05 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Budget Workshop 04/23/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


Due to coronavirus, the depth and the duration of the economic downturn are extraordinarily uncertain, revenue will be affected. Town Manager Hewett does not expect a major budget hit this fiscal year which ends June 30. However, David anticipates a decline in both property tax and occupancy tax revenue for our next fiscal year potentially creating a huge budget gap. It is pretty hard for them to forecast with so many unknown variables. One of the Town’s largest source of revenue is the occupancy tax, with fewer tourists anticipated there will be less revenue in the pipeline. The sixty-four-dollar question is just how much less revenue to plan for. Local governments must balance their budget, the loss of revenue will need to be addressed by reducing expenses, tapping reserve funds or increasing taxes. None of these options seem particularly good. At this point in time, they are attempting to maintain services at their current level without taking any extreme measures. Since the Town faces unprecedented uncertainty regarding budget revenues  in the coming fiscal year, they may need to amend the budget at some point in the future.

§159-15.  Amendments to the budget ordinance.
Except as otherwise restricted by law, the governing board may amend the budget ordinance at any time after the ordinance’s adoption in any manner, so long as the ordinance, as amended, continues to satisfy the requirements of G.S. 159-8 and 159-13. However, except as otherwise provided in this section, no amendment may increase or reduce a property tax levy or in any manner alter a property taxpayer’s liability, unless the board is ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction, or by a State agency having the power to compel the levy of taxes by the board.

If after July 1 the local government receives revenues that are substantially more or less than the amount anticipated, the governing body may, before January 1 following adoption of the budget, amend the budget ordinance to reduce or increase the property tax levy to account for the unanticipated increase or reduction in revenues.


Holden Beach revisits budget fashioning for wake of COVID-19
“It’s really putting a budget together that’s not going to look much different from last year’s and let’s just see what the numbers show. That’s what it looks like. There’s not many things to take out at this point,” Commissioner Pat Kwiatkowski concluded at the end of the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners special meeting, held on Thursday, April 23. The special meeting was held in regards to the town’s budget workshop. With the current state of affairs, due to coronavirus, Holden Beach has lost six weeks of budget processing time and is facing financial strains. Town Manager David Hewett served alongside the board in his position as Finance Director, guiding them in budgetary action for the approaching fiscal year. Hewett said the town needed to adopt a budget ordinance no later than July 1. Hewett is required to render a budget request to the commissioners no later than June 1 and department heads must submit their revenue projections no later than the end of April. While the board presented goals and objectives prior to the spring season, COVID-19 has created chaos. “By the mere fact that COVID has arrived, many of those objectives have been overcome by that happening,” Hewett said. Hewett fears the tourism revenue will be affected. Waiting for reopening of schools and retails has caused the budget team to play the game of “what ifs” in moving the spreadsheet around. As a result, Hewett advised the board that they would need to make up for the shortfalls of the spread balance.
Read more » click here


Budget Timeline

    • May      Budget Message
    • June      Public Hearing
    • June      Regular BOC’s Meeting Adopt Budget
    • June      Budget adopted no later than July 1st

Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:

      1. Raising taxes
      2. Cutting spending
      3. Operating more efficiently

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

The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st

Commissioners must adopt budget no later than July 1st for the next fiscal year

Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board.


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/30/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Review and Evaluate Status of emergency Operations of the Town – Mayor Holden                    

The Declaration of State of Emergency has been amended again. The Town will immediately open both the public parking and the public accesses to its beach. There are no restrictions of activities on the beach currently in place. The Town will also allow rentals starting on May 8th, the same day the state could enter into phase one of their reopening plan.


North Carolina gets an F in social distancing, data show.
These counties are the worst

North Carolina received a failing grade in social distancing, a study found. The study, done by Unacast, gives each state and the country a grade of A through F, which is updated daily based on three different metrics of social distancing analyzed using location data. North Carolina was one of the nine states to get an F grade on Wednesday. Social distancing has been cited as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19, with experts urging people to stay at least 6 feet apart when out in public. North Carolina residents have been under a stay-at-home order since late March; some businesses have been ordered to close; and other measures to enforce social distancing have been implemented. As of Wednesday afternoon, the state had more than 10,000 confirmed cases and 379 deaths, according to The News & Observer’s count, which includes data from state and county health departments. But North Carolinians still haven’t been practicing social distancing like they should, the study suggests. The three factors analyzed in the study were reduction in average mobility, reduction in non-essential visits and decrease in human encounters. The state saw a 25 to 40% reduction in average mobility, earning it a D grade. It had less than 55% reduction in non-essential visits and a less than 40% decrease in encounters, earning F’s in both categories. Some counties in the state fared better than others. None got an A, but five received a B or B-. Tyrrell County came out on top, the study found. The county is the least populous in the state as of the most recent census data and has only reported four cases of the coronavirus. Other counties that got a B or B- were Camden, Warren, Hyde and Gates counties. All are among the lesser-populated, more rural counties in the state and all had less than 10 reported cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Of the state’s 100 counties, 39 received an F. They include: Guilford, Burke, Wilson, Alexander, Gaston, Iredell, Henderson, Buncombe, Wilkes, Rowan, Cumberland, Onslow, Pasquotank, Forsyth, Cabarrus, Union, Johnston, Catawba, Alamance, Wayne, Nash, Caldwell, Haywood, Brunswick, Lincoln, Richmond, McDowell, Davie, Rutherford, Randolph, Surry, Cleveland, Scotland, Stanly, Lee, Davidson, Harnett, Lenoir and Rockingham. The list includes a mix of more populated and rural counties in the state, but many, including Guilford, Buncombe, Forsyth and Cumberland, are among the states most populated. Rockingham County, which ranked last, has a population of about 91,000 per census data. The county had 25 reported cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, which is 2.75 per 10,000. The counties that ranked in the bottom five, Lee, Davidson, Harnett, Lenoir and Rockingham, all have more than 100 reported COVID-19 cases, with the exception of Lenoir, which has 60. The state’s two most populated counties, Mecklenburg and Wake both received a D. Measuring social distancing isn’t necessarily one size fits all, as the baseline in rural areas is much lower than in heavily populated areas, the study says. So, researchers incorporated the human encounters metric to grade by absolute values instead of change. “What matters is how many people were in the same place at the same time, regardless of how much it changed from the past,” the study says. Most of the states that received an F grade were concentrated in the Southeast. Georgia came out on the bottom, behind South Carolina and North Carolina. Nevada received the best grade, a B-. Overall, the country scored a D.
Read more » click here


State of Emergency – Timeline

05/22/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 141 which is a transition to Phase 2 of a three-part plan to reopen North Carolina amid the coronavirus pandemic went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, May 22. The Governor announced that they are lifting the Stay at Home order and shifting to a Safer at Home recommendation.  Click here to view the Executive Order details.

05/18/20
Public restroom facilities are now open. Click here to view Amendment No. 8. 

This amended declaration shall remain in force until rescinded or amended.

05/08/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 138 to modify North Carolina’s stay-at-home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions. Phase 1of Governor Cooper’s three-part plan to reopen North Carolina amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8. It’s the first step in the state’s gradual return to normalcy. Phase two is expected to begin two to three weeks after phase one, given that certain conditions are met. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

04/30/20
Having consulted in an emergency meeting with the Board of Commissioners, the terms of the State of Emergency have been amended. Highlights include the following: rentals may resume as of May 8th; and public parking and public accesses are open immediately. All other restrictions remain in full force. Click here to view  Amendment No.7.

04/19/20
Item #9 of the existing Town of Holden Beach State of Emergency, which was made effective on April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., shall hereby be rescinded at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. This action will thus allow the beach strand to be open for the purpose of exercise and relaxation. No congregating shall be allowed. All other parts of the current declaration of emergency shall remain in effect. Click here to view Amendment No. 6.

04/08/20
Emergency Management Director, in consultation with the Commissioners, have decided to close the beach strand effective Wednesday, April 8 at 11:59pm. Today’s Amendment No. 5 is being added to the existing Declaration of the State of Emergency. Any person who violates any provision of this declaration or any provision of any Executive Order issued by the Governor shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of sixty days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine per offense.
Click here to view Amendment No. 5.

04/01/20
Town of Holden Beach has declared a State of Emergency, Amendment No. 4 is an attempt to define the purpose of the original declaration more clearly (no new tenancy).
Click here
to view Amendment No. 4.

03/31/20
The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended to coincide with Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order. Click here to view the Amendment No. 3.

03/27/20
Governor Cooper announces Executive Order No. 121, state-wide Stay at Home Order. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

03/27/20
The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended regarding short-term rentals. Click here to view the Amendment No. 2.

03/23/20
The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended regarding prohibitions and restrictions to be implemented within the Town of Holden Beach.
Click here to view the Amendment No. 1.

03/23/20
Mayor Holden, with the consensus of all five commissioners, has declared a State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach. Click here to view the Declaration.

Coronavirus Information
The Town Hall is currently open during normal business hours. All activities, with the exception of Board of Commissioners’ meetings, scheduled in the Town Hall Public Assembly and conference rooms and the Emergency Operations Center conference rooms are canceled until further notice. The Town encourages residents to follow social distancing protocols and to seek communication options like phone, email and other online resources to limit exposure to others.

Brunswick County has developed a dedicated webpage for community assistance. Click here to view their website. Remember to seek the most verified information from sources likes the CDC, NC DHHS and the county regarding the coronavirus. You can contact the Brunswick County Public Health Call Line at (910) 253-2339 Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. You can also email them at coronavirus@brunswickcountync.gov. The NC Public Health Call Line can be reached at 866-462-3821 (open 24/7).

The situation is serious; take it seriously!


BOC’s Regular Meeting 05/19/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Generator for Town Hall –
Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet –
Informal pricing for procurement of a replacement Town hall generator has been obtained from three power production firms. They are Gregory Poole, James River and Western Branch. Categorical costs by vendor for equipment, installation, warranties, and maintenance programs are included in the decision selection matrix at Atch 1.

Subject to Board discussion an appropriate motion would be:
“Approve purchase of generator per (VENDOR NAME) proposal with additional warranty of (TO BE DETERMINED) years/conditions in addition to the specialty maintenance services for Load Bank testing, fuel polishing and the automatic transfer switch as may be appropriate.”

Regardless of which genset configuration is selected there is no requirement for any budgetary action in this current Fiscal Year since adequate funding has already been appropriated; however, due the long lead time for procurement and the lateness in the fiscal year of potential vendor selection the BOC will have to reappropriate  funds in the upcoming budget to comply with the Fiscal Control Act.

Presented with three (3) turn key bids as follows:
#1        James River                             $59,600
#2        Gregory Poole                         $69,650           +16.86%
#3        Western Branch                      $71,794           +20.45%

Previously reported – September 2019
Town Hall genset is history
Discussing options – repair cost / noise level / location are all issues being considered

Previously reported – January 2020
Returned rental to vendor, no budget allocation for backup power generator
Right Angle working on proposal for a permanent solution

A generator set, also known as a genset, is the combination of an electrical generator and an engine mounted together to form a single piece of equipment that produces electrical power. … Generation sets are used in sites that are not connected to the power grid or to supply emergency power when the grid fails.

Editor’s Note –
Why does the Town Hall need a genset?
Don’t we have a genset at the EOC?
Isn’t the EOC where they would be for long term outages like storm events?
These things are not cheap, and we rarely have power outages.

Previously reported – March 2020
Agenda Packet –
Preliminary Engineering Report for Standby Diesel Generator Relocation

Presented with three (3) options as follows:
#1 Near water tank area – 550 feet away $245,650
#2 In the triangle town property – 100 feet away $134,010
#3 At existing location with sound absorbing enclosure $197,400

Town Manager Hewett presented the three options.

Commissioner Murdock took the point and made a very convincing fact-based case that none of these options made sense.

He asked the following questions:
. 1)
Why do we even need a generator for the Town Hall?
.    • THB has
required a power source for less than six (6) hours over the last ten (10) years excluding two (2) storm events
. 2) Why is Town Hall considered a critical facility?
.    • W
e have an Emergency Operation Center that already has a generator
. 3)
If we do require a generator, then why do we need a permanent unit?
.    •
Unit costs a ton of money and we can rent a unit when we need one
. 4)
Why do we need a 300-kilowatt unit?
.    •
BEMC says that a unit a fraction of that size will suffice

Commissioner Sullivan pointed out that there is an exception in our noise ordinance that the government is exempt which represents a $100,000 difference in the cost if we don’t need a sound absorbing enclosure. The Board agreed that the Town Manager needs to do additional legwork and they tasked him with five action items. Everyone recognized the need to be prepared but were not ready to spend a couple hundred thousand without exploring other options.

No decision was made – No action taken

You have to ask: why didn’t our Town manager ask any of these questions? Extremely impressed with Commissioner Murdock who was really prepared and challenged the proposed action. Kudos!

Previously reported – April 2020

Supplemental Agenda Packet » click here

BOC’s Directive
Have the Town Planning and Inspections Director prepare a document that defines what a critical facility is and whether or not Town Hall meets the criteria. Include the citations from government regulations, ordinances, codes etc. that address the classification of a critical facility.

Have the Town Planning and Inspections Director advise the Town Manager and BOC on whether a backup generator or power source must be permanently affixed to the critical facility or, in the alternative, can the backup generator or power source be readily accessible on an as needed basis?

Request Brunswick Electric perform an assessment of the electrical needs for Town Hall including the recommended size of a backup generator.

Based on the findings and recommendations of the Brunswick Electric assessment, and within the legal constraints imposed on purchases, provide information on the cost of electrical equipment that would satisfy the electrical power needs of Town Hall

Town Hall Designation and Generator Requirements
At the 17 March 2020 regular monthly meeting of the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners the following 4 (four) tasks for Town Manager action were set forth (Att. 1) to assist them in evaluating options available related to the purchase of a generator for Town Hall. Each task is enumerated below with its corresponding response. Target completion date was 3 Apr in order to be addressed at the April 21 Board of Commissioners’ meeting.

Task 1.
Have the Town Planning and Inspections Director prepare a document that defines what a critical facility is and whether Town Hall meets the criteria. Include the citations from government regulations, ordinances, codes etc. that address the classification of a critical facility.
Response:
FEMA guidelines specifically talks about the need to consider police stations and structures that are important (i.e., critical) in the recovery of a governmental entity such as a municipality. The criterium for this does not mitigate occupancy during an event but does inclusively state the structure should be considered and prep for the recovery even after reconstitution. The current town hall more than meets those facility requirements. Having those structures in place and protecting them under the town floodplain ordinance is also qualification for points under the CRS program and being prepared for minimum impact and maximum recovery is important under any emergency or natural disaster. The following sources were used to determine the Town Hall as a critical facility, the authority having jurisdiction must use article 708 of the NEC to determine under the Critical operation Guidelines as to whether a building or facility should be classified and wired for Critical operations, one of several of those criteria is natural disasters and the impact of the loss of the facility. As the authority having jurisdiction it was my predecessor’s decision, but I can concur it was the right decision. The second source of requirement is that the local government entity has so designated in the Hazard Mitigation plan that the Town Hall is a Critical Facility and by applying it as such, applied it to the NFIP which in turn looks at it has a point critical component of re-constitution.

Task 2.
Have the Town Planning and Inspections Director advise the Town Manager and BOC on whether a backup generator or power source must be permanently affixed to the critical facility or, in the alternative, can the backup generator or power source be readily accessible on an as needed basis?
Response:
The Town hall was designated as a critical facility based on the current definition as established under FEMA guidelines and by doing so the structure was designed to accommodate the very worst-case scenario by the designing architect and engineers (Stewart Cooper Newell), who specifically designed such for both FEMA and the North Carolina Building Code/ National Electrical Code requirements.

North Carolina Building Code requirements requires that the life safety equipment, egress lights and egress components and Fire Apparatus be fully functional in the absence of primary power. Chapter 32 of the North Carolina Building code specifically states accessible egress elevators must have emergency backup power­and while this could be achieved by some alternate means – the egress lights and fire safety equipment must also be considered

The engineers who originally designed the structure designed it based on the critical facility criterion and made the entire structure, as was required under the North Carolina NEC, to comply with the backup power requirements. In a nutshell the entire electrical system within its main components cannot be rewired without tremendous cost to accommodate just the life safety equipment if the Town so chooses to remove the critical facility designation. This course of action would require a complete rework of the electrical components and would not be cost effective, and under the NEC and COPS criteria would require my approval acting in the Capacity of the Chief Building Official. So yes, the generator must be permanently attached to the Structure.

Task 3.
Request Brunswick Electric perform an assessment of the electrical needs for Town Hall including the recommended size of a backup generator.
Response:
In the process of gathering the information for the commissioners, staff engaged with two electrical engineers (Debra Fish- BEMCO and Allen Cribb- CBHF Engineers, PLLC) and spoke with the original designer of the structure. Mr. Cribb’s written analysis is at Att. 2. Both outside engineers and I reviewed the electrical load over a three-year period and concluded that the maximum usage provided indicated that the generator is oversized considerably. Two engineering firms and two separate generator companies’ evaluations indicated that a 50 percent reduction in the original generator design would be more indicative of the electrical loads applied for a critical facility under the National Electrical Code.

Task 4.
Based on the findings and recommendations of the Brunswick Electric assessment, and within the legal constraints imposed on purchases, provide information on the cost of electrical equipment that would satisfy the electrical power needs of Town Hall.
Response
Informal solicitations have been acquired that indicate that a generator of sufficient size can be acquired and installed turn key with necessary replacement of the transfer switch for less than $1OOK. Lead times can take up to 12 weeks or longer to acquire the power plant and equipment with installation subject to labor availability. Currently the Town is being supplied back up power capability via a rental 150 kw genset costing approximately $3000/month and which has been procured for 10 more weeks as of this writing.

Town Planning and Inspections Director Tim Evans handled this agenda item, briefly covering the supplemental agenda packet material. Abridged version is that Town Hall should be designated as a critical facility and Timbo explained why.

Takeaways:

    1. A fifty (50) percent reduction in the original generator design would be adequate
    2. A generator of sufficient size can be acquired and installed turn key for less than $100,000
      * Board made an allocation of funds totaling $209,818 for genset replacement
    3. Currently back up power capability via a rental 150 kw genset costing approximately $3,000/month

Allocation of funds was not an appropriation; Town Manager still needs authorization before funds can be spent. David requested that they allow him to procure generator, in other words delegate contract authority to him. At least some of the Board were not having any part of that and instructed him to present the bids to them for approval as it should be.

Update –
Previously Town Manager Hewitt has said that they were not required to accept the recommendation or the lowest bid as long as they select a vendor that was responsive to the bid request. Due to the sense of urgency the informal pricing proposals were difficult to compare apples to apples.
The Board requested the Town Manager get additional information so a decision could be made at the next scheduled Budget Workshop meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken


2. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Hold a Public Hearing on the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2020 – 2021 – Town Clerk Finnell

 Agenda Packet –
The Board is required to hold a public hearing prior to adopting  the budget.
Staff recommends  the Board schedule the public hearing to be held on June  16th at 7:00 p.m.

A Budget Workshop was scheduled for Thursday, May 28th
Public Hearing is scheduled at the beginning of the BOC’s June Regular Meeting
Because of pandemic restrictions they cannot enact the budget for at least twenty-four (24) hours after Public Hearing

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously


3. Police Report 

Police Patch
It’s the beginning of the busy season on Holden Beach
Memorial Day is the official kickoff for the 100 fun days of summer


Public Safety Announcement

The Police Department would like to remind everyone that it is important to protect your personal property. Remove all items of value from your vehicle when you are not driving it. Always lock your vehicle doors when you are not in it. Leaving items on display, whether on the dashboard or sitting on a passenger seat, is an invitation to opportunist individuals. Make sure to follow these important tips!


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


Pets on the beach strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / §90.20
Pets must be on a leash at all times on the island.
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.


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



Police Department Staffing
.

Previously reported – March 2020
Classification and Pay Plan – implemented
Management and Personnel Services Group

Option 1 –
Employee salaries are placed in the range to meet the following criteria:

    • At least to the new hiring rate for the recommended salary grade for employees who have not completed probation
    • At least to the minimum of the range for employees who have passed probation
    • 1% per year of service above the minimum for employees who have been employed more than 1 year

The Pay Plan ostensibly was supposed to make compensation competitive and address inequities. MAPS claimed that making our compensation competitive was supposed to help with employee retention. Yet our most at-risk employees leaving are our Police Officers who can pretty much get a job almost anywhere else in Brunswick County for more money. None of the officers are getting paid adequately based on the criteria set in Option 1.

Two of the three officers below the hiring rate / minimum
have already tendered their resignations

Current budget covers only eight (8) officers which are really not adequate to meet our needs. Most homeowners are under the misconception that we have two police officers on duty at all times; in order to provide that level of service we would need thirteen (13) officers. In addition, when we benchmark off of the surrounding beach communities, we are grossly understaffed particularly during tourist season. The Police in order to be effective need to have high visibility with an increased presence, especially during prime tourist season, to enforce ordinances and to ensure the public safety.

Let’s see The Town of Holden Beach has 575 permanent residents and employs eight (8) full-time officers and zero (0) part time officers. By contrast, The Town of Ocean Isle Beach has 554 permanent residents and employs thirteen (13) full-time officers and ten (10) to fifteen (15) part-time officers during the season on beach patrol.

Which police force do you think is able to provide a safe,
friendly environment for everyone?

Update –
While the police department currently has eight (8) officers it’s a temporary situation

    • officer has tendered their resignation leaving before prime tourist season
    • officer temporarily reinstated leaving some time during tourist season
    • officer on administrative duty and will be leaving for medical reasons

So that brings us down to five (5) officers not even taking into account any unforeseen events like accidents or sickness.

This is a dangerous situation for all parties – officer, residents, and tourists


  • 4. Town Manager’s Report

Inlet Hazard Area
Submitted Town’s positions to the Coastal Resource Commission (CRC)
ATM our coastal consulting engineer provided a technical memo to support our position
Meetings have been canceled; everything has been tabled for the time being

Personnel
Edwin Roman one of our police officers has tendered his resignation
.      * resignation
effective date is the end of June

Sewer Lift Station #3
Progress meeting scheduled for next week

Roadway Work
Highland Paving was awarded the $112,500 contract for the BAW project
Paving work has been completed  

LWF Inlet Navigation Maintenance Project
Inlet crossing maintenance project dredging sidecaster operations were completed
Hopper dredging status is unknown at this time

FEMA /  COVID-19
Submitted overtime and equipment Cat B reimbursement request for $20,000 
Previously submitted supplies and materials reimbursement request for $42,000

FEMA / Storm Events
Total Cat G beach nourishment funding is now close to $40 million dollars
Five projects in play, full time administrative effort is ongoing
Not helping the situation, we are on our eighth FEMA Project Manager

Dorian
Federal declaration was made for Hurricane Dorian that includes coastal communities in Brunswick County.
Town has estimated approximately $14.9mm for Cat G FEMA reimbursements. We are awaiting approval of the Project Worksheet.

Beach Nourishment
Previously reported – January 2020
The sand search continues.  The hydrography survey and vibracores have been completed. However, we were told that an archeological side beam scan is required before we can submit for permit modification. Offshore investigation is moving forward expecting that it will be completed soon.

Previously reported – February 2020
Surveyor left for another opportunity, so we had to source a second surveyor
Work should be completed by the end of February
We need to submit permit revisions by the end of April

Previously reported – April 2020
Bad weather has compromised bathymetry, the measurement of depth of water
Now looking at May / June completion date

Update –
Working on requirements for archeological survey
Plan to submit permit sometime in June

Special Obligation Bond Legislation
Previously reported – April 2020
Enabling legislation has been inadvertently removed
Efforts are being made to reinstitute that capability
We both want and need it, this is important to us

Legislative Error Wipes Out Bond Program
Coastal officials said a legislative error last year eliminated a key funding mechanism for beach renourishment and other public projects, which if not fixed could have a big impact on future plans. Last June, in a unanimous vote in both chambers, the North Carolina General Assembly passed Senate Bill 381, Reconstitute and Clarify Boards and Commissions, a rewrite of laws for a handful of state boards and commissions affected by a successful executive branch legal challenge to having boards with a majority of legislative appointments. Tucked into the 14-page bill was a one-sentence repeal of Chapter 159I of the state’s general statutes. The repeal eliminated as intended an obsolete board that was in part of the chapter law, but it also deleted authorization for municipalities to use special obligation bonds to finance projects in several categories, including beach renourishment, landfills, transportation, water and wastewater projects, and downtown improvements.

At least one sponsor of last year’s bill said he will work on a fix when the legislature returns at the end of the month for its short session. “The repeal of special obligation bonds was not my intent in sponsoring S381 last year,” Mike Woodard, D-Durham, wrote in an email to Coastal Review Online. “I will work with our local governments to fix this situation when the short session begins.” A legislative staff reply to Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, who asked about the change, also said the change appeared to have been “inadvertent and unintended,” according to an email from McGrady. Scott Mooneyham, director of political communications and coordination for the North Carolina League of Municipalities, said a fix should happen soon. “Given that the repeal appears inadvertent, we would hope that the General Assembly restores the authority as soon as possible,” he said. “This financing is critical when it comes to large capital projects like beach renourishment and solid waste facilities.”
Read more » click here

Update –
Legislative error is in the process of being corrected

Annual Beach Survey Monitoring
East Coast Engineering survey has been completed
ATM will be working on the analytics and present report this fall

Tropical Storm Arthur
The tropical storm had minimal impact to the beach strand

Concerts
Based on guidelines for gatherings, the first two concerts of the season have been rescheduled for a TBD date later in the season. Any additional schedule changes will be communicated at a later time.  

Spoil Area
Previously reported – January 2020
Dog park was utilized for canal dredging spoil site. We did some site ditching prior to Hurricane Dorian storm event to facilitate draining of the pond.

Intent is to reestablish pre-dredge capabilities which in order of priority are as follows:

      • Permitted primary disaster debris management area
      • Public Works lay down yard
      • Dog Park
  • Must maintain compliance with environmental permit and monitoring
    Safety is the priority for this site, at present it is not ready for use
  • .
    Update –
    Site is continuing to drain and dry out, vegetation is growing on the berm
    Spoil area is still not ready for use yet


    In Case You Missed It –

    Pets on the Beach

    Pets are not allowed on the beach from May 20th to September 10th, except between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. daily.

    Waste Industries Service
    Solid Waste Pick-up Schedulestarting May 23rd  twice a week
    Recycling – starting May 26th weekly pick-up

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

    They are located as follows:

    • Two are at the far east end
    • One is at sewer lift station by Greensboro
    • One is at sewer lift station just before the 800 block


    HB Bridge Safety Railing Project
    Contract was awarded October 29, 2018
    C
    ompletion date for the contract to be October 1, 2019
    Work on the bridge safety railing has been delayed
    COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in delayed fabrication and delivery of the rail
    Work is scheduled to resume on June 15th. 

    BEMC
    Previously reported – December 2019
    They notified us of a rate hike, scheduled with effective date of April 1, 2020
    This is the first-rate hike in ten (10) years
    It will impact our budget, primarily sewer utility bills
    This will need to be addressed during the budget process
    Due to pandemic this has been postponed to June 1, 2020

    Holden Beach home destroyed in fire
    Multiple fire departments and police responded to the call at 1018 Ocean Boulevard West  shortly before noon on Monday, May 11. One home was completely destroyed and the homes on each side of it were also damaged by the fire. There were also some small grass fires nearby from the ashes and embers. According to Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon, the house was not occupied at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation but hasn’t been determined yet.


5. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute

Executive Session Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(A)(6) to Discuss Qualifications, Competence, Performance of a Public Officer or Employee – Commissioner Tyner

Executive Session Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 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 – Commissioner Tyner

No decision was made – No action taken


General Comments –

Due to the Town of Holden Beach’s State of Emergency Restrictions and Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order, in person public attendance is prohibited. The meeting will be livestreamed on the Town’s Facebook page. Visit https://www.facebook.com/holdenbeachtownhall/ to watch the livestream.


Loose Ends (17)

        • Development Fees                                                                   June 2018      
        • Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy                                January 2019
        • Fee Based Rollout of Containers                                          January 2019
        • Commercial District                                                              February 2019
        • Land Use Plan                                                                        October 2019             
        • Parking                                                                                    October 2019             
        • Mega-Houses / Zoning                                                          October 2019 
        • Audit Remedial Policies & Procedures                               November 2019         
        • Dog Park                                                                                  January 2020
        • 796 OBW                                                                                  January 2020
        • Rules of Procedure                                                                February 2020
        • Speed Limit                                                                             February 2020
        • IBPD – Dune Protection Game Plan                                    February 2020          
        • Staggered Terms                                                                    March 2020    
        • BOC’s Objectives                                                                    March 2020
        • Beach Patrol                                                                           April 2020
        • VRBO Action Plans                                                                April 2020
                                    


Well I am just mortified that our website worked intermittently on the day we sent e-mail saying,  “This month’s edition of Lou’s Views newsletter is available now!”. Please accept my humble apology for any inconvenience that this may have caused you. Just so you know, you can go to the website https://lousviews.com/ whenever you want, e-mail is simply a reminder that we have updated the monthly posts.


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BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, June 16th

 


Hurricane #1 - CR

 

Hurricane Season
For more information » click here

Be prepared – have a plan!

.

.

Busy Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2020
Multiple climate factors indicate above-normal activity is most likely
An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
Read more » click here


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


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