12 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments

BOC’s Regular Meeting 11/16/21

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 Contracts Concerning the Acquisition of Real Properties – Commissioners Murdock & Smith

Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 21-33, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The Revenues & Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (Amendment No. 7) – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Item was added to the agenda

Moved funds of $850,000
From Revenue account #50.0399.0000 to Expense account#50.0710.7401

Motion was made to appropriate $850,000 for additional property acquisition      

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

        Recessed till Friday, October 19th at 2:00pm  

BOC’s Meeting 11/19/21

Back in session the town attorney informed them that the seller will not give them an extension of the due diligence period nor make an adjustment to the price. Commissioner Sullivan made a motion to terminate the contract.

A decision was made – Not Approved (2-3)
Commissioners Brown, Smith, and Murdock voted against the motion

       Recessed till Monday, October 22nd at 12:00pm     

BOC’s Meeting 11/22/21

Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 21-34, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The Revenues & Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (Amendment No. 8) – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Item was added to the agenda

Moved funds of $850,000
From Revenue account #50.0399.0000 to Expense account#50.0710.7401

Motion was made to adjust budget for the $850,000

Decrease line item since we didn’t end up purchasing any properties                        

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

 Back in session, discussed closing date on the pier properties purchase

BOC’s Regular Meeting 12/21/21

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here

1. Presentation of Plaque to the Outgoing Board of Commissioners by Town Manager Hewett

Recognition was given to all members of the outgoing board
The plaque was presented to everyone elected in 2019 and followed by a photo-op
The plaque will be hung in the Town Hall

2. Presentation of Plaque to Commissioner Sullivan of the Outgoing Board of Commissioners by Mayor Holden

Commissioner Sullivan received plaque of appreciation from the town for his service
The plaque was presented to him and followed by a photo-op

I’d personally like to thank Commissioner Sullivan for his dedicated service to the community. Despite not often agreeing with the positions that Mike took, I respect him for standing behind his convictions and articulating why he took those positions.

3. Judge Gerald Arnold will Present the Oath of Office to the Incoming Board of Commissioners
  a. Mayor                                 J. Alan Holden
Commissioners               Page Dyer, Rick Smith and Pat Kwiatkowski
Judge Arnold presided over the swearing in ceremony
     • Elected officials were sworn in one at a time
     • They each took the oaths of office and then took their seats on the council

4. Election of Mayor Pro Tempore – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
page 18
Per Section 30.05, Mayor Pro Tempore of the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, the Board shall elect from one of its members a mayor pro tern. The normal term of office is one year, commencing with the December meeting.

Previously reported –
The Code of Ordinances reads that the Board shall elect a mayor pro tern from one of its members. The normal term of office of the mayor pro tern shall be one year, commencing at the first regular meeting in December: provide, however that the member shall serve at the pleasure of the Board. Per the ordinance, the Board may choose to extend the current term of Mayor Pro Tem Brown or select another member to serve as the mayor pro tern.

The Mayor Pro Tempore shall discharge the duties and exercise the powers and authority of Mayor in the absence, disability, disqualification of the Mayor and during a vacancy in the office of Mayor; provided his or her rights and duties as BOC shall remain unimpaired; except he or she shall receive the salary or expenses of Mayor when serving in that capacity.  No additional oath of office shall be required of the Mayor Pro Tempore upon assuming the duties of the Mayor beyond that oath taken at the time of appointment to Mayor Pro Tempore.

Mayor Pro Tem is elected by the Board of Commissioners and is not necessarily the person with the most votes in the general election. The selection of Mayor Pro Tem is at the discretion of the other elected commissioners. Although traditionally the person with the most votes has been selected the rules do not require it.

Update –
Discussion and Nomination of a Board Member to the Mayor Pro Tem Position
Commissioner Brown made a motion to nominate Rick Smith for Mayor Pro Tem
Commissioner Smith was elected to serve as Mayor Pro Tem next year

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

5. Discussion and Possible Approval of 2022 Board of Commissioners’ Meeting Schedule – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – pages 19 – 20
Enclosed is the proposed 2022 Board of Commissioners’ Regular Meeting Schedule. All dates, except for the March date, reflect the third Tuesday of the month. The proposed March date is for the second Tuesday of the month, due to scheduling conflicts. Staff recommends approval.

Regular Meetings are held at 5:00pm on the third Tuesday of each month

th                          Second Tuesday

APRIL 19th 
MAY 17th
JUNE 21st
JULY 19th 


Update –
Meeting schedule was adopted with no changes.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

6. Discussion and Possible Direction on Rules of Procedure for the Board of Commissioners – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – page 21, plus separate packet

The Board is required to adopt rules of procedure. The current version the Board is using is included for your review. The Board may adopt these rules as written or make amendments to them.

Staff recommends adoption of the Suggested Rules of Procedure for the Town of Holden Beach Board.

Rules of Procedure » click here

Previously reported – December 2020
The Board is required to adopt some version of Rules of Procedure each year. Heather has given them two (2) options, or they can create their own new version. Pat has volunteered to review current version and make recommendations of any necessary changes. This will be on the agenda again next month so that they can adopt rules as required.

Update –
Motion was made to adopt current version of the Rules and Procedure
Pat recommended a couple modifications as potential improvement opportunities
She did not get any support for the proposed changes

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

The Rules of Procedure were substantially revised in 2020. I cannot find in my notes that the Rules of Procedure were either revised or approved in 2021.

7. Discussion and Possible Board Endorsement of the Pier Property Plan Document and Action on the Associated Proposed Resolution (Resolution 21-17) – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – pages 22 – 36 / Fourteen (14) pages which is too large to include here

WHEREAS, the decisions taken by a majority of the Board of Commissioners to move forward on the purchase was predicated on the ability of revenue from the Pier Property leases, paid parking, grant money and occupancy tax to pay for the purchase and improvements, funding not to include revenue obtained from the ad valorem tax or special assessments; and

WHEREAS, in response to property owners’ requests for development plans and financial forecasts for the Town’s ownership of the Pier Property, a document entitled “Pier Property Plan” dated 12 December 2021 has been created;

Pier Property Plan
Commissioner Kwiatkowski, with input from Commissioner Murdock and Town Manager Hewett

This document has been created in response to the request from many Holden Beach property owners for development plans and financial forecasts for the Town’s ownership of the pier property. The below provides estimates for eventual revenues and expenditures associated with repair and operation of the pier and building in the context of their continuing to provide restaurant and retail establishments and a fishing pier. The facilities will not be run as a business by the Town; they will be leased out following necessary repairs. The Town is expecting there will be sufficient revenue from the pier property and parking revenue to cover finance and operating expenses reasonably soon, with some profit in later years, but a full return on investment for repairs is not assumed. It is projected that the pier property can be repaired and maintained without having to increase property taxes or add any special assessments.

This document covers only the pier and building property; plans and costs for the parcel that will provide beach access for emergency vehicles and beachgoers are not included. Assumptions are made based on current knowledge and understanding of property condition and construction costs. Some possible pier property improvements are mentioned in the report; however, any additional improvements, either noted or identified in future, should be brought before the Board of Commissioners for specific discussion and approval of additional funding.

The Town of Holden Beach is in the process of purchasing Parcels 246D8001 and 24608002. These two parcels are adjacent to each other and collectively total 350 feet of oceanfront. Parcel 246D8001, hereafter referred to as the “Pier Property”, encompasses 300 ft of oceanfront real estate and contains the Holden Beach Ocean Pier, a building estimated to encompass 4000 sq. ft. (as measured by Commissioner Murdock) with a grill and shop, a small general-purpose outbuilding, and a paved parking lot. Parcel 246OB002, hereafter referred to as the beach access lot, encompasses 50 ft of oceanfront.

The desired outcome for Parcel 246D6001 is for the pier, building and land they are situated on to continue being used much as they currently are after necessary improvements/repairs and to also include public restroom facilities, all in accordance with current building and public safety standards. The Board’s stated objective has been that the pier property purchase/debt service and repair costs are to be financed by revenues generated by the property, being a combination of paid parking revenue and leasing the pier and cafe building, coupled with available grant money, resulting in no property tax or assessment implications for owners. While there are grant money opportunities, such as matching fund reimbursement grants from PARTF and Land and Water Conservation Fund, it must be considered that all grants have conditions and requirements that have the potential to restrict the Town’s flexibility. It may be that accepting certain grants would not be in the best interests of the Town.

In case grant money is not available sufficient to cover repairs, and if realized revenues cannot fully cover debt service and operating expenses, funds could be assigned from the SPART fund for the purpose of providing and maintaining tourism related facilities and amenities. The financial state of the BPART fund is presented later in this document.

Parcel 246 D8002 will allow the Town to maintain a mid-island emergency and municipal services vehicle access, an additional improved public beach access and an as needed vehicle and/or equipment mobilization point for beach nourishment. Since December 2014 the Town has been granted a license by the current owners to use the western most twenty (20) feet of the adjacent campground property as an emergency vehicle access point to the beach strand, but with the RV park properties also on the market, the license will in all likelihood terminate. The need for an emergency, sanitation, public and beach nourishment mobilization access is important for the health and safety of everyone who uses the beach plus provides a separate access for beachgoers in an area that lacks a public access within ½ mile. A reimbursement CAMA access grant of approximately $186K has been approved by the NC Division of Coastal Management to offset part of the costs associated with the beach access lot.

Timeline to Begin Work
Once the town owns the pier property both the building and pier should be closed to the public until all safety issues are addressed.

The earliest an engineering firm assessment of the pier can be attempted is probably late March/early April, assuming the BOC directs the Town Manager to publish a Request for Qualifications for a full pier assessment as soon as LGC approval for funding is received (currently projected for February). If results could be available in May, the BOC could make a more fully informed decision on proceeding with pier repair before the end of FY21/22 (NOTE: if the full assessment indicates significantly higher repair costs than estimated in the due diligence report, the BOC will need to reassess whether tearing down the pier and planning for reconstruction or another use of the pier property is more cost effective than repairing the existing structure).

While this timing will not result in more specifics on pier repair costs before for the FY 22/23 budget cycle, budget amendments can be made as needed. Work on the pier following the 2022 summer season could be feasible, dependent on the availability of firms experienced in marine structure repair.

In parallel, seeking a firm to precise the repair plan for the building could be actioned by the BOC for February.

Based on the above given assumptions, while revenues will fall short of combined debt service and insurance expenditures in FY22/23 by an estimated $90K, from FY23/24 onward estimated off road paid parking plus building lease revenues are projected to be sufficient to cover debt service along with insurance and routine maintenance costs for the pier property. The FY22/23 shortfall could be made up from BPART revenues or fund balance.

While securing revenue for building and pier repair expenses will remain a challenge thru FY25/26, one possibility is for the Town to seek and be granted permission to use on street parking revenue for expanded town use as an additional revenue source for pier repairs. However, even in the worst case, where no grant money or additional parking revenue becomes available, the BPART fund is forecast to have sufficient savings to cover the currently estimated cost of the pier project without unacceptable risk to the Town’s finances and future plans. Using BPART funds is appropriate and justified to provide facilities and amenities that both tourists and our property owners will benefit from.

Update –
Pat did a summation, she said based on assumptions stated in this paper they should be able to cover all the costs without an increase in property taxes or a special assessment. She asked that the Board to endorse this report as being both accurate and a solid description of the intent of the Board regarding their plans for the pier properties. The Board adopted the proposed resolution.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Despite saying she would not draft the report, she should not have had to, to her credit she did. Once again Pat did the right thing by providing a plan that the public has been asking for. KUDOS!

  • 8. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 21-18, Resolution of the Town, Authorizing the Negotiation of an Installment Financing Contract and Providing for Certain Other Related Matters Thereto – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

  • Agenda Packet –
    pages 37 – 42
    The attached resolution (Attachment l), prepared by our bond attorney firm, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP, is a necessary component for the application to the Local Government Commission (LGC) and to negotiate an installment financing contract to pay the cost of purchasing property located at 441 Ocean Boulevard W., including the pier, and calling the required public hearing. The resolution also contains Exhibit A which is the form of the notice to be published for the necessary public hearing on the installment financing contract scheduled for January 18, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
  • .
    RESOLUTION 21-18


    The Board of Commissioners (the “Board”) of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina (the “Town”) is considering entering into an installment financing contract (the “Contract’), in a principal amount not to exceed $3,300,000, under which the Town will make certain installment payments, in order to (a) pay the costs of purchasing property in the Town located at 441 Ocean Boulevard W., including the pier (the “Property”), and (b) pay the costs associated with entering into the Contract. The Town expects that acquiring the Property will permit the Town to carry out public functions that it is authorized by law to perform, including, without limitation, providing regional public beach access, public parking, recreation and access for beach nourishment and emergency operations. In connection with the Contract, the Town will grant a security interest in all or a portion of the real property comprising the Property, and improvements thereon, for the benefit of the financial institution providing the funds to the Town under the Contract.
    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, pursuant to Sections 160A-20 of the General Statutes of North Carolina, that on January 18, 2022 at 5:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as practicable, at the Town Hall Public Assembly, 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462, the Board will conduct a public hearing concerning the approval of the execution and delivery of the Contract as described above. All interested parties are invited to present comments at the public hearing on the Contract. Any person wishing to comment in writing should do so by submitting comments to Town Hall, 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462, Attention: Town Clerk, or heather@hbtownhall.com. Written comments must be submitted between the date of publication of this notice and 24 hours before the public hearing.Update –Our bond attorney firm, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, had two finance people available via conference call. Town Manager said that if they wanted to proceed with the pier properties purchase, they must adopt the resolution as presented. The Board adopted the proposed resolution.
    A decision was made – Approved unanimously
    Editor’s Note –
    Despite the public’s lack of support, it appears they plan to move forward with the pier properties purchase.
  • HBPOA Survey 768 responses
    • Buy the pier, incur the $500,000 – $750,000 in repairs necessary to make it safe,
      and salvage the west end of the pier building (30%)

    9. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
Police department is transitioning to a computer automated dispatch system. The expense was approved by the Board in the last budget cycle, but they waited to the winter to implement the transition. They should be going live sometime in January.

Truckloads of shore pipe will be delivered at the end of this month and staged at access point around 109 OBW.
Expect traffic interruption and lane closures in the area by Castaways. Mayor Holden reminded everyone that they can bypass that area by taking Brunswick Avenue.

Jeremy requested that we all use caution if driving during the holiday season. There is lots of traffic during the holiday and statistically the country has an average 119 fatalities a day. Please drive safely!

‘Booze It and Lose It’ holiday enforcement campaign underway
Patrols stepped up through Jan. 2
Christmas lights won’t be the only thing lighting up the night this holiday season. Beginning Monday, Dec. 13, law enforcement of­ficers started stepping up patrols across the state to stop impaired drivers as part of the “Booze It & Lose It” holiday enforcement effort. “If you’re out celebrating this holiday season, make sure you have a sober ride home,” said Mark Ezzell, program director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program (NCGHSP). “If you drive under the influence, you have a lot to lose. Not only
could you kill yourself or someone else, but you could face thousands of dollars in court costs and fi­nes, jail time, or a revoked license.” The Booze It & Lose It holiday enforcement effort is the largest of such campaigns operated each year by NCGHSP. During the 2020 campaign, offi­cers issued more than 1,700 violations for driving while intoxicated. NCGHSP will be supporting the campaign through a combination of paid media advertising and social media outreach. To date, 326 people have lost their lives on North Carolina roads in impaired driving crashes in 2021. NCGHSP reminds all travelers to stay safe on the roads this holiday season by never driving impaired and always
fi­nding a safe ride home; buckling your seatbelt when riding in any seat in the vehicle; and following the speed limit. For more driver safety tips and program information, follow N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program on Facebook and https://twitter.com/nc_ghsp?lang=en on Twitter and Instagram.

Word on the street is that two (2) officers, Shane Bell and Colton Robinson, have both resigned 

We all serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement.

If you know something, hear something, or see something –
call 911 and let the police deal with it.

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

NC law targeting ‘Carolina Squat’ for vehicles takes effect
Some new laws took effect in North Carolina on Wednesday, including one that forbids drivers from raising the front of their vehicle. The modification is commonly referred to as the “Carolina Squat.” According to the law, a vehicle would be in violation “if the height of the front fender is 4 or more inches greater than the height of the rear fender.” There is no language in the ratified bill that allows for “grandfathering” of existing modified vehicles. In short, it reads, “A private passenger automobile shall not be operated upon any highway or public vehicular area …” if the front fender is more than 4 inches higher than the rear fender. NBC affiliate WYFF reports the modification is hazardous because the driver’s view of the road can be obstructed due to the angle of the vehicle. Additionally, the tilted modification can affect how the truck brakes. Driver’s risk having their license revoked if they are in violation more than two times in a 12-month period.
Read more » click here

  • 10. Parking Tasker
    a. Parking Committee’s Summary in Response to the Board of Commissioners’      
    Tasker – Commissioners Murdock & Smith
    b. Discussion & Possible Action on Parking Committee’s Recommendations –
    Commissioner Murdock

  • Agenda Packet –
    pages 44 – 57 / Thirteen (13) pages which is too large to include here

  • Executive Summary
    This summary is the result of the Otto Connect, Inc. assessment of:
    • potential parking locations in the Town of Holden Beach,
    • recommended options for ordinance updates,
    • parking rates, and
    • enforcement plans;

followed by two meetings with the Parking Committee on Nov. 5th, and Dec. 3rd, 2021. This Executive Summary is the combined recommendation and approved paid parking plans per the Parking Committee meeting on Dec. 3rd, 2021.

Step 1: To establish a clear parking management solution – an ordinance update is required related to parking on public streets and Rights-of-Way (RoW). This requires an update to ordinances 72.02 and 72.03 as follow s: (Note: the final approval of all ordnance language requires legal review and updates as required to meet the intent of the ordinance as defined by the Parking Committee and as recommended by Otto).

Added Term (or update to A and/or B): It shall be unlawful for any person to park or leave standing any port ion of any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, in any street or public right-of-way except in designated parking spaces.

Update to E: Add – Parking in designated parking spaces must not face opposing traffic.

Update to 72.03 Parking Prohibited at all times: This ordinance as stated should be removed and replaced with a simple statement – “There is no parking permitted at any time on public streets or public rights-of -way except in designated parking spaces ”

Step 2: To establish clearly identified, designated parking spaces within the Town to meet the needs of the community and to facilitate adequate visit or access to the town and public beach access points.

To achieve this, Otto has identified several options to maximize parking potential and the Parking Committee has approved those options that can be easily implemented within the bounds of existing property owned by the Town, and selected RoW areas for both public and private beach access. The following spreadsheet identifies parking lots, RoW, and on-street vs. off-street as approved by the Parking Committee.

Note: The inclusion of RoW parking in areas that are not easily assessable to a public beach access is intended to allow residents/owners access to parking close to their private beach access for Low-Speed-Vehicles (LSV) (such vehicles as defined by North Carolina statutes – for clarity – including, but not exclusive of, street legal golf carts).

Update –
Rick briefly spoke about the proposal and would like it implemented for next year.

Pat made a motion to review the entire proposal line by line at a separate meeting.
The motion was discussed and put to a vote
A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
Commissioners Brown and Smith opposed the motion

Brian made the case for moving forward sighting the HBPOA survey. The only caveat being that it may not be perfect, but they will do their best to get it right and whatever does not work properly they can always make adjustments as needed.

HBPOA Survey768 responses

  • Do not allow ROW parking in front of private properties (93%)
  • Allow owners to use posts and ropes (91%)

Jim the CEO for the parking vendor Otto CEO was present to respond to their questions.

Three (3) members of the current BOC’s were on this committee. The committee worked on this with the paid parking vendor. So why the long-drawn-out discussion now? Alan pointed out that they were in violation of the Rules of Procedure they approved earlier tonight.

Pat made a motion to review the right-of ways proposal at a separate meeting
The motion was not seconded, so there was no discussion
No decision was made – No action taken

Jim from Otto summarized
. 1)
Town wants to move forward with paid parking
. 2)
Ordinances need to go to legal, consistent with Parking Committee recommendations
. 3)
They need to move forward by deciding on where parking will be allowed

Rick made a motion to have Town staff work with the vendor where parking will be allowed and get back to the Board
A decision was made –
Approved unanimously

Pat moved that we should not include March in the paid parking period
The motion was discussed and put to a vote
A decision was made –
Approved unanimously

Pat made a motion regarding the parking rates proposed, specifically boat trailers not be included. The motion was not seconded, so there was no discussion.
No decision was made – No action taken

Rick made a motion to move forward with paid parking with consideration of changes that were made tonight
A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Kwiatkowski opposed the motion

11. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 21-35, Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (Amendment No. 9) – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 58 – 59

The attached budget amendment (Attachment 1) forecasts a $830,000 increase in accommodations tax for the remainder of this fiscal year. We continue to see a steady number of rentals that are extending outside the typical season and an influx of visitors to the coast. It recognizes the required transfer of Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) funding in addition to the following expenses:

      • Lockwood Folly Dredging- Inlet Crossing
      • Ward and Smith Contract through 30 June 2022
      • Sailfish Bulkhead Repair
      • Increase of Cans for Waste Industries

It also decreases fund balance appropriated by $353,742 on the revenue side.
Suggested Motion: Approval of Amendment # 21-35


Moved funds of $476,258
From Revenue accounts #50.0302.0000 and 50.0399.0000
To Expense accounts #50.0401.0000, 50.0710.2000, 50.0710.0400, 50.0710.0430, and 50.0710.0450

Update –
David addressed the increase in occupancy tax revenue allocating funding of $476,258 to four (4) projects and the remainder $353,000 returned into fund balance.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

12. Discussion and Possible Action on Ward & Smith Engagement Letter – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 60 – 63
Ward and Smith, P.A. in conjunction with the Ferguson Group represents the town in advocacy matters at the federal level as related to beach renourishment, Lockwood Folly Inlet maintenance, and dredge material disposal sites as well as three additional areas to be determined based on town needs. We received their contract for 2022 (attachment I) and the monthly retainer will be $9225.00 per month, plus out-of-pocket expenses. The cost of the contract for the remainder of this fiscal year is included as part of the occupancy tax budget amendment before you this evening.

Suggested Motion: Approval of Ward and Smith contract for 2022 and direct the manager to execute the contract.

The retainer for services will be $9,225 per month. Unless either of us terminates this engagement, this retainer will remain in place from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022. Out -of-pocket expenses and costs relating to our representation are not included in the monthly fee but will be billed separately as incurred. Our work under this new contract will commence after we receive authorization from you. The monthly retainer in any event will be the minimal fee for our services rendered during any portion of the month for which is paid.

Previously reported – October 2020
Federal Advocacy
Mike McIntyre has changed law firms from Poyner Spruill to Ward and Smith. The change of agent forms was executed accordingly. All terms and conditions including those with Ferguson Group remain the same. Virtual meetings scheduled for November to conduct Capitol Hill advocacy briefings with Congressional delegation and Federal agencies.

Previously reported – December 2020
Motion was made to engage Ward & Smith for the coming year
Ward and Smith / The Ferguson Group / Mike McIntyre

Editor’s Note –
In January of 2021 we renewed our contract with Mike McIntyre who was with Poyner Spruill at the time, he has since moved to the Ward and Smith firm. The retainer for their services is $7,975 per month or a minimum of $95,700 annually. Retainer is the minimum it will cost us. Ferguson Group services are billed separately. Additionally, we are billed monthly for all kinds of additional charges. The agreement with Ward and Smith is for an annual total estimated advocacy cost of $119,700.

Previously reported – September 2021
Mike gave the report briefly reviewing the history of our efforts for beach projects. They have been able to secure approval of USACE study, the contract was just signed in August. Discussed LWF inlet maintenance dredging funding, which falls under Congressional directed spending now, able to submit for $1,005,000 for this project. Bipartisan infrastructure package proposes four (4) billion for the USACE operation and maintenance budget where dredging money comes from, this is in addition to the regular annual appropriations which is almost four (4) billion too. He covered a lot of other ground and once again he left a very favorable impression of what they are doing on our behalf.

Update –
Christy reviewed the federal advocacy contract we have with Ward & Smith

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

The retainer for their services is $9,225 per month or a minimum of $110,700 annually. Retainer is the minimum it will cost us. This is a 15.6% increase over last year’s retainer fee.

13. Discussion and Possible Action on Third Amendment to Solid Waste & Recyclables Collection, Transportation and Disposal Agreement between the Town and GFL Environmental – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet – pages 64 – 67

Waste Industries has provided the Town with a proposed amendment to the Solid Waste and Recyclables Collection, Transportation and Disposal Agreement.

The current agreement’s term is through December 31, 2021. The amendment would extend the initial term by two years, with the end date being December 31, 2023. The charge for residential curbside trash (second pickup) will be $10.50 per month per cart. We are currently being charged $7.78 per cart per month. This charge is for the Saturday pickups that occur June – September and the Saturdays before Memorial Day and after Easter. Waste Industries has explained the change is due to their increased cost of doing business over the past couple of years.

In order to accommodate the increase, the Board would need to do a budget amendment in the amount of $20,000. This amount is reflected in Ordinance 21-35, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (Amendment No. 8).

Staff recommends the Board approve the Third Amendment to Solid Waste and Recyclables Collection, Transportation and Disposal Agreement and the associated budget amendment.


Residential Curbside Trash (second pickup) – The charge for once per week secondary residential curbside trash to CUSTOMER from CONTRACTOR shall be $10.50 per month per cart. CONTRACTOR will provide one 95 (ninety-five) gallon cart for MSW to each address using the Services. CUSTOMER may request additional carts for residents. Additional carts will be billed directly to property owner. This pickup service will be provided on Saturdays for the months of June, July, August & September.

Curbside Recycle – CONTRACTOR will provide a 95 gallon recycle container for the voluntary program for a price of $6.01 per month per property owner.

Processing fees/payment will be tied to the best negotiated agreements with local processors. These fees/payments will be mutually agreed upon but not reasonably withheld. Waste Industries will supply documentation as a part of the process of negotiations.

Rolloff Service – 30 cubic yard container at Laydown Yard on Scotch Bonnet for $55.00 delivery, $97.00 per month rent, $178.86 per haul & $72.00 per ton for MSW tonnage.

Update –
Third amendment to the agreement in the amount of $20,000 which extends the term for the next two (2) years

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Editor’s Note
Waste Industries dba GFL Environmental 

14. Discussion and Possible Action on Resolution 21-19, Resolution Amending the Holden Beach Fee Schedule (Recycling) – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – pages 68 – 69

We have received the updated fees assessed by Waste Industries for people who utilize the voluntary curbside recycling program.

The annual 2022 cost for people participating in the program will be $86.37 per bin. This is a decrease from the current rate of $93.29. The fee schedule needs to be amended to reflect the new amount.

Staff recommends the Board approve Resolution 21-19, Resolution Amending the Holden Beach Fee Schedule, if you wish to continue the curbside recycling program.


Update –
Decrease in rate for recycling, they needed to amend the fee schedule

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Editor’s Note
Waste Industries dba GFL Environmental 

15. Discussion and Possible Action on Audit Committee Recommendation for the Audit Firm to Conduct the Required External Audit for the Year Ending June 30, 2022 – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – background information was not provided

Update –
Audit Committee recommends that we retain audit firm Martin Starnes for another year and directed the Town Manager to finalize the contract at the appropriate time

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Audit Committee
Are you interested in serving on the Town’s Audit Committee? Click here to obtain the application. Please send in completed applications to heather@hbtownhall.com or drop it off at Town Hall.

16. Town Manager’s Report

LWF Inlet Dredging
USACE hopper dredge “Murden” currently working in the inlet and ocean bar

Navigation maintenance project – USACE contract with Southwind to remove 100k cyds of beach compatible sand from the inlet crossing with an option to expand excavation to 165k cyds. Project is scheduled to start on or about February 1st. Placement of beach compatible sand on east end of the beach strand, starting at Amazing Grace and heading west

FEMA Project Schedule –
Mobilization has begun with heavy equipment already on the beach strand. Truckloads of shore pipe will be delivered at the end of this month and staged at access point around 109 OBW. Expect traffic interruption and lane closures in the area by Castaways. Mayor Holden reminded everyone that they can bypass that area by taking Brunswick Avenue.

Beach Nourishment Project
We were able to mate two (2) projects, Central Reach and Eastern Reach areas. This is a continuous project of over five (5) miles, from 262 OBE through 871 OBW. It will cover an area that is over five (5) miles long, eight (8) feet high, and one hundred (100) feet wide.

Coastal Storm Risk Management Study
Public federal scoping underway the report is due to be released in August of 2024

What is a ‘Scoping Session‘? The first step in ensuring a successful engagement with a prospect is to conduct ‘Scoping Sessions’. In these sessions, you have the opportunity to formally capture the prospect’s expectations, success factors, and high-level business requirements for a fruitful project.

Ocean Boulevard Bike Path
Grand Strand Area Transportation Advisory Committee approved @$900k in federal funding for installation of Ocean Boulevard bike path to coincide with NCDOT Ocean Boulevard resurfacing contract which is scheduled to begin in September of 2022. Survey crew has been here the last two (2) weeks.

In Case You Missed It –                         

Town Hall Closed
Town Hall will be closed December 23rd, 24th, 27th and 31st in observance of the holidays.


Christmas Lights
Public Works have put up snowflake decorations on the boulevard light poles.


National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On December 3, 2021, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to February 18, 2022.

Rollout Service
GFL Environmental offers rollout service, by request basis, to infirm resident homeowners


Upcoming Events –

Run Holden Beach
The eighth annual Run Holden Beach event is scheduled on Saturday, January 29th.

17. Mayor’s Comments

No Wake Zone not being enforced which is a safety issue.
He asked the Board to make it an agenda item at the regular board meeting at the beginning of next year.

Previously reported – October 2021
Alan stated that laws are not being abided by and there are daily violations. He was unable to get government officials here on such short notice and requested that they revisit this issue at the January meeting. That meeting would include as many officials and office representatives as possible for an in-depth discussion.

Brunswick County has had tremendous growth, we now have over 140,000 people living here

From the Mayor’s Desk (12/20/21)

Flood Insurance – National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System, Town Holden Beach community qualifies for a fifteen (15) percent discount of flood insurance premiums renewed on or after April 1, 2022.

Beach nourishment project – heavy equipment is on the beach strand

 Ocean Boulevard – NCDOT is currently surveying for repaving and bike path projects next year

 Pier – purchase should be completed early next year with no plans for a tax increase

 LWF Inlet – United States Army Corps of Engineers hopper dredge “Murden” currently working in the inlet

18. 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 Contracts Concerning the Acquisition of Real Properties – Commissioner Murdock

No decision was made – No action taken

This is the list of properties currently being considered for acquisition by the Town
Seven (7) pier properties currently under contract
Block Q
Parcels 232NH002, 232NH003, 232NB014, 232NB015, 232NB021, 232NB022     

To View Parcels » click here

Brunswick County – Basic Search
Select Parcel Number
Enter Parcel Number
Click Owner Name
Click View Map for this Parcel

General Comments –

BOC’s Meeting

The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, January 18th


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.

The sixth straight busier-than-normal Atlantic hurricane season is over
It was the fourth costliest hurricane season on record, with 21 named storms, including 7 that made landfall in the Lower 48 states
Producing an above-average number of storms for a sixth consecutive year, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season officially comes to a close Tuesday. The season produced 21 named storms, the third most on record, only trailing last year and 1995. And for just the third time, the season exhausted all names on the National Hurricane Center’s conventional naming list. While the season cranked out four major hurricanes, it will be most remembered for Hurricane Ida, which slammed southeast Louisiana at near Category 5 status at the end of August. After razing areas in southeast Louisiana and unleashing gusts topping 150 mph, Ida’s remnants charged up the Appalachians and into the Northeast, bringing disastrous flooding and a tornado outbreak. Largely due to Ida’s destruction, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is preliminarily the fourth most costly on record, with damage and losses expected to exceed $70 billion. It surpasses the toll inflicted by last year’s record 30 named storms, including an unsurpassed 11 that struck the United States. Between the 2020 and 2021 Atlantic seasons, a record 18 named storms made landfall along U.S. shores. The 2021 season followed a spate of above average or hyperactive hurricane seasons since 2016, a period marked by numerous direct blows to the United States. Harvey, Irma, and Maria formed in 2017, Category 5 Michael slammed the Florida Big Bend in 2018, and Dorian sideswiped the Carolinas in 2019 after ravaging the Bahamas. Last year’s unrelenting tempests included Category 4 Laura in southwest Louisiana, an area that would be hit by Delta barely six weeks later. NOAA attributed the six-year active stretch to a multi-decadal oscillation that favors busy hurricane seasons; it wrote the oscillation is probably tied to both natural and human-caused climate factors in a news release. Meteorologists and atmospheric scientists turn to ACE, or Accumulated Cyclone Energy, as a metric of how active a season is. ACE is a product of storm intensity and duration and attempts to quantify how much energy a system extracts from the ocean and expends on its winds. An average season racks up about 123 ACE units; this season scored an ACE of 145, about 18 percent above average. While hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, much of the ACE piled up in August and September; only one storm developed in the past two months.
Read more » click here

Hurricane season ends with no major hits
Brunswick County can breathe a sigh of relief now that the hurricane season is over, and a major storm didn’t impact the area. Residents can look forward to a warm and dry winter, which comes with its own problems such as a watch for fires. National Weather Service’s Warning Coordination Meteorologist Steve Pfaff said, “We dodged a bullet” when it came to hurricanes this year. He said there are typically 14 named storms in a hurricane season, but this past one saw 20, which made it an above-normal year. Pfaff said most of the named storms impacted open waters in the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico. He said the last major hurricane, based on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, was Hurricane Fran in 1996. The last storm to cause a direct hit and pass within 50 miles was Hurricane Isaias in 2020 that had a big impact, particularly in Brunswick County. The year before that, Dorian and the year before that was Hurricane Florence that hit the county. “This was the first time in over the last three years that we haven’t had a direct hit,” he said. This year, the hurricanes and their impacts missed the area, giving Brunswick County a break. He said the biggest impact was swells from three distant tropical systems, which caused rough surf and rip current impact. Even Hurricane Ida skipped over the area. Pfaff said Ida passed far enough west that the area didn’t get hit by any problems directly associated with the storm. “Ida was a great example that you can be far enough inland, you can be far away from where a storm makes landfall and still have significant impacts,” he said. Pfaff added it could even be a remnant system that could cause a lot of damage. He stressed not trusting the Saffir-Simpson Scale. It should instead be based on the amount of damages that usually happens near residences, such as a history of creeks flooding or trees that can be knocked over by the wind. The scale only covers what the wind will be, not if there is a chance for big rainfall or tornadoes. Pfaff said this area has a certain level of vulnerability during this season because of hurricane tracks. He said the area gets so many hurricanes because the Bermuda high pressure system sits to our east, which tends to steer storms toward this region. He said this year the high was farther out, which kept storms east of North Carolina waters. Pfaff said regardless of the forecast next season, this area has such a history with hurricanes that residents should stay prepared. “So while we dodged a bullet this year, we can’t guarantee the same thing is going to happen next year, so we all have to do our part to be prepared in case we have one,” he said. He said hurricanes have been ramping up since 1996 with Hurricanes Bertha and Fran. He said that year started a series of storms the area is still stuck in. There is a theory that Atlantic waters are currently in 20- to 40-year periods of warmer-than-normal water temperatures, which support the number of storms that can form. Pfaff said there could be another five to 10 years in this active period before it changes. The last one was in the 1940s and 1950s. He said La Nina will dominate the weather this winter, creating a pattern that is cooler than water across the equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean. That means there will be less thunderstorm activity there that feeds into the jet stream, which brings Brunswick County its weather, causing warmer and drier conditions in this region. Pfaff said concerns are now shifting to fire weather because the region has been very dry and parts of the area has been experiencing a moderate-to-severe drought. As a fire spread through Pilot Mountain last week, destroying more than 1,000 acres, the state is also under a burn ban.
Read more » click here

Budget Season –
Every year we talk about starting the budget process earlier.
Every year it wasn’t moved up in any meaningful way.
Every year the Board is still not really working on the budget until the eleventh hour.
I am disappointed that we have not even established the budget meeting schedule yet.

I respectfully submit My Xmas List

These are the items I would most like to see addressed this year.
. 1.
Beach – Strand / Inlet / Groin
. a)
Support LWF Inlet waterway maintenance projects, keeping inlet navigable
. b)
Work together on beach protection issues with surrounding communities
. c)
Increase Beach Strand Ordinance Compliance & Enforcement

. 2.
. a)
Develop plans for a promenade on Jordan Boulevard
. b)
Utilize acquired properties for additional parking
. c)
Prohibit right-of-way parking

. 3. Trash Services
. a)
Offer a suite of services
. b)
Charge a user fee for those that want the service
. c)
Make policies both fair and consistent
. d) Town should address noncompliance issues

Lou’s Views –
The views expressed here are simply my opinion based on the facts as I understand them. I have no hidden agenda, no ax to grind, or any political ambition. I’m simply attempting to keep the community informed on what actually is going on here. I just tell it like it is and that is why people read the newsletter. After all it is called “Lou’s Views”! I welcome updates, clarifications or a correction to any fact I have stated which have changed or was inadvertently stated incorrectly.

Website policy –
We have had a number of inquiries lately about our website policies. We do not have an official policy per se. In general, we do not accept paid ads, associates or links for our website. Approved Vendor List as well as Advertisement – not paid for is based on my personal experience as a homeowner and as a property manager here on Holden Beach. Associates are simply personal friends that have a local business. Links are to websites that provide information that are of public significance. We invite you to share with us anything that you feel our readers would want to know too. We hope you find our website useful.

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Disclaimer –
. 1) Not official correspondence from the Town
. 2)
Not affiliated with Holden Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA)

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Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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