04 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 03/28/19

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

Audio Recording » click here

1. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/03/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
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»
click here NA

Audio Recording » click here

1. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3), To Consult with the Attorney and North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(6), To Discuss a Personnel Matter


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/12/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
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Audio Recording » click here

1. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/19/19

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

Audio Recording » click here

1. Discussion and Possible Selection of Engineering Firm for Engineering Design and Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System Station #3 Upgrade – Public Works Director Clemmons

Previously reported –      March 2019
Sewer Lift Station Engineering Responses

Agenda Packet –
Request for Qualifications Vacuum Sewer System Station #3 Upgrade
In accordance with North Carolina General Statute § 143-64.31, the Town advertised a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Engineering Design and Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System, Station #3 Upgrade.

We received three Statements of Qualifications in response to the RFQ, Green Engineering, McGill and Associates and East Engineering and Surveying. Copies of their responses are enclosed for your review (separate packets).

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

Town advertised for bids and have three responsive bidders. Work for sewer system #3 upgrade is the same improvements just completed on sewer system #4. The Board asked Chris for his recommendation and he hedged his bet by answering that they all are qualified. The Board seemed to impart a lot of value to the vendor that just completed the project on sewer station #4. David would like to move forward but asked them to defer selecting an engineering firm for design and construction management for sewer modifications at Station #3 until the successful completion of the current project. 

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
To be clear, this is strictly for engineering services. The Board needs to select a firm based on qualification criteria only; they selected Green Engineering for Sewer System #3 upgrade. Green Engineering will provide all engineering services required to construct a vulnerability reducing structure of Lift Station #3. The engineer firm is responsible for the design, bid, and construct process. The Board authorized the Town Manager to negotiate a contract with the selected engineering firm.

2. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Regular Meeting 04/16/19

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

Audio Recording » click here NA


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

There were no comments


2. Discussion and Possible Award of Contract for Roadway Work (Sand Spur, Sand Dune and Sand Piper) – Shane Lippard, Right Angle Engineering (Public Works Director Clemmons)

Agenda Packet –
Award of Contract for Street Work
Right Angle Engineering is soliciting bids for roadway work on behalf of the Town. The work includes street paving for Sand Spur, Sand Dune and Sand Piper. Bids are due to the engineer by April 12th. They will need time to qualify the bids once they have been received. We anticipate being able to present the low bidder at the April 16th meeting for the Board’s consideration. We will send a supplemental packet once the information is available.

Previously reported –
Streets Condition Survey report dated November 2015. We have a total of 12.8 paved asphalt roadways with @40% of the roads in need of maintenance. Total estimated costs are a whopping $1,200,000. Surface evaluation was done rating each street and prioritizing the work that needs to be done. Recommended we address it with a ten-year game plan, budgeting accordingly, tackling it on a yearly basis. Understandably we can expect our streets to continue to degrade while costs will continue to go up.

Previously reported – April 2018
Highland Paving had the low bid at $92,050. Right Angle Engineering firm has previously worked with them on several projects. Work will be performed before Memorial Day weather permitting. Highland Paving was awarded the contract for roadway work for the maintenance of existing streets on the island in accordance with the approved Streets Survey dated November 2015. The streets having work done this year are Marlin and Boyd. These streets, Sand Spur, Sand Piper, and Sand Dune are all scheduled for 2019.  Also, the Town plans to update the pavement management plan this year.

Update –
Highland Paving had the low bid at $96,000. Right Angle Engineering firm has previously worked with them on several projects and they did the paving project for us last year.  Chris felt that they did an exceptional job and recommended them. Highland Paving was awarded the contract for roadway work for the maintenance of three streets on the island, they are Sand Spur, Sand Piper, and Sand Dune.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


3. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police PatchIt’s almost the start of the busy season, things are starting to pick up.

Recognition was given to Officer Jessica Camara for her successful completion of a training program. She has obtained the Intermediate Law Enforcement Certificate. Several other officers were in attendance to acknowledge her accomplishment.

Professional Certificate Program
In order to recognize the level of competence of law enforcement officers serving governmental agencies within the State, to foster interest in college education and professional law enforcement training programs, and to attract highly qualified people into a law enforcement career, the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission established the Law Enforcement Officers’ Professional Certificate Program. Under this program dedicated officers may receive statewide and nationwide recognition for education, professional training, and on-the-job experience.
For more information » click here

Holden Beach swears in Dixon as new police chief
The Town of Holden Beach made it ofcial Monday, April 1, when they swore in Jeremy Dixon as the town’s newest police chief, taking the mantle from former chief Wally Layne. Friends, family and representatives from all over Brunswick County came to the ceremony at 10 a.m. at Holden Beach Town Hall. Mayor Alan Holden in his opening remarks praised Dixon, Holden Beach police and other state law enforcement agencies for their work in solving the disappearance of Holden Beach resident Judy Brock Brown, whose body was discovered in Sampson County March 20—ve days after her husband Phillip Harry Brock reported her missing. He’s since been charged with rst-degree murder. “(You’re) beautiful people that come together in time of need,” Holden said. “When we look at the history of the Town of Holden Beach, in many ways we’ve been very boring. We haven’t had much big-time excitement. But the good news is, in recent days when we’ve had bad news/bad events, we came together, we solved the questions, we resolved the matter, and regrettably have to follow through with what we found. “The good news is that all of you in this room represent the pieces of government and community that we all need to support one another, as we go through these times of trials.” Holden said Dixon is stepping into a new role but has served the town faithfully for years. “We’re proud of him as an individual. We’re proud of what he has done in the job, and we know he’s going to do a great job forward as Police Chief Dixon,” he said. Brunswick County Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis gave Dixon his Oath of Office as his wife Denise Dixon aided him by holding the Bible. My heart is full,” Lewis said. Former chief Wally Layne presented his badge to Dixon following his swearing in. “You guys are really lucky to have him going forward. He’ll do a great job for the town,” Layne said. “I can’t say enough about him. I love him like my brother, because in reality he is my brother from another mother…and it’s a pleasure and an honor for me to pin this badge on him.” Town Administrator David Hewett then presented Denise Dixon flowers for her role as the spouse of a law enforcement officer, and she presented her husband with his epaulettes, or ornamental shoulder piece or decoration. The new chief said all those attended his ceremony in one way, or another had touched, impacted and influenced his career in some way. “And I am grateful to each one of you,” he said. Dixon has been with Holden Beach police since 2007.
Beacon Article


1 month after murder, Holden Beach community waits for answers
Phillip Brock is charged with first-degree murder in wife’s death
Mayor Alan Holden, whose family has lived in the community for seven generations, said Brock’s alleged murder was the first in the town’s history since it incorporated in 1969. With roughly 1,000 permanent residents, violent crime in general is rare on the island. “We’ve never had anything like this,” Holden said. “Holden Beach is a very quiet, simple family-oriented community, and we all regret what has taken place and pray for the family.”
Read more » click here


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

Crime prevention 101 – Don’t make it easy for them
. a) Don’t leave vehicles unlocked
. b)
Don’t leave valuables in your vehicles
. c)
Lock your doors & windows – house, garage, storage areas and sheds

Keep Check Request Form
. a) Complete the form and return it to the Police Department
. b)
Officers check your property in your absence
.
Property Registration Form
. a)
Record of items in your home that have a value of over $100
. b)
Complete the form and return it to the Police Department


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


4. Receipt of Inlet and Beach Protection Board Report – Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet –
February Meeting Update
The IBPB met February 13 and the following issues and topics were addressed:

Status of the Beach and Inlets: Staff provided an overview of conditions and issues relative to the beach strand and inlets. Fran Way of ATM gave a status update on the storm damage and the modeling work on the Lockwood Folly Inlet.  The Wider-Deeper project is still pending.

Possible Collaboration with UNCW: Dr. Joni “Osku” Backstrom and Dr. Sheri Shiflett discussed the work UNCW is doing and possible areas of collaboration with the Town and ATM.

Comprehensive Long-Term Plan: Work on the plan was kicked off.  ATM will be working with us to help facilitate the report. We plan to complete the deliverable within six months. Cathy Foerster, AICP, Senior Planner and Facilitator with ATM was introduced and will facilitate the effort. A schedule and high-level content was provided.  Fran Way of ATM discussed the past plan and major initiatives.

Budget Items for FY 19-20: Board Members discussed project and items they would like to see included in the upcoming budget. Items include additional mats, additional plantings, a regular dune fertilization schedule, replacement of “Keep Off Dunes” signs, and additional monitoring for the West End and both inlets. A collaboration with UNCW and options were also discussed. A motion was passed to recommend these items.

Meetings:  Members of the Board attended the Brunswick County Shoreline Protection meeting January 30 and plan to attend the next meeting March 27. The IBPB is following the CRC meeting in Manteo February 27-28 where the Inlet Hazard Area changes will be discussed. Members are also attending a Dune Repair Workshop March 9 in Surf City.

March Meeting Update
The IBPB met March 28 and the following issues and topics were addressed:

Status of the Beach and Inlets:  Staff provided an overview of conditions and issues relative to the beach strand and inlets. The status of the Florence and Michael remediation project (tentatively called Central Reach Project 2 or CRP2) including sand sourcing was discussed. Fran Way of ATM gave a status update on the modeling work on the Lockwood Folly Inlet. The Wider-Deeper project is still pending.

Comprehensive Long-Term Plan: Work on the Long-Term Plan continues and was the major thrust of the meeting. Cathy Foerster, AICP, Senior Planner and Facilitator with ATM is facilitating the effort.

Meetings: Members of the Board attended a Dune Repair Workshop March 9 in Surf City and visited Coastal Transplants in Bolivia. Members will be attending the Brunswick County Shoreline Protection meeting April 3. The next IBPB meeting is April 25.

Previously reported –
Ordinance 18-02 established the Inlet and Beach Protection Board
The Ordinance requires a written report from this Board

Update –
No issues, accepted report

Discussion centered around naming the project for the Florence and Michael FEMA reimbursement. It was decided by consensus to call it Central Reach Reimbursement (CRR) project instead of CRP2.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
Concerns:
. 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!

Previously reported –
October 2018
Making good progress, despite the two storm events they are still on track to complete project on schedule.

Previously reported – November 2018
Town hired Green Engineering for construction management services. Leo Green gave a brief status report. It’s all good, we are still on budget and on schedule. Project tentative completion date is the middle of January well before the tourist season begins. Leo meets with the town staff monthly to discuss any issues and keep everyone informed about the status of the project. Building Inspections Director Evans gave them two thumbs up for the work that has been done so far; really high praise coming from Timbo.

Previously reported – December 2018
Tentative startup date is now January 15th, station will be fully operational after that date. Expectation is that they should have everything wrapped up by March of 2019.

Previously reported – January 2019
They are making progress daily and are attempting to tie up any loose ends. Airvac is scheduled to be on site this week in order to initiate the integration and changeover of the upgraded sewer lift station machinery and equipment.

Previously reported – February 2019
We have switched over and the new system is up and running without any issues. Still have a number of loose ends that he expects to be resolved shortly. Anticipates project will be completed by the next BOC’s meeting.

Previously reported – March 2019
New system is up and running without any issues. Met with engineers and prepared punch list items necessary for project completion. He now anticipates project will be completed within the next fourteen (14) days.

Mini-Me

Update –
Leo Green from Green Engineering, the firm used for construction management services, gave the report. They were able to meet the target date for beginning operations there. Punch list items necessary for project completion
took longer than expected and pushed them past scheduled completion date. Project has been completed and they have received the final certificate of occupancy.


6. Discussion and Possible Selection of Contractor to Perform Rollback Services for the Town – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet –
Rollback Services
We received four bids by the deadline of April 8th at noon in response to our solicitation of bids for a contractor to perform rollback services. See the attached bid tabulation (Attachment 1) and individual responses (Attachment 2). The Statement of Work is also included for your review (Attachment 3). The apparent low bidder is Fullwood’s Lawn Service Plus. The Board of Commissioners would need to select a contractor and make the award of contract contingent on review of the contract documents by the Town Attorney.

Fullwood’s Lawn Service Plus            $50,000
Mermaid Resort Services                     $62,414
Errand Island Management                $54,160
K&R Home Improvement                    $195,188

Previously reported – December 2018
Town Manager Hewett developed a budget estimate of $85,000 to provide Town-wide rollback service. The Board all agreed that rollback service should be provided for the whole island year-round and that all bins will be rollbacked, empty or not. So, this then became a budget issue. How do we fund this? They finally decided that they would continue to tap the BPART account fund for approximately $35,000 and the additional estimated $50,000 cost would come out of general funds which comes from property taxes.

Previously reported – February 2019
We received four bids in response to our solicitation of bids for a contractor to perform rollback services. The prices on an annualized basis are as follows:

Fullwood’s Lawn Service Plus            $52,416
Mermaid Resort Services                     $67,414
Coastal Transplants                               $78,000
Lyons Contract Service                         $65,520

The apparent low bidder is Fullwood’s Lawn Service Plus. The Board of Commissioners would need to select a contractor and make the award of contract contingent on review of the contract documents by the Town Attorney.

Item was removed from the agenda. Due to the changes to the Solid Waste Ordinance made tonight a new request for proposal (RFP) will need to be done. The two changes were not to roll back full containers and continue to rollback to corrals instead of back to house storage location.

 Update –
Fullwood’s was the low bidder again and were awarded the contract for island wide rollback service.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Commissioner Sullivan objected to spending money to rollback empty trash cans but continue to allow full trash cans to stay at curbside for up to a week.


It makes no sense; I’m with Mike on this one.


7. Planning Inspections Report – Planning Director Evans

Timbo gave them a ringing endorsement of the work that was done at Sewer System #4; really high praise coming from him.

Presentation was an infomercial for his department. Frankly, doing their job entails more than you would think. The numbers he gave were very impressive. Bottomline, is that they have been and are very busy. Message he delivered was that despite the public’s perception, they are there to protect the public.

Community Rating System progress has been slow by design. They have been taking baby steps in order to minimize any negative economic impact.

Previously reported –
Community Rating System (CRS)
The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.

As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:
    1) Reduce flood damage to insurable property;
.     2)
Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and
.     3) Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

For CRS participating communities, flood insurance premium rates are discounted in increments of 5% (i.e., a Class 1 community would receive a 45% premium discount, while a Class 9 community would receive a 5% discount (a Class 10 is not participating in the CRS and receives no discount)). The CRS classes for local communities are based on 18 creditable activities, organized under four categories:
.     1) Public Information,
.     2) Mapping and Regulations,
.     3) Flood Damage Reduction, and
.     4) Flood Preparedness.
For more information » click here


8. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 19-06, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 18-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 (Amendment No. 6) – Fiscal Operations Clerk Lockner 

Agenda Packet –
FEMA Florence Reimbursement
The Town received a FEMA check for Category B (Emergency Protective Measures) in the amount of $96,562.57. It is recommended by staff that the Board adopt Ordinance 19-06 in order to reimburse budget lines associated with the expenses accrued during Hurricane Florence.

ORDINANCE NO.19-06
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO.18-10,

THE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS ORDINANCE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018-2019 (Amendment No.6)

Staff recommended that they adopt the Ordinance, accept the reimbursement and their recommended appropriation of the funds.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


9. Discussion and Possible Action to Instruct Town Manager to Obtain Bids for the Development of a Cost Justified Water and Wastewater System Development Fees Report – Commissioner Freer
a.
Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 19-07, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 1810, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 (Amendment No. 7)

ORDINANCE NO.19-07
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO.18-10,

THE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS ORDINANCE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018-2019 (Amendment No.7)

Moved funds of $10,000
From Revenue account #30.0399.0500 to Expense account#30.0810.0400

The original motion was to allocate funds to obtain bids for the development of a cost justified water and wastewater system Development Fees Report by a financial firm rather than an engineering firm like the first time. After a bit of finger pointing as to why we need to have another report they were able to find some common ground. Town Attorney Noel Fox stated that the fact of the matter is that it was not just one thing but many things that requires us to redo the report. They will pursue bids from all qualified vendors whether they are an engineering or financial firm. Commissioner Sullivan pointed out that by rescinding the adopted development fees cost the town $157,000, which is the difference in the revenue stream from adopted to rescinded fees.

The question that needs to be asked is: What is the appropriate fee to charge that generates adequate revenue but does not unduly burden new development?

D.R. Horton files federal class action against Brunswick County seeking over $5 million in damages

D.R. Horton, a publicly-traded company that calls itself “America’s Largest Homebuilder,” filed a class-action federal lawsuit against Brunswick County earlier this month.

Asking for in excess of $5 million, D.R. Horton claims the county collected illegal water and wastewater fees as a prerequisite to providing utility service at its numerous residential projects. The allegedly illegal fees cut into the company’s profits, creating greater expenses, according to the suit.
Impact fees
Referred to as impact, capacity, capital recovery or system development fees, litigation surrounding the fees among builders and municipalities has increased over the last two years. In fact, D.R. Horton’s suit — filed March 5 in the United States District Court — is at least the third filed in the Cape Fear region regarding allegedly illegal impact fees. A North Carolina Supreme Court case found impact fees charged to fund future service costs to be unlawful in 2016. Then in 2017, the General Assembly passed House Bill 436. The bill legalized and clarified the fees – now dubbed “system development fees” — under certain conditions. Utility providers can’t assess the fees arbitrarily. The fees must be based on a professional analysis, used to recoup capital improvement costs to service new development. Last fiscal year, Brunswick County charged $1,150 in water and $4,000 for wastewater connection for a three-bedroom unit in “capital recovery fees.” During that time, the county issued 1,307 residential permits — with new construction valued at $459.1 million — according to its most recent permit report. With five months left in the current fiscal year, the county has already issued 1,475 residential permits as of January. Ann Hardy, Brunswick County’s manager, said the county was served about two weeks ago. She said the county intends to defend its stance that the fees were charged lawfully. “We have not yet filed a response,” Hardy wrote in an email Thursday. “We will defend the county’s position that the county’s utility system development fees were appropriately charged and collected.”
Claims

D.R. Horton’s class action claims Brunswick County charged these fees with “deliberate indifference” to the company’s constitutional rights. Under the Fourteenth Amendment, the government is prohibited from depriving property rights without due process. This alleged constitutional violation, among other reasons, is cited as grounds for the suit D.R. Horton filed the case in United States District Court rather than Brunswick County Superior Court. The suit argues Brunswick County was aware, or should have been aware, that its actions violated both federal and state law. Municipalities were warned in 1982, the suit states, when the North Carolina Supreme Court cautioned local governments that they may lack the power to charge for future services. Brunswick County illegally collected in excess of $5 million between June of 2015 and June 2018, the suit alleges. D.R. Horton has filed a similar federal lawsuit against the City of Charlotte and its water utility, Charlotte Water (formerly known as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department). Filed on January 11 in the Western District of United States District Court of North Carolina, the class-action suit also includes a half-dozen other home builders as co-plaintiffs. In that suit, the companies claim the same amount — at least $5 million plus 6 percent interest — is owed. In mid-March, Charlotte’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case, but it is still currently pending.
Third case in Cape Fear region
When the law changed two years ago, it did not retroactively authorize utility providers to charge the illegal fees. With a three-year statute of limitation, some builders that believe they were assessed illegally between September 2015 and June 2018 are pursuing legal action to get their money back. Mecklenburg-based J.A.C.K. Development, LLC, and Wilmington-based Coastal Cypress Building Company, founded by Steve Swain, filed a class action suit against Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) in August 2018. The suit claims CFPUA’s baseless collection of fees — charged with no concrete plan — “shocks the conscience.” (D.R. Horton’s suit also uses this same legal jargon.) That same month, the Town of Leland entered into a tolling agreement with Bill Clark Homes Wilmington. The agreement preserves Bill Clark Homes’ right to enter a lawsuit, of which it has not yet filed. It precludes Leland from claiming statutes of limitations in a future suit, and claims the company overpaid utility impact fees for several years. Then, in September 2018, Wilmington-based Plantation Building Corp. filed a class action suit against the town, alleging the same thing. Both Leland and CFPUA denied the builders’ claims. According to the lead attorney for plaintiffs that filed cases against Leland and CFPUA, the firm Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP has filed several similar suits across the state.
Read more » click here

Review of Development Fees Timeline

Previously reported – February 2018

North Carolina General Assembly – House Bill 1730 / S.L. 2004-96
Enacted on 07/13/2004
Gives us the authority to impose sewer fees
For more information » click here

Holden Beach Sewer Treatment Fee
For more information » click here

House Bill 436 / Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act
Enacted on 07/20/2017
Eliminates the authority to charge the sewer fee
Authority to impose fees has been modified
Necessitates us having to retool water and sewer fee rate schedule
Recommends it be prepared by licensed professional engineer
Town must comply not later than July 1, 2018
Town Manager plans to commission McGill and Associates to develop rate schedule
For more information » click here

Previously reported – April 2018
McGill and Associates has prepared the System Development Fees Report for the Town. The report was posted to our website on March 26th and written comments were solicited. The report must be posted for at least 45 days.

In accordance with §162A-209, after expiration of the posting period, the Board needs to hold a public hearing prior to considering the adoption of the analysis. We recommend the Board schedule the public hearing for May 14th.

System Development Fees Report
Click here to view the System Development Fees Report prepared by McGill and Associates in accordance with HB 436. Written comments on the report may be sent to heather@hbtownhall.com. Comments will also be accepted by mail at Town of Holden Beach, Attn: Heather Finnell, 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462. The Board will schedule a public hearing prior to considering the adoption of the analysis. Information on the public hearing date will be provided when available.

Previously reported – May 2018
In accordance with §162A-209, after expiration of the posting period, the Board needs to hold a public hearing prior to considering the adoption of the analysis. The Board has scheduled to hold a Public Hearing on May 23rd at 1:00pm

Notice of Public Hearing
The Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach will hold a Public Hearing on May 23, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. or shortly thereafter in the Town Hall Public Assembly, 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462 to hear a presentation on the study of System Development Fees that could be levied by the Town. This hearing, the study and the presentation are in accordance with NC Administrative Code 15A NCAC 18C.0409 and 15A NCAC 02T.011. McGill Associates will present the study results which is posted on our website. Click here to view the study. All interested people are invited to attend.

Previously reported – June 2018
Agenda Packet –
Legislation House Bill 436 required a Public Hearing as one of the steps that must happen before the Town can move forward and implement the charges. HB436 is prescriptive, with precise instructions and the report given is in accordance with the legislation. The next steps are adoption of the study report and creating Ordinance that incorporates the recommended fees into a fee schedule. This process must be completed no later than July 1st. We are required to review the fee schedule and must reevaluate it in a maximum five-year timeframe.

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

Fee Schedule / Water and Sewer System Development Fees

  1. Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) Capacity Fees- based on a three-bedroom single family dwelling, NC Administrative Code 15A NCAC 18C.000409 & 15A NCAC 02T.0114 and McGill Associates Cost Justified Water and Wastewater System Development Fees Report Capacity dated March 2018.
    .       a. Water Capacity Fee = $5,792 ($14.48 per gallon per day)
    .       b.Sewer Capacity Fee= $14,785 ($41.07 per gallon per day)
  1. Residential capacities above/below the rated three-bedroom ERU in para 1 above shall be calculated and fees assessed on a pro rata per bedroom basis using the applicable Administrative code and the McGill Report as guide.
  1. Vacant lots that have never been connected to the Town’s sewer system will be credited in an amount equal to the sewer capacity fee for one ERU (3 bedrooms); however, no credit shall be provided for said vacant lots that have not paid sewer share fees to the Town of Holden Beach as previously authorized by Town of Holden Beach Ordinance 02·13 dated 10-14-02 “Chapter 52-04-Share Fees”
  1. Vacant lots that have been previously connected to the Town’s water and sewer systems and are being redeveloped will be credited in an amount equal to the prorated amount of water and sewer capacity fees in para 1 above per bedroom based on the actual number of bedrooms previously connected. The Town of Holden Beach Building Inspector may use any and all public information available to ascertain the number of bedrooms to use for the credit.
  1. Water and sewer service capacity requirements (gallons per day) for other than residential dwellings shall be determined in accordance with the applicable NC Administrative Code referenced above and fees calculated as follows:
    .      
    a. Water Capacity Fee= Required gallons per day multiplied by $14.48 per
          b.
    Sewer Capacity Fee= Required gallons per day multiplied by $41.07 per gallon.
          c.
    Fee calculations for water and sewer capacity fees based on changes in uses of a property that cause capacity usage changes will provide for determining a credit for the existing use water and sewer capacity charges against the new uses’ water and sewer capacity requirements as established by the NC Administrative Code referenced above.
  2. Sewer Capacity charges and credits shall be calculated and collected at the time a building permit is applied for.

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH / RESOLUTION 18-04
RESOLUTION ADOPTING SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT FEES REPORT

WHEREAS, Session law 2017-138 (House Bill 436) known as the “Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act” sets certain standards and limitations before a town may adopt a system development fee for water and sewer service; and

WHEREAS, said Act requires that a system development fee be established only after written analysis prepared by a qualified financial professional or qualified licensed professional engineer in a manner as set forth in said Act; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach has retained McGill Associates, a qualified and licensed professional engineer and consulting firm, to perform said analysis in accordance with said Act; and

WHEREAS, McGill Associates has performed said analysis and delivered a written report to the

Town of Holden Beach pursuant to said Act; and

WHEREAS, the Audit Committee of the Town of Holden Beach has reviewed the report and had no comment other than it appeared to be accomplished in accordance with the Act; and

WHEREAS, the analysis has been posted on the Town’s website as required in said Act and a public hearing has been held as required in said Act; and

WHEREAS, all other conditions, standards and requirements of said Act has been satisfied.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLIVED by the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners that the Town hereby adopts and approves the Cost-Justified Water and Wastewater System Development Fees Report created by McGill Associates, dated March 2018.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH / RESOLUTION 18-05
RESOULUTION AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH FEE SCHEDULE

WHEREAS. the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners adopted the Cost-Justified Water and Wastewater System Development   Fees Report created by McGill Associates, dated March 2018; and

WHEREAS, the Holden Beach Fee Schedule needs to be updated to reflect the recommendations in the Report.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina does hereby approve the deletion of the Impact Fees and the Share Cost sections and the addition of the Water and Sewer System Development Fees (Attachment 1) to the Holden Beach Fee Schedule.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – July 2018
RESOLUTION 18-04 / ADOPTING SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT FEES REPORT
RESOLUTION 18-05 / AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH FEE SCHEDULE

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

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

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

 Town Attorney Noel Fox walked them through the prescriptive legislation and all the protocols that were followed which was a lengthy and complicated procedure. Most of the community including contractors and realtors were unaware of the significant fee increase. Based on what was presented to the public, a reasonable case could be made that posting System Development Fees without any explanation given as to the effect on construction cost is why no one questioned the report or even knew the building permit fees would be impacted.  Although the process was followed as required, they are now aware that people who needed to know didn’t. Thus, the brouhaha. In an attempt to address any misunderstanding, the Board submitted some thirty (30) questions for the Town Manager to complete and post on the Town website. It appears that they are at least willing to give it a second look. They were elected, and it is strictly their call whether to make an adjustment or not.  I got the feeling that the Board took umbrage to some of the comments that were made, particularly a lack of understating what the fee schedule change would actually translate to in dollars and cents. In addition, they questioned the negative economic impact that was suggested by some of the speakers. If in fact they decide to reduce the development fee it was established that they can’t make it retroactive.

 


This Board –
  1)
chose to implement the max recommended fee schedule
.   2)
did not adequately consider whether the increased fee would “unduly burden new development”

Previously reported – August 2018
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 Bill 436, the Town of Holden Beach retained McGill and Associates to complete a system development fee analysis. Based on the Town of Holden Beach’s combination of existing system capacity and planned capital improvements to expand capacity, the development fee, in accordance with HB 436 rules for an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) for water and sewer was calculated to be $20,577. ERU is defined as the water and sewer capacities required to serve the most typical user type, which is a three-bedroom single-family dwelling.

McGill 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.

Repeal the Board’s Previous Vote on Implementation of the Water and Sewer Development Fees 

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

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

Previously reported – October 2018
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

All Pat said is that the interim rates would remain in effect for the next ninety (90) days which takes us into 2019.

No discussion of activities, timelines, or variables being considered were shared with the public.

Previously reported – February 2019

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This was supposed to be an interim fee schedule
They committed to permanent fees before the end of 2018
Then they said the interim fees would remain in effect for the next ninety (90) days
Well both of those dates have come and gone
A permanent fee schedule has yet to be adopted


10. Discussion and Possible Action to Instruct Town Manager to Obtain Bids to Evaluate and Propose Optimum Holden Beach Town Government Organization – Commissioner Freer

Previously reported – February 2019
Finance Officer
While the Town is not required by standards to have a separate Town Manager and Finance Officer, based on our internal control review, we believe it prudent and we recommend you separate the two roles. Separating the two responsibilities would allow the Town Manager to devote the entire day towards high-level Town objectives and the Finance Officer to financial reporting, budgeting and accounting tasks. Having another experienced individual specific to the government accounting arena would allow the Town to implement specific policies and procedures to strengthen the controls around many of the transaction cycles, including mitigation of numerous segregation of duties weaknesses as noted below. As Government Auditing Standards progress towards removing the allowability of the external auditors to also draft the financial statements, having an additional seasoned individual would allow for drafting of the financial statements to occur in-house versus relying on outsourcing. It is also worth noting that several times within the past eight years the Town has received a material weakness as it relates to technical expertise in full-accrual accounting and drafting full disclosure financial statements which would help to strengthen the concerns for separating the roles of Town Manager and Finance Officer.

The Town Manager/Finance Officer needs to be given an opportunity to address the issues identified as deficiencies in the internal control report. Action plans need to be established and monitored. All options should be explored before we add the additional expense of hiring a separate Finance Officer. David should be given the chance to take whatever corrective action necessary to fix this. I personally believe it would be premature to take any more aggressive action then that at this time.

It will be interesting to see how this soap opera unfolds, a few possible scenarios:
    1) Town outsources some of the financial work
    2) Town Manager takes a pay cut and we hire a separate Finance Officer
   3) Town Manager either resigns or gets terminated and we hire new Town Manager           and a separate Finance Officer

 Stay tuned …

 Update –
The agenda item appeared to address the entire Town staff organizational structure. Commissioner Freer’s motion narrowed it down to just the Finance Department. Either way commissioners Sullivan and Kwiatkowski were not having any of it. The gist of the discussion was that we don’t need to spend any more money for another report to tell us what we already know. They all agreed that we need to address the deficiencies identified by the Internal Report. Town Manager Hewett was given an opportunity to bring them up to speed. It seems like he has attempted to address these issues and is making every effort to close the gaps between desired state and actual state of affairs. They agreed to have David formally address them with action plans by the scheduled June BOC’s Regular Meeting. 


11. Discussion and Possible Action Pertaining to Salary and Benefits External Review – Commissioner Butler

Previously reported – February 2019
Commissioner Freer did a brief overview.
Peter expected RSM to make a number of proposals to address issues that were identified as deficiencies.Since they didn’t, he asked that the Town initiate a request for proposal (RFP) to do the following:

  • Establish set job descriptions for each position, and a compensation pay range
  • Conduct a total compensation study
  • Setup a formal review process of vendors

 Update –
Town Manager Hewett said that they had already engaged the MAPS Group. The process has been started but he anticipated that it would take the better part of three to four months before they had the completed report.

The Management and Personnel Services Group – MAPS – is a team of consultants specializing in human resource management and development.
For more information » click here


12. Discussion and Possible Action Pertaining to ATM Projects – Commissioner Butler
.     a) Lockwood Folly Inlet Modeling
.     b)
Florence/ Michael Remediation
    c)
Lockwood Folly Inlet Deeper and Wider Dredging

Applied Technology and Management a coastal engineering firm hired by the town

Assistant Town Manager Christy Ferguson explained what’s going on with these projects
.       a) Lockwood Folly Inlet Modeling – requested to have data driven arguments to justify getting sand from USACE dredging projects

      b) Florence/ Michael Remediation – CRR project, 1.13 cubic yards lost during the two storm events, remediation cost will be in the twenty-five (25) million-dollar range, looks like it may be combined into one project

      c) Lockwood Folly Inlet Deeper and Wider Dredging – Brunswick County is no longer taking the lead on this project. The Town would need to cover the cost of the entire project and budget for $4,132,000 expense. The Town would need to apply for and receive a grant from NC Department of Environmental Quality / Division of Water Resources on a reimbursement basis. BOC’s decided not to move forward with this project.

.       d) LWF Inlet Crossing Project – For the Town to place sand on the east end from the bend widener project would require us to piggyback on the USACE project. The Town Attorney would need to certify that easements would be in place to proceed with contract documents.


13. 
Discussion and Possible Action Regarding the 2018 Audit Report – Mayor Pro Tem Fletcher

Previously reported – March 2019
Board authorized request to get an explanation for the delay in the annual audit report

Update –
We still do not have the completed audit in hand although a rough draft has been provided


Fiscal Year 2017 – 2018 Audit Results
Auditor’s report is due by November 1st and is normally is given at the November meeting. The report still has not been given yet. Town Manager reported at the October meeting that the storm events have delayed the annual audit process. We are still waiting for the report. The auditor Rives & Associates has advised the Local Government Commission.

Nothing for nothing but it has been like seven (7) months since the last storm event. Really this is unacceptable!


14. Review and Agreement of Board 2019 Priority Objectives – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
Policies/procedures/resolutions
13        Address Ocean Blvd water retention issues
13        Improve Community Rating Score

Long Range Planning
12        Initiate Stage IT Sewer Pump Station Upgrade
12        Fully support IBPB and implement strategy
11        Make a decision on the second water tower
11        Approve and fund an appropriate near-term beach re-nourishment project
11        Review proposed Land Use Plan and approve an appropriate final document

Ordinances
15        Trash related decisions
13        Ensure clear enforcement procedures are in place as appropriate
12        Control of large homes

Advocacy
15        Promptly address any activity/support and funding requests that result from Poyner Spruill advocacy efforts for short- and long-term coordination with state, county and federal groups

15        Define sand fund strategies and supporting documents for starting various levels of government advocacy
15        Become more involved in coastal advocacy groups
14        Increase participation in NCLM to secure support on objectives most relevant to THB
12        Increase involvement in regional planning with other coastal communities

Additional Policies/Procedure/Resolutions Objectives
10        Prioritize Brunswick Avenue road repair
10        Cross train finance staff
10        Improve communication among alerted officials
10        Use pre and post beach sand data to conclude a crisis point
10        Establish a communication plan and website
10        Get more general public involvement

Item was removed from the agenda since it was covered at a Budget Workshop


15. Town Manager’s Report

Canal Dredging Project
 Dredging projects were completed before the dredging permit expired.

Dog Park
The dog park will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The Town needed to use the land at the dog park to place material from the canal dredging project as the dredge spoils area. It is unknown when it will be returned to a useable state as a dog park again. They are currently looking at other options for a dog park on the island. Meanwhile, David has asked the County to consider including a dog park in the 35-acre nature park being planned for on the mainland just across the ICW from us.



Bridge Work / Boat Ramp Closed
Based on guidance from DOT this morning, there are plans to make repairs to the caps and columns of the bridge at the boat ramp location beginning Monday, April 8h. During this time the boat ramp will be closed Monday – Friday. DOT expects the ramp to be open on the weekends.

Trash Collection
An extra trash collection is scheduled for the Saturday following Easter (April 27th).

Vehicle Decals
The 2019 hurricane vehicle decals were distributed with the March water bills.

Beach Strand Monitoring
Annual beach strand monitoring is underway. We have an engineered beach – which means it has been nourished and is being monitored. ATM is a coastal engineering firm hired by the town has done the annual monitoring since 2001.

Port-a- Johns
The Town budgeted money from the BPART account to cover the costs of seasonal (100 days of summer) public restroom facilities and services. We will have four handicap accessible units strategically placed at three locations on the island.

They are located as follows:
    1)
Two are at the far east end
.     2) One is at sewer lift station by Greensboro
.     3)
One is at sewer lift station just before the 800 block


General Comments –

There were eleven (11) members of the community in attendance

The BOC’s May Regular Meeting has been rescheduled to the third Tuesday of the month, May 21st

Agenda Packet
A number of agenda items do not have any supporting information in the agenda packet. Previously they agreed to only add agenda items with significant supporting documentation. What’s the story?

BOC’s Special Meeting 12/18/18
RESOLUTION 18-07
RESOLUTION ADOPTING RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE BOC’s
Part VI. Agenda / Rule 13. Agenda
(a) Draft and Proposed Agenda. The purpose of the proposed agenda is to expedite the conduct and business and enable the Board and members of the public to know in advance the potential subjects that are to be discussed. The proposed agenda allows preparation by Commissioners, staff and encourages public participation. The proposed agenda is the result of discussion and agreement between the Executive Secretary and Town Clerk on the clarity and completeness of each item on the draft agenda. The Town Clerk shall first prepare a draft, and ultimately a proposed, agenda in advance of each meeting of the town board in collaboration with the Executive Secretary designated by the board as described below. Any board member may, by a timely request to the Town Clerk, have an item placed on the draft agenda. A request to have an item of business placed on the draft agenda must be received by the Town Clerk at least seven working days before the meeting; any supplemental information/materials shall also be provided in advance. The Executive Secretary selected by the board, or his/her designated substitute in case of absence, shall review the draft agenda and available materials with the Town Clerk one week before the meeting to agree correctness and completeness of all items; items lacking clarity or adequate supporting materials may be deferred to a future meeting at the discretion of the Executive Secretary and Town Clerk if additional explanation or documentation is not made available by the agenda item requestor. Following this meeting, the Town Clerk shall prepare the proposed agenda. If the board is expected to consider one or more proposed ordinances or ordinance amendments, a copy of the proposed ordinances and/or amendments shall be attached to the proposed agenda. An agenda package shall be prepared that includes, for each item of business placed on the proposed agenda, as much background information on the subject as is available and feasible to reproduce (where appropriate, directions to web links may be used). Each board member shall receive a copy of the proposed agenda and the agenda package at least three working days before a regular meeting and they shall be available for public inspection and distribution or copying when they are distributed to the board members.


Budget

Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:
. 1)
Raising taxes
. 2)
Cutting spending
. 3)
Operating more efficientl

Ensuring that government commitments are in line with available resources is an essential element of good governance.

The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st
Commissioners must adopt budget no later than July 1st for the next fiscal year
Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board

Budget Meeting Schedule / 2019

  • 16 January BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives
  • 05 February BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives / Capital Programs
  • 15 February Canal Dredging Working Group / PRAB / IBPB
    . * PRAB – Parks & Recreation Advisory Board
    . * IBPB – Inlet & Beach Protection Board
  • 22 February Departments Input to Manager
  • 7 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 21 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 28 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 12 April BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 19 April BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 6-10 May Budget Message
  • 7 June Public Hearing
  • 18 June Regular BOC’s Meeting – Ordinance Consideration
  • 1 July Budget adopted (No Later Than)

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Hurricane Season –

Hurricane #1 - CR

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

Be prepared – have a plan!

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

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

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

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

vigilance and preparedness is urged.


Good riddance: Florence, Michael retired as hurricane names
The two destructive storms both hit the East Coast last fall, bringing wind and rain from Florida to the Carolinas and claiming nearly 100 lives

After making their mark on the Cape Fear region and the East Coast last year, both Florence and Michael have been retired as hurricane names by the World Meteorological Organization, which includes NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. The two names have been replaced Francine and Milton, both of which will officially enter the rotation in 2024 hurricane season. Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said Wednesday that names are on a six-year cycle and are only retired if reusing them would be insensitive to those affected by the name’s previous storms. “There was never any question that these two were going to be retired,” he said. Including Florence and Michael, 88 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953, when storm naming became a practice. The 2005 hurricane season, which included Katrina, has the most retired names for one season – five. Previously retired storm names that affected the area were Matthew (2016), Floyd (1999), Fran (1996) and Hazel (1954). Hurricane Florence is considered one of the most destructive to ever hit the Carolinas, where it made landfall in Wrightsville Beach in the early morning of Sept. 14. It went on claim at least 51 deaths and caused extensive flooding across North and South Carolina, and Virginia.
Read more » click here

Atlantic Hurricane Season Could Bring 13 Named Storms This Year
There’s a lot of reasons people think 13 is an unlucky number. This year may add another. At least 13 storm systems should reach tropical strength and get a name in 2019, with five becoming hurricanes and two spawning winds of 111 miles per hour (179 kilometers) or more, Colorado State University said in its annual Atlantic forecast. While the overall storm number is one above the 30-year average, it’s down from 15 last year. But that isn’t a reason for coastal residents to drop their guard. “As we always say, it only takes one storm to make it an active season.’’ Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the study, said by telephone. “People have to prepare the same as always.’’ An El Nino weather pattern will linger into at least September, and that’s helping to keep the hurricane season close to average, but there is no way of telling if one or more storms will become strong enough to cause destruction for the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean.
Recent Destruction
The U.S. was hit by three major hurricanes in 2017, with the entire season causing about $215 billion in damage. Last year, hurricanes Florence and Michael ripped through the Carolinas and Florida with the total damage for the year reaching $51 billion, according to Munich Re. The six-month season begins June 1, when the warming Atlantic water becomes a nursery for the destructive storms often born from weather systems drifting off Africa. Atlantic hurricanes are closely watched because they can shake energy and agriculture markets, threaten coastal real estate, impact politics and leave long-lasting suffering for people and businesses in their wake. This week, Congressional Republicans and Democrats haggled over disaster funding for Puerto Rico, still reeling from 2017’s Hurricane Maria. Politics aside, the perils faced by hurricanes are massive. In the U.S., more than 6.9 million homes, valued at $1.6 trillion, are at risk from storms, according to CoreLogic. Across the South, many are still trying to recover from multiple strikes over the last several years. In Dillon County, South Carolina, residents were struggling to recover from flooding brought by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 when Florence brought a second deluge last year. “It is an ongoing process,’’ said Kenneth Smith, Dillon County’s long-term recovery chairman. “It has been going on since Matthew. They got hit twice.’’
April Forecasts
Nature’s cycles could rob the six-month 2019 season of some of its power, Klotzbach of Colorado State said. El Nino in the equatorial Pacific causes wind shear to develop across the Atlantic. Tropical storms and hurricanes can be ripped apart by wind shear with the tops of the storms being cut clear off. Klotzbach also said that forecasts made in April are among the hardest for both storms and El Nino. From 2015 to 2018, Colorado State’s forecast underestimated the overall storms by 1 to 4 systems. At the same time, El Nino could fade. “There is a lot of uncertainty about El Nino at this time of year,’’ Klotzbach said. “But I don’t see any smoking guns that is going to change that.’’
Read more » click here

We are way overdue for a major hurricane’: National Weather Service talks hurricane season at Carolina Beach
The impacts of Hurricane Florence are still visible throughout the Cape Fear region as we head into the 2019 hurricane season. And, while devastating, Hurricane Florence could have been much worse — and according to the National Weather Service’s Steve Pfaff, the region is “way overdue” for a major hurricane.

While some people might think Florence was a major hurricane, it made landfall as only a Category 1 storm. “We had it bad, but it certainly could have been a lot worse. As you recall it was forecast to maybe come ashore as a major hurricane. The last major hurricane to make landfall in our area was Fran back in 1996. The average return frequency for a major hurricane in this area is 21 years. So even though Florence wasn’t a major hurricane, we had a major impact but when you look at the intensity of the wind … we are way overdue for a major hurricane,” Pfaff said during a Tuesday night meeting at Carolina Beach.

The meeting was held at Town Hall to address the town’s Emergency Operations Plan and see what the town as a whole as well as residents can do to prepare for the inevitable. According to Pfaff, Florence was the sixth most costly storms to hit the area with costs reaching $45 billion. There were also 30 direct fatalities from the storm and 23 indirect deaths due to the storm.

One of the biggest problems from Florence was the fact that when the storm made landfall and was weakened to tropical storm force winds, people thought that meant conditions were safe — the opposite was actually true, he said. The only thing that the Saffer-Simpson scale tells people is the strength of the winds, but that is only one part of the danger when it comes to these storms. The rain and tornados that spawned once the storm made landfall were one of the more dangerous aspects of the storm, according to Pfaff.

The 2019 Hurricane Season officially begins June 1 and goes until Nov. 30 and early predictions show an active hurricane season in the Atlantic. Predictions have this year’s season seeing 12-14 storms with five to seven of those being hurricanes and two to four becoming major hurricanes. As always, hurricane prediction can only make educated guesses and Pfaff recommends everyone prepare for the worst before a storm hits.
Read more » click here


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