06 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 05/31/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Parking in Block Q – Mayor Pro Tem Smith

They determined that they would use post and rope around Block Q in order to address situation where people may try to illegally park there. Decided to do nothing else there, except mow it, until the Board makes a decision on how to proceed.

2. Discussion and Possible Action on Moving Forward with Pier Property and Building Improvements – Mayor Pro Tem Smith

The intent was for them to have a hands-on experience at the pier. With the absence of Inspections Director Evans, they decided not to go.


Commissioners Gerald Brown and Page Dyer were not in attendance


BOC’s Special Meeting /Public Hearing 06/10/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here


TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH OFFICIAL NOTICE (Holden Beach Newsletter 05/31/22)

Notice is hereby given that the Budget Message proposed for the Fiscal Year, beginning July 1, 2022 and ending June 30, 2023, has been submitted to the Board of Commissioners. Click here to view the Budget Message.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held by the Board of Commissioners at 9:00 a.m. or shortly thereafter on Friday, June 10, 2022 in the Holden Beach Town Hall Public Assembly, 110 Rothschild Street. Oral and written comments will be received at the hearing from any interested person.


1. Public Hearing – proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023

Agenda Packet – Budget Message

Proposed Budget by Fund
                                                            2019                  2020                  2021                 2022
General                                         $3,446,793       $3,631,081       $4,331,174       $4,326,093
Water & Sewer                            $5,320,990       $5,066,429       $5,434,420       $7,483,258
BPART                                           $3,078,146       $28,305,961     $4,465,043       $4,935,100
Canal Dredging                           $2,167,214       $2,708,552       $3,006,670       $3,289,057
American Recovery Plan                                                               $194,000          $211,616
FEMA Capital Projects Fund                                                         $45,745,632     $73,644,019
Water Capital Reserve Fund                                                         $113,276          $151,051
Sewer Capital Reserve Fund                                                         $106,623          $301,543        Beach & Inlet Reserve Fund     $3,255,657       $2,393,242       $2,694,372       $2,247,002
Total All Funds                            $17,268,800     $42,105,266     $66,091,210     $96,588,739

The Board is required to hold a Public Hearing prior to adopting  the budget.  In fiscal year 22/23 Holden Beach will have five main governmental funds, three capital reserve funds, and a capital project fund. The five governmental funds are: 1- General, 2- American Rescue Fund, 3- Water & Sewer, 4- Beach, Parks, Access and Recreation Tourism (BPART) and 5- Canal Dredging. The three capital reserve funds are: 1 -Water, 2 – Sewer, and 3 – Beach & Inlet. The capital project fund is for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) storm damage repairs.

2. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 22-14, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023

Agenda Packet –
PART I. Executive Summary
The proposed FY 22/23 budget provides the Town’s spending plan for the upcoming budget year beginning 1 July 2022 and ending 30 June 2023. Contained herein as follows are the proposed Budget’s Fund organization/descriptions, schedule and By Fund and By Function summaries. This preamble is meant to provide the public a means to understand the process, development and adoption of the Town’s annual budget.

In fiscal year 22/23 Holden Beach will have five main governmental funds, three capital reserve funds, and a capital project fund. The five governmental funds are:
1- General, 2- American Rescue Fund, 3- Water & Sewer, 4- Beach, Parks, Access and Recreation Tourism (BPART) and 5- Canal Dredging. The three capital reserve funds are: 1 -Water, 2 – Sewer, and 3 – Beach & Inlet. The capital project fund is for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) storm damage repairs. Each fund is represented in the following pages with detailed revenues and expenditures needed for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget year starts July 1, 2022 and ends June 30, 2023.

The General Fund budget serves to fund daily and long-term operations and infrastructure of the town. This includes administration, police department, building and inspections as well as sanitation and streets.

The American Rescue Plan Fund accounts for federal appropriations associated with the Holden Beach portion of President Biden’s Coronavirus Relief package and are designated for storm water projects.

The Water and Sewer Fund is an Enterprise (business type) fund that finances the daily administration and operations of the water and sewer department.

The Beach, Parks, Access and Recreation Tourism Fund (BPART) is a special revenue fund enabled by local legislation for the purpose of providing for beach nourishment and tourism related expenses.

The Canal Dredging Fund is also a special revenue fund authorized by local legislation. Its purpose is to maintain navigability of the islands’ twenty-five thousand linear feet of canals

The Water Capital Reserve and the Sewer Capital Reserve Funds were established in accordance with the Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act of2017 as amended and will be used to fund capital improvements to the Town’s water /sewer infrastructure in the coming years.

The Beach Re-nourishment and Inlet Management Capital Reserve Fund provides funding for future year beach and inlet maintenance projects.

The FEMA Capital Projects Fund serves to provide pass through federal grant reimbursements for debt service on storm damage repairs performed during the winter of 2021/2022 along the central portion of the island’s beach.

PART II. Tax Rate and Debt Services Tax Rate
In keeping with the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners stated goal of no tax increases the Fiscal Year 22/23 budget has been developed with the same tax rate as the prior fiscal year 21/22 of 20 cents. A tax rate of twenty cents per one hundred dollars of valuation is proposed to be levied at a ninety-eight-point sixty four percent collection rate on an estimated tax base of one billion three hundred ninety million eight hundred ninety thousand eight hundred and seventy-three dollars. The collection rate of ninety-eight-point sixty four percent used to calculate the estimated tax revenue is the actual rate during the prior fiscal year ending 30 June 2021. The estimated tax base reflects the most recent available property valuations from the Brunswick County Tax Appraiser.

PART III. Employee Compensation and Agency Donations Salary Adjustments and Compensation
The proposed FY 22/23 budget provides for employee cost-of-living adjustments, merit pay, and bonus pay awards. The following list details board direction and implementation:

    1. A one dollar an hour raise for all full-time regular employees effective 1 July
    2. Merit pool of 5% – performance based as recommended by Department Director; approved by Town Manager
    3. $750 bonus awarded to all full-time regular employees on payroll 1 Sept 2022

PART VI. Conclusion
As required by the Local Government Fiscal Control Act the proposed budget and capital improvement plan presented herein is balanced with revenues equaling expenses and has been prepared with particular attention to the collective guidance provided by the Board of Commissioners. Please feel free to contact me as needed to discuss any questions you may have. As a reminder the budget ordinance must be adopted not later than I July.


Public Hearing (Holden Beach Newsletter 06/10/22)

The Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2022 – 2023 this morning. Click here for meeting information that includes the Board’s packets and a slideshow presented during the meeting.

No public comments were made on the proposed budget. The Board did direct staff to add funds for a camera system for the Police Department’s interrogation room to the proposed ordinance for consideration at the June 21st meeting. The Board also asked staff to obtain a quote to add audio/visual streaming capabilities to broadcast meetings.

Click here to listen to the full audio from the meeting.


BOC’s Regular Meeting 06/21/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here

Commissioners Gerald Brown and Brian Murdock were not in attendance
Commissioner Murdock phoned in and participated during a portion of the meeting


1. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 22-13, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 92: Nuisances (Outside Lights) – Mayor Pro Tem Smith

Agenda Packet – pages 39 – 41

ORDINANCE 22-13
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES, CHAPTER 92: NUISANCES (OUTSIDE LIGHTS)

BE IT ORDAINED BY the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina, that Chapter 92: Nuisances (Outside Lights) be amended to read as follows.

Section One: Amend Sections 92.30 – 92.35 to read as follows.

§92.30 DEFINITIONS.

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

DIRECT LIGHTS, Direct light is created from a fixture or a shield that focuses all light in a certain angle. Direct lights create a sharp contrast between light and shadow. Examples are floodlights, spotlights, can lights, and downlights.

UPLIGHTS, i.e., Decorative low voltage lights designed to Highlight vegetation or decorative, low voltage lights directed upward to structures

DOWNLIGHTS, Decorative, low voltage lights directed downward to highlight a path or vegetation.

DECORATIVE LIGHTS, lights, such as landscape lights used to enhance the appearance of an area and seasonal holiday lights . Seasonal holiday lights may be used for a limited period of time (90 days) with a maximum 300 lumens.

DOORWAY LIGHTS. Lights attached to structures or walkways used to illuminate doors and immediate areas leading to entrances; to include those installed beneath houses.

FLOOD/SPOTLIGHTS. Bare lights attached to buildings and used to illuminate a specific area (yards, driveways, walkways, and the like) normally for a limited time period. These may also be used as security lights.

SAFETY LIGHT. A light used to warn boats or vehicles of possible obstacles.

SECURITY LIGHT. A light (either automatic, motion activated or manual) which remains on can be illuminated overnight for the protection of people or property.

YARD LIGHT. A light whose fixture is not attached to a building, ramp, or deck and is over four feet above ground level.

§92.31 PURPOSE.

It is the intent of this subchapter to permit sufficient outside lighting to provide for the safety and security of citizens while preventing undue distraction to residents or guests, and to provide a safe and welcoming environment for sea turtles .

§92.32 UNLAWFUL LIGHTS.

It shall be unlawful for any outside light to be installed or directed :

(A) To interfere with the vision of the operator of any motor vehicle on any street or waterway; or cast any amount of direct light more than 15 feet from the footprint of the residence, with the exception of light directed into a pool
(B) Decorative, safety, security up lights or other lights on the south side of oceanfront homes which are set with automatic timers or day/night photocells.
(C) Decorative lights on the south side of oceanfront homes on walkways and walkway seating .
(D) Any unnecessary oceanfront lighting during turtle nesting/hatching season from May 1st through October
(E) That is not in compliance with the provisions of this

§92.33 LIGHTS PERMITTED IN R-1 AND R-2 DISTRICTS.

(A) Decorative lights, up lights and down lights as long as not visible on the beach with restrictions defined in 92.32 (B). (C).
(B)
Flood or spotlights provided they are directed onto the owner’s
(C)
Doorway lights of 100 watts incandescent, 10-watt LED (1600 lumens) or less per light.
(D)
Safety lights
(D) Security lights, attached to a building, and so shielded that no direct lighting is outside the owner’s property.
(E) Pool lights within the confines of pool fencing or directed into the pool areas. Security lights, presently on poles, which do not meet the restrictions of division (G) of this section are permitted for a period of one year following enactment of this subchapter provided they are so shielded that there is no direct lighting outside the owner’s property.
(F) One yard light per living unit provided:

1. It does not exceed ten feet in height {measured from mean lot level) and does not draw in excess of 100 watts exceed 900 lumens.
2.
External oceanfront lights used exclusively for safety purposes shall be limited to the minimum number, shielded to achieve their functional roles and may use motion activation. If motion activation is used it must keep the lights off except when approached and turn back off within five-minutes. It is of the same design and wattage as the approved town street lights and does not exceed 20 feet in height.

Previously reported – October 2021
Commissioner Smith in conjunction with the Turtle Patrol wants to address light pollution and restrict oceanfront lighting. Decision was to have our attorney and our building inspector review the ordinances and make a recommendation for any potential changes to the existing ordinances.

Previously reported – November 2021
Turtle Patrol representative was scheduled to speak but unfortunately was unable to attend tonight’s meeting.

Previously reported – January 2022
Agenda Packet – pages 67 – 70
The Board requested that Inspections Director Evans and Attorney Green look into possible changes to the Town’s lighting ordinance that would restrict oceanfront light. Ordinance 22-01 has been prepared based on this request. Attorney Green has reviewed the proposed ordinance and is fine with the wording.

Ordinance 22-01 is before the Board for consideration.

Item was removed from the agenda

Hard to imagine our town attorney and Planning & Inspections Director approved this as written. The ordinance changes created more problems than it solved. It was removed from the agenda, needs to be revised before being put on the agenda again.

Previously reported – May 2022
Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 22-13, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 92: Nuisances (Outside Lights) – Mayor Pro Tem Smith

Item was removed from the agenda

This was originally submitted in October of 2021, and we still have not been able to put together a coherent ordinance that actually addresses the issue that initiated the request to amend the ordinance.
Update –
Supplement has the new improved version of the Ordinance. Two (2) people from the Turtle Patrol spoke during the Public Comments portion of the meeting in support of this Ordinance. Enforcement on the approved ordinance will start January 1, 2023. Please make sure your current lighting is in compliance with the revisions by this date.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Brunswick Co. sea turtle advocates calling for new light fixtures to prevent misorientation
It’s officially summer and that means sea turtle nesting season is in full swing. Advocates for the endangered species are calling on residents and builders to change up their choice of light fixtures to keep the turtles headed for the ocean. An updated ordinance passed on Tuesday in Holden Beach restricting homes from having certain lights casting direct light more than 15 feet from the footprint of the residence with the exception of light directed into a pool area. Among other things, it prevents homes from having any unnecessary oceanfront lighting during turtle nesting season. Pat Cusack is the Project Coordinator with Holden Beach Turtle Watch and the NC Wildlife permit holder for sea turtle protection in Holden Beach. He says the white lights misorient or disorient sea turtles and hatchlings, leading them away from the water. “The white lights are an attractor, even for the adult turtles. For hatchlings, it’s a death sentence, basically,” Cusack said. “They see the white light and they’re like a kid in the candy store, they run right in. They come away from the water up into the dunes, the crabs get them, foxes, any other critter than likes to eat little hatchlings.” Just last week, Cusack was on the beach with a nesting turtle late in the evening around 10 or 11 pm. He says when she had finished nesting, she headed straight toward a home with a spotlight along the beach strand. After redirecting her, Cusack says she still walked more than 170 yards down the beach because she was following the lights shining in Ocean Isle Beach. “We average about three nests per year, which is over 300 hatchlings that we’re losing due to the lights,’ Cusack said. Cusack says the amendment to the ordinance is certainly helpful, but he would really love to see oceanfront homeowners install amber-colored lights. He says the wavelength of the amber lights don’t have as much of an effect on the turtles. Just down the beach strand in Ocean Isle Beach, NC Wildlife permit holder for sea turtle protection Deb Allen agrees. “There is no harm by amber lights for humans and it’s actually better for all wildlife and humans to have amber lights rather than the bright white lights.” Allen says last year more than 800 hatchlings were misoriented, and 252 were classified as dead because of artificial lights. “The town was able to put in a lighting ordinance for new construction but that doesn’t apply to the electric companies,” Allen said. “The electric companies are the ones we need to get on board with making changes to light fixtures and the bulbs that they put up in new developments and I’d really like to see them change existing ones.” Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation says they try to find solutions to minimize environmental impact, like turning off street lights near nests and moving light poles away from the beach. Allen says these are great steps to take, but ultimately not enough to keep the endangered species safe. “Lights can be seen for a long way by sea turtles because they’re looking for the moon, the stars, or the effervescence of the breaking waves and it’s easy for them to mistake it, so turning off one street light is not going to fix the problem,” Allen said. Allen has been in conversation with BEMC and the developer of The Pointe OIB to potentially get amber-colored street lights installed in the new development. The Sea Turtle Conservancy has gotten involved in the conversation as well, sending a letter to the organization recommending the installation of the amber-colored lights for the safety of the turtles as well as humans. The letter cites studies from the American Medical Association that show blue-rich street lights can interrupt sleep patterns and even contribute to obesity. BEMC shared a statement that reads as follows: “BEMC has always – and will continue to – work with local community organizations, HOAs and property developers to implement lighting solutions that balance the environmental concerns of our members as well as specific safety or design regulations imposed by local or municipal statutes. In the past, BEMC has worked to find creative solutions to minimize any negative environmental impacts to nesting turtles – including turning off select street lights during turtles’ nesting season, installing dimmer or cut-off switches, moving the location of light poles (away from the beach) and/or reducing the height of light poles to reduce light pollution over dunes. BEMC regularly engages with members and the communities we serve on these types of issues to achieve the best results for all concerned parties. We are currently engaged in dialogue with Ocean Isle Beach and the developer of the Pointe OIB on some requests for non-standard lighting at that location and we are optimistic we can reach a solution that satisfies all parties.”

Anyone interested in learning more about amber-colored lights, contact the beach’s sea turtle protection organization. For Holden Beach, visit here. For Ocean Isle, visit here.
Read more » click here 


2. Discussion and Possible Action on Addressing Paid Parking Issues Identified by the Town Police Department – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
a. Ordinance 22-16, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Title VII: Traffic Code

Agenda Packet – pages 159 – 168 which is too large to include here

Update –
They identified three (3) paid parking improvement opportunities as follows:

1. Signage
2.
Low-Speed Vehicles
3.
2 a.m. to 5 a.m. parking restrictions

They handled the issues separately

They agreed to additional signage to clarify parking and LSV’s.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

The amendment clarifies overnight parking restrictions, that is where you can park from 2:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. to match their intent. Motion was made to adopt ordinance as written.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously 

Got to give them credit for evaluating the situation and tweaking things in order to make them better. The mindset seems to be how can we make it ‘better’. Kudos!


3. Police Report – Lieutenant Frank Dilworth

Agenda Packet – pages 26 -29

Police Patch

Typical busy summertime activity

 


The police department currently has only eight (8) officers of the ten (10) they are budgeted to have.
Otto handling the majority of parking issues.

Golf carts is being addressed as a priority in order to keep people safe. All rules that apply to motor vehicles apply to golf carts. Seat belt compliance on low-speed vehicles has improved.

Originally reported that they will implement the no left turn coming off the bridge on Saturdays from 9am to 3pm. Have not had the need to close the left turn lane on the bridge, traffic never backed up there. Watching the situation and if the need arises they will implement no left turn coming off the bridge again.

Fireworks are illegal on the island and are a class 2 misdemeanor

Reminded everyone its Hurricane Season be prepared, have a plan!

Message from Chief Dixon (Holden Beach Newsletter 06/01/22)
After seeing an increase in Low-Speed Vehicles (LSV) operated over the Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone that LSVs are registered vehicles consistent with NC General Statutes. As such, the operation of LSVs requires a valid driver license and the use of seatbelts and child restraints.

Memorial Day Message from Chief Dixonabridged version
Ensure all occupants of your vehicle are belted, to include properly installed child restraints. Remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way at all intersections, driveways and marked crosswalks. Pedestrians are reminded to check both directions and make sure that motor vehicles have come to a complete stop before proceeding into the roadway. Remember that “golf carts” operated on the roadways in Holden Beach are registered low speed motor vehicles. You must have tags, insurance, and a driver’s license to operate a “golf cart” anywhere within the town limits of Holden Beach. All motor vehicle laws including but not limited to seat belts, child restraints, driving while impaired and parking violations apply to “golf carts”. This increased traffic enforcement is designed to increase safety and save lives. Your safety is our priority

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


Golf carts are treated the same as any other automotive vehicle.

In the State of North Carolina, if a golf cart is to be operated on the streets, highways, or public vehicular areas, it is considered a motor vehicle and subject to all laws, rules and regulations that govern motor vehicles. In short, the golf cart must have all of the following:

 

        • The driver MUST have a current, valid Driver’s License
        • Child Restraint Laws must be followed
        • Headlights
        • Tail lights
        • Turn signals
        • Rear view mirrors
        • State Inspection Sticker
        • License Plate Issued by NCDMV
        • Liability Insurance

All of the streets in the Town (including the side streets) are considered streets or public vehicular areas according to the State Law. This means that to operate a golf cart anywhere on the island, you must meet the standards above.


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

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!


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


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


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


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


Parking
§72.02 PARKING REGULATED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY.
(1) All vehicles must be as far off the public street rights-of-way as possible; and
(2) No vehicle may be left parked on any portion of any roadway; and
(3) No vehicle may be parked on portion of the sidewalk


4. Fire Department Update – Fire Chief Todd

Agenda Packet – background information was not provided

MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department is to protect the life and property of our citizens and visitors from fire and other emergencies through incident response, public education, and first response. As a customer driven organization, it is our mission and number one priority to deliver the best possible service to our customers.
For more information » click here

VISION STATEMENT
It is the vision of the Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department to be recognized by both those we serve and our members as:

    • an organization striving to achieve a level of service that is viewed as a benchmark within the Fire Service.
    • an exceptional department dedicated to the education of the public in order to promote life safety.
    • a dynamic organization that adjusts to the changing needs of the community and its members.
    • a department that is acknowledged for its pride, integrity, and professionalism in providing services to the community.

For more information » click here

Update –
Chief Todd made the presentation, he briefly reviewed the Tri-Beach Fire Department call statistics and response times. He pointed out that the call volume is increasing every year. Station #2, which is located here on the island, has full-time staffing from the beginning of May to the end of the September  from 7:00am to 7:00pm., during which time roughly most of the island calls happen. Mayor Holden broached the topic of water pressure on the island, the Chief said that he was in favor of a second water tower which would help us tremendously especially for the west end of the island.


5. Inspections Department Report – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 30 – 38, slide presentation

Plan Reviews =                       432
Permits Issued =                    1,049
Inspection Performed =       3,187
Stop Work Orders =              56
Complaints Filed =                41
Code Violations =                  6
Total =                                    4,771 fiscal year

Update –
Timbo prepared a slide presentation. They are dedicated to keeping families and visitors safe, by enforcing the applied rules and regulations applicable to development and construction within the town corporate limits. Building on the island has picked up exponentially and he made it clear that they have been very, very, busy. The department has the inability to cut corners, they can’t reduce process and carry out their core responsibilities.

Apparently Timbo took umbrage to the criticism of the department at the last meeting and prepared this report in response. We get it, there is a lot going on. Keep in mind that there were three (3) employees to handle this workload but now there are four (4) employees in this department. I’m sorry but there is still absolutely no excuse for it to take months to get a permit.


6.  Discussion and Possible Action on Town Landscaping Contract with Coastal Creations – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 42 – 108 which is too large to include here

The current landscaping and irrigation contract with Carolina Creations is expiring. Staff asked the contractor to provide several proposals to help gauge the scope of services the board wants to undertake in the upcoming fiscal year. The following table summarizes the attached proposals provided.

      • Option 1 $59,152.48
      • Option 2 $67,145.64
      • Option 3 $125,924.14

When landscaping and irrigation services were bid out in 2020, below were the bids that came back. The most responsive bid was Carolina Creations, and the board chose to engage in the contract based on the significant price differences with other companies.

Currently, this service is budgeted equally between the BPART budget (Jordan Boulevard Ops, Maintenance, and Repair) and General Fund (Building and Grounds).

All of the options exceed appropriations in the FY 22/23 budget as follows:

      • Option l exceeds budget by $1,248.48
      • Option 2 exceeds budget by $9,241.64
      • Option 3 exceeds budget by $68,020.14

Approval of a one-year contract will require BOC action to alter the corresponding lines in the proposed FY 2022-2023 budget to account for the increased expenditures.

Regardless of the option chosen, the suggestion is to address the delta through fund balance in the general fund.    Motion to approve                                            ; authorize the town manager to make appropriate adjustments to expenses with corresponding adjustment to general fund balance and to execute the contracts.

Update –
Christy gave a brief history of events since 2015, explaining how we got to this point. Alan reminded everyone that the north side of the bridge is controlled by Brunswick County and the DOT. Basically, since the north side of the bridge is not town property we are only allowed to do certain things. What we would be doing is spending THB money on County controlled property and DOT rights-of-way property. She presented them with three (3) landscaping contract options to choose from. Even if we were willing to we still are unable since we do not have adequate funds to do any enhancement projects. The Board agreed to maintain the services in our current contract that includes landscaping on the island and for the mainland entrance to the island. Motion was made to approve Option #2, simply continue to keep doing what they have been doing and make appropriate adjustments to the budget.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 22-14, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023 – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 109 – 135 which is too large to include here

Ordinance 22-14 / Town of Holden Beach Fiscal Year 2022/2023 Budget Ordinance
An Ordinance to appropriate revenues and authorize expenses for the Fiscal Year beginning 1 July 2022 and ending 30 June 2023. BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach North Carolina that revenues and expenses for the Fiscal Year 2022/2023 are authorized as set out below:

Budget Ordinance Presentation

Budget Ordinance

Update –
State law defines an annual budget as “a proposed plan for raising and spending money for specified programs, functions, activities or objectives during a fiscal year.” Local governments must balance their budget. Ensuring that government commitments are in line with available resources is an essential element of good governance. Town Manager Hewett briefly reviewed the process to develop the spending plan.

Proposed budget balanced with revenues equaling expenses. 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 approved the town’s budget ordinance as submitted for the upcoming fiscal year.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8. Discussion and Possible Approval of Contract with the Department of Transportation for Bike Lanes on Ocean Boulevard – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 136 – 145 which is too large to include here

Execution of the attached agreement with DOT is required to construct the Ocean Boulevard Bike Lanes Project this fall in conjunction with the resurfacing of Ocean Boulevard. The project is estimated at $1,722,364 of which 42% or $723,393 is the Town’s share. The remaining 58% or $998,971 is funded by the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study (GSATS). The contract can be executed via prior Board action to appropriate funds. Project costs are calculated upon completion and any excess prepayments are returned by DOT per cost shares above. Cost overruns are likewise prorated. The Town will be advised upon bid opening as to the viability of the DOT letting. Specific bid opening date has not been determined at this time. The bike lanes are an integral part of the Ocean Boulevard resurfacing design and cannot be excluded from the project if it is to be accomplished within DOT’s current schedule. An appropriate motion to move the project forward is: “Approve the TIP agreement #1000013299 and direct Town Manager to execute same”.

Update –
If the Board wants to move forward with this project the Board needs to approve this agreement.
They authorized the execution of the Transportation Improvement Agreement with the Department of Transportation.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously


9. Discussion and Possible Action on Request by Sunset Slush Classic Italian Ice to Utilize Vending Carts on the Beach Strand – Commissioner Dyer

Agenda Packet – pages 146 – 148
On April 1, 2010 Sunset Slush Classic Italian Ice, which has been serving the Brunswick County area since 2003 had the privilege of becoming a part of the Holden Beach community. We have strived to bring a family fun-filled and inviting atmosphere to our beautiful beach town while serving our delicious Italian ice. We have been approached every summer by tourists and locals alike inquiring why we do not serve on the strand. Of course, we always respond letting them know that we have tried but the laws of the town prohibit vending. With all the changes coming to Holden Beach this season, paid parking and vending food trucks, we are thinking it is a great time to ask the town to revisit our proposal to bring our carts to Holden Beach. We are entering our 19th season of vending with our carts on Ocean Isle Beach and Oak Island. We have made great relationships with our customers on all of our Brunswick County beaches and we hope our reputation speaks within itself of how we do business and support the growth and change of our beautiful area and beaches. We would greatly appreciate your consideration in giving us the opportunity as beach servers, if not long-term then maybe consider a trial season to see if this is something the town, the locals and tourists would enjoy as a desirable addition as our family beach continues to grow.

§112.01  DEFINITION.
For the purpose of this chapter, PEDDLING shall mean the selling, bartering, or exchanging or the offering for sale of any tangible personal property, including but not limited to food and ice cream, upon or along the streets, highways, or public places of the town or from private property within or without the permission of the owner thereof, from any wagon, truck, pushcart, concession stand, or tent, or other movable receptacles of any kind.

§112.02  PEDDLING PROHIBITED.
Pursuant to the authority granted under G.S. §§ 160A-178 and 160A-194, as amended, the activity of peddling within the limits of the town is prohibited.

Previously reported –
Sunset Slush has been operating on Holden Beach since 2010. Customers continually ask them why they do not have pushcarts on the beach strand. They currently have pushcarts on other islands in the surrounding communities. They are requesting permission to operate pushcarts on our beach strand too. They asked the Commissioners to consider what is best for the tourists who stay here and support us.

A motion was made but it was not seconded. Therefore, there was no discussion by the Commissioners either for or against having pushcarts on the beach strand. Peddling is prohibited and I suppose they didn’t want to open a can of worms.

Previously reported – February, 2017
Guest Speaker: Sellers Family – Owners of Sunset Slush – Sell Italian Ice on the Beach Strand (Mayor Pro Tem Fletcher and Commissioner Freer)
This is the eighth season that they have a brick-and-mortar presence on the island. They currently have pushcarts on other islands in the surrounding communities. We are one of only four beaches that do not allow peddling. Their position is that they are speaking for the tourists; we should do what is best for the tourists who stay here and support us. They are only on the beach strand for a few hours a day, they pick-up debris as they go, and they agreed to approval on a one-year trial basis.

This would be at least the fourth attempt they’ve made requesting permission to operate pushcarts on our beach strand. Most people that spoke each time that they have asked were opposed to the proposal. Many property owners chose to be here because the island is not commercialized.

The discussion felt like it went on forever. Thankfully, Commissioner Kyser called for a point of order. The agenda item was for a presentation only, so it was not appropriate for them to discuss, it should have been limited to just their presentation. Currently our ordinances outright prohibit peddling. The next step would be for the Town staff in conjunction with our lawyer to work on a regulation.
No decision was made – No action taken

Public Comments on Agenda Items
Several people spoke against the Sunset Slush proposal to peddle ices on the beach strand at this meeting and at previous meetings when the subject was brought up. Mark Fleischhauer read a letter written by his wife Karen in 2008 at the time of the original request. This is the abridged version of the letter which pretty much sums up the thoughts of those opposed to the idea.

I do not want to see any commercial business on the beach. What concerns me most is allowing commercial businesses of any sort to spoil the natural beauty and calm of our family beach.  People choose Holden Beach because it is a place that has remained the same throughout the years.  Vacationers as well as residents continue to bring their children and grandchildren here so they can enjoy the same simple pleasure of going to the beach that they enjoyed as a child.  I beg you to please don’t commercialize our wonderful island.  Please don’t open Pandora’s Box.  How will you vote if approached by others who may want to sell hot dogs, hemp bracelets and shell art or services such as Caribbean style beaded hair braiding.  I’ve heard mention of all these opportunities.  Don’t jeopardize the fact that we our rated in the elite top ten of family beaches. We got there for what we already have, natural beauty and that is priceless. We can’t improve on perfect.

I for one do not want to see peddlers on the beach strand.
The question that needs to be asked is:
What does the community want the island to be?

Update –
Sunset Slush has been operating on Holden Beach since 2010. They currently have pushcarts on other islands in the surrounding communities. They are requesting permission to operate pushcarts on our beach strand here too. They are nothing if not persistent; this will be at least the fifth time (08, 12, 14, 17, 22) that they have made this request to operate pushcarts on our beach strand. Currently our ordinances outright prohibits peddling. The Board allowed the owners the Sellers family, who are from here, to make a presentation. They reviewed the protocols on the other islands that allow them to operate there. They used a basic sales technique, they addressed what they know to be the standard objections to allow peddling on the beach strand. The Board gave town staff  a directive to bring proposed Ordinance for consideration at the next meeting, with the recommendation to benchmark off OIB existing Ordinance. Even by limiting it to vendors with a brick-and-mortar presence on the island, that would still allow nine (9) potential vendors to peddle on the beach strand. Is that really what we want? This Board, in their infinite wisdom, think that this is a good idea despite four (4) previous Boards not approving this same request. But, as the saying goes: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Allowing peddling on the beach strand would set a really bad precedent. Once you allow one vendor to peddle goods others will want to get in the queue and request to do the same thing. Where do you draw the line? Do the island property owners want to commercialize the island? Do we really want peddlers on the beach strand? Do we want to be the next Jersey Shore? I don’t think so!


10. Discussion and Possible Action on Status Update for Wetland Delineation of Marsh and 800 Block Lots – Commissioner Murdock

Agenda Packet – pages 149 – 156 which is too large to include here

Previously reported – April 2022
Draft has been prepared, USACE is here, and we are waiting their determination.

Previously reported – March 2022
Per the Board’s direction the wetland delineation is underway, clearing parcels as needed for the surveyors.

Previously reported – February 2022
They have ordered an engineer to delineate the wetland areas, work is to be completed in the next two (2) weeks

Previously reported – January 2022
They agreed that they will need to get our plans to the DOT for their approval. Also, it will require a civil engineer to delineate the wetland area and do any required permitting. Brian made a motion that we delineate all town property bordering marsh areas that is included in the parking plan.

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski handled this in Brian’s absence. They would like to provide parking in these areas wherever possible. Delineation was approved without a site visit, so we can proceed with site planning only. USACE/CAMA determination required before we can actually proceed to put parking there. Timbo described where we could possibly have parking,  a number of these locations will require having bulkheads. Pat asked, how many parking spaces could we get? He said that he will need to go back and redo analysis to make a determination. He will bring information back to the next BOC’s meeting  for the number of parking spaces, only in the areas closest to beach accesses.


  • 11. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 22-15, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (AmendmentNo. 18) – Town Manager Hewett
  • Agenda Packet – pages 157 – 158

    The attached proposed budget amendment is necessary to comply with the Fiscal Control Act by providing for and recognizing actual paid parking revenues received and the startup expenses incurred for on and off-street parking in addition to initial costs at 441 ocean Boulevard West to date. Actual total parking revenues to date are $166,749 with actual total parking and 441 startup expenses equaling $37,412.

    Update –
    Housekeeping item to recognize paid parking revenue and expenses in order to comply with Fiscal Control Act.
    Moved funds of $102,461

  • A decision was made – Approved unanimously

    12. Discussion and Possible Setting of Date to Hold Interviews for Vacancies on Town Boards – Town Clerk Finnell

    Agenda Packet – pages 169 – 172

    There are terms expiring on Town boards in July. I recommend the Board hold interviews on Tuesday, July 19th at 4:45 p.m. for people interested in filling vacant terms.

    Update –
    Agreed to hold interviews to fill vacancies before the next BOC’s Regular July meeting

    Volunteers Needed
    The Town has vacancies on the Board of Adjustment, Planning & Zoning Board, and the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. Interviews for the vacancies will be held on Tuesday, July 19th at 4:45 p.m. Click here to access an application if you are interested in applying to serve. Completed applications can be emailed to heather@hbtownhall.com or dropped off at Town Hall.


    13. Discussion and Possible Action on Bonus Proposed by the Board – Town Manager Hewett

    Agenda Packet – pages 173

    At the May 20th Board of Commissioners meeting, the Board provided guidance on staff compensation for the upcoming budget. That guidance included a proposed bonus in the amount of $750 to be issued before the end of the current fiscal year.

    If the Board would like to move forward with the bonus, the suggested motion is approval of staff bonus in the amount of $750 per person to be issued this fiscal year to all current fulltime employees in good standing with the Town.

Update –
In November they had a Resolution to provide bonus, they are moving forward without Resolution now. Approved a bonus of $750 per person for all current full-time employees in good standing with the Town. The bonuses will be issued this month.

  • A decision was made – Approved unanimously

    14. Discussion and Possible Action on Updating Section 2. Administration and Maintenance of the Personnel Policy and Updated Salary Ranges – Town Clerk Finnell

    Agenda Packet – pages 174 – 177

    At the May 20th Board of Commissioners meeting, the Board agreed to use the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) to update the salary ranges this year. The adjusted salary ranges are attached for Board action. The existing salary ranges are also attached.

    The Board also agreed that from a policy standpoint regarding salary increases, staff would bring something back to the Board, Attached is recommended amendment to Section 2. Administration and Maintenance of the Personnel Policy. After researching an automatic annual adjustment as discussed, staff believes the salary ranges should only be adjusted in the years that a COLA is approved for existing staff. There are issues that arise if the salary ranges are adjusted, but staff salaries are not. The proposed change would be consistent with what many other local municipalities have in place, This would not prevent the Board from approving a change similar to this year’s Social Security increase in the years a COLA is not approved.

    If the Board would like to move forward with the changes, the suggested motion is approval of the amendment to Section 2. Administration and Maintenance of the Personnel Policy and of the adjusted salary ranges.

Update –
The Board agreed to use the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) to update the salary ranges this year.

Approved the salary ranges as submitted
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Personnel Policy was discussed. Pat indicated that she was looking for protocols that were to be reviewed annually as opposed to automatically. They decided to leave policy as it is.
No decision was made – No action taken


Living Wage Calculation for Brunswick County, North Carolina
For more information » click here

      • $36.12 two adults with two children only one working
      • $22.64 two adults with two children both working
      • $19.18 average Town hourly employee

How Cape Fear governments use pay hikes to fend off vacancies, inflation
One after the other, local governments in the Cape Fear have announced raises for their employees in recent months. First came the city of Wilmington. Then New Hanover County. Brunswick County and the towns of Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach followed, citing high vacancy rates for job postings, a rising cost of living and increased competition as reasons for the raises. The pay raises and restructured salaries were based on months-long market studies that compare area wages and benefits with other similar markets. On a national scale, wages of government employees lag behind their private sector counterparts, according to Mouhcine Guettabi, the area’s regional economist and an associate professor of economics at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. It’s not surprising local governments are feeling pressure to raise pay, Guettabi said. Since emerging from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. labor market has tightened as businesses reopening’s drove up demand for employees while the supply of workers remained low. “The fastest way to resolve a worker shortage is to raise wages,” Guettabi said. That’s because higher wages either can pull someone not currently working into the job market or draw them away from a competitor. Wilmington leaders hope raising wages will do just that. Several city departments have struggled with unprecedented vacancies and hiring lags. Wrightsville Beach, too, has dealt with employee shortages for months. Government wages often aren’t as flexible as those in the private sector because municipalities often adhere to stricter guidelines and budgets, which makes it difficult to keep employees from going elsewhere for more money. “Typically, wages in local governments and state governments are very well defined,” Guettabi said. “You don’t have the discretion to just offer a 20% or 30% raise.”
Still, government jobs can offer more benefits and stability than those in the private sector. Guettabi, for instance, refers to government wages as “stickier” than money from private employees. That means wages aren’t tied to the economy as closely. An economic collapse won’t necessarily change government wages, but neither will an economic expansion. Wages often remain stable regardless of the economy, Guettabi said. Inflation and a rising cost of living could be another factor driving municipalities to give employee raises, Guettabi said. Carolina Beach along with Brunswick and New Hanover counties cited market increases and the cost of living as factors that played into their wage hikes. As people start to run out of savings and stimulus money accumulated during the pandemic, Guettabi said he expects to see an end to the worker shortage in the Cape Fear region, which could put “downward pressure” on wages, he said. Ultimately, local governments and private employers alike are faced with the challenge of balancing a need to fill positions and retain employees — with offering higher wages and benefits.
“At the end of the day, you have to pay for the increases, and can you find the money to do it quickly enough to compete? And can you raise the wages at a fast enough pace?” Guettabi said. “That’s a big question.”
Read more » click here

N.C. Answers: What’s a ‘living income’ in my county?
It’s expensive to live on the cheap in North Carolina. A single parent with a baby needs to earn $50,530 to make ends meet, according to the NC Budget & Tax Center’s Living Income Standard. Two parents with two children have to earn $69,270. Across the USA Today Network counties in North Carolina, the living income ranges from $39,760 to $53,430 for a single-parent family of two, and $58,500 to $72,700 for a family of four. Cleveland County is the low end and Buncombe the high. You can’t directly compare these numbers to the 2019 Living Income Standard because the organization changed its calculations. But yes, everything has gone up. These incomes are all way higher than the federal poverty level, also known as the federal poverty line. That’s $18,310/year for a parent and a child, and $27,750 for two adults and two children. Even so, the NC Budget & Tax Center’s calculations are “conservative,” research manager Patrick McHugh said. “This is not a thriving and economically stable income. This is a just-making-ends-meet income.” Paycheck to paycheck. The food costs, for instance — $830 for a family of four, $370 for a single parent with a baby — allow for few meals out and not much meat. In housing, two kids share a bedroom. “We’re trying to underscore the inadequacy of the federal poverty line and the gross inadequacy of the minimum wage,” McHugh said. The federal poverty line calculation was set decades ago by a home economist working for the Social Security Administration. It simply multiplies the cost of food and severely underestimates the price of housing, transportation, health care and child care, McHugh said. Excepting only Gaston County, childcare for two costs more than $1,000/month. In most of our counties, it costs significantly more than rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Too bad you can’t live in your kids’ daycare. Many readers will look at the housing estimates and find them low. With our current inflation, “These data are going to be obsolete sooner rather than later,” McHugh said. Even more troubling, in much of North Carolina, the $15 minimum wage urged by labor activists “doesn’t even come close to paying the bills,” McHugh said. In Cleveland, Davidson and Lenoir counties, two parents with two kids could meet the living income standard if they were each making a little below $15. But that’s not the case in the USA Today Network’s other North Carolina counties. Cleveland is the only one of our counties where a single parent could meet the living income standard making less than $20/hour. Should we all join the roughly 11,000 people who live in Alleghany County? It has the lowest cost of living in North Carolina — $38,400 for a single parent with a baby, $52,950 for two parents with two kids. Maybe if you can work remotely. “The really vicious paradox families are facing … is that the jobs are mostly being created in the most expensive areas of our state,” McHugh said. Alleghany’s number of employed people is up from its rock-bottom COVID level, but it was still only 4,029 in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Solutions for where we live now
Economics authorities in Buncombe and New Hanover counties nodded in agreement and shook their heads in dismay. “I think it’s sad,” said Linda Thompson, New Hanover’s chief diversity and equity officer. And worse, “There are families in fact that live off much less.” “This is what it’s taking just to get by,” said Vicki Meath, executive director of Just Economics in Asheville. “Which of these numbers could we reduce, and how are people living below that?” The housing costs for Buncombe County are actually low, she noted – the fair-market rent for a one-bedroom apartment is now a hair over $1,200. With our current inflation, “These data are going to be obsolete sooner rather than later,” McHugh acknowledged. Inflation also means that people are running to stay in place, Meath said. “Workers are forced to continue fighting for higher wages just to continue to meet the needs they were meeting a few years ago.” The key is to not just raise wages but lower the cost of living, Thompson said. And that requires a multiplicity of solutions. New Hanover county government is building a supermarket in a longstanding food desert, to be managed by the North Side Co-Op. In February, the commissioners put $15 million toward affordable housing. They’ve put money toward the Starway Village affordable-housing project. Public transportation funding is also on the menu. “It all intersects,” Thompson said. When people can’t find child care, they can’t work. If they can’t work, they can’t afford transportation. And so on. The New Testament says, “the poor you will always have with you,” Thompson said. But “just because the Scripture says that doesn’t mean we don’t need to work on it.”
Read more » click here


15. Discussion and Possible Action to Request that the Planning & Zoning Board Evaluate and Propose any Appropriate Changes to Ordinance 94.03, Frontal Dune Policy and Regulations, in Particular §94.03(C)(2) Regarding Walkway Policies that Limit Construction South of the Frontal Dune as Defined in §94.03(A) With the Exception of Property Owners with Lots that Have More Than 300 Feet from the Seaward Toe of the Frontal Dune to the Last Line of Natural Stable Vegetation and Also Advise the Board on the Suitability of Moving Portions of §94.03 to Chapter 157: Zoning Code – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – pages 178 – 181

At the request of a resident, I have looked at the 1100 block dunes where the concern was raised about walkway restrictions keeping some homeowners from easily accessing the strand across multiple dunes 9although it is less than 300 ft as stipulated in the current ordinance 94.03, the distance and secondary dune sizes are not insignificant). I think ordinance 94.03 could benefit from a Planning and Zoning Board evaluation and possible suggestions for changes, particularly regarding walkway policies, taking into consideration what some other beach towns are doing. Feedback from P&Z at or before the October BOCM would be an appropriate timeframe. If the Board agrees, an appropriate action would be a motion for P&Z to evaluate and as appropriate propose improvements to ordinance 94.03, with particular attention to walkway restrictions, and also advise the BOCM whether Chapter 94.03 or portions thereof should be moved to Chapter 157 at or before the October BOCM.

Update –
They decided it could benefit from a Planning and Zoning Board evaluation and possible recommendations for any appropriate changes to the Ordinance. It was suggested that they should benchmark off of some of the surrounding island communities. Timbo recommended that a portion of the Ordinance should be moved to Chapter 157. A response was requested at or before the October BOCM.


16. Town Manager’s Report

FEMA storm damage repair project
Central Reach Project 2 , beach strand construction activities are completed
Anticipate final inspection by end of July

Roadway
Drainage pipes in, grade set, base course laid, blacktop paving should be done soon

Previously reported – May 2022
Seagull Street is having grade stakes set, he expects paving to start this week or next.
David anticipates paving will be completed before Memorial Day.

Previously reported – April 2022
Contractor for Seagull paving project is currently sourcing material and is on schedule to complete paving before Memorial Day. Town Manager informed the Board that property owner assessments for the work will be sent out once the project has been completed.

Previously reported – March 2022
Paving for Seagull bid package is going out next week, plan to award the contract at the BOC’s Regular Meeting in April. David anticipates paving will be completed before Memorial Day, as it has been done in the past few years.

Pier and Block Q
The  Request for Quotation (RfQ) for engineering for the Pier and Block Q is out and due back by June 24th  

Food trucks are operating at the pier but are struggling due to lack of customers  

Some reservations have been made for the camper spaces the Town owns 

The CAMA grant reimbursement ($180k) for the for the access parcel is expected sometime next month  

Previously reported – May 2022
Just received the Underwater Survey on the pier. Executive Summary noted that they observed conditions were overall in FAIR condition, the primary structures are sound. Repairs are recommended, but the priority recommended repairs is low. The cost associated with making the repairs is approximately $116,000. Overall, David felt pretty good about the report and stated that we “did not buy a lemon”.

Holden Beach Fishing Pier – 2022 Due Diligence Inspection / Part 2


  • In Case You Missed It –

Pets
Effective May 20th – September 20th, pets are not allowed on the beach strand between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Please remember that any time your dog is off your premise, they must be under control of a reasonable person either by a leash, cord or chain at all times. Also, dog owners shall remove dog waste immediately after it is deposited by the dog when on public property, public park property, public right-of-way property or any private property, including vacant lots, without the permission of the private property owner. Dog waste stations are conveniently located throughout the island.


Holden Beach Pier
The Town has completed the transaction to acquire the pier properties at 441 Ocean Boulevard West. The pier and adjacent buildings are closed until further notice. The parking lot and beach access on the east side of the pier will remain open and are free for public use at this time. It is anticipated that parking fees will be charged for the pier lot starting May 1st.


  • Paid Parking on Holden Beach
    Paid parking will be implemented in the Town of Holden Beach on May 1, 2022 for all Holden Beach designated parking areas. It will be enforced from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily, with free parking before and after that time. All parking will use license plates for verification.

    Holden Beach will use the “SurfCAST by Otto” parking solution. This mobile app for Apple and Android mobile devices is NOW LIVE. You will also be able to purchase passes by scanning the QR-codes located on the parking signs for access to https://surfcast.ottoconnect.us/pay.

    Passes CANNOT be purchased by contacting Town Hall.

    Parking rates for a single vehicle in all designated areas will be:
    $3 per hour for up to four hours
    $15 per day and for any duration greater than four hours
    $60 per week (seven consecutive days)

    Annual Passes
    $125 per calendar year for a single vehicle

    Handicap parking is free in designated handicap spaces and only with a valid license plate or hangtag.

    Parking rates can be paid via credit card, debit card or PayPal.

    Visit https://hbtownhall.com/paid-parking for more information and to view a table with authorized parking areas.


Upcoming Events –

NA


  • General Comments –

  • Meeting Agenda
    Yet another marathon session, the meeting ran for almost three (3) hours.


BOC’s Meeting

The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, July 19th
.


Loose Ends –

Street Rights-of-Way

Previously reported – April 2018
Parking for Implementation Prior to the 2018 Beach Season – Commissioner Butler
Revise the Town Ordinance 95.05 to accommodate the recommendation for property owners to have an option to preserve their landscaping and irrigation systems by installing a post and rope in the right­ of-way not to exceed 24″ in grade.

This came out of the parking committee. At the time, the original intent was to eliminate all right-of-way parking. However, not allowing any parking in the rights-of-way creates its own set of problems. Instead of outright banning parking in the rights-of-way they gave the property owner an option to use post and rope. This was a reasonable accommodation to prevent parking on your property.

Previously reported – June 2021
Discussion and Possible Action on Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Section §95.05, Street Rights-of-Way – Mayor Pro Tem Brown

Agenda Packet –

§95.05  STREET RIGHTS-OF-WAY.

   (A)   The purpose of this regulation is to establish what may be placed in street rights-of-way which are cleared by installation or repair of utilities, streets, or walkways.  This regulation is not intended to remove or destroy landscaping or structures which are presently in place.  Landscaping in street rights-of-way:

      (1)   Must not present a safety hazard;
      (2)   Must not impede traffic;
      (3)   Is placed at the risk of the individual; and
      (4)   Is encouraged.

Timbo had pictures and a video to show what property owners have put up in the rights-of-way. Many were not in compliance with the ordinance. (Question: So why hasn’t he enforced any ordinance noncompliance?) Commissioner Sullivan & Kwiatkowski explained how we came to have an ordinance that allowed post and rope in their rights-of-way, it was an accommodation and it achieved what the majority of our residents wanted. Commissioner Murdock said that the property owners do not want people parking in their yard, we need to eliminate parking in the rights-of-way. We need to find a solution to the parking problem, an alternative to rights-of-way parking by providing a reasonable number of parking spots. They decided to wait and see what the Parking Committee presents as their recommendations to the Board. In the meantime, noncompliance can be dealt with on a regularity basis. No decision to change the ordinance was made so the ordinance will remain in effect as currently written.

No decision was made – No action taken

I personally object to parking in the rights-of-way, but the post and rope solution was what was offered as a meet them halfway compromise. Just so you know, the public can legally park their vehicles in the rights-of-way excluding regulated areas listed in the ordinance. So let me get this straight, you spend big bucks to landscape your property and put in an irrigation system, but the public can park on your property trashing your landscaping and irrigation system. In what universe does this make any sense?

Instead of eliminating this option maybe we should try getting compliance with the ordinance first.

 The ordinance as written states:

    • “must not present a safety hazard” so we can address any safety issues without any changes
    • “post and rope not to exceed 24 inches from grade” so we can enforce any noncompliance

Eliminating the  post and rope option does not mean eliminating them from properties that are currently  in compliance with the ordinance since it is my understanding that  they would be grandfathered in

The Ordinance is vague, if it stands as is written then perhaps, we should clarify exactly what can be done

    • Size of posts used
    • Minimum setback from the street

Update –
One year later and all things are as they were …
We identified properties that were not in compliance, and nothing was done!
I’m not an attorney, but I believe this goes from being a liability to negligence

Liability – the state of being responsible for something, especially by law

Negligence – failure to take proper care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances




  • Hurricane Season
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    For more information
    » click here

    .
    Be prepared – have a plan!.
    .
    ..

NOAA predicts above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Ongoing La Niña, above-average Atlantic temperatures set the stage for busy season ahead
Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, are predicting above-average hurricane activity this year — which would make it the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season. NOAA’s outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 65% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. For the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.

“Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane resilient and climate-ready,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Throughout the hurricane season, NOAA experts will work around-the-clock to provide early and accurate forecasts and warnings that communities in the path of storms can depend on to stay informed.” The increased activity anticipated this hurricane season is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon. An enhanced west African monsoon supports stronger African Easterly Waves, which seed many of the strongest and longest lived hurricanes during most seasons. The way in which climate change impacts the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones is a continuous area of study for NOAA scientists. “As we reflect on another potentially busy hurricane season, past storms — such as Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New York metro area ten years ago — remind us that the impact of one storm can be felt for years,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “Since Sandy, NOAA’s forecasting accuracy has continued to improve, allowing us to better predict the impacts of major hurricanes to lives and livelihoods.”

Additionally, NOAA has enhanced the following products and services this hurricane season:

“Hurricane Ida spanned nine states, demonstrating that anyone can be in the direct path of a hurricane and in danger from the remnants of a storm system,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “It’s important for everyone to understand their risk and take proactive steps to get ready now by visiting Ready.gov and Listo.gov for preparedness tips, and by downloading the FEMA App to make sure you are receiving emergency alerts in real-time.” NOAA’s outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. In addition to the Atlantic seasonal outlook, NOAA has also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern Pacific and central Pacific hurricane basins. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2022 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season.
Read more » click here

NOAA forecasts seventh straight busy Atlantic hurricane season
The agency predicted 14 to 21 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes and 3 to 6 major hurricanes
The siege of active Atlantic hurricane seasons will continue for yet another year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted Tuesday. In its annual seasonal outlook, the agency forecast the seventh straight above-normal Atlantic season, with 14 to 21 named storms — compared with 14 in an average year — and three to six major hurricanes, rated Category 3 or higher. Major hurricanes are of particular concern, as they tend to rapidly intensify, or increase by 35 mph or more in wind strength in 24 hours — leaving coastal residents with little time to prepare. These major storms are responsible for the overwhelming majority of damage because of wind and ocean surge, the rise of water above normally dry land at the coast. Scientists have observed an increase in rapidly intensifying hurricanes over the past few decades, linked to warming ocean waters from human-caused climate change. NOAA’s outlook for another busy season follows a devastating period of heightened storm activity in the Atlantic. The 2021 season produced 21 named storms, the third-most on record, exhausting all of the names of the National Hurricane Center’s conventional naming list. In 2020, a record 30 named storms formed. The two seasons combined produced the most landfalling storms on record in the United States. The United States saw more Category 4 and 5 hurricane landfalls from 2017 to 2021 than from 1963 to 2016. Every year since 2016 has generated above-average activity in the Atlantic, with five Category 5 storms roaming the basin over that period. A seemingly relentless parade of major hurricanes — including Harvey, Irma, Michael, Laura, Zeta and Ida — lashed the beleaguered Gulf Coast during the six-year window. The effects of Hurricane Ida last year were so severe — from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast — that the World Meteorological Organization retired Ida from the rotating list of hurricane names. The storm caused 96 deaths as it tracked from Louisiana to Connecticut and was blamed for $75 billion in damage, the fifth-costliest hurricane on record in the United States. Ida, which caused catastrophic flooding in the Northeast — including New York City — demonstrated how tropical systems can inundate communities hundreds of miles from where they first come ashore. Inland flooding has become the leading cause of fatalities from tropical weather systems in recent years. Scientists have also found human-caused climate change is intensifying heavy rainfall in these tropical systems. NOAA released its outlook at a news conference in New York, commemorating 10 years since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the region in 2012. Sandy, blamed for $80 billion in damage, is listed as the fourth-costliest tropical system on record. Sandy was transitioning from a hurricane to a “post-tropical cyclone” when it slammed the Northeast with a massive storm surge, torrential rain and huge swath of damaging winds. “As we saw from Sandy, it doesn’t even have to be a hurricane to cause such devastation to communities,” said Christina Farrell, New York City emergency management first deputy commissioner.

NOAA’s forecast and a trend toward better accuracy
Hurricane outlooks made in the spring have shown considerable improvement over the past decade after not exhibiting much accuracy from the 1980s through about 2013, according to researchers at Colorado State University. Here are the numbers from NOAA’s outlook:

      • 14 to 21 named storms, compared with an annual average of 14.4.
      • Six to 10 hurricanes, compared with an annual average of 7.2.
      • Three to six major hurricanes, compared with an annual average of 3.2.

NOAA’s outlook stated there is a 65 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance that it will be below normal. NOAA’s outlook echoes those made by several research institutions and private companies. Colorado State University, for example, is predicting 19 named storms, with a 71 percent likelihood that the United States will be hit by a major hurricane. Similarly, AccuWeather, the private forecast company based in State College, Pa., is calling for 16 to 20 named storms.

While seasonal hurricane forecasts have improved, predictions of storms once they form have made even greater strides. The National Hurricane Center’s track forecasts have steadily improved, and its average storm intensity forecast error is now 40 percent less than it was in 2000. Rick Spinrad, NOAA’s administrator, anticipates additional gains. “NOAA will triple operational supercomputing capacity this summer,” Spinrad said at Tuesday’s news conference. “This upgrade will allow for higher-resolution earth models that can handle larger ensembles of models with more numerous calculations, more advanced physical considerations and more advanced ability to assimilate the data collected out in the storm.” To improve its predictions, NOAA is also operating five Saildrones — uncrewed vehicles on the ocean’s surface — to probe conditions; extending forecasts for extreme rainfall potential three to five days into the future; and introducing a product to pinpoint where the peak surge will occur when a storm is approaching the coast.

Signs of a busy season
Many indicators point toward the high probability of a busy season. The position of several key atmospheric features are noteworthy, and the ocean appears primed to support significant storms.

Among the elements being monitored are:

Sea surface temperatures. Hurricanes thrive when water temperatures reach the lower to mid-80s. Hurricanes are heat engines, extracting thermal energy from “oceanic heat content.” A greater, deeper reservoir of exceptionally mild ocean water translates to more fuel to generate or sustain a hurricane.

    • Water temperatures throughout the entire Gulf of Mexico and western Atlantic are running 1 to 3 degrees above average. The unusually warm water boosts the “potential intensity,” or maximum theoretical strength, a hurricane can achieve.

The loop current. Some researchers say unusually high temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico loop current are an ominous sign for the season ahead. The loop current is a warm-core eddy that meanders north of the Florida Straits and Yucatán Peninsula. The current could give storms an extra boost if they cross over it — but it’s one piece in a much larger atmospheric puzzle.

La Niña. La Niña is a dropping of sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific. It sets in motion a chain-reaction process that favors increased Atlantic hurricane activity. Specifically, it cools the air over that relative temperature minimum in the eastern Pacific, spurring sinking motion there. That makes it easier for air over the Atlantic to rise and feed big storms.

Wind shear. Wind shear is a change of wind speed or direction with height. Too much shear can disrupt a fledgling storm’s circulation and tear it apart before it has the opportunity to organize. Shear can also spell the demise of a strong hurricane.

    • During La Niña summers, there’s typically a reduction in wind shear over the tropical Atlantic. That will make it easier for hurricanes to form and remain stronger for longer.

NOAA’s outlook also pointed to “an enhanced African monsoon,” which supports more disturbances from Africa entering Atlantic waters, where they can develop into storms.

Hurricane seasons officially begins June 1
The first storm of 2022, once it’s named, will be called Alex. Should all 21 names on the National Hurricane Center’s list be used, forecasters will turn to a supplemental list set of names. The supplemental list was developed after the record-setting 30 storms in 2020 that led forecasters to use Greek letters after 21 storms had earned names. In recent years, an uptick in early-season storminess has been noted. NOAA has considered moving the “official” start of Atlantic hurricane season from June 1 to May 15, reflecting observed trends in a warming world. That would also match the May 15 start date of hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific. Irrespective of how many storms form, every year forecasters stress that it takes only one storm to have a memorable and potentially devastating impact on a community. In early May, the Hurricane Center led a public awareness campaign to urge preparedness for the upcoming season. “Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane-resilient and climate-ready,” said Gina Raimondo, secretary of the Commerce Department, which oversees NOAA.
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2022 Atlantic hurricane season to be above average: NOAA
The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins next week, is predicted to have above-average activity, with a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Rick Spinrad announced the initial outlook Tuesday during a news conference at New York City Emergency Management Department in Brooklyn, New York. Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, made the prediction for the season, June 1 to Nov. 30. Spinrad said the 2022 prediction will make the seventh consecutive year of an above-normal season. “Specifically, there’s a 65% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season, a 10% chance of below-normal season.”
Averages for the Atlantic hurricane season are 14 named storms and seven hurricanes. Of those, the average for major hurricanes at a Category 3, 4 or 5, is three. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center uses 1991 to 2020 as the 30-year period of record to determine averages. For the range of storms expected, Spinrad explained that forecasters call for a 70% probability of 14 to 21 named storms, with top winds of at least 39 miles per hour. Of these, six to 10 will become hurricanes with top winds of at least 74 miles per hour, and of those, three to six major hurricanes will be categories 3, 4 or 5 with top winds of at least 111 miles per hour. NOAA’s outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. The Climate Prediction Center will give an update in early August before peak season, officials said. NOAA officials attribute the increase in activity to many factors, such as the ongoing La Niña. La Niña is the cool phase of the Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, cycle. ENSO is a three-phase recurring climate pattern that has a strong influence on weather across the United States. The other two phases are neutral and El Niño, the warm phase that suppresses hurricane activity in the Atlantic. La Niña enhances it. Other factors officials point to are warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon, which supports stronger African Easterly Waves that seed many of the strongest and longest-lived hurricanes during most seasons. “The way in which climate change impacts the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones is a continuous area of study for NOAA scientists,” according to NOAA. Rick Luettich, director of the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences based in Morehead City and a coastal physical oceanographer, told Coastal Review Tuesday that he thinks this forecast by NOAA is not a surprise at all. “And I think we have to expect that it’s likely to hold true.” While the range of 14 to 21 storms is broad, Luettich thinks there will be at least the 14 storms “and whether or not we stop at 21 remains to be seen. But it looks like we’ll get through most of the alphabet again this year.” He noted that NOAA’s predictions are not substantially different from those announced a few months ago by Colorado State University researchers, who predicted 19 named storms this year. Of those, nine are predicted to become hurricanes with four to reach major hurricane strength at sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater. North Carolina State University researchers also predicted in April a similar amount of 17 to 21 named storms for this year. Luettich explained that the main thing that keeps storms, which pull heat from the ocean, from fully forming is wind shear, or the variation in wind from the surface up into the atmosphere. “If there’s a strong difference between the winds high aloft and the winds closer to the surface then that difference tends to stretch and pull and tear apart the storms,” he said. If the wind shear is weak then there’s not much to keep the storm from forming. “Wind shear tends to be much stronger in years when we have an El Niño,” Luettich said, but this year looks to be a moderate La Niña new year. The ENSO cycle most directly impacts whether or not there are a large number of storms, small number or somewhere in between. “The combination of a warm ocean and limited or little wind shear drives the large numbers of storms in the predictions.” The La Niña/El Niño cycle is what allows storms to get fully going and manifest or is what tears them apart. “And from year to year, it changes,” he added. He did point out that being in the third consecutive year of a La Niña cycle is unusual. Between plenty of energy in the ocean and weak wind shear, this is likely to be another year of substantial and strong storms. As the storm predictions relate to climate change, “if you look at the long-term temperature records you can see in both the atmosphere and the ocean there is a steady increase in the Earth’s temperature,” he said. Climate change is causing energy in the ocean to increase and more precipitation, leading to storms traveling slower and allowing more time for rainfall in an area. However, it’s a little less clear how the ENSO cycle is affected by climate change. “There are suggestions that in a warming climate the La Niñas and El Niños may be stronger when they occur, but I’m not aware that there’s a really good consensus or understanding of whether they’re likely to be more frequent,” he said, adding it’s just not clear how climate change will affect the ENSO cycle.

On the North Carolina coast
Erik Heden, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s office in the Newport/Morehead City area, explained in an interview Tuesday that his office doesn’t focus on NOAA’s initial outlook during any given year because “it doesn’t tell us whether or not our area will be impacted by storms. We try to shift the focus toward preparation each and every year since we live in an area that is vulnerable.” He urges residents and visitors that if there is a hurricane forecast that impacts their area, don’t focus on the category of the storm. “The category is only related to wind speed. It says nothing about how much rain will fall, how long the storm will remain over us, how large the storm is,” he said. “Remember Hurricane Florence was ‘only’ a category 1 storm when it made landfall. Cyclones have multiple threats that include storm surge, flooding, rip currents, tornadoes and wind.” Heden urges residents and visitors to follow official resources such as the weather office for your area or the National Hurricane Center. If your area is forecast to be near, not just in, the forecast cone, or cone of uncertainty, you should be preparing for the storm. The forecast cone only shows the most likely path for just the center of the storm.  A storm is not a dot on the map and impacts occur well away from the center,” he said. For example, the center of Florence in 2018 hit near Wilmington, “but we all saw major impacts from the storm.” Heden explained that preparation has three steps. The first is to determine your risk, based on where you live, from all five tropical cyclone threats: storm surge, flooding, rip currents, winds and tornadoes. Second, have a hurricane plan and determine where you will evacuate if necessary. Don’t forget your pets. Third, make a hurricane kit. The kit should contain enough food, water and medicine to last at least three days, but ideally up to a week. If cost is a concern, spread it out and buy a few items each shopping trip. Heden said his office is hosting a series of community forums on hurricanes, the first of which will be held 5-8 p.m. June 14 at Holly Ridge Community Center, 404 Sound Road, Holly Ridge. The next forum will be held 10 a.m. to noon June 21 in Pine Knoll Shores town hall. Two will be offered in late July on the Outer Banks. Locations will be announced.

State urges residents prepare now
Keith Acree, communications officer with North Carolina Emergency Management, told Coastal Review on Tuesday that the state and local governments make sure they are prepared for each hurricane season. “North Carolina Emergency Management recently hosted the statewide hurricane exercise, where the State Emergency Response Team and its federal, state, local government and private-sector partners practiced response coordination and communications,” he said. “Helicopter, boat and land search and rescue teams recently held large scale exercises at the coast and in the mountains, in advance of hurricane season.” Acree said residents of North Carolina’s coastal counties should learn if they’re in a predetermined evacuation zone by visiting KnowYourZone.nc.gov. “Remember your zone and listen for it when evacuations are ordered.” He said residents should prepare by having an emergency kit with basic supplies included and have a plan to stay with family or friends, or at a hotel if you need to evacuate. “A public shelter should be your last resort, not a primary evacuation option. Offer your home to family or friends as a safe place if they need to evacuate, and you don’t,” he said.

Acree also recommends having multiple ways to receive weather alerts, watches and warnings. Install a weather alert app on your cell phone or get NOAA Weather Alert Radio for your home. Lastly, remember that hurricanes and tropical storms can affect the entire state. Residents in Haywood and surrounding counties in Western North Carolina are still recovering from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred, a Gulf Coast storm that moved across the state’s mountains last year, causing catastrophic floods along the Pigeon River killing six people, he explained. “It only takes one storm that strikes your community to make a really bad hurricane season for you,” Acree said. “Now is the time for North Carolinians to prepare for hurricane season.”
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No matter what a storm outlook is for a given year,
vigilance and preparedness is urged.


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