07 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

Town Meeting 07/10/18

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


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


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

Two people made the case for having a four way stop at Carolina Avenue and Halstead


2. Corps Status Update: Brunswick County Beaches GRR Study – Pam Castens Agenda Packet –
The CORPS’ Brunswick County Beaches project remains open, despite not advancing in several years. The CORPS is invited to update the BOC on the project, its history, a path forward including costs, and a timeline/feasibility of continuing the study.

The CORPS released several publications of studies since the project’s inception in approximately 1997. The project represents a CORPS’ coastal storm damage reduction (CSDR) effort for Holden Beach, Caswell Beach, and Oak Island. This project is currently several years behind schedule.

General Reevaluation Report 
The Brunswick County Beaches General Reevaluation is investigating measures and plans for the single purpose of coastal storm damage reduction. The study is also documenting incidental recreation benefits. Located between Cape Romaine and Cape Fear, Brunswick County is a frequent landfall site for hurricanes and tropical storms tracking along the mid-Atlantic coast. In addition to direct land-falling storms, many other storms have passed offshore and impacted the study area. Local impacts to the study area have varied depending on the landfall location and strength of the storm.
For more information » click here

Well this is embarrassing – they were a NO SHOW


 3. Annual Update / Fire Fees Update – Fire Chief Doug Todd
Agenda Packet –
Over the past few years, Fire Chief Doug Todd has provided the Town with an annual update in the beginning of the summer season.  We have asked Chief Todd to attend the July 10th meeting and to provide the Board with a brief annual update and information on fire fees.

Tri-Beach Fire Department substation is located at the corner of Starfish and OBW. The Fire Department responded to two hundred and seventeen (217) calls on the island in 2017. The Fire Department staffs the substation with two men for twelve hours daily during peak seasonal demand from Memorial Day to Labor Day, during the daytime for the hundred (100) days of the summer. They have improved their average response time since they started staffing the island. The emergency vehicle beach strand access located diagonally across the street from the fire station has improved emergency response times on the beach strand too.

Help emergency responders find you
by
putting address marker on your mailbox


4. David Hutnik, Guest Speaker – Discussion and Possible Action to Allow Vendors and One Free Beer using Ticket at Run Holden Beach on 9/15/2018 –
Commissioner Fletcher and Commissioner Freer
Agenda Packet –
David Hutnik is one of the owners of Coastal Race Productions. They are a local Brunswick County company that manages all of the larger marathons and 5K’s in the area.  This will be the 5th year for Run Holden Beach event coming up on 9/15 and they already had over 1,000 runners pre-register from 24 different states.  They are expecting a record crowd again with over 1500 runners that bring a total of around 4,000 people here including family and friends of runners.

Coastal Race Productions are requesting:

Permission allowing them to have vendors sell during the Run Holden Beach event from 7am- I 2am on 9/15/2018.  Most larger races sell sponsorships and these sponsors like to sell their race related shirts/nutrition after the event to participants.  Much like a festival but geared toward runners. This would take place and be contained to the area surrounding the amphitheater and Jordan Blvd only.


Permission to host a contained area where runners only (over the age of 21) will be given a beer ticket and will not be selling or giving out additional beer.

Plans for the contained beer garden:

  • Coastal Race Productions check ID’s at packet pickup when runners receive their shirt, bib and beer wristband with over 21 ID.
  • Coastal Race Productions will contain the beer garden to a limited area, proposed next to amphitheater ­ see diagram below.
  • Coastal Race Productions will have volunteers serving this from a trailer with beer taps provided from our vendor RA Jeffries that they use at all of our other events.
  •  Coastal Race Productions obtain a special event permit through the ABC commission, hold the required insurance and are happy to list the town as additionally insured.

* It’s important to note that this is a family friendly event and they take pride in offering the best runner experience possible. They keep this controlled and contained and monitor it very closely.

 Other notes about the race this year:

1) Coastal Race Productions have been working closely with town officials, DOT, & sanctioning to make major changes to our route with increased traffic control and coning with less impact on roads for

2) Coastal Race Productions work closely with the town businesses to make this great for them. The local merchants association is a sponsor of the event and we look forward to bringing a large economic impact to the area.

3) Coastal Race Productions partner with several local Holden Beach area non-profits to raise money for their organizations in fundraisers, donations and utilizing over 100 local volunteers to put on this event.

Previously reported – July 2017
Run HB Requests – Coastal Race Productions
  a)
Banner Approval
  b)
Beer Garden Request

Agenda Packet –
Coastal Race Productions will be conducting Run HB on Saturday, September 9, 2017. The Town of Holden Beach will be a sponsor for the event.  Coastal Race Productions is here this evening to speak to you about both the possibility of a beer garden and to get permission to hang their signs and banners for the event.

Sales and Consumption of alcoholic beverages in the Town of Holden Beach is covered in the Code of Ordinances,130.03. It states Board of Commissioner approval is required as an exception to the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages being prohibited. Coastal Race Productions brought it to the Town’s attention that they are allowed to have a beer garden in neighboring municipal venues where races like this are held.  They would like to offer that to the runners of legal age here as well. The access to the area would be controlled by Coastal Race Productions. They have additional information regarding how the system has worked at other beach communities and why they think it would add to the event.

Coastal Race Productions had a scheduling conflict, so Shoreline Protection & Recreation Programs Manager Christy Ferguson made the presentation. Discussion was over allowing the beer garden. The other three communities that sponsor the race – Oak Island, Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach already gave their blessings.

Banner Request / A decision was made – Approved unanimously
Beer Garden Request / No decision was made – No action taken

Are you kidding me? The Board really made a big to do over nothing when they discussed the beer garden request. All we are talking about is each runner that is over 21 years old gets a free beer at the end of the race. Singular, UNO, ONE stinking beer.  They went with the combo platter of we are a family friendly beach and it would set a precedent rap. Apparently, some of them must not go on the beach strand where beer is consumed all day long on our family friendly beach.

Update –
This is the fifth annual fun family race day on Holden Beach. They had @1,300 participants last year and expect over @1,500 participants this year. All the other towns that the race is held allow both activities. They expect to have only five (5) to ten (10) vendors in a contained area. They don’t sell beer, they give one (1) free beer to runners over twenty-one (21) years old at the end of the race. In addition, donations are made to a local non-profit which in our case is to the Turtle Patrol. We are the only beach that has not given them permission.

Police Chief – no problem with it

Town Manager – need to establish protocols anticipating similar requests in the future

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

 
Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?



Run Holden Beach – 2018
The fifth annual “Run Holden Beach” event is scheduled on Saturday, September 15th.  Coastal Race Productions is planning a 1 mile “turtle trot”, 5k walk / run and a half marathon with all of these races starting and finishing under the bridge. This will all be followed by live music, games and an after party at the Holden Beach Pavilion.


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

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

Previously reported – April 2018
Four (4) meetings have been held between staff and the engineering firm to date. The final plans were delivered to the Town and have been reviewed and approved by the Building Inspector. Deliverables – Timeline has been revised. Buildings were designed in the same style as Town Hall. We are currently on schedule, but Chris cautioned that it was still early in the game. The Board requested monthly updates, reporting on whether we remained on schedule and within budget.

Previously reported – May 2018
We’ve had a slight setback, we did not receive the three (3) bids required to move forward. Officially we accepted no bids, the two bids submitted will be held and opened upon the completion of the second go round. Chris was a little surprised and disappointed since their appeared to be a lot of interest when they held meeting with vendors. We will need to start the bid process over. The protocols on the second bid process do not require the three bids but the caveat is we can only consider quality bids.

Previously reported – June 2018
BOC’s SPECIAL MEETING / May 23, 2018
Approved award of the Lift Station #4 upgrade contract to T.A. Loving Company in the amount of $1,205,000

Total project cost went from $1,413,000 to $1,695,700 or a $282,700 difference
Contingency funds were reduced from $157,400 to $52,480 or a $104,920 difference
Bottomline, the project cost just went up $387,620 ($282,700 + $104,920) or @27% (Yikes!)

A pre-construction meeting is scheduled for June 28th
We should have a tentative construction start date then

Update –
A pre-construction meeting was held on June 28th
The contractor was given notice to proceed
Mobilization is scheduled for the first week of August

Concerns:
.     1) Time to get materials – delay waiting for foundation steel
.     2)
Storm Season

My Two Cents - CR II
This really could be handled with a memo from Chris to the Board.


6. Police Report – Chief Wally Layne

Police Patch
First two weeks in July are the busiest weeks of the year
Fairly uneventful, typical summertime fun at the beach
We’ve been fortunate, since we really have not had any serious issues

.

We are just beginning the Hurricane Season – make sure your plans are in order
If the Town declares a mandatory evacuation, PLEASE LEAVE


Survived another Fourth of July
Same two issues – parking and fireworks

Parking –
BOC’s established parking policy and communicated their concerns about enforcement.
Police department responded accordingly. In June they issued eleven (11) parking tickets. The first nine (9) days of July they issued one hundred and twenty-one (121). (Careful what you wish for!)


Fireworks – everything’s copacetic
1) Substantially less than in previous years
2) No one was hurt
3) No fires were started
4) Confiscated fireworks
.


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


Crime Prevention 101 – Don’t make it easy for them
Don’t leave vehicles unlocked
Don’t leave valuables in your vehicles


A reminder of the Town’s beach strand ordinances:
…..1)
Chapter 90 / Animals / § 90.20 / Responsibilities of owners
…….a)
pets are not allowed on the beach strand except between 5p.m. and 9a.m. daily
…….b)
dog’s must be on a leash at all times
…….c)
owner’s need to clean up after their animals
…..2)
Chapter 94 / Beach regulations / § 94.05 / Digging of holes on beach strand
…….a)
digging holes greater than 12 inches deep without responsible person there
…….b)
holes shall be filled in prior to leaving
…..3)
Chapter 94 / Beach regulations / § 94.06 / Placing obstructions on the beach strand
…….a)
all unattended beach equipment must be removed daily by 6:00pm


Pets on the beach strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / § 90.20
From May 20th through September 10th
It is unlawful to have any pet on the beach strand
. • During the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm

Unattended Gear
Ordinance 94.06 was passed on September 14, 2010. Beginning April 23, 2011, all unattended beach equipment must be removed from the beach by its owner or permitted user daily. All unattended personal equipment remaining on the beach between the hours of 6PM and 7AM will be classified as abandoned property and will be disposed of by the Town. 

Good news –
The Police Department will be removing any gear left on the beach strand between 10PM and 2AM daily. Guests are getting the message loud and clear; if they leave gear on the beach strand it will be removed.


Bad news
Since we are actively enforcing the ordinance we have what you’d call unintended consequences. Some beach equipment is being hidden in the dunes which frankly is worse than leaving it on the beach strand.


Educational Sign
The Town has put flashing educational signs at the bottom of the bridge on the island side. The sign messages were a huge help last year minimizing the need for Beach Strand Ordinance Enforcement. It has been the most effective communication medium used to date. Intent is to educate people before they get on the beach strand.

Defensive Driving
Be mindful on the road, tourists are out there and frankly many of them are not paying attention. Defensive driving is driving characterized by prudence, diligence and reasonable cautiousness. Its aim is to reduce the risk of collision by anticipating dangerous situations, despite adverse conditions or the actions of others.

Golf Carts
Golf carts are treated the same as other automotive vehicles
Town ordinances state no parking anytime on OBW
Therefore golf carts are illegally parked when left by any beach access points


Golf Cart Reminders

In the State of North Carolina, if a golf cart is to be operated on the streets, highways or public vehicular areas, it is considered a motor vehicle and subject to all laws, rules and regulations that govern motor vehicles.

In short, the golf cart must have all of the following:
. • The driver MUST have a current, valid Driver’s License
. • Child Restraint Laws must be followed
. • Headlights
. • Tail lights
. • Turn signals
. • Rear view mirrors
. • State Inspection Sticker
. • License Plate Issued by NCDMV
. • Liability Insurance

All of the streets in the Town (including the side streets) are considered streets or public vehicular areas according to the State Law. This means that to operate a golf cart anywhere on the island, you must meet the standards above. Also, golf carts may not be operated on streets with posted speed limit greater than 35 mph.

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

7. Discussion and Consideration on Petition for Four Way Stop for Carolina Avenue – Chief Layne
Agenda Packet –
Homeowners Letter
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to return my call and giving advice on the direction that needs to be taken on the issue that is being addressed in this letter. Homeowners are requesting that stop signs are installed on Carolina Avenue at the intersection of Halstead Avenue and Carolina Avenue. We have a real problem with individuals speeding down Carolina Avenue and running the stop signs on Halstead Avenue. This has created an opportunity for an accident and we feel that it is just a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

We are requesting that this item be put on the agenda for the Holden Beach Board Meeting in June with the understanding that an ordinance change would be deemed necessary to have the installation of additional stop signs.

Chief Layne
A group of homeowners submitted a petition requesting that stop signs be installed on Carolina Avenue at the intersection of Halstead Street and Carolina Avenue. They are concerned with individuals speeding down Carolina Avenue and running the stop signs on Halstead Street.

If the Board desires to move forward with this request, you would need to approve an ordinance amendment for Chapter 71, Traffic Schedules of the Code of Ordinances. The amendment would need to add a section to create a four-way stop at the intersection of Carolina Avenue and Halstead Street. If the Board decides to move forward with this request, an ordinance will be prepared for your consideration at the August meeting.

Previously reported – July 2013
Discussion and Possible Action on Request for a Four Way Stop at the Intersection of Halstead Street and Brunswick Avenue
No accidents ever at this intersection
Could we put stop sign there – Absolutely
Would it be beneficial – Don’t think so
Probably do more harm than good
We do not have a four way stop at an intersection anywhere on the island

No decision was madeNo action taken

 Update –
“It’s like Déjà vu, all over again” – Yogi Berra
In order to be consistent, they would need to amend the Traffic Code Ordinance
No accidents ever at this intersection
Could we put stop sign there – Yes
Would it be beneficial – Probably not
We do not have a four way stop at an intersection anywhere on the island

No decision was made – No action taken

The Board said they would like to look at all their options before proceeding.

My Two Cents - CR III suppose they didn’t want to open a can of worms. I get why they want a four-way stop there. Of course, if granted this would set a precedent. Is the Board planning on making the same accommodation for all the other street intersections too?


8. Discussion and Possible Adoption of Resolution 18-07, Resolution Adopting Rules of Procedure for the Board of Commissioners– Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Agenda Packet –

RESOLUTION 18-07
RESOLUTION ADOPTING RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE BOC’s

WHEREAS, §30.19 of the Town’s Code of Ordinances states that “the Board shall adopt Rules of Procedure not inconsistent with North Carolina General Statutes at their regular scheduled meeting each December, or at other times deemed appropriate and publish same in the office of the Town Clerk;”

WHEREAS, the current Rules of Procedures were adopted on December 8, 2015 and the Board has determined they need to be updated.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that pursuant to §30.19 of the Town’s Code of Ordinances the attached Suggested Rules of Procedure for the Town of Holden Beach Board are hereby adopted and shall be published in the office of the Town Clerk.

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

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

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

Previously reported – April 2018
Commissioner Kwiatkowski attempted to incorporate the suggested Rules of Procedure for a City Council that was recently released by the School of Government with the version the 2015- 2017 Board adopted. It did not go well. Commissioner Kwiatkowski and Commissioner Freer have agreed to work together and try to resolve. Mayor Pro Tem Sullivan recommended rather than meld the two they should use the School of Government template and modify that document making only minor adjustments.

Previously reported – June 2018
Commissioner Patricia Kwiatkowski made the presentation. Pat wanted both the Board and the public to have an opportunity to look at it before it was adopted. They are scheduled to vote on it at the next Regular Meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
Adopted as submitted

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


9. Discussion and Possible Action on Agreement between the Town and the Cape Fear Council of Governments for CAMA Land Use Plan Update –
Planning Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
Director Evans
As one of the Towns future goals the Board of Commissioner’s showed significant interest in updating the Land use plan, as part of a two-year process, monies were allocated so that acquisition of a consultant for the 2018/2019 fiscal year would be possible.

This contract includes, Timeline, Scope and Introduction with past experience documents. The total cost of contract is $30,000, to be spread across fiscal years with $20,000 allocated from this years approved budget. The remainder will be included in 2019/2020 budget year for allocation.


The Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) is pleased to submit this proposal and agreement to develop a Comprehensive Land Use Plan (LUP) for the Town of Holden Beach. Assisting our member governments is a primary tenet of our mission and vision, and we hope that we can continue our years of involvement by performing the work outlined in the Proposal for you.

In the past few years, the CFCOG has developed or updated Land Use Plans for Ocean Isle Beach, Boiling Spring Lakes, Shallotte, Sunset Beach, Southport, and Topsail Beach. Our reputation for professionalism, competence, and technical skill has been earned by delivering valuable products that meet or exceed customer expectations. Our staff values that reputation and we look forward to the opportunity to validate it during the process of developing your Land Use Plan.

This project will be led by our Senior Regional Planner, Wes Macleod, who will be the primary contact for the Town. I will provide oversight and technical support. As CFCOG’s Executive Director, Chris May will be available to the Town to oversee staff and to guide the entire process. The CFCOG will work with Holden Beach to settle on a completion date and will not exceed our proposed budget of $30,000 to be expended over the course of two fiscal years.

In addition to this, the CFCOG would like to remind Town staff that if they have any other needs, including short-term problems that need to be addressed prior to completion of the Land Use Plan, our staff Is available to help.

For more information » click here

Timbo used an amusing boat analogy to say it might be time for an upgrade
No requirement for us to do it now but he strongly recommended that we should
He has had previous experience with this vendor

Highlighted their strengths as follows:
.     1)
They have adequate staff
.     2)
Their staff is experienced
.     3)
They can meet our timeline requirements
.     4)
They can meet our budget requirements

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


10. Discussion and Possible Action on Engagement Letter between the Town and RSM US LLP for Completion of Internal Control Review – Town Manager Hewett
a. Ordinance 18-12, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 18-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 (Amendment No. 1)
Agenda Packet –

Services and Scope of Work
In developing a risk matrix for the Town, we will consider internal control relevant to the Town’s preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design assurance procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances. Our risk assessment procedures are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the controls that are in place and to evaluate potential gaps in internal control that could lead to fraud or error in the above noted transaction cycles. Gaining an understanding of your internal control will assist us in identifying types of potential deficiencies in internal control and factors that affect the risks of material misstatement as assessed by your external auditors. We also will draw on this understanding to provide feedback in internal control risk matrix about opportunities you may have to strengthen controls or streamline processes.

Previously reported – June 2018  
Direct Solicitation to Conduct Comprehensive Financial and Accounting Internal Control Review
Agenda Packet –
The Audit Report with respect to the Town’s Annual Financial Statements for the year ended June 30, 2017 raised two “significant deficiencies” with respect to the Town’s financial controls and procedures for financial statement preparation. The Audit Report also concluded that any financial reports provided to the Commissioners cannot be relied on, as the ledger does not reflect adjustments made in previous years. The Audit Committee has had preliminary discussions with the Auditor about these matters and the audit process, and as part of that discussion the Auditor recommended that the Town engage a consultant to perform a comprehensive review of its internal financial controls. The Audit report approved and signed by the Town’s Finance Director included a corrective response stating, “The Town of Holden Beach’s governing body feels that there are limited financial resources at this time for training the finance department staff in GAAP and that it is not cost beneficial to obtain additional assistance in this area.” This statement was false. Accordingly, I move that:

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

(i) the Town’s accounting and financial control systems including “significant deficiencies” related to internal controls;

(ii) appropriate training of financial and accounting staff;

(iii) policies and procedures relating to financial statement preparation, preventive and detective internal controls, and the audit process, including engaging such consultants to perform such internal controls review as the Audit Committee deems necessary or appropriate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion and Possible Action on the Audit Committee Recommendation of the Firm to Conduct an Internal Control Evaluation
The Audit Committee selected the firm RSM from Morehead City for the internal control Review. Recommendation is to obtain firm with a not to exceed price of $20,000. Scope of work subject to approval from The North Carolina Local Government Commission
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Moved funds of $20,000 from Revenue account #10.0399.0200 to Expense account #10.0410.0400
Subject to approval from the Local Government Commission
With the understanding the Audit Chair will report back to the Board

A decision was made – Approved unanimosly


11. Discussion and Possible Approval of Audit Contract for Fiscal Year 2017 – 2018 between the Town and Rives and Associates, LLP – Town Manager Hewett
Agenda Packet –

Audit Objectives
The objective of our audit is the expression of opinions as to whether your financial statements are fairly presented, in all material respects, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and to report on the fairness of the supplementary information referred to in the second paragraph when considered in relation to the financial statements as a whole. Our audit \\ill be conducted in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America and the standards for financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards, issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, and wilt include tests of the accounting records of Town of Holden Beach and other procedures we consider necessary to enable us to express such opinions. We will issue a written report upon completion of our audit of Town of Holden Beach’s financial statements. Our report will be addressed to Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach. We cannot provide assurance that unmodified opinions will be expressed. Circumstances may arise in which it is necessary for us to modify our opinions or add emphasis-of­ matter or other- matter paragraphs. If our opinions are other than unmodified, we will discuss the reasons with you in advance. If, for any reason, we are unable to complete the audit or are unable to form or have not fanned opinions, we may decline to express opinions or issue reports, or may withdraw from this engagement.

We will also provide a report (that does not include an opinion) on internal control related to the financial statements and compliance with the provisions of laws, regulations. contracts, and grant agreements, noncompliance with which could have a material effect on the financial statements as required by Government Auditing Standards. The report on internal control and on compliance and other matters will include a paragraph that states (I) that the purpose of the report is solely to describe the scope of testing of internal control and compliance. and the results of that testing, and not to provide an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity’s internal control on compliance, and (2) that the report is an integral part of an audit performed in accordance with Government Auditing Standards in considering the entity’s internal control and compliance. The paragraph will also state that the report is not suitable for any other purpose If during our audit we become aware that the Town of Holden Beach is subject to an audit requirement that is not encompassed in  the terms of  this engagement, we  will communicate to management  and those charged with governance that an audit in accordance with U.S. generally accepted auditing standards and the standards for financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards may not satisfy the relevant legal, regulatory, or contractual requirements.

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

Previously reported – June 2018      
Discussion and Possible Action on the Audit Committee Recommendation of the Firm to Conduct the 2017 – 2018 Annual Audit
The Audit Committee selected the firm Rives & Associates as the auditor
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Standard contract with money in the budget to execute it
Subject to approval from the Local Government Commission

Approval of the contract means that Rivers & Associates has been selected to handle our audit for fiscal year that ends June 30th, 2018. The audit contract is for $12,784 and an additional charge of $2,000 for writing the financial statements; making the total cost of the contract $14,784 for an increase of $2,034. The last six years we awarded the $12,750 contract to Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams and Co.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


12. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Hold a Public Hearing Regarding FIRM Map Adoption and Amendments to Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance– Town Clerk Finnell
Agenda Packet –
Per the direction of Attorney Fox at our June meeting, the Board needs to schedule another date to hold a public hearing regarding FIRM map adoption and amendments to the flood damage prevention ordinance.

In order to ensure we meet the required timeline to adopt these items, staff recommends scheduling a Special Meeting on August 6, 2018 at I :00 p.m. to hold a public hearing and to consider adoption of the necessary documents.

A very specific process must be followed
Last month implementation was delayed due to a procedural issue
This month it was delayed in order to meet the timeline requirements
The Board scheduled a Public Hearing and to Adopt the Ordinance for August 6th


13. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of Dates – Commissioner Pat Kwiatkowski
  a)
Special Meeting to Discuss Waste and Recycle Issues
  b)
Special Meeting for a Work Session for the Board and Town Manager to Draft at Least a Three and Possibly Five-Year Revenue vs. Cost Estimate to Help Planning for Growing Fund and Reserve Balances

Waste and Recycle meeting is scheduled for August 6th too

Revenue & Expenses meeting is tentatively scheduled for the week of September 10th


14. Charge to the Inlet and Beach Protection Board – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Agenda Packet –
Ordinance 18-02, An Ordinance Establishing the Inlet and Beach Protection Board

§35.02 POWERS AND DUTIES.

The Inlet and Beach Protection Board shall:

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

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

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

(D)  With the assistance of the Attorney assigned to support the Inlet and Beach Protection

Board make recommendations   to the Board of Commissioners for amendments   or modifications to the town’s ordinances with respect to the “frontal dune” and “protective dune system”;

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

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

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

Update –
Pat requested a kickoff meeting with the newly created Board. They are attempting to schedule a joint meeting with the BOC’s before the end of the month. The Commissioners all indicated that they want to get this Board on track and to begin functioning as soon as possible.


15. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 18-08, Resolution Amending Fund Balance Policy – Town Manager Hewett 

RESOLUTION 18-08
Amending Fund Balance Policy

WHEREAS, the Interlocal agreement with Brunswick County currently has $1,461,600 of Holden Beach funds for surety on the PNC Special Obligation Bond; and

WHEREAS, the bond payment decreases incrementally annually; and

WHEREAS, the Interlocal agreement requires that at the end of each fiscal year, the County refund the Town any amount in the County Reserve Fund in excess of the remaining maximum annual debt service on the Special Obligation Bonds; and

WHEREAS, the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners has established a Beach Re-nourishment and Inlet Management Fund for the purpose of alleviating financial burden for future sand projects; and

WHEREAS, the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners has established a goal of accumulating I 0 million dollars over the course of nine years.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Holden Beach Fund Balance Policy is hereby amended by adding paragraph (c) as reads, ”annually, beginning with the adoption and implementation of the I July 2019 budget, the refunded PNC surety monies remitted to the Town of Holden Beach from Brunswick County shall be escrowed in the Beach Re-nourishment and Inlet Management Fund.

Almost a no brainer. The funds are already “sand” money it’s simply a straight up transition. This establishes a program that automatically puts refund money into the Beach Inlet Management Fund.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


16. Discussion and Possible Nomination of Members to Fill Vacancies on Town Boards – Town Clerk Finnell
.   a)
Board of Adjustment
.   b)
Planning & Zoning Board
  c)
Parks & Recreation Advisory Board
Agenda Packet –
John Legge’s term is expiring on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. He is not interested in serving another term. Suzannah Taft is interested in serving on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board and is scheduled for an interview with the Board on July 10th at 6:45 p.m.

There is one Alternate Member position expiring on the Board of Adjustment. The current member is eligible and interested in serving another term.

There are three Regular Member and two Alternate Member terms expiring on the Planning & Zoning Board. All of the current members are eligible and willing to serve another term.

By acclimation everything stays the same for both the Board of Adjustment and Planning & Zoning. On Parks & Recreation, Suzannah Taft will replace John Legge.

§ 155.11 MEMBERSHIP AND VACANCIES
No regular member shall serve for more than two consecutive terms,
and a member having served two consecutive terms shall not be eligible for reappointment until after remaining off the Board for one year.

I’m of the opinion that our Board term policy unnecessarily creates vacancies. Interestingly we have term limits for all our Boards except the Board of Commissioners. In what universe does that make sense?

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


17. Discussion and Possible Action on Request from the Board of Adjustment – Town Clerk Finnell
Agenda Packet –
Board of Adjustment Letter
Over the past few years, the BOA has been receiving requests, for variances, as it relates to “Cargo Lifts”. The requests are coming from older houses that already violate the 25′ setback but are still allowed to build outside staircases and HVAC platforms. Today, Larry Blume made a motion to ask the BOC to consider changing the ordinance to add Cargo Lifts in ordinance 157.060 (D)(C3) and 157.060 (E) (2) (b).

This change will allow the building inspector to handle these requests, via, the permitting process, thus saving the home owner the expense of applying for a variance.

Heather
The Board of Adjustment is requesting an amendment to the Town’s Code of Ordinances. They would like the Board to consider amending Section 157.060, Residential Districts to allow the building inspector to handle requests relating to cargo lifts via the permitting process.

If the Board would like to move forward with the Board of Adjustment’s request, staff will work with the Town Attorney to draft an ordinance for the Board’s consideration at an upcoming meeting.

Update –
Planning Director Evans explained that the current process creates an undue burden for the homeowner of both time and money. So far, every request submitted has been approved. The first step to make the requested change is to send it to the Planning & Zoning Board.


18. Town Manager’s Report

Training
All members of Boards and Committees will be given open meeting law training

Annual Beach Monitoring
ATM is a coastal engineering firm that does annual monitoring, data collection and reporting. Annual monitoring has occurred since 2001. We have an engineered beach – which means it has been nourished and is being monitored. Currently they are compiling information and preparing a report. This report is a prima facie document.

Beach Ranger Program
We have started a second shift extending the hours that they are on the beach strand
Ordered and waiting for delivery of second gator

Parking
Previously reported – February 2018

Before 2018 Beach Season

  1. Develop a visitor map of all available approved parking locations throughout the island.
  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 prohibit parking in rights-of-way.
  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.
  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.
  9. No overnight parking in public parking areas.

 Staff has implemented Phase I for the tourist season this year.

Sand Resources for Beach Nourishment
The County plans from the Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging project, near shore placement of 6,000 cubic yards of sand on the Oak Island side.  Apparently, the Lockwood Folly Inlet Crossing dredging sand is in play now too. We have been the recipient of the dredging sand from there for the better part of the last thirty (30) years.

Canal Dredging
Previously reported – December 2017
Adoption Resolution 17-10, Water Resources Development Grant ($1,439,922)

The grant is good for two years and will accelerate our current dredging schedule. Each canal will be responsible for paying for their dredging project costs upfront. It is a reimbursement grant which means we do not receive the funds from the state until after satisfactory completion of the project.

Previously reported – June 2018
The Town is planning to perform a complete dredge of all of the canals this coming fall/winter (November 2018 – Mar 2019). We have been apprised of recent changes regarding the obtainment of consent agreements for USACE dredge spoil areas.   Those changes will result in closer scrutiny of remaining capacity in existing sites; hence longer/unknown lead times and quite possibly denial of permission to place material from this fall’s canal maintenance dredging in the Corps disposal sites. The Town has been preparing the area adjacent to the dog park as an alternate site if unable to use the USACE dredge spoil areas. David reminded us that this is a big undertaking with lots of moving parts and will require considerable time and effort from the Town staff to pull it off without a hitch.

Update –
The Town has been preparing the area adjacent to the dog park off Scotch Bonnet.
It will be necessary to close the dog park this winter once dredging project begins.

Water Bill / Canal Dredging
The Town is planning to perform a complete dredge of all of the canals this coming fall/winter (November 2018 – Mar 2019). It is recommended that property owners begin getting ready for the canal dredging as early as possible by first assessing the condition of their bulkheads so that repairs on those structures can be made in plenty of time before dredging begins. This will not only provide for the best dredging effort, but also lesson the possibility of leaky bulkheads filling canals back in prematurely after dredge completion. The Town will also be conducting its annual inspection of the bulkheads. Likewise, it is also recommended that property owners begin to coordinate the actions needed to move your floating docks in anticipation of the actual dredge arrival in order to facilitate a better excavation near their pilings. Finally, boat movements should also be considered. You may want to begin planning for winter accommodations and repairs to your boat now. Remember that boat dry docks book up fast.


19. Mayor’s Comments

July 4th
Full house, rental companies were all booked solid
Alan observed that it was relatively calm for the number of people that were here
I concur, it was not the usual Fourth of July zoo

Bridgeview Park
Ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication was today. Alan thanked everyone that was involved in making both the park and the event happen. He said that the park is something that we all can be proud of

Hurricane Season
Protocols are in place
Alan plans to continue to effectively communicate information to the community


20. Public Comments on General Items

Two building contractors spoke about the significant increase in permitting fees

RESOLUTION 18-04 / ADOPTING SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT FEES REPORT
RESOLUTION 18-05 / AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH FEE SCHEDULE

Fee is based on combination of existing system capacity and planned capital improvements to expand capacity  

An unintended consequence of System Development Fee adopted in June
.     •
Seven (7) bedroom permit was $10,000 now costs $30,000 a difference of $20,000
.    
Five (5) bedroom permit was $7,000 now costs $21,000 a difference of $14,000

Jaw Drop

That’s a whapping 300% increase which will negatively impact new construction on the island. By comparison, Ocean Isle Beach had a minor increase since their system is older and already paid for. I’d expect to see both the General Contractors and the Realtors up in arms. Unchanged we will have significantly reduced the future revenue stream from new construction from both ad Valorem and Occupancy taxes.   Really don’t see how the Board doesn’t have to reevaluate the fee schedule.

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

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

McGill and Associates prepared the System Development Fees Report for the Town. The report was posted to our website on March 26th and written comments were solicited. The report must be posted for at least 45 days. The Board scheduled and held a Public Hearing on May 23rd.

McGill Associates has calculated costs for water and wastewater capacity on a per gallon per day basis for the Town of Holden Beach. This calculation was performed using the Combined Method to account for the Town’s combination of existing capacity and planned future capacity expansion through capital expenditure. This calculation resulted in a development fee of $20,577 for an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU). ERU is defined as the water and sewer capacities required to serve the most typical user type, which is a three-bedroom single-family dwelling. The fee for other types of development can be calculated by applying the calculated the cost of capacity per gallon of flow per day to the water and wastewater demands for various uses as defined by NC Administrative Code 15A NCAC 18C .0409 and 15A NCAC 02T.0114.

Using NC Administrative Code 15A NCAC 18C .0409 and 15A NCAC 02T.0114 ensures that the same standard used to plan, design, construct and finance capital assets is applied as the same cost recovery basis to be applied to new development.

The Town may elect to charge less than the cost-justified System Development Fee documented in this report. Any adjustment must be calculated on a cost per unit volume basis, meaning the same cost per gallon adjustment must be applied equally to all customers.

Legislation House Bill 436 required a Public Hearing as one of the steps that must happen before the Town can move forward and implement the charges. HB436 is prescriptive, with precise instructions and the report given is in accordance with the legislation. The next steps are adoption of the study report and creating Ordinance that incorporates the recommended fees into a fee schedule. This process must be completed no later than July 1st. We are required to review the fee schedule and must reevaluate it in a maximum five-year timeframe.

Town Meeting 06/19/18
RESOLUTION 18-04
/ ADOPTING SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT FEES REPORT
RESOLUTION 18-05 / AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH FEE SCHEDULE


22. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3) to Consider the Performance of an Employee


General Comments –

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Sullivan – was not in attendance

There were forty-two (42) members of the community in attendance
But only fifteen (15) members of the community were still there at the end of the meeting

The BOC’s August Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, August 21st

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

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Hurricane Season –

Hurricane #1 - CR

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

Be prepared – have a plan!

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

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

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.

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

Hurricane Season’s Around the Corner. Here’s What to Expect.
This year’s hurricane season should be normal or slightly more active than average, government forecasters said on Thursday. After the exceptionally destructive season last year, the prediction might seem like a reprieve of sorts. But a season with few storms can do tremendous damage if a single storm makes landfall. Hurricane season runs from June 1 until Nov. 1 and peaks from mid-August through late October. “We’re not expecting the season to be one of the most active on record,” said Gerry Bell, lead hurricane season forecaster with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. But, he said, “It’s time to start getting prepared.”
Read more » click here

NOAA predicts 10-16 named storms for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season
This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an average number of major storms

Last year’s Atlantic hurricane season saw plenty of named storms and several destructive ones. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this year’s season is predicted to be near or above-normal with 10-16 named storms.

“NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes,” according to a NOAA press release.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is driven by several factors, including El Niño and sea-surface temperatures.

“With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way is unprecedented,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts,” according to the release.
Read more » click here

Forecasters predict a near- or above-normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 75-percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near- or above-normal.

Forecasters predict a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season for the upcoming hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30.

“With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way is unprecedented,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts.”

NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70-percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

The possibility of a weak El Nino developing, along with near-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, are two of the factors driving this outlook. These factors are set upon a backdrop of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development and have been producing stronger Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995.

“NOAA’s observational and modeling enhancements for the 2018 season put us on the path to deliver the world’s best regional and global weather models,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction. “These upgrades are key to improving hurricane track and intensity forecasts, allowing NOAA to deliver the best science and service to the nation.”

NOAA’s suite of sophisticated technologies – from next-generation models and satellite data to new and improved forecast and graphical products – enable decision makers and the general public to take action before, during, and after hurricanes, helping to build a more “Weather-Ready Nation.”

“Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector and the public,” said acting FEMA Deputy Administrator Daniel Kaniewski. “It only takes one storm to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare. Do you have adequate insurance, including flood insurance? Does your family have a communication and evacuation plan? Stay tuned to your local news and download the FEMA app to get alerts, and make sure you heed any warnings issued by local officials.”

NOAA will update the 2018 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just prior to the peak of the season.
Read more » click here

NOAA promotes preparedness as 2018 hurricane season begins June 1
A named storm formed before the beginning of the hurricane season for a fourth consecutive year.

Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall near Laguna Beach, according to the NWS National Hurricane Center in Miami. By Tuesday afternoon it was downgraded to a subtropical depression as it moved through central Alabama.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season isn’t expected to be as active as last year’s, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “We do not expect an extremely active (hurricane season) like last year,” Dr. Jerry Bell, NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster, said during a May 24 news conference. “But an active season means a lot of storms could form in the Atlantic (Ocean).” An average season produces 12 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

Regardless of the prediction, the Atlantic region needs to prepare for hurricane season. A hurricane can strike in any season, whether it is active like in 2017 or not,” he said. Bell said while they can make predictions of hurricane activity, they can’t predict where hurricanes will land — and they don’t just impact coastal communities. About 80 million people between the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico coastline face the threat of hurricanes, with inland flooding causing significant damage in recent years. “While we can’t prevent hurricanes, we can take action to better prevent their impact on communities,” Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction, said during the forecast presentation. Throughout the presentation, speakers emphasized residents in the Atlantic hurricane coverage area should prepare every year as if they will be impacted by a tropical storm or hurricane. “Prepare now, before hurricane season by making emergency and evacuation plans for your families” so family members know how to react even if they might not be together when a disaster strikes, Jacobs said. Jacobs added while technology allows the NOAA to project a narrower tracking cone for a hurricane’s projected path each year, the hazards caused by wind and water create dangerous circumstances outside the cone, too.
Read more » click here

2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Now Expected to Be Less Active
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is increasingly expected to be less active than average, according to an updated seasonal outlook released by Colorado State University. 

Including May’s Subtropical Storm Alberto, 11 named storms, four hurricanes and only one major hurricane of Category 3 or higher intensity are expected this season in CSU’s latest outlook released Monday. 

This is a significant reduction from its May 31 outlook, which had called for 14 total named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes, and nearly matches the outlook released in late June by The Weather Company, an IBM Business.
Read more » click here

No matter what a storm outlook is for a given year,

vigilance and preparedness is urged.


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