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.

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

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.

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

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

§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.

   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
DOT signage, what’s allowed and what’s approved
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
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.
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


  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 eight (8) 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


   (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
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.

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.

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.


   (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 the disbanded 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

    1. Budget Workshop
.       a.
Beach Management Activities – Fran Way, Applied Technology &                        .           Management
.       b.
Land Use Plan – Wes MacLeod, Cape Fear Council of Governments
50-Year Project Update – Robert Keistler, Corps of Engineers
Discussion and Possible Action on Citizen Advisory Committee’s Report on     .           Parking, Related to 2017 – 2018 Budget
Discussion and Possible Action on Budget Schedule
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
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)

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

    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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Ordinance 17-11, Frontal Dune Policy



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

John Fletcher –

Peter Freer

Pat Kwiatkowski –

Mike Sullivan –

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
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