09 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

Town Meeting 09/19/17

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments

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

The Mayor informed us that Commissioner Kim Isenhour has resigned, she no longer lives on the island. Both Commissioner Ashley Royal and Commissioner Kim Isenhour were not in attendance. The Town Clerk gave a brief explanation of the voting process since two commissioners were not in attendance.

1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

There were comments made regarding the following:
Dennis Harrington spoke about agenda item #8 / Sewer System Station #4 upgrade. He lobbied for Green Engineering based on their participation in the Sewer Vulnerability Advisory Committee.

2. Police Report – Chief Wally Layne

Police Patch
Labor Day is his favorite holiday and he was glad that it was now in his rearview mirror. I
t’s that time of year, rental season ends and break-in season officially starts.

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

If the Town declares a mandatory evacuation, PLEASE LEAVE
General Assembly during the 2012 Session, specifically authorizes both voluntary and mandatory evacuations, and increases the penalty for violating any local emergency restriction or prohibition from a Class 3 to a Class 2 misdemeanor.  Given the broad authority granted to the governor and city and county officials under the North Carolina Emergency Management Act (G.S. Chapter 166A) to take measures necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare during a disaster, it is reasonable to interpret the authority to “direct and compel” evacuations to mean ordering “mandatory” evacuations. Those who choose to not comply with official warnings to get out of harm’s way, or are unable to, should prepare themselves to be fully self-sufficient for the first 72 hours after the storm. 

3. Explanation of Protocols to Fill Vacant Commissioner Seat – Town Attorney Fox

Noel explained why they need to fill the vacant Commissioner seat and what their options are. Since it is less then ninety (90) days from a municipal election the Board gets to appoint a replacement. Statutes stated policy is that they shall appoint someone but does not specify any time restrictions. Although they are supposed to appoint someone they could wait till November election to make appointment.

4. Discussion and Possible Rescheduling of BOC’s Regular November Meeting

The November meeting is currently scheduled just two (2) days before Thanksgiving. They deferred making decision, requested it be put on the October meeting agenda.

 No decision was made – No action taken

5. Discussion and Possible Selection of Engineering Firm for Engineering Design and Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System Station #4 Upgrade – Public Works Director Clemmons     

Agenda Packet – Pages 11-70
In accordance with North Carolina General Statute §143-64.31, the Town advertised a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Engineering Design and Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System, Station #4 Upgrade (Attachment 1).

We received two Statements of Qualifications in response to the RFQ, Green Engineering and McGill and Associates. Both firms are impressive. Copies of their responses are in the Board’s packets for your review (Attachment 2).

In order to proceed and make the first step in the improvement process, the Board needs to select a firm.

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.

Sewer Vulnerability Advisory Committee Chair Mike Sullivan E-mail
A review of this month’s BOC agenda discloses that the Town is ready to award a contract for the design and management services related to the redesign of Holden Beach Pump Station #4.

Unfortunately, I will be out of town and unable to speak to this issue, so I’m sending this note as a resident who is both knowledgeable and concerned with the condition of the Sewer System. 

Two firms have submitted proposals. Both appear well qualified. Both firms have extensive experience in waste water and sewer related projects Between the two, however, I favor awarding the contract to Leo Green’s firm, Green Engineering, PLLC.

Mr. Leo Green was an invaluable asset as a member of the Sewer Advisory Committee (SAC). He attended every meeting, reviewed the current system, analyzed its deficiencies and proposed cost effective and responsible measures to remedy those deficiencies, including the drafting of plans for structures which would safely house the vulnerable electrical components, above the base flood elevation.  In fact, after months of review, the consulting firm hired to conduct an independent review of the system, McGill Associates, came to the same conclusions and offered the same recommendations as those made by SAC, with the aid and input of Mr. Green.

Although there may be an inclination to award this contract to McGill Associates based on the knowledge it acquired during the system review it conducted, I suggest that Mr. Green and his firm have gained, at least, as much knowledge of the current system through his involvement with SAC.

In addition, Mr. Green is a property owner and part time resident of Holden Beach and has a deep-rooted desire, as shown through his previous volunteer work on this very same project, to see the redesign is done correctly, economically and efficiently.

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.

It did not appear that the three Commissioners in attendance were in agreement. In order to move forward it would require three (3) affirmative votes. Recommendation was to wait until both Commissioner Royal and Sewer Vulnerability Advisory Committee Chair Sullivan were available. They deferred making decision, plan to handle in BOC’s Special Meeting prior to the next BOC’s Regular October Meeting.

 No decision was made – No action taken

6. Request by the Planning & Zoning Board for Additional Time for the Parking Citizen Community Advisory Board to Complete its Work and for the Planning & Zoning Board to Adopt a Report to Present to the Board – Parking Committee Chair Mark Fleischhauer

Agenda Packet – Page 71
At the Board of Commissioners’ Special Meeting on June 23, the Board voted to direct the Planning & Zoning Board to set up a five-member community advisory committee to address parking for the Town of Holden Beach.

 The committee is to:

  • Assess current parking resources,
  • Assess Town of Holden Beach owned properties that can potentially be used for parking,
  • Investigate what other beach communities in the area do for parking,
  • Investigate paid parking options,
  • Investigate if CAMA consideration and all other applicable regulations places any restrictions on parking rules,
  • Consider appropriate limitations on right-of-way parking, and
  • Do all of this from the prospective of public access and improving quality of life and convenience for Town of Holden Beach homeowners.

 P&Z is also directed to make recommendations based on the assessment.

The Parking Committee was formed and staffed at the June 27 P&Z meeting and is making excellent progress in assessing the above issues.

The Planning and Zoning Board is requesting an additional 60 days for the committee to complete its work and for the report to be adopted by the Planning and Zoning Board in accordance with Ordinance 155.15.

Specific questions about the status of the Parking Community Advisory Committee can be directed to committee chair Mark Fleischhauer.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Approved request to extend time requirements by an additional sixty (60) days

7. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 17-11, An Ordinance Amending Section 94.03, Frontal Dune Policy & Regulations, of the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances- Building Official Evans

Agenda Packet – Page 72

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

Section One: Amend Section 94.03(A) Frontal Dune Policy and Regulations as follows (new wording in red):

(A) Definition. For the purpose of this section, FRONTAL DUNES shall mean the dunes   designated by a: NC State Division of Coastal Management official the Town’s Local Certified CAMA Official as the “frontal dunes”, otherwise, they are the first mounds of sand located landward of the ocean beach with sufficient vegetation, height, and configuration to offer protection from ocean  Considering the fact that oceanfront property limits extend to the mean high-water mark, the frontal dune may be located on private property.

This is just a housekeeping item. The verbiage in the current ordinance is not accurate and creates confusion. The Ordinance should have always said the Town’s Local Certified CAMA Official. This is simply aligning verbiage with current procedures and doesn’t change any of our protocols. In order to move forward it would require three (3) affirmative votes.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

8. Discussion and Possible Approval of Sewer Refund for lots 24 and 25 on By the Sea Drive, Owned by Fletcher Wright- Building Official Evans     

Agenda Packet – Page 73
Mr. Wright is requesting a refund of the Sewer Capital Fee, for two lots that have been deemed unbuildable. Lots 25 & 24 are located primary outside of the 404 wetlands. Lot 25 is completely in the marsh while a portion of 24 is in the marsh.  Combined with the 30-foot  CAMA setback lines 24 is also primarily unusable.

The owner upon the request of the Planning Department has combined the small usable portion of 24 with 23. This change increased the value of lot 24 and made usable a portion of dry land that would normally be of no use if still attached to 24.

It also made certain that once refunded that no sewer allocation could be requested for lots 24 and 25 in the future, as the lots are located completely in areas of environmental concern.

The Board under G.S. 105-381may grant a refund of the collected taxes up to 5 years in the arrears, as long as the request meets the statute’s limitations for action. The Wrights made their initial request in April of 2017, this date meets the statutory consent for a refund.

The policy for the refund can be determined by the Board. The total refund amount if the Board so wished to approve is:

Lot 25 Sewer Capital Fee $497.30 per lot per year x 5 = $2486.50
Lot 24 Sewer Capital Fee $497.30 per lot per year X 5 = $2486.50
Total Refund $4973.00

Removed from agenda

9. Request for Speed Reducing Devices on Shell Drive- Joel Batchelor (Mayor Pro Tern Fletcher)

Agenda Packet – Page 73
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 has to 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 Blvd. There are a large number of children from ages two to eight whose parents and grandparents’ own properties on Shell Drive and are very concerned about the traffic coming and going.  I have personally witnessed vehicles leaving at high rates of speed and driving at a manner that is dangerous to the occupants of Shell Drive.

This is a one hundred percent safety concern for the residents, especially the kids. Holden Beach is a family beach and no one wants anyone to be injured or killed due to a reckless driver.

Due to the location, I don’t believe there is nothing that can be done to alleviate the traffic on Shell Drive, but we can slow traffic down.  By installing two speed reducing devices that will slow traffic to between two and five miles per hour to cross, in my professional opinion, this will show down the largest majority of the traffic entering and leaving Shell Drive.

Again, this is purely a safety issue.

I have found online the cost for each of the speed reducing devices is approximately two hundred dollars ($200.00). So, for less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) installed, this should and will slow vehicles entering and leaving Shell Drive.

I will have packets for each Commissioner and Mayor with photographs and diagrams.

I have spoken with the Chief and he is aware of the problem and will echo my concerns. I anticipate five minutes of the Commissioners and Mayor’s time.

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

10. Town Manager’s Report

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
We are supposed to get letter of final determination sometime this month. 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
The sidecaster dredger Merritt completed its work in the inlet between Holden Beach and Oak Island. After-dredge survey of the inlet shows the depth and width of the navigation channel. Survey completed prior to storm event IRMA.
LWF Hydrographic Survey

Beach Nourishment
Anecdotal evidence that the beach strand held up rather well during the storm event. We are in the monitoring phase of our Central Reach Project permit. West of the Central Reach Project incurred some minor erosion issues. Need more equilibration before any Town effort to do any sand fencing and vegetation there.

FEMA Funds
We have received $3.6 million dollars of the $6.9 million of approved reimbursement funds. FEMA has frozen money from its programs for those municipalities and counties impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The remainder of the reimbursement funds are now in limbo.

Sewer Lift Station Vulnerability
Generators in place and have been utilized during power outages

Water Tower
They are repainting the water tower
Took a time-out during the tourist season
Work has resumed
The water tower will be painted the same color blue it is now
Any other color would significantly increase the cost of the job

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 splash pad is now under contract and is projected to be completed by the end of the year.

 Security cameras were installed and are operational in the park.

International Coastal Cleanup
Fifty (50) volunteers participated in the beach strand cleanup event on Holden Beach

11. Mayor’s Comments
Alan reminded everyone we still have at least another seven (7) weeks of prime hurricane season left. Be Prepared! Make sure your family has a plan in place before a storm threatens our area.

13. Board of Commissioners’ Comments
Kyser –
The Holden Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) “Meet the Candidates Night” and the Town sponsored Boo at the Beach both will be held on Friday, October 20th. Ken felt it was a scheduling conflict and suggested that perhaps they consider rescheduling one of the events.

14. Public Comments on General Items
Sheila Young and Dennis Harrington both spoke about agenda item #8 / Sewer System Station #4 upgrade. The Board clarified that they were only discussing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) not a Request for Proposal (RFP).

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.

General Comments –

There were only fourteen (14) members of the community in attendance

Commissioner Ashley Royal – was not in attendance
Commissioner Kim Isenhour resignedwas not in attendance

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
Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year. For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.

Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. These numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April.

“Regardless of how many storms develop this year, it only takes one to disrupt our lives,” said Acting FEMA Administrator Robert J. Fenton, Jr. “Get ready now with these easy, low-cost steps that will leave you better prepared and will make all the difference: Have a family discussion about what you will do, where you will go and how you will communicate with each other when a storm threatens; Know your evacuation route; tune into your local news or download the FEMA app to get alerts, and finally – listen to local authorities as a storm approaches.”

The 2016 season was the most active since 2012, with 15 named storms, including 7 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes.

NOAA will update this outlook in early August, just prior to the peak of the season.
Read more » click here

Early-season storms one indicator of active Atlantic hurricane season ahead
Above-normal season likely with 14 to 19 named storms
Today NOAA issued the scheduled update for its 2017 hurricane season outlook. Forecasters are now predicting a higher likelihood of an above-normal season, and they increased the predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes. The season has the potential to be extremely active, and could be the most active since 2010.
Read more » click here

Atlantic Hurricane Season Fast Facts
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th.

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

Hurricanes are rated according to intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

The 1-5 scale estimates potential property damage.

A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center advises preparedness:

A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that a region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.

A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours.

Atlantic Hurricane Season
The Town’s Emergency Management Team continuously reviews Town ordinances and our Emergency Plan to ensure compliance with State and Federal laws, guidelines and practices and investigates methods to implement updated information into our plan. The Team also works closely with the County’s Emergency Team and attends their conferences and training opportunities.

I urge you to make sure your family has a plan in place before a storm threatens our area. Click here to find helpful information to assist you with creating a plan.

Make sure to visit our revised Emergency Information link on our website.
New links include:
Are You Prepared
After the Storm
Evacuation, Curfew & Decals
Bridge Information

Being prepared is key to making it through the season.

Hurricane Matthew –

Hurricane Matthew Disaster Grant Approval
The NC Department of Public Safety has advised the Town of Holden Beach that a $5.99 million disaster grant has been approved by FEMA for repair of beach strand damages incurred by Hurricane Matthew. We anticipate getting additional reimbursements of $350,000 for other expenses incurred from the storm.

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

Central Reach Project –


The Central Reach Project placement of sand and demobilization stage have been completed. The next phase of the project is to meet the dune stabilization requirement which includes sand fencing and vegetation which is currently underway.

For more information, go to the Central Reach Project post

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
. 2) Publish final EIS – December
. 3) Submit CAMA permit for review – December
. 4) Public Hearing – January
. 5) USACE record of decision – February
. 6) Federal and State permit issuance – Spring 2017

My Two Cents - CR II

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

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
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