08 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments

BOC’s Special Meeting 08/06/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet »
SPD&A Proposal
Martin Starnes Proposal
Rives Proposal
Bernard Robinson Proposal

Audio Recording » click here

1. Discussion and Possible Selection of Auditor for Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2019 – Town Manager Hewett 

The audit committee voted unanimously to recommend we continue with Rives. We solicited proposals from qualified auditors that service other beach communities. Town initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP) and received four responses. Rives cost was significantly higher at @$32,000 and was twice what we budgeted for. That said, they are the only one that actually knows the amount of work that will be required, and their hourly rate was competitive with the other proposals.  In addition, Rives’ not-to-exceed bid price of $31,760 and variable-cost is our lowest risk and cost option.

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)

Kwiatkowski and Sullivan both voted against retaining Rives as our auditor

The Board will need to amend the budget in a subsequent meeting

2. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(1), Approval of Minutes and Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(6), To Discuss a Personnel Matter – Commissioner Sullivan & Commissioner Kwiatkowski

BOC’s Special Meeting 08/12/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here

1. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 19-12, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 19-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 (Amendment No. 2)

Moved funds of $16,976
From Revenue account #10.0399.0200 to Expense account#50.0410.0400

A decision was made – Approved (3-1)

Commissioner Kwiatkowski voted against allocating extra funds for the proposed contract

2. Discussion and Possible Action on the Audit Contract for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 with Rives and Associates 

A decision was made – Approved (3-1)

Commissioner Kwiatkowski voted against approving the contract as written

Commissioner Butler – was not in attendance

Improvement needed after Holden Beach town audit
The Holden Beach Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, July 16, appeared to ruffle some feathers as board members questioned the 2018 audit presentation and the additional expenses incurred. Jay E. Sharpe of Rives & Associates, LLP, an accounting firm with offices in Raleigh, Charlotte and Lexington, presented the results of the 2018 audit.  Sharpe’s presentation indicated the town is financially in good shape as of the June 30th end of the fiscal year. Based on Sharpe’s findings, the town’s revenues outpace its expenses, its fund balance is “moving in the right direction,” the town’s property tax base is increasing even while the tax rate did not increase. The largest expenditures are public safety, followed by general government, transportation and environmental protection.

During the meeting, however, Commissioner Pat Kwiatkowski raised several questions. First, she asked, “why has the board not seen the actual final version” of the audit report. Secondly, she questioned the timeline of the audit process. “Why did it take so long?” Hurricane Florence delayed the audit fieldwork, creating a “material weakness.” Sharpe said. A material weakness refers to deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a misstatement of a town’s or other entity’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. Kwiatkowski also asked Sharpe “how do you assess the qualifications of the (town) staff (to) prepare its financial reports?”

In the summary of auditor’s results, Sharpe’s report states under the category of internal control over financial reporting, the audit identified material weaknesses, significant deficiency not considered to be material weaknesses, and noncompliance material to financial statements noted. His report further stated a significant deficiency regarding the town having an employee who is familiar with governmental accounting principles that “can review its financial statements each year and determine if they have been prepared accurately. “The Town’s staff has the ability to perform daily functions to operate the finance department. However, their expertise is limited in the area of financial statement preparation in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, specifically with full accrual basis statements as required by GASB 34.” GASB is a private, nonprofit organization formed in 1984 to develop and improve accounting and financial standards for state and local governments. In June 1999, GASB approved GASB-34, the latest in a series of standards that the board has issued. This proclamation requires that state and local governments begin to report on the value of their infrastructure assets—including roads, bridges, dams, and water and sewer facilities—and to develop procedures and methods for asset management systems. Under the current reporting method, revenue and expenditures are recorded in the fiscal year in which they are received or paid (cash-basis accounting). Under the GASB-34 method, governments must account for revenues and expenditures for the period in which they are earned or incurred (accrual-basis accounting). In addition, all current and long-term assets and liabilities, such as infrastructure and general obligation debts, need to be reported within the balance sheet. The report identifies the cause “as the town budget limits the number of personnel it can hire for various functions and training of these personnel.”

 In closing the report stated the administration has increased its budget for training and has hired part-time services “to perform financial reporting, train and assist current staff in preparation of the town’s financial reports.” In an e-mail dated July 19, Kwiatkowski states: “I believe the Town’s financial department is capable of handling their responsibilities. Mr. Sharpe indicated the rules and regulations impacting government finance reporting continually increase, and the town staff is receiving additional training and outside assistance to be prepared to meet new standards.” During Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Pro Tem John Fletcher stated the town has contracted “outside help to help staff” improve its accounting procedures.

Commissioner Mike Sullivan reminded the board “time is of the essence.” He also stated the town was “on a list.” According to Kwiatkowski, the list Sullivan referred to “was due to a letter the Town received from the LGC (Local Government Commission) because the audit report has not been submitted on time. The LGC will be watching next year’s audit report is provided according to the schedule.” The Local Government Commission is a division of the state treasurer’s office. The LGC assist local governments and “is responsible for monitoring and ensuring towns’ fiscal health. The LGC can intervene if it appears a town is not managing its financial obligations appropriately,” she explained.
Read more » click here

BOC’s Regular Meeting 08/20/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here

1. Appointment of New Member to the Board of Adjustment – Mayor Pro Tem John Fletcher
Item was added to the agenda

The Board of Adjustment consists of five regular members and three alternate members.

On the Board of Adjustment, Anne Arnold will replace Larry Reinhart.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

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

2. Poyner Spruill Update – Mike McIntyre & Roger Gwinn (Town Manager Hewett)

Agenda Packet –
Congressman Mike McIntyre of Poyner Spruill will provide the Board with an update on Poyner Spruill and The Ferguson Group’s most recent advocacy efforts  related to Public Law 116-20, the Additional Supplemental  Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019 (Disaster Relief Act),as well as relevant news from Washington of interest  to the Town, including updates on the annual budget process, flood insurance policy, and infrastructure and coastal legislation. Roger Gwinn, CEO of The Ferguson Group, will also be in attendance to answer questions and provide additional information to the discussion, as needed.

Previously reported – October 2018
It has been the Mayor’s position that we need to hire a professional consulting firm because we need representation on multiple topics at the local, state and national levels of government. McIntyre did a brief recap of presentation that was made at the Special Meeting earlier in the day on what they can do for us. The consensus appeared to be that we need someone to speak on our behalf and they can make it happen.

Previously reported – December 2018
Poyner Spruill Proposal Concerning Consulting Services
Scope of Engagement
We have agreed to advise and assist you with governmental matters and legal issues that arise and the Client hereby engages Poyner Spruill LLP to perform the following services in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement: working with the Client to secure federal assistance and project management regarding: (1) federal issues related to beach nourishment at Holden Beach, North Carolina, and (2) federal issues related to Lockwood Folly Inlet maintenance.

Board selected Poyner Proposal Option C – The level of proposed services (2) requires funding of $6,975 per month or a minimum of $83,700 annually. 

Previously reported – May 2018
They have been working with us since the beginning of the year and they send monthly updates to the Board. McIntyre did a brief overview, covering the two services they were hired for Lockwood Folly Inlet and beach nourishment. Lockwood Folly dredging they have already secured some sand to be placed on Holden Beach and are working to convince USACE with data that it makes more sense to put the sand from dredging on the east end of Holden Beach then on the west end of Oak Island. Beach nourishment is being addressed with request for a new General Reevaluation Report. Mike was fairly optimistic that we will be able to finally move forward on our own with implementation. Next step is for us to send a letter of intent to USACE.

Update –
Although they send monthly updates to the Board, McIntyre gave a brief overview covering the activity since the May presentation. Presentation included big picture at the federal level and then some specifics on what they are working on for us. A lot going on, but he was able to bring us up to date as to where we are at. They are staying on top of it with a lot of different balls in the air.

Frankly I had serious reservations about spending that kind of money without knowing what exactly we are getting and how much it will ultimately cost us. Once again, they significantly increased my comfort zone with spending the money based on their efforts thus far. Time will tell what kind of return on investment we get based on their efforts.

3. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
Busy month, typical for this time of the year
Typical summertime fun at the beach
Home stretch, only thirteen (13) days left to Labor Day (09/02/19)

NC General Statute 166A·19.3l.
Power of municipalities and counties to enact ordinances to deal with states of emergency.

Synopsis – The governing body may impose by declaration or enacted ordinance, prohibitions and restrictions during a state of emergency. This includes the prohibition and restriction of movements of people in public places,  including   imposing   a curfew; directing   or compelling the voluntary   or mandatory evacuation of all or part of the population, controlling ingress and egress of an emergency area, and providing for the closure of streets, roads, highways, bridges,  public  vehicular  areas. All prohibitions and restrictions imposed by declaration or ordinance   shall take effect immediately upon publication of the declaration unless the declaration sets a later time.  The prohibitions and restrictions shall expire when they are terminated by the official or entity that imposed them, or when the state of emergency terminates.

Violation – Any person who violates any provisions of an ordinance or a declaration   enacted or declared pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

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

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

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

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

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

(1) All vehicles must be as far off the public street rights-of-way as possible; and
(2) No vehicle may be left parked on any portion of any roadway; and
(3) No vehicle may be parked on portion of the sidewalk.

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

4. Discussion and Possible Action to Revise Chapter 72: Parking Regulations, Section 72.02(K) – Commissioner Butler
Item was added to the agenda

(K)   Additional violation. It shall be a violation of this chapter to leave standing any portion of a vehicle in a lawful parking area between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Previously reported – August 2018
Agenda Packet –
Town Ordinance 18-07- revise Section (K) or create a new section in the ordinance that clearly states the following recommended wording:   Vehicles shall not be permitted to park in any beach access or any municipal designated parking areas, between the hours of 2:00am to 5:00am.

It is also recommended that signs be posted in the nine (9) municipal designated parking areas


(K)  Additional violation. It shall be a violation of this chapter to leave standing any portion of a vehicle in a lawful parking area for a period exceeding 72 consecutive hours between the hours of 2:00a.m. and 5:00a.m.

Much ado about nothing. It was the Board’s intent to not permit parking between 2:00am and 5:00am only in the nine municipal designated parking areas. All of that verbiage was not included in the Ordinance they adopted. Apparently, Wally assured them that is not the case. He indicated that a revision of the Ordinance was not required. The police department will use their discretion and enforce only in municipal designated parking areas which was the Board’s intent.

No decision was made – No action taken

Previously reported – July 2019
Joe was concerned that tickets were being written for property owner vehicles parked in the right-of-way on their own property. They discussed what was the Board’s intent and what are the ramifications if they make any changes.

Once again, they decided that a revision of the Ordinance was not required. The Police Department will use their discretion and enforce only in municipal designated parking areas which was the Board’s original intent.

No decision was made – No action taken

Minutes – July 2019
Commissioner Butler read the current verbiage concerning parking in Section 72.02(K). He believes the Board’s intent last August was to prohibit parking in the nine municipal areas between the hours of 2:00a.m.- 5:00a.m. Commissioner Sullivan said it is specifically how the Board wanted it. The Board had the discussion whether it would be better to prohibit the parking somewhere like under the bridge, but then that person would go park by someone’s home. He said the problem when the issue was raised was that people were complaining that people were parking overnight.  After all of the discussions, the Board decided that the most effective way to accomplish the goal was to have a window when you couldn’t leave your car parked. Commissioner Butler stated we have people who need to park in the rights-of-way (ROW) between the hours of 2:00a.m.- 5:00a.m. Commissioner Sullivan said this is an example of what he was talking about; the Board talks about something, passes a rule and then after it is put in place, we feel like we need to revise it.  He said if we are going to allow people to parking in the ROW, we might as well just rescind the whole ordinance. Commissioner Butler said he is not in favor of that. Commissioner Sullivan said the police will not know if a car belongs to the person at a house. He asked what the Board would be accomplishing. He suggested if the Board is going to make a change, they should give more thought and decide what the ramifications of the change would be. The guy that would park under the bridge will now park in front of somebody’s house and fisherman can’t park at all. Commissioner Butler said the municipal parking areas are identified with signs that say the prohibited hours. He explained we are a family beach and want to retain that title.

Planning Director Evans clarified there is a distinction between the ROW and municipal areas. Any homeowner   can stop people from parking in the ROW by putting up the legalized barriers. Commissioner Sullivan said if someone is renting a home, they won’t put up a fence because people may need to park there. It would take the problem from someone staying under the bridge and possibly move it to someone’s house. Commissioner Butler said he is glad the Board is discussing this. He had an officer bring it to his attention that it was hard to control this. Commissioner Freer stated he would leave it as it is, and it is at the discretion of the Police Department to enforce it. Commissioners Sullivan and Butler agreed.

Mayor Holden stated he bet the others aren’t getting the complaints he is getting. He provided information regarding a complaint concerning someone’s grandson who received a $75 ticket because there wasn’t anywhere to park during the night and there wasnt enough parking at the family house. The man has owned property for approximately 40 years. A friend of his looked for no parking signs and they couldn’t find any signs. Mayor Holden said this it isn’t working, and he will start sharing the complaints he receives. He asked how people are supposed to know there is no parking. He said people ask where they are supposed to park, there is nowhere to legally park. The citizen from the complaint he described said if all of the public parking is shut down and the streets are shut down, he would need to take his grandson to Walmart or somewhere to leave his car overnight.

Update –
Apparently at the discretion of the Police Department meant something different to the Board and to the Police Department. The Police Department chose to enforce the ordinance and wrote twenty-three (23) tickets for vehicles parked in the right-of-way. Needless to say, Commissioner Butler was not happy with the situation. After another round of robust discussion, it was still unclear as how they planned to amend the Ordinance. They were all in agreement that it shall be a violation to leave any vehicle that is parked between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. in the nine (9) municipal public parking areas. What was not so clear, was parking in the right-of-way.

They were unable to amend ordinance because it was not on the original agenda. They asked the Police Chief to use his discretion and just focus on municipal public parking areas until they can amend ordinance at the next regular meeting. 

Frankly we are making this way to complicated. On street parking should be allowed all the time. If an owner wants to restrict parking, they can use a post and rope fence. If someone parks between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. and is carrying on, then just call the Police the same way you would any other time of the day.

5. Discussion and Possible Action on Participating in the Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Management Contract – Public Works Director Clemmons

 Agenda Packet –
MultiJurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement
The Town is a member of the Brunswick County MultiJurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement. Currently, the contract is with Crowder Gulf. Beginning September 15, 2019, the county’s new contract will take affect with Southern Disaster Recovery (SDR) as the   primary contractor and Ceres Environmental as the secondary.

Per the Brunswick County Background Information: The disaster debris management contract is a pre­ positioned contract with no funding associated with the contract for the purpose of assisting the county in the event of a disaster such as a hurricane, tornado or earthquake. Six proposals were received in response to the request for proposals for disaster debris management services. There are numerous services and equipment priced in the bids and no one company was low bidder on all items. A weighted formula was used to determine the overall best proposal for the county with consideration to other items and services included with the proposal. Using this formula SDR scored the highest number of points and Ceres with the second highest number of points. References from the industry were consulted and gave favorable recommendations for SDR and Ceres.

If the Town would like to continue to be a member of the agreement, we will need to execute the paperwork to participate. Brunswick County’s bid tabulation is included detailing the scoring criteria. Staff recommends the Town continue to participate in the Brunswick County MultiJurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement and that Town Manager Hewett is authorized to execute any paperwork on behalf of the Town, subject to final approval of the contracts by the Town Attorney.

Previously reported – March 2016
The Town has an option to participate in a joint solicitation for a disaster debris contract with Brunswick County.  A joint multijurisdictional contract would give the Town the same level of service as if we were the primary contract holder and would fulfill FEMA requirements in order to allow us to qualify for federal disaster relief and reimbursements.  The Town would be able to declare an emergency at any time, without Brunswick County needing to activate the contract.

Participation in the solicitation docs not contractually obligate the Town to anything. However, given the economies of scale that such an arrangement should bring, staff anticipates a favorable solicitation and recommends the Town take part in the County’s process. A formal agreement based on the solicitation would be the next step and is expected to be available for Board consideration in June.

The contract we had expired, and the vendor is no longer in business. Our last request for proposals did not get any responses. Therefore, we really don’t have any other viable options but to piggyback on the County contract. A formal agreement will come back to the Board for their approval.

Previously reported – June 2016
At the March Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the Board voted to allow the Town to participate in a joint solicitation for a disaster debris contract with Brunswick County.

Recently, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners awarded the contract for management services to Crowder Gulf and the contract for monitoring services to Landfall Strategies. If the Board chooses to approve the contract, the joint multijurisdictional contract would give the Town the same level of service as if we were the primary contract holder and would fulfill FEMA requirements in order to allow us to qualify for federal disaster relief and reimbursements. The Town would be able to declare an emergency at any time, without Brunswick County needing to activate the contract.

David clarified that we are simply piggybacking on the County contract. Reimbursement rates are established by FEMA and the contract locks the vendors into a price. It provides the same level of service as if we the primary contract holder.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
David handled in Chris’s absence. County has changed contractor and we have an opportunity to piggyback on the County contract. It’s a no brainer.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

6. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Review the Pay & Classification Study with the MAPS Group – Town Manager Hewett 

 Agenda Packet –
The Maps Group has completed their research for the Classification and Pay Study and would like to schedule a meeting to review their findings with the Board. Becky Veazey from the MAPS Group, has provided their availability for the last week in August and for the first couple of weeks in September. Please provide Town Clerk Finnell with your schedules so we can coordinate a time to hold a special meeting. Ms. Veazey anticipates the information will take approximately one hour to present to the Board.

RSM Salary & Benefit Review Report
Previously reported – February 2019
Commissioner Freer asked that the Town initiate a request for proposal (RFP) to do the following:
.     1)
Establish set job descriptions for each position, and a compensation pay range
Conduct a total compensation study

Previously reported – April 2019
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

Previously reported – June 2019
Evaluation of compensation package and job descriptions should be completed shortly. After Town Manager reviews report it will be presented to the BOC’s.   

Previously reported – July 2019 
MAPS including end of fiscal year salary rate changes is still working on the study
David should be able to present to the Board in August

Update –
Heather handled; they simply need to coordinate their schedules to set meeting date.

7. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 19-13, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 91: Fire Prevention – Planning Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
Fire Ordinance
At the last regular scheduled meeting the Board of Commissioner’s asked the planning department to prepare a text amendment to clarify the town’s position for open flames and grills in public and private areas along the beach. This amendment was designed to prohibit fires, and any device that could possible cause to make fire or a hazard on the beach whether public and private.


BE IT ORDAINED BY the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina that the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 91: Fire Prevention, be amended as follows:

Section One: Amend Chapter 91: Fire Prevention as follows:

For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

A stove that burns charcoal as fuel.

Portable   or   non-portable   flame    devices   fueled   by flammable or combustible gases or liquids that are not enclosed or installed in such a manner as to prevent the flame from contacting combustible material.

Capable   of   burning, generally   in   air   under   normal conditions of ambient temperature and pressure.

It shall be unlawful for any person or business to set or cause to be set any fire within the town.
Exception: § 91.17 and 91.17 (A)

Recreational fires, except those confined within containers manufactured specifically for such purpose, shall not be allowed.

§91.17 Open-flame Devices.
Charcoal burners and other open-flame devices shall not be operated on or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction. Penalty, see§ 91.99

§91.17 (A) Exception / Propane fueled grills.

§91.18 All Open and Closed Flame devices, and Cooking Devices shall not be operated or put into use in any public areas or on private dunes

Previously reported – July 2019
Agenda Packet –
Recreational fires, except those confined within containers manufactured specifically for such purpose, shall not be allowed.

Current Ordinance does not address grilling / barbecuing in public areas including the beach strand or Bridgeview Park. Town staff was charged with revising Ordinance and bring back for the next regular meeting.

Update –
Amended ordinance to add §91.18

Timbo lobbied for them to eliminate exception §91.17 because it was a safety issue
The police department, fire department and building inspector all want it removed
The Board wasn’t amenable to do so at this time

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

8. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 19-14, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 154: Flood Damage Prevention – Planning Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
Text Amendment Section 154 Flood Zone Prevention Ordinance
These text amendments are designed to bring into alignment sections of the newly adopted National Flood Plain Ordinance with other current sections of town’s regulatory and zoning ordinances. This will align the newly adopted ordinance with current policies literature and state standards for construction. Which will ensure that future CRS evaluations will reflect the maximum amount of points possible under these activities. This simplifies the language for the contractors and homeowners. This is house cleaning only.


BE IT ORDAINED BY the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina that the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 154: Flood Damage Prevention, be amended as follows:

Section One: Amend Section 154.20 General Standards as follows:

In all special flood hazard areas, the following provisions are required:

(D)           All New and Substantially improved properties shall meet Both A and V zone standards for construction. All new electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, air conditioning equipment, and other service equipment shall be located at or above the RFPE or designed and installed to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during the occurrence of the base flood.   These include, but are not limited to, HVAC equipment, water softener units, bath/kitchen fixtures, ductwork, electric/gas meter panels/boxes, utility/cable boxes, water heaters, and electric outlets/switches. Electrical Switches and outlets branch circuits located below RFPE, shall be protected at the source not at the device. There shall be a minimum number of outlets and switches allowed below the RFPE

Exception: Meter bases with one main disconnect, with no other circuits.

Update –
RFPE – Regulatory Flood Protection Elevation

Housekeeping item to simplify things and use accepted standard language. By adding this language to the ordinance, we significantly improve our Community Rating System score. The National Flood Insurance Program’s   Community Rating System 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.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously

9. Discussion and Possible Action on Proposals to Provide Legal Services – Town Manager Hewett
Agenda Packet –
Request for Proposals for Legal Service
A Request for Proposals (RFP) for Legal Services was advertised in the local paper and was placed on the North Carolina   League of Municipalities’ website.   In response to the RFP, the Town received four proposals. The firms who are interested in providing legal services to the Town are the Law Offices of G. Grady Richardson, Jr., P.C., The Brough Law Firm, PLLC, the Law Office of Matthew A. Nichols and the Law Firm of Richard F. Green, PLLC. The proposals are included in the Board’s meeting information for review.

Richard Green Proposal
Matthew Nichols Proposal
Brough Proposal
Grady Richardson Proposal

Previously reported February 2016
Noel Fox of Craige & Fox was selected as our new town attorney
They terminated the interim attorney agreement and hired a permanent attorney
Noel has municipal law experience and her family owns property on Holden Beach

Previously reported – June 2019
Town Attorney Noel Fox tendered her resignation
A search will begin to hire a new attorney as soon as possible

Previously reported – July 2019
The Town initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP)
Anticipate having candidate options for the Board at the next meeting

Update –
Commissioner Sullivan indicated that it was not prudent to hire an attorney without conducting interviews. His recommendation was to interview the firms at a Special Meeting. Heather will handle, they simply need to coordinate their schedules to set meeting date.

10. Discussion and Possible Action to Allow the Meeting Agenda to be Provided a Week Before the Board of Commissioners’ Meetings – Commissioner Kwiatkowski Agenda Packet –
Discussion and possible action to allow the meeting agenda to be provided a week before the BOCM. With the increasing number of agenda items being covered at meetings, often including re-examination of at least one previously discussed issue, a significant amount of time is frequently needed to find and digest past discussions and decisions or research new topics. According to the Rules of Procedure, the agenda is to be agreed between the Executive Secretary and Town Clerk at least one week before the BOCM. I ask that at the end of the Tuesday before the BOCM the Town Clerk provides the agreed agenda to the mayor and commissioners to give them time for research and preparation in advance of receiving the full package.

Update –
They agreed to send that the agenda is to be sent to the Board once it is finalized.

11. Discussion and Possible Clarification of the Audit Committee Establishment, Powers and Duties and Possible Action to Revise the Audit Committee Ordinance (Section 30.26 Audit Committee of the BOC) – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Agenda Packet –
Audit Committee (AC) Responsibility Clarifications
I believe a well-directed, transparent and process driven audit committee can bring value to town government. However, I conclude from some discussions at recent Audit Committee meetings that there is a need to clarify the focus of the audit committee and ensure that the ordinance reflects the focus. At the last BOCM it was agreed that the Board should discuss the Audit Committee Ordinance (ACO) at the August BOCM.


Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski cited clarity as the reason to make the recommended changes. The consensus view was that it was a bit premature to change the ordinance since it was only finalized in December of 2018.

 No decision was made – No action taken

12. Discussion and Possible Action to Reduce the Number of Agenda Items by Reducing the Frequency of Mandated Recurring Reports – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Agenda Packet –
Discussion and possible action to reduce the number of agenda items by reducing the frequency of mandated recurring reports. While it was prudent at the beginning of the Lift Station 4 project  to ask for monthly updates to help stay on top of budget and timeline, with the successful completion of Station 4 and retention of Leo Greene to oversee the Lift Station 3 project, the frequency of updates could be reduced to quarterly with the understanding Town Staff will be responsible for adding the topic to the agenda if a burning issue needs to be communicated in between  quarterly reviews. At the inception of the Inlet and Beach Protection Board, the IBPB was charged with providing a monthly update to the SOC (July 24,2018 special meeting). It was also agreed the update did not need to be a formal BOCM agenda item but could simply be put in the packet. Unless the update is reporting an issue around achieving IBPB priorities, providing a unique perspective on an emerging issue or detailing important information gleaned by members that should be communicated sooner than the formal minutes process allows, the IBPB updates should be included in the packet but not appear as an agenda item. If something in the update calls for an agenda item, it is suggested an IBPB member should provide the update and field questions.

Update –
They appeared to agree that these issues were important, but it was not necessary to include monthly on the agenda.

 13. Town Manager’s Report

 Local Government Commission has approved our audit and the auditor contract

Planning & Inspections Director Tim Evans has been selected to attend NC Insurance Commissioner’s “Code College”. 

Public Works new hire David Wright started work last week

LWF crossing bend widener project –
.   a) Low risk that they will not receive USFW Biological Opinion
necessary for award and execution of the contract
.   b)
County has committed to local share of 25% ($97,074)
.     •
beach nourishment as part of a navigation project will get a maximum of 25%
.     •
navigation only projects will receive a maximum of 50%. 

County commissioners deny town’s reimbursement request
Read more » click here

FEMA / Storm Events
FloMike hurricane projects remain stuck in EHP
Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) refers to FEMA’s review process for ensuring the protection and enhancement of environmental, historic, and cultural resources, as required by Federal environmental and historic preservation laws and Executive Orders. 

FEMA has denied $180,000 of Town’s $330,000 request for reimbursement of permitting expenses for the Central Reach / Matthew project /storm damage repair.  Denied costs were not eligible as submitted we do not intend to appeal the disallowed portion. However, we are amending another reimbursement request for Irene to include the $180k.

Hurricane Season
Two weeks away from Hurricane Florence anniversary
.   2)
Make sure you have vehicle decals
Be prepared, have emergency plan in place

Beach Nourishment
Hydrographic Survey to identify locations where we can get more sand from is scheduled for next week

Central Reach Project
The Town’s Central Reach Project has been selected as a spotlight project for presentation at the October American Shore and Beach Preservation Association in Myrtle Beach.  

14. Mayor’s Comments

Hurricane Season Information

Please remember that we are entering the high-risk part of hurricane season. Be sure you have your emergency plan of action prepared and know how to carry out your plan if and when action is needed.

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

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

During an emergency, email updates will be issued.

 Being prepared is key to making it through the season.

15. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(6), To Discuss a Personnel Matter, Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(5) To Establish or Instruct the Staff or Agent Concerning the Negotiation of the Price or Terms of a Contract Concerning the Acquisition of Real Property and North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(3) To Consult with the Town Attorney

No decision was made – No action taken

General Comments –

There were fourteen (14) members of the community in attendance

The BOC’s Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month,
September 17th

Loose Ends:
Chapter 50: Solid Waste
Rental properties have specific number of trash cans based on number of bedrooms
Enforcement fines to those not following the yard waste requirements
Enforcement fines for those placing trash on the ground or on top of trash containers
Enforcement and communication reside with the town staff to determine
Examine the possibility of providing a rollout program in addition to rollback

We were told protocols would be established, communication to the public would be made, followed by enforcement. It’s the middle of July already, when were they planning to do these tasks?

Development Fees
In June of 2018, they adopted cost-justified water and wastewater system development fees report created by McGill Associates. In August 2018, they repealed and replaced the development fee schedule. This was supposed to be an interim fee schedule until they have an opportunity to reevaluate the situation. They committed to permanent fees before the end of 2018. In October 2018, they set timeline to set permanent fees and that the interim rates would remain in effect for the next ninety (90) days which takes us into 2019. In April 2019, they allocated funds to obtain bids for the development of a cost justified water and wastewater system Development Fees Report. 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. Well it’s one year later and a permanent fee schedule has yet to be adopted.

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

In split decision, court sides with property owners in Oak Island sewer lawsuit, town plans to appeal
Reversing the decision of the lower court, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina ruled against the Town of Oak Island in a lawsuit raised by property owners of undeveloped lots, despite one judge on the panel dissenting. The issue between property owners and the town dates back to 2015, when owners of undeveloped property on the island filed suit regarding the town’s sewer service fees. Tuesday, Oak Island’s sewer system cost $140 million to install. In 2004, action from North Carolina’s General Assembly allowed the town to charge property owners fees related to the sewer system in order to help reduce the debt the town carried as a result of the sewer installation. The action allows Oak Island to “impose annual fees for the availability of sewer service” on property owners who could or do benefit from the service. From 2010 to 2017, that resulted in developed property owners paying a total of $4,478.57 in fees, while undeveloped property owners would have paid $3,978.08. Additionally, the court pointed out in its ruling that from 2015 to 2017, the owners of undeveloped properties were actually paying more per year than those who owned developed lots. The term “availability” is what the court’s decision ultimately hinged upon, because the plaintiff property owners argued that for those with undeveloped lots, the sewer system is not actually “available” to them. Therefore, they argued, they should not be subject to the fees. They further argued charging undeveloped properties went beyond what the statute establishing the fees allows, and that the collection of the fees was unconstitutional. The appeals court agreed, saying: “although the Session Laws do not define the term ‘availability’ for purposes of imposing the sewer service availability fees, it is clear that the enabling Session Laws do not, as a matter of law, apply to Plaintiffs’ undeveloped property.” Originally, the plaintiffs wanted the court to declare the fees unconstitutional, as well as order the town to refund the fees paid by the owners of the undeveloped properties. In May 2018, when Brunswick County Superior Court Judge James Ammons found in favor of Oak Island, the plaintiffs attempted to change their plea, only asking for the refund. However, the court declined their motion to amend, and instead ruled in favor of Oak Island’s countersuit, therefore upholding the fee structure. As far as those occurrences, the appeals court said it could not weigh in, because the matters were never ruled upon, and therefore couldn’t be appealed. Judge Allegra Collins disagreed with her two fellow judicial colleagues, arguing the opposite with regard to the “availability” language. Collins argues that just because property owners would have to go through the development process in order to connect to the sewer system, doesn’t mean that it isn’t “available” to them. Despite the split decision, the Court of Appeals ruling reverses the ruling and remands the issue back to Brunswick County Superior Court. Town Attorney Brian Edes said in an email Tuesday the town will likely appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. His statement read: The North Carolina Court of Appeals issued a split opinion today ultimately holding that the subject 2006 N.C. Session Law does not authorize the Town of Oak Island to charge a sewer district fee to owners of undeveloped lots. Naturally, we are disappointed with this holding.
Read more » click here 

Municipal Elections
The following candidates have officially filed for Holden Beach municipal elections before the deadline.

Holden Beach Mayor
Alan Holden                                    128 OBW                        Holden Beach         (incumbent)

Holden Beach Commissioner
Gerald Brown                                 851 Heron Landing      Holden Beach         (former)
Joe Butler                                        169 BAE                          Holden Beach         (incumbent)
John Fletcher                                  148 Yacht Watch           Holden Beach         (incumbent)
Peter Freer                                      198 BAW                         Holden Beach         (incumbent)
Pat Kwiatkowski                            1298 OBW                      Holden Beach         (incumbent)
Regina Martin                                1032 OBW                      Holden Beach         (former)
Brian Murdock                               124 Durham Street       Holden Beach         /
Mike Sullivan                                  648 OBW                        Holden Beach         (incumbent)
Woody Tyner                                  137 Tarpon Drive          Holden Beach         /

All five Commissioners seats are up for election, nine candidates have filed. As approved by a referendum in 2017, the three candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to serve four-year terms and the two candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected to serve two-year terms.

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