Lou’s Views
News & Views / November Edition

Calendar of Events –

Run Holden Beach – 2019
The fifth annual “Run Holden Beach” event is scheduled on Saturday, January 19th. 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.
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For more information » click here
Register » click here


TDA - logoDiscover a wide range of things to do in the Brunswick Islands for an experience that goes beyond the beach.
For more information » click here


Calendar of Events Island –

Tree Lighting
Come one, Come all!

The Town will hold its eleventh annual Tree Lighting on Thursday, November 29th at the Holden Beach Pavilion.

The event will begin with entertainment at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lighting at 6:00 p.m. There will be games, refreshments and a visit by a special guest. Prior to the event there will be a Chili Cook-off, to be judged at noon at Town Hall. Winners will be announced at the Tree Lighting. If you are interested in the Chili Cook-off, please call (910) 842-6488 to pre-register by November 26th.


Holiday Social

Join us on Friday, December 7th at noon in the Town Hall Public Assembly for our annual holiday luncheon. The Town will provide the meat. We ask that participants bring a side dish to share. Register by calling (910) 842-6488 by December 1st.


 

Sandy Paws Parade and Pictures
Join us on Friday, December 7th at 2:00 p.m. outside the Town Hall Public Assembly for our annual Sandy Paws Dog Parade. This will be a short walk to the Pavilion where you can have you dog’s picture taken with a special guest.

 

This event has been rescheduled to Friday, December 14th at 1:00 p.m.


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


Reminders –


Dog Park Closed

The Dog Park is closed due to the canal dredging project. As it stands now, the USACE will not allow the Town to place material from the canal dredging in their spoil area. Pending CAMA approval, the Town plans on using land at the dog park as its spoils area. The dog park will remain closed until after the dredging project is complete. They anticipate the park will be closed until at least Memorial Day.


BOC’s Meeting

The Board of Commissioners’ December Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, December 18th

 


Yard Waste Service
Yard debris pick-up is provided twice a month on the 2ndand 4th Fridays during the months of October, November and December. Yard debris needs to be secured in a biodegradable bag or bundled in a maximum length of five (5) feet and fifty (50) pounds in weight. A total of ten items (bundles of brush/ limbs, bags) will be picked up by Waste Industries. Yard waste must be placed at the street for pick-up. No pick-ups will be made on vacant lots or construction sites.


News from Town of Holden Beach
The town sends out emails of events, news, agendas, notifications and emergency information. If you would like to be added to their mailing list, please go to their web site to complete your subscription to the Holden Beach E-Newsletter.
For more information » click here


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.

Dredging Project – October
Construction at the Scotch Bonnet dredge spoil area began this week in preparation for this winter’s canal dredging project. We ask that canal property owners begin to move their boats and docks if possible in preparation for the dredge event. The tentative schedule will begin with Holden Beach Harbor mid-November, followed by Heritage Harbor mid-January, and Harbor Acres mid-February.

Note: This schedule may be affected by inclement weather.

King Dredging is partially mobilized on site and is prepping containment area by dog park. Dredging scheduled to commence in the middle of November working the canals from east to west.

Dredging ProjectNovember
King Dredging is fully mobilized on site with dredge in canals. Scotch Bonnet dredge spoil area work is just about completed. Dredging operations are scheduled to commence the first day of December working the canals from east to west. Work is starting with Holden Beach Harbor, which includes canals between High Point and Greensboro. Property owners should have made dock and boat arrangements already, but if you haven’t there’s still a little time left.

King Dredging is just about ready to begin with the following tentative schedule:
.     1)
Holden Beach Harbor – December 1st through January 25th
.     2) Heritage Harbor – January 26th through February 25th
.     3) Harbor Acres – Feb 26th through April 9th


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


Recycling-Bin
Curbside recycling

Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $67.56 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here


Elevator - CRElevators
Most states mandate that elevator systems be tested and inspected annually. Currently the state of North Carolina does not require annual inspections to be performed on all elevator systems. The use of unsafe and defective lifting devices imposes a substantial probability of serious and preventable injury to your family and guests. It is in the owner’s best interest to minimize injuries and liability by scheduling an annual safety inspection to ensure the safe operation of their elevator system.

Safety Notice –
Waupaca Elevator Company has issued an important safety notice. The potential hazard is associated with normal wear in your elevator. If your elevator develops the problem and it is not repaired, the elevator may drop unexpectedly with you in it and you may be injured. They recommend you contact your elevator service company.


Library
If you need something to keep you busy in this colder weather, make sure to visit the island library. The library is in the upstairs of Holden Beach Town Hall. All the books were donated. Patrons of the library don’t have to check out a book; they are on the honor system to return it.



Neighborhood Watch –

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


Upon Further Review –


Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling

Previously reported – September 2015
Resolution 15-09 is in opposition to offshore exploration and drilling. Why? Because we have a tourism based economy, along with the local fishing industry and quality of life depends on the health and welfare of our natural resources. We believe that the inherent risks to our region from offshore exploration and drilling have the potential to irrevocably harm our natural environment, our economic well-being and our overall quality of life. Including us there are now 79 municipalities that have passed resolutions opposing offshore exploration and drilling.

Previously reported – January 2018
Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling
Read more » click here

Cooper: NC to sue if kept in offshore drilling plan
Governor threatens legal action if Trump administration pushes plan to open coast to oil exploration. “No way. Not off our coast,” Cooper said of oil exploration.
Read more » click here

North Carolina Gov. Cooper joins others in protest of federal fines for opposing offshore drilling
Read more » click here

County commissioners ignore pleas, won’t join opposition to offshore oil drilling
Activists who want to protect area beaches from offshore drilling took their pre-election message to the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners again. More than a dozen residents asked commissioners at their October 15 meeting to adopt a resolution opposing offshore drilling and seismic testing off the North Carolina coast. They have addressed commissioners each meeting since the board voted 4-1 in April to remove from the agenda a resolution offered by District 1 commissioner Randy Thompson. Thompson’s proposal would have positioned the county against offshore drilling, keeping it in line with the more than 140 Atlantic coastal communities and groups that have adopted resolutions. They include Southport, Oak Island, Bald Head Island, Caswell Beach, St. James and Holden Beach. “Elections are upon us,” Southport resident Michael Rice told commissioners. “Will we be governed by an unseen boss, or by representatives who listen to us and manage our county in our interests as we express them?” Since a resolution opposing offshore drilling hasn’t been introduced by the county, Rice presented one for commissioners to consider. It stated that commissioners “upon hearing the views of its citizens and municipalities in public forums, unequivocally opposes drilling for minerals in the waters off of our shores, and likewise opposes activities in such waters in furtherance of such drilling.” Commissioners did not respond and took no action.
Read more » click here


Previously reported –
Holden Beach Newsletter
Chemours has issued a press release announcing that the company will take measures to eliminate byproduct GenX wastewater emissions from its Fayetteville site. Click here to view the release.

In order to keep citizens informed, Brunswick County has established a website to share information about GenX as they learn it. You can find this page at www.brunswickcountync.gov/genx. The website contains a FAQ section that they update as they learn additional information (or receive additional questions), links to all their press releases and links to other resources like information from NCDEQ. There is also a link where citizens can go to sign up to receive email updates on the topic.


The Public Information Officer for Brunswick County announced that the County has taken legal action against DuPont and Chemours for contaminating the Cape Fear River.

10.31.2017
Statement from Brunswick County
The filing of formal legal action against Chemours and DuPont represents another crucial step in protecting our public drinking water supply. It sends a clear message that Brunswick County will simply not stand for the discharge of emerging or unregulated chemicals into our public drinking water supply. Let us be clear…we will ensure that any company that threatens this vital resource is held responsible. Furthermore, our litigation team is consulting the nation’s leading experts to determine the best long-term water testing and treatment methods for the entire county. As part of that, we will ensure that the costs for doing so do not fall upon the rate payers, but upon those dumping the unregulated chemicals in the water.
For more information » click here

Previously reported –June 2018
Southern Environmental Law Center files lawsuit calling for DEQ action on GenX
The Southern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit in New Hanover County Superior Court calling on the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to use its authority to require the Chemours Company to immediately stop all discharge of GenX and other chemically related compounds from its Fayetteville Works facility.
Read more » click here

CFPUA: Filtering GenX can be done, but will cost customers
The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) may move to spend $46 million to upgrade the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant to filter — as much as possible — contaminants like GenX and other material that the Wilmington plant can’t filter from water drawn from the Cape Fear River.
Read more » click here

Lawyers file suit against Chemours over GenX
Southern Environmental Law Center lawyers are suing The Chemours Co. on behalf of Cape Fear River Watch. Chemours is the maker of GenX, the contaminant found in the Cape Fear River, which provides the raw water the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and the Brunswick County Utilities Department use for drinking water. The lawsuit was filed in Wilmington’s U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina Southern Division against Chemours for air and water pollution with toxic perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), including GenX, from the Chemours Fayetteville Works Facility in violation of the Clean Water Act and Toxic Substances Control Act. “Chemours’ decades-long contamination of North Carolina’s environment must stop to prevent more harm. The families and communities who drink from, swim in and fish on the Cape Fear River deserve healthy, clean water,” Senior Attorney Geoff Gisler said.
Read more » click here

CFPUA forges ahead with GenX solutions
The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) moved forward Tuesday with both short- and long-term plans to remove chemicals such as GenX from its customers’ drinking water.
Read more » click here

Update –

Chemours to pay $12 million fine as part of GenX agreement
Proposed consent order requires Chemours to limit emissions at Fayetteville Works while also conducting studies

If approved by a Bladen County Superior Court Judge, the agreement would require the company to limit the discharges of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) such as GenX, while simultaneously providing water or treatment equipment to residents whose water shows high levels of PFAS. Chemours also agreed to pay a $12 million civil penalty that, if unaltered, would be the highest fine ever collected by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. The company will also pay $1 million in investigative costs, with additional fees built into the agreement such as $200,000 if it fails to reduce annual emissions by 82 percent from 2017 levels beginning Oct. 6, $350,000 if it fails to reduce emissions by 92 percent from 2017 levels beginning Dec. 31 and $1 million if it fails to reduce emissions by 99 percent from 2017 levels from 2020 on. In a statement, Michael Regan, the secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, said, “People deserve access to clean drinking water, and this order is a significant step in our ongoing effort to protect North Carolina communities and the environment.”
Read more » click here


County seeks grant for Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging
Brunswick County commissioners unanimously agreed Monday night to apply to the North Carolina Division of Water resources for a grant to dredge an improved navigation channel at the Lockwood Folly Inlet. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has only had enough funding to dredge that inlet to eight feet,” Deputy County Manager Steve Stone said. Stone said while the corps has been unable to maintain an optimal navigation channel at the inlet, the proposed project would dredge the channel to its maximum depth of 12 feet and with a width of 150 feet. Stone said the estimated cost of the project would be $4,130,000. But with the grant, two-thirds of it would be funded by the federal government. The grant, if funded, would cover construction and design, engineering, administration and additional costs, Stone said. He added the dredging would likely produce more than 200,000 cubic yards of beach quality sand, which could be placed directly on an adjacent shoreline. The local share of the project cost would be split by Brunswick County and the municipality receiving the beach sand at a rate that has not yet been determined. “My question, who’s getting the sand?” commissioner Mike Forte asked. Stone said Holden Beach has a Coastal Area Management Act permit for sand placement but may not need it, while Oak Island could use the sand but doesn’t own a permit. Oak Island has applied for a permit to receive navigation dredge sand, Stone said, but he didn’t know if it had been approved. Stone said all permits needed by the county are not in place but securing them would be part of the project. The county is not obligated to accept the grant if it is awarded, he added. Commissioners agreed unanimously, 5-0 to provide a resolution to approve applying for the grant and added a stipulation to send a letter of support for the Oak Island sand permit application.
Read more » click here

What’s next for Brunswick’s Lockwood Folly Inlet?
Read more » click here

LWF dredging project would provide Oak Island with much needed sand
Read more » click here

County agrees to Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging
Read more » click here

Brunswick County to fund Lockwood Folly dredging; Oak Island has opportunity for sand
Read more » click here

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

Oak Island beach-strand surveys will assist in securing FEMA aid to restore dunes
Engineers working with survey crews started post-Florence and Michael surveys of Oak Island Monday, part of the lengthy, bureaucratic process required for the town to receive federal disaster aid. Crews with backpack-mounted GPS devices will take detailed measurements of the dunes, berm and strand at more than 50 locations and follow up with surveys from boats to document how the storms affected the shore and nearshore environment. Johnny Martin, contract engineer for Moffatt & Nichol, said surveyors would also study the Eastern Channel, already badly shoaled, as well as Lockwood Folly Inlet. Martin put the initial estimate for damages and stormwater mitigation efforts at $12.2-million, but stressed that the number was a rough guess used to help state emergency managers plan their budgets. He said the post-Matthew emergency dune took a hit, as did parts of the newly finished beach on the east end of town, built with sand from clearing the Wilmington Harbor shipping channel. Last week, town manager David Kelly noted that in addition to possible reimbursement for losses from the hurricanes, Oak Island is also in line to receive $8.2-million in state and federal funds to rebuild a sea turtle habitat from around SE 58th Street west to about Ocean Crest Pier. Town officials are hopeful they’ll combine the projects, possibly kick in another $1-million or so to stretch out the work and put sand on parts of the beach in winter 2019. Martin said it would take that much time to confirm the sources of sand and obtain environmental permits. The turtle habitat project may utilize sand from an offshore deposit called the Central Reach, the same source Holden Beach recently tapped for its large-scale project. On a related note, Martin said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to seek bids by next week on dredging the Intracoastal Waterway crossing of the Lockwood Folly River. That job, by a private contractor, is expected to place beach-quality sand on an erosional hot-spot on the west end of Oak Island, generally in the vicinity of the 6400 block of West Beach Drive. Also, the corps has plans to perform maintenance dredging of Lockwood Folly Inlet, using a sidecast dredge that can’t put sand on the beach. Whether and how that project was delayed or changed by the hurricanes isn’t yet clear.
Read more » click here


Corrections & Amplifications –

The National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
Read more » click here

Previously reported –
Your flood insurance premium is going up again, and that’s only the beginning
The bottom line: your flood insurance premium is going up again — and under a policy change the Federal Emergency Management Agency is considering, it could skyrocket even more in coming years.
Read more » click here

National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On July 31, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to November 30, 2018. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on November 30, 2018.

FEMA and Congress have never failed to honor the flood insurance contracts in place with NFIP policyholders. Should the NFIP’s authorization lapse, FEMA would still have authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would stop selling and renewing policies for millions of properties in communities across the nation. Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors estimates that a lapse might impact approximately 40,000 home sale closings per month.

NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance. The level of damage from the 2017 hurricanes makes it abundantly clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.
Read more » click here

Congress passes flood insurance extension, again punting on reforms
The Senate voted to approve yet another short-term extension of the federal flood insurance program — scrambling to move the stopgap measure just hours ahead of this year’s hurricane season. The 86-to-12 vote preserves access to flood insurance for U.S. homeowners, but it again punts reforms to a program that covers more than 5 million households and collects more than $3 billion in premiums yearly. The bill [which was slated to sunset Aug. 1], extends the authorization for the program and its ability to borrow funds through Nov. 30. Lawmakers have been unable to move forward on changes to the program nearly a year after a string of hurricanes — Harvey, Irma and Maria — highlighted the fiscal stress on the program. Claims in 2017 exceeded $8.7 billion, with more claims from last year’s storms expected to be filed in 2018. The National Flood Insurance Program has more than $20 billion in public debt on its books; an additional $16 billion was canceled last year to avoid a $30 billion ceiling on the program’s borrowing. The extension approved Tuesday is the seventh stopgap Congress has passed since the previous long-term authorization lapsed last year.
Read more » click here

Congress just dodged hard decisions about flood insurance again
A federal flood insurance program that’s the only option for many homeowners in areas threatened by water damage was extended Tuesday with none of the reforms many observers call necessary.
Read more » click here

With the NFIP underwater, expand private sector’s role
With each passing year of devastating storms and as Hurricane Michael leaves a path of destruction, the financial woes of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) deepen. But despite promising alternatives, until recently, U.S. policymakers have failed to act. However, Rep. Ed Royce’s (R-Calif.) recently introduced bill – The “Government Risk and Taxpayer Exposure Reduction Act of 2018” (GRATER Act or HR 5381) – provides a fresh approach that seeks to transfer federal risk to private capital and reinsurance markets. This legislation represents an important step in improving U.S. flood policy that will benefit both consumers and taxpayers.
Read more » click here

Update –

Key Insurance Pool Needs More Than A Life Preserver
Congress should permanently fix the broken National Flood Insurance Program

Fifty years ago, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program in the aftermath of Hurricane Betsy, a monster storm that killed 76 people and flooded more than 164,000 homes in New Orleans. Since then, the program has provided flood insurance to homeowners and businesses where a private market did not exist.

The program is broken, however. It’s in debt, and there doesn’t seem to be any help on the way. Congress needs to make a long-term fix. Doing so will not only protect covered properties in flood-prone areas, but will help stabilize a market for mortgage originators and others in the real estate industry.

Key Points

Reforms needed for National Flood Insurance Program

·         Make repetitive loss properties a priority.

·         Require mitigation on every flooded property.

·         Open up flood insurance to private insurers.

·         FEMA should update flood maps quickly.

·         Gradually right-size rates in flood-prone areas.

·         Run the National Flood Insurance Program as a business.

 The goal of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is to reduce rising emergency disaster-relief payouts, map the flood risk of the entire country and cut down the risk of floods by working with communities on proactive flood-plain management.

Until 2005, the NFIP was largely self-sustaining, but Hurricane Katrina and a series of other hurricanes and storms have left the program nearly $20.5 billion in debt, and that’s before Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas.

Last fall, Congress forgave $16 billion in NFIP debt. NFIP’s fiscal lifeline has been extended by its overseers more than 75 times during its existence, including 41 times in the past 20 years. It’s due up for another congressional reauthorization later this year, on Nov. 30.

The program needs a long-term reauthorization to protect the vulnerable, improve the program’s financial soundness and promote private-market competition in the flood insurance market. Following are some common-sense reforms that Congress should consider.
Read more » click here

Fixing the National Flood Insurance Program
More than 5 million homeowners and businesses rely on the federally-run National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for protection from flooding, but with each passing year, the program’s design flaws and mismanagement are nudging it closer to insolvency.

Despite repeated bailouts by Congress, the NFIP continues to lose an estimated $1.4 billion each year. The program’s debt to the U.S. Treasury now exceeds $20 billion, which no one expects it to ever pay back.

But the NFIP’s problems are largely self-inflicted.

The program’s fundamental flaw is that the premiums homeowners pay rarely reflect covered risk. Underpricing policies encourages over-development in areas vulnerable to flooding, while over-pricing deters property owners from purchasing coverage at all. In fact, recent estimates suggest that between 60 and 99 percent of Americans affected by recent disasters did not have flood insurance.

The NFIP recently announced that it plans to upgrade its rating methodology to more closely align premiums with risk, but it remains to be seen whether these measures will go far enough to stabilize its finances.

One major handicap to properly assessing the risk of flood damage is that many of the flood maps the NFIP uses to set premiums and allocate resources are decades out of date. Some communities rely on maps created in the 1970s, leaving policymakers and residents without the information needed to make informed decisions about their flooding risk.

But it’s not just the age of the NFIP’s maps; even newer maps are poor predictors of flood risk because they don’t take into account relevant factors like rapid rain accumulation, building codes, or expected population growth.

A recent Inspector General report found that only 42 percent of the NFIP’s maps “adequately identified the level of flood risk.” The report concluded, “Without accurate floodplain identification and mapping processes, management, and oversight, FEMA cannot provide members of the public with a reliable rendering of their true flood vulnerability or ensure that NFIP rates reflect the real risk of flooding.”

On top of inadequate mapping, the NFIP does not do enough to reduce flood losses and help communities become more resilient to flooding. Preparing for disasters is crucial – studies have shown that for every $1 invested in mitigation, society saves $6 in rebuilding costs.

Buildings that are damaged and rebuilt over and over again without adequate mitigation measures are a significant drain on the NFIP’s finances. A $70,000 home in Mississippi, for instance, filed 34 claims with the NFIP from 1978 to 2010 worth $663,000 – more than 9 times the value of the house. A $153,000 house in Alabama has received $2.3 million in claims (15 times its value). Years back, an investigation by USA Today found that owners of 19,600 homes and commercial buildings have collected insurance payments from the NFIP that exceed the value of their property.

Overall, properties like these, which represent about 1-2 percent of the NFIP’s total policies, have been responsible for 30 percent of claims since the program’s inception. The NFIP should end this wasteful practice.

Aligning premiums with risk, improving mapping procedures, and creating stronger incentives to make homes and businesses stronger and more resilient to floods would go a long way toward setting the NFIP of firm financial footing.

In addition, Congress should consider expanding the private sector’s role in flood protection, which the NFIP itself has acknowledged could be a fruitful path. Private market participation would give consumers a broader selection of coverage options, often at cheaper rates than what the NFIP offers, while reducing taxpayers’ exposure to flood losses. To this end, Representative Royce’s GRATER Act is a positive step in getting the private sector to assume these market risks.

Consumers and taxpayers deserve better. Congress shouldn’t wait to enact meaningful reform to a program millions of families count on when disaster strikes.
Read more » click here

Realtors: Flood Insurance Program Needs Reau­tho­riza­tion
Millions of small business and home owners currently depend on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to protect their property against flooding, the most costly and common natural disaster in the United States. To continue providing flood insurance after Nov. 30, Congress must reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program before that date. Without the NFIP, more property owners could become uninsured. Flood insurance is required for a mortgage in more than 20,000 communities nationwide. The National Association of Realtors supports reauthorizing and gradually strengthening the NFIP so it is sustainable over the long run. In addition to long-term reauthorization of the NFIP, NAR supports improving flood map accuracy.

Policyholders in more than 22,000 communities across the country depend on the NFIP to protect homes and businesses from flooding, according to NAR officials. Without the reauthorization, the NFIP cannot issue new policies or renew existing residential or commercial policies that expire. That is bad for consumers and potential homebuyers, as well as the broader economy.  When the NFIP last expired, NAR estimated that 1,300 home sales were disrupted every day as a result. That is 40,000 sales every month. Although the National Flood Insurance Program has been extended through Nov. 30, it is in need of reforms that will make it solvent and sustainable in the long term. 

The National Association of Realtors will continue fighting for these reforms as the next NFIP reauthorization discussions loom later this year, according to officials.

Despite years of debate and proposals to fix the program, reforms have stalled. Instead, Congress has passed six short-term extensions of the program. Lawmakers also let the program lapse in 2017 and 2018. The House passed legislation with reforms more than a year ago; the Senate has yet to do so. In July 2018, Congress avoided a lapse in the federal flood insurance program. After the House voted to temporarily reauthorize the program, the Senate voted 86-12 to extend authorization for the program by four months to Nov. 30. The reauthorization did not include any reforms. “Although the National Flood Insurance Program is currently authorized through November, the National Association of Realtors remains focused on ensuring Congress and the White House enact long-term reauthorization and reforms to strengthen the program’s sustainability,” National Association of Realtors President Elizabeth Mendenhall said in a statement. Mendenhall said Congress and the president need to act before the flood insurance program expires.
Read more » click here


Odds & Ends


 

Brunswick County recently announced that it will reappraise real property as of January 1, 2019.

 

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Reappraisal is a process in which all real estate values are assessed at their market value as of a specific date. The purpose of a Reappraisal is to provide equalization among all types of properties. North Carolina General Statutes require each county to conduct a Reappraisal at least once every eight years. Brunswick County conducts a Reappraisal every four year. The last Reappraisal was effective January 1, 2015.

The Board of Commissioners will hold a Special Called Meeting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 30, 2018 in the Commissioners Chambers located in the David R. Sandifer Administration Building, 30 Government Center Drive, NE, Bolivia, NC.

The purpose of the meeting is to adopt the 2019 reappraisal Schedule of Values. A copy of the Schedule is available to the public in the office of the Brunswick County Tax Assessor, Brunswick County Government Center, 30 Government Center Drive NE, Bolivia, NC from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and on the County’s website. Click here for more information from the Brunswick County’s FAQ web page on this topic.


This & That

Congratulations to our Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. They were awarded the Distinguished Recreation Board Award by the NC Parks & Recreation Association. Great job!

Distinguished Recreation Board Award – honors any park and recreation board or commission which has demonstrated its ability to foster and promote parks and recreation on the local and/or state level. Criteria to be considered could include community relations, ability to work with elected officials and general support of agency goals and objectives.  Any park and recreation board or commission comprised of volunteers with current NCRPA membership or with a minimum of three (3) board members with current individual memberships in NCRPA is eligible. This award is for the entire board and not for individuals.



Contractors Information Seminar
The Planning & Inspections Department, supported by the town staff, hosted the seventh annual Contractors Information Seminar.


Veteran’s Appreciation
The Town hosted a Veteran’s Appreciation Luncheon on November 9th.

Veterans Day
Honoring All Who Serve or Have Served

Thank you for serving our country!


 

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

On Thanksgiving morning, the Town sponsored the fifth annual Turkey Trot.

 

 



Retirement Celebration Sergeant Mike Hamilton
The Town had a retirement celebration in honor of Sergeant Mike Hamilton on November 20th.

 



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

 


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –

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


Previously reportedApril 2013

Tax break helps waterfront businesses stay afloat
Even if the Long Beach Pier had been able to take advantage of North Carolina’s working waterfront tax break, the pier was going to be torn down because of its owners’ personal woes. And even without the incentive that lowers the tax appraisal on certain commercial fishing operations, processing locations and piers, the Holden Beach Pier and Grill would have survived the sluggish economy. The deferral, while not a make or break for area businesses, still has helped keep businesses afloat – both when demand spiked for waterfront property and when the economy was in a slump. The tax break isn’t very widely used. Eighteen businesses in Brunswick County take advantage of the state’s working waterfront tax break. Passed into law in 2009, the tax was promoted as a way to slow the disappearance of small fishing and pier operations in the face of high demand for prime waterfront property for residential use. Those businesses that fall under the tax break description are appraised, assessed and taxed on the basis of the value of the property in its present use rather than on its highest potential value, according to the law. The tax saves businesses anything from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach Pier goes up for sale
Two years after the town of Holden Beach opted not to buy the Holden Beach Fishing Pier, owners are looking for another buyer. Cape Fear Commercial is marketing the 4.13-acre property for an undisclosed price. According to Brunswick County property records, the main parcel of the pier property had a taxable value of $1,087,950 and a total value of $2,082,380, the lion’s share of which comes from the land.  “An asking price has not been established, but we expect it to trade in the mid-$5 million range,” broker Paul Loukas wrote in an email. For 36 years, the pier has been the property of Holden Beach Fishing Pier Inc., owned and operated by Guilford Bass. But the pier itself has stood since 1959, a full decade before Holden Beach was incorporated as a town.
Read more » click here


Things I Think I Think –

Dining #2Eating out is one of the great little joys of life.

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// August 2018
Name:            Manna
Cuisine:         New American
Location:      123 Princess Street, Wilmington NC (downtown)
Contact:        910.763.5252 /
www.mannaavenue.com
Food:
              Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:         Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:    Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:               Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:          Three Stars
Opened in the fall of 2010, Manna is touted as one of the best restaurants in Wilmington for fine dining. They offer a very limited menu that changes with the season. Unlike our last visit, this time they exceeded our expectations. What a delightful dining experience. Manna’s menu has imaginative entrees with amusing dish names, using local ingredients, served in a relaxed yet sophisticated ambiance. The bar area deserves mentioning and was one of the best we’ve ever been to. I would recommend putting it on your short-list of must try restaurants, but it’s not your any-night-of-the-week restaurant it’s more of a special occasion type place.


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

THE FALLEN by David Baldacci
The fourth book in the Memory Man series featuring Amos Decker. Decker is an FBI special agent with the gift of a perfect memory. What was supposed to be a relaxing vacation in Baronville, a small rust belt town in western Pennsylvania that has seen better days, turns into a murder investigation. Decker and his work partner Alex call off their vacation and get to work, putting his talents toward solving a string of murders.


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