04 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

Town Meeting 04/17/18

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information
» click here


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

There were comments made regarding the following:

Yet another brouhaha over the proposed creation of a Beach and Inlet Protection Board. Five members of the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board spoke, all were opposed to establishing the new board. The message was loud and clear, they were never given an opportunity to perform the duties being given to new Board and they should have been asked to do so.

Who would have thought that creating a new Board would be more controversial then the agenda items to revoke the terminal groin permit application?


2. Recognition of Jack Boldt for his Eagle Scout Project Completed on Holden Beach – Shoreline Protection and Recreation Manager Ferguson

His eagle scout project was to make improvements to the handicap access at Quinton Street. Appreciation was given from the Town for his service project. A plaque was presented and followed by a photo-op.


3. Discussion and Possible Award of Contract for Roadway Work (Marlin, Boyd Paving) – Shane Lippard, Right Angle Engineering

Agenda Packet –
Attached is the single bid that we received from Highland Paving for the Town of Holden Beach Road Work 2018. Our Engineer’s Estimate for this work was $94,189 and this bid came in under the budget at $92,050. We have had Highland Paving on several projects and have found their work to have met the necessary requirements of the project.  We would recommend the award of this work to them being the responsive low bidder.

Previously reported –
Streets Condition Survey report dated November 2015. We have a total of 12.8 paved asphalt roadways with @40% of the roads in need of maintenance. Total estimated costs are a whopping $1,200,000. Surface evaluation was done rating each street and prioritizing the work that needs to be done. Recommended we address it with a ten-year game plan, budgeting accordingly, tackling it on a yearly basis. Understandably we can expect our streets to continue to degrade while costs will continue to go up.

Update –
Highland Paving had the low bid at $92,050. Right Angle Engineering firm has previously worked with them on several projects. Work will be performed before Memorial Day weather permitting. Highland Paving was awarded the contract for roadway work for the maintenance of existing streets on the island in accordance with the approved Streets Survey dated November 2015. The streets having work done this year are Marlin and Boyd. These streets, Sand Spur, Sand Piper, and Sand Dune, are all scheduled for 2019.  Also, the Town plans to update the pavement management plan this year.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


4. Police Report – Chief Wally Layne

Police PatchBelieve it or not we made it all the way through the winter with no break-ins. It was the best winter since he got here. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. We’ve had five (5) break-ins in the last five (5) days. They have a suspect and anticipate an arrest shortly.

 Personnel Changes –

  • Officer Brandon Dosher went from a full-time position to a part-time position
  • Hired an Officer that is being processed through the system

If you know something, hear something, or see something –

call 911 and let police deal with it.


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
Don’t leave vehicles unlocked
Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle


5. Discussion and Possible Action – Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System #4 Upgrade Status Report – Public Works Director Clemmons 

Previously reported – December 2017
McGill and Associates were commissioned to perform a Sewer Study to evaluate sewer system vulnerability reducing measures. A fiscal year 2017-2018 budget appropriation of $1,413,000 was made to accommodate total programmatic expenses of Lift Station #4 improvements. Green Engineering firm was awarded the $158,000 contract for Sewer System #4 upgrade. Green Engineering will provide all engineering services required to construct a vulnerability reducing structure of Lift Station #4.

Update –
Four (4) meetings have been held between staff and the engineering firm to date. The final plans were delivered to the Town and have been reviewed and approved by the Building Inspector. Deliverables – Timeline has been revised.

We are currently on schedule, but Chris cautioned that it was still early in the game. The Board requested monthly updates, reporting on whether we remained on schedule and within budget.


6. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Award Contract for Vacuum Sewer System #4 Upgrade – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet –
Green Engineering’s revised schedule for the Vacuum Sewer System #4 Upgrade Project shows bids being due on May 8th. Staff recommends scheduling a Special Meeting for May 14th at 10:00 a.m. to award the contract to the recommended firm.

Update –
They were unable to schedule a Special Meeting since they did not have a quorum on any of the proposed dates. Town Manager will attempt to schedule Special Meeting and Public Hearing at the same time on a May date to be announced.

No decision was made – No action taken


7. Discussion of Existing Rules of Procedure for the Board of Commissioners and Consideration of Changes to the Existing Rules – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Any changes to be made to the document for public release prior to Board adoption. 

Agenda Packet –
If changes are agreed, Board agreement on a final Rules of Procedure can be discussed after a clean document incorporating accepted comments has been created and reviewed by the Town Attorney.

Previously reported – December 2017
The Board of Commissioners are required to adopt Rules of Procedure per the Town’s Code of Ordinances Section §30.19.

§30.19 RULES OF PROCEDURE.
The BOC shall adopt such rules of procedure not inconsistent with North Carolina General Statutes at their regular scheduled meeting each December, or at other such times deemed appropriate, and publish same in the office of the Town Clerk.

This Board chose to continue under the current rules adopted by the previous Board. They plan to revisit this issue after the three (3) new members of the Board complete their training course

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski attempted to incorporate the suggested Rules of Procedure for a City Council that was recently released by the School of Government with the version the 2015- 2017 Board adopted. It did not go well. Commissioner Kwiatkowski and Commissioner Freer have agreed to work together and try to resolve.  Mayor Pro Tem Sullivan recommended rather than meld the two they should use the School of Government template and modify that document making only minor adjustments.

No decision was made – No action taken


8. Discussion and Possible Action to Establish the Inlet and Beach Protection Board – Commissioner Freer
  a.
Ordinance 18-02, An Ordinance Establishing the Inlet and Beach Protection  .          Board
   b. Ordinance 18-03, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of                 .        Ordinances, Chapter 34: Parks & Recreation Advisory Board

Agenda Packet –

Ordinance 18-02, Establishing

§35.02 POWERS AND DUTIES.

The Inlet and Beach Protection Board shall:

(A) Serve as an advisory board for the town;

(B) Prepare and recommend to the Board of Commissioners, a comprehensive long-term plan for the Town’s role, if any, in the management, dredging and protection of the Lockwood Folly and Shallotte Inlets, including their respective navigational channels, and the management, protection and nourishment of the town’s ocean beaches and protective dune systems

(C) Evaluate the feasibility and cost and benefits of proposed dredging projects, beach and/or dune nourishment projects and protective structure projects to the town and to property owners within the town as a whole, and make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners with respect to such projects;

(D)  With the assistance of the Attorney assigned to support the Inlet and Beach Protection Board, make recommendations   to the Board of Commissioners for amendments   or modifications to the town’s ordinances with respect to the “frontal dune” and “protective dune system”;

(E)  With the assistance of the Attorney assigned to support the Inlet and Beach Protection Board, make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners for modifications to the town’s ordinances with respect to public and private beach access walkways which promote protection and growth of the town’s protective dune systems;

(F) Serve as a link between the Board of Commissioners, Town Manager and the community on the above described areas;

(G) Perform such other duties within or related to the general purview of the Inlet and Beach Protection Board which may assigned to it from time-to-time by the Board of Commissioners.

Ordinance 18-03, Amending

§34.12 Creation, name and number of members.

Through expiration of terms, the number of board   members will decline to a maximum of five residents or property owners of the Town of Holden Beach.

§34.02 Powers and duties.

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board shall:
Advise the Board of Commissioners and Town Manager on beach vegetation, fencing and other methods of protecting the beach and property.

Previously reported – December 2016
Discussion of Five Member Shoreline Protection and Safety Board
Apparently, the previous Board of Commissioners disbanded the Shoreline Protection Board and rolled its functions into the Parks & Recreation Board. This Board feels that a lot of money is being spent on the beach strand and it warrants being separated to focus on beach strand issues. Much to do about nothing when it became an issue about creating the Board without any supporting documentation. Language was changed to intent to establish rather than create Shoreline Protection Board. Commissioner Freer intent was to allow the new Board to establish its own mission and objectives. 

Previously reported – January 2018
Motion was made and withdrawn. New motion was made and then amended. If I understand what transpired I believe they only agreed to having attorney draft the recommendations of the establishment of the Board and its duties. The Town staff and attorney are being asked to come back with two ordinances. An Ordinance that creates the new Board. Also, an ordinance that modifies §34.02 / Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, removing duties that include beach vegetation, fencing and other methods of protecting the beach and property.

It was a stand-alone Board then a previous Board of Commissioners disbanded the Shoreline Protection Board and rolled its functions into the Parks & Recreation Board. This Board feels that a lot of money is being spent on the beach strand and it warrants being separated to focus on beach strand issues. I’m not getting why this created the brouhaha that it did.

Town attorney was tasked with making the changes necessary for Board approval. They deferred making a decision tonight and requested that it be put on the next Regular Meeting agenda.

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
Despite running it up the flagpole numerous times, four (4) changes were made to the Ordinances yet again.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)


9. Discussion and Possible Action by the Board of Commissioners to Permanently Revoke Resolution 1112, Entitled “Terminal Groin Permit Application” – Commissioner Freer

Previously reported –
Board of Commissioners enacted Resolution 11-12 to seek CAMA permit in September of 2011

A decision was made – Approved

10. Discussion and Possible Action by the Board of Commissioners to Direct Clark Wright, Special Environmental Counsel to the Town of Holden Beach, to Immediately Communicate with the USACE Electronically, Followed by the Sending of a Formal Letter via Certified Mail, the Decision by the Board of Commissioners to Withdraw Fully and Cease Any and All Further Processing of, or Action on, the Town’s Currently Pending Section 10 and Section 404 Permit Applications and Associated NEPA Documentation – Corps Action ID No. SAW-2011-01914 – Commissioner Freer

A decision was made – Approved

11. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 18-02, Resolution for the Withdrawal of All Applications for Terminal Groin – Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet –

RESOLUTION 18-02 / Withdrawal of All Applications for Terminal Groin

WHEREAS, on September 13, 2011 The Board of Commissioners adopted Resolution 11-12, directing the Town Manager “to make application to the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management/Coastal Resources Commission for a permit to construct a Terminal Groin on the east end of Holden Beach adjacent to the Lockwood Folly Inlet;” and

WHEREAS, thereafter the Town Manager executed various contracts and agreements with, among others, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Dial Cordy & Associates, a surveying company, outside legal counsel, and others for the purpose of applying to the USACE for Section 10 and Section 404 permits, and preparing the associated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation; and

WHEREAS, various public scoping meetings and interagency team meetings have been conducted, and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) produced, with the FEIS signed on March 8, 2018, and officially noticed to the public on March 15, 2018, thereby commencing a final 30-day comment period, after which the USACE normally would draft, sign and publicly notice its final Record of Decision (ROD) document, constituting the agency’s final decision on the Town’s pending federal permit applications; and

WHEREAS, the Division of Coastal Management (DCM) previously informed the Town that no permit applications for a terminal groin may be made to that agency until the aforementioned federal NEPA process associated with the Town’s pending Section 10 and Section 404 permit applications is complete; and

WHEREAS, the Town has noticed and conducted special and regular meetings of the Board of Commissioners, including a Regular Meeting held on April 6, 2018, where the entire meeting agenda was devoted to obtaining information from a number of experts, engineers, environmental interest groups, property owner associations, property owners and other interested members of the public; and

WHEREAS, on December 19, 2017, the Town retained special outside environmental counsel to advise the Board and Town Attorney on issues related to shoreline protection, specifically including assessment of the pending Lockwood Folly Inlet Terminal Groin project; and

WHEREAS, the federal permit process described above was commenced by the Town without any meaningful cost benefit analysis or stated plan in place for the required 30-year (and longer) funding of the long-term costs of the project, obtaining necessary easements or permissions from private property owners directly affected by the proposed construction of the terminal groin or funding for any of the necessary financial instruments required to maintain the terminal groin; and

WHEREAS, the analyses contained in the DEIS and FEIS of the positive and negative physical impacts of the terminal groin on beach front properties it is intended to protect, on other beach front properties and on the involved inlet are based on computer models done based upon out of date data and without regard to more recent coastline and inlet changes, and is not modified to consider material issues from the perspective of a local unit of government, such as the Town of Holden Beach, or its governing Board of Commissioners, who are charged by law to act only in the best interests of ALL of the Town’s citizens and residents, and ALL guests who come to use and enjoy the Town’s ocean beaches and other amenities; and

WHEREAS, over the past two years, the Town has completed the Central Reach Project to the west of the beach areas proposed to be affected by the terminal groin project, and the Town has engaged in significant beach nourishment on the East End, including beach nourishment utilizing low cost sand available as a by-product of the continued dredging of the Lockwood Folly Inlet at costs orders of magnitude lower than costs utilized by the USACE in the DEIS and FEIS; and

WHEREAS, a number of leading coastal scientists, including Dr. Stan Riggs and Dr. Len Pietrafesa, have expressed serious concerns and opposition to the use of terminal groins generally, and the proposed Lockwood Folly Inlet Terminal Groin in particular; and

WHEREAS, Professor Andrew Coburn of Western Carolina University, Associate Director of the Program For the Study of Developed Shorelines has written the Town a letter, dated April 5, 2018, in which Professor Coburn states that the Town’s proposed Terminal Groin project “will not achieve any of the town’s aforementioned objectives” (emphasis in original) and that it is his professional opinion that this project “is fiscally irresponsible and a breach of fiduciary duty” for the Board of Commissioners to support; and

WHEREAS, each Member of the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners has carefully reviewed not only the DEIS and FEIS, but also many hundreds of pages of relevant data, information, published articles, and other published environmental documents, including the confidential report and public notebooks prepared for each Member of the Board by its special environmental counsel, as well as the environmental documents associated with the Ocean Isle Beach terminal groin project, the Bald Head Island terminal groin project, the Figure Eight Island terminal groin project and the recently published FEIS for the Bogue Banks 50 year renourishment project (in which document a terminal groin alternative was discussed in detail and rejected); and

WHEREAS, during its April 6, 2018 Regular Meeting devoted to review of the proposed Lockwood Folly Inlet Terminal Groin project, the Board of Commissioners was informed by officials representing the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the North Carolina Coastal Federation (NCCF) that issuance of the pending federal permits and any subsequent issuance of a CAMA Permit by DCM – would result in federal and state litigation challenging such permits and associated NEPA documentation; and

WHEREAS, while the Board of Commissioners does not consider the threat of such litigation as a material or substantive basis for the making of its decisions, the Board does consider such information relevant to the Board’s overall duty to evaluate the costs and benefits of the proposed Lockwood Folly Inlet Terminal Groin project; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners has concluded that, in carrying out its duties to equitably and fairly protect the health, safety and welfare interests of all of its citizens, as well as the thousands of guests who come to visit the Town of Holden Beach each year, the total costs to the Town, its citizens and visitors of the proposed Lockwood Folly Inlet Terminal Groin greatly outweigh the potential benefits thereto, both financially and otherwise.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners hereby revoke Resolution 11-12, Terminal Groin Permit Application; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Commissioners does direct that Clark Wright, Special Environmental Counsel to the Town of Holden Beach immediately communicate with the USACE electronically, followed by the sending of a formal letter via certified mail, the decision by the Board of Commissioners to withdraw fully and cease any and all further processing of, or action on, the Town’s currently pending Section 10 and Section 404 Permit Applications and associated NEPA documents–USACE Action ID No. SAW-2011-01914.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Ana Zivanovic-Nenadovic with the NC Coastal Federation said the organization supports the withdrawal of a terminal groin permit application:

“We are pleased that the town has realized how bad an idea this terminal groin is. In general, terminal groins have many unintended consequences – they cause unintended downdrift erosion, harm natural habitat for birds and turtles and impede public access to the beach. They are also extremely expensive. In the case of Holden Beach, a detailed analysis of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Final Environmental Impact Statement revealed a terminal groin might protect just a few more properties compared to those protected by the current nourishment method. We believe that the current nourishment system in the East End works well for the town. It is less costly and it does the job. Additionally, the 2017 Holden Beach Annual Beach Monitoring Report said the nourishment at the East End was successful, reiterating that current nourishment and erosion control methods work for the town.”


12. FEMA Flood Map Adoption Schedule – Building Official Evans 

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
Previously reported – February 2018
The preliminary maps were published in August 2014. In February 2018 the Town received approval from FEMA for revisions to the Holden Beach Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). These map revisions will be effective August 28, 2018 once the Town formally updates our local ordinances. The Town staff is working on an implementation schedule and anticipates being able to use the new maps for construction in late May. 

The National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
Read more » click here

Update –
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

A voluntary program based on a mutual agreement between the Federal government and the local community:

  • In exchange for…adopting, implementing and enforcing a FPM ordinance
  • Federally-backed flood insurance made available to property owners throughout the community

 To join NFIP, communities must submit:

  • Resolution of intent to “maintain in force…adequate land use and control measures” and to cooperate with FEMA
  • Adopted Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance
  • NFIP Application

 FEMA has set the effective date of the FIRM to be August 28, 2018

THB has 1,875 insurance policies that are currently participating in the program

North Carolina General Statutes require public hearings for adoption and amendment of land use ordinances, and a Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance is considered a land use ordinance.

  • County – 153A-323
  • Municipality – 160A-364

Before adopting or amending any ordinance authorized by this …, the [community] shall hold a public hearing on it. A notice of the public hearing shall be given once a week for two successive calendar weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the area. The notice shall be published the first time not less than 10 days nor more than 25 days before the date fixed for the hearing. In computing such period, the day of publication is not to be included but the day of the hearing shall be included.

Update –
The Town needs to adopt FPM Ordinance for it to be effective on August28, 2018. Tim will submit Ordinance at the next scheduled regular meeting for the BOC’s approval. We can start using the preliminary maps once we adopt the Ordinance. But we can’t get a reduction in our flood insurance rates until the new maps become effective at the end of August.

No decision was made – No action taken

TOWN WEBSITE
The Town has received approval from FEMA for revisions to the Holden Beach Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). These map revisions will be effective August 28, 2018 once the Town formally updates our local ordinances. The Town staff is working on an implementation schedule and anticipates being able to use the new maps for construction in late May. These maps may be viewed at http://www.ncfloodmaps.com.


13. Discussion and Possible Action on Recommendations from Citizen Advisory Committee Report on Parking for Implementation Prior to the 2018 Beach Season  – Commissioner Butler

The following are the first phase of recommendations that have been reviewed in the previous BOC’s meeting. This information also includes the recommendation to revise Chapter 72 Ordinance, Parking Regulations, Section 72.02 Section K that was discussed during the same meeting. (It shall be a violation of this chapter to leave standing any portion of a vehicle in a lawful parking area between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.).

1. Develop a visitor map of all available approved public parking locations throughout the island.
2. Parking direction signage, to include signage at the various identified public parking locations.
3. Better utilization of current public parking spaces at the various locations with either the use of bumpers/ curb stops or paint stripping.
4. Revise the Town Ordinance 95.05 to accommodate the recommendation for property owners to have an option to preserve their landscaping and irrigation systems by installing a post and rope in the rightof-way not to exceed 24” in grade.
5. Develop a communications plan pertaining to parking revisions.
6. Police enforcement and monitoring is required to support implementation of the changes.

a) Ordinance 18-07, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 72: Parking Regulations (Section 72.03 Parking Regulated on Public Streets and Rights-of-Way)

b. Ordinance 18-08, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 95: Streets (Section 95.05 Street Rights-of-Way)

Previously reported – December 2017
Citizen Advisory Committee Report on Parking
Recommendations going forward:
. 1. Holden Beach should continue to develop a plan that helps visitors and citizens identify authorized parking locations on Holden Beach. New specific signage identifying public parking, ideally distinguished by a special color, shape, etc. should be considered. Further, a map and summary of public parking should be developed and posted on the Town website and other public media.

. 2. Existing public parking on public property would be more efficiently utilized (i.e. increased number of spaces) if spaces were clearly marked with paint or dividers.
. 3. The Town already owns properties suitable for conversion to public parking without major expenditure. If incremental spaces generated above are deemed insufficient, we recommend conversion of these properties into additional parking as warranted. Any such steps would have to take into consideration impact on neighboring homeowners.
. 4. Although paid parking is an option, the Committee believes that it would not be practical to implement within the present public parking configuration other than possibly the Jordan Boulevard area. We believe this approach should serve as a “backup plan” after other recommendations that increase available public parking are exhausted.
. 5. With the exception of Ocean Blvd. West, Individual property owners should retain the right to determine whether the public can safely park in their property’s right-of-way. If this requires placement of an item conforming to existing ordinances, the CAC believes this should be acceptable.
. 6. The Planning and Zoning Board recommends increased enforcement of parking ordinances.

Major takeaway –
We provide adequate visitor parking, but there are several improvement opportunities

Previously reported – January 2018

Proposed action steps:

Before 2018 Beach Season

  1. Develop a visitor map of all available approved parking locations throughout the island. Parking maps should show amenities such as restrooms / port-a·johns, showers, crosswalks, handicap accesses and handicap parking.
  2. Provide signage at the bottom of the bridge as to parking locations, to include signage at these locations.
  3. Better utilization of current parking through the use of parking space marking and dividers.
  4. Property owners have an option to preserve their property to have an item in the ROW to clearly indicate to the public that this area is not approved parking. The items must not obstruct or create a safety issue as outlined in the current town ordinance. Landscaping or other installed deterrents must not exceed three (3) feet in
  5. Town ordinances impacted by the changes to be revised accordingly.
  6. Develop a communication plan regarding the parking revisions to improve the parking issues on the island. This should include various media sources. Communications to island day-visitors should emphasize the ample parking available and were to find it. Communications to property owners should clearly illustrate acceptable landscaping and parking deterrents and where to get more information.
  7. Police enforcement and monitoring required to support implementation of the changes to include visitor guidance.
  8. Change parking violations to civil offenses, allowing the Town to keep the fines. Funds collected would help offset additional seasonal staff to serve as parking compliance

Goal was to implement Phase I prior to tourist season this year. Town Manager gave some feedback on the proposed action items. The Town staff and attorney are being asked to come back with the feasibility, issues and cost to implement the proposed eight (8) action items.

Update –
Staff addressed what it will take to implement Phase 1. Timbo made presentation addressing each of the eight (8) proposed steps. The good news is that it will be a minimal cost to implement. The bad news is that much work still needs to be done. The Board requested that we amend our parking ordinance to state that there is no overnight parking in public parking areas. The Town staff and attorney are being asked to continue to work on developing an implementation game plan.

To be continued …

No decision was made – No action taken

In lieu of hard copy maps the recommendation was to use AroundMe app which allows you to quickly find out information about your surroundings; in our case parking.

Update –

Before 2018 Beach Season
. 1. Develop a visitor map of all available approved parking locations throughout the island. Parking maps should show amenities such as restrooms / port-a·johns, showers, crosswalks, handicap accesses and handicap parking.
Develop a hard copy map for inclusion on the Town website.
No copies at this time.
Add Around Me to our existing Town app.

. 2. Provide signage at the bottom of the bridge as to parking locations, to include signage at these locations.
Staff to work with the Department of Transportation to develop a mutually accepted map of locations and encroachment agreement to place signage.

. 3. Better utilization of current parking through the use of parking space marking and dividers.
Staff will determine the number of curb stops to purchase, will add striping for other available areas.

. 4. Property owners have an option to preserve their property to have an item in the ROW to clearly indicate to the public that this area is not approved parking. The items must not obstruct or create a safety issue as outlined in the current town ordinance. Landscaping or other installed deterrents must not exceed three (3) feet in height

. 5. Town ordinances impacted by the changes to be revised accordingly.
Approval of Ordinance 18-07 and Ordinance 18-08.

ORDINANCE 18-07
(K)   Additional violation. It shall be a violation of this chapter to leave standing any portion of a vehicle in a lawful parking area between the hours of 2:00a.m. and 5:00a.m.

ORDINANCE 18-08
(B)  The ten feet of rights-of-way nearest the pavement or road bed shall remain clear of all items with the following exceptions:
(1)   Mailboxes, newspaper boxes, post and rope not to exceed 24″ from grade.

. 6. Develop a communication plan regarding the parking revisions to improve the parking issues on the island. This should include various media sources. Communications to island day-visitors should emphasize the ample parking available and were to find it. Communications to property owners should clearly illustrate acceptable landscaping and parking deterrents and where to get more information.
The plan will utilize the Town’s different media sources (website, blat, Facebook, etc.) to communicate available parking

. 7. Police enforcement and monitoring required to support implementation of the changes to include visitor guidance.
Utilize the existing Police Department to enforce parking.

. 8. Change parking violations to civil offenses, allowing the Town to keep the fines. Funds collected would help offset additional seasonal staff to serve as parking compliance officers.
Parking violations are already a civil offense. No hiring of additional seasonal staff.

Update –
Some of the items still need to be approved by the DOT and may not be completed for the beginning of the tourist season.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


14. Direct Solicitation for External Audit – Commissioner Fletcher 

Previously reported –  APRIL 2017
The North Carolina Local Government Commission requires the Town to have an annual audit performed. The Town has used Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams and Co. since 2012 to perform this service. Approval of the contract means that Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams & Co has been selected for their sixth consecutive year, with no cost increase, to handle our audit for fiscal year that ends June 30th, 2017.
Protocol is to change firms every few years, traditionally we have done that after vendor has audited us for three years. Annual audit vendor usually selected, and contract signed in February.

Update –

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


15. Internal Control Assessment – Commissioner Fletcher

a. Direct Solicitation of Accounting Firm to Conduct Comprehensive Financial and Accounting Internal Control Review

Agenda Packet –
The Audit Report with respect to the Town’s Annual Financial Statements for the year ended June 30, 2017 raised two “significant deficiencies” with respect to the Town’s financial controls and procedures for financial statement preparation. The Audit Report also concluded that any financial reports provided to the Commissioners cannot be relied on, as the ledger does not reflect adjustments made in previous years. The Audit Committee has had preliminary discussions with the Auditor about these matters and the audit process, and as part of that discussion the Auditor recommended that the Town engage a consultant to perform a comprehensive review of its internal financial controls. The Audit report, approved and signed by the Town’s Finance Director included a corrective response stating, “The Town of Holden Beach’s governing body feels that there are limited financial resources at this time for training the finance department staff in GAAP and that it is not cost beneficial to obtain additional assistance in this area.” This statement was false. Accordingly, I move that:

The  Audit  Committee  is  authorized  and  directed  to review,  investigate,  report   and  make recommendations to  the  BOC on

(i) the  Town’s accounting and  financial control systems including “significant deficiencies” related to internal controls;
(ii) appropriate training of financial and accounting staff;
(iii) policies and procedures relating to financial statement preparation, preventive and detective internal controls,  and the audit process, including engaging such consultants to perform such internal controls review as the Audit Committee deems necessary or appropriate.

Handout –
Statement of Work
“The Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, via their Audit Committee, is soliciting proposals to perform a review of the Town’s internal controls.

The scope of this work will include a review and assessment of current practices in the operations of the finance department, including the preparation of financial statements that are compliant with generally accepted accounting principles, and the development of financial reports provided to the Board of Commissioners.  In addition, the work should include a focus on the controls designed to prevent or detect misappropriations, embezzlement, and any other potential fraudulent activities. 

The deliverables from the work should include an assessment of the effectiveness of existing controls as well as their implementation, recommended changes to work practices, policies and procedures to ensure accurate financial reporting, and to prevent certain events from occurring, as well as backup procedures to ensure the proposed internal controls function as intended.

The work should comply with the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act and align with the principles in the COSO Internal Control Integrated Framework. ” 

Previously reported –
Finding: 17-1 / SIGNIFICANT DEFICIENCY
Inadequate Design of Internal Controls over the Preparation of the Financial Statements

Finding: 17-2 / SIGNIFICANT DEFICIENCY
Prior Period Adjustment ($479,789)

Update –

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


16. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Hold a Public Hearing Regarding the Adoption of a System Development Fee Analysis – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
McGill and Associates has prepared the System Development Fees Report for the Town. The report was posted to our website on March 261h and written comments were solicited. The report must be posted for at least 45 days.

In accordance with §162A-209, after expiration of the posting period, the Board needs to hold a public hearing prior to considering the adoption of the analysis. We recommend the Board schedule the public hearing for May l41h.

Previously reported –
System Development Fees Report
Click here
to view the System Development Fees Report prepared by McGill and Associates in accordance with HB 436. Written comments on the report may be sent to heather@hbtownhall.com. Comments will also be accepted by mail at Town of Holden Beach, Attn: Heather Finnell, 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462. The Board will schedule a public hearing prior to considering the adoption of the analysis. Information on the public hearing date will be provided when available.

 Update –

No decision was made – No action taken


17. Request to Sell Beer at Holden Beach Festivals by Citizen Mark Pompeii – Pending Request

§130.03 SALE AND CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES PROHIBITED.
   No person shall consume, serve, or drink wine, beer, whiskey, or alcoholic beverages of any kind on or in the public streets, boulevards, alleys, parks, sidewalks, or public buildings within the town, unless otherwise approved by the Board of Commissioners.

Mark Pompeii withdrew request


18. Town Manager’s Report

Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department
50th Anniversary Celebration to be held on Saturday, April 21st, at the HB Pavilion

SEARCH 5K
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.

The event held here on Saturday, April 14th had over one thousand (1,000) participants. Wow! Almost eight hundred (800) were children which validates our “family beach” moniker.

 Holden Beach Bridge
DOT has scheduled repair work to start after Labor Day. No imminent danger that they are aware of at this time.

Vehicle Decals
The 2018 vehicle decals were distributed with the March water bills. Decals are your passes to get onto the island. Please make sure to place your decals in your vehicle or in a safe place. Property owners without a valid decal will not be allowed on the island during restricted access. No other method of identification is accepted in an emergency situation.

Water Tower
They have completed repainting the water tower. The cell phone equipment placed on the two monopole towers will be put back on the water tower as the next phase of this project.

BEMC
Crews are on the island replacing all two hundred (200) plus street lights. Swap out will increase our annual lighting bill by $6,000. They have already completed a significant amount of the project. All work will be completed by Memorial Day.

Ranger Street
New parking configuration mirrors that on Elizabeth Street

Lockwood folly Inlet
Channel was open, navigation buoys were not put back
Recent storm event may have negatively impacted the area

Dune Stabilization
Beach grass planting west of the Central Reach Project will begin after Memorial Day.

FEMA
Matthew storm damage projects, Town has requested final inspection

Canal Dredging
The Town is planning to perform a complete dredge of all of the canals this coming fall/winter (November 2018 – Mar 2019). Among the many actions associated with executing a successful project is the coordination of bulkhead condition assessments in addition to floating dock and boat movements. It is recommended that property owners begin getting ready for the canal dredging as early as possible by first assessing the condition of their bulkheads so that repairs on those structures can be made in plenty of time before dredging begins. This will not only provide for the best dredging effort, but also lesson the possibility of leaky bulkheads filling canals back in prematurely after dredge completion. It will also allow property owners to procure the services of qualified bulkhead repair contractors who are in limited supply these days and are currently experiencing a high degree of backlog work. The Town will also be conducting its annual inspection of the bulkheads. Likewise, it is also recommended that property owners begin to coordinate the actions needed to move your floating docks in anticipation of the actual dredge arrival in order to facilitate a better excavation near their pilings. Finally, boat movements should also be considered. You may want to begin planning for winter accommodations and repairs to your boat now. Remember that boat dry docks book up fast. Initiation of the coordination required for any needed bulkhead repairs, dock and boat movements now will alleviate undo stress and compressed timelines as the project nears its start.

Previously reported –
We have been apprised of recent changes regarding the obtainment of consent agreements for USACE dredge spoil areas.   Those changes will result in closer scrutiny of remaining capacity in existing sites; hence longer/unknown lead times and quite possibly denial of permission to place material from this fall’s canal maintenance dredging in the Corps disposal sites. 


General Comments –

There were thirty-four (34) members of the community in attendance
Another marathon session with about half the public still there at the end of the meeting

The BOC’s next Regular May Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 8th

RENTERS’ INFORMATION
Town website provides the following information:
GENERAL INFORMATION
SANITATION SERVICES
AQUATIC LIFE STINGS
NOISE/ NUISANCE
WALKERS/ RUNNERS/ JOGGERS/ CYCLISTS
CYCLISTS UNDER 16 YEARS OLD
CYCLING AT NIGHT
GOLF CARTS
MOTOR SCOOTERS
CALLS FOR SERVICE (Emergency or Not)
For more information » click here

Lou’s Views – Guest Information
For more information » click here

Town Manager’s Review
The Town Managers performance review was supposed to be done on the anniversary date of his hire which is in February. Once again it was not done in a timely manner.


BOC’s SPECIAL MEETING / April 13, 2018      

    1. Discussion and Possible Action by the Board to Direct Clark Wright, Environmental Attorney for the Town of Holden Beach to Request that the USACE Immediately Suspend Further Processing of the Town’s Pending Section 10 and Section 404 Permit Applications, SAW-2011-01914, Pending Further Determinations by the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners

.     2. Budget Workshop (Expenses)

Peter asked for an explanation of what was meant by the word suspend. Mike explained it was an alternative to achieve the stated goal, to extend the comment period. He explained that he was informed that USACE would not look favorably on an extension but would look favorably on a suspension. Motion was strictly a safety measure. The thirty-day time limit for the comment period will have expired before the BOC’s Regular Tuesday meeting. By approving the motion, they would prevent the clock from running out. They would get the one-day calendar gap covered until Board decides how to proceed at the Regular meeting. Should have been a simple matter to extend comment period by one day by approving motion since what was presented as an alternative to achieve the stated goal. Far more divisive debate than one might expect. As it turned out the USACE agreed to extending the commenting period to May 4th.

Unbelievable, that the word suspend which was in the motion created a kerfuffle. Even though all of them agreed that they wanted the same thing, to extend the comment period, they all decided to cut off their nose to spite their face. Seems a bit daft to me! More importantly the actions were inimical to our interests. Fortunately, the USACE extended the comment period despite the Commissioners lack of agreement.

USACE PUBLIC NOTICE

Issue Date:  April 13, 2018
Comment Deadline: May 4, 2018
Corps Action ID: SAW-2011-01914

All interested parties are hereby advised that the Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) is extending the commenting period on the permit application request made by the Town of Holden Beach for the Town’s plan to implement a shoreline protection project along the east end of the island, which consist of the construction of a terminal groin along the Lockwood Folly Inlet, in Brunswick County, North Carolina.  This notice amends our March 15, 2018 Public Notice seeking comments on the Town’s permit request and extends that notice’s commenting period to May 4, 2018.
For more information » click here

Budget Workshop – Expenses
Expenses submitted were just a draft
From my perspective the meeting was a wasted exercise
Don’t see that the discussions will be translated into any real reduction in expenses
Not one single penny, not one, was cut from the submitted budget expenses!
Time is running out, the next scheduled Budget Workshop is for the Budget Message

Takeaways are as follows:
.     1)
Salary
.       a)
Budgeted 3% merit pool based on performance evaluation
      b)
Need to evaluate entire compensation package not just salary
.     2)
Beach Ranger program
.       a)
Expand beach patrol to four people, on two shifts for ten hours a day
.     3)
Budget included purchasing six (6) vehicles

 Board inaction belays the claims of fiscal rectitude.

Budget
Kickoff of our budget season
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 Meeting Schedule / 2018
. 1) 16 January BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives / Capital Program
* Only eleven (11) members of the community were in attendance
. 2) 19 January BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives
*
Only two (2) members of the community were in attendance
. 3) 23 February Canal Dredging Working Group
. 4)
9 March Departments input to Manager
. 5) 6 April
BOC’s Workshop Revenues
* Only five (5) members of the community were in attendance
. 6)
13 April BOC’s Workshop Expenses
* Only five (5) members of the community were in attendance
. 7)
31 May Budget Message
. 8)
13 June Public Hearing
. 9)
19 June Regular BOC’s Meeting
. 10)
30 June Budget adopted (No Later Than)


Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act
Audit Committee BOC’s Tasker Regarding House Bill 436

House Bill 436
Authority to impose fees has been modified
Necessitates us having to retool water and sewer fee rate schedule
Recommends it be prepared by licensed professional engineer
Town Manager plans to commission McGill and Associates to develop rate schedule

North Carolina General Assembly – House Bill 1730 / S.L. 2004-96
Enacted on 07/13/2004
Gives us the authority to charge the sewer treatment fee
For more information » click here

Holden Beach Sewer Treatment Fee
For more information » click here

A sewer capital fee of $497.30 per developable property within the corporate limits of the Town of Holden Beach is authorized for the payment of debt service to fulfill the Town’s sewer capital obligation. Said fee is to be billed concurrently with ad valorem property taxes and collected in accordance with applicable North Carolina General Statues.

The Town Budget Ordinance is where the actual assessment is made
That levy is contained in language on page 7 of Ordinance 17-08
For more information » click here

House Bill 436 / Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act
Enacted on 07/20/2017
Eliminates the authority to charge the fee
Town must comply not later than July 1,2018
For more information » click here

System Development Fees Report
Click here to view the System Development Fees Report prepared by McGill and Associates in accordance with HB 436. Written comments on the report may be sent to heather@hbtownhall.com. Comments will also be accepted by mail at Town of Holden Beach, Attn: Heather Finnell, 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462. The Board will schedule a public hearing prior to considering the adoption of the analysis. Information on the public hearing date will be provided when available.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY and PURPOSE STATEMENT

Executive Summary:

The North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 436 in July 2017, amending Chapter 162A of the General Statutes by adding “Article 8, System Development Fees.” This amendment was enacted as “An Act to Provide for Uniform Authority to Implement System Development Fees for Public Water and Sewer Systems in North Carolina and to Clarify the Applicable Statute of Limitations.” in HB436, which requires compliance with designated calculation methodology by July 1, 2018.

In response to the House Bill 436, the Town of Holden Beach retained McGill Associates to complete a system development fee analysis. Based on the Town of Holden Beach’s combination of existing system capacity and planned capital improvements to expand capacity, the development fee, in accordance with HB 436 rules for an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) for water and sewer was calculated to be $20,577. ERU is defined as the water and sewer capacities required to serve the most typical user type, which is a three-bedroom single-family dwelling.

The fee for other types of development can be calculated by applying the calculated cost of capacity per gallon of flow per day to the water and wastewater demands for various uses as defined by NC Administrative Code 15A NCAC 18C .0409 and 15A NCAC 02T .0114 using the following table:

Holden Beach System Development Fees: Cost per Gallon per Day Calculation
Item Cost-Justified System Fee Cost of Capacity ($ / gpd)

1 Water System $14.48 ($ / gpd)
2 Sewer System $41.07 ($ / gpd)


Hurricane Season –

Hurricane #1 - CR

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a hurricane as “an intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

Be prepared – have a plan!

For assistance with making an emergency plan read more here »
. 1) FEMA Ready
. 2) American Red Cross Disaster and Safety Library
. 3) ReadyNC
. 4) Town Emergency Information
. 5) HBPOIN Hurricane Emergency Plan

THB – EVACUATION, CURFEW & VEHICLE DECALS
For more information » click here

A repeat of 2017′: Experts predict another destructive hurricane season
A scientist with Global Weather Oscillations is predicting the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season to be “somewhat of a repeat of 2017,” claiming this year will bring more devastating storms. According to GWO, a storm prediction company, this year’s Atlantic hurricane season may be just as destructive — or even more destructive — than the 2017 season, which ended with 17 named storms and 6 major hurricanes. In 2017, GWO predicted 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. Professor David Dilley, senior research and prediction scientist for GWO, predicts that 2018 will be “somewhat of a repeat of 2017,” but some hurricane landfalls will occur in different locations this year. Dilley anticipates 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. He also predicts four of the hurricanes have potential for U.S. landfall — with two likely being “major impact storms.” “Some United States zones and the Caribbean Islands are currently in their strongest hurricane landfall cycle in 40 to 70-years,” Dilley said in a statement. Dilley says the reason for another disastrous hurricane season has to do with ocean water temperatures. He explains how the temperatures continue to run warmer than normal across most of the Atlantic, especially in the Caribbean region and the Atlantic near the U.S. “This is very similar to the ocean temperatures of last year, and this will again be conducive for tropical storms and/or hurricanes forming and/or strengthening near the Lesser Antilles and close to the United States,” he added.
Read more » click here


Terminal Groin –Terminal Groin #6 - CR

Terminal Groin Presentation
For more information
» click here

For more information, go to the Terminal Groin post


HBPOIN – Lou’s Views
.          • Gather and disseminate information
.          • Identify the issues and determine how they affect you
.          • Act as a watchdog
.          • Grass roots monthly newsletter since 2008

www.LousViews.com

04 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / April Edition

Calendar of Events – 



Days at the Docks Festival

April 28th – 29th
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


 

Blue Crab Festival
May 19th – 20th
Little River SC


This will be the 37th Annual World Famous Blue Crab Festival. It is held on the waterfront in Little River and is one of the largest festivals in the Southeast. The purpose of this festival is one that supports and showcases the fabulous atmosphere of the local communities.

For more information » click here


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


Calendar of Events – Island


The Town will sponsor a Paint it Purple Cancer Survivors’ Dessert and Ice Cream Social on Thursday, April 19th at 1:00 p.m. Survivors, their guests and citizens who would like to show support should call (910) 842-6488 by Thursday, April 12th to pre-register. To help support the cause, we ask that you please wear purple to the event if possible.


HBBC

Holden Beach Beautification Club Plant Sale
The HBBC is holding their 7th Annual Plant Sale on Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th 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 proceeds are earmarked for beautification projects on the island and the entrance to the bridge. 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 28th & 29th. It’s the Holden Beach way to kick-off the Spring and start the vacation season.


Pickleball Tournament
Holden Beach is holding their second town sponsored Pickleball Tournament May 4th, 5th & 6th. The tournament will be open to ages 18 and up. Teams will compete by self-ranking for men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

What is Pickleball you ask?

Pickleball: growing sport for seniors
Pickleball originated in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The ball used is a perforated plastic ball similar to a Whiffle ball. The game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. The net is a couple inches lower than a tennis court net and the court is smaller too (20 feet by 44 feet vs. 36 by 78), and the paddles are oversized ping pong paddles made of plywood, aluminum or graphite. The game can be played with two or four players. Experience in tennis, badminton and ping pong is helpful, as there are similarities with those sports. There already are over 100,000 players in the United States alone. When tennis and badminton players find it difficult to navigate the larger courts, the next step is Pickleball, where there is not as much running required.
Read more » click here


Concerts on the Coast Series
The Town’s summer concert series calendar has been released! Live performances featuring local musical groups are held at the pavilion on Sunday evenings from late May to early September. The concerts are free of charge.
For more information » click here


Parks & Recreation / Programs & Events
For more information » click here


Reminders –

Free Dump Week
Brunswick County will be hosting its spring free dump week at the Brunswick County Landfill April 16th – April 21st.  Brunswick County residents and/or property owners may dispose of all materials, except for regular household trash or new construction debris, free of charge. Proof of Brunswick County residency or property ownership is required and will be checked at the landfill entrance.

Brunswick County Landfill
172 Landfill Rd NE, Bolivia, NC 28422
Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 8am until 4pm.


Brunswick County Shred Event
On April 27th, bring your files that need to be shredded to the Brunswick County Complex between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. The County will have shred trucks parked in the parking lot between buildings B & G (look for the signs). This event is free and open to all businesses, property owners and residents of Brunswick County. For more information call (910) 253-2520. 

Brunswick County Governmental Center
3325 Old Ocean Hwy.
Bolivia, NC 28422



The Board of Commissioners’ May Regular Meeting
was moved to the second Tuesday of the month, MAY 8th

 


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 took place on April 1st and be in effect through September 30th .


Yard Waste Service

Yard debris pick-up will be provided twice a month on the 2ndand 4th Fridays during the months of March, April and May. Please have yard waste placed at the street for pick-up on Thursday night.

 

Yard debris needs to be secured in a biodegradable bag or bundled in a maximum length of five (5) feet and fifty (50) pounds in weight. A total of ten (10) items (bundles of brush/ limbs, bags) will be picked up by Waste Industries. Yard waste must be placed at the street for pick-up. No pick-ups will be made on vacant lots or construction sites.



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


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.


 

Mosquito Control

.


Current EPA protocol is that spraying is complaint driven

The Town is unable to just spray as they had in the past
. 1)
Complaint based
. 2)
Citizen request
. 3)
Proactively monitor hot spots

They recommend that you get rid of any standing water on your property that you can
Urged everyone to call Town Hall if they have mosquito issues so that they can spray

Spraying is complaint based, so keep the calls coming!


Volunteers needed
The Town is always looking for people to volunteer for their various boards and committees. If you are interested in serving, please fill out a resume form and submit it to heather@hbtownhall.com.


Recycling-Bin
Curbside recycling
Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $54.00 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here


Elevator - CRElevators
Most states mandate that elevator systems be tested and inspected annually
. Currently the state of North Carolina does not require annual inspections to be performed on all elevator systems. The use of unsafe and defective lifting devices imposes a substantial probability of serious and preventable injury to your family and guests. It is in the owner’s best interest to minimize injuries and liability by scheduling an annual safety inspection to ensure the safe operation of their elevator system.


Library
If you need something to keep you busy in this colder weather, make sure to visit the island library. The library is in the upstairs of Holden Beach Town Hall. All the books were donated. Patrons of the library don’t have to check out a book; they are on the honor system to return it.



Neighborhood Watch –

Need to look out for each other
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


Upon Further Review –


Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling
Previously reported – September 2015
Resolution 15-09 is in opposition to offshore exploration and drilling. Why? Because we have a tourism based economy, along with the local fishing industry and quality of life depends on the health and welfare of our natural resources. We believe that the inherent risks to our region from offshore exploration and drilling have the potential to irrevocably harm our natural environment, our economic well-being and our overall quality of life. Including us there are now 79 municipalities that have passed resolutions opposing offshore exploration and drilling.

Previously reported – January 2018

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling
Read more » click here

Cooper: NC to sue if kept in offshore drilling plan
Governor threatens legal action if Trump administration pushes plan to open coast to oil exploration. “No way. Not off our coast,” Cooper said of oil exploration.
Read more » click here

Resolution against offshore drilling stalls in Brunswick
In a 4-1 vote, Brunswick County Commissioners voted to remove a resolution against offshore drilling from their meeting agenda Monday night.
Read more » click here

Update –

Zinke sees low demand, strong opposition, for new offshore drilling
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke acknowledged Friday that President Trump’s plan to open large swaths of the East and West coasts to offshore oil and natural gas drilling faces significant headwinds. Speaking to an offshore wind conference in New Jersey, Zinke said drilling companies are not that interested in new areas offshore, while there’s “strong opposition” in most of the neighboring states. The acknowledgements could be a sign that Zinke will significantly narrow his plan, released in January, for offshore drilling. Under the plan, the entire Gulf of Mexico, Pacific and Atlantic coasts and areas around Alaska would be open to drilling.
Read more » click here


Previously reported –
Holden Beach Newsletter
Chemours has issued a press release announcing that the company will take measures to eliminate byproduct GenX wastewater emissions from its Fayetteville site. Click here to view the release.

In order to keep citizens informed, Brunswick County has established a website to share information about GenX as they learn it. You can find this page at www.brunswickcountync.gov/genx. The website contains a FAQ section that they update as they learn additional information (or receive additional questions), links to all their press releases and links to other resources like information from NCDEQ. There is also a link where citizens can go to sign up to receive email updates on the topic.


The Public Information Officer for Brunswick County announced that the County has taken legal action against DuPont and Chemours for contaminating the Cape Fear River.

10.31.2017
Statement from Brunswick County
The filing of formal legal action against Chemours and DuPont represents another crucial step in protecting our public drinking water supply. It sends a clear message that Brunswick County will simply not stand for the discharge of emerging or unregulated chemicals into our public drinking water supply. Let us be clear…we will ensure that any company that threatens this vital resource is held responsible. Furthermore, our litigation team is consulting the nation’s leading experts to determine the best long-term water testing and treatment methods for the entire county. As part of that, we will ensure that the costs for doing so do not fall upon the rate payers, but upon those dumping the unregulated chemicals in the water.
For more information » click here

Update –

Wilmington officials ask NC to shut down GenX production
County officials are asking that the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) shut down operations that result in the production of chemicals like GenX, which have been discharged into the Cape Fear River and discovered in Wilmington-area drinking water systems.
Read more » click here


Previously reported –
Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging Complete
The Lockwood Inlet Association has announced that the Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging project for Spring is complete. The Army Corps hopper dredge Currituck arrived on the site in mid-February to finish this 14 day dredging cycle. According to the Association, “for the first time in several years our inlet has a good navigable channel. It has been quite a journey to say the least.” “This is a huge win for our community, Brunswick County, and the state of North Carolina. We would like to thank those who really worked hard and put time into making this happen,” added the Lockwood Inlet Association. The project included clearing the navigation channel to its authorized width and depth—about 150 feet wide by 12 feet deep—and placing over 100,000 cubic yards of beach-quality sand on Holden Beach. The state of NC shallow draft inlet fund which is supplemented by boater registration fees will pay for 2/3 of this project. The county and Holden Beach would be responsible for the remainder.
Read more » click here


Update –

Lockwood Folly Inlet in best shape in a decade following recent dredging, corps says
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers special purpose dredge Currituck has finished opening Lockwood Folly Inlet and officials report the channel is straighter and deeper than it’s been in a decade. Jim Medlock, shallow draft inlet navigation program project manager for the corps’ Wilmington District, said the job cost about $480,000 to $500,000, less than the $580,000 budgeted. The state’s shallow draft inlet fund paid for two-thirds, with the remainder split between Brunswick County and Holden Beach.

Heavily used by commercial fishermen, charter fishing guides and recreational boaters, the inlet was so badly shoaled that the U.S. Coast Guard removed the 10 navigational buoys in April 2017. Two corps dredges worked the inlet last summer, but the relief was short-lived when Hurricane Irma blew through in September, pushing sand into the outer reach of the channel. While most of the main Lockwood Folly channel is back to its federally authorized depth of 14 feet, Eastern Channel is badly shoaled there and practically impassable to all but kayaks or paddleboards. It’s still possible, however, to access the Lockwood Folly Inlet or Intracoastal Waterway from the channel just west of Sheep Island.
Read more » click here


Corrections & Amplifications –

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)

Previously reported –

The preliminary maps were published in August 2014

Update –
The Town has received approval from FEMA for revisions to the Holden Beach Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). These map revisions will be effective August 28, 2018 once the Town formally updates our local ordinances. The Town staff is working on an implementation schedule and anticipates being able to use the new maps for construction in late May. These maps may be viewed at www.ncfloodmaps.com.

TOWN WEBSITE –
The Town has received approval from FEMA for revisions to the Holden Beach Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). These map revisions will be effective August 28, 2018 once the Town formally updates our local ordinances. The Town staff is working on an implementation schedule and anticipates being able to use the new maps for construction in late May. These maps may be viewed at http://www.ncfloodmaps.com.

Brunswick County residents to receive increased flood insurance discounts
Brunswick County recently received a FEMA Community Rating Score rating. That translates to a 10 percent discount for NFIP premiums. Residents of Brunswick County will soon catch a break when it comes to flood insurance costs. The county recently received its first score through FEMA’s Community Rating System(CRS). This score translates to a 10 percent discount on National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premiums.

The voluntary program relies on a community’s activities that could mitigate the potential for damage incurred by those who live in so-called special flood hazard areas. By rewarding communities that participate in risk-management activities, in theory, FEMA reduces the likelihood of larger flood insurance payouts after a disaster. Though the future of the NFIP is uncertain, updated discounts for participating communities will take effect in May 2018.
Read more » click here

Brunswick County CRS class rating increases to 8
Brunswick County has met the standards to increase its Community Rating System (CRS) class rating from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to an 8, qualifying for a discount in the premium cost of flood insurance for NFIP policies.

The CRS is a voluntary program that recognizes community floodplain management activities, like ensuring citizens comply with the appropriate Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines and helping people protect their property. Similar to fire insurance district ratings, higher CRS ratings mean lower flood insurance premiums for residents in Special Flood Hazard Areas.

“The floodplain management activities implemented by your community qualifies it for a 10 percent discount in the premium cost of flood insurance for NFIP policies issued or renewed in Special Flood Hazard Areas on or after May 1,” William Lesser, CRS coordinator, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, wrote to County Manager Ann Hardy with notice of the increased rating. “This savings is a tangible result of the flood mitigation activities your community implements to protect lives and reduce property damage.”

Brunswick County previously had a CRS Class 10 rating. The increase to a Class 8 rating reflects efforts by Brunswick County Code Administration to maintain elevation certificates, enforce higher regulatory standards, adopt and implement the Southeastern NC Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan and the Natural Floodplains Functions Plan, and provide information about flood protection and building requirements through outreach projects and through making documents available in Brunswick County libraries and on the website, among others.

“This is wonderful news for our citizens and is a credit to the foresight and support of Brunswick County’s commissioners and the efforts and leadership of Deputy County Manager Steve Stone, code administration director Michael Slate, and the code administration staff,” Hardy said in a news release.
Read more » click here


Tah-Dah!

 


Water Tower
In June of 2016 an appropriation was made for maintenance and repairs of the water tower. The water tower was constructed over thirty-five (35) years ago and needs a complete strip down and paint job. Work was supposed to be completed by Easter in 2017. In September of 2017 we were informed that they will be repainting the water tower this winter. Everything attached to the tower needed to be removed, all the cell phone equipment was temporarily placed on two monopole towers. Well they have finally completed repainting the water tower. Although the cell phone equipment placed on the two monopole towers has not been put back on the water tower yet. It appears that the project may not be completed by Easter in 2018. So, it’s taken well over a year to do the project and is behind schedule by one year.



Why is the Welcome to Holden Beach facing the beach strand instead of the bridge?

Doesn’t it make more sense to welcome people to the island as they are coming over the bridge.

 


Odds & Ends

 

North Carolina Rate Bureau Requests 18.7% Increase for Homeowners Insurance

 

 

 

NC Department of Insurance press release
The North Carolina (NC) Rate Bureau in November 2017 proposed a significant rate increase for homeowner insurance rates across the State. On January 5, 2018, the NC Department of Insurance issued a press release announcing the NC Insurance Commissioner’s response to the request.

Insurance Commissioner Causey rejects proposed Homeowners Insurance rate increase: Sets Hearing Date
Read the press release » click here

NC homeowners insurance increase on hold … for now
State, industry to talk about proposal to bump coastal rates up by 25 percent
Read more » click here

Update –
Homeowners’ insurance rates to rise in N.C. but not by 25 percent
The state Department of Insurance and the North Carolina Rate Bureau announced Wednesday they have agreed on a 4.8 percent increase statewide.

Homeowners’ insurance rates in North Carolina are headed for an average increase of nearly 5 percent. The state Department of Insurance and the North Carolina Rate Bureau announced Wednesday they have agreed on a 4.8 percent increase statewide. The Rate Bureau wanted an 18.7 percent rate increase. The increase will vary according to territory with a cap of 5.5 percent statewide instead of the 25 percent increase for coastal homes proposed by the Rate Bureau, which represents insurance companies. Coverage on a $200,000 frame home on the Outer Banks will see an average $10 per month increase. The agreement also covers insurance for tenants and condominiums, which is capped at 12 percent. The last homeowners’ insurance rate increase was in 2012, when the rate climbed 7 percent.
Read more » click here


This & That

PUBLIC NOTICE:

BRUNSWICK COUNTY PUBLIC UTILITIES DEPARTMENT

ANNUAL CHANGE FROM CHLORAMINES TO CHLORINE

02.28.2018

Every year, Brunswick County and the towns, cities, and other utilities that purchase water from Brunswick County implement an annual flushing program. Public Utilities employees flush the water mains by opening fire hydrants and allowing them to flow freely for a short period of time. The flushing cleans out sediment and allows routine maintenance of the more than 5,000 fire hydrants in the Brunswick County service area. Flushing may result in discoloration and presence of sediment in your water. These conditions are not harmful and should be of short duration.

During the annual flushing program, a slight change is made in the water treatment process to facilitate an effective flushing program. Throughout the year, combined chlorine or chloramines, is added to the water as the primary disinfectant. During the annual flushing program, chlorine is added in an uncombined state, commonly referred to as free chlorine. Free chlorine is somewhat more volatile than combined chlorine, providing exceptional availability to react with sediments suspended during flushing. Brunswick County will use free chlorine as the primary disinfectant from April 2, 2018 through mid-June 2018. Depending on your location within the distribution system and usage patterns, it could be a week to 10 days for your drinking water to transition from combined chlorine to free chlorine at the beginning of the flushing program. The annual change from chloramines to chlorine for this brief period is required by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

You may notice a chlorine taste and odor in your drinking water while free chlorine is utilized. If you are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine, try keeping an open container of drinking water in your refrigerator. This will enable the chlorine to dissipate thus reducing the chlorine taste. Remember – drinking water has a shelf life! Change out the water in your refrigerated container weekly.

Please note, if you have an aquarium or pond always test the water you add to your aquatic environment to be sure it is free of any chlorine before adding fish or other animals. Chemical additives with directions for removing either free chlorine or chloramines from water for use in fish tanks or ponds are available at pet/fish supply stores.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this process, please contact the County’s Public Utilities Department at 910-253-2657 or 910-371-3490 or 910-454-0512 or your local water provider.
For more information » click here


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


Sea Turtles Use Magnetic Fields
to Find Their Birthplace Beach


.

Sea turtles use the earth’s magnetic fields to navigate back to the area where they were born decades earlier, according to a new study that used loggerhead genetics to investigate their travels. After swimming for years in a giant loop from nesting grounds in North Carolina and Florida to North Africa, the turtles find their way back to nest on beaches within about 40 to 50 miles of where they were born. The new study suggests that the turtles learned their home beach’s distinctive magnetic signature, through what is called geomagnetic imprinting.
Read more » click here


The National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
Read more » click here

National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On March 23, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to July 31, 2018. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on July 31, 2018.

FEMA and Congress have never failed to honor the flood insurance contracts in place with NFIP policyholders. In the unlikely event the NFIP’s authorization lapses, FEMA would still have authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would stop selling and renewing policies for millions of properties in communities across the nation. Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors estimates that a lapse might impact approximately 40,000 home sale closings per month.

NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program while transitioning it to a sounder financial framework. The level of damage from the 2017 hurricanes makes it abundantly clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.
Read more » click here


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.
///// February 2018
Name:              The Brentwood

Cuisine:            Low Country French
Location:         4269 Luck Avenue, Little River SC
Contact:           843.249.2601 /
www.thebrentwoodrestaurant.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:            Two Stars
Located in a 1910 historic Victorian house, The Brentwood features five elegant private dining rooms with two bars, five fireplaces, a piano bar upstairs and an impressive wine collection. Enjoy their unique Low Country French Cuisine.


/////
Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
/////


THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
by A.J. Finn
Dr. Anna Fox a former child psychologist lives alone a recluse in her NYC home; agoraphobic she is unable to venture outside. She spends her day taking prescription drugs, drinking wine, watching old movies, and spying on her neighbors. Anna believes she witnessed a murder and hasty cover-up in a neighboring house but can’t prove that what she saw really happened. And no one, not the police or her neighbors, believes her.


HBPOIN / Lou’s Views
.        
• Gather and disseminate information
.          • Identify the issues and determine how they affect you
.          • Act as a watchdog
.          • Grass roots monthly newsletter since 2008

www.LousViews.com

03 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

Town Meeting 04/06/18

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information
» click here


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

Surprisingly there were no comments


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


3. Report and Discussion (No Action to be Taken) on Final Environmental Impact Statement and Related Terminal Groin Project Issues by Attorney Clark Wright, Legal Advisor to the Board with Respect to Beach Protection and other Environmental Issues  

.       a. Spencer Rodgers, NC Sea Grant
.       b. Fran Way, Applied Technology and Management
      c. Steve Dial, Dial Cordy
      d. Professor Andy Coburn, Western Carolina University
.       e Geoff Gisler, Southern Environmental Law Center
      f. Tracy Skrabal, North Carolina Coastal Federation
 
     g. Representative of Dunescape Property Owners Association
.       h. Representative of Holden Beach Property Owners Association

Clark Wright briefly described where we are at in the process
EIS is not a decision document, it is the basis for USACE permit decision
Record of Decision (ROD) is the USACE decision document
Permit Issuance is the federal authorization to implement the project

.     a. Spencer Rodgers, North Carolina Sea Grant
North Carolina Sea Grant provides unbiased, science-based information to enhance the sustainable use and conservation of ocean and coastal resources to benefit communities, the economy and the environment.
For more information » click here

Beachfill alone is not cost effective in high erosion areas, typical of unstabilized inlets. Downdrift erosion has serious significant negative impact. Simply stated, one side of the terminal groin benefits and the other side doesn’t. In general, he recommends terminal groins are a reasonable option.

 Position – PRO

 .     b. Fran Way, Applied Technology and Management (ATM)
*
Presentation in Agenda Packet
ATM is a coastal engineering and consulting firm hired by the town
For more information » click here

Almost half of the east coast inlets have some hard structure there. A terminal groin will increase beach nourishment longevity from two (2) to four (4) years. The project will save twelve (12) million dollars over thirty (30) years, compared to nourishment only alternative. The model projects no downdraft effects to the Central Reach Project shoreline. ATM recommends that we continue to move the process forward and get permit. We do not necessarily have to build the terminal groin now, but we would have the option to do so in the future.

Position – PRO

 .     c. Steve Dial, Dial Cordy & Associates
*
Presentation in Agenda Packet
Dial Cordy and Associates provides comprehensive ecological assessment, environmental planning, and regulatory compliance services.

Position – PRO

No Show. Frankly I was disappointed that they were not in attendance. We have already invested over six hundred and thirty-seven thousand dollars ($637,111) so far. The bulk of that money went to Dial Cordy. You’d think for the money we spent with them that they could have managed to send someone to make a presentation of the work we contracted them to do for us.

 .     d. Professor Andy Coburn, Western Carolina University
Associate Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS)
PSDS – Science. Policy. Education. Outreach. Coastal.
For more information » click here

Coburn was unable to be at the meeting but sent his written comments that Clark read
Terminal groin will not achieve stated objectives
The cost to build and maintain groin will exceed any benefits
It’s fiscally irresponsible to use public funds to build the groin
A terminal groin does not make fiscal sense

 Position – CON

  .     e. Geoff Gisler, Southern Environmental Law Center
A nonprofit organization that works to create, strengthen, and enforce the laws and policies that determine the beauty and health of our environment.
For more information » click here

National Environmental Policy Act is a environmental law that promotes the enhancement of the environment. Presentation was what’s to be gained or not gained by building the groin.

Considered three alternatives
.     1)
Alt#1 – do what we have been doing
    2) Alt#2 – do absolutely nothing
.     3) 
Alt#6 – do groin project

The groin as modeled saved just ten (10) more properties then the other alternatives. Very little to be gained at a huge financial and environmental cost. Debunked the alleged twelve (12) million-dollar savings by building the groin. Geoff demonstrated that it was a seriously flawed economic analysis. The modelling did not remotely reflect the reality of what we have experienced here. His recommendation is to withdraw the application request for a permit. A better path forward would be to continue to do what we have been doing.

Position – CON

  .     f. Mike Giles, North Carolina Coastal Federation
The North Carolina Coastal Federation is a member-supported 501(c)3 that is focused on protecting and restoring the North Carolina coast.
For more information » click here

NCCF objected to building the terminal groin
Mike reiterated that there were better ways to address the issue
He put us on notice – if CAMA permit is issued then they will legally challenge it in court
In other words, he all but guaranteed litigation

 Position – CON

 .     g. Jay Holden of Dunescape Property Owners Association
Dunescape is a private gated community on the east end of the island. They support continued nourishment at the east end of the island. But they oppose the construction of the groin. A terminal groin has limited and uncertain effectiveness and is a slippery slope. Jay stressed the importance of also keeping the inlet orientation south-southwest as a critical nourishment piece. Their position is for us to just continue to do what we have been since that’s working.

Position – CON

 .     h. John Witten of Holden Beach Property Owners Association
*
Presentation in Agenda Packet
The Holden Beach Property Owners Association is a voluntary organization whose mission is to represent the property owners of Holden Beach as a unified voice regarding issues that affect their common interests and concerns.
For more information » click here

USACE by working at a glacial pace did us a favor. We got to see what actually happened at the east end vs. what the modelling projected. The justification for the project is strictly about economics. The evidence provided appears to be just made up numbers that don’t reflect our actual experiences. The proposed terminal groin is a pilot project, an experiment if you will, that is too big a risk to take. This is a thirty-year commitment, with big fixed future costs. We cannot afford to take this risk with our limited resources. Instead we should continue doing what we have been doing and remain flexible keeping our options open. This is the moment of truth – there is no more information to be had and there is the threat of costly litigation. It’s time to move on!

HBPOA Resolution
RESOLVED, that the membership of the HBPOA urges the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach to: (i) continue with the same very successful and very cost-effective east end beach nourishment and Lockwood Folly Inlet strategies as have been in place for the past 15 years; (ii) stop spending the Town’s money and resources in pursuit of the Terminal Groin Project; and (iii) withdraw the Town’s pending Federal permit application and not apply for State permits (reserving the ability to reapply at a later date, subject to USACE consent).

Position – CON

Terminal Groins if properly designed and sited can work with minimum negative adverse conservational impact.  That said, the question then becomes does it make sense economically.  No doubt there are many and conflicting opinions (Pros vs. Cons) but a dearth of economic analysis with nothing even remotely resembling a cost-benefit analysis. Even assuming that it made sense to build the HB terminal groin, one must ask how will we pay for it? The state law says we can’t use special obligation bonds, non-voted general obligation bonds or financing contracts. We could use BPART funds except we have been spending most of the money that we take in annually. In addition, we have committed to take an additional $500,000 annually from BPART account fund to pay down the Central Reach Project debt, which will further deplete the BPART account funds. The BPART fund balance has less than two (2) million dollars in it. But wait, there’s more! The Board has established a goal of setting aside one (1) million dollars a year for beach nourishment in a Capital Reserve Fund that is to be taken from the BPART fund account too.  That leaves only tax increases. So, a tax increase will be required to pay for the initial construction and ongoing maintenance, monitoring and nourishment. Back of the envelope calculation, taxes the first year would have an additional cost of $1,898 for a $500,000 home. The costs averaged over the thirty (30) years would result in an increase of $.096 per year. In other words, given a property with an assessed value of $500,000 your property taxes will increase by $14,400 over the thirty (30) year time horizon. Just to be clear, these numbers are based on the most optimistic financial scenarios. That is expenses are in today’s dollars, the borrowing costs or loan rate is ridiculously low and with no projected cost overruns.

What does this mean to you?
The tax increase varies based on individual property assessment

                                                            BEFORE                    AFTER
Property assessed value                 $500,000                   $500,000
Rate per $100 value                         $.2200                       $.3160
Taxes                                                  $1,100                       $1,580
Difference                                                                          +$480.00


3. Submission of Written Questions on Terminal Groin Related Issues by Mayor, Commissioners and Public

The Mayor read the ten (10) submitted questions
The speakers responded accordingly


General Comments –

There were thirty-three (33) members of the community in attendance

Commissioner Freer – was not in attendance

A police officer was in attendance, ostensibly to control an unruly crowd
The good news is that the public was quite civil throughout the entire meeting


§30.19  RULES OF PROCEDURE.
The BOC shall adopt such rules of procedure not inconsistent with North Carolina General Statutes at their regular scheduled meeting each December, or at other such times deemed appropriate, and publish same in the office of the Town Clerk.

Previously reported – DECEMBER 8, 2015
They adopted the suggested rules with only one minor change. The Commissioners packet is currently distributed just two (2) business days before the meeting date; it will now be distributed five (5) business days before the meeting date.

Update –
Let me get this straight, the single, biggest and most important issue the Town has dealt with and we are not given the information in advance of the meeting. Not only was it not distributed five (5) business days in advance as required but only three (3) of the eight (8) speakers submitted something to be included in the agenda packet. This is unacceptable, if someone is going to speak at the meeting they should be required to submit a brief outline and  summary for inclusion in the packet.


 BOC’s SPECIAL MEETING / March 21, 2018               
.     1. Direct Attorney Clark Wright to Submit a Request for a 30-Day Extension to the Comment Period Related to the Terminal Groin Final Environmental Impact Study
.     2. Direct All Town Officials and Staff to Suspend All Efforts Towards Gaining the Federal and CAMA Permits Related to the Terminal Groin Project Until After a Board Decision is Made, No Sooner Than April 6th

BOC’s SPECIAL MEETING / April 6, 2018
.    1.
Discussion and Possible Action for Audit Committee
.    2.
Report and Discussion on Final Environmental Impact Statement and Related Terminal Groin Issues – Attorney Clark Wright, Legal Advisor to the Board with Respect to Beach Protection and Other Environmental Issues
.    3.
Budget Workshop
.       a) Revenues
.       b)
Follow-up on Solid Waste Report


Budget
Kickoff of our budget season
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 Meeting Schedule / 2018
. 1) 16 January BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives / Capital Program
* Only eleven (11) members of the community were in attendance
. 2) 19 January BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives
*
Only two (2) members of the community were in attendance
. 3) 23 February Canal Dredging Working Group
. 4)
9 March Departments input to Manager
. 5) 6 April
BOC’s Workshop Revenues
* Only five (5) members of the community were in attendance
. 6)
13 April BOC’s Workshop Expenses
. 7)
31 May Budget Message
. 8)
13 June Public Hearing
. 9)
19 June Regular BOC’s Meeting
. 10)
30 June Budget adopted (No Later Than)


Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act
Audit Committee BOC’s Tasker Regarding House Bill 436

House Bill 436
Authority to impose fees has been modified
Necessitates us having to retool water and sewer fee rate schedule
Recommends it be prepared by licensed professional engineer
Town Manager plans to commission McGill and Associates to develop rate schedule

North Carolina General Assembly – House Bill 1730 / S.L. 2004-96
Enacted on 07/13/2004
Gives us the authority to charge the sewer treatment fee
For more information » click here

Holden Beach Sewer Treatment Fee
For more information » click here

A sewer capital fee of $497.30 per developable property within the corporate limits of the Town of Holden Beach is authorized for the payment of debt service to fulfill the Town’s sewer capital obligation. Said fee is to be billed concurrently with ad valorem property taxes and collected in accordance with applicable North Carolina General Statues.

The Town Budget Ordinance is where the actual assessment is made
That levy is contained in language on page 7 of Ordinance 17-08
For more information » click here

House Bill 436 / Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act
Enacted on 07/20/2017
Eliminates the authority to charge the fee
Town must comply not later than July 1,2018
For more information » click here

Renter Alert – currently sewer fee of $497 is paid by the landlord with their property taxes, the change that eliminates our authority to charge fee will cause us to roll fee into monthly water bill which is usually paid by the tenant

System Development Fees Report
Click here to view the System Development Fees Report prepared by McGill and Associates in accordance with HB 436. Written comments on the report may be sent to heather@hbtownhall.com. Comments will also be accepted by mail at Town of Holden Beach, Attn: Heather Finnell, 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462. The Board will schedule a public hearing prior to considering the adoption of the analysis. Information on the public hearing date will be provided when available.

 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY and PURPOSE STATEMENT

Executive Summary:

The North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 436 in July 2017, amending Chapter 162A

of the General Statutes by adding “Article 8, System Development Fees.” This amendment was enacted as “An Act to Provide for Uniform Authority to Implement System Development Fees for Public Water and Sewer Systems in North Carolina and to Clarify the Applicable Statute of Limitations.” in HB436, which requires compliance with designated calculation methodology by July 1, 2018.

In response to the House Bill 436, the Town of Holden Beach retained McGill Associates to complete a system development fee analysis. Based on the Town of Holden Beach’s combination of existing system capacity and planned capital improvements to expand capacity, the development fee, in accordance with HB 436 rules for an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) for water and sewer was calculated to be $20,577. ERU is defined as the water and sewer capacities required to serve the most typical user type, which is a three-bedroom single-family dwelling.

The fee for other types of development can be calculated by applying the calculated cost of capacity per gallon of flow per day to the water and wastewater demands for various uses as defined by NC Administrative Code 15A NCAC 18C .0409 and 15A NCAC 02T .0114 using the following table:

Holden Beach System Development Fees: Cost per Gallon per Day Calculation
Item     Cost-Justified System Fee             Cost of Capacity ($ / gpd)
1           Water System                                  $14.48 ($ / gpd)
2           Sewer System                                  $41.07 ($ / gpd)


Hurricane Season –

Hurricane #1 - CR

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a hurricane as “an intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

Be prepared – have a plan!

For assistance with making an emergency plan read more here »
. 1) FEMA Ready
. 2) American Red Cross Disaster and Safety Library
. 3) ReadyNC
. 4) Town Emergency Information
. 5) HBPOIN Hurricane Emergency Plan

THB – EVACUATION, CURFEW & VEHICLE DECALS
For more information » click here

A repeat of 2017′: Experts predict another destructive hurricane season
A scientist with Global Weather Oscillations is predicting the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season to be “somewhat of a repeat of 2017,” claiming this year will bring more devastating storms. According to GWO, a storm prediction company, this year’s Atlantic hurricane season may be just as destructive — or even more destructive — than the 2017 season, which ended with 17 named storms and 6 major hurricanes. In 2017, GWO predicted 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. Professor David Dilley, senior research and prediction scientist for GWO, predicts that 2018 will be “somewhat of a repeat of 2017,” but some hurricane landfalls will occur in different locations this year. Dilley anticipates 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. He also predicts four of the hurricanes have potential for U.S. landfall — with two likely being “major impact storms.” “Some United States zones and the Caribbean Islands are currently in their strongest hurricane landfall cycle in 40 to 70-years,” Dilley said in a statement. Dilley says the reason for another disastrous hurricane season has to do with ocean water temperatures. He explains how the temperatures continue to run warmer than normal across most of the Atlantic, especially in the Caribbean region and the Atlantic near the U.S. “This is very similar to the ocean temperatures of last year, and this will again be conducive for tropical storms and/or hurricanes forming and/or strengthening near the Lesser Antilles and close to the United States,” he added.
Read more » click here


Terminal Groin –Terminal Groin #6 - CR

Terminal Groin Presentation
For more information
» click here

Update – November 2017

HBPOA Meet the Candidates Night – Candidate Responses

Terminal Groin
Since 2011, the Town has pursued permits for a long-term East End beach nourishment Project that includes a Terminal Groin intended to slow downshore erosion along a portion of that beach. The Town’s draft Environmental Impact Statement necessary for the permits was first released in August 2015 and has been pending with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. According to the Town’s draft EIS, the Town’s long-term funding commitment for the project would be $30+ million. Please indicate which best describes your position on the Project.

Joe Butler
FAVOR CONTINUATION OF BEACH NOURISHMENT USING SAND FROM DREDGING LOCKWOOD FOLLY INLET, AND OPPOSE BUILDING TERMINAL GROIN

John Fletcher –
FAVOR CONTINUATION OF BEACH NOURISHMENT USING SAND FROM DREDGING LOCKWOOD FOLLY INLET, AND OPPOSE BUILDING TERMINAL GROIN

Peter Freer
FAVOR CONTINUATION OF BEACH NOURISHMENT USING SAND FROM DREDGING LOCKWOOD FOLLY INLET, AND OPPOSE BUILDING TERMINAL GROIN

Pat Kwiatkowski –
FAVOR CONTINUATION OF BEACH NOURISHMENT USING SAND FROM DREDGING LOCKWOOD FOLLY INLET, AND OPPOSE BUILDING TERMINAL GROIN

Mike Sullivan –
FAVOR CONTINUATION OF BEACH NOURISHMENT USING SAND FROM DREDGING LOCKWOOD FOLLY INLET, AND OPPOSE BUILDING TERMINAL GROIN

HBPOA Survey Results
Question #11
What should the Town do to combat chronic erosion on the East End of the island?
Regularly renourish the East End by dredging the inlet. / 185
Construct and maintain a terminal groin. / 95
Do nothing. / 54

There does not appear to be a lot of support for a terminal groin. With 239 out of 334 that chose an action, @72% of those responding DO NOT support building a terminal groin.

My Two Cents - CR II

I have been cogitating on the question of where we’re heading vis a vis building a terminal groin here. The combination of the HBPOA survey and the recent election results appear to point to us not moving forward with this project.

Update – January 2018
Presentation by Clark Wright of Davis Hartman Wright,
Legal Advisor to the Board with Respect to Beach Protection and Other Environmental Issues

Holden Beach Terminal Groin – Fact / Status Sheet
January 16, 2018

  • Town involved in various evaluation, legislation and permitting efforts for 10+ years
  • 2009 CAMA LUP contains language supporting investigating feasibility of HBTG
  • Town provided lobbying funds, political and staff support for State enabling legislation (SB110)
  • BOC enacted Resolution to seek CAMA permit in 2011 (Resolution 11-12, dated 09-13-11
  • BOC effectively reaffirmed support in 2016 (see Minutes of January 2016 BOC Meeting)
  • Town expenditures to-date total to at least $637,161.00 (source: David Hewett)
    • $ 20,000 “Save our Sand” Lobbyist
    • $401,332 Dial Cordy – EIS drafting task – USACE 3rd Party Contractor
    • $ 16,889 Surveying
    • $103,334 Outside Legal Counsel Services Supporting Process
    • $ 93,305 ATM – Engineer of Record
    • $ 2,301 – (data collection; advertising; transcripts)
  • Actions to-date:
    • USACE – lead federal agency – Section 10/404 Federal Permits – Responsible for EIS process, working with 3rd Party Contractor, Town and other stakeholders; process has covered 6+ years
    • USACE Scoping Meeting – Public Notice issued 02-28-12
    • USACE Public Notice of issuance of Draft EIS was issued on 08-28-15 (in connection with the Town’s Application for Section 10/404 Federal Permits authorizing TG)
    • “Inlet Management Plan” is included as part of Draft EIS
    • “Economic Analysis” addressing various alternatives included in the Draft EIS
    • USACE has provided final comments to Dial Cordy; issuance of the Final EIS is expected within 30 days; FEIS is expected to support preferred alternative for TG
  • Anticipated Future Actions (assumes process continues to move forward):
    • Issuance of the Final EIS within 30 days; FEIS will be published in Federal Register with a notice asking for final comments before USACE writes and publishes final “Record of Decision (“ROD”).”
    • The USACE ROD may be to adopt any of the alternatives described in the FEIS, including the “no action” alternative. It is anticipated that the USACE ROD will endorse the “preferred alternative” described in the DEIS/FEIS (i.e., recommend issuance of Federal Section 10 and Section 404 Permits authorizing construction and operation of a terminal groin at Lockwood Folly Inlet.)
    • Once the FEIS and ROD are published, the Town then can formally submit a Major Development CAMA Permit Application to the NC Division of Coastal Management (DCM). In addition to compliance with all CAMA rules and provisions, the CAMA Permit Application Package must comply with any mitigation measures described in the FEIS, as well as requirements as set forth in SB110, as amended – including financial assurances package that must receive review/approval from the NC Local Government Commission. [NOTE: The Town and its contractors have worked on a draft CAMA Permit Application Package; additional work remains to be done to address FEIS requirements; the “financial assurances” package has not been prepared, even in draft form; the Town Manager has obtained copies of packages submitted by several other TG applicants.]
    • Real Property Easements will have to be obtained by the Town from oceanfront property owners owning land where the proposed terminal groin comes ashore, as well as all areas where any physical portions of the structure would be located above mean high water. (Note that terminal groin structures run several hundred feet landward of the mean high-water mark.)
    • In addition to real property easements for the location of TG structures, it is likely that DCM will require the Town to identify and obtain easements from ocean front property owners located within the “service area” of the TG where beach nourishment activities are an integral part of the anticipated “beneficial” functioning of the TG. No easement legal work specific to the TG project has been undertaken by the Town Attorney to-date; parcel information regarding those ocean front property owners recently was provided to the Town Attorney by the Town Manager. There appears to be overlap of these parcels with those tied to the TG project. Potentially affected landowners have not received any formal notices or communications from the Town regarding these matters.
  • Related potentially relevant activities include:
    • Ongoing federal litigation filed by NC Audubon and SELC against USACE and OIB
    • Status of Figure Eight Island TG process, currently on hold
    • Status of Federal reauthorization of the NFIP
    • Existing SDI5 Permit, and potential modifications/renewal
    • Town Eastern Reach nourishment project(s)
    • Future repeats of Central Reach Project
    • Potential actions by Brunswick County (Jetty? Purchase of dredge? Other?)
    • Relationship with Oak Island?
    • Relationship with General Assembly?
    • Relationship with NC State Government?
    • Status of endangered species, including sea turtles and sea bird species?
    • Relationships with commercial/recreational fishing interests?
    • Relationships with oceanfront property owners?
    • Potential legal challenges naming Town as a party
    • Potential to cooperate with various NGO’s
    • Establishment of permanent beach and inlet management standing committee or board

My Two Cents - CR IIWe already invested over six hundred and thirty-seven thousand dollars ($637,111) so far. We either continue to support moving forward or cut our losses and pull the plug. We should have already gotten the permit. Once we have the permit in hand, we will have to decide whether to fund it or not. I anticipate an unexpected denouement.

Update – February 2018

What’s next?

The next steps include the following:
.
1) USACE final EIS published by February 23rd
. 2 ) Public comment period begins – 30 days
. 3) USACE Record of Decision (ROD)
. 4) CAMA application completed
. 5) Federal and State permit issuance / Permits expire in five (5) years

Update – March 2018

Holden Beach awaits permits for terminal groin project
Holden Beach’s proposed terminal groin remains mired in the permitting process, six years after town officials approved moving forward with the project. Though the terminal groin project has been going through the permitting process for the past several years, Hewett said the environmental-impact statement (EIS) for the project has nearly been completed and should be posted to the federal register in the coming days. After the project is posted, there will be a 30-day comment period followed by a “record of decision” by the Army Corps of Engineers. If the corps’ decision is favorable, Hewett said the town still has to obtain a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) permit for the project from the N.C. Division of Coastal Management (DCM). If the town obtains all the permits necessary, Hewett said it will be up to the town’s commissioners on whether to fund construction.
Read more » click here

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wilmington District Commander -Colonel Clark- has signed the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Dial Cordy and the Corps program manager are finalizing the digitization of the document for Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) publishing. The USACE on March 15th released the FEIS for the Holden Beach East End Shore Protection Project.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement can be found on the USACE website

Holden Beach Terminal Groin – Corps ID # SAW-2011-01914

This request is from the Town of Holden Beach for a terminal groin and beach fill project in waters of the US. The proposed terminal groin is one component of the Town of Holden Beach’s ongoing comprehensive beach management program, described in the Holden Beach 2009 Beach Management Plan. A terminal groin structure on the eastern end of Holden Beach is an alternative that is being considered as the preferred method to reduce the high erosion losses that have historically occurred at the east end of Holden Beach, in addition to proactive sand management of Lockwoods Folly Inlet.
For more information » click here

The Public Notice can be found on the USACE website

SAW-2011-019143/15/2018: The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) received an application from the Town of Holden Beach (Town) seeking Department of the Army authorization to discharge fill material into waters of the United States, associated with the construction of a 700-ft-long terminal groin with a 300-ft shore anchorage system and associated long-term beach nourishment component, in order to address erosion and protect infrastructure, roads, homes, beaches, dunes and wildlife habitat in Holden Beach, Brunswick County, North Carolina. Specific plans and location information are described below and shown on the attached plans. This notice serves to announce the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Holden Beach East End Shore Protection Project in accordance with 33 CFR 325 Appendix B, and 40 CFR 1502.19 – 1506.10. Comments will be received for 30 days, with an end comment period date of April 16, 2018. Comments received from the FEIS will be used in the development of a Record of Decision (ROD) for this project.
Expiration date: 4/16/2018
For more information » click here

The Town, prior to the report, indicated it Preferred Alternative 6: Intermediate Terminal Groin with Beach Nourishment. Any form of engagement with those preparing the report influences the independence, objectivity, integrity and credibility of the research. It appears that the report is designed to provide a justification for the applicant’s preferred alternative.

A Fiscal Analysis of Shifting Inlets and Terminal Groins in NC
By Andrew Coburn Associate Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University
Based on this study, PSDS has determined that:
. 1)
Assessed value does not reflect the potential fiscal impacts of shifting inlets to the state or local governments from erosion due to shifting inlets,
. 2) The fiscal benefits of protecting property at-risk to shifting inlets are small compared to the costs of protection,
. 3) The use of terminal groins would provide limited fiscal and economic benefits to state taxpayers and local communities an
.
4) Long-term costs of a terminal groin exceed potential long-term benefits at every developed NC inlet. This analysis indicates that, even ignoring environmental concerns, terminal groins are not a fiscally-sound strategy for dealing with coastal property at-risk to shifting inlets and, due to their limited fiscal benefits, the expenditure of state funds for groin construction/maintenance is bad public policy.
For more information » click here

Although the report is dated Coburn’s position is that terminal groins simply do not make financial sense for municipalities.


BOC’s SPECIAL MEETING / March 21, 2018                
.     1)
Direct Attorney Clark Wright to Submit a Request for a 30-Day Extension to the Comment Period Related to the Terminal Groin Final Environmental Impact Study
    2)
Direct All Town Officials and Staff to Suspend All Efforts Towards Gaining the Federal and CAMA Permits Related to the Terminal Groin Project Until After a Board Decision is Made, No Sooner Than April 6th

Holden Beach Calls ‘Time Out’ on Groin Plan
The town board of commissioners has voted to put on hold all work toward getting a permit to build terminal groin and to seek more time for public comment on the proposed structure. The action comes just days after the Army Corps of Engineers released the final environmental study for the project that’s been in the works for the past two and a half years.

The board voted Wednesday during a special meeting to direct attorney Clark Wright to submit a request for a 30-day extension to the comment period related to the final environmental impact study, or FEIS, for the town’s proposed terminal groin. The Corps released the study March 15. Public comments were to be received for 30 days, or until April 16.

The board also approved in a unanimous vote a motion that no town employee, agent, contractor, subcontractor or person representing the town before any federal or state agency shall take action that advances or terminates the current application process related to the terminal groin prior to a vote of the board of commissioners that restores such authority. The motion excludes work by Wright, the attorney who is working as a consultant to the town on the project.

The project was proposed to address chronic erosion at the eastern end of the 8.1-mile-long barrier island. Erosion has led to dune breaching and flooding along the east end of town and has resulted in the loss of about 27 oceanfront properties since 1993. Average long-term erosion rates along the most affected area ranges from a loss of 3 to 8 feet per year, among the highest in the state, according to the study.

The town had sought a permit to build a 700-foot-long terminal groin with a 300-foot shore anchorage system to be supplemented with a long-term plan for beach re-nourishment. The structure would also include a 120-foot-long “T-head” segment centered on the seaward end of the main stem to help minimize potential rip currents and sand losses during extreme wave conditions.

Critics have said the $34.4 million project would benefit only a handful of homes, protect less than $1.2 million in tax revenue over 30 years and push chronic erosion at the east end of Holden Beach to spots farther down the beach.

Town Manager David Hewett said the board’s action was a reflection of public concerns with the project. Three of the five town commissioners, Sullivan, Kwiatkowski and Commissioner Joseph Butler, were elected to their first terms in November in a race in which the terminal groin plan was at issue. “It’s a matter of record that a number of folks ran on that platform,” Hewett told Coastal Review Online Thursday. “The fact that they’re providing an extended period to gather more information is part of a larger desire to serve the public will. Calling a time out in the middle of a game is evidence that something is important.”
Read more » click here

NC Department of Environmental Quality Division of Coastal Management
Terminal groins do have an impact on the natural ocean and inlet shoreline position; they may be successful in slowing erosion or may cause adverse impacts on the downdrift shoreline due to interruption of the natural sediment transport system.  

Terminal groin expansion worries environmental groups
The town of Holden Beach and other coastal towns continue to explore the option of putting a terminal groin along their shore, which has environmental groups like the North Carolina Coastal Federation upset. The Army Corps of Engineers released their final environmental impact statement for the Holden Beach project on March 15 and outlines the specifics of the proposed plan. 

Tracy Skrabal, with the North Carolina Coastal Federation, said Bald Head Island is the only beach to currently have terminal groins in the area, but Ocean Isle Beach, Figure 8 Island, and Holden beach all have permits in for consideration after a ban was overturned in 2011. “When you start to see larger storms of intensity and duration, as we already see, then we will see people get fairly desperate for ways to protect their properties,” said Skrabal. “Harden structures are often looked at as a potential solution, which we do not agree with.”

Skrabal said terminal groins are often made of stone and rock and placed at the end of beaches in an effort to stop erosion, which she said could be harmful to the ecosystem. “These really have the potential because of their size and location to damage really critical habitats,” she said. “What we also see is that they don’t really function for their purpose. They may protect 10, 12, maybe 20 properties, but they can also cause erosion downstream.”

The Coastal Federation hopes towns will look into more environmentally friendly methods of conservation. “Beach nourishment, which is happening right now at Wrightsville Beach is a tried and true method of basically buying time on these dynamic systems,” said Skrabal. It functions as intended, which is to move the shoreline out and allow the storms to buffer if you will.”

The public can comment in writing on the project through April 16. Skrabal said she hopes the community educates themselves whatever side of the issue they fall. “At Holden Beach, maybe you get protection for 10 to 20 properties on the east side of the island at an expense of 30 to 40 million dollars over the next 30 years with no guarantees,” she said. “There is potential for harm to the natural ecosystem, to our natural beach access as property owners and visitors, and for erosion on the other side of the inlet.”
Read more » click here

Holden Beach extends comment period for terminal groin project
Those who want to provide public comment on Holden Beach’s proposed terminal groin project received a 30-day extension to do so following a unanimous decision by Commissioners March 21.

Commissioners directed Clark Wright, environmental lawyer with Davis Hartman Wright in New Bern and a consultant for the town, to submit a request to the Army Corps of Engineers for the extension to the comment period on the Terminal Groin Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS). The corps released its final environmental impact statement for the project March 15, with public comments originally accepted until April 16.

“This is a very detail-oriented FEIS. We need multiple scheduled meetings in order to inform everyone, answer questions, get public comment,” commissioner Pat Kwiatkowski said during the meeting. “So, a 30-day extension actually gives us three previously scheduled town meetings in order to thoroughly vet and get comments.”

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Sullivan made a motion that no employee, agent, contractor, subcontractor or person representing the town before any federal or state agency shall take any action or file any motion which advances or terminates the current application process related to the terminal groin before a vote by the board of commissioners. Commissioner John Fletcher seconded. Sullivan said they needed to add that this excludes any of Wright’s work, and Fletcher agreed with the amendment.

Holden Beach intends to build a 700-foot-long terminal groin with a 300-foot shore anchorage system and associated long-term beach nourishment component on the east end of the island, according to a public notice released by the corps. The purpose is to establish a shoreline protection program under Holden Beach’s authority, which will help to restore and maintain the east end of the island. The groin will help with short- and long-term protection of residential and town infrastructures and recreational areas, helping to stabilize the beach as well as preventing erosion.  

Following the end of the comment period, there will be a record of decision by the corps. If the corps favors the groin, the town still has to get a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) permit for the project from the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management. Once all permits are in hand, commissioners will vote on whether to fund the groin’s construction.
Read more » click here

For more information, go to the Terminal Groin post


HBPOIN – Lou’s Views
.         • Gather and disseminate information
.         • Identify the issues and determine how they affect you
.         • Act as a watchdog
.         • Grass roots monthly newsletter since 2008

www.LousViews.com

03 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / March Edition

Calendar of Events –


Azalea Festival Logo
N.C. Azalea Festival

April 11th – 15th
Wilmington


Wilmington has been celebrating Spring Southern Style since 1948. There’s something for everyone among their community’s rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture. This will be the 71st annual festival and is considered one of the top events in the Southeast.
For more information » click here


 

Days at the Docks Festival
April 28th –  29th
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


                

Blue Crab Festival
May 19th  – 20th
Little River SC


This will be the 37th Annual World Famous Blue Crab Festival. It is held on the waterfront in Little River and is one of the largest festivals in the Southeast. The purpose of this festival is one that supports and showcases the fabulous atmosphere of the local communities.

For more information » click here


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


Calendar of Events – Island


Easter Egg Hunt - CR

Family Nighttime Easter Egg Hunt
The Town will hold its fourth annual nighttime Easter Egg Hunt on Friday, March 30th beginning at 7:00 pm. Teams of four will compete against each other. This event is designed for youth and adults and will be held at Bridgeview Park. Participants will need to bring their own flashlights to the event. Pre-registration is required and will only be taken by phone, 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 1st at the Holden Beach Pier.


SEARCH 5K - CR

SEARCH 5K
The event will be held here on Saturday, April 14th 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.


The Town will sponsor a Paint it Purple Cancer Survivors’ Dessert and Ice Cream Social on Thursday, April 19th at 1:00 p.m. Survivors, their guests and citizens who would like to show support should call (910) 842-6488 by Thursday, April 12th to pre-register. To help support the cause, we ask that you please wear purple to the event if possible.


HBBC

Holden Beach Beautification Club Plant Sale
The HBBC is holding their 7th Annual Plant Sale on Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th 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 proceeds are earmarked for beautification projects on the island and the entrance to the bridge. 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 28th & 29th. It’s the Holden Beach way to kick-off the Spring and start the vacation season.


Pickleball Tournament
Holden Beach is holding their second town sponsored Pickleball Tournament May 4th, 5th & 6th. The tournament will be open to ages 18 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.

Participants can pick-up registration forms from Christy at Town Hall.
Registration must be received by April 14th.

What is Pickleball you ask?

Pickleball: growing sport for seniors
Pickleball originated in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The ball used is a perforated plastic ball similar to a Whiffle ball. The game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. The net is a couple inches lower than a tennis court net and the court is smaller too (20 feet by 44 feet vs. 36 by 78), and the paddles are oversized ping pong paddles made of plywood, aluminum or graphite. The game can be played with two or four players. Experience in tennis, badminton and ping pong is helpful, as there are similarities with those sports. There already are over 100,000 players in the United States alone. When tennis and badminton players find it difficult to navigate the larger courts, the next step is Pickleball, where there is not as much running required.
Read more » click here


Concerts on the Coast Series
The Town’s summer concert series calendar has been released! Live performances featuring local musical groups are held at the pavilion on Sunday evenings from late May to early September. The concerts are free of charge.
For more information » click here


Parks & Recreation / Programs & Events
For more information » click here


Reminders –

Free Dump Week
Brunswick County will be hosting its spring free dump week at the Brunswick County Landfill April 16th – April 21st.  Brunswick County residents and/or property owners may dispose of all materials, except for regular household trash or new construction debris, free of charge. Proof of Brunswick County residency or property ownership is required and will be checked at the landfill entrance.

Brunswick County Landfill
172 Landfill Rd NE, Bolivia, NC 28422
Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 8am until 4pm.


Brunswick County Shred Event
On April 27th, bring your files that need to be shredded to the Brunswick County Complex between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. The County will have shred trucks parked in the parking lot between buildings B & G (look for the signs). This event is free and open to all businesses, property owners and residents of Brunswick County. For more information call (910) 253-2520. 

Brunswick County Governmental Center
3325 Old Ocean Hwy.
Bolivia, NC 28422



The Board of Commissioners’ May Regular Meeting
was moved to the second Tuesday of the month, MAY 8th

 


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 .


Yard Waste Service

Yard debris pick-up will be provided twice a month on the 2ndand 4th Fridays during the months of March, April and May. Please have yard waste placed at the street for pick-up on Thursday night.

 

Yard debris needs to be secured in a biodegradable bag or bundled in a maximum length of five (5) feet and fifty (50) pounds in weight. A total of ten (10) items (bundles of brush/ limbs, bags) will be picked up by Waste Industries. Yard waste must be placed at the street for pick-up. No pick-ups will be made on vacant lots or construction sites.


Hurricane 2018 Vehicle Decals
The 2018 vehicle decals were distributed with the March water bills. Each bill included four (4) vehicle decals. Please avoid misplacing the decals, as a $5 fee will be assessed to anyone who needs to obtain replacement decals.


Decals are your passes to get onto the island to check your property only in the case of a storm the would necessitate restricting access to the island. These are to be used only for your primary vehicles and should be placed on the interior of the lower driver side windshield.

Please make sure to place your decals in your vehicle or in a safe place. Property owners without a valid decal will not be allowed on the island during restricted access. No other method of identification is accepted in an emergency situation.


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.



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


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.


 

Mosquito Control

 .


Current EPA protocol is that spraying is complaint driven

The Town is unable to just spray as they had in the past
    1)
Complaint based
.     2)
Citizen request
    3)
Proactively monitor hot spots

They recommend that you get rid of any standing water on your property that you can
Urged everyone to call Town Hall if they have mosquito issues so that they can spray

Spraying is complaint based, so keep the calls coming!


Volunteers needed
The Town is always looking for people to volunteer for their various boards and committees. If you are interested in serving, please fill out a resume form and submit it to heather@hbtownhall.com.


Recycling-Bin
Curbside recycling
Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $54.00 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here


Elevator - CRElevators
Most states mandate that elevator systems be tested and inspected annually
. Currently the state of North Carolina does not require annual inspections to be performed on all elevator systems. The use of unsafe and defective lifting devices imposes a substantial probability of serious and preventable injury to your family and guests. It is in the owner’s best interest to minimize injuries and liability by scheduling an annual safety inspection to ensure the safe operation of their elevator system.


Library
If you need something to keep you busy in this colder weather, make sure to visit the island library. The library is in the upstairs of Holden Beach Town Hall. All the books were donated. Patrons of the library don’t have to check out a book; they are on the honor system to return it.



Neighborhood Watch –

Need to look out for each other
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


Upon Further Review –


Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling
Previously reported – September 2015
Resolution 15-09 is in opposition to offshore exploration and drilling. Why? Because we have a tourism based economy, along with the local fishing industry and quality of life depends on the health and welfare of our natural resources. We believe that the inherent risks to our region from offshore exploration and drilling have the potential to irrevocably harm our natural environment, our economic well-being and our overall quality of life. Including us there are now 79 municipalities that have passed resolutions opposing offshore exploration and drilling.

Previously reported – January 2018

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling
Read more » click here

Cooper to “pursue every option” against offshore drilling
Read more » click her

Cooper: NC to sue if kept in offshore drilling plan
Governor threatens legal action if Trump administration pushes plan to open coast to oil exploration. “No way. Not off our coast,” Cooper said of oil exploration.
Read more » click here

Update –
New Offshore Drilling Analysis Shows What Trump’s Plan Puts At Stake
The Trump administration’s proposal to open up nearly all U.S. waters to oil and gas development threatens more than 2.5 million jobs and roughly $180 billion in gross domestic product in coastal states, according to an economic review by ocean conservation nonprofit Oceana.
Read more » click here

A resounding no to offshore oil drilling
The federal government wouldn’t go to the coast for a public meeting — so the people who live on the coast came to them. More than 500 people attended Monday’s Rally to Raleigh, with approximately 200 riding buses from Wilmington, Morehead City and Nags Head to make their voices heard at the state’s only public meeting about the proposed oil and gas exploration plan.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) hosted a public information meeting on the draft 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown. BOEM officials were on-site to answer questions about the proposed plan and comment process. They also provided laptops and forms for people to submit their comments on the plan. At the same time, the Offshore Oil Coalition hosted a rally in another part of the hotel, where people made signs, learned more about the issue and later listened to speakers. Due to construction, participants had to walk outside to navigate between the rally and the BOEM area, but that didn’t deter people’s enthusiasm. Several speakers from various backgrounds — including a restaurant owner, a commercial fisherman, a pastor and local and state officials and politicians — took the podium to talk about the myriad ways offshore oil drilling would negatively affect the North Carolina coast.

Offshore oil drilling puts the coastal environment and economy at risk. Lee Nettles, director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, said that coastal tourism is a $3.4 billion industry in North Carolina. A commercial fisherman, Mark Hooper, noted that commercial fishing has an economic impact of $700 million in North Carolina. Both of these industries would be severely affected in the event of a spill. Other speakers, which included Rep. Duane Hall of Wake County; Kill Devil Hills Mayor Sheila Foster Davies; Dare County Commissioner Bob Woodard; Briggs McEwen, owner of Lisa’s Pizzeria in Rodanthe; Rep. Deb Butler of New Hanover County; and Rev. Emily Carroll of Durham, emphasized both the risks to local businesses and to people who rely on the coast for their livelihoods, as well as the risk to the coast’s natural beauty and wildlife. Michael Regan, secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality, reiterated Gov. Cooper’s now well-known phrase from July: “Not off our coast.”

Cooper and Regan met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke earlier in February to request that North Carolina be exempted from the plan, as well as for public meetings to be held on the coast. While there were not any held on the coast during this comment period, Regan said that would be something they’d continue to request for the next comment period.

The comment period on the draft proposed program ends March 9. Kelly Hammerle, the national program manager for this plan at BOEM, said that these comments will be taken into account during the development of BOEM’s proposed program and the draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. Hammerle said these will be published by the end of 2018 at the earliest. There will be a 90-day comment period following the publication of these documents.
Read more » click here

In Decline, Offshore Drillers Find a Champion in the Trump Administration
Oil companies seek to gain from a rollback of safety and environmental rules that were adopted after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Read more » click here

County position on drilling expected March 19
While Brunswick County commissioners’ stance on offshore oil and natural gas drilling is expected at their March 19 meeting, state officials have spoken against the federal plan. Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein submitted formal comments to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on March 9 reiterating North Carolina opposes oil and gas leasing for offshore drilling on North Carolina’s coast. “Offshore drilling threatens North Carolina’s economy and environment with little benefit to the state and should not be allowed off our coast,” Cooper said in his comments, according to press secretary Ford Porter. “We cannot afford to endanger our ecologically sensitive coastlines or the natural and cultural resources that are the foundation of our state’s tourism industry and coastal economy. Because offshore drilling threatens North Carolina’s critical coastal industries and unique coastal environment with little benefit for our state residents, it is a bad deal for North Carolina,” Cooper submitted in the comments. Cooper previously met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke after calling on him to make an official exemption for North Carolina, similar to his reprieve for the state of Florida, where Zinke announced Jan. 9 the Florida coasts are too heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver for drilling. Stein also opposed expanded offshore drilling in his comments submitted to the BOEM. The BOEM Draft Proposed Program includes scheduling 47 offshore oil and gas lease sales to take place between 2019 and 2024. The schedule includes five lease sales in the North Atlantic and the Mid-Atlantic areas, as well as seven lease sales off the Pacific Coast. Many of the lease sales are scheduled for areas not used for any oil or gas development, like off of North Carolina’s coast. “Protecting the people of North Carolina is my top priority, and that includes protecting our coastal economy’s tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity,” Stein said in a statement released Friday. “I will do whatever it takes to stand up for the thousands of North Carolinians and 30 coastal communities that have voiced their opposition to this reckless plan that jeopardizes North Carolina’s beautiful coast.” At the county level, commissioners at their Jan. 16 meeting reversed a July 6, 2015, resolution that endorsed state and federal government steps to allow for offshore oil and natural gas development along the Atlantic Coast. Commissioners Randy Thompson, Mike Forte and chairman Frank Williams outvoted commissioners Marty Cooke and Pat Sykes to strike their support and take a neutral position while reviewing the latest information on the impact of seismic testing and offshore drilling. Thompson’s motion sought 30 days to review information and then take up the discussion again. He said at the Feb. 22 meeting he would bring a new resolution to the board in March.
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Resolution against offshore drilling stalls in Brunswick
In a 4-1 vote, Brunswick County Commissioners voted to remove a resolution against offshore drilling from their meeting agenda Monday night.
Read more » click here


Previously reported –
Holden Beach Newsletter
Chemours has issued a press release announcing that the company will take measures to eliminate byproduct GenX wastewater emissions from its Fayetteville site. Click here to view the release.

In order to keep citizens informed, Brunswick County has established a website to share information about GenX as they learn it. You can find this page at www.brunswickcountync.gov/genx. The website contains a FAQ section that they update as they learn additional information (or receive additional questions), links to all their press releases and links to other resources like information from NCDEQ. There is also a link where citizens can go to sign up to receive email updates on the topic.


The Public Information Officer for Brunswick County announced that the County has taken legal action against DuPont and Chemours for contaminating the Cape Fear River.

10.31.2017
Statement from Brunswick County
The filing of formal legal action against Chemours and DuPont represents another crucial step in protecting our public drinking water supply. It sends a clear message that Brunswick County will simply not stand for the discharge of emerging or unregulated chemicals into our public drinking water supply. Let us be clear…we will ensure that any company that threatens this vital resource is held responsible. Furthermore, our litigation team is consulting the nation’s leading experts to determine the best long-term water testing and treatment methods for the entire county. As part of that, we will ensure that the costs for doing so do not fall upon the rate payers, but upon those dumping the unregulated chemicals in the water.
For more information » click here

Top Story of 2017: GenX revelation leads to outrage, action
Discovery of toxic contaminant in region’s drinking water raises host of questions, concerns and prompts calls for statewide rules
Read more » click here

GenX update: So where do things stand now?
Much of the talk over the toxic contaminant and other emerging compounds might have moved to Raleigh, but there are still plenty of unresolved issues outside of the General Assembly
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Lawmakers: Chemours should pay for NC GenX efforts
Many agree companies such as Chemours should pay to deal with problems caused by their pollution. But, actually getting money from polluters and providing it to state regulators, particularly for day-to-day costs such as staff and equipment, might be more difficult than it first appears. Earlier this month, the N.C. House unanimously passed a bill that would have provided $2.3 million in state funds, largely for equipment and personnel, to address emerging contaminants such as GenX. The state Senate promptly declined to take it up. Explaining his colleagues’ move, Senate President Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said in part that the bill “leaves North Carolina taxpayers holding the bag for expenditures that should be paid for by the company responsible for the pollution.”
Read more » click here

Update –
EPA could have GenX health goal by summer’s end
Federal regulators could set a GenX health goal by the end of the summer, a N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official told a group of scientists Monday.
Read more » click here


Previously reported –

Lockwood Folly dredging project delayed, another to start soon
Brunswick County officials planned for two attempts to dredge the Lockwood Folly Inlet navigation channel in late 2017. One plan will have to wait until late 2018 or 2019.

Ken Willson represents Aptim Coastal Planning and Engineering of North Carolina Inc., the firm commissioners unanimously approved hiring at their Nov. 20 meeting to study the feasibility of a “piggyback” pipeline dredge project. Speaking during commissioners’ Feb. 5 agenda meeting, Willson said the size of the dredging project had changed, requiring major modifications to the Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) permit the county hoped to work through.

A second contract commissioners approved with Aptim in December to spend $168,000 for North Carolina C Division of Water Resources to dredge the Lockwood Folly Inlet is anticipated to begin at the end of February, Assistant County Manager Steve Stone said.

Willson said the permit sharing plan to allow the Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging project to “piggyback” on a Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contract awarded to Weeks Marine for beach restoration projects at Wrightsville Beach and Ocean Isle Beach won’t work for early 2018. Weeks Marine was selected because it uses the proper pipe dredge equipment for the navigation channel dredge county staff sought for a 12-foot deep and 150 foot wide navigation channel through the inlet. Willson said after Aptim representatives met with Weeks Marine, the contractor said it would need the construction window, which usually runs from November-March, extended through April to add the extra project in Brunswick County. Weeks Marine also said it would need to expand the inlet channel to 14 feet deep and 190 feet wide instead of 12 by 150 feet. Willson said that led to an issue where the dredge would actually dig deeper than 14-foot channel depth so it would eventually settle at 14 feet. “The (contractor) felt if the project was to move forward, they would need to take additional core samples to ensure the sand below 14 feet is beach sand,” he said. Increasing from 150 feet across to 190 feet also triggered the CAMA permit modifications. Willson said the new goal is to prepare the permits and plans to complete the dredging in 2018-19.

The window for dredging projects opens in November, but since it is still a piggyback project, Willson said Weeks Marine would still want to expand the construction window to April 2019. The project cost is estimated at $4.13 million. Willson said the project would be split with the state paying two-thirds of the cost, $2.75 million, while Brunswick County would cover the remainder.

County officials discussed in November partnering with Holden Beach or Oak Island to split the local cost and provide the beach sand from dredging for one of the towns to use on its beaches. If the county and a municipality split the remaining $1.38 million cost, each would pay about $750,000, Willson said. Commissioners didn’t have to make a decision on moving ahead with the dredging at the Feb. 5 meeting, but by consensus they approved letting county staff look into it further to bring back later.
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Deeper, wider Lockwood Folly Inlet could be the answer to shoaling, though more costly
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Looking to go deeper, wider with Lockwood Folly Inlet
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Maintain Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging progress
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USACE has tentatively scheduled to begin inlet maintenance operations on or about February 21st with the hopper dredge CURRITUCK. Since the project will be performed by a ‘hopper’ dredge, there will be nearshore placement of beneficial beach quality sand. The local share of the project cost totals about $168,000, and the county has asked Holden Beach to pay for half, since the project will be placing sand near the Holden Beach shore.

This vessel works in the shallow-draft ocean bar channels along the Atlantic coast. However, in addition to removing dredged material from the channel, the CURRITUCK can transport the material to the downdrift beach and deposit it in the surf zone to nourish sand-starved beaches.

Update –
Dredge boat CURRITUCK arrived here on Wednesday, February 21st to begin inlet maintenance operations. Since the project will be performed by a ‘hopper’ dredge, there will be nearshore placement of beneficial beach quality sand.

Holden Beach commissioners OK reimbursing county for dredging
Just a day before the Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge Currituck made it to Holden Beach on Feb. 21 to begin the Lockwood Folly Dredging Project, the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners approved reimbursing Brunswick County for the project. During their regular meeting Feb. 20, Christy Ferguson, the town’s shoreline protection and recreation manager, told commissioners shoaling continues to be a problem for those traveling in the Lockwood Folly Inlet. Ferguson said the county secured the Currituck to both remove material and place about 40,000 cubic yards of sand in the close-by Holden Beach shore. Near-shore placement was done via a hopper dredge in 2015 and then in 2017. Ferguson said this doesn’t put sand on the dry sand beach, but is near-shore replacement to about 10 feet deep. As a result of the sand being put on the Holden Beach side of Lockwood Folly Inlet, Ferguson said it’s the staff’s opinion that Oak Island isn’t participating financially for this cycle. The county seeks a 50/50 split of the local share of the project with Holden Beach. Ferguson said the estimated cost of the project is $504,000, with two-thirds of the project being paid for by the state’s Shallow Draft Navigation Fund. She said the county has already submitted the $168,000 local match, and requested the town reimburse the county $84,000. Holden Beach has $100,000 budgeted for dredging. Ferguson said if the board chooses to reimburse the county in anticipation of another dredging event before the summer starts, the remaining funds probably won’t be sufficient for performing a 50/50 split without participation from Oak Island so a budget amendment might be needed later in the fiscal year. The board unanimously approved reimbursing the county.
Read more » click here  

Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging Complete
The Lockwood Inlet Association has announced that the Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging project for Spring is complete. The Army Corps hopper dredge Currituck arrived on the site in mid-February to finish this 14 day dredging cycle. According to the Association, “for the first time in several years our inlet has a good navigable channel. It has been quite a journey to say the least.” “This is a huge win for our community, Brunswick County, and the state of North Carolina. We would like to thank those who really worked hard and put time into making this happen,” added the Lockwood Inlet Association. The project included clearing the navigation channel to its authorized width and depth—about 150 feet wide by 12 feet deep—and placing over 100,000 cubic yards of beach-quality sand on Holden Beach. The state of NC shallow draft inlet fund which is supplemented by boater registration fees will pay for 2/3 of this project. The county and Holden Beach would be responsible for the remainder.
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Shallotte Inlet is shoaling up, but what’s the answer?
With no regular dredging plan, officials and boaters are searching for solutions. Shallotte Inlet isn’t the first shallow-draft inlet in Brunswick County to suffer from shoaling issues. But when neighboring Lockwood Folly Inlet began shoaling up, locals in the Holden Beach area pushed for months to get it on a maintenance dredging schedule. Brunswick County Commissioners designated about $200,000 this year for inlet maintenance, with the town of Holden Beach reimbursing the county for a portion of the dredging cost. The last time Shallotte Inlet was dredged was about three years ago, said Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith. Yet last week, the Army Corps of Engineers dredged behind the inlet where the Shallotte River crosses the Intracoastal Waterway, a federally maintained waterway. Federal funding for dredging and maintaining shallow-draft inlets like Lockwood Folly and Shallotte dried up years ago, leaving local communities to fend for their own inlets, which can cost thousands of dollars to maintain. While it’s been a battle to get the Lockwood Folly Inlet dredged, the inlet is a federally recognized navigation channel — something Smith said Shallotte Inlet has never been, making it even less likely to garner attention for its dredging needs. While the inlet is able to attain state funding for dredging, which will pay two-thirds of the cost of a dredging project, Smith said a project like a full dredging event for the inlet would take months of planning and permitting before the town could “take on that kind of challenge and funding.”
Read more » click here


Corrections & Amplifications –

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)

Previously reported – February 2017
Using the first major upgrade in eight years, state officials have released preliminary flood-plain maps and the news is largely good for Holden Beach residents.  The vast majority (92%) of the properties on Holden Beach will see a decrease in their insurance cost.

In February of 2016 we entered the Review Period, any proposed revisions are reviewed and then remapped. Then we enter the Approval Period, if approved they will issue a Letter of Final Determination. The maps will only take effect when adopted and implemented by the local government. The local government will then have six (6) months to adopt the maps.  Unfortunately, we are unable to adopt prior to obtaining the letter of determination. The Town will prepare a draft resolution pending obtaining the letter of determination. The Town will be ready when the maps are finally approved.

A Letter of Final Determination (LFD) is a letter the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sends to the Chief Executive Officer of a community stating that a new or updated Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) will become effective in 6 months. The letter also notifies each affected flood prone community participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that it must adopt a compliant floodplain management ordinance by the map effective date to remain participants in good standing in the NFIP.

The cost of delaying approval is in excess of four (4) million dollars a year for unnecessary additional insurance coverage. HBPOA position is that, instead of sitting on our hands we should be yelling and screaming about getting these maps approved. Mike requested the Board take a proactive role with both FEMA and our elected state officials.

Adoption Resolution 17-01,
Urging Action on the FEMA Flood Map Process

The preliminary maps were published in August 2014, some forty-two (42) months ago. We anticipate that we will be getting FEMA’s LFD on February 28th. 

Update –
The Town has received approval from FEMA for revisions to the Holden Beach Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). These map revisions will be effective August 28, 2018 once the Town formally updates our local ordinances. The Town staff is working on an implementation schedule and anticipates being able to use the new maps for construction in late May. These maps may be viewed at http://www.ncfloodmaps.com. 

Please remember that until the full review and final documents are officially completed there may be a change. However, currently the Town of Holden Beach is moving ahead in good faith with assurance that after years of anticipation, the end is near. August 28, 2018 will be here before we know it.


Tah-Dah!

 


   Water Tower
In June of 2016 an appropriation was made for maintenance and repairs of the water tower. The water tower was constructed over thirty-five (35) years ago and needs a complete strip down and paint job. Work was supposed to be completed by Easter in 2017. In September of 2017 we were informed that they will be repainting the water tower this winter. Everything attached to the tower needed to be removed, all the cell phone equipment was temporarily placed on two monopole towers. Well they have finally completed repainting the water tower. Although the cell phone equipment placed on the two monopole towers has not been put back on the water tower yet. It appears that the project may not be completed by Easter in 2018. So, it’s taken well over a year to do the project and is behind schedule by one year.


Odds & Ends

 

North Carolina Rate Bureau Requests 18.7% Increase for Homeowners Insurance

 

 

 

Bureau seeks 25 percent homeowners insurance rate hike for county beaches
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Insurance commissioner rejects proposed homeowners insurance rate increase, public hearing set
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NC Dept. of Insurance rejects request for 18.7 percent increase in homeowners insurance
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Commissioner denies homeowners insurance rate increase
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NC Department of Insurance press release
The North Carolina (NC) Rate Bureau in November 2017 proposed a significant rate increase for homeowner insurance rates across the State. On January 5, 2018, the NC Department of Insurance issued a press release announcing the NC Insurance Commissioner’s response to the request.

Insurance Commissioner Causey rejects proposed Homeowners Insurance rate increase: Sets Hearing Date
Read the press release » click here

Update –
NC homeowners insurance increase on hold … for now
State, industry to talk about proposal to bump coastal rates up by 25 percent
Read more » click here

Bureau seeks average 18.9 percent rate hike for dwelling insurance
The N.C. Rate Bureau, which is not part of the Department of Insurance, represents all companies writing property insurance in the state. The Rate Bureau requested a statewide average rate increase of 18.9 percent, varying by territory, with a requested effective date of Oct. 1, 2018. This filing includes a requested increase of 40.5 percent for extended coverage (wind) policies, but a decrease of 20.8 percent for fire polices, making the statewide average request an increase of 18.9 percent.

Dwelling insurance policies are not homeowners’ insurance policies. Dwelling policies are offered to non-owner-occupied residences of no more than four units, including rental properties, investment properties and other properties that are not occupied full-time by the property owner.

The filing will be reviewed by Department of Insurance experts to determine what, if any, rate adjustments are warranted. If NCDOI and the Rate Bureau do not initially agree on the proposed rate changes, a public hearing will be called in which both parties would present their cases to a hearing officer, who would then determine the appropriate rate level.

The filing is available for public review on the Department of Insurance website, http://www.ncdoi.com/PC/
Read more » click here

Bureau seeks rate hike for rental home, beach house insurance
Following a homeowners insurance rate increase request in November 2017, the North Carolina Rate Bureau filed for a dwelling insurance rate increase Feb. 7. The N.C. Rate Bureau, which is not part of the N.C. Department of Insurance, represents all companies writing property insurance in the state.

Barry Smith with the Department of Insurance said dwelling insurance policies are typically not for primary residences, which are covered by homeowners’ insurance policies, but rental properties or a beach house — residences of no more than four units that are not occupied full-time by the property owner. The bureau requested a statewide average rate increase of 18.9 percent, varying by territory, effective Oct. 1.
Read more » click here


This & That

CodeRED Emergency Communications Network
Do you want to have the latest information about warnings in our area? Sign up for emergency notices and critical community alerts. When one takes place, Brunswick County utilizes a mass notification system to call, text and email individuals with important information. CodeRED is a lifesaving notification system that keeps residents informed of emergencies near them.

Brunswick County strongly encourages residents to enroll to receive alerts. The CodeRED system will allow you to manage your own information and update your contact information on your own. This information is private and is not sold or shared with outside parties. Please take a moment to sign up for alerts by clicking here so you can stay safe.


How biased is your news source?

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Brunswick fastest-growing county in NC since 2010
Brunswick County has grown 21.8 percent since April 2010, the largest percent growth of any county in the state, according to estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The county also was the fastest growing in the state for 2016-17, increasing its population by 3.6 percent or 4,544 residents.

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Fastest Growing Counties / Brunswick Ranked
2006    14th
2007    17th
2008    28th
2009    65th
2010   Census Year
2011    30th
2012    93rdr
2013    47th
2014    47th
2015    53rd
2016    19th
2017    1st

Brunswick County ranked as fastest growing county in the state once again
Brunswick County is once again the fastest growing county in the state, according to the report, between 2010 and July 2017 Brunswick County’s population increased by 21.8 percent, or by 23,466 people.

According to the Census Bureau report, “There were 10.3 million people in North Carolina as of July 1, 2017. North Carolina remains the 9th largest state in the nation and experienced the 5th largest numeric change between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2017.”

In the United States, Brunswick County’s metro area, which includes Myrtle Beach and Conway, was the second fastest growing area in the country. According to a recent study, the growth in Brunswick County is made up of predominantly non-native residents, meaning they have moved to North Carolina from another state or country.
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Non-natives now outnumber native southeastern N.C. residents
Anecdotally, people have commented about retirees flocking to the Tar Heel state. Now there is data to prove it’s happening. It’s something you could probably already feel, but now, there’s data to confirm it. Of North Carolina’s 100 counties, non-native residents outnumber natives in 18. Brunswick County’s non-native residents are now estimated to make up 53 percent of its total population;
Read more » click here


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –Fixing the broken National Flood Insurance Program
As expiration of a much-criticized program necessary to coastal development looms, experts and real estate officials are debating how to tweak a system nearly everyone acknowledges is faulty. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was founded in 1968 to offer coverage to homes in flood areas, ideally allowing the government to incentivize flood plain management. In the ensuing decades, as increasingly inhabited coastal communities have been struck by wetter storms, the program has built up an accumulated debt of about $24.6 billion — an amount that doesn’t include the devastation from this year’s Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria — as premiums paid into it have proven unable to account for damages paid out. On Dec. 8, the NFIP will expire, unless further action is taken by Congress. While the House has passed its version of a reauthorization bill, the Senate has yet to vote on such a measure. Regardless of reauthorization, the program is widely seen as flawed, with properties that have repeatedly flooded posing exorbitant risk and cost to taxpayers while owners there are incentivized to rebuild rather than elevating their homes or moving out of risky areas.
Read more » click here

The National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
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National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On December 22, 2017, the President signed legislation passed by both houses of Congress that extends the NFIP’s authorization for four more weeks. It previously had been set to expire at midnight on December 22, 2017. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than January 19, 2018.
Read more » click here

National Flood Insurance Program lapses on government shutdown
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National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on March 23, 2018.
Read more » click here

Update –
Flood insurance program remains in limbo as U.S. Senate makes few moves before deadline
The National Flood Insurance Program’s federal authorization is set to lapse in less than three weeks, setting the latest deadline for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to hash out a deal to overhaul a critical program that’s deeply in debt.

There’s been scarce sign of action in Congress, though, with few signs of progress toward bridging wide gaps separating fiscal hawks bent on shrinking the program from coastal lawmakers — including Louisiana’s delegation — who’ve insisted on shielding homeowners from rising costs.

Congress appears all but certain to punt again when the latest deadline hits on March 23. If so, it will mark the fourth time since the NFIP first expired at the end of September.
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Jury is out on Trump Administration flood insurance proposal
As part of its proposed budget, the Trump Administration floated the idea of tweaking the struggling National Flood Insurance to benefit low-income policyholders, an idea that is being met with mixed reactions on the North Carolina coast. The idea is buried deep in the Administration’s 2019 budget proposal, which is widely viewed as a messaging document. Neither the federal Office of Management and Budget nor the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which oversees flood insurance, responded to requests seeking detailed policy information.

In North Carolina, nearly 134,000 properties are insured through the NFIP with premiums averaging about $820. While enacting the proposal would benefit low-income policyholders, real estate agents worry it would result in rapid premium hikes on older homes, while environmentalists worry it might encourage property owners to build in risky areas.

The NFIP has been involved in many budget battles in recent months, and is currently operating under a short-term extension that expires March 23. Realtors and coastal governments have expressed concerns that the 90-day extensions leave the program operating in unstable fashion.
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National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On March 23, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to July 31, 2018. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on July 31, 2018.

FEMA and Congress have never failed to honor the flood insurance contracts in place with NFIP policyholders. In the unlikely event the NFIP’s authorization lapses, FEMA would still have authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would stop selling and renewing policies for millions of properties in communities across the nation. Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors estimates that a lapse might impact approximately 40,000 home sale closings per month.

NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program while transitioning it to a sounder financial framework. The level of damage from the 2017 hurricanes makes it abundantly clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.
Read more » click here
 

Your flood insurance policy may have run out of reprieves
Since the fall of 2017, the National Flood Insurance Program has been poised to expire six times. And six times, Congress has eventually kept it alive with a temporary funding reprieve. The seventh time may not be so easy. The latest spending bill approved by Congress will keep the NFIP up and running until July 31, but this time there is a caveat. NFIP funding is no longer on the same timetable as the federal budget.

So, what does that mean in real terms? The flood insurance program was always included in spending bills that were necessary to avoid federal government shutdowns. Now, the NFIP will expire two months before the next spending bill. Essentially, this is a tactic to force flood insurance reform this summer. And that led the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents to declare they were “alarmed’’ by the ramifications. “The threat of Congress recessing for August with the NFIP lapsed is a real possibility,’’ said Jon Gentile, a vice president for the insurance agents group. “In fact, this year alone, while attached to ‘must pass’ appropriations legislation, the NFIP lapsed briefly twice.’’

So, what’s going on? It’s sort of a family fight. Just on a national scale. Much of the country looks at the $25 billion debt the NFIP has run up in the past decade and insists we must stop subsidizing rates. Coastal states, meanwhile, are crying foul. And you probably should be, too. If the NFIP were allowed to lapse, it would devastate the real estate market in Tampa Bay and elsewhere. Sales of homes in low-lying areas would practically screech to a halt, and that would drive down sale prices and eventually affect the area economy. Similarly, a revamping of the NFIP could potentially drive up flood insurance rates for a lot of middle class homes to an unhealthy level. In other words, we are now counting on Congress to find a sane, equitable solution. In four months. After going years without figuring out an appropriate fix. Now you know why my keyboard is sweating.

To be fair, there is no simple answer. When Congress tried to fix it in 2012, with the Biggert-Waters Act, it sent flood insurance rates soaring to absurd levels. Congress reversed the worst features of Biggert-Waters in 2014 but didn’t really address the mounting debt. Four years later, we’re still seeking a solution that works for the entire country. But the fact that lawmakers separated flood insurance from this latest spending bill could be a sign that the budget hawks are starting to gain some ground in this war. “The weight and burden of this cost is in the back of congressional minds, along with the ongoing debt,’’ said Laura Lightbody, who directs the Pew Charitable Trusts flood-prepared communities initiative. “At what point is enough enough? Taxpayers are continually on the hook for this rebuilding of these repetitive loss properties.’’

The U.S. House of Representatives passed flood insurance legislation last year that Lightbody said included many positive reforms, but also troubling language for some coastal communities. The Senate never took up the House reforms, but instead has several bills of its own. None of that bodes well for a solution this summer, but Sanibel insurance executive Chris Heidrick says the situation is not as dire as it might seem. While the NFIP has been removed from the spending bill schedule, it could still be temporarily reauthorized until after the 2018 elections. Then a new Congress could take a stab at the problem next year.

Heidrick, who is the chairman of the National Flood Insurance Task Force, said the answer could be provided by the growing industry of private flood insurance. While there was once concern that private companies would cherry pick all the safest policies, Heidrick says the early evidence indicates the opposite. The NFIP is not charging enough for policies in preferred, or low-risk areas, and overcharging in the mandatory zones. So private companies can actually make more money by providing cheaper coverage for the most hazardous properties. And that’s an indication that the NFIP needs to overhaul its pricing strategy. In other words, all those $400 policies need to be more expensive and those $4,000 policies need to be cheaper. “The private market has always been able to innovate more quickly,’’ Heidrick said. “What we’re seeing now is private insurers may be providing a road map for Congress to follow.’’

In the interim? It’s business as usual.
Read more » click here 


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.
///// October 2017
Name:              Angelo’s Pizzeria & Bistro
Cuisine:           Italian
Location:        110 Shallotte Crossing Pkwy Suite D-3, Shallotte, NC
Contact:          910.754.2334 /
www.angelosbistro.net
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:           Two Stars
A very good local Italian restaurant, serving a wide variety of pizzas, pastas and traditional Italian dishes. Dining in a casual relaxed atmosphere with a menu that offers something for everyone. They also have an extensive wine list, which earned them Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence”. I’ve never heard anything but good reviews about this restaurant.

Did you know that they removing in November?
Angelo’s Bistro plan to be in their new location, across from St. Brendan’s Catholic Church on HWY 17, this November.

Did you know that they sell wine?
One of the finest wine selections in Brunswick County!  Their wine list is a multi-year Award of Excellence winner from Wine Spectator Magazine. Wine discount of 50% off wine list prices on Wednesdays, bottles are also available for retail sale.

CAMIGLIANO Brunello di Montalcino 2009
Rating                                        89
Wine Spectator                        $50
Online Average Price              $42
Angelo’s Price                          $36       (Discounted Amount)


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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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ARTEMIS by Andy Weir
Andy Weir’s 2014 debut novel The Martian was a best seller which was turned into a blockbuster movie. Once again Weir has set an action-adventure in space. This time the action takes place a little closer to home on Artemis, the first colony on the moon. There a resourceful protagonist improvises scientific solutions to escalating dangers. Artemis although not as good as The Martian was sufficiently entertaining.


THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
Left behind by his crew, after a thoroughly credible misunderstanding, Astronaut Watney is stranded on the surface of Mars. What could go wrong? Oh, wait. All alone in the unforgiving environment he steadfastly confronts one obstacle after the next. In mortal danger the whole time, with almost no chance of survival, nothing goes as planned yet he struggles to stay alive. Brilliantly ingenious techno- thriller, set on the surface of Mars.


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