05 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments

BOC’s Special Meeting 05/07/21

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here

1. Discussion and Possible Action on Resolution 21-06, Assessment Resolution to Improve the Existing Soil Roadway of Seagull Drive

Formal step, action required to move forward with the paving of Seagull Drive

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

2. Budget Workshop

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

BOC’s Special Meeting 05/20/21

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here

1. Presentation & Possible Action on Paid Parking – Mayor Pro Tem Brown and Commissioner Murdock

Previously reported – March 2021
Almost all the public comments were against public parking in residential areas. Although there was a consensus that paid parking in commercial zones is an acceptable option. The committee met with two vendors that offer paid parking options. Both vendors offer one stop shopping, like a smorgasbord we can pick and choose what we want them to do including having them manage all elements of the program. The billing is based on a unique identifier, the vehicle license plate number. Payment can be made by text, their app or by calling them. Fees can be adjusted based on things loke activity, date, or location. Incredibly paid parking could be implemented everywhere on the island including in the rights-of-way. At first blush, this appears to potentially be a significant revenue stream for the Town.

Previously reported – April 2021
Agenda Packet –
Parking Committee Meeting 03/05/21
The committee listened to a presentation from Jim Varner and Emily Irons of Otto Connect. Mr. Varner answered questions from the committee. Mr. Varner said he could prepare estimates/pricing model for the committee. Inspections Director Evans said there are 219 -226 permanent spaces. Some of those are in the DOT ROW and not on Town property. Commissioner Murdock wants to know what number of spaces makes it viable to utilize paid parking. Mr. Varner talked about required parking for receiving federal funds for beach nourishment.

Tim Hoppenrath from Premium Parking presented information on his company. He answered questions after the presentation. Mr. Hoppenrath will send a proposal. He mentioned the possibility of his company contributing towards the purchase of land for parking.

Chief Dixon said he spoke with a representative from Wildlife. They said the purpose of the ramp is for launching and recovery of water vessels. It has 15 spaces, one being handicap. Parking is on a first come­ first serve basis.

Premium Parking Presentation
For more information » click here

Otto Connect Presentation
For more information » click here

Brian discussed the two (2) paid parking presentations/proposals. The programs are very flexible and can be tailored to what we want. Paid parking has the potential to be a significant revenue stream for the Town and help offset the numerous costs we incur from the daily influx of day trippers. Commissioner Sullivan stated that we need to determine how this will work and then how we will communicate that to the public.

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
The Board recognizes that there is a need for additional parking. But they do not want to burden our property owners with the cost of providing parking. Paid parking can provide a significant revenue stream and could recoup a lot of the expenses we currently incur. They acknowledged it does makes sense to pursue paid parking. A series of things need to be accomplished making it unlikely that they can get it done for this summer. They authorized the Town Manager to put out a Request for Proposal for paid parking. Currently there are restrictions on how you can spend funds if they are not off-street parking spots. Therefore they also authorized David to explore requesting special legislation in order to allow us to use street parking spots funds for other purposes then current legislation permits.

BOC’s Special Meeting 05/21/21

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here

1. Budget Workshop

Major takeaways –
Plan to address standing water issues on OBW before DOT bike lane project starts

Police Chief can either upgrade communications network or integrate car and body camera equipment

Bike lanes included in Capital Improvement Plan as well as in the budget

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 Public Hearing / Regular Meeting 05/18/21

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here

BOC’s Public Hearing

PUBLIC HEARING: Draft System Development Fees Report

Draft SDF Report

Raftelis representative that prepared the analysis briefly explained why they did it the way they did it.  She pointed out that this was the maximum amount allowed, the Board determines what fees  they choose to adopt. The System Development Fee is a onetime fee for new customers only and is calculated based on the number of bedrooms.

Public Comments –
Elaine Jordan, general counsel for The Coastal Companies, questioned the methodology that they used

BOC’s Regular Meeting 

1. Public Comments on Agenda/General Items

They received just two (2) comments which are posted online at the Town’s website
For more information » click here

2. Discussion and Possible Action on the Draft System Development Fees Report (Cannot Adopt until 24 hours after Public Hearing) – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –

Draft SDF Report

Draft System Development Fees Report Public Hearing
The required public hearing for the Draft System Development Fees Report is scheduled for the start of the May Regular Meeting.

Due to the requirements that we are currently following for public hearings, the Board needs to wait 24 hours from the date/time of the public hearing prior to adopting the report. Once the 24 hours expires, the Board can consider adopting the proposed report.

The report does not determine the rates the Town charges for the fees. It establishes the maximum rates the Town is able to charge. After the report is adopted, the Board can decide if they would like to amend the rates currently in place.

If the Board desires to consider adopting the proposed report, staff recommends it be placed on the June agenda.

Commissioner Kwiatkowski submitted the following comparisons:

Below are some single-family dwelling development fees for nearby municipalities
.     • from current fee schedules posted on town websites

Shallotte: ERU defined as 3 BR
Water System: $1,212

Sewer System: $4,550

This is approximately 56% of the maximum allowable ($10,229 combined) based on their 2018 McGill report

Oak Island:
Water System: based on tap size; $592 for ¾”, capacity factor based on maximum flow criteria of the AWWA

Sewer System: $2,642 for first 4 BR, $1,500 for each habitable room after

Ocean Isle: assuming ERU of 3 BR
Water System: 4.42 GPD, equivalent to $1,769 assuming demand of 400GPD

Sewer System: 2.03 GPD, equivalent to $732 assuming demand of 360GPD

This is approximately 60% of the maximum allowable ($4,165 combined; $2,948 W, $1,217 S) based on their 2018 McGill report

Previously reported – February 2021
Draft System Development Fees Report
Calculation of Water and Sewer System Development Fees for FY2022
Agenda Packet –
The System Development Report herein has been developed by Raftelis in accordance with Board direction to develop an update prior to the expiration of its five-year shelf life. Representatives from Raftelis will provide an introductory review of the report for the Board in addition to outlining the statutory process for consideration and adoption.

Draft System Development Fee Report
The Town, like Brunswick County, has chosen to assess its system development fee for its customers based on the number of bedrooms.

Step 5 – Scale the System Development Fees for Various Categories of Demand
The system development fees for various bedroom sizes were calculated by multiplying the system development fee for one bedroom by the number of bedrooms. The resulting water and sewer system development fees for up to 4 bedrooms are shown in Table 7.

Table 7. Water and Sewer System Development Fees by Bedroom
Bedroom Size     Water Fee      Sewer Fee      Total Fee
1 Bedroom            $960                 $2,240               $3,200
2 Bedrooms          $1,920              $4,480               $6,400
3 Bedrooms          $2,880              $6,720               $9,600
4 Bedrooms          $3,840              $8,960               $12,800

The water and sewer system development fees shown represent the maximum cost justified level of system development fees that can be assessed by the Town.

Schedule 3: Summary of Current and Proposed System Development
Total System Development Fee
Bedroom Size            Current Fee     Proposed Fee     Difference $     Difference %
Cost 1 Bedroom         $2,800              $3,200                  $400                   14%
Cost 2 Bedrooms       $5,600              $6,400                  $800                   14%
Cost 3 Bedrooms       $8,400              $9,600                  $1,200                14%
Cost 4 Bedrooms       $11,200            $12,800                $1,600                14%

This is just the introduction of the draft report educating the public on how this process works. Mihaela briefly reviewed how we got here and also pointed out that this report will need to be done every five (5) years. She went step by step, explaining the methodology used which is how they determined the proposed rate for new construction. The Town has chosen to assess its system development fee for its customers based on the number of bedrooms. The water and sewer system development fees shown in Schedule 3 represent the maximum cost justified level of system development fees that can be assessed by the Town. Compared to the original McGill Associates study this represents a fairly modest fee schedule change. Just to be clear, the proposed fee schedule does not impact current homeowners just new development.

Previously reported – April 2021
Agenda Packet –
Draft System Development Fees Report Public Hearing
The draft System Development Fees Report has been published for comments for a period of 45 days as required by law. Input was solicited via the Town’s Electronic Newsletter on February 23rd and March 23rd. Prior to considering the adoption the report, the Board must hold a public hearing.

Staff suggests the Board schedule a public hearing on May 18th at 5:00 p.m. (next Regular Board of Commissioners’ meeting). Mihaela Coopersmith from Raftelis is available to attend the hearing if it is schedule for May 18th.

Motion was made to have a Public Hearing at next month’s BOC’s Regular Meeting which is scheduled on May 18th

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Development Fees

There has been no discussion about what their intentions are. I would have expected this to have been kicked around a bit before they take any action.

Update –
David said there are three issues that potentially will impact this issue. The Town staff will need additional time to develop a recommended fee structure. They can approve the report but should not consider an effective date until October. The Board decided to put it on the June meeting agenda at which time they will consider approving the report.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

3. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
Memorial Day is the official kickoff for the 100 fun days of summer
Briefly reviewed applicable seasonal ordinances
Reminded everyone its Hurricane Season – be prepared, have a plan!
olf carts is being addressed as a priority in order to keep people safe

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

Pets on the beach strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / §90.20
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.

(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.

4. Discussion and Possible Selection of Members for the Parking Committee –Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
The Board agreed to add two volunteers to the Parking Committee at the April Meeting. The following people are interested in serving on the committee.

The Board can vote by ballot or verbally to fill the positions. If ballots are used, please make sure to sign your name on the ballot.

There were fifteen (15) applicants to fill the two (2) additional members added to the parking committee last meeting. Three people wound up with the same number of votes. The Board decided to add three (3) positions to the committee. The Board voted by ballot and selected Page Dyer, Rick Paarfus, and Dina Hamad-Smitherman to join the parking committee.

Pleasantly surprised that fifteen (15) people volunteered to be on this committee

5. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 21-10, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances to Comply with Requirements of Chapter 160D of the North Carolina General Statutes – Inspections Director Evans
Scheduling of a Date to Hold a Public Hearing

Agenda Packet –
Ordinance 21-10

The new Chapter 160D of the NC General Statutes consolidates current city- and county-enabling statutes for development regulations (now in Chapters 153A and 160A) into a single, unified chapter . Chapter 160D places these statutes into a more logical, coherent organization. While the new law does not make major policy changes or shifts in the scope of authority granted to local governments, it does provide many clarifying amendments and consensus reforms that will need to be incorporated into local development regulations.

Chapter 160D is effective now, but local governments have until July 1, 2021 for the development, consideration, and adoption of necessary amendments to conform local ordinances to this new law. All city and county zoning, subdivision, and other development regulations, including unified-development ordinances, will need to be updated by that date to conform to the new law. Cities and counties that have zoning ordinances must have an up-to-date comprehensive plan or land use plan by July 1, 2022.

Town of Holden Beach Planning & Zoning Board
Statement of Consistency and Zoning Recommendation

 The Town of Holden Beach Planning & Zoning Board has reviewed and hereby recommends approval of amendments to Chapter 157 of the Zoning Ordinance as required by NC General Statutes Chapter 160D, S.L. 2019-111 and as amended by S.L. 2020-25.

After review, the Planning and Zoning Board has found that the recommended amendment is consistent with the adopted CAMA Land Use Plan and is considered reasonable and in the public interest for the following reasons.

    • The amendment is Chapter 160D is effective now, but local governments have until July 1, 2021, for the development, consideration , and adoption of necessary amendments to conform local ordinances to the new law.
    • Chapter 5: Land Use and Growth and Chapter 6: Tools for Development of the adopted Plan  references the Town of Holden Beach Zoning Code and Subdivision Regulations which are further clarified in Chapter   160D.
    • It will promote public health, safety, and general welfare within our community by clarifying conflicts of interest for staff, the governing board, and the appointed

Upon approval by the Board of Commissioners the Comprehensive Plan will be deemed amended and shall not require any additional request or application  for amendment.

The statement and motion were adopted by a 5-0 vote this 27th day of April 2021.

Vicki Myers – Chair

Update –
Timbo explained that the  legislation makes development regulation more uniform across the state. Staff has made the necessary changes to comply. It was already submitted and approved by both our town attorney and the Planning & Zoning Board. A Public Hearing needs to be scheduled before ordinance can be adopted. They scheduled the Public Hearing prior to the next Regular Meeting.

6. Discussion and Possible Selection of Engineering Firm for Engineering Design and Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System Station #2 Upgrade – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet –
The Town solicited Statements of Qualifications for the planning, design, permitting, bidding, and construction services related to the improvements to Lift Station 2.

Statements of Qualifications  were due on May 7th. We received  one from Green Engineering  (Attachment I ). According to Article 3D, Section l43-64.31 of the  North Carolina General Statutes, firms should be selected based on being qualified to provide services on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualification  for the type of professional  services needed.

Green Engineering is the engineering firm the Town used for the two previously completed lift stations. Staff feels they meet the requirements in Article 3D and recommend  the Board approve selecting Green Engineering for engineering services for Lift Station 2. A contract would be negotiated after selection of a firm.

Update –
Chris stated he was satisfied with Green Engineering who completed the last two lift station upgrades and recommended selecting them for this project too. The Board approved selecting Green Engineering.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

7. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 21-12, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 20-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2020 –2021 (Amendment No. 13) – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
Division Coastal Management (DCM) added native beach and large sediment sampling criteria to its beach nourishment rules and regulations. Following the announcement of the change, the Town worked with DCM to apply for grant funding. We received notification of funding in the amount of $6,000 and a fully executed contract from the state. We need to recognize the funds in this budget year as the sampling is now a permit condition in the recently issued CAMA permit for the upcoming project.

Suggested Motion: Approval of Budget Amendment 21-12, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 20-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2020 -2021 (Amendment No. 13).

Update –
Sedimentation characterization grant required as one of the conditions for beach nourishment permit. We applied for a $6,000 grant and was awarded that amount, which does not require any matching funds. This also needs to be recognized with the budget amendment proposed.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

8. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 21-11, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 20-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2020 –2021 (Amendment No. 12, Isaias) – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
The attached budget amendment (Attachment I ) in the amount of $3,838,038, recognizes FEMA Cat G (Recreation/Beach) grant funds as related to Isaias. The storm caused a loss of approximately 67,438 cy of sand; 320,000 dune plants and 24,000 feet of sand fence. The funds will be housed in Fund 70, the special project fund for FEMA events.

Suggested Motion: Approval of Budget Amendment 21-11, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 20-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2020 -2021 (Amendment No. 12).

Moved funds of $3,838,038
From Revenue account #70.0323.0000 to Expense account#70.0460.2700

The size and scope of FEMA projects, necessitate the establishment of a separate capital grants project budget. Strictly housekeeping, money is to be set aside in separate funds.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

9. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 21-09, Resolution Directing the Application to the Local Government Commission for Approval of a Special Obligation Bond, Requesting Local Government Approval of the Town’s Special Obligation Bond, and Certain Related Matters–Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
The attached resolution (Attachment l ), prepared by our bond attorney firm, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP, is necessary to direct application to the Local Government Commission (LGC) for approval of a special obligation bond and requesting LGC approval of the town’s special obligation bond and certain related matters. The FEMA reimbursement grant for storm damage repair for four storms: Florence, Michael, Dorian, and Isaias is administered to the town on a reimbursement basis. The town will need to obtain bridge loan financing to construct the project and then make submissions for reimbursement through FEMA. This financing effort necessitates LGC approval.


Suggested Motion: Approval of Resolution #21-09, directing application to the Local Government Commission for approval of a special obligation bond, requesting Local Government Commission approval of a special obligation bond and certain related matters.

Update –
For the four (4) storm events, FEMA does a reimbursement for the storm damage repair project. That means that we will need to obtain a special obligation bond, which is essentially a bridge loan, for the interim. This also requires the Local Government Commission approval. This resolution is just part of the process to do that.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

10. Discussion and Possible Action on Post Disaster FEMA Debris Pickup in Gated Communities –Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
FEMA requires the Applicant to monitor all contracted debris operations to ensure that the quantities and work claimed are accurate and eligible. This includes documenting debris quantities by types, quantities reduced, reduction methods, and pickup and disposal locations. If the Applicant does not monitor contracted debris removal operations, it jeopardizes its PA funding for that work.

The Applicant may use force account resources (including temporary hires), contractors, or a combination of these for monitoring. It is not necessary, or cost-effective, to have Professional Engineers or other certified professionals perform debris monitoring duties. FEMA considers costs unreasonable when associated with the use of staff that are more highly qualified than necessary for the associated work. If the Applicant uses staff with professional qualifications to conduct debris monitoring, it must document the reason it needed staff with those qualifications .

FEMA provides training to the Applicant’s force account debris monitors (including its temporary hires) upon request.

Eligible activities associated with debris monitoring include, but are not limited to:

    • Field supervisory oversight ;
    • Monitoring contracted debris removal at both the loading and disposal sites
    • Compiling documentation, such as load tickets and monitor reports, to substantiate eligible debris; and
    • Training debris monitors on debris removal operations, monitoring responsibilities and documentation processes, and FEMA debris eligibility

Debris Removal from Private Property
Debris removal from private property (PPDR) is the responsibility of the property owner and is usually ineligible under the PA Program. In limited circumstances, based on the severity of the impact of an incident and whether debris on private property is so widespread that it threatens public health and safety or the economic recovery of the community, FEMA may determine that debris removal from private property is eligible under the PA Program. In such cases, FEMA works with the SLTT governments to designate specific areas where debris removal from private property, including private waterways, is eligible. The debris removal must be in the public interest, not merely benefiting an individual or a limited group of individuals. Figure 11. Debris on Private Property is an example of the level of debris impacts that may warrant FEMA assistance for PPDR.

Approval Process
The Applicant must submit a written request to FEMA identifying the specific properties or areas of properties where private property debris removal activities will occur. Once FEMA receives the request, it engages with the Recipient and Applicant to review the request and conduct site inspections. With exception of debris removal from commercial property, the Applicant does not need to wait for FEMA approval to start work. However, for the Applicant to receive PA funding, FEMA must determine that the PPDR work at each property is eligible.

FEMA only approves PA funding for PPDR if the Applicant demonstrates all of the following with sufficient  documentation:

    • Legal Authority and Indemnification
    • Public Interest

FEMA evaluates the submission to determine if it concurs that PPDR is in the public interest and provides a written response specifying any properties or area of properties for which it approves funding for debris removal.

Removal from Private Roads
Private roads are those that are not owned or operated by or otherwise the legal responsibility of a Federal or SLTT entity (including orphan roads, roads in gated communities, homeowners’ association roads, etc.). If the public has unrestricted access (no locks, gates, or guards) and frequently uses the private road, then removal and disposal of the debris, including debris placed at the curbside by residents, is in the public interest and the Applicant is not required to submit documentation demonstrating the debris removal is in the public interest. This does not include debris on private driveways or parking lots. It also does not include removal and disposal activities from private roads in areas with restricted access (roads behind locks, gates, or guards) or private roads that are unrestricted but rarely used by the public. The Applicant must provide further documentation to establish that removal is in the public interest in these areas and, though not required, Applicants should consider obtaining approval from FEMA prior to starting removal and disposal. Debris clearance (push or cut and toss) for emergency access may be eligible as Category B work if it meets the criteria in Chapter 7:11.J.Emergency Access.

 Removal from Private Residential Property
Debris removal from residential property is usually not in the public interest because the debris does not typically present an immediate health and safety threat to the general public. If the incident generates debris quantities and/or types of debris on residential property that is so widespread or of such magnitude that it creates an immediate threat to public health and safety, debris removal may be in the public interest. To determine if removal of debris from private residential property is in the public interest, FEMA evaluates the public health determination (see Chapter 7:1.E.l(b). Public  Interest, and will  consider:

    • Whether the debris is located in open areas accessible to the public (e.g., in a yard with no fence barrier next to a public sidewalk), located in maintained areas, or creating a health and safety hazard (such as a rodent infestation);
    • Volume of debris;
    • Height of debris;
    • Number of houses and blocks with large volumes of debris; and
    • Amount of the public population affected.

Given these additional considerations, Applicants should consider obtaining approval from FEMA prior to starting work.

Removal from Commercial Property (Requires FEMA’s Pre-approval)
Removal of debris from commercial properties, such as industrial parks, golf courses, cemeteries, apartments, condominiums, and trailer parks is generally ineligible because commercial enterprises are expected to retain insurance that covers debris removal. In very limited, extraordinary circumstances, FEMA may provide an exception . In such cases, the Applicant must meet the requirements of Chapter 7:1.E.l . Approval Process and FEMA must approve the work prior to the Applicant removing the debris.

Duplication of Benefits
The Applicant needs to work with private property owners to pursue and recover insurance proceeds and credit FEMA the Federal share of any insurance proceeds received. In some circumstances, FEMA may provide IA assistance to individuals for debris removal; consequently, FEMA PA staff coordinate closely with IA staff to ensure FEMA does not fund the same work under both programs.

Update –
Last year they had discussions about picking up debris on the west end gated community which did not qualify for FEMA reimbursement. Pat is just exploring if it is possible to get reimbursement from FEMA for our gated communities. FEMA does not normally reimburse municipalities for debris pickups made in gated communities. Apparently the first step is to get a written agreement from the gated communities giving the Town permission to provide this service. In order to apply for reimbursement, legal contracts are needed. Documentation would be ready in case we have to; it does not necessarily mean that the Town will provide this service. The motion is to get the contracts completed prior to the next storm event. They authorized the Town Manager to explore getting a legal contract in place.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

11. Discussion and Possible Action on What Comprises a Citizen Complaint Based on Holden Beach Code of Ordinances Chapters 50 (Solid Waste), 72 (Parking Regulations), 92 (Nuisances), 94 (Beach Regulations) and Sections 95.05 (Street Rights-of-Way), 157.081 (Visibility at Intersections) and 130.30 –130.31 (Littering Provisions)

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Update –
Pat asked that they clarify protocols for a citizen complaint on the above listed ordinances. She wants the public to understand what they need to do and when they can expect a response. The Town Manager said that complaints are handled at the discretion of the department heads. The instruction given to the community is to send all complaints to the Town Clerk Heather Finell at heather@hbtownhall.com; she acts as the clearing house for all of these. They did say that they are servicing the community without the need to fill out the complaint form. All complaints are investigated, and proper action taken after the investigation. Just to be clear, investigating the complaint doesn’t necessarily mean that there may be some sort of enforcement. It is not always necessary to fill out the complaint form, but on occasions they request a written report. The Complaint Form is available online to use.

Asked but not answered was when can a person filing a complaint can expect a response. I believe what she was asking for is to establish protocols, that is the complaint is acknowledged as being received with follow-up that has an explanation of action taken that is sent in a timely manner.

12. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Hold a Public Hearing on the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2021–2022 – 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 4th at 5:00 p.m.

Acknowledged staff recommendation and scheduled a Public Hearing

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

13. Town Manager’s Report

Making application for special obligation bond financing for approval by the Local Government Commission

CAMA permit is in hand
Solicitation for dredgers is on the street
Time table for construction project date is possibly either this winter or next winter
Now have an increased turbidity monitoring requirement

Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.

In Case You Missed It –

Vehicle Decals
The 2021 vehicle decals were distributed with the March water bills.

Decals are your passes to get onto the island to check your property only in the case of a storm that would necessitate restricting access to the island. These are to be used only for your primary vehicles and should be placed on the interior of the lower driver side windshield.

If you own rental property with full-time tenants, two free decals may be obtained by the property owner to distribute to the tenants.

Please make sure to place your decals in your vehicle or in a safe place. Property owners without a valid decal will not be allowed on the island during restricted access. No other method of identification is accepted in an emergency situation. Click here to visit our website to find out more information regarding decals and emergency situations.

Waste Industries Service
Solid Waste Pick-up Schedule starting May 29th  twice a week
Recyclingstarting May 25th 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:

        1. Two are at the far east end
        2. One is at sewer lift station by Greensboro
        3. One is at sewer lift station just before the 800 block

14. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(5),To Instruct the Staff or Agent Concerning the Negotiation of the Price and Terms of a Contract Concerning the Acquisition of Real Property – Mayor Pro Tem Brown & Commissioner Kwiatkowski and North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(3), To Consult with the Attorney (Attorney Madon)

No decision was made – No action taken

Loose Ends (3)

                  • Commercial District / Zoning              February 2019
                  • Dog Park                                                  January 2020
                  • 796 OBW                                                 February 2020

General Comments –

Following new CDC guidance on face coverings, Governor Cooper has lifted gathering limits and social distancing requirements. Based on his guidance, seating at the May Board of Commissioners’ meeting will no longer be limited.

Brunswick town responds to backlash over live stream issues
After a year of complaints about a lack of transparency, Holden Beach officials have reopened their meetings to the public this month and are hoping it will make past criticism of their live streams water under the bridge. Since the start of the pandemic, the town of Holden Beach has responded to in-person meeting restrictions by live streaming their Board of Commissioners meeting on Facebook and later posting the audio to YouTube. But during virtually every one of those meetings, resident comments pop up throughout the stream complaining of inadequate audio that leaves them unable to follow the meeting. Residents were also frustrated that the video stream does not show the commissioners, or any presentations given at the meeting, instead focusing the camera at the town’s official seal. “We were thinking they were eventually going to get the hang of it and get better,” said Tom Myers, president of the Holden Beach Property Owners Association. “Everybody else kind of worked out the kinks and got really, really good at virtual meetings but here it never really changed.” Myers said over the past year he’s received too many complaints to count, leading him to send a letter to the board in October calling on them to consistently use microphones, position the camera toward the commissioners, have speakers say their name before commenting, and to take roll call votes, among other suggestions. In the letter, the association also offered to purchase a tripod or camera for the town to use to ensure all speakers and presentations could be seen by the public. After resending the request to the town in February, the letter was read into the record, but the board did not comment on it. Other than that, Myers said, he’s received no response or acknowledgement from town officials. Commissioner Brian Murdock acknowledged the town has received numerous complaints about their meeting but said they we’re not in a position financially to make the necessary changes. “Sure everybody’s written and complaining that they can’t hear, but that’s not really in our wheelhouse,” Murdock said. “We’re not in charge of any of that, that’s handled by staff. I just show up for the meeting and do what I can.” According to Town Manager David Hewitt, the town does not have the personnel or IT capabilities to make use of the camera or tripod, even if the donation allowed them to upgrade from an iPhone to a camera. “We’re not set up for and don’t have the manpower to really do live stream stuff,” Hewitt said. “We were just trying to get by and accommodate as best we could with the circumstances presented by COVID, and it worked to varying degrees for people.” But even after using noise cancelling headphones and following up with staff on unclear items, Myers said it hasn’t been working for association members. He said people fed up with being unable to follow the meetings have tuned out, pointing to a recent meeting in which parking recommendations were to be discussed as an example. After the association emailed members about the upcoming item, the board received more than 200 emails from a town of just over 500 residents. “That to me was a big wake up call,” Myers said. “It’s like, wow, everybody’s really concerned about this and they had no clue this was going down because they couldn’t follow the meetings and the discussions.” However, other residents like Ralph Gallo, who previously left critical posts under the live stream, now say they are ready to move forward. “They are back to letting the public attend the meetings. Tonight was the first night back. So what’s past is now a mute subject,” Gallo said in a Facebook message. According to Hewitt, as of now the town plans to discontinue their live streams and remain fully in-person. What effect the change has on public participation remains to be seen. “I think the proof is in the pudding: Now that the doors are opened back up how many people are going to come to the meeting anyway?” he said. “Last night there were 5 or 6 people there, what does that tell you?”
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BOC’s Meeting

The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, June 15th

Hurricane #1 - CR


Hurricane Season
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Be prepared – have a plan!


Hurricane Season * Lou’s Views (lousviews.com)

Get Ready: It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week
Gov. Roy Cooper has joined the national effort to make people more aware of the dangers of hurricanes by declaring this week Hurricane Preparedness Week. Hurricane Preparedness Week, which began Sunday and ends Saturday, is to remind residents to prepare for severe tropical weather common in North Carolina during hurricane season, which is June 1 through Nov. 30. “All North Carolinians should take this time to prepare for the possible impacts of a hurricane or other severe weather by updating their family emergency plans and supply kits,” Cooper said. “Having a plan and supplies will help you to survive through a hurricane and to recover faster should one adversely affect your home.” The state is currently recovering from the devastating effects of multiple storms including Hurricane Isaias and the remnants of Hurricane Eta in 2020, Hurricane Dorian in 2019, Hurricane Florence as well as Tropical Storms Michael and Alberto in 2018, and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. “There are things everyone can do to prepare for severe weather long before it hits, such as having flood insurance and knowing if you live in a coastal evacuation zone,” said Mike Sprayberry, executive director of the state Emergency Management and the Office of Recovery and Resiliency. The 20 North Carolina coastal counties have established predetermined evacuation zones, based on the threats of storm surge and river flooding. Residents can find out if they live in one of these zones by visiting KnowYourZone.nc.gov. Residents should learn their zone and watch or listen for it if evacuations are ordered before or after a storm. “I also encourage everyone to lookout for one another, especially for those who may be more vulnerable such as the elderly,” said Sprayberry. “It is easier get through a disaster by helping your friends and neighbors and working together.”

An emergency plan should include details on a meeting place and family phone numbers. Officials recommend writing down the emergency plan and gathering important documents, such as copy of driver’s license, insurance policies, medical records, and prescriptions, and make sure they’re quickly accessible in case of emergency.

Officials also encourage residents to review and update homeowners or renters’ insurance policies to ensure they are current and include adequate coverage for your current situation. Assemble an emergency supplies kit that includes enough nonperishable food and water to last each family member three to seven days. Other essential items include the following:

    • First-aid kit
    • Weather radio and batteries
    • Prescription medicines
    • Sleeping bag or blankets
    • Changes of clothes
    • Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and deodorant
    • Cash
    • Pet supplies including food, water, bedding, leashes, muzzle, and vaccination records
    • Face masks and hand-sanitizer

Residents should pay attention to weather and evacuation information on local media stations and have a battery-powered radio in case there is a power outage. If asked to evacuate, residents should follow evacuation instructions. To help mitigate damage from severe weather, residents can trim trees, cover windows and secure loose outdoor items before severe weather strikes. More information on hurricanes and overall emergency preparedness is online at ReadyNC.org. Read the governor’s proclamation.
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NOAA predicts 6th consecutive above-average hurricane season
The Atlantic hurricane season doesn’t officially begin for another 12 days, but the early signs are it may end up being yet another very busy one. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued it’s seasonal Atlantic hurricane forecast Thursday afternoon. The forecast calls for 13-20 total named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). All of those categories are above the average of 14 total named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and NOAA is just one of more than a dozen academic institutions, government agencies and private forecasting companies that put out seasonal projections. “Seasonal forecasts from nearly all universities and private agencies are predicting that 2021 will be an above-average season once again,” CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said. Another highly respected forecaster is Colorado State University, which was the first entity to issue a seasonal tropical forecast. Experts there issued their forecast back on April 8 indicating 17 total named storms, eight of which are expected to be hurricanes. “There aren’t any big outliers this year, while the (European model) was pretty low last year,” said Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at CSU. Klotzbach noted that the strong consensus between seasonal forecast groups is likely due to the shared observation of features that usually trigger a very active season.
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