09 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 08/30/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Classification & Pay Study & Updated Personnel Policy Presentation – Becky Veazey, The Management & Personnel Services Group
Agenda Packet – background information not provided
No material was provided at the meeting

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
    2)
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

Previously reported – August 2019
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.

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

Update –
The study updates the classification and pay plan for THB as well as making recommendations concerning personnel policies and fringe benefits. Recommendations are being made for salary schedule, position classification plan, and costs for implementing the salary plan. Salary data determined by prevailing rate in geographic area as well as with employers who directly compete for the same pool of workers with those job skills. The salaries represent the local market which provides a reflection of the actual cost of living in the geographic area. Implementation strategy offered three options; the recommended option had an additional annual price tag of $80,327 in just salary cost. An additional cost of roughly 20% for benefits brings the total cost to implement at almost $100,000 annually. Interestingly, we offer significantly higher family health insurance coverage than the rest of the local market, yet we didn’t seem to get any credit for that in a total compensation package. Recommendations for THB are based on meeting the market, not leading the market. Takeaway was that we were in pretty good shape considering we hadn’t done a study in a very long time, but adjustments need to be made to stay competitive in the local market. Staying competitive in our total compensation package will allow us to recruit and retain employees. Presentation was a very pragmatic approach to the subject and clearly directs us on how to proceed.

2. Discussion & Possible Establishment of a Process to Interview Attorneys – Commissioners Freer & Butler
Agenda Packet – background information not provided

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

Previously reported – August 2019
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

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.

Update –
They were able to reach consensus on two issues. Decision was made that all of them should be there to interview each firm individually. They also eliminated Brough simply based on they are geographically undesirable, too far away.


BOC’s Special Meeting 09/12/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 19-15, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 19-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 (Amendment No. 3)

Agenda Packet –
Moved funds of $349,000
From Revenue account #30.0399.0500 to Expense account#50.0810.7402

Previously reported – July 2019

Parcel #246BC002 which is located on the second row, between Sanddollar and Swordfish. The Town owns parcels in the 800 block which we obtained on 04/21/13 ostensibly to be used for parking. They are as follows: 246BC010, 246BC011, 246BC012, 246BC013, 246BC014, 246BC015, 246BC01604, and 246BC01609. THB also owns adjacent lots 246BC001, 246BC01601, 246BC01602 and 246BC016.

The property is located at 796 OBW, adjacent to sewer station #3, with a Taxable Value of $376,610

Update –
The Town is purchasing 796 OBW for $349,000 or 93% of tax value
.        •
Average for second row home this year is 117% of tax value

Previously reported – June 2019
Green Engineering was awarded the $158,000 contract for Sewer System Engineering to Sewer Pump Station Number 4 in December of 2017. Green Engineering was just awarded the $311,805 contract for Sewer System Engineering to Sewer Pump Station Number 3. You may ask yourself: Why is there an additional $153,805 in cost only eighteen (18) months later? The explanation given was that this station is only sixteen (16) feet from adjacent property and will require additional acoustic engineering. Due to the station location it is different from the first project and will have a significant higher cost to build. Leo when asked how much more threw out a 25% more number just as a ballpark figure. Yikes!

A significant portion of the cost of acquiring this property is offset by us no longer needing to do additional acoustical engineering.

 2. Discussion and Possible Approval of Assignment of Contract and Purchase of Property (Parcel 246BC002) 

Alan Holden “Assignor”, that is by law a person who transfers property rights or powers to another. It appears that Alan has entered into a certain Offer to Purchase and Contract with the Seller. For the sum of one dollar he has assigned, transferred, sold and conveyed that to the THB.

The Mayor was instrumental in the acquisition of the property and waived all of real estate transaction fees. Thanks!


BOC’s Special Meeting 09/17/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Classification & Pay Study & Updated Personnel Policy Review – Becky Veazey, The Management & Personnel Services Group
Agenda Packet – background information not provided

For more information » see Special Meeting 08/30/19

Update –
The recommended option being considered had an additional annual price tag of $80,327 in just salary cost. An additional cost of roughly 20% for benefits brings the total cost to implement at almost $100,000 annually. The Board is considering adopting this option with the new personnel policy and classification and pay plan potentially beginning January 1, 2020. They have requested that the Town Manager look at how we would pay for it.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)


BOC’s Special Meeting 09/18/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here NA


1. Interviews of Firms Interested in Providing Legal Services to the Town

 For more information » see Special Meeting 08/30/19

Update –
The Board interviewed four (4) firms but did not make a selection yet.

No decision was made – No action taken


BOC’s Regular Meeting 09/17/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Presentation of Oceanfront and Inlets Management Plan – Fran Way & Cathy Foerster, Applied Technology and Management (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)

Agenda Packet –
Long-term Beach and Inlet Management Plan
As part of the powers and duties assigned to the Inlet and Beach Protection Board in Ordinance No. 18-02, the board is to prepare and recommend a comprehensive long-term plan for the management, dredging, and protection of the inlets and management, protection and nourishment of the ocean beaches and protective dune systems. This document is to serve as a 10-year plan for the Town.  ATM facilitated the development of the plan in working with the IBPB since February. Cathy Foerster and Fran Way will present the plan for possible adoption by the BOC.

Oceanfront and Inlets Management Plan
For more information » click here

Presentation Outline
Planning Process

Focus Areas
Goals
Projects/Actions
Adaptive Management

Planning Process
Kickoff Meeting and Data Collection in February 2019

Five Work Sessions – IBPB and ATM (March to August 2019)

    • Prepare a goal-based adaptive management plan
    • Build upon technical approach memorialized in 2009 Beach Management Planning and Borrow Area Investigations
    • 10-year planning period
    • Funding options

Focus Areas
Shallotte Inlet / West End / Central Reach / East End / LWF Inlet

Goals
15 Goals
that Acknowledge and Address

      • Naturally occurring coastal erosion
      • Changing sea level
      • Impacts from recent climatic events
      • Baseline for community resiliency

Projects/Actions
19 Projects/Actions
Within the Next 10 Years

      • Address coastal erosion
      • Address dune retreat
      • Recover from recent climatic events
      • Achieve coastal resiliency

Focus on Short-Term (within 5 years)

Adaptive Management
IBPB and ATM will review plan annually

Recommend adjustments to the Board of Commissioners based on effects of:

      • Climatic events (hurricanes, sea level rise)
      • Potential damage (nor’easters)
      • Opportunities (funding, collaboration)
      • Consequences (new regulations or delayed projects)

2. Discussion and Possible Action on Asset and Inventory Assessment Grant Application – Leo Green, Green Engineering (Public Works Director Clemmons)
a.
Resolution 19-04, Resolution by Governing Body of Applicant

Agenda Packet –
ASSET AND INVENTORY ASSESSMENT GRANT APPLICATION
GRANT PROGRAM OVERVIEW

  • The Asset Inventory and Assessment grants were created in Session Law 2015-241 in the changes made to NCGS  159G, to broaden the use of grant funds to encourage water and wastewater utilities to become more viable and more proactive in the management and financing of their systems. The goal of this grant program is to inventory the existing water and/or sewer system and document the condition of inventoried infrastructure.
  • The grants are limited to $150,000 from the    Wastewater   Reserve (CWSRF) or the Drinking Water Reserve (DWSRF), over a period of three years, to the   same local   government unit or nonprofit water corporation.
  • The NC Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Infrastructure has structured the priority system to prioritize applications that reflect the greatest likelihood that information obtained through this project will be used by the utility to manage its infrastructure assets in the future.
  • Only systems with 10,000 residential accounts or less are eligible for these grants.
  • A local match is required based on how that unit’s indicators of percent population change, poverty rate, median household income (MHI), percent unemployment, and property valuation per capita compare with the state benchmarks. This “affordability criteria” does not necessarily limit the grant percentage or the eligibility for these grants.

NCDEQ
For more information » click here

RESOLUTION 19-04
RESOLUTION BY GOVERNING BODY OF APPLICANT

WHEREAS,    The Federal Clean Water Act Amendments of 1987 and the North Carolina the Water Infrastructure Act of 2005 (NCGS 159G) have authorized the making of loans and grants to aid eligible units of government in financing the cost of construction of (state whether a wastewater treatment works, wastewater  collection system,  stream  restoration,   stormwater   treatment,   drinking   water treatment works, and/or drinking water distribution system or other “green” project), or Asset and Inventory Assessments, and

WHEREAS,    The (Town of Holden Beach) has need for and intends to develop a Water and Waste Utility Asset Inventory and Assessment project, and

WHEREAS,    The (Town of Holden Beach) intends to request state (loan or grant) assistance for the project,

WHEREAS,    The (Town of Holden Beach) will pay aa applicable match for each grant awarded

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, BY THE HOLDEN BEACH BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS:

That (Town of Holden Beach), the Applicant, will arrange financing for all remaining costs of the project, if approved for a State (loan or grant) award.

That the Applicant will adopt and place into effect on or before completion of the project a schedule of fees and charges and other available funds which will provide adequate funds for proper operation, maintenance, and administration of the system and the repayment of all principal and interest on the debt.

That the governing body of the Applicant agrees to include in the loan agreement a provision authorizing the State Treasurer, upon failure of the Town of Holden Beach to make scheduled repayment of the loan, to withhold  from the Town of Holden Beach any State funds that would otherwise be distributed to the local government unit in an amount sufficient to pay all sums then due and payable to the State as a repayment of the loan.

That the Applicant will provide for efficient operation and maintenance of the project on completion of construction thereof.

Update –
Mayor Holden and Public Works Director Clemmons both lobbied for the need to obtain capability to identify where everything is. They indicated that it was particularly important after a major storm event. We can apply for $150,000 for each water system and sewer system. The Town match portion is 5% to 20% so on $300,000 the maximum exposure would be $60,000.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Know the difference between wants and needs?
One of the most basic concepts of economics is want vs. need.
A need is something you have to have.
. It’s something you can’t do without.
A want is something you would like to have.
.
It’s not absolutely necessary, but it would be a good thing to have.


3. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
.
Personnel announcement, we hired officer Edwin Roman to fill the open position created when Wally retired.

.



They got a lot of heat over the evacuation process. Mea Culpa!
In the future, beginning at 8:00am means you need to leave by then.

 


 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


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. 

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.


4. Discussion & Possible Action Relative to Section 72.02 Parking Regulated on Public Streets & Rights-of-Way – Commissioner Sullivan

§72.02 PARKING REGULATED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY. (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.

Agenda Packet –
PARKING DISCUSSION
After due discussion and consideration, in April 2018 the Board of Commissioners voted to revise ordinance section 72.02 PARKING REGULATED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS OF WAY. The revised ordinance contains section(k) 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 2:00am and 5:00am.

The stated purpose for the revision was a concern for the safety, privacy and property rights of the property owners of Holden Beach. Due to an increase in proactive enforcement measures of the Holden Beach Police Department related to parking in the right of way, the benefit of the revision has been questioned by some residents and visitors.

In an attempt to address the stated concerns and also protect the stated purposes of the revised ordinance, I suggest the following course of action:

1. Suggest to rental agencies that the number of available legal spaces be included in all advertisements for rental properties. This will give potential renters an opportunity to determine if a rental home has sufficient parking for their needs.

2. Allow Holden Beach property owners, displaying a valid Holden Beach Vehicle Decal, to park in the right of way adjacent to their property as long as such parking is not otherwise prohibited, i.e. no parking on OBW or within 25 feet of an intersection. This limited exception, coupled with other ordinance provisions, should address the vast majority of complaints without expanding the potential for overcrowding and the conversion of smaller rental properties into “event” properties.

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.

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH / ORDINANCE 18-07
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES, CHAPTER 72: PARKING REGULATIONS (SECTION 72.03 PARKING REGULATED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY)
(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
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION TO REVISE CHAPTER 72: PARKING REGULATIONS, SECTION 72.02(K)
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.

Previously reported – August 2019
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 too 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.

Update –
The proposal allows owners to park four (4) additional vehicles in the right-of way on their property. The storm vehicle decals issued to each property owner is what will be used for identification. The Board asked the Town attorney to prepare a revised Ordinance.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


This is a solution in search of a problem!


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

Agenda Packet –

Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Planning & Support Management Contract
The Town is a member of the Brunswick County Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Planning & Support Management Agreement Currently, the contract b with Landfall Strategies. Beginning September 27, 2019, the county’s new contract will take affect with Tetra Tech as the primary contractor and Thompson Consulting as the secondary.

Per the Brunswick County Background Information: The disaster debris planning & support 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. Three proposals were received in response to the request for proposals. There are numerous services priced in the bids and no one company was the low bidder on all items. A scoring system was used, and Tetra Tech was the low bidder on cost and received the greatest number of points on the overall bid tabulation. Thompson Consulting tied for the second lowest bidder on cost and received the second greatest number of points on the overall bid tabulation.

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 Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Planning & Support Management Contract 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

Previously reported – August 2019
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.

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 

Update –
Same justification as last meeting, the 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


I’m confused, it was my understanding that we already approved this at the last meeting.
.


6. RSM Disbursement Disapproval – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet –

The Town has been billed an additional $988 (Atch 1) for “Professional services rendered in connection with follow-up procedures (Atch 2) to the RSM Internal Control Review Report (Atch 3) which was presented to the SOC at their 15 February Special Meeting (Atch 4). Engagement (Atch 5) was for not to exceed $20,000 per SOC approval of same (Atch 6).  A total of $20,000 has been paid (Atch 7,8,9).

No appropriation exists for the additional charge. No preaudit of the added expense was performed as no negotiations of a final billed amount occurred prior to additional work being performed per the terms of engagement. Additionally, no contract amendment nor review by the LGC as is required occurred.

I have disapproved payment of the $988 invoice per GG 159-28 (b).

The Board of Commissioners may approve the claim per GS 159 (c) subject to appropriating sufficient funds via a budget amendment and formal resolution stating the board’s reasons for allowing the claim.

The Audit Committee selected the firm RSM from Morehead City for the internal control Review. Recommendation is to obtain firm with a not to exceed price of $20,000. Scope of work subject to approval from The North Carolina Local Government Commission.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – July 2018     
Services and Scope of Work
In developing a risk matrix for the Town, we will consider internal control relevant to the Town’s preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design assurance procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances. Our risk assessment procedures are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the controls that are in place and to evaluate potential gaps in internal control that could lead to fraud or error in the above noted transaction cycles. Gaining an understanding of your internal control will assist us in identifying types of potential deficiencies in internal control and factors that affect the risks of material misstatement as assessed by your external auditors. We also will draw on this understanding to provide feedback in internal control risk matrix about opportunities you may have to strengthen controls or streamline processes.

Subject to approval from the Local Government Commission

With the understanding the Audit Chair will report back to the Board

Moved funds of $20,000
From Revenue account #10.0399.0200 to Expense account#10.0410.0400

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Commissioner Fletcher recommended paying but said after discussing the situation with the vendor they withdrew the invoice. They had a brief discussion as to why we should or should not pay invoice. Consensus appears to be the Board established a $20,000-dollar ceiling and that’s that.

No decision was made – No action taken


7. Discussion and Possible Approval for Town Manager to Enter into License Agreement with West End Property Owners Association – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet –

Attorney Fox is crafting a License Agreement with the Holden Beach West POA that will allow Town personnel/equipment additional room should the need arise for working space around the Lift Station 4 site.  The agreement will follow template for similar arrangement at the western edge access of the pier property.

Recommend Board approval and authorize Town Manager execution of same.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Hold Interviews for Vacancies on the Board of Adjustment – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –

There are two Alternate Member positions that are vacant on the Board of Adjustment I recommend the Board schedule a special meeting for October 15th at 6:15 p.m. in order to conduct interviews for the vacancies.

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

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.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


9. Town Manager’s Report

Audit
Already had kickoff meeting with auditor Rives personnel, calendar developed.
Apparently, we are NOT on 2019 Unit Assistance List from Local Government Commission as previously reported. 

Editor’s Note –
Both the Mayor and the Town Manager questioned whether we had ever been on the “list”. Be that as it may, we were contacted by the NC Department of State Treasurer in May of 2019. At that time, we were informed of our inclusion on the 2019 Unit Assistance List. So, I am not sure why the feigned ignorance and implication that we had never been on the “list”.

LWF
LWF crossing bend widener project –
   a)
It was included in the base contract, but the project has to be rebid
   b)
Still waiting for USFW Biological Opinion
.       •
necessary for award and execution of the contract
.    c)
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

Beach Nourishment
Hydrographic Survey to identify locations where we can get more sand from was completed

FEMA / Storm Events
Currently working four (4) federally declared disasters simultaneously

Florence / Michael
FloMike hurricane projects remain stuck in EHP queue

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. 

Matthew / Irene
R
evisions made and submitted

FEMA has denied $180k of Town’s $330k 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.

Dorian
Declaration is still pending, attending FEMA meeting on Wednesday 

Storm Event
Post storm outbrief, discussed issues that need to be addressed in Emergency Plan
Beach strand survey conducted

Sewer System
No issues this time
Best case scenario, it will take at least six (6) hours to get back up and running

Generator
Town Hall genset generator is history
Discussing options – repair cost / noise level / location are all issues being considered

Spoil Area
Dog park was utilized for canal dredging spoil site
We did some site ditching before the storm event to facilitate draining of the pond

Vehicle Decals
Sold like hotcakes the day before storm event
Revenue will exceed budget estimate

New Construction
Eight (8) properties were checked to ensure no negative impact on their setback requirements

Amicus Brief
System Development Fees lawsuit filed on Oak Island
We have filed an Amicus Brief in support of their position
THB will delay activity on our System Development Fees until this has been adjudicated

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

Previously reported – August 2019
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.


10. Mayor’s Comments
The Mayor and the Board all thanked our town employees on a job well done during the storm event. Kudos!

Storm Event
Governor Roy Cooper issued a mandatory evacuation order for all NC barrier islands beginning at 8:00am. E-mail from the Mayor’s Desk stated that there was a mandatory evacuation beginning at 8:00am. Police Officers informed us that it was a mandatory evacuation by 8:00am.

So, beginning at vs. by 8:00am
Big difference!!!

Alan was pretty upset that the Governor declared a mandatory evacuation for Holden Beach. No one in Holden Beach was part of the decision. As far as the government is concerned, beginning at and by are the same thing. We complied with the governors mandatory evacuation and did what we were supposed to do.

 

.

Lots of people here after the mandatory evacuation deadline
Apparently, it was not really clear what was required and when
In disaster situations the key to communication is clarity and we did not have it
Last year the Town kept everyone well informed
This year, not so much


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

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

Previously reported – April 2017
Holden Beach manager gets 38 percent pay hike
After a closed-door session at the end of its March meeting, Holden Beach commissioners announced a significant salary increase for Town Manager David Hewett, upping his annual pay from $98,472 to $136,500. The 38 percent increase, Hewett said, is likely reflective of the fact that he has been working two jobs for the town since his hire in 2008, serving as both manager and financial officer. Neither has he had any merit increases in the last three years.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach manager merits 38-percent raise
Town commissioners unanimously approved a 38-percent pay increase for Holden Beach Town Manager David Hewett following a closed session March 21. The action increases Hewett’s salary from $98,472 to $136,500 annually, town clerk Heather Finnell confirmed Monday. It also now makes him the highest paid municipal manager on the Brunswick County coast, compared with Ocean Isle Beach Town Administrator Daisy Ivey’s $125,000, Bald Head Island Village Manager Chris McCall’s $112,000, Oak Island Town Manager David Kelly’s $107,000 and Sunset Beach Town Administrator Susan Parker’s $98,000 annual salaries.

Following the closed session lasting a little over an hour, commissioners voted to prepare an employment agreement using a form approved by Town Attorney Charlotte Noel Fox and agreed upon by Hewett. Details of Hewett’s new salary terms include an adjustment to a salary of $130,000 with a 5-percent merit raise; a severance package to include one month up to 12 months for each year Hewett is employed by the town; a year of health insurance for Hewett’s family or upon other employment, whichever is sooner; and life insurance to be paid by the town up to three times Hewett’s salary. The terms are retroactive to the February 2017 anniversary from Hewett’s hire date.

Hewett was hired nine years ago as town manager/finance director effective Feb. 1, 2008, at a starting salary of $85,000. The West Brunswick High School graduate and Air Force veteran previously served as town administrator in Caswell Beach and prior to that as town manager for seven years in Leland, where he started his local government career in 1999
Read more » click here

Update –
The Board conducts the Town Manager’s performance review in an Executive Session which the public cannot attend. Effective employee performance review systems require quantifiable metrics to accurately gauge each employee’s performance. The Board determines if the Town Manager has earned a merit increase and the amount, it’s their call. The Board is required to announce the amount of any salary increase in open session.
After all, it is part of the public record and it’s paid for with tax money.

The Board announced that they gave the Town Manager a 2% merit increase based on the performance review.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – February 2019
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
.   • W
e hire new Town Manager and a separate Finance Officer

Stay tuned …

 

 

Who would have thought he would get a raise instead?

 

.


General Comments –

There were twenty (20) members of the community in attendance

The BOC’s October Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, October 15th


I am unable to attend the October meeting.
We are still publishing the October newsletter, albeit a week later than usual.
October newsletter will be posted on Sunday, October 27th



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.

 


Hurricane #1 - CR

 

Hurricane Season
For more information » click here

Be prepared – have a plan!

.


No matter what a storm outlook is for a given year,
vigilance and preparedness is urged.


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