Compounding the problem are the layers of bureaucracy required to remove a boat, including the issuance of environmental permits and the legal filings needed to declare vessels abandoned property. Still, the contracting process does not resolve the thorny issue of what agency is responsible for removing the boats, in part, it seems, because no one wants to assume the cost.

Update –
Abandoned boats in Brunswick County subject of public hearing
Brunswick County commissioners want public input on how to handle the problem of abandoned boats in the county’s waterways. The commission will hold a public hearing during their meeting on Monday, March 20, at 6 p.m, to get comments on a proposed ordinance for abandoned and derelict boats.

According to the county, the ordinance will determine the necessary rules and regulations to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the county using the public waters of the county, specifically with regard to anchoring, docking, mooring, interference with navigation, prohibiting of derelict vessels, prohibiting abandoned vessels, and outlining enforcement responsibility and authority, penalties for violation and disposition/disposal of abandoned vessels.

The meeting will be in the Commissioners Chambers at the David R. Sandifer Building, 30 Government Center Drive, NE, in Bolivia.
Read more » click here
http://www.wwaytv3.com/2017/03/01/abandoned-boats-in-brunswick-county-subject-of-public-hearing/

Brunswick County adopts abandoned boat ordinance
Brunswick County Commissioners have adopted an ordinance pertaining to abandoned and derelict boats in the public waterways. Though boats that have been sunken and abandoned for years and aren’t a threat to navigation will likely not be touched, Commissioner Pat Sykes said the goal is to keep more boats from piling up in the waterways.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170320/brunswick-county-adopts-abandoned-boat-ordinance

Brunswick County approves abandoned boat ordinance
The ordinance approved Monday outlines rules and regulations related to docking, mooring, interference with navigation, and prohibiting of derelict and abandoned vessels. The ordinance also gives the sheriff’s office enforcement responsibility and authority, and outlines penalties for violation and disposal of abandoned vessels.
Read more » click here
http://www.wect.com/story/34961735/brunswick-county-approves-abandoned-boat-ordinance

Attack on derelict boats under way with new ordinance
Brunswick County commissioners approved an ordinance Monday night giving the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office authority to deal with abandoned and derelict boats.

A half-submerged shrimp boat below the Holden Beach Bridge may be the face of the abandoned boats in the county, but commissioner Pat Sykes said she pushed for the ordinance because of complaints of sailboats clogging an inlet off Fish Factory Road in Southport.

The ordinance makes it against the law to anchor a boat in a way that it would be a hazard to navigation or to stay anchored more then 10 days in a 30-day period if it is not in a private dock or marina. It is also unlawful to anchor derelict boats including boats that are neglected, run aground, are barnacle-laden, listing or in danger of breaking mooring or sinking. An abandoned vessel may be removed, relocated or impounded by the sheriff’s office.
Read more » click here
http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/attack-derelict-boats-under-way-new-ordinance


Odds & Ends –


We are in the process of repainting the water tower

What if they asked us to select the color:

What color would you pick

Water Tower, Water Tower, Water Tower
Water Tower, Water Tower, Water Tower
Water Tower, Water Tower, Water Tower 

 


This & That

Beach committee continues review of how best to pay for long-term shore protection
Oak Island’s Beach and Inlet Committee is continuing to study ways to pay for a major sand renourishment project and will meet soon with consultants to talk about special property assessments and bonds. The group continued discussion last Thursday about municipal service districts and has reached an apparent consensus that some sort of tax increase should be applied to the entire town to help pay for sand. On top of that still-undetermined rate, the town could also impose a separate tax on beachfront areas and on areas near the beach.

The committee did not make a decision on the amount of tax to recommend to town council, but materials handed out for discussion mention a town-wide ad valorem tax of one to five cents per $100 value. The beachfront zone tax could be in the neighborhood of 12 cents and the near-beach areas could see a tax of six cents per $100 value. Town manager David Kelly said that if the entire town were taxed 10 cents and the beach area was taxed an additional 12 cents and the near-beach eight cents, the town would raise about $20-million in five years. That is about half of what would be needed for a major renourishment effort.

Committee chairman Phil Lake said the new state Beach and Inlet Management Plan called for a greater state investment in beach projects, but assistant town manager Lisa Stites cautioned that the town could not rely on state funding for the work. Resident Steve Foster, who formerly chaired the committee, also said the town should keep working toward a beach project regardless of the state’s potential involvement. Kelly said the idea is to devise a funding formula that is fair. “The numbers scare people,” he said. “If we’re going to have an engineered beach, we’re going to have to figure out a way to pay for it.” Foster warned that the costs of a renourishment project could increase if the town waits years to start. He also mentioned that interest rates are near historic lows and that fuel prices are relatively low now. Committee member Vic Stancil emphasized that maintaining an improved beach according to the federal guidelines would be important. Kelly said the Town of Nags Head is in danger of losing out on $7-million worth of federal disaster reimbursement for failing to keep its beach maintained as originally planned.

The committee agreed to meet with consultants to further study the idea of borrowing money for a beach project with bonds. They will also further investigate special tax assessments, which may be imposed according to the size of lots. They also agreed to consider whether to tie the new tax to flood zones, with the most-risky regions paying more than less flood-prone areas. Foster said the town should move quickly, because a major storm could threaten the town’s $2.4-billion tax base. Kelly said he hoped town council would agree to some sort of funding mechanism starting in fiscal 2017-18, which begins July 1 of this year. The manager added that town officials are taking a close look at debts that will be coming off the books during the next five to six years for the police station, town hall and a fire station. That will free-up some funds, he said. The manager also said that Mayor Cin Brochure and other members of council are talking with leaders of other coastal communities and lobbying state leaders for assistance with sand funding.
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Things I Think I Think –

Dining #2Eating out is one of the great little joys of life.

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
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Name: Pin Point
Cuisine:
American
Location: 114 Market Street, Wilmington NC
Contact: 910.769.2972 / www.pinpointrestaurant.com
Food: Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service: Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience: Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost: Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating: Three Stars
Pin Point located in downtown Wilmington is in the space that had been Deluxe. The place has a rustic looking interior with exposed brick and high ceilings, creating a comfortable relaxed ambiance. The farm-to-table venue serves an upscale version of Southern comfort food alongside traditional American favorites; the locally sourced seasonally inspired menu changes frequently. They have a very limited menu that only offers about a half dozen entrée choices. The food is very good but a little pricey. This is one of the better restaurant offerings in the area. I’d recommend that you put it on your list of places to try.


Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
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THE KEPT WOMAN by Karin Slaughter
This is the eighth entry in the series that features Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Will Trent. The body of a dirty Atlanta ex-cop is discovered in an abandoned construction site. The evidence at the scene links Will’s troubled past to the case. The book is an exploration of choices and how you must live with the consequences of your decisions.


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