09 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments

BOC’s Special Meeting 08/30/18

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

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

1. Public Hearing: Provide Input on the Issue of Repealing Resolution 18-05, Resolution Amending the Holden Beach Fee Schedule and Replacing it with a Set of Water and Sewer Fees that Do Not Exceed Those in Effect on June 30, 2018 – Commissioners Fletcher & Freer

Water and Sewer System Development Fee
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 Bill436, 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 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.

What did the state mandate us to do?
The General Assembly amended statues that give now give authority to Cities and Municipalities to charge certain impact fees related to new development. The legislation includes a very specific methodology for developing these fees that requires preparation by qualified professionals, a public review period of the completed study and adoption by a separate action of the local government unit {Town Council). All water and sewer capacity related impact fees must conform to HB436 and compliance must be demonstrated by July 1, 2018.

What does compliance with House Bill 436 require us to do?
The Town must engage a qualified and experienced financial professional or engineer to prepare a study.   The study must explain the approach and methodology, along with any assumptions used to develop cost-justified system development fees. The completed study must be posted for public viewing and comment for a minimum of 45 days, which includes placing the study on the Town’s website.   A public hearing is required following the posting period. The Town must document all comments received and make any revisions to the study as necessary. The Town is then required to adopt the Study by a majority vote by an ordinance or resolution. The fees are then required to be set by a separate action (vote) of the Town Council in order to take effect.

What is a System Development Fee?
System Development Fees are defined as a charge imposed on each new customer or development that generally offsets the incremental cost of replacing existing and/or constructing new capital assets to provide capacity that will continue to meet the demands placed on the system by each new customer or development.

What information was used to develop the System Development Fee?
Permitted capacity of the water and sewer systems and consumption records are used to determine the system’s total and available capacities. The value of existing capacity is determined   by fixed asset records and   replacement cost calculations using applicable construction cost indices. The value of incremental (future) capacity is determined from capital improvements plans and utility master plans. Value adjustments are determined from asset and financial records.  Revenue credits are determined from debt service schedules, rate-generated revenue projections and standard values prescribed by HB436.

What is the Combined Method calculation?
The Combined Approach is a combination of the Buy-In and Incremental Cost Methods and is used where existing assets provide some system capacity to accommodate new development, and applicable capital plan(s) also identify significant capital investment proposed to add infrastructure required to address future growth and capacity needs.

Reference the McGill Report / Page 11 of 34
3.5 Valuation Adjustments-The above system valuations include applicable credit adjustments for revenues anticipated from existing user charges, donated infrastructure and grants.

To ensure that repayment for this debt is not collected twice from new customers; once through the SDF and again through retail rates and charges, the remaining outstanding debt principal amount is required to be applied as a credit against the projected aggregate cost of the capital improvements in the SDF calculation.

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

Isn’t that double collecting?
The $497.30 annual capital assessment is collected from every parcel since the sewer system was installed and will continue to be collected through 2029.

A recent court decision determined that the annual capital assessment does not duplicate fees that can be assessed through System Development Fees.

How did they determine what an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) is?
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.

Why did they use bedrooms instead of bathrooms or square footage?
For residential uses, the house’s occupants will create the demand on the system and therefore measuring the number of occupants, or bedrooms required by those occupants, will be a more accurate representation of capacity that will be demanded from the water system.

Who determines the number of bedrooms?
Holden Beach uses NCAC design flow values to help determine the number of bedrooms.

From 15A NCAC 02T.0114 (b) Wastewater Design Flow Rates
Each bedroom or any other room or addition that can reasonably be expected to function as a bedroom shall be considered a bedroom for design purposes.

From same statute (e}(2}
Residential property on barrier islands and similar communities located south or east of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway used as vacation rental as defined in G.S. 42A-4 shall use 120 gallons per day per habitable room. Habitable room shall mean a room or enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living or sleeping, excluding kitchens and dining areas, bathrooms, shower rooms, water closet compartments, laundries, pantries, foyers, connecting corridors, closets, and storage spaces.

What happens if contractors provide drawings calling bedrooms living space like play rooms?
Using NCAC referenced above, Holden Beach can interpret these rooms as habitable and therefore count them as bedrooms.

Is this a Loophole?
If NCAC is properly applied, this is not a loophole.

Does a two-bedroom single family dwelling get pro rata lower rate or a rebate?
The fee schedule the Town adopted does not envision a two-bedroom house. A two-bedroom single family dwelling would have a lower demand which would be equivalent fee would be, $15,649 vs $20,577.

How did they calculate development fee of $20,577 for an ERU?
Water: Value of Capacity x ERU gallons-per-day demand= SDF Water
$14.48 x 400 GPD = $5,792
Sewer: Value of Capacity x ERU gallons-per-day demand= SDF Sewer
$41.07 x 360 GPD = $14.785

Does the development fee include sewer hookup fee?
No. HB 436 is very clear that hookup fees are separate from any system development fee and can only be levy at the actual cast to provide the hookup.

What is the pro rata per bedroom formula?
This expression is the proportional assignment of fees based on demand that is represented by the number of bedrooms and assigned accordingly.

Who determines what the fee will be?
The Town Council determines the fee, which cannot exceed the maximum amount as determined by the system development fee study.

What impact does the fee structure have on existing homes?
The system development fee structure does not affect what an existing home pays in fees unless there is an expansion of the structure in which case a proposal fee would need to be paid for the expansion. The implementation of a fully cost justified system development fee will reduce what a homeowner would need to pay in their bill to pay for the system capital cost.

What impact does this have on a lot owner that paid the original sewer connection fee and plans to build in the future?
The Town has determined that those lot owners that paid the original connection fee do not need to pay the new System Development Fee for a new three-bedroom home. Those building a home of more than three bedrooms would need to pay the incremental fee for the extra bedrooms.

Does the fee structure apply to any home improvements?
Only home improvements that will result in an increased number of bedrooms as defined by NCAC above.

Are there any restrictions on how much less they can charge?
No. The Town can choose not to charge System Development Fees. The only restriction is a maximum. System development fees cannot exceed the values as calculated by the approved study.

Do we know what the surrounding communities adopted as their fee schedule?
This information can be obtained from the other communities. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Is their situation the same or different than ours?
Their situation is the same in that System Development Fees are required to be determined by the same methodology as prescribed by HB436, and any development fee, capacity fee, etc., not conformed to HB436 is invalid. Each community will have a different cost far their system and a different maximum fee that can be charged.

Do we know what their capacity concerns and plans are?
Surrounding Towns have a variety of capacity concerns that can differ tremendously. Key factors include, but are not limited to, the amount of existing and available capacity, amount of future capacity needed, cost of building or purchasing capacity, current and projected growth, existing and projected debt service. Capacity and plans for constructing capacity are public record and can be obtained on websites.

Does the Towns financial situation factor into the fee structure?
Yes. Debt is a key factor and is part of the fee calculation.

How does are fee schedule compare to the other islands?

What percentage increase did we take?
System Development Fees were adopted at the maximum amount calculated in the study.

What percentage increase did they take?
System development Fees are required to be published as part of the Town’s budget, rate plan or ordinance. A percent change can be determined from these items. This information is public record and can be obtained on websites.

Create a table that shows what the fees were and are now

Holden Beach System Development Fee Comparison
BedroomsPrior to HB436After HB436%
2$         13,125$         15,64919%
3$         13,125$         20,57757%
4$         13,125$         27,369109%
5$         13,125$         34,199161%
6$         13,125$         41,038213%
7$         13,125$      47,879265%
8$         13,125$      54,718317%

Create a table that compares permit costs for a 5-BR home on all the islands
(Wrightsville Beach, Topsail Island, Oak Island, Holden Beach, OIB, Sunset Beach)
It would appear the Town should respond to this.

Given that our building permits are now higher than the surrounding islands –

How do we compare in other costs?
Are our taxes lower than the surrounding islands?
Is our property valuation lower too?
What impact will this have on appraisals and getting financing?
It would appear that the Town should respond to this.

The engineer recommended adopting the maximum fee schedule
The engineer did not recommend the maximum fee and, in fact, made no recommendation for the fee amount to be adopted.  System Development Fee Report, Page 2, Purpose Statement, paragraph 5 reads: “The overall result of this effort will be establishing the maximum cost-justified System Development Fees allowable under HB 436. Holden Beach may elect to implement fees of lesser value…”

Why did they recommend the maximum fee schedule for us?
The engineer made no recommendation for the fee amount to be adopted.

Did they recommend that for all the other communities too?
No. The engineer made no recommendation for the fee amount to be adopted for any community.

Is their justification adequate to explain the significant increase in permit fees?
Fee amounts were determined by each Town exclusively, and justification lies entirely within their decision-making process and authority.

Why did analysis not utilize more current stats?
Industry-standard methodology for determining capacity fees requires a nexus between fees charged and the cost associated with providing capacity to new customers. This relationship must be documented through approved planning documents projecting system demands and capital improvements schedules that demonstrate that adequate capacity will be provided accordingly. The most recent approved Land Use Plan is the 2009 CAMA Land Use Plan for Holden Beach.

What are the driving factors for the reserve fund for expansion?
The driving factors for capacity-related capital improvements needs are summarized in section 7.2 of the Town’s 2009 CAMA Land Use Plan and cited in the Study Report, page 33 of 34:

7.2 Public and Private Wastewater Systems
The Town of Holden Beach has recently installed a municipal sewer system; this system became operable in May 2006. Connection to the public sewer system is required for all residents and businesses within the Town by May 31, 2007.Given that the sewer system for the Town of Holden Beach is new, it is expected that the sewer system has adequate capacity to serve expected growth over the next ten to 15 years.

Will the higher fees go into a reserve fund to pay for capital expenditure for future capacity expansion?
Yes. HB436 is requires system development fees to be accounted for by means of a separate reserve account for the purpose of paying for capacity-related capital assets. 

Public Comments –

Comments made regarding the Water and Sewer Development Fee as follows:
It was not required to adopt the maximum fee schedule we could approve less

Tim MintonNCHBA
Director of Government Affairs
He was involved in the legislation process
Goal was to develop a uniform statewide system
HB436 discussed what the maximum fee can be
It doesn’t say fee shall be …
In other words, they can do less but they can’t do more
Supports repeal and replace

Tyler NewmanBASE
BASE is an advocacy organization
Supports repeal and replace
He asked the Board to revert fees back to where they were on June 30th
Recommended that they take the time to reevaluate

Elaine JordanCoastal Companies
General Counsel of The Coastal Companies
Presented three (3) documents that crushed the methodology that determined the DFS

  1. UNC School of Government – The new law does not apply to local governments that purchase water or wastewater services from other government entities
  2. McGill Engineer e-mail – The SDF calculation could not include investment in facilities that are not owned or operated by the unit of government.
  3. McGill Report page 7 – The Town has determined ownership of capacity is an eligible cost that can be included in the SDF calculation.

This is a $35,864,568 adjustment to the cost used for justification of the development fees
Her point was that we have a lot of questions that need to be addressed
She supports repeal and replace and requested they fix the fee schedule
Let’s get it right!
Expect they can and will do the right thing

2. Discussion and Possible Action: Repeal the Board’s Previous Vote on Implementation of the Water and Sewer Development Fees as Required by House Bill 436 and to Replace that Decision with an Alternative Fee Schedule – Commissioners Fletcher & Freer

 They repealed and replaced the development fee schedule
Repealed Resolution 18-05
.       b)
Replaced with the following interim fee schedule:
.          •
Water Capacity Fee is $100 per bedroom
        • Sewer Capacity Fee is $2,700 per bedroom

A five (5) bedroom in the sewer fee schedule before June 30th was $13,125
A five (5) bedroom in the new interim sewer fee schedule after June 30th is $13,500
A five (5) bedroom in both the old and the new interim water fee schedule is $500
Total cost of $14,000 vs. $13,625, approximately what the fees were before July 1st

For those property owners that already paid their sewer share fee they will get a credit of $2,700 per bedroom up to and including a five-bedroom house; additional bedrooms will be assessed at $2,700 per bedroom

This is an interim fee schedule until they have an opportunity to reevaluate the situation

 A decision was made – Approved (3-2)

Vote was three (3) to two (2), no surprise there

Mayor Pro Tem Sullivan and Commissioner Kwiatkowski both voted against the motion

They have been consistent in their position as follows:

  1. They should be provided material prior to meeting so they can review and understand it
  2. Information should be included in Agenda Packet
  3. Issues should be addressed at a Regular Meeting
  4. Town Attorney should be present

My Two Cents - CR IIPreviously said that the Town Manager Hewett has been no help to the Board either by ignorance or design, now we know it was by design. The Boards mantra has been they were advised to adopt the maximum fee schedule. The engineer categorically denies recommending the max fee so that leaves just the Town Manager making the recommendation. In addition, despite being told that the SDF calculation could not include investment in facilities that are not owned or operated by the unit of government we did anyway. This is a $35,864,568 adjustment to the cost used for justification of the development fees. David independently determined ownership of capacity is an eligible cost that can be included in the SDF calculation. McGill recommended that we get an opinion from our town attorney before making a final determination. David made a conscious choice to include this cost without consulting our attorney about it.

3. Discussion and Possible Action: Reimbursing Any Fee Assessments After July 1, 2018 That Exceed Those Set by the New Rate Structure Set by the Board – Commissioners Fletcher & Freer

The motion directed the Town to reimburse any fees paid after July 1st that exceeds the interim rate set today

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously

HB commissioners OK repeal, replacement of fee schedule
Holden Beach commissioners at a special Aug. 30 meeting voted to repeal and replace a resolution dealing with the town’s fee schedule. The General Assembly passed House Bill 436 last July, which amended general statutes by adding “Article 8, System Development Fees.” The 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 the Clarify the Applicable Statute of Limitations.” The bill also requires compliance with designated calculation methodology as of July 1. In response, the town retained McGill Associates P.A. of Shallotte to complete a system development fee analysis. Based on the town’s existing system capacity and planned capital improvements to expand capacity, the development fee, in accordance with the Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) for water and sewer was calculated at $20,577. The ERU is defined as the water and sewer capacities that are required to serve a three-bedroom single-family home. McGill Associates calculated this water and wastewater cost capacity on a per-gallon per-day basis for Holden Beach. The analysis was completed using a combined method to account for the town’s combination of existing capacity and planned future capacity expansion through capital expenditure. Commissioner John Fletcher made a motion that the board repeal Resolution 18-05, Resolution Amending Holden Beach Fee Schedule. He also made a motion to replace Resolution 18-05 with the following rate structure for both water and sewer: for the water capacity fee, the fee will be $300 for a three-bedroom home and $100 for every extra bedroom. For sewer it will be $8,100 for a three-bedroom with $2,700 for each additional bedroom. Fletcher then amended his motion to add the credit for those who have paid already the sewer share will be up to a maximum five-bedroom house. Beyond a five-bedroom house there will be the assessed $2,700 per bedroom sewer development fee. Commissioner Peter Freer agreed to the amendment and seconded the motion, which passed 3-2. Fletcher, Freer and commissioner Joe Butler voted in favor of the repeal and replacement, with commissioners Pat Kwiatkowski and Mike Sullivan dissenting. Kwiatkowski said she was uncomfortable voting without Town Attorney Noel Fox present at the meeting, and said commissioners could instead recess the meeting until Sept. 11 meeting, which Fox will attend. Sullivan agreed, and said the board should be voting on something like this during a regularly scheduled meeting.  “I can’t see the harm in waiting,” he said. Commissioners unanimously voted 5-0 that the board direct the town to reimburse any fee assessments that were paid after July 1 and exceed those set by the new rate structure set by the board Aug. 30.
 Read more » click here

4. Town Manager Report on the Quarterly Long-Term MOA and Status of the Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging Meeting in New Bern on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 – Commissioners Butler and Freer

 Earlier this year the Town of Oak Island requested permission to become a party to the Shallow Draft Inlet-5 federal permit, meaning it could be the recipient of sand for beach nourishment. Who will get the beach-quality sand from the dredging of the Lockwood Folly Inlet is once again up for discussion. Two of the three scheduled dredging projects are not going to happen. Due to a new interpretation of easement requirements for locally sponsored federal projects the sand from the Inlet Crossing Project will apparently be going to Oak Island because they need to get less easements then we do. This had not been required before now. Traditionally we got the sand because it was the most efficient and the lowest cost option. What this means is that we will not be the beneficiary of sand from dredging Lockwood Folly Inlet for the foreseeable future. This is a wakeup call for us to be more proactive. The Board has already asked Applied Technology and Management to do analysis, so we can proceed armed with the facts moving forward.

Town Manager Report – Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging
Town Manager David Hewett reported about a meeting in New Bern on Aug. 29 to discuss the long-term memorandum of agreement between the state and the Army Corps of Engineers and the status of shallow draft navigation channel dredging. He said some of the information he learned may be subject to change. The Murden hopper dredge was expected to come to Lockwood Folly Inlet, but that will not happening this year. Hewett said the dredge will instead be reprioritized to other projects elsewhere this year. He also said a plan for a project to dredge inlet crossing will not come to Holden Beach either, and sand from that project will be placed on Oak Island. Hewett said the contract to dredge Lockwood Folly Inlet is part of a larger corps contract to take care of all shallow draft inlets. He doesn’t know when dredging along the coast will actually start, but said a major portion of the region for sand does not include Holden Beach. This is a result of a new interpretation of existing federal rules regarding local sponsorship of federal projects that require easements be obtained from local property owners in order to put sand on the beach. Butler said he and Sullivan also attended the New Bern meeting, and said Sullivan did a good job of challenging the corps on why they didn’t contact the town about this, including the status of the easements. He said the corps admitted it didn’t call the town and could’ve handled things better. He said the meeting was a wakeup call for better communication between the corps and the town “and I don’t like wakeup calls. I’m not a morning person,” he said. Sullivan said he wants to have Fran Way, senior coastal engineer for Applied Technology Management, perform an analysis about putting sand on the west end of Oak Island by the corps instead of putting the sand on the east end of Holden Beach. He said he wants the analysis done to show that it’s cheaper to drop the sand on the east end of the town than on the west end of Oak Island. Mayor Alan Holden echoed Butler’s sentiment that communication between the corps and town must improve for the town’s sake. “We’ve got to revamp our program or find ourselves really left out,” he said.
Read more » click here 

General Comments –
There were twenty-seven (27) members of the community in attendance

This was a teachable moment – on how NOT to run a Public Meeting

Due to the conditions resulting from Florence and to the need to focus on the safety and restoration of our island and residents, The Holden Beach Board of Commissioners’ Regular Meeting scheduled for September 18, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. was canceled.

BOC’s Regular Meeting 09/18/18

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

1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

2. Discussion and Possible Action on Poyner Spruill LLP Presentation Concerning Consulting Services – Mayor Holden 

Previously reported –
It has been the Mayor’s position that we need to hire a professional consulting firm because we need representation on multiple topics at the local, state and national levels of government.

For more information » click here

3. Brunswick Avenue Paving Options – Shane Lippard, Right Angle Engineering (Town Manager Hewett)
. a.
Discussion of Alternatives and Direction to Staff

4. Discussion and Consideration of Professional Engineering Report for Second Water Tower – Shane Lippard, Right Angle (Town Manager Hewett)
. a.
Direction to Staff

5. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 18-10, Resolution Establishing the Town of Holden Beach’s Position on Lockwood Folly Inlet Navigation Maintenance and Associated Least Cost Method of Disposal Placement – Inlet and Beach Protection Board (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)
. a.
Coastal Engineering Proposal for Modeling and Report on Optimum Placement of Dredge Materials from Navigation Projects, Fran Way Applied Technology and Management
. b. Ordinance 18-14, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 18-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 (Amendment No. 2)

6. Police Report – Chief Wally Layne

Police Patch

It’s that time of year, rental season ends, and break-in season officially starts


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

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

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

7. 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

Previously reported – July 2018
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

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

Previously reported – August 2018
Reviewed progress to date, despite the rain they are still on schedule, gave some tentative project timelines. It’s all good!

Update –

8. Discussion and Possible Action on Solid Waste Agreement and Items Relating to Solid Waste Management – Town Manager Hewett
. a.
Amendment to Solid Waste and Recyclable Collection, Transportation and Disposal Agreement
b. Ordinance 18-15, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 18-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 (Amendment No. 3)
. c.
Resolution 18-11, Resolution Amending the Holden Beach Fee Schedule

9. First Draft of Revisions to Town of Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 50: Solid Waste – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

10. Notice of Audit Committee’s Intent to Draft Updated Charter and Bylaws for Consideration by the BOC – Commissioner Fletcher

Previously reported – July 2018
Commissioner Fletcher felt there was a gap between the Board’s intention and what has actually come to pass based on the Town’s staff interpretation. John as Chair of the Audit Committee requested that the Board clarify what functions they wanted the Audit Committee to perform. The Board advised him that the Audit Committee must adopt their bylaws and then bring it back to the Board for discussion and approval.

Previously reported – August 2018
Commissioner Fletcher submitted the bylaws that the Audit Committee unanimously approved. Noel Fox the Town Attorney took issue with several items. They will have to submit an amended / revised version for approval again. Who knew this could be so complicated? The Board did manage to authorize the Audit Committee to schedule a meeting with the firm conducting the internal control review. The Board does not want to wait for a final report and requested an interim status update as soon as it can be made available.

11. Status of the Internal Control Audit – Town Manager Hewett (Commissioner Freer)

12. Recognition of 2018 Pelican Award from the North Carolina Coastal Federation to the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Keep Our Coast Accessible and Public – Commissioner Butler and Commissioner Freer

Previously reported –August 2018
Pelican Award

Town of Holden Beach, Dunescape Property Owners’ Association and the Holden Beach Property Owners Association For Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Keep Our Coast Accessible and Public

Flanked by the beautiful Lockwoods Folly Inlet, the eastern end of Holden Beach was threatened to be forever changed by an unnecessary and expensive engineered structure. But on April 17, 2018, the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to permanently revoke the town’s permit application for a terminal groin with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This historic move would not have been possible without the diligent evaluation of potential impacts by dedicated residents of the Dunescape Property Owners’ Association and the Holden Beach Property Owners Association — Rhonda and Tom Dixon, Tom and Vicki Myers, Jay and Denise Holden, John and Margaret Witten, Rich Weigand, Lou Cutajar and Skip Klapheke. These and other Holden Beach residents tirelessly fought to bring to light the detrimental effects the terminal groin — a rock, concrete, stone or metal structure built at an inlet, perpendicular to the coast — would have had on the island’s natural habitat and shoreline. Their forethought and action also positioned the town to save a lot of money for a project that likely would not work. The residents of Holden Beach persevered in their opposition and are true pioneers in showing how to exercise sound coastal management decision- making and recognizing that expensive hardened structures along our beaches are not the answer to erosion.

Holden Beach, associations honored with Pelican Award
Six years ago, Holden Beach considered constructing a terminal groin. Town officials received input from Holden Beach Property Owners Association and the Dunescape Property Association to teach residents about the process and possible outcomes before commissioners ultimately voted not to pursue the project. On July 28, the North Carolina Coastal Federation honored the town and the two associations with its Pelican Award for “outstanding leadership and dedication to keep the North Carolina coast accessible and public.”
Read more » click here

A Look Back: Holden Beach’s (Un)Done Deal
A terminal groin at the east end of Holden Beach was a given.
Read more »
click here

Well this is embarrassing, Peter neglected to bring the plaque to the meeting

Update –

13. Discussion of Activities and Timelines to Re-conduct the Determination of Maximum Sewer and Water System Development Fees and Subsequently Set “Permanent Fees Before the End of 2018 – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Previously reported –
They repealed and replaced the development fee schedule
. 1)
Repealed Resolution 18-05
. 2)
Replaced with the following interim fee schedule:
Water Capacity Fee is $100 per bedroom
Sewer Capacity Fee is $2,700 per bedroom
A five (5) bedroom in the sewer fee schedule before June 30th was $13,125
A five (5) bedroom in the new interim sewer fee schedule after June 30th is $13,500
A five (5) bedroom in both the old and the new interim water fee schedule is $500
Total cost of $14,000 vs. $13,625, approximately what the fees were before July 1st

For those property owners that already paid their sewer share fee they will get a credit of $2,700 per bedroom up to and including a five-bedroom house; additional bedrooms will be assessed at $2,700 per bedroom. This is an interim fee schedule until they have an opportunity to reevaluate the situation.

 Update –

14. Discussion of Possible Ramifications of State Funded Dare Dredge and Action Plan for the Town to Begin the Process of Getting Service – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Dare Moving Ahead on Inlet Dredge Plan
As the need for dredging in North Carolina waterways has long ago surpassed the availability of funds and equipment to dredge, Dare County, with the help of $15 million provided in the recent state budget, is about to try something different: Build a dedicated dredge to maintain its waterways. The plan would be a private-public partnership where a forgivable loan would be offered to the owner/operator in exchange for discounts on the dredging work. The ocean-certified dredge would mostly be used to maintain Oregon Inlet – a notoriously high-need waterway – and Hatteras Inlet in Dare County.

A provision in North Carolina Senate Bill 99, added by state Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, appropriated the $15 million from the state Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund for Dare to contract with a private developer to design build, operate, maintain and own an ocean-certified hopper dredge. The contractor would have 10 years, with a possible five-year extension, to pay off the loan with credits earned by providing discounted rates for dredging Dare County waterways. Language in the legislation cited the decline in federal funds for decreased maintenance by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The proposed hopper dredge, estimated to cost $25 million to $30 million and take about two years to build, would service Oregon Inlet, Hatteras Inlet and their surrounding waterways, and when possible, other waterways and shallow-draft inlets in North Carolina. Hopper dredges hold the dredged material, or spoils, and then deposit it at specific locations. They are capable of withstanding ocean conditions.

The state defines shallow-draft navigation channels as inlets with a maximum depth of 16 feet, a river entrance to the Atlantic or other interior coastal waterways, including: the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and its side channels, Beaufort Harbor, Bogue Inlet, Carolina Beach Inlet, Back Sound to Lookout Back channel, Lockwood Folly River, Oregon Inlet/Shallowbag Bay, Masonboro Inlet, New River, New Topsail Inlet, Rodanthe Harbor, Hatteras Inlet, Shallotte River, Silver Lake Harbor and the connecting waterway between Pamlico Sound and Beaufort Harbor.
Read more » click here

15. Town Manager’s Report

Beach Nourishment
Anecdotal evidence that the beach strand held up rather well during the storm event. We have already assessed sand loss of @165,000 cubic yards and will need to redo both sand fencing and vegetation on the beach strand.

Canal Dredging Project
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.

Water Bill
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.

Previously reported –August 2018
Town had meeting with potential bidders for the canal dredging project
He anticipates bid letting date sometime in September
Dredging is scheduled to start in the middle of November

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.
The dog park will probably have to be closed until Memorial Day in 2019.

Update –

16. Mayor’s Comments
From the Mayor’s Desk
Hurricane Season Information
Please remember that we are entering the high-risk part of hurricane season. Be sure you have your emergency plan of action prepared and know how to carry out your plan if and when action is needed.

Remember mandatory evacuations are “mandatory”. Everyone will be required to leave. Water and sewage services may be shut down by the Town. BEMC may turn off the power.

Make sure you have your vehicle decals in place. The decals are necessary for re-entry to the island in the event of an emergency situation that restricts access to the island.

During an emergency, email updates will be issued.

Being prepared is key to making it through the season.

17. Board of Commissioners’ Comments

18. Public Comments on General Items

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

General Comments –

The BOC’s October Regular Meeting has been rescheduled to the fourth Tuesday of the month, October 23rd

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

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.

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

vigilance and preparedness is urged.

Hurricane Florence was a powerful and long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that caused severe and extensive damage in the Carolinas in September 2018, primarily as a result of freshwater flooding. Florence dropped a maximum total of 35.93 inches (913 mm) of rain in Elizabethtown, North Carolina, becoming the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in North Carolina, and also the eighth-wettest overall in the contiguous United States. The sixth named storm, third hurricane, and the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. On September 10 and 11, the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia all issued mandatory evacuation orders for some of their coastal communities, predicting that emergency personnel would be unable to reach people there once the storm arrived. Despite making landfall as a weakened Category 1 hurricane, Florence still had enough wind speed to uproot trees and cause widespread power outages throughout the Carolinas. A ridge of high pressure over eastern North America stalled Florence’s forward motion for several days while making landfall; moving forward at only 2–3 miles per hour (3.2–4.8 km/h); the storm continually dumped heavy rain along coastal areas from September 13, when the outer rain bands first began to be felt, to September 15, when the storm was still stalled out only a few miles west of Wilmington. Coupled with a large storm surge, this caused widespread flooding along a long stretch of the North Carolina coast, from New Bern to Wilmington. As the storm moved inland, from September 15 to 17, heavy rain caused widespread inland flooding, inundating cities such as Fayetteville, Smithfield, Lumberton, Durham, and Chapel Hill, as major rivers such as the Neuse River, Eno River, Cape Fear River, and Lumber River all spilled over their banks. Most major roads and highways in the area experienced some flooding, with large stretches of I-40, I-95, and US Route 70 remaining impassable for days after the storm had passed. The city of Wilmington was cut off entirely from the rest of the mainland by floodwaters. The storm also spawned tornadoes in several places along its path. Many places received record-breaking rainfall, with more than 30 inches (760 mm) measured in some locations. At least 45 deaths were attributed to the storm, and damage is currently estimated at more than $38 billion.
For more information » click here

Hurricane Florence – THB Timeline

MANDATORY evacuation to be off the island by Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. Remember when a mandatory evacuation is issued, you MUST leave the island. Sewer service will not be provided.

Holden Beach has been evacuated and the sewer system turned off. Electricity is currently on but controlled by BEMC and Duke / Progress Energy. Water is controlled by Brunswick County during the hurricane. The bridge closed this morning. The bridge will reopen after the hurricane event and the island is inspected and cleared for re-entry.

Water and sewer are turned off. Power is still on. Lots of rain is on the way.

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at 7:15 a.m. local time, according to the National Weather Service. The storm was moving at just 6 mph at the time and had maximum sustained winds near 90 mph. The slow-moving hurricane lashed eastern North Carolina with relentless rain and wind throughout the day, causing catastrophic flooding in some areas that saw as much as 40 inches of rainfall.

Holden Beach is experiencing wind estimated at 50 MPH, with bigger gusts. Rain continues to fall and is heavy at times. The power is off in the causeway area and the island. The power feed from Duke / Progress Energy to BEMC is not working. This is a major concern and must be repaired before we can even hope to get electrical service available on Holden Beach. The Building Inspections Department will have to review the total damage before any final decisions can be made regarding re-entry.

Hurricane Florence downgraded to Tropical Storm. Forecasters warned that drenching rains of 1 to 3 feet (30 centimeters to 1 meter) as the hurricane-turned-tropical storm crawls westward across North and South Carolina could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

Tropical Storm Florence continued crawling westward across eastern South Carolina. The storm is expected to gradually weaken to a tropical depression by the end of the day, according to the National Weather Service. But the torrential rain shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. Florence is expected to dump another 14 to 20 inches of rain on southern and central parts of North Carolina into far northeast South Carolina. This will continue to produce “catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding,” the National Weather Service said.

First reports and observations are that the beach strand is in good condition with little damage caused by the ocean to homes. Wind damage is mostly to roof shingles and vinyl siding. By law the Town has to provide utilities before providing occupancy. Water is still standing on many of our streets and locations on the island. Brunswick County has now received 20 inches with an additional 15 – 20 inches may still fall today according to the conference call with the weather service. Brunswick County Emergency Services message is simple “if you are not here, stay away”. Holden Beach is still under a Tropical Storm Warning.

The beach strand including fencing and vegetation is in overall good condition. There is still very limited damage involving potential structural issues. Water is covering the streets and is deeper in places than any time previous with a prediction of 5 – 8 more inches of rain in the near future. Public Works Department has their pumps deployed. The Tri-Beach Fire Department is lending their support with manpower and equipment as well. Power has been restored.

Work crews continue to make progress on re-activating the sewer system. Electric services are in working area island wide. We have been successful in lowering water levels on roadways. We anticipate deciding about re-entry to the island by nightfall. Overall the beach strand and dunes have held up well.

Effective 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18th the Holden Beach Bridge is open to residents and property owners upon presentation of a valid 2018 vehicle decal properly affixed to their vehicle windshield.

Barring any unforeseen issues through the night into the morning, we anticipate an announcement allowing unrestricted access across the bridge midday tomorrow.

State of Emergency is now ended, beginning at 1:45 p.m. on the 20th day of September 2018 Holden Beach shall be open to the public and the roadblock removed.  The intent is to allow unrestricted access to the island.

Damage was much less than predicted. We are in cleanup mode, and we will be for the foreseeable future. All things considered, we fared exceptionally well. We all should be very thankful!

Hurricane Scorecard
Exceptional job by Mayor Holden in keeping the community informed about what was happening on the island during the evacuation. Kudos to the Police & Public Works employees who put themselves in harms way to get the island back up and running after the storm event.

Suggestion Box
The Town effectively communicated to the public via e-mails and the Town website. I would like to see them add text messages, which is what the County does.

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