01 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

Town Meeting 01/16/18

“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:
      1) Larry B – objects to §30.25 removal of sibling verbiage
.     2) Dolly M – concerns regarding proposed Beach Protection Board
.    3) Karen F – Chair of Parks & Rec, objects to creation of Beach Protection Board


2. Police Report – Chief Wally Layne

Police Patch
So far, so good
   • No Crime Wave
   • No break-ins reported

 

It’s that time of the year, break-in season
Although he was pleased to report that we have not had any break-ins yet
Requested that we all serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement.

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

call 911 and let police deal with it.


Holden Beach fire damages 2 homes, boat
A fire in Holden Beach Tuesday morning caused nearly $500,000 in damages. The Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department, along with the Supply and Civietown Volunteer Fire Departments, responded to the fire at 120 Charlotte Street, Holden Beach, at 2:32 a.m. Tuesday. Responding units found two homes and a boat heavily involved in a fire, according to a news release from the Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department.
Read more » click here


Neighborhood Watch

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

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

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


3. Quarterly Budget Report – Town Manager Hewett 

Previously reported –
Last year David presented the budget report as of 6 January. Why January 6th you ask? The Audit Committee felt it was important to capture the revenue from property taxes which were due on January 5th.

 Update –
The calendar year budget report presented a snapshot of where we stood as of 31 December 2017.  David gave a simple explanation of each fund balance, comparing the budget numbers to the actual numbers. The numbers were presented in context, since we have huge seasonal fluctuations in both income and expenses. He indicated that each fund balance was better than normal for this time of the year. In his opinion, we are in a good position.

Budget 17 -18 / Statement of Actual & Estimated Revenue
For more information » click here


4. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 18-01, Resolution Approving BB&T Signature Card – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Historically, the official signatories for the Town’s BB&T accounts are the Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and two staff members. Resolution 18-01 updates the current signature card by designating Mayor Holden, Mayor Pro Tern Sullivan, Town Manager Hewett and Fiscal Operations Clerk Lockner as the official signatories.

Staff recommends approval of the resolution.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Housekeeping item – update of signatories


5. Discussion and Possible Nomination of a Board of Commissioners’ Member to Serve as the Audit Committee Chair – Per Town Ordinance

Previously reported –
The Board of Commissioners has found that establishment of an Audit Committee would improve the ability of the Board of Commissioners to perform its fiscal oversight function.

§30.26 AUDIT COMMITTEE OF THE BOC
There is hereby established an Audit Committee of the BOC, which shall be comprised of: A Chairman of the BOC Audit Committee, who shall be a member of the Board of Commissioners; and not fewer than two nor more than four Public Members, as determined by the BOC at the first regular meeting in January. The Chairman of the BOC Audit Committee and each of the Public Members shall have a normal term of one year, and all shall serve at the pleasure of the BOC. The Chairman of the BOC Audit Committee shall be elected by the BOC at the first regular meeting in January. The Public Members shall be appointed by the Chairman of the BOC Audit Committee, subject to confirmation by the BOC.

Update –
John Fletcher was renominated to retain the Chair for another year.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Also approved having the Audit Committee address House Bill 436 / Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act which establishes guidelines in setting water and sewer fees.

For more information on House Bill 436 » click here

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

 AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING 
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2018 – 10:00 A.M.
    1) Presentation of 2016 – 2017 Audit – Alan Thompson
.     2) Introduction and Discussion of BOC’s Tasker Regarding House Bill 436


6. Beach Vitex Report – Building Official Evans

Previously reported – January 2015

Beach Vitex Invades the Carolina Coast
Beach Vitex the Kudzu of the coast – in January the task force had already identified twelve (12) sites

Beach Vitex (Vitex rotundifolia) is a deciduous, woody vine that was introduced to the southeastern U.S. in the mid-80’s as an ornamental landscape plant as well as for sand dune stabilization. Along the coast of North and South Carolina, beach Vitex has escaped cultivation and covered oceanfront dunes. Beach Vitex crowds out native dune plants such as sea oats and threatens endangered loggerhead sea turtle nesting habitat.

Beach Vitex Task Force is committed to controlling the spread of the invasive plant. They are leading an interagency effort to address the issue; the threat to native dune plants and animals issue. Although not yet officially classified as an invasive species, Beach Vitex is causing major concern. If you see this plant anywhere in your beach community, you need to identify it and report it to the task force for removal.  Scientists and volunteers are working hard to record and monitor the location of the plant to determine how widespread the problem is and how fast Beach Vitex is spreading. 

Previously reported – December 2015
Beach Vitex Task Force was on the island in November removing this invasive plant from the dunes.

Previously reported – October 2017

BEACH VEGETATION
§92.40 PURPOSE.
The plant known as Beach Vitex (Vitex Rotundifolia), is hereby found and is declared to be a public nuisance due to the significant negative impacts this plant will have upon the public beaches and sand dunes, loggerhead sea turtles and native vegetation such as Sea Oats, Bitter Panicum, Seashore Elder and American Beach grass.  It shall be unlawful for any person to plant or cause to be planted Beach Vitex (Vitex Rotundifolia) on any property located within the municipal town limits of the town.

§92.41 NOTICE TO ABATE NUISANCE.
   In cooperation with the following organizations, said list not being exhaustive, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NC Cooperative Extension, South Carolina Beach Vitex Taskforce, North Carolina Beach Vitex Taskforce, NC State University, a program(s) will be developed to eradicate Beach Vitex from municipal limits.  Upon identification of any Beach Vitex plant, the property owner shall be ordered to eradicate the plant from his or her property pursuant to an acceptable means of removal and disposal As eradication precedes restoration, the plant must be removed from properties before the property is restored with native plants or other appropriate plants.  As Beach Vitex has the ability to generate new plants from seeds, stem and root sections, the proper disposal of plants and plant parts is important.  The town shall be responsible for the collection of Beach Vitex separately from other yard waste and will treat it appropriately. Beach Vitex clippings shall not be chipped and shredded into mulch and distributed to any yard waste disposal site.  The town shall cooperate with private landowners in this task to proceed with the eradication. The penalty for failure to comply with this section shall be prescribed in § 92.99.

Apparently, we already have Ordinance to address this issue
Neither the Town or the Task Force have funds for removal
The burden of removal and disposal is on the property owner

No decision was made – No action taken

The Board has asked the Town staff to bring back recommendation that does not involve Town funding work

Holden Beach targets invasive weed
The Holden Beach Board of Commissioners has revisited the town’s policy regarding the noxious weed beach vitex. As it turns out, the policy isn’t working. At Mayor Pro Tem John Fletcher’s request, town staff is being asked to remedy that shortcoming.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach looks into treating beach vitex
Read more » click here

Beach Vitex Invades the Carolina Coast
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
For more information » click here

Agenda Packet –

Topics of discussion:
What is Beach Vitex?
Where did it come from?
What is the History of the Beach Vitex Program?
Who Funded the Program?
Who were the primary Players?
What studies were done? How to manage it?
Who should manage it?
What other places are doing? Recommendations?
Is it still marketable?
What were the cost of treatment?

The Town of Holden Beach, still has 19 locations, with only one location fully eradicated. This is the exact same amount that were identified during the original 2013 survey. The areas do not appear to have expanded, since there were no accountable records kept in regard to expansion or termination of sights by the Group that was funded. Impact of the program is unknown.

Update –
Abridged version – it’s a can of worms. He found conflicting information as to the best course of action to eradicate the plant. His recommendation was to leave Ordinance as it is. They also agreed to send a letter to the nineteen (19) property owners that had previously been identified as sites known to contain this invasive plant. The letter will inform the property owner of their responsibility to remove the plant from their property and that they should seek assistance from a professional pesticide applicator and / or a horticulturist.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Report on Speed Reducing Devices for Shell Drive – Building Official Evans

 Previously reported –  September 2017

Agenda Packet –
Shell Drive is the last street on the right before reaching the private section of the island; therefore, we get a lot of traffic that must use our street to tum around.  The problem we are having is the speed at which some of the vehicles are leaving going back to Ocean Boulevard.

They deferred making a decision, requested it be put on the October meeting agenda. Town Manager is charged with gathering more information. The Town attorney recommended that the Town Manager and staff determine approval criteria since other streets will request this too. The Mayor recommended that we notify everyone on that street, especially after the recent fiasco with Elizabeth Street parking, that we are considering this action.

No decision was made – No action taken

Previously reported – October 2017

Agenda Packet –
At the last Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the Board directed me to gather information relative to Mr. Batchelor’s request to install speed bumps on Shell Drive.

Staff contacted the Town’s insurance provider, the League of Municipalities.  There is no specific exclusion for general liability claims caused by speed bumps on town-owned streets.  The League provided us with examples of claims and payouts that have been made relating to speed bumps (Attachment 1).

Mark Hoeweler, Assistant Executive Director – Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments and Liaison for the Grand Strand Metropolitan Planning Organization, is not in favor of speed bumps. He provided literature for the Town to review (Attachment 2).

Staff also contacted the Cape Fear Council of Governments to ask for the pros and cons of speed bumps. Allen Serkin, Director of Local Government Services, responded   that speed bumps are usually discouraged for many reasons (Attachment 3). He also provided us with several resources that the Board may find helpful in consideration of Mr. Batchelor’s request (Attachment 4).

Pretty clear that the information gathered did not support us moving forward with request for speed bumps

No decision was made – No action taken

The Board has asked the Town staff to bring back recommendation that does not include speed bumps

Agenda Packet –

West End Gate, and Traffic Issues Related
The Planning Department will discuss history and effects of west end gate; also, will discuss known issues and possible solutions.
.       1.
History of Gate
.       2.
Issues /traffic/vehicular logistical confusion/public safety
      3.
DOT signage, what’s allowed and what’s approved
      4.
Education instead of physical impediments
.       5.
Citizens’ Safety

We are in the process of contacting DOT for additional signage.

Update –
No easy solution. Not a new problem, it has been an issue since 1989. Traffic impediments have not proven to be an effective remedy. Plan is to limit the number of vehicles that gets all the way down there, to the gate.

Recommendation was as follows:
.     1)
Place second sign 1,000 feet before west end gate
    2)
Install informational sign with instructions before they get to the gate
.     3)
Instruction on the road to help guide drivers
.     4)
Move dead end signs closer to OBW

No decision was made – No action taken


8. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Interview Candidates for Vacancy on the Planning & Zoning Board – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Recommend setting up interviews on February 20th at 6:45p.m., prior to the Regular Meeting.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


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

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

Agenda Packet –
Review, discuss and identify action steps to be implemented before the 2018 summer season.

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

Mid-year 2018:

  1. Monitor parking revisions.
  2. Identify the next phase of the parking project, with the support of a third party to investigate the possibility of increasing parking on Jordan Blvd. and area surrounding the Pavilion. This should also include investigating organization options for boat and vehicle parking, which is currently having an impact on single car visitor parking.
  3. After the summer season, review the effectiveness of the proposed changes and if necessary provide additional recommendations. Possible options include making all rights-of-way in residentially zoned areas No Parking, unless the vehicle has a current hurricane stick

2019

  1. Investigate other potential vacant land I properties that can support additional visitor parking on the (If determined to be necessary)
  2. Conversion of town owned properties into additional visitor parking if needed.

Update –
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 nine (9) action items.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


10. Discussion and Possible Action to Remove “or sibling” from §30.25 Commissions, Boards, Agencies and Authorities Established by Ordinance or Under the Authority of the BOC – Commissioner Freer

§30.25  COMMISSIONS, BOARDS, AGENCIES AND AUTHORITIES ESTABLISHED BY ORDINANCE OR UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE BOC.

   (A)   Except as otherwise expressly provided for in these ordinances:

      (1)   No person shall be appointed or elected by the BOC, or pursuant to any authority delegated by the BOC, as a voting or non-voting member or officer or other official of any commission, board, agency, authority or other similar group or body established by ordinance or otherwise under the authority of the BOC (other than committees and sub-committees of the BOC that are comprised only of members of the BOC or the Audit Committee of the BOC) who is member of the BOC; the Town Manager, Town Attorney, Town Clerk, Police Chief or any full or part-time employee of the town who reports to any of the forgoing: a contractor, consultant or other person providing good or services to the town in consideration of cash or other thing valued at more than $1,000 in any one year or an officer or material owner thereof; or the spouse, domestic partner, child, parent or sibling of any of the forgoing;

Update –
Attorney will add language that states this shall not apply to Board appointees to fill a vacancy on the Board of Commissioners.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

They only approved change to verbiage, they did not approve the Ordinance


11.Discussion and Possible Action to Establish the Inlet and Beach Protection Board – Commissioner Freer

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. 

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously

My Two Cents - CR II


This is what I would propose …

The Shoreline Protection Board will act in an advisory capacity and make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners in matters relating to shore protection, coastal management, beach nourishment, dune management, vegetation management, and sand management principles, coastal armoring, and matters relating to the Town’s beach strand that will prevent and mitigate further erosion of the existing shoreline. In addition, address safety issues posed by various activities on the beach strand.

The goals of the Board are to deal with the adverse effects of beach erosion; promote the restoration, maintenance and enjoyment of beaches for the public and property owners; improve the quality of recreational public beaches for families to enjoy; and restore and maintain habitat essential to the survival of sea turtles, shorebirds and native dune plants.

Some of the issues they could work on include the following:
Central Reach Project
East End Shoreline Protection / Terminal Groin
Nourishment
Sand fencing and vegetation planting
Development Line as an alternative to Static Vegetation Line
BPART funds
Beach Patrol

Update –
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.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously

My Two Cents - CR IIIt 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.


12. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date for a Special Meeting to Hold an Executive Session to Discuss a Personnel Matter (Town Manager’s Performance Evaluation) – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Previously reported – March 2017

§143-318.11. Closed sessions
(a) Permitted Purposes. – It is the policy of this State that closed sessions shall be held only when required to permit a public body to act in the public interest as permitted in this section. A public body may hold a closed
(3) To consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege between the attorney and the public body, which privilege is hereby acknowledged.

David Hewett was hired as Town Manager / Finance Officer in February of 2008, his current annual salary is $136,500. Last year David was given a 38.6% salary increase which comes to a $38,028 pay raise. The Town Managers performance review is supposed to be done on the anniversary date of his hire which is February. The Board conducts the Town Manager’s review in an Executive Session which the public cannot attend. Effective employee performance review systems require quantifiable metrics to accurately gauge each employee’s performance. It would be nice to know what performance metric criteria are used to do his review. Since they don’t share that with us we do not know what they are or whether they were met so we are not in any position to evaluate the Town Managers performance. The Board determines if the Town Manager has earned a merit increase and the amount, it’s their call. The Board is required to announce the amount of any salary increase in open session. After all, it is part of the public record and it’s paid for with tax money.

 Update –
They only agreed to schedule performance review in an Executive Session prior to David’s hire date in February.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

My Two Cents - CR IISimply like to remind everyone that the salary increase last year seemed ridiculously generous to me. But again – it’s their call. In addition, they sweetened the pot with both a contract and severance package neither of which are required.


13. Town Manager’s Report

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
We are supposed to get letter of final determination any time now.

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.

Update –
No change in status. We still do not have an official definitive answer as to when the flood maps will be approved.

Town of Holden Beach – From the Mayor’s Desk
January 5, 2018

Late last year I sent an email concerning the flood insurance map that continues to be overdue from authorities. When I sent the email, I was assured by the person in charge of the program for North Carolina that the updated map would be available to the public in February of 2018. The map was to come into effect in the fall of 2018.

I have not been given any other information that would indicate a deviation from that schedule. I had wanted to let a reasonable amount of time pass to allow for any notification of change. Having heard none, I am to assume that February, next month, will be the month we will see the new map.

Lockwood Folly Inlet

Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging approved, work expected to begin in January

Project proposed to begin in late January of 2018. The project will be performed by a ‘hopper’ dredge, so there will be nearshore placement of beneficial beach quality sand. David informed us that the tentative date for the dredge project is now the first week in February.

The Town of Oak Island requested to become a party to the Shallow Draft Inlet-5 federal permit. The permit already includes the Town of Holden Beach. The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners were planning to vote on authorizing a letter of support for the Town of Oak Island to become a party to the permit. David had it removed from the agenda until communications between Oak Island and Holden Beach were completed.

Water System
Third year that we are performing tests on the pipes, three tests one pipe from each zone, to determine their condition.

Arctic temperatures resulted in over one hundred (100) water line breaks; which has set back Public Works crew from pulling pipes yet.

Previously reported
Water system was installed in 1978; it is 39 years old with the expected useful life being just 35 years. In other words, we are already past the stated useful life of the system. Previous test results were exceptionally good, minimum useful life expectancy is an additional thirty (30) years far exceeding the manufacturers stated expected useful life. Pipes are holding up nicely, but useful life expectancy does not mean things aren’t going to happen. However, it does not appear that we have any immediate issues.

Sewer System
Green Engineering firm contract approved in December for Sewer System #4 upgrade. The vendor is already moving forward with the project. They are aware that time is of the essence and preliminary work has begun.


BEMC
They plan to replace all two hundred (200) plus street lights between Easter and Memorial Day. Swap out will increase our annual lighting bill by $6,000. They have already completed the project on OIB with favorable reviews.

Picture was taken at the corner of Holden Beach Chapel, that is the new replacement street light.


FEMA
Final inspection scheduled for Irene reimbursement of $100,000

Audit Committee
They are being asked to review audit results prior to the February BOC’s Regular Meeting. Also having them address House Bill 436 / Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act

Auditor’s report is due by October 31st and normally is given at the October meeting. Audit was completed on-time, but the report has not been given yet. David said that is because the Local Government Commission has still not approved the audit.

Concerts on the Coast
They have already booked all the bands for the 2018 summer concert schedule

Valentine’s Day
Town’s 49th Birthday
Town’s Birthday Social is on Wednesday, February 14th at 2:30 p.m.  they will be serving ice cream and cake


14. Mayor’s Comments

Jaw Drop

Alan is frustrated and was visibly upset. Apparently, he wanted to get a few things off his chest. He made it very clear his displeasure with his current role on the Board. He took umbrage to several things that have transpired over the last two (2) years. He admonished the Board for not including him in the process; it is a Board of six (6) not five (5) he said. He also feels that he is an asset and that he is being underutilized. As a bare minimum he felt that they should at least make sure he is kept informed. His comments appeared to be primarily directed at Commissioners Freer and Fletcher. He ended his lecture by making a heartfelt request to the new Board to be more open and make a more unified effort to run this town.

 §30.02  FORM OF GOVERNMENT.

   (A)   The town shall operate under the Commissioner-Manager (weak Mayor) form of government The legislative authority of the town shall be vested in the Mayor and Town Board of Commissioners, hereinafter referred to as the BOC, which shall consist of a Mayor and five Commissioners chosen as hereafter provided.

§30.04  MAYOR; DUTIES.

   The Mayor shall serve as the chief spokesperson for the town and the chief advocate of formally approved and adopted town policy.  In addition, the Mayor shall preside at meetings of the BOC; shall be recognized as head of the town government for all ceremonial purposes and by the governor for the purposes of disaster or emergency declarations.  The Mayor shall sign ordinances and resolutions only on their passage; shall sign deeds, bonds, contracts and other instruments approved by BOC as required by law. Willful failure by a mayor to discharge their legal duties shall result in those duties being assumed by the Mayor Pro Tem by reason of disqualification, as set forth in § 30.05.  Legal remedies for failure to discharge the duties of Mayor may result in legal censure or charges of contempt, and may serve as grounds for impeachment.  The Mayor shall convene the Town BOC in special called session when deemed necessary by the Mayor.  Unless otherwise expressly provided by law or this chapter, the Mayor shall have no vote on any question before the Town BOC except in case of a tie.

My Two Cents - CR II

Sorry but that is not our form of government. Maybe he should have read the job description before he ran for Mayor. If he wanted more input, he should have run for a Commissioner position on the Board. The Mayor’s role is to maintain neutrality on issues to be decided by the Board, manage the meetings in an efficient manner, and maintain respectful decorum on the part of all speakers.  That’s it! The Mayor has no authority except what is given to him by the Board of Commissioners.  This meeting was neither the time nor the place to air his grievances. Once again, this is a private matter that should have been handled in a different venue then this. The opportunity to do so was when the Board met in Executive Session.


15. Public Comments on General Items

1) Sheila Y –  former Chair of Shoreline Protection Board, she objects to creation of Beach Protection Board

2) Woody T – would like more details and notice in advance on any agenda items


General Comments –

There were twenty-six (26) members of the community in attendance


BOC’s SPECIAL MEETING 01/16/18
    1. Budget Workshop
.       a.
Beach Management Activities – Fran Way, Applied Technology &                        .           Management
.       b.
Land Use Plan – Wes MacLeod, Cape Fear Council of Governments
      c.
50-Year Project Update – Robert Keistler, Corps of Engineers
      d.
Discussion and Possible Action on Citizen Advisory Committee’s Report on     .           Parking, Related to 2017 – 2018 Budget
      e.
Discussion and Possible Action on Budget Schedule
      f.
Goals and Objectives
.     2. Executive Session
.     3. Discussion with Clark Wright of Davis Hartman Wright, Legal Advisor to the          Board with Respect to Beach Protection and Other Environmental Issues

1a. Beach Management Activities – Fran Way, Applied Technology & Management
         * No presentation was made

Applied Technology & Management
ATM is a coastal engineering firm hired by the town to do the following:
.     1)
Annual monitoring, data collection and reporting
    2)
Assess sand erosion
.     3)
Evaluate nourishment
.     4)
FEMA projects cost reimbursement support
.     5)
Meet government regulatory permitting conditions

1b. Land Use Plan – Wes MacLeod, Cape Fear Council of Governments

A land use plan is a collection of policies and maps that serves as a community blueprint for growth. These plans are a fundamental element of coastal management in North Carolina.

Holden Beach Land Use Plan » click here

Comprehensive Plan is a little more involved than Land Use Plan, it is all encompassing, but is used interchangeably. It is a policy document that establishes guiding principles on community development decisions according to a community vision and goals and based on an analysis of the community’s existing and future conditions.

Plan should be updated every five (5) to seven (7) years. Process takes twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) months. Cost estimate to update beach town plan is approximately $35,000. Our current plan was completed in 2009.

Takeaway – we need to begin the process to update our Land Use Plan

1c. 50-Year Project Update – Robert Keistler, Corps of Engineers
         * No presentation was made

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the primary federal entity and partner in numerous programs and projects designed to help protect the economy and the environment of our nation’s coastal areas by reducing the effects of storms, erosion and flooding. The federal interest in and responsibility for beach restoration projects was clarified when. Congress enacted the Shore Protection Act of 1996. It is often referred to as the “50year project” because the nourishment effort includes initial construction and subsequent periodic maintenance for 50 years.

Beach nourishment is the practice of adding sand to a beach to maintain a sandy shoreline. The sand-funding partnerships are typically called “50 Year Projects” to reflect their authorized duration. Under current law, the cost share for beach nourishment projects is 65 percent federal and 35 percent non-federal for the initial nourishment and 50 percent federal and 50 percent non-federal for ongoing renourishment over the next 50 years. Beach towns, up and down the coasts with these partnerships could find themselves in funding trouble when the time comes due to a large shift in burden on how the town’s routine beach nourishment projects are paid for.

1d. Discussion and Possible Action on Citizen Advisory Committee’s Report on Parking, Related to 2017 – 2018 Budget

Mayor voiced his concern that this issue is too important for them to take action at a Special Meeting. No discussion or action was taken; it is scheduled as an agenda item at the Regular Meeting.

1e. Discussion and Possible Action on Budget Schedule

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. 30 March          BOC’s Workshop Revenues
  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)

Treasury
Fund Balances as of 30 June

  1. General           $1,798,086
  2. Water              $4,401,944
  3. BPART           $6,458,345
  4. Canals           $1,714,365

Fund Balance at the end of the year is a snapshot of our cash position. General Fund Balance Ratio is 42% which is in line with our own policy requirement.

1f. Goals and Objectives
Town Manager sorted by organizational groupings as follows:

  1. General Management
  2. Beach Nourishment / Shoreline Protection / Navigation
  3. Beach / Inlet Funding
  4. Town Facilities / Recreational Items
  5. Staffing
  6. Parking
  7. Communications
  8. Solid Waste
  9. Sewer System

Town Manager identified three (3) issues that were not included but need to be addressed

  • Sewer System – candy canes change in height
  • Water Rate Structure – to comply with new legislation
  • Water Tower – need for additional tower

Scheduled another workshop on Friday, January 19th at 1:00pm
Meeting will prioritize goals & objectives

2. Executive Session to Discuss a Personnel Matter, Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute §143-318.11

Determined role of recently hired Environmental Lawyer

3. Discussion with Clark Wright of Davis Hartman Wright, Legal Advisor to the Board with Respect to Beach Protection and Other Environmental Issues

Terminal Groin – Fact / Status Sheet

  • Town expenditures so far are at least $671,161.00
  • Actions to-date
  • Anticipated Future Actions
  • Related Potentially Relevant Activities

 Meeting was recessed to reconvene rather than adjourned

BOC’s SPECIAL MEETING 01/19/18
    1. Budget Workshop
.       a.
Beach Management Activities – Fran Way, Applied Technology &                        .           Management
.     2.
Goals and Objectives – prioritized

Major takeaway – Established Beach Nourishment Fund “sand fund”
They will be t
ransferring three (3) million dollars from the BPART account into the new Beach Nourishment Fund. The objective is to generate a reserve of ten (10) million dollars over the course of the next ten (10) years.


Board of Commissioners’ Scorecard –

NYC Mayor Koch used to ask – How am I doing?
Imagine if the BOC’s asked you – How’d they do?

Since that was a rhetorical question it does not require a direct answer. Rather it was for your consideration and intended to initiate some discussion of the subject. Feel free to leave comments on how you would respond if they had asked the question. We would welcome hearing from you.

The goal of government is to make citizens better off.

Action Taken – 2017

January
NA

February
Adoption Resolution 17-01, Urging Action on the FEMA Flood Map Process
Adoption Resolution 17-02, Supporting the BC – Greenway, Bike Routes and Trail Plan
Ordinance 17-01, Enacting and Adopting a Supplement to the Code of Ordinances
Ordinance 17-02, Lockwood Folly Dredging Piggyback Project
         • Approved $76,000 a share of the local portion for maintenance dredging

March
Ordinance 17-03, FEMA MATTHEW PW-152 GRANT
Amendment to § 94.03 / Frontal Dune Policies
Adoption Resolution 17-03, Seasonal Population Adjustment Factor
Adoption Resolution 17-04, Dedicated Funding Sources for Beach Nourishment
Adoption Resolution 17-05, Change fee structure for storm vehicle decals

April
Roadway work – Southern Asphalt was awarded the $80,215 contract
Contract to Conduct Town’s Audit – Approval of the contract
Amendment to § 94.03 / Frontal Dune Policies

May
Yard Waste Collection – Coastal Transplants was awarded the $14,610 contract
Lockwood Folly Inlet – Approved $35,000 local portion for maintenance dredging
Eastern Reach – Approved $15,000 for sand fence project

June
Ordinance 17-08, Budget Ordinance
Adoption Resolution 17-06, Resolution in Support of the BC Opioid Task Force
Adoption Resolution 17-07, Resolution to Implement Four-Year Staggered Terms
Adoption Resolution 17-08, Resolution Amending the Fee Schedule
Established Community Advisory Committee to Address Parking

July
Ordinance 17-10, Four-Year Staggered Terms
Adoption Resolution 17-09, Resolution Calling a Special Election

August
NA

September
Ordinance 17-11, Frontal Dune Policy

October
NA

November
NA

December
Contract for Sewer System Engineering Services – Approval of the contract
Adoption Resolution 17-10, Resolution in Support of Water Resources Grant ($1,439,922)
Hired Special Environmental Counsel


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

Above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year
Read more » click here

10 Hurricanes in 10 Weeks: A 124-Year-Old Record is Matched
Read more » click here

Yes, this hurricane season has been worse than usual!
Hurricane Ophelia is the tenth hurricane to form in the Atlantic this season. The ferocity of the Atlantic storm season isn’t just in your imagination; it’s one of the worst in years by various meteorological standards. NOAA’s prediction was right. This year’s hurricane season is more active than normal and has already produced more storms than the yearly average. The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is now among the top 10 all-time most active seasons on record.

Breathe Easy –Hurricane Season Ends
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1st through November 30th, ended quietly. As predicted, the Atlantic hurricane season was extremely active with seventeen (17) named storms. That’s five more than the average year; typically, there are only twelve (12) named storms each year. But the real concern wasn’t the number or storms, it was the intensity of the hurricanes that did hit. Three major storms impacted the U.S., the force of those hurricanes made this the costliest hurricane season of all time.

Extremely active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season finally ends
Today marks the official end of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which matched NOAA’s seasonal predictions for being extremely active. The season produced 17 named storms of which 10 became hurricanes including six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) – including the first two major hurricanes to hit the continental U.S. in 12 years.

Based on the Accumulated Cyclone Energy index, which measures the combined intensity and duration of the storms during the season and is used to classify the strength of the entire hurricane season, 2017 was the seventh most active season in the historical record dating to 1851 and was the most active season since 2005.

“In six short months, the next hurricane season will be upon us,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “This is a good time to review and strengthen your preparedness plans at home as we continue to build a Weather-Ready Nation.”

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will provide its initial seasonal outlook in May.
Read more » click here


Terminal Groin –Terminal Groin #6 - CR

Terminal Groin Presentation
For more information
» click here

What’s next?

The next steps include the following:
. 1)
Review Final EIS with USACE – November 2016
. 2) Publish final EIS – December 2016
. 3) Submit CAMA permit for review – December 2016
. 4) Public Hearing – January 2017
. 5) USACE record of decision – February 2017
. 6) Federal and State permit issuance – Spring 2017

My Two Cents - CR II

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

Update – October 2017
Terminal Groin presentation was made on October of 2016, a year ago.
We have had no communications from the Town regarding the status of our application. All the next step completion dates have come and gone. It would be nice if they kept us informed of the status of the tasks that still need to be completed.

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.

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

01 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / January Edition

Calendar of Events –

Las Vegas Night
The Rotary Club of Shallotte will host its Thirteenth Annual Las Vegas Night on Saturday, January 27th at 349 Whiteville Road, the Planet Fun building in Shallotte.


TDA - logoDiscover 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 –

Happy Birthday – celebrate the Town’s 49th birthday
Town of Holden Beach officially established on February 14, 1969

Town’s Birthday Social is on Wednesday, February 14th at 2:30 p.m.  they will be serving ice cream and cake; no lunch will be provided. Pre-registration by February 7th is required. Call Christy at 910.842.6488 to pre-register.

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


Reminders –

Volunteers needed
The Town needs volunteers to fill three vacancies on two Boards. The Town is always looking for people to volunteer for their various boards and committees. There are upcoming vacancies on the Planning & Zoning Board and Audit Committee. If you are interested in serving on one of these boards, 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.

Brunswick one of only two N.C. counties to support offshore drilling
Read more » click here

Previously reported – August 2017

Cooper: Offshore drilling is ‘a bad deal’
Cooper summed up his administration’s stance on the proposed measure to explore and possibly drill off North Carolina’s coast in four emphatic words: “Not off our coast” to which the crowd erupted in a standing ovation.
Read more » click here 

Oppose Offshore Oil
2019-2024 draft plan offshore drilling talking points

Laws, goals, and policies of affected states

  • In July of 2017, Governor Cooper made his opposition to offshore drilling and seismic blasting clear – not off our coast.
  • Over 30 coastal communities in North Carolina (almost 130 along the Atlantic Coast) have passed resolutions against offshore drilling and seismic blasting. President Trump must listen to the coastal communities, local businesses and elected officials up and down the Atlantic Coast that oppose offshore drilling.

    Economic impacts
  • North Carolina’s economy relies on a healthy coast. The fishing, tourism and recreation industries support roughly 51,000 jobs and generate more nearly $2.2 billion in GDP for North Carolina. We shouldn’t prioritize oil company profits over coastal businesses.
  • Offshore drilling would threaten our identity as North Carolinians – our coastal environment, economy and quality of life.
  • Tourism and fishing – both commercial and recreational – are the economic back bone of coastal communities. Imagine the impact on beachside hotels and restaurants, fishing outfitters and realtors if ourbeautiful coastal communities were turned over to big oil.
  • The oil and gas industry’s economic projections are based on faulty assumptions that overestimate jobs and income, while discounting the existing tourism – and recreation-based economies.

Environmental risks

  • North Carolina’s coast is home to a number of endangered and threatened species including the loggerhead sea turtle and North Atlantic right whale.
  • The National Wildlife Refuges, National Seashores, state protected areas and ecologically sensitive marine areas along North Carolina’s coast are too precious to risk.
  • Instead of spending our resources developing dirty energy sources, North Carolina should instead develop clean, renewable energy sources. North Carolina has more wind energy potential than any other state on the Atlantic Coast.
    North Carolina Coastal Federation
    .
    Hearings set for potential offshore oil and gas activities off NC coast
    The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has announced it would be holding three meetings across coastal North Carolina regarding the proposed 2019-24 national outer continental shelf oil and gas leasing program. The first is today in Wilmington. According to the DEQ, these hearings seek to gather public input and information on the potential impact of oil and gas exploration, and development on the biological, social, economic and aesthetic values of North Carolina’s coast.

The information gathered at these hearings will go into consideration for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Managements new five-year national outer continental shelf program, in accordance with the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which could open the Atlantic Coast for seismic testing and eventual oil and gas exploration. This after President Trump announced his “America First Offshore Energy Strategy” back in April, an executive order removing many Obama-era regulations that were designed to protect the Atlantic Coast from offshore drilling.

If approved, the plan will allow for five separate companies to being exploratory seismic testing in an area from Delaware, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, extending out 350 nautical miles. Environmental groups, like the Cape Fear Surfrider Foundation, the North Carolina Coastal Federation, Oceana, Don’t Drill NC, as well as state and community leaders are concerned about the potential for negative impacts to the state’s natural resources and environment. Upon completion, the program for 2019-24 will replace the program for 2017-22, which was approved on Jan. 17.

The first meeting will be held in Wilmington on Monday, Aug. 7, at the New Hanover County Government Center, from 5 to 7 p.m. Two more will follow; the first in Morehead City on Aug. 9, and a final meeting in Manteo on Aug. 10. These meetings will give residents a chance to voice their opinion to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. If you are unable to attend, but would still like to comment, written comments can be sent to Timothy Webster with the NCDEQ at 217 West Jones St., 1601 Mail Center Drive, Raleigh, N.C., 27699, or by email to timothy.webster@ncdenr.gov. All comments are due by Aug. 15. For information, visit The Bureau of Ocean Energy Managements website at boem.gov.
Read more » click here

Dozens weigh in on offshore drilling
State environmental officials are looking for public input about the potential impact of oil and gas exploration and development off our coast. President Trump signed an executive order in April that could expand drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.

Offshore drilling is a hot topic on our coast. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality held a public hearing to gather feedback and to see what people think about the proposed oil and gas leasing program, along with seismic surveying proposed by the Trump Administration. Many say they worry drilling could hurt marine life.
Read more » click here

As the debate over offshore drilling heats up, what’s at stake?
The past few months have seen a contentious debate resurface along the shores of the North Carolina coast, as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) explores the concept of opening the Atlantic coast to offshore oil drilling and natural gas exploration.
Read more » click here

Update –

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling
The Trump administration said Thursday it would allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States coastal waters, giving energy companies access to leases off California for the first time in decades and opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard.

The proposal lifts a ban on such drilling imposed by President Barack Obama near the end of his term and would deal a serious blow to his environmental legacy. It would also signal that the Trump administration is not done unraveling environmental restrictions in an effort to promote energy production.

While the plan puts the administration squarely on the side of the energy industry and against environmental groups, it also puts the White House at odds with a number of coastal states that oppose offshore drilling. Some of those states are led by Republicans, like Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, where the tourism industry was hit hard by the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster in 2010 that killed 11 people and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Read more » click here

‘Drill, baby drill!’ comes to oil safety regulator
The Trump administration wants to open virtually all federal waters to offshore drilling even as his administration pushes to relax regulations designed to prevent a repeat of the BP oil spill.
Read more » click here

Cooper to “pursue every option” against offshore drilling
North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says he’ll keep fighting efforts by President Donald Trump’s administration to expand oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast, saying such drilling “represents a critical threat” to the state’s coastal economy. Cooper responded Thursday to news of additional opportunities proposed by the federal government for offshore energy development starting in 2019. He said in a release his administration “will pursue every option” to prevent drilling near the state’s beaches, fishing waters and coastal communities. The governor last summer announced opposition to expanded coastal oil and gas exploration. Last month, a state regulatory agency asked companies interested in testing to provide more information that reflects potential marine life problems. State Republican legislative leaders generally back offshore exploration, as did Cooper’s predecessor, Republican Pat McCrory.
Read more » click here

NC governor, DEQ secretary oppose Trump’s plan to expand offshore drilling
The new five-year drilling plan also could open new areas of oil and gas exploration in areas off the East Coast from Georgia to Maine, where drilling has been blocked for decades. Many lawmakers in those states support offshore drilling, although the Democratic governors of North Carolina and Virginia oppose drilling off their state coasts. “Offshore drilling and the seismic testing that would precede it pose environmental and economic risks to North Carolina’s coastal communities that we cannot afford,” NC Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan said in a statement Thursday. “Protection of our beaches, sounds and marine life is vital to ensuring a robust coastal economy.”

The proposal follows President Donald Trump’s executive order in April encouraging more drilling rights in federal waters, part of the administration’s strategy to help the U.S. achieve “energy dominance” in the global market. A coalition of more than 60 environmental groups denounced the plan, saying in a joint statement that it would impose “severe and unacceptable harm” to America’s oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life. The proposal comes less than a week after the Trump administration proposed to rewrite or kill rules on offshore oil and gas drilling imposed after the deadly 2010 rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The accident on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and triggered the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The Trump administration called the rules an unnecessary burden on industry and said rolling them back will encourage more energy production. Environmentalists said Trump was raising the risk of more deadly oil spills. The Obama administration imposed tougher rules in response to the BP spill. The rules targeted blowout preventers, massive valve-like devices designed to prevent spills from wells on the ocean floor. The preventer used by BP failed. The rules require more frequent inspections of those and other devices and dictate that experts onshore monitor drilling of highly complex wells in real time.
Read more » click here

Oppose Offshore Oil
Federal government moves to open nearly all of the N.C. coast and U.S. waters to offshore drilling.

Yesterday the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released the draft 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. This plan opens 25 of the 26 planning areas in the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling — including the North Carolina coast. Drilling leases will be allowed within just three miles of our oceanfront beaches under this plan. Gov. Roy Cooper already released a statement reiterating his opposition to offshore drilling because of the harm it could cause to North Carolina’s coastal environment and economy.

We now have another long fight to keep North Carolina off limits to offshore drilling. Public opposition to drilling protected our coast in 2016, and we need your help to protect it again.

Check nccoast.org/oil and dontdrillnc.org for talking points. Click here to read the draft plan.

Questions? Contact coastal advocates Mike Giles at mikeg@nccoast.org or Michael Flynn at michaelf@nccoast.org. You can also reach them at 252-393-8185.


Gov: NC wants exemption from offshore drilling
Citing local pushback and a burgeoning tourism economy, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Tuesday that he would remove a state from the now-under-review Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan. That state was Florida, not North Carolina, where more than 30 municipalities have opposed either seismic testing or offshore drilling, and coastal tourism generates about $3 billion annually. Now, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper and environmentalists are wondering if the Old North State will be afforded a similar chance to be removed from the plan, which opens up exploration off the coast of every state but — possibly — Florida between 2019 and 2024. “Just as you acknowledge in removing Florida, offshore drilling threatens tourism, which is a vital economic driver,” Cooper wrote in a letter to Zinke. “The same holds true for North Carolina.”
Read more » click here

Threat of oil, natural gas drilling off Brunswick County returns with Trump declaration
Following up on an order and promise made by President Donald Trump last April, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced plans to open nearly all the nation’s offshore waters for drilling for oil and natural gas. The move follows another recent announcement that the Trump administration is looking to scale-back some safety regulations enacted after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 workers and released 215-million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, fouling beaches from Louisiana to Florida.

The draft Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program would sell leases for drilling as soon as next year in nearly all U.S. waters in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans, with the exception of American Samoa. It is a dramatic reversal of the Obama administration’s ban on expanded drilling areas, and faces opposition from governors from Delaware to Florida and more than 140 Atlantic coastal communities. Zinke said that responsible development of offshore energy resources would boost jobs and economic security while providing billions of dollars to fund conservation along U.S. coastlines. The secretary outlined 47 possible offshore leases from 2019 to 2024. Nineteen sales would be off Alaska, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, nine in the Atlantic and seven in the Pacific, including six off California. “This is a draft program,” Zinke said in a conference call. “Nothing is final yet, and our department is continuing to engage the American people to get to our final product.”

Industry groups praised the plan, the most favorable to exploration and drilling in more than 30 years. Dozens of environmental organizations protested, and Gov. Roy Cooper has formally requested that North Carolina be excluded from the leasing plan. “Offshore drilling represents a critical threat to our coastal economy,” Cooper said in a prepared statement. “Protecting North Carolina families and businesses is my top priority, and we will pursue every option to prevent oil drilling near North Carolina’s beaches, coastal communities and fishing waters.” Last month, the Division of Coastal Management asked four companies to submit additional information about proposed seismic testing for offshore oil development because original proposals did not consider the latest scientific studies on harmful impacts to marine life, the governor stated.

The federal draft plan invites public comment. Cooper and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality have responded for the record. “It’s clear that opening North Carolina’s coast to oil and gas exploration and drilling would bring unacceptable risks to our economy, our environment and our coastal communities—and for little potential gain,” Cooper stated. “As governor, I’m here to speak out and take action against it. I can sum it up in four words: not off our coast.” Randy Sturgill of Oak Island, an organizer for the non-profit environmental group Oceana, was more direct. “This insane plan from the Trump administration proves they are only listening to oil interests while threatening all North Carolina coastal communities with their dirty and dangerous business,” Sturgill said. “This is a radical offshore free-for-all, as the administration ignores the cries of coastal residents and elected officials that have for years made it clear they don’t want the oil industry setting up shop along our beautiful Brunswick beaches.” Sturgill called the issue “a battle for the Atlantic” that will set the stage for what residents leave for their grandchildren along the coast. “The Trump administration’s plan not only ignores the risky nature of dirty and dangerous drilling, but also the people and coastal businesses who would be most affected,” said Diane Hoskins of Oceana. “The administration’s proposal would put large multi-national corporations ahead of coastal residents and healthy ocean-dependent economies.”

Brunswick County commissioners, in the majority, have formally endorsed oil and gas exploration. They are in the minority, as more than 140 Atlantic coastal communities and groups representing 41,000 businesses have opposed drilling in the Atlantic. Southport, Oak Island, Bald Head Island, Caswell Beach, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach and Belville have passed resolutions against drilling. “By opening these areas to drilling, the Trump administration will be acting counter to the best available science—and the will of coastal communities,” said Drew Ball of Environment NC. “We have seen an unprecedented outcry against drilling in recent years. “Local resistance matters,” Ball continued. “ More than 140 East Coast communities, including more than 30 North Carolina coastal municipalities, and thousands of businesses, trade groups and tourism associations have passed resolutions opposing Atlantic drilling and seismic testing.” “Instead of threatening our waterways and marine wildlife, President Trump should pay attention to the thousands of citizens, fishermen, town councils and business owners along the Atlantic coast and the millions of Americans from Alaska to Maine who have already said ‘no’ to offshore drilling,” Ball said. “Today’s action is the wrong decision and we will do whatever it takes to block proposals to drill off our coasts.”
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NC officials, environmentalists concerned over offshore drilling plan
North Carolina’s inclusion on a draft five-year offshore drilling plan has state officials and environmental organizations concerned, while oil industry representatives are calling for the public comment and review process to be carried out.
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Brunswick revokes previous stance on offshore drilling
Narrow vote means the county does not support or oppose offshore drilling, at least for now.
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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 –
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
Read more » click here


Latest Lockwood Folly dredge work finished, for now
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Lockwood Folly Inlet Hydrographic Survey

After-dredge survey of the inlet was done on September 7
Another survey was done after storm event Irma on September 18

The high cost of inlet access
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County looking at longer-lasting fix to Lockwood Folly Inlet shoaling problem
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New dredge project on horizon for Lockwood Folly
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Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging approved, work expected to begin in January
The United States Army Corps of Engineers has presented a plan to dredge the navigation channel at the Lockwoods Folly Inlet in Brunswick County. The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners yesterday approved a motion to transfer $168,000 to the North Carolina Division of Water resources as part of the required local match to fund the project.

The Commissioners also agree to allow the chairman to write a letter to the Town of Holden Beach requesting $84,000, or 50 percent of the project’s local share. According to the Board of Commissioners, other towns will not be asked for financial assistance; they will also not receive any of the dredged sand for beach re-nourishment projects.

“The (United States Army Corps of Engineers) USACE has presented a plan to dredge the navigation channel 10-feet deep and 100-feet wide in a project proposed to begin in late January of 2018. The project will be performed by a ‘hopper’ dredge, the Currituck, so there will be nearshore placement of beneficial beach quality sand. However, the USACE has advised staff that it is not feasible to share the sand from this project between Holden Beach and Oak Island because of the travel distances involved and the limited time availability of the Currituck, nor is it feasible for all of the sand to be placed nearshore solely on Oak Island because of the same reasons,” according to the Board of Commissioners agenda. The total project cost is expected to be $504,000 and two-thirds of the project will be funded through the state’s Shallow Draft Navigation Fund.

In April the United States Coast Guard announced its intentions to remove ten of the navigational buoys from the channel. (Coast Guard pulls Lockwoods Folly buoys, tells mariners to sail ‘at their own risk’) The channel separates Oak Island and Holden Beach and is location where the Lockwoods Folly River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The buoys were removed due to, “extensive shoaling, or deposits of sand that reduce the water depth,” according to a previous Port City Daily article.

According to the USACE plans, the dredging will take about two weeks to complete and the material will be placed in the near shore at Holden Beach. The estimated amount of material removed from the inlet is 45,000 cubic yards.
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County approves funding Lockwood Folly Inlet dredge project
Brunswick County Commissioners approved the transfer of a local funds match to allow dredging of the Lockwood Folly Inlet to occur in January.
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Commissioners OK funding Lockwood Folly dredging
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Update –
Project proposed to begin in late January of 2018. The project will be performed by a ‘hopper’ dredge, so there will be nearshore placement of beneficial beach quality sand. David informed us that the tentative date for the dredge project is now the first week in February.


Corrections & Amplifications –

Water Resources Development Grant for Canal Maintenance Dredging
Previously reported – December 2017
The Town applied for grant funding through the NC Division of Water Resources Development Grant. The purpose of our request for assistance was for navigation maintenance dredging of the canals of Holden Beach.  We were notified that the grant has been tentatively approved in the amount of $1,439,922.00. This fund uses the resources of the NC Shallow Draft Navigation Fund. Since it is a reimbursement grant, each canal will be responsible for paying for their dredging project costs upfront and then the state will reimburse the dredging line in the budget after satisfactory completion of the project. To complete the grant process, the granting agency requires a resolution from the BOC and we will then have a contract sent to us. Staff recommends accepting the grant funding. Staff would also like to communicate that various projects are beginning to be funded through the NC Shallow Draft Navigation Fund and there is no guarantee for future funding for subsequent dredging events. The Town held a meeting with the Canal Dredging Working Group Members and they are in support of accepting the grant.

Grant is tentatively approved but requires a formal resolution from the Board to finalize the process. The grant is good for two years and will accelerate our current dredging schedule. It is a reimbursement grant which means we do not receive the funds until after work is completed and paid for. Christy also requested that they allow the Town Manager to execute the contract which the Board agreed to.

Update –
Holden Beach nets state funding to dredge canals
Town officials applied for funding to dredge the canals through the N.C. Shallow Draft Navigation Fund, which provides funding to keep shallow waters in the state navigable. It includes “the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and its side channels.” A two-thirds match of $1.4 million was approved for the “Holden Beach Canal Maintenance Dredging Project,” for a total project cost of about $2.2 million. The remaining cost will be paid for by the property owners along the canals via assessments, yearly fees property owners have been paying for years for canal maintenance.

For Holden Beach, the project will entail removing approximately 71,500 cubic yards of sand from more than 22,000 linear feet of canals, which Hewett said constitutes the entirety of the canal subdivisions. Hewett said the state funding Holden Beach will receive is a reimbursement grant, meaning property owners will pay for the dredging cost upfront and then the state will reimburse the property owners after the project is complete. The funding award is pending the successful execution of a grant contract between the state and Holden Beach. The dredging project will start around November 2018 and should wrap up by April 2019, Hewett said.
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Odds & Ends

 

North Carolina Rate Bureau Requests 18.7% Increase for Homeowners Insurance

 

 

 

The North Carolina Rate Bureau has filed notice with the N.C. Department of Insurance request a statewide average increase in homeowners insurance rates of 18.7 percent for 2018, according to Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. The NC Rate Bureau represents the homeowners insurance companies in the state in asking for this increase.

NCDOI said the rate filing is the first homeowners insurance rate increase request received from the Rate Bureau since 2014. That filing resulted in the first homeowners insurance hearing in over 20 years with the Insurance Commissioner deciding on a “no change” decision on behalf of policyholders.

The last time a homeowners insurance rate increase request from the Rate Bureau resulted in higher rates for homeowners was in 2012. The Rate Bureau asked for a 17.7 percent increase, then after negotiation settled at an overall statewide average of 7 percent.

NCDOI said a public comment period, required by law, to give the public time to address the Rate Bureau’s proposed rate increase. There are three ways to provide comment:

  • A public comment forum will be held to listen to public input on the Rate Bureau’s rate increase request at the NC Department of Insurance’s Second Floor Hearing Room from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2017. NCDOI is located in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, N.C.
  • Emailed public comments should be sent by Dec. 29, 2017 to: 2017HomeInsurance@ncdoi.gov
  • Written public comments should be mailed to Tricia Ford to be received by Dec. 29, 2017 and addressed to: 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1201

All public comments will also be shared with the NC Rate Bureau. If NCDOI officials do not agree with the requested rates, they will be negotiated with the NC Rate Bureau. If a settlement cannot be reached within 50 days, a hearing will be called.

Settlements have been reached on rate filings in the past but if the case goes to a hearing, the hearing officer will rule on rates and any appeal would go through the court system. The rates set in these cases represent the highest amount allowable for all companies to charge.
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Bureau seeks 25 percent homeowners insurance rate hike for county beaches
Insurance companies want a 25 percent increase on Brunswick County homeowners insurance rates on or near the coast and 23.7 percent everywhere else. The number increases to a 40 percent rate hike proposed for Brunswick County renters and condominium owners, according to numbers the North Carolina Rate Bureau proposed to the state’s Department of Insurance.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced Nov. 20 that the N.C. Rate Bureau, which represents homeowners insurance companies in the state, filed notice asking for a statewide average increase in homeowners insurance rates for 2018. The statewide average increase was listed as 18.7 percent, but additional information provided by Barry Smith with the Department of Insurance mapped the rate increase proposals for 29 territories across the state.

Causey’s notice announced the start of the public comment period on the bureau’s rate increase request as required by law. The DOI accepts written public comments, which should be emailed and delivered via the U.S. Postal Service by Dec. 29, 2017. Emails can be sent to 2017HomeInsurance@ncdoi.gov. Written public comments should be mailed to Tricia Ford at 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201. All public comments will also be shared with the bureau. “We are eager to hear your comments,” Smith said.
Read more » click here

Update –
Insurance commissioner rejects proposed homeowners insurance rate increase, public hearing set
After over 9,000 residents sent in their concerns, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has rejected a proposed homeowners insurance rate increase that would hit the coast especially hard. Pending further negotiations, Commissioner Causey set a public hearing date in July to determine an appropriate rate increase. Submitted in November by the North Carolina Rate Bureau, a non-profit rating bureau that represents insurance companies, the proposal called for a 25 percent increase in homeowners insurance in many coastal communities.

Residents in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Onslow counties would fall under the N.C. Rate Bureau’s 25 percent territory. Insurance for residential property, tenants, and condominiums was included in the November filing.

Hearing set
If the N.C. Rate Bureau and N.C. Department of Insurance (DOI) cannot reach an agreement, the rate increase would be decided upon after the public hearing, scheduled for July 23, 2018. “We can still work to negotiate a settlement between now and a July hearing date,” said Barry Smith,” communications specialist for the N.C. Department of Insurance. An increase has not been implemented since 2012 when the N.C. Rate Bureau and the N.C. DOI settled on a 7 percent. In 2014, an N.C. Rate Bureau proposed rate increase was ultimately ruled to not change after a decision was upheld by the N.C. Court of Appeals.

25, 65, or 0?
A discrepancy in necessity exists between coastal residents of North Carolina and the N.C. Rate Bureau. The Pender County Board of Commissioners, the Topsail Island Board of Commissioners and Surf City Town Council all passed resolutions objecting to the increase. The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners penned an open letter in opposition. Ray Evans, the general manager for the N.C. Rate Bureau, says the increase is long overdue. Evans said in December the increase ought to be 65 percent based on the bureau’s calculations. Overdue or not, of the 9,000 responses the N.C. DOI received, Smith said an overwhelming majority were opposed to the increase. “Our legal staff has been reading them, they saw that they were predominantly opposed to it,” Smith said. Despite the public’s disagreement, the N.C. Rate Bureau is likely to see its proposal through litigation. If the N.C. Rate Bureau and the N.C. DOI fail to reach an agreement before the public hearing, an order would be issued in October 2018 to revise standing rates.
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NC Dept. of Insurance rejects request for 18.7 percent increase in homeowners insurance
The North Carolina Department of Insurance has rejected a proposed 18.7 percent average increase statewide in homeowners insurance, according to a Friday news release from the agency. “We are not in agreement with the Rate Bureau’s proposed increases filed Nov. 17, 2017. The next step, according to statute, is to set a hearing date,” said Commissioner Mike Causey. “After hearing and reading the more than 9,000 comments from residents across the state and studying the figures in the filing, it is now necessary to hold a hearing to reach a resolution that will make the most financial sense for our residents and insurance companies.” The hearing is set for July 23 and will begin at 10 a.m. in the Second Floor Hearing Room in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh. The hearing will be held unless the NC Department of Insurance and NC Rate Bureau are unable to negotiate a settlement before that date. State law gives the insurance commissioner 45 days to issue an order once the hearing concludes. This means the order could be issued in October 2018.

Once the order is issued, the NCRB has the right to appeal the decision before the NC Court of Appeals. A Court of Appeals order could then be appealed to the NC Supreme Court. The NCRB and DOI can settle the proposed rate increase at any time during litigation. The NCRB filed the average 18.7 homeowners increase Nov. 17, 2017. The filing covers insurance for residential property, tenants, and condominiums at varying rates around the state. Under the NCRB proposal, the biggest increases would be felt along the coast. The requested increase for Brunswick County homeowners was between 23.7 and 25 percent. The NCRB has requested certain areas of western North Carolina receive small rate decreases. These areas include Haywood, Cherokee, Mitchell and Avery counties. Anson, Montgomery, and Richmond counties would also see small rate decreases. The NCRB represents insurers that write the state’s homeowners policies. It is a non-profit unincorporated rating bureau separate from the Department of Insurance. The NCRB also represents auto and workers compensation insurance companies.

The NCDOI held a public comment forum regarding the NCRB rate filing Dec. 12, 2017. Six people attended the forum, including Rep. Bob Muller, R-Brunswick, and Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort. The department also received comments via email and U.S. mail through Dec. 29, 2017. 

The last NCRB homeowners rate increase filing was in 2014 that resulted in an order of “no change” from the Commissioner of Insurance. In 2012, the NCRB requested a 17.7 percent increase, which was settled for an increase of 7 percent that took effect in 2013.
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Commissioner denies homeowners insurance rate increase
The state’s new insurance commissioner followed in his predecessor’s footsteps by denying a request for a homeowners insurance rate increase. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey rejected the North Carolina Rate Bureau’s proposal for a statewide 18.7 percent homeowners insurance rate increase, according to a Jan. 5 news release from the North Carolina Department of Insurance. For Brunswick County, Causey’s denial staves off the insurance companies’ call for a 25 percent increase on homeowners insurance rates on or near the coast and 23.7 percent everywhere else, according to numbers the bureau proposed to the state’s Department of Insurance.
Read more » click here

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
North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has set July 23, 2018 as the hearing date for the North Carolina Rate Bureau’s proposed 18.7 percent homeowners insurance rate increase. “We are not in agreement with the Rate Bureau’s proposed increases filed Nov. 17, 2017. The next step, according to statute, is to set a hearing date,” said Commissioner Causey. “After hearing and reading the more than 9,000 comments from residents across the state and studying the figures in the filing, it is now necessary to hold a hearing to reach a resolution that will make the most financial sense for our residents and insurance companies.” The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in the Second Floor Hearing Room in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh. The hearing will be held unless the N.C. Department of Insurance and N.C. Rate Bureau are unable to negotiate a settlement before that date. State law gives the Insurance Commissioner 45 days to issue an order once the hearing concludes. This means the order could be issued in October 2018. Once the order is issued, the NCRB has the right to appeal the decision before the N.C. Court of Appeals. A Court of Appeals order could then be appealed to the N.C. Supreme Court. The NCRB and DOI can settle the proposed rate increase at any time during litigation. The NCRB filed the average 18.7 homeowners increase Nov. 17, 2017. The filing covers insurance for residential property, tenants, and condominiums at varying rates around the state. Under the NCRB proposal, the biggest increases would be felt along the coast. The NCRB has requested certain areas of western North Carolina receive small rate decreases. These areas include Haywood, Cherokee, Mitchell rand Avery counties. Anson, Montgomery, and Richmond counties would also see small rate decreases. The NCRB represents insurers that write the state’s homeowners policies. It is a non-profit unincorporated rating bureau separate from the Department of Insurance. The NCRB also represents auto and workers compensation insurance companies. The NCDOI held a public comment forum regarding the NCRB rate filing Dec. 12, 2017. Six people attended the forum, including Rep. Bob Muller, R-Brunswick, and Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort. The department also received comments via email and U.S. mail through Dec. 29, 2017. The last NCRB homeowners rate increase filing was in 2014 that resulted in an order of “no change” from the Commissioner of Insurance. In 2012, the NCRB requested a 17.7 percent increase, which was settled for an increase of 7 percent that took effect in 2013.
Read the press release » click here


This & That

Former Holden Beach Commissioner Sandifer dies
Former Holden Beach commissioner Patricia “Pat” Sandifer passed away unexpectedly at her home Friday morning, January fifth, at age 77. Sandifer served the town as a Holden Beach Commissioner from 1999-2001 and from 2005-2007. She was also the owner of Holden Beach Properties, a real estate company on the island that her family started in 1961.


Holden Beach fire damages 2 homes, boat
A fire in Holden Beach Tuesday morning caused nearly $500,000 in damages. The Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department, along with the Supply and Civietown Volunteer Fire Departments, responded to the fire at 120 Charlotte Street, Holden Beach, at 2:32 a.m. Tuesday. Responding units found two homes and a boat heavily involved in a fire, according to a news release from the Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department.
Read more » click here


U.S. judges order overhaul of North Carolina’s partisan congressional districts
A three-judge federal panel ordered congressional districts in North Carolina to be redrawn ahead of the 2018 elections, ruling on Tuesday that the Republican-drawn map was illegal and unconstitutionally partisan. The ruling was the first time that a federal court blocked a congressional map because of partisan gerrymandering, said Michael Li, a redistricting expert at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.
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Federal court voids North Carolina’s GOP-drawn congressional map for partisan gerrymandering
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North Carolina Congressional Map Ruled Unconstitutionally Gerrymandered
Read more » click here

Supreme Court says North Carolina does not have to immediately redraw congressional maps that a lower court ruled unconstitutional
The Supreme Court said late Thursday that North Carolina does not immediately have to redraw its congressional district maps, meaning that the 2018 elections will likely be held in districts that a lower court found unconstitutional. The court granted a request from North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders to put the lower court’s ruling on hold. The decision was not unexpected, because the Supreme Court generally is reluctant to require the drawing of new districts before it has had a chance to review a lower court’s ruling that such an action is warranted, especially in an election year.
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Factoid That May Interest Only Me –

Study: North Carolina’s coastal policies among worst in nation on climate change
Days after a federal report issued a harsh warning about climate change, an environmental group said North Carolina’s policies leave it among the most ill-prepared on the East Coast to deal with the effects of rising seas.
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How the Wilmington area deals with rising seas and an increasing number of floods
According to research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, rising sea levels magnifies tides and can cause damage without a drop of rain. So, add a weather system packing heavy rainfall or powerful storm surge, and those effects are magnified.

A much-maligned 2012 law in North Carolina essentially blocked state-level agencies from using predictive methods to determine the possible impact of rising sea levels. The initial draft of the law would have essentially gagged local and regional government from officially discussing some of the more pessimistic sea level estimates. However, the final version of the bill was altered and, while it continues to constrain coastal management and the state’s Department of Transportation, it does allow counties, towns and cities to pursue their own policies, studies and plans.

Here’s how governments and utilities in the Wilmington area are planning for potential increases in sea level…
Read more » click here

Brunswick County eliminated plans to address rising sea levels. Apparently, no one knows why
With 45 miles of shoreline, all of it vulnerable to storm surges and flooding, Brunswick County has a lot to lose from rising sea levels. It’s not just the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by tourist coming to Brunswick County beaches, providing millions in tax revenue. Much of the county’s population is also located near coastal and tidal river shorelines.

So why were three strategies for dealing with sea level rise eliminated from the county’s most recent plan for dealing with large scale disasters? The short answer is: no one seems to know.

But first, back up to the creation of hazard mitigation plans.

Hazard Mitigation
Brunswick County has historically included several strategies in its hazard mitigation plans. These five-year plans became requirements of all counties in the devastating wake of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, and cover a wide range of potential disasters, including those related to sea level rise.

Brunswick County shares a plan with New Hanover and Pender counties, but each county has a section with its own specific strategies, as do municipalities within the county. Brunswick County’s latest plan, approved by the Board of Commissioners in 2016, eliminates three strategies for dealing with sea level rise.
Read more » click here

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.
Read more » click here

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.

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. Property owners who are required to have flood insurance would be unable to complete new mortgage transactions. The National Association of Realtors estimates that a lapse might result in the delay or cancellation of approximately 40,000 home sale closings per month nationwide.
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.
//// November 2017
Name:              Catch
Cuisine:           Seafood
Location:        6623 Market St., Wilmington NC
Contact:          910.799.3847 or www.catchwilmington.com
Food:                Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:           Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:      Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:           Three Stars
Located in a nondescript strip mall on the main drag away from downtown Catch prepares modern seafood cuisine and is an award-winning eatery. Celebrity chef and owner Keith Rhodes opened Catch Restaurant in 2006. He has always favored wild caught or sustainably raised seafood and continually supports local fisheries and organic farmers. At Catch it’s all about the food, which is amazing!  If you dine out just for the food, not for anything else, Catch is one of Wilmington’s top restaurants. Despite the food being outstanding it was still over-priced. The prices are those of an upscale restaurant and they just aren’t one. Therefore, it’s hard to justify the expense. They still are on my short list of favorite restaurants.


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 MIDNIGHT LINE by Lee Child
This is the twenty-second (22) entry in the bestselling series of crime thrillers with vigilante hero Jack Reacher. In the latest novel, the plot is driven by Reacher’s desire to learn how a West Point class ring ended up in a pawnshop. During his quest to track down the owner of the ring he stumbles upon a large criminal enterprise involved in the distribution of opioids. 

 


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12 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

Town Meeting 12/19/17

“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:
. 1) Canal Dredging / Water Resources Development Grant


2. Presentation of Plaque to the Outgoing Board of Commissioners by Town Manager Hewett

Recognition was given to all members of the outgoing Board.
The plaque was presented to everyone elected in 2015 and will be hung in the Town Hall.


3. Presentation of Plaques to Individual Members of the Outgoing Board of Commissioners by Mayor Holden
.   a) Ashley Royal
.   b)
Ken Kyser
  c)
Kim Isenhour

All three (3) outgoing Commissioners received plaques of appreciation from the town for their service. The plaque was presented to each individually and followed by a photo-op.

Commissioner Isenhour – was not in attendance

I’d personally like to thank the Commissioners for their dedicated service to the community.


4. Board of Commissioners’ Comments
.   a) Ashley Royal
.   b)
Ken Kyser
  c)
Kim Isenhour

Mayor Holden thanked them for all they’ve done!
Ashley and Ken were grateful for having served.
Both offered some sage advice to the newly elected Commissioners.


5. Judge Fred Gore Will Present the Oath of Office to the 2017 – 2019 Board of Commissioners
.   a)
Mayor – J. Alan Holden
  b)
Commissioners – Mike Sullivan, Pat Kwiatkowski, Joe Butler,                                 .        John Fletcher & Peter Freer

 Fred Gore is a District Court Judge in Judicial District 13, which covers Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties. The 13th Judicial District judges preside primarily over civil, criminal and juvenile matters. Gore a native of Brunswick County is also a property owner on Holden Beach.

.
Judge Gore presided over the swearing in ceremony
• Elected officials were sworn in one at a time
• They each took the oaths of office and then took their seats on the council
• Some family members participated in the ceremony

For more information » Town Department – Elected Officials


6. Election of Mayor Pro Tempore
Discussion and Nomination of Board Member to the Mayor Pro Tem Position
Per Town Ordinance §30.05 and North Carolina General Statute §160A-70

 §30.05 MAYOR PRO TEMPORE AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

The BOC shall elect from one of its members: (1) a Mayor Pro Tempore, and (2) an Executive Secretary, who shall not be the same member. The normal term of office of both the Mayor Pro Tempore and the Executive Secretary shall be one year, commencing at the first regular meeting in December; provide, however that each shall serve at the pleasure of the BOC.

The Mayor Pro Tempore shall discharge the duties and exercise the powers and authority of Mayor in the absence, disability, disqualification of the Mayor and during a vacancy in the office of Mayor; provided his or her rights and duties as BOC shall remain unimpaired; except he or she shall receive the salary or expenses of Mayor when serving in that capacity.  No additional oath of office shall be required of the Mayor Pro Tempore upon assuming the duties of the Mayor beyond that oath taken at the time of appointment to Mayor Pro Tempore.

Candidate                            Position                      Term              Votes
Mike Sullivan                        Commissioner             First                228
Patricia Kwiatkowski          Commissioner             First                177
Joseph Butler                         Commissioner            First                168
John Fletcher                         Commissioner            Second            168
Peter Freer                             Commissioner            Second            168

Mayor Pro Tem is elected by the Board of Commissioners and is not necessarily the person with the most votes in the general election. The selection of Mayor Pro Tem is at the discretion of the other elected commissioners. Although traditionally the person with the most votes has been selected the rules do not require it.

Commissioner Fletcher made a motion to nominate Mike Sullivan for Mayor Pro Tem
Mike Sullivan, the top vote getter, was elected as Mayor Pro Tem

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Election of Executive Secretary
Discussion and Nomination of Board Member to the Executive Secretary Position
Per Town Ordinance §30.05 and North Carolina General Statute §160A-70

Previously reported –
Ordinance 15-08 amended Section 30.05 adding an Executive Secretary position

  §30.05 MAYOR PRO TEMPORE AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

The BOC shall elect from one of its members: (1) a Mayor Pro Tempore, and (2) an Executive Secretary, who shall not be the same member. The normal term of office of both the Mayor Pro Tempore and the Executive Secretary shall be one year, commencing at the first regular meeting in December; provide, however that each shall serve at the pleasure of the BOC.

The Executive Secretary shall be responsible for: (1) creating the agenda for each regular and special meeting of the BOC, and (2) assembling all supporting agenda package materials, in consultation with the other members of the BOC and the Town Manager and Town Attorney, as applicable. The Executive Secretary shall timely deliver the same to the Town Clerk for copying, delivery and publication in accordance with these ordinances and the Rules of Procedure provided for herein. The Town Clerk and Town Manager shall provide logistical and advisory support to the Executive Secretary in performing these functions and the Town Attorney shall provide legal interpretation or support as requested by the Executive Secretary. No notice of any regular or special meeting of the BOC, nor any agenda or agenda package materials with respect thereto shall be delivered or published by the Town Clerk without the express prior authorization of the Executive Secretary.

Update –

Commissioner Fletcher made a motion to nominate Peter Freer for Executive Secretary
Peter Freer was elected as Executive Secretary

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8. Discussion and Possible Approval of 2018 Board of Commissioners’ Regular Meeting Schedule – Town Clerk Finnell

2018 Meeting Schedule –
Regular meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month

TUESDAY, JANUARY 16th
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20th
TUESDAY, MARCH 20th             * Moved to the fourth Tuesday of the month, MARCH 27th
TUESDAY, APRIL 17th
TUESDAY, MAY 15th                * Moved to the second Tuesday of the month, MAY 8th
TUESDAY, JUNE 19th
TUESDAY, JULY 17th                     * Moved to the second Tuesday of the month, JULY 10th
TUESDAY, AUGUST 21st
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16th        * Moved to the fourth Tuesday of the month, OCTOBER 23rd
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20th
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18th

Meeting schedule was adopted with several changes. They moved four (4) of the meeting dates which managed to irk quite a few people including the Mayor and Town Manager. Our Town attorney is not available for the two meetings that are scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

 My Two Cents - CR III am not happy about the changes. Last year we changed the meetings to the third Tuesday instead of the second Tuesday. Now we have meetings scheduled on the second, third and fourth Tuesday of the month. This is creating havoc with the Louian Calendar. Seriously, make up your minds already!!!!  Those of us who attend including the Mayor and Town staff have previous commitments based on the original meeting schedule.


9. Discussion and Possible Approval of 2018 Budget Schedule Process and Scheduling of a Date to Hold a Strategic Workshop – Commissioner Fletcher

Budget Season 2017 / Meeting Schedule

  1. 23 Jan          BOC’s Workshop Goals / Capital Programs
  2. 24 Feb         Canal Dredging Working Group
  3. 3 Mar          Departments Input to Manager
  4. 15 Mar        BOC’s Workshop Revenues
  5. 24 Apr         BOC’s Workshop Expenses
  6. 15 May        Budget Message
  7. 9 June          Special Meeting / Public Hearing
  8. 20 June        Regular BOC’s Meeting
  9. 30 June        Budget Adopted

    Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:
    .     a)
    Raising taxes
        b)
    Cutting spending
        c)
    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.

The Board scheduled the first workshop on January 16th at 9:00am
Commissioners will submit their priorities to the Town manager prior to the meeting

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


10. Discussion and Possible Adoption of Rules of Procedure for the Board of Commissioners – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
The Board of Commissioners is required to adopt Rules of Procedure per the Town’s Code of Ordinances, Section 30.19.

I have included the version the 2015 – 2017 Board of Commissioners adopted when entering office. The School of Government recently released Suggested Rules of Procedure for a City Council, Fourth Edition. A copy of this version is also included in your packets. If the Board chooses to adopt either version for the upcoming term, the entire rules can be adopted, or amendments may be made.

 As required by Town Ordinance §30.19.

Based upon the Suggested Rules of Procedure for a City Council – published by the University of North Carolina School of Government

 §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


11. Police Report – Chief Wally Layne

Police PatchSo far, so good
*
No Crime Wave
*
No break-ins reported

It’s that time of the year, break-in season


We all serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement.

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
. a) Don’t leave vehicles unlocked
. b)
Don’t leave valuables in your vehicles
. c)
Lock your doors & windows – house, garage, storage areas and sheds

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


12. Citizen Advisory Committee Report on Parking – Mark Fleischhauer, Chair 

 Agenda Packet –
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.

Mark did the following presentation –

  • Assess current parking resources
  • Town properties potential parking use
  • Investigate what other beach communities are doing
  • Investigate paid parking options
  • Investigate any regulations or restrictions
  • Consider limitations to right-of-way parking
  • Recommendations

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


13. Discussion and Possible Approval of Agreement Between the Town and Green Engineering, PLLC for Engineering Services for Structural and Mechanical Modifications to Vacuum Sewer Pump Station Number 4 – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet –
This memo recommends and presents for the Board of Commissioner’s consideration the agreement for structural and mechanical work to Sewer Lift Station 4 with Green Engineering. Approval of the agreement will provide all engineering services required in the amount of $158,000 to construct a vulnerability reducing structure of Lift Station 4.

Background:
The Holden Beach Board of Commissioners commissioned McGill and Associates to perform a Sewer Study to evaluate sewer system vulnerability reducing measures. This report was published to the Board in April 2017. During a special meeting on May 19, 2017, the Board selected and approved “alternative 2” as presented by the McGill study. A fiscal year 2017-2018 budget appropriation of $1,413,000 was made to accommodate total programmatic expenses of Lift Station 4 improvements. Agreement fees are within the budgeted allowances for Engineering Services.

Recommend approval.

Previously reported – 

August 2016
Selection of Engineer to Review Sewer System Vulnerability  The Town’s sewer lift stations were built underground which makes them highly vulnerable to flooding from a storm surge. If the electrical panels controlling the sewer lift stations are damaged by water, we could be looking at shutting down the sewer system potentially for months. Under current health and building laws, no houses could be occupied during that time because there would be no sanitary sewer system operating. The surrounding islands do not have this issue since they elevated the electrical control panels to eliminate the panels from being exposed to water damage. The new Board established The Sanitary Sewer Vulnerability Community Advisory Committee to assess the vulnerability of our sewer system and look at alternatives and costs to solve the problem.

 In August the Board voted to obtain an independent second opinion from an engineering firm that specializes in this area, qualifications related to the task at hand, as opposed to the engineer of record which is more of generalist. Town Manager was instructed to initiate a request for proposal process to evaluate the current situation, do risk analysis of the vulnerabilities of our lift stations, propose remedies to mitigate those risks, address concerns and propose solutions.

October 2016
Unfortunately, we only got one response for our request for proposal. Town Manager indicated it was not a problem that we only had one response if they are qualified. The material sent was a sales pitch that did not address issues as requested. Specifically, the Board wants to clarify if the firm can do what they asked for.

That is –
    1)
Assessment (As Is)
.     2)
Risk Analysis (Cost-Benefit)
.     3)
Proposed remedies (To Be)

Motion was made to ask them for information that was requested. Original request was to evaluate the current situation, do risk analysis of the vulnerabilities of our lift stations, propose remedies to mitigate those risks, address concerns and propose solutions.

 November 2016
Compass Pointe Engineering addressed the Board’s concerns
By consensus they agreed to move forward with developing a contract
Contract to be reviewed and possibly approved at next scheduled Board meeting

 My Two Cents - CR IIThis Board has done more than any previous Board to address the sewer vulnerability issues. System failure from the storm event would have had serious negative impacts. We are moving forward with minimizing the threat, they have authorized the purchase of both parts and generators. Goal is not to repeat mistakes that were made the first time, but to do it right and mitigate risks.

September 2017
Selection of Engineering Firm for Engineering Design and Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System Station #4 Upgrade – Public Works Director Clemmons     

The Town of Holden Beach hereby requests qualified firms to submit Statements of Qualifications for planning, design, permitting, bidding and construction services related to improvements to the Town’s Sewer Pump Station #4.

Vacuum Sewer System Station #4 Upgrade
Request for Qualifications Engineering Design and Permitting
The original pump station #4 was constructed in 2005 as part of the Holden Beach sewer system. The vacuum portion of the pump station and related electrical equipment is located fully below the base flood elevation. The Town desires to modify the pump station to reduce vulnerability due to flooding and improve employee safety by constructing an above the ground structure to house the vacuum pumps and all related electrical equipment above the base flood elevation. The design of the new structure will include the necessary aesthetic improvements to be consistent with the Town’s expectations.

A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) usually refers to the pre-qualification stage of the procurement process. Only those proponents who successfully respond to the RFQ and meet the qualification criteria will be included in the subsequent Request for Proposals (RFP) solicitation process.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a solicitation, often made through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service or valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit business proposals.

Chris briefly explained where we were at and how we got there. The Board needs to select a firm based on qualification criteria only. The engineer firm selected is responsible for the design, bid, and construct process. The

Board would authorize the Town Manager to then negotiate a contract with engineering firm.

October 2017
To be clear, this is strictly for engineering services. The Board needs to select a firm based on qualification criteria only; they selected Green Engineering. The engineer firm selected is responsible for the design, bid, and construct process. The Board authorized the Town Manager to negotiate a contract with the selected engineering firm.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously

 Update –
December 2017
They had a brief discussion about the contract. Specifically, they were concerned about the timeline. Our Town Manager assured them that the vendor was aware that time was of the essence and was already moving forward. The Building Inspector assured them that the contract addressed everything that was lacking from the original plan and installation

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

 My Two Cents - CR II What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been


14. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 17-10, Resolution in Support of the Water Resources Development Grant for Canal Maintenance Dredging – Shoreline Protection and Recreation Manager Ferguson

 Agenda Packet –
The Town applied for grant funding through the NC Division of Water Resources Development Grant. The purpose of our request for assistance was for navigation maintenance dredging of the canals of Holden Beach.  We were notified that the grant has been tentatively approved in the amount of $1,439,922.00. This fund uses the resources of the NC Shallow Draft Navigation Fund. Since it is a reimbursement grant, each canal will be responsible for paying for their dredging project costs upfront and then the state will reimburse the dredging line in the budget after satisfactory completion of the project. To complete the grant process, the granting agency requires a resolution from the BOC and we will then have a contract sent to us. Staff recommends accepting the grant funding. Staff would also like to communicate that various projects are beginning to be funded through the NC Shallow Draft Navigation Fund and there is no guarantee for future funding for subsequent dredging events. The Town held a meeting with the Canal Dredging Working Group Members and they are in support of accepting the grant.

Water Resources Development Grant Program
The purpose of this program is to provide cost-share grants and technical assistance to local governments throughout the state. Applications for grants are accepted for seven purposes: General Navigation, Recreational Navigation, Water Management, Stream Restoration, Land Acquisition and Facility Development for Water-Based Recreation, NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) stream restoration projects and Feasibility/Engineering Studies.
Read more » click here

Grant is tentatively approved but requires a formal resolution from the Board to finalize the process. The grant is good for two years and will accelerate our current dredging schedule. It is a reimbursement grant which means we do not receive the funds until after work is completed and paid for. Christy also requested that they allow the Town Manager to execute the contract which the Board agreed to.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


15. Discussion and Possible Acceptance of Real Property Gift, 158 Marlin Street, Parcel # 246AC001, Owned by Sawgrass LLC – Town Manager Hewett

                                                                Parcel#246AC001

Agenda Packet –

Ernie Crews (Sawgrass LLC) has contacted the Town and offered to gift deed the property at the northeast end of Marlin Street to the Town. Acquisition of this property by gift seems to be consistent the Section 9 of the Land Use Plan; which specifically establishes a goal of maximizing public access to the beaches and public trust waters of the Town of Holden Beach and maximizing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Additionally, use of the property for public recreational access seems to be compliant with the subdivision’s restrictive covenants

Town Manager was reluctant to recommend accepting property gift. David was also reluctant to not recommend accepting it. The lot is located at the northeast end of Marlin street and is not a buildable lot.  Issues include bulkhead repairs, dredging assessment fee, covenants and restrictions.

No decision was made – No action taken


Original Agenda Item –
16.
Discussion and Possible Approval of Search Process for Town Attorney and Appointment of Interim Attorney to Serve During Pendency of that Process – Commissioner Freer
a)
Resolution 17-11, Search and Recommendation Process for Appointment of Town Attorney

 As provided for at North Carolina General Statute §160A-173.

 §160A-173  City attorney; appointment and duties.
The council shall appoint a city attorney to serve at its pleasure and to be its legal adviser.

Agenda Packet –
RESOLUTION 17-11
SEARCH AND RECOMMENDATION PROCESS FOR APPOINTMENT of TOWN ATTORNEY

WHEREAS, as an organizational matter, the new BOC appoints a Town Attorney reporting to the BOC to represent the town;

WHEREAS, the Town Attorney appointed by the prior BOC, Noel Fox, who has served with distinction during the term of the prior BOC, was appointed by that BOC after a brief search and recommendation process during which search an interim Town Attorney was appointed to serve;

WHEREAS, the BOC believes the town is best served if all candidates for the office of Town Attorney, including the Town Attorney appointed by the prior BOC, are all given an equal opportunity to apply for the position;

THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY

RESOLVED, that the Audit Committee shall conduct a search and, not later than the regular meeting of the BOC in March 2019, make recommendations to the BOC for the office of Town Attorney;

RESOLVED FURTHER, that, during the pendency of that search and recommendation process, M. Scott Davis, Esq. of the law firm of Davis, Hartman and Wright is hereby appointed Town Attorney.

February 2016
Nomination and Possible Action on Hiring of New Town Attorney
Noel Fox of Craige & Fox was selected as our new town attorney
They terminated the interim attorney agreement and hired a permanent attorney
Noel has municipal law experience and her family owns property on Holden Beach
Commissioner Isenhour felt that they found exactly what they were looking for in Noel
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

 Amended Agenda Item –
16. Discussiand Possible Action of Hiring of Special Environmental Counsel – Peter Freer

Motion made as follows:
I move that the Board of Commissioners adopt a resolution previously distributed to the Board of Commissioners engaging Mr. Clark Wright Esq. of the North Carolina law firm of Davis, Hartman and Wright to serve as legal advisor to the Board with respect to beach protection and other environmental issues facing the Board. As a board, we currently confront a number of potentially serious and costly issues relating to beach protection, inlet dredging and navigability, legal rights of private property owners along the ocean front and challenges, including threats of costly litigation, by public interest groups, all relating to on-going projects, plans and permits. This Board needs to be pro-active in addressing these issues and threats, and we cannot do that without sophisticated legal advice. I have circulated Mr. Wrights firms draft engagement letter. Many of us, including our Town Attorney, Noel Fox, have worked with Clark in the past and are very familiar with his impressive qualifications. Most recently, Clark worked effectively with the town of behalf of the Holden Beach Property Owners Association to effectively resolve concerns about the implementation of the Central Reach Project. The HBPOA and Clark worked very constructively to help resolve potentially costly disputes that could have seriously delayed or even derailed the Central Reach project. Briefly, Clark is the senior environmental law partner with the North Carolina firm of David, Hartman and Wright. His undergraduate and law degrees are from UNC and prior to private practice he was a senior attorney in the NC Attorney Generals Environmental Protection Division. He has long-standing working relationships with key players, including NC CAMA, Federal EPA, and the Wilmington Office of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Mr. Wrights time will be billed at a significant discounted rate of $330 per hour from his standard rate of $450 per hour, and his engagement letter will be delivered to the Town Attorney for review and approval. Mr. Wright will report to the Board at an executive session to be scheduled within the next 30 days to provide legal overview and make recommendation with respect to currently pending beach re-nourishment and environmental issues. And during this brief review period, the Town won’t make any fillings or take any other legal actions on these issues.

RESOLUTION 17-11
HIRING OF SPECIAL ENVIRONMENTAL COUNSEL

WHEREAS, the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners has the authority pursuant to N.C.G.S 160A-173 to appoint a Town Attorney to be the Board’s legal advisor;

WHEREAS, Charlotte Noel Fox currently serves as the Town Attorney; and

WHEREAS, the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners has identified an immediate need to retain outside legal counsel specializing in environmental law to provide the Board of Commissioners with information, guidance and legal advice on environmental issues in which the Town and its governing Board currently are, or may in the future be, involved;

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS

RESOLVED, that Clark Wright, a preeminent environmental lawyer of the firm Davis Hartman Wright PLLC, be and now is retained as outside legal counsel with initial focus on shoreline protection issues, as well as other matters of environmental concern as from time to time may be identified by the Board of Commissioners.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that Charlotte Noel Fox shall continue serving as the Town Attorney.

Newly elected Mayor Pro Tem Mike Sullivan was not happy with the amended agenda item. He felt the public and the Board were not given an opportunity to review the changes. He asked to table the motion until the next scheduled meeting, The Town Manager threw a wrench into the works when he stated that we already have an environmental lawyer working on the terminal groin permit process.

A decision was made – Approved (3 to 2)


17. Town Manager’s Report

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
We are supposed to get letter of final determination any time now. We still do not have an official definitive answer as to when the flood maps will be approved. The projected effective date is sometime next spring.

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.

Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging
Brunswick County is working on two (2) potential projects.
New dredge project on horizon for Lockwood Folly
Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging approved, work expected to begin in January

Water Tower
They are repainting the water tower
Work has finally resumed
The water tank is empty, they are sand blasting the interior of the tank
The water tower will be painted the same color blue it is now
Any other color would significantly increase the cost of the job
Work is supposed to be completed by Easter (April 1st)

Water System
Third year that we are performing tests on the pipes, three tests one pipe from each zone, to determine their condition.

Previously reported
Water system was installed in 1978; it is 39 years old with the expected useful life being just 35 years. In other words, we are already past the stated useful life of the system. Previous test results were exceptionally good, minimum useful life expectancy is an additional thirty (30) years far exceeding the manufacturers stated expected useful life. Pipes are holding up nicely, but useful life expectancy does not mean things aren’t going to happen. However, it does not appear that we have any immediate issues.

Solid Waste
Solid Waste functional review focus group plus the town staff have completed the data collection. David plans to make a full-blown report at the February meeting.

Previously reportedAugust 2017
Town Manager position is that we shouldn’t jump to a solution before we completely understand the problem. David wants to view them all together and feels we shouldn’t address these issues in a piecemeal approach. Staff has already identified seventy (70) elements that need to be considered. He also would like to meet with the various stakeholders. That said, he should be able to get back to the Board in November with a suite of options, from soup to nuts.

Bridgeview Park
In December 2014, they approved spending $183,373 for two kayak launches, a picnic shelter and a splash pad which features several vertical water fountains that only come on when a child steps on the pad. The work on splash pad is now completed. That is the final site element required by the grant.

Holden Beach Park
Town Manager feels the name creates unnecessary confusion since it is located outside of the Town. Town Manager asked for and got permission from the Board to approach the County to change the park name to something else.

Previously reported
Holden Beach Park nature park is composed of about 35 acres stretching from Holden Beach Road to the Intracoastal Waterway. Once complete, the project is expected to feature nature trails, a gazebo, a pavilion with restrooms and a boardwalk near the water. Armed with half a million dollars, Brunswick County is ready to move forward with the beginning stages of designing and developing Holden Beach Park.

Grand Strand Metro
Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand Metropolitan Planning Organization has a federally funded sidewalk grant. We need to decide if it is in our best interest to participate. Our portion of the cost would be $34,000.

Holden Beach Bridge (NC 130) Right-of-Way Enhancement Project
The project required County approval since the area is part of their jurisdiction.  NCDOT has an agreement from us regarding electric, irrigation, and maintenance of the property. They want to turn it over to us now. David has a punch list of issues he wants addressed before we take it over.

Turkey Trap
The permit to mine there has been extended to 2021.

Previously reported
The Kirby site at Turkey Trap Road, less than three miles from the primary corporate limits of the Town, sanctioned use is as sand mine that has approximately @400,000 cubic yards of beach quality sand that
is the sand source for our beach nourishment projects.


18. Public Comments on General Items

There were comments made regarding the following:
.     1)
Canal Dredging / Water Resources Development Grant
.     2)
BOC’s Meeting Schedule


General Comments –

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Newsletter was posted early in order that our staff could go home for the holidays

There were twenty-nine (29) members of the community in attendance


HBPOIN is now Lou’s Views, we have made a switch over to a new URL web address. Temporary redirect from www.HBPOIN.com will cease to work by the end of the year; please update bookmark to www.lousviews.com.


Fiscal Year 2016 – 2017 Audit Results
Auditor’s report is due by October 31st and normally is given at the October meeting. Report was not given in either the October or December meetings, the November meeting was canceled.


My Christmas List - CR

I respectfully submit my Xmas list

These are the items I would most like to see addressed this year.
  1)
Address Sewer System Vulnerabilities
  2)
Community Rating System – improve rating so flood insurance rates are                      discounted
  3)
Beach – Strand / Inlet / Groin
.     a)
Select an East End nourishment project strategy
.     b)
Support Lockwood Folly Inlet waterway maintenance projects, keeping inlet                   navigable
    c)
Work together on beach protection issues with surrounding communities
.     d)
Create Shoreline Protection and Safety Board
    e)
Increase Beach Strand Ordinance Compliance & Enforcement
    f)
Expand Beach Ranger Program
.   4)
Parking
.     a)
Identify, map and put up signage for designated parking areas
    b)
Prohibit right-of-way parking
    c)
Utilize acquired properties for additional parking
.     d)
Develop plans for a promenade on Jordan Boulevard
.   5)
Trash Services
.     a)
Curbside Recycling
    b)
Pick-up time and frequency
    c)
Yard Waste
.     d)
Roll-back service
.     e)
Rental properties trash can requirement compliance


Request –

We encourage you to pass along this newsletter to anyone else you think would enjoy it. We would like to include other members of the community and are asking for your help in making that happen. To be added to our distribution list send an e-mail to hbpoin@ec.rr.com or subscribe on our website www.lousviews.com.
Thank you for subscribing!

HBPOIN Website –

The views expressed here are simply my opinion based on the facts as I understand them. I have no hidden agenda, no ax to grind, or any political ambition. I’m simply attempting to keep the community informed on what actually is going on here. I welcome updates, clarifications or a correction to any fact I have stated which have changed or was inadvertently stated incorrectly.

Disclaimer –
. 1) Not official correspondence from the Town
. 2) Not affiliated with Holden Beach Property Owners Association


Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday!Poinsetta


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

Above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year
Read more » click here

10 Hurricanes in 10 Weeks: A 124-Year-Old Record is Matched
Read more » click here

Yes, this hurricane season has been worse than usual!
Hurricane Ophelia is the tenth hurricane to form in the Atlantic this season. The ferocity of the Atlantic storm season isn’t just in your imagination; it’s one of the worst in years by various meteorological standards. NOAA’s prediction was right. This year’s hurricane season is more active than normal and has already produced more storms than the yearly average. The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is now among the top 10 all-time most active seasons on record.

Breathe Easy –Hurricane Season Ends
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1st through November 30th, ended quietly. As predicted, the Atlantic hurricane season was extremely active with seventeen (17) named storms. That’s five more than the average year; typically, there are only twelve (12) named storms each year. But the real concern wasn’t the number or storms, it was the intensity of the hurricanes that did hit. Three major storms impacted the U.S., the force of those hurricanes made this the costliest hurricane season of all time.

Extremely active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season finally ends
Today marks the official end of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which matched NOAA’s seasonal predictions for being extremely active. The season produced 17 named storms of which 10 became hurricanes including six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) – including the first two major hurricanes to hit the continental U.S. in 12 years.

 Based on the Accumulated Cyclone Energy index, which measures the combined intensity and duration of the storms during the season and is used to classify the strength of the entire hurricane season, 2017 was the seventh most active season in the historical record dating to 1851 and was the most active season since 2005.

 “In six short months, the next hurricane season will be upon us,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “This is a good time to review and strengthen your preparedness plans at home as we continue to build a Weather-Ready Nation.”

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will provide its initial seasonal outlook in May.
Read more » click here


Terminal Groin –Terminal Groin #6 - CR

Terminal Groin Presentation
For more information
» click here

What’s next?

The next steps include the following:
. 1)
Review Final EIS with USACE – November 2016
. 2) Publish final EIS – December 2016
. 3) Submit CAMA permit for review – December 2016
. 4) Public Hearing – January 2017
. 5) USACE record of decision – February 2017
. 6) Federal and State permit issuance – Spring 2017

My Two Cents - CR II

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

Update – October 2017
Terminal Groin presentation was made on October of 2016, a year ago.
We have had no communications from the Town regarding the status of our application. All the next step completion dates have come and gone. It would be nice if they kept us informed of the status of the tasks that still need to be completed.

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.

For more information, go to the Terminal Groin post


Lou’s Views / Holden Beach Property Owners Information Network
.          • 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


 

12 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / December Edition

Calendar of Events –

Las Vegas Night
The Rotary Club of Shallotte will host its Thirteenth Annual Las Vegas Night on Saturday, January 27th at 349 Whiteville Road, the Planet Fun building in Shallotte.


TDA - logoDiscover 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 –


 

Scooter’s Skating Trip
Burn some out-of-school energy with us on December 29th at Scooter’s Skating Rink.



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


Reminders –


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

 


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


Christmas Trees Recycling

Christmas trees can be recycled to help build sand dunes on the beach. It is a way to build more protection on the shore by using them as a natural and biodegradable sand fencing. The trees are positioned facing downward at a 45-degree angle. Once the trees are laid down, they are left completely exposed except for the tips, which are covered in sand. The needles of the branches catch the sand and it starts to accumulate until gradually the sand will bury the tree and build up the dunes around them. As the tree biodegrades, it provides nutrients to the other plants and organisms around it.


Upon Further Review –

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

Previously reportedOCTOBER 2014
OIB begin eminent domain action for Causeway Drive property
But the Drapac Group, new owners of Ocean Isle Palms, a development on Ocean Isle Beach Road SW, also began negotiations with the bank to buy the corner property.
Read more » click here

Drapac Group USA was established to invest in the rebounding US property market, and capitalize on the unprecedented real estate opportunities that were created by the credit crunch and global financial crisis. Drapac are recognized for their ability to source undervalued sites and subsequently unlock their true potential value.

 The real story here is that Drapac Group has purchased 236 properties in Ocean Isle Palms, they appear to be the properties Mark Saunders gave back to Bank of America

Australian company thinks
Brunswick County’s a good place to invest

An Australian land investment and development company has purchased much of developer Mark Saunders’ former Brunswick County empire, creating a buzz as far south as Myrtle Beach. The Drapac Group paid more than $7 million for almost 450 lots in six subdivisions, including 236 in Ocean Isle Palms near Ocean Isle Beach, according to Brunswick County records. The properties were among those where development stopped when Saunders found himself overextended as the housing bubble burst. Drapac purchased them from a trustee for Bank of America, a Saunders financier, which took them in lieu of the money it was owed.
Read more » click here

Update –
Brunswick County approves 827-acre development
An Australian-based investment company was granted approval Monday for an 827-acre planned development near Ocean Isle Beach. Since 2013, Drapac Capital Partners has obtained nine large Brunswick County tracts where planned developments were once platted and approved but fell victim to the economic recession. The projects have sat dormant until now.

The Brunswick County Planning Board approved plans for Ocean Isle Palms, bordered by Ocean Isle Beach Road and Old Georgetown Road. It consists of 2,520 single-family lots, 560 multi-family units and 35 acres of commercial space with an overall density of 3.72 units per acre. Jim Garrigus, vice-president of St. Bourke Group, the land developing arm of Drapac, told the planning board Monday the firm has control of over 22,000 lots in the United States, including 15 tracts in the Asheville and Charlotte communities.  “Each one has a future, but Ocean Isle Palms is the flagship,” said Garrigus. “This is the one we’re really going to put our name on.”

The Ocean Isle Palms property was obtained in 2014 when Drapac purchased much of developer Mark Saunders’s former properties in Brunswick County, paying more than $7-million for almost 450 lots in six subdivisions. Drapac purchased the properties from a trustee for Bank of America, which foreclosed when Saunders became overextended as a result of the housing bubble burst.

St. Bourke is proposing 222 acres of open space at Ocean Isle Palms, of which 27 acres will be recreational space. The original plan called for just 149 acres of open space. It will include a village center accessible to the general public with local shops and restaurants, not national retail chains. “It’s making a ‘place’ out of a project and not just a bunch of rows and lots,” said Garrigus. The project will be developed in a series of pods connected by miles of walking trails. The project aims for a mixture of home sizes, with more smaller units than the original plan called for, but built to quality, Garrigus said. Amenities will be installed first, including county water and sewer, streets and pools. “We have the resources to see this through,” said Garrigus. “It will not be in the state which we found it.”

The planning board, which has the final say in conceptual plans, gave unanimous approval to the project. No one opposed the project during a public hearing Monday.
Read more » click here

Developer has grand plans for 800 acres in Brunswick County
Drapac Capital Partners plans to develop the abandoned Ocean Isle Palms near Ocean Isle Beach, as well as other abandoned developments in the county.
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 –
EPA effort to address GenX
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a cross-agency program to address substances such as GenX.
Read more » click here

CFPUA: Costs of GenX treatment surpass $1 million
The latest update from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority sheds light on the ticket price of GenX so far.

The authority released an update Wednesday saying:
CFPUA continues taking extra steps to ensure our customers receive the highest quality drinking water possible. As our response to unregulated compounds increases, so do our costs. The lack of information surrounding unregulated compounds makes water treatment more complex and associated research costly.
Read more » click here


Latest Lockwood Folly dredge work finished, for now
Read more » click here

Lockwood Folly Inlet Hydrographic Survey

After-dredge survey of the inlet was done on September 7
Another survey was done after storm event Irma on September 18

The high cost of inlet access
Keeping shallow-draft inlets along the N.C. coast open and navigable is a costly venture — one that is increasingly falling on the shoulders of local communities.

Dredging shallow draft inlets has become a costly and frustrating venture for local communities due to the absence of federal funding. Some have found ways to navigate funding for inlet maintenance needs through cost-sharing, which usually is still not enough to pay for fully opening an inlet.

While Brunswick County and Holden Beach have both committed funds to maintaining Lockwood Folly Inlet in 2017-2018, Oak Island, which contributed funds to the latest dredging event, hasn’t committed to long-term inlet maintenance. Jim Medlock, the corps’ shallow draft navigation program project manager, said he’s working with the county to schedule another dredging event for the inlet within the next three months.
Read more » click here

County looking at longer-lasting fix to Lockwood Folly Inlet shoaling problem
Efforts to dredge Lockwood Folly Inlet could be under way by next spring, but right now, county leaders can’t say who will get the sand if the project proceeds.

The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement Monday night that will allow APTIM, an environmental engineering and consulting firm, to assess feasibility and provide initial contract engineering services for a Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging project. But at this point, county officials don’t know if it will be Oak Island or Holden Beach that receives the beach-renourishing sand.

The board unanimously approved entering into an agreement with APTIM to determine the feasibility of a Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging project with sand placement on adjoining beaches. It also approved a budget transfer of $9,875 from the shoreline protection reserve.
Read more » click here

Update –
New dredge project on horizon for Lockwood Folly
Brunswick County Commissioners are looking into having Weeks Marine dredge the Lockwood Folly Inlet while they’re in town working on projects at Wrightsville Beach and Ocean Isle Beach.
Read more » click here

Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging approved, work expected to begin in January
The United States Army Corps of Engineers has presented a plan to dredge the navigation channel at the Lockwoods Folly Inlet in Brunswick County. The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners yesterday approved a motion to transfer $168,000 to the North Carolina Division of Water resources as part of the required local match to fund the project.

The Commissioners also agree to allow the chairman to write a letter to the Town of Holden Beach requesting $84,000, or 50 percent of the project’s local share. According to the Board of Commissioners, other towns will not be asked for financial assistance; they will also not receive any of the dredged sand for beach re-nourishment projects.

“The (United States Army Corps of Engineers) USACE has presented a plan to dredge the navigation channel 10-feet deep and 100-feet wide in a project proposed to begin in late January of 2018. The project will be performed by a ‘hopper’ dredge, the Currituck, so there will be nearshore placement of beneficial beach quality sand. However, the USACE has advised staff that it is not feasible to share the sand from this project between Holden Beach and Oak Island because of the travel distances involved and the limited time availability of the Currituck, nor is it feasible for all of the sand to be placed nearshore solely on Oak Island because of the same reasons,” according to the Board of Commissioners agenda. The total project cost is expected to be $504,000 and two-thirds of the project will be funded through the state’s Shallow Draft Navigation Fund.

In April the United States Coast Guard announced its intentions to remove ten of the navigational buoys from the channel. (Coast Guard pulls Lockwoods Folly buoys, tells mariners to sail ‘at their own risk’) The channel separates Oak Island and Holden Beach and is location where the Lockwoods Folly River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The buoys were removed due to, “extensive shoaling, or deposits of sand that reduce the water depth,” according to a previous Port City Daily article.

According to the USACE plans, the dredging will take about two weeks to complete and the material will be placed in the near shore at Holden Beach. The estimated amount of material removed from the inlet is 45,000 cubic yards.
Read more » click here

County approves funding Lockwood Folly Inlet dredge project
Brunswick County Commissioners approved the transfer of a local funds match to allow dredging of the Lockwood Folly Inlet to occur in January.
Read more » click here

Commissioners OK funding Lockwood Folly dredging
Read more » click here


Corrections & Amplifications –

 

August 2017
Yard Debris Report –
Public Works Director Chris Clemmons

 

Yard Waste Service
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. Debris needs to be at the curb by Thursday evening in order to be collected on Friday.

Previously reported –
It was decided that this is a basic service and the Town should continue to provide this service. There’s just one caveat: it is approved for only one year and the vendor will capture data to get a handle on actual household usage. Coastal Transplants secured the contract with a bid of $14,610 for twelve (12) pickups.

Update –
The vendor has a vested interested in maintaining this service.
Coastal Transplants reported actual usage was around fifty (50) households that utilized this service. In addition, another fifty (50) households attempted to use service but were not in compliance.

December 2017
Yard Waste Service
Yard debris pick-up is provided twice a month on the 2ndand 4th Fridays during the months of October, November and December.

October 13                1 pick-up
October 27                8 pick-ups
November 10           14 pick-ups
December 8              7 pick-ups
December22            9 pick-ups        * Projected #, went Wednesday only saw two (2) piles

Following the trust but verify doctrine I collected my own data this fall on six (6) separate occasions. Coastal Transplants reported spring usage was around fifty (50) households that utilized this service on each pick-up date. As it turns out, there wasn’t even fifty (50) piles of yard waste on all the fall pick-up dates combined. I do an eighteen-mile bike circuit on the island on Thursday afternoons. I only saw forty-two (42) piles that met the criteria for pick-up. That makes the average number of pick-ups just seven (7)Granted you have till Friday morning to put up to ten (10) items (bundles of brush/ limbs, bags) at the curb. Also, I did not go up and down every street, but I did look down most of them. That said, it’s safe to say this is a huge expense to provide this service for very few properties. Coastal Transplants contract is $14,610 for twelve (12) pickups. Assuming future compliance with the program requirements, for discussion purposes let’s say that fifty (50) households will utilize this service. That comes to $292 per household or @$24 per pick-up. Don’t see how we can justify that cost and continue to provide this service.


 Odds & Ends

 

North Carolina Rate Bureau Requests 18.7% Increase for Homeowners Insurance

 

 

 

The North Carolina Rate Bureau has filed notice with the N.C. Department of Insurance request a statewide average increase in homeowners insurance rates of 18.7 percent for 2018, according to Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. The NC Rate Bureau represents the homeowners insurance companies in the state in asking for this increase.

NCDOI said the rate filing is the first homeowners insurance rate increase request received from the Rate Bureau since 2014. That filing resulted in the first homeowners insurance hearing in over 20 years with the Insurance Commissioner deciding on a “no change” decision on behalf of policyholders.

The last time a homeowners insurance rate increase request from the Rate Bureau resulted in higher rates for homeowners was in 2012. The Rate Bureau asked for a 17.7 percent increase, then after negotiation settled at an overall statewide average of 7 percent.

NCDOI said a public comment period, required by law, to give the public time to address the Rate Bureau’s proposed rate increase. There are three ways to provide comment:

  • A public comment forum will be held to listen to public input on the Rate Bureau’s rate increase request at the NC Department of Insurance’s Second Floor Hearing Room from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2017. NCDOI is located in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, N.C.
  • Emailed public comments should be sent by Dec. 29, 2017 to: 2017HomeInsurance@ncdoi.gov
  • Written public comments should be mailed to Tricia Ford to be received by Dec. 29, 2017 and addressed to: 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1201

All public comments will also be shared with the NC Rate Bureau. If NCDOI officials do not agree with the requested rates, they will be negotiated with the NC Rate Bureau. If a settlement cannot be reached within 50 days, a hearing will be called.

Settlements have been reached on rate filings in the past but if the case goes to a hearing, the hearing officer will rule on rates and any appeal would go through the court system. The rates set in these cases represent the highest amount allowable for all companies to charge.
Read more » click here

Bureau seeks 25 percent homeowners insurance rate hike for county beaches
Insurance companies want a 25 percent increase on Brunswick County homeowners insurance rates on or near the coast and 23.7 percent everywhere else. The number increases to a 40 percent rate hike proposed for Brunswick County renters and condominium owners, according to numbers the North Carolina Rate Bureau proposed to the state’s Department of Insurance.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced Nov. 20 that the N.C. Rate Bureau, which represents homeowners insurance companies in the state, filed notice asking for a statewide average increase in homeowners insurance rates for 2018. The statewide average increase was listed as 18.7 percent, but additional information provided by Barry Smith with the Department of Insurance mapped the rate increase proposals for 29 territories across the state.

Causey’s notice announced the start of the public comment period on the bureau’s rate increase request as required by law.  The DOI accepts written public comments, which should be emailed and delivered via the U.S. Postal Service by Dec. 29, 2017. Emails can be sent to 2017HomeInsurance@ncdoi.gov. Written public comments should be mailed to Tricia Ford at 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201. All public comments will also be shared with the bureau. “We are eager to hear your comments,” Smith said.
Read more » click here


This & That

Causeway Beautification Project

 

 

 

 


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –

Watch out for deer
NCDOT warns motorists across North Carolina to stay alert for deer now that fall has arrived. Every year during late autumn, auto and body shops across the region brace for a bumper crop of business, comprised of an influx of cars with damage from collisions with deer. Beginning in October, roads across the state become hazardous as North Carolina’s deer population fans out, lurking on highway shoulders in search of food and potential mates. It’s the deadliest time of the year for deer, which also pose a particular danger to motorists. Nearly half of vehicle accidents involving white-tail deer occur from October to December. Deer accidents typically begin rising in October, peak in November and begin dropping off after December, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Deer are crepuscular mammals, meaning they’re most active at dawn and dusk – which, following the onset of daylight savings time, places them near roads and byways precisely when large numbers of residents are commuting to and from work.


Study: North Carolina’s coastal policies among worst in nation on climate change
Days after a federal report issued a harsh warning about climate change, an environmental group said North Carolina’s policies leave it among the most ill-prepared on the East Coast to deal with the effects of rising seas.
Read more » click here

How the Wilmington area deals with rising seas and an increasing number of floods
According to research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, rising sea levels magnifies tides and can cause damage without a drop of rain. So, add a weather system packing heavy rainfall or powerful storm surge, and those effects are magnified.

A much-maligned 2012 law in North Carolina essentially blocked state-level agencies from using predictive methods to determine the possible impact of rising sea levels. The initial draft of the law would have essentially gagged local and regional government from officially discussing some of the more pessimistic sea level estimates. However, the final version of the bill was altered and, while it continues to constrain coastal management and the state’s Department of Transportation, it does allow counties, towns and cities to pursue their own policies, studies and plans.

Here’s how governments and utilities in the Wilmington area are planning for potential increases in sea level…
Read more » click here

Brunswick County eliminated plans to address rising sea levels. Apparently, no one knows why
With 45 miles of shoreline, all of it vulnerable to storm surges and flooding, Brunswick County has a lot to lose from rising sea levels. It’s not just the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by tourist coming to Brunswick County beaches, providing millions in tax revenue. Much of the county’s population is also located near coastal and tidal river shorelines.

So why were three strategies for dealing with sea level rise eliminated from the county’s most recent plan for dealing with large scale disasters? The short answer is: no one seems to know.

But first, back up to the creation of hazard mitigation plans.

Hazard Mitigation
Brunswick County has historically included several strategies in its hazard mitigation plans. These five-year plans became requirements of all counties in the devastating wake of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, and cover a wide range of potential disasters, including those related to sea level rise.

 Brunswick County shares a plan with New Hanover and Pender counties, but each county has a section with its own specific strategies, as do municipalities within the county. Brunswick County’s latest plan, approved by the Board of Commissioners in 2016, eliminates three strategies for dealing with sea level rise.
Read more » click here

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.
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.
///// June 2015
Name:            Pembroke’s
Cuisine:         Southern Comfort
Location:       1125-A Military Cutoff Road, Wilmington NC
Modeled after sister restaurant Rx, Pembroke’s farm-to-table venue is bigger and serves an upscale version of Southern comfort food. Pembroke’s is everything I want in a restaurant, I already loved Rx before I visited Pembroke’s, they could easily become one of my favorite restaurants.
In December Pembroke’s ceased operations and is now permanently closed.

True Blue Butcher will bring ‘time honored tradition’ to old Pembroke’s spot
Read more » click here

///// October 2017
Name:              Osteria Cicchetti
Cuisine:
           Italian
Location:        1125-K Military Cutoff Road, Wilmington NC
Contact:          910.256.7476 /
www.osteria-cicchetti.com
Food:                Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:           Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:      Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                 Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:            Three Stars
Osteria Cicchetti, known to locals as the O.C., was voted the Best Italian restaurant in Wilmington. It is one of six restaurants in The Circa Group all are outstanding. The rustic design of the eatery welcomes diners into what feels like an Italian countryside. We had a wonderful dining experience. The menu offers something for everyone. An exceptional value with large portions and moderate prices for the quality of the food served.  If you haven’t been to this restaurant you should put on your list of places to try.


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

DON’T LET GO
by Harlan Coben
New Jersey Detective “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since his senior year of high school, when his twin brother and his brother’s girlfriend were found dead and his girlfriend disappeared. For fifteen years Nap has been searching, both for his girlfriend and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, Det. Dumas investigates a murder and uncovers clues that finally reveals what he’s been looking for.


Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday!


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

11- Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

Town Meeting 11/21/17

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


The November meeting was scheduled just two (2) days before Thanksgiving
The Board was unable to agree on a date to reschedule the meeting
At the October meeting a m
otion was made to cancel the November meeting

The BOC’s Regular Meeting scheduled for November 21st was canceled. 


Police Report – Chief Wally Layne

Police Patch

It’s that time of the year, break-in season

 


Previously requested that we all serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement.

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
. a) Don’t leave vehicles unlocked
. b)
Don’t leave valuables in your vehicles
. c)
Lock your doors & windows – house, garage, storage areas and sheds


General Comments –

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Lou’s Views December newsletter will not be posted on the Sunday after the scheduled Tuesday, December 19th BOC’s Regular Meeting as is our custom. I will be out of town for the holidays, so the December newsletter will not be posted till several days later than usual.


HBPOIN is now Lou’s Views, we have made a switch over to a new URL web address. Temporary redirect from www.HBPOIN.com will cease to work by the end of the year; please update bookmark to www.lousviews.com. 


Fiscal Year 2016 – 2017 Audit Results
Auditor’s report is due by October 31st and normally is given at the October meeting. Report was not given at the October meeting and there wasn’t a scheduled November meeting.



Christmas Lights
Public Works have put up snow flake decorations on the boulevard light poles.

 

 


 

Jordan Boulevard
Apparently at some point in time the Town had plans to develop a promenade on Jordan Boulevard. The Town owns the land that the commercial properties are utilizing for private parking for their businesses. Unfortunately, the Town can’t seem to locate the original plans.

 

 

So, this is a request for anyone that may have been involved with the Jordan Boulevard project to check and see if they have any paperwork that details what the plans were.

 

 

Municipal Elections –

 

Congratulations and thanks to our elected officials for their service to the community.

 

Elected officials have significant impact on our daily lives
The Mayor’s and Commissioners’ seats are all for two-year terms
Mayor Pro Tem is elected by the Board, not necessarily the person with the most votes 

Election results

Candidate                            Position                    Term           Votes
Alan Holden                          Mayor                         Fifth             201      (unopposed)

Mike Sullivan                        Commissioner           First             228
Patricia Kwiatkowski          Commissioner          First              177
Joseph Butler                         Commissioner          First             168
John Fletcher                         Commissioner          Second         168
Peter Freer                             Commissioner          Second         168

To see Holden Beach election results through the years, go to –
Town Department / Election Results

Referendum results

NAME ON BALLOT   BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Yes 194 68.07%
No 91 31.93%

Staggered Terms –
JULY 18, 2017
Discussion and Possible Action on Staggered Terms for the Board of Commissioners – Attorney Freedland
a.
Ordinance 17-10, An Ordinance Amending the Charter of the Town of Holden Beach to Implement Four-Year Staggered Terms for the Members of the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners
b.
Resolution 17-09, A Resolution Calling a Special Election for the Purpose of Submitting to a Vote an Ordinance Implementing Four-Year Staggered Terms for the Members of the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners

Agenda Packet –
ORDINANCE 17-10 / AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH TO IMPLEMENT FOUR-YEAR STAGGERED TERMS FOR THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS.

BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach:

Section 1. Pursuant to G.S.160A-101and 160A-102, the Charter of the Town of Holden Beach, as set forth in the corporate charter for the Town of Holden Beach adopted February 14, 1969, as amended, is hereby further amended to provide that the Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners shall hereafter be elected for four-year terms on a staggered basis as set for in Section 2 below. The Mayor shall continue to be elected for a two-year term.

Section 2. At the regular municipal election to be held on November 5, 2019, the three commissioner candidates who   receive the   highest number   of votes shall be elected for four-year terms, while the two commissioner candidates who receive the next highest   number   of votes shall be elected for two-year terms.  At the regular municipal election to be held in 2021, and every four years thereafter, two commissioners on the Board of Commissioners shall be elected to serve for four­ year terms. At the regular municipal election to be held in 2023, and every four years thereafter, three commissioners of the Board of Commissioners shall be elected to four-year terms.

Section 3. This ordinance shall be effective only upon approval by a vote of the people. A special election for the purpose of submitting the ordinance to a vote shall be held as provided by the resolution also adopted this day.


RESOLUTION 17-09 / RESOLUTION CALLING A SPECIAL ELECTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITIING TO A VOTE AN ORDINANCE IMPLEMENTING FOUR-YEAR STAGGERED TERMS FOR COMMISSIONERS OF THE TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

WHEREAS, pursuant to G.S.160A-101and 160A-102, the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach enacted an ordinance on July 18, 2017 amending the corporate charter for the Town of Holden Beach adopted on February 14,1969, as amended, to implement four-year staggered terms for the commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to G.S. 160A-102, the ordinance provides that it will become effective only if approved by a vote of the people;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach that:

1.An election   is hereby  called  for   Tuesday, November  7, 2017 for   the purpose  of determining   whether the  commissioners of  the  Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners   shall  be elected  for  four-year terms  on a staggered  basis as follows: At the  regular  municipal  election  to be held  on November 5, 2019, the three commissioner candidates who receive the highest number of votes shall be elected for four­ year  terms,  while  the  two  commissioner candidates  who   receive  the  next  highest number  of votes shall  be elected for two-year terms. At the regular municipal election to be held in 2021, and every four years thereafter, two commissioners of the Board of Commissioners shall be elected to serve for four-year terms.  At the regular municipal election to be held in 2023, and every four years thereafter, three commissioners of the Board of Commissioners shall be elected to four-year terms.

2. Pursuant to G.S. 163-287 the Brunswick County Board of Elections is hereby requested to conduct the election herein described and the Town of Holden Beach Clerk is directed to forthwith deliver a copy of this resolution to said Board of

3. Pursuant to S. 160A-102, the Town of Holden Beach Clerk shall cause to be duly published in accordance with G.S.  163-287 a notice of the election  hereby called.

4. The election shall be held in accordance with Article 23, Chapter 163 of the General Statutes of North

Previously reported –

Staggered Terms – Appointing the members of Boards so that all the members do not change at the same time because their terms expire at different times.

Advantage of Staggered TermsHelp preserve institutional memory by not allowing total rotation of the leadership at one time. Good institutional memory generally improves decision-making and promotes the continuity of good practices and programs.

Reinstitute Staggered TermsHolden Beach and Bolivia are the only Brunswick County town governments that do not have staggered terms. The Board normally would have two (2) options on how they could make change back to staggered terms. We will need to do a referendum for it to be in effect before the November 2017 elections. It will take two election cycles to fully implement. Justification given is to preserve continuity.

Referenduma general vote by the electorate on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision.

Update –
By unanimous vote, the Board of Commissioners approved the crafting of a resolution that would put the proposed changes to voters as a referendum on the ballot in November of 2017. If the referendum is approved the staggered terms would be implemented after the November of 2019 election. To be clear, only registered voters of Holden Beach would get to vote on the referendum.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

NOVEMBER 7, 2017
Referendum was approved so we will implement the four-year staggered terms beginning in 2019.


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

Above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year
Read more » click here

10 Hurricanes in 10 Weeks: A 124-Year-Old Record is Matched
Read more » click here

Yes, this hurricane season has been worse than usual!
Hurricane Ophelia is the tenth hurricane to form in the Atlantic this season. The ferocity of the Atlantic storm season isn’t just in your imagination; it’s one of the worst in years by various meteorological standards. NOAA’s prediction was right. This year’s hurricane season is more active than normal and has already produced more storms than the yearly average. The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is now among the top 10 all-time most active seasons on record.


Terminal Groin –Terminal Groin #6 - CR

Terminal Groin Presentation
For more information
» click here

What’s next?

The next steps include the following:
. 1)
Review Final EIS with USACE – November 2016
. 2) Publish final EIS – December 2016
. 3) Submit CAMA permit for review – December 2016
. 4) Public Hearing – January 2017
. 5) USACE record of decision – February 2017
. 6) Federal and State permit issuance – Spring 2017

My Two Cents - CR II

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

Update – October 2017
Terminal Groin presentation was made on October of 2016, a year ago.
We have had no communications from the Town regarding the status of our application. All the next step completion dates have come and gone. It would be nice if they kept us informed of the status of the tasks that still need to be completed.

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.

 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