09 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Public Hearing / Regular Meeting 09/20/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


PUBLIC HEARING: Board of Commissioners’ Intent to Permanently Close a Portion of Carolina Avenue from its Intersection with Jordan Boulevard to its Intersection with Quinton Street

Previously reported – July 2022
Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 22-07, Resolution of Intent to Permanently Close a Portion of Carolina Avenue – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – pages 43 – 48
At the May 17th meeting, the Board instructed staff to move forward with the process to close a portion of Carolina Avenue between Quinton Street and Jordan Boulevard. A survey for the area has been completed. The metes and bounds description has been added to the draft resolution of intent presented at the May meeting (Attachment 1).

Staff is proposing that the required public hearing be held at the September 20, 2022 meeting. This will allow staff time to advertise the public hearing for four successive weeks, post the property and mail any required notices required per North Carolina Statute §160A-299. Attached is the summary of the process that was presented at the May meeting (Attachment 2).

If the Board would like to move fo1ward with the closure of Carolina Avenue between Quinton Street and Jordan Boulevard, the suggested motion is to approve Resolution 22-07, Resolution of Intent to Permanently Close a Portion of Carolina Avenue and schedule the public hearing for September 20, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

RESOLUTION 22-07

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners, as follows:

Section 1. It is the intent of the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners to permanently close a portion of Carolina Avenue from its intersection with Jordan Boulevard to its intersection with Quinton Street (See Attached Exhibit A for Legal Description). Said street is located within the corporate limits of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina.

Section 2. A public hearing on the matter of the above-described proposed permanent closure of the described portion of Carolina Avenue is hereby called and is to be held at the regular meeting of the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners on September 20, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. in the Holden Beach Town Hall Public Assembly, 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462. At said public hearing, any person may be heard on the question of whether or not the intended closing of the specified portion of Carolina Avenue would be detrimental to the public interest or the property rights of any individual.

§ 160A-299. Procedure for permanently closing streets and alleys.
(a) When a city proposes to permanently close any street or public alley, the council shall first adopt a resolution declaring its intent to close the street or alley and calling a public hearing on the question. The resolution shall be published once a week for four successive weeks prior to the hearing, a copy thereof shall be sent by registered or certified mail to all owners of property adjoining the street or alley as shown on the county tax records, and a notice of the closing and public hearing shall be prominently posted in at least two places along the street or alley. At the hearing, any person may be heard on the question of whether or not the closing would be detrimental to the public interest, or the property rights of any individual. If it appears to the satisfaction of the council after the hearing that closing the street or alley is not contrary to the public interest, and that no individual owning property in the vicinity of the street or alley or in the subdivision in which it is located would thereby be deprived of reasonable means of ingress and egress to his property, the council may adopt an order closing the street or alley. A certified copy of the order (or judgment of the court) shall be filed in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which the street, or any portion thereof, is located. Upon the closing of a street or alley in accordance with this section, subject to the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, all right, title, and interest in the right-of-way shall be conclusively presumed to be vested in those persons owning lots or parcels of land adjacent to the street or alley, and the title of such adjoining landowners, for the width of the abutting land owned by them, shall extend to the centerline of the street or alley.

The intent is to close Carolina Avenue from its intersection with Jordan Boulevard to its intersection with Quinton Street. David provided a draft of a proposed Resolution that will have to be adopted by the Board in order to proceed. A Public Hearing will also be required to move forward. He outlined the steps necessary to make this happen. Motion was made to move forward with the process as outlined.

NCGS 160A-299 state the Protocols for Permanently Closing Streets. The Resolution adopted by the Board is necessary in order to proceed. A Public Hearing is required to move forward and was scheduled.

Update –
Public Hearing was held  on their intent to close a portion of Carolina Avenue from its intersection with Jordan Boulevard to its intersection with Quinton Street.


1.   Status Update and Additional Work Needed for Corps’ Coastal Storm Risk Management Study – Colonel Bennett (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)

Agenda Packet – pages 8 – 11
The Army Corps of Engineers will be presenting recently communicated proposed changes in the Coastal Storm Risk Management Study duration, scope, costs, and potential funding options (slides included in agenda packet) . The board should consider this as an opportunity to obtain clarity on its options going forward. The board may need to consider a letter of intent regarding changes to study para meters.

Efforts and Expenditures to date

Hydrographic Survey Contract

$183,610

ERDC Inlet Model Evaluation$ 81,434
USACE Labor$699,989
Total Expenditure$965,033

Additional scope required for the study
EIS, borrow source investigations, backside waterway flooding analysis
Resulting in an additional 11 months of study and a cost increase of – $1.25 M.

Previously reported – January 2020
Last week they held a “what’s next”  call with Ward & Smith regarding Federal Coastal Storm Damage Study. Holden Beach is competing for a new study as part of USACE 2021Work Plan authorized by the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. Wilmington District USACE has affirmed Holden Beach is at the top of their priority list. Town staff is working with Ward & Smith to maintain formal contact with Office of Management and Budget and Corps to ensure that the continuity of the Town’s position is maintained through changes in the federal administration. Ward & Smith has reiterated that if included in the work plan, the Town would need to sign an agreement with the Corps committing the Town to participate in a study effort at a cost of $1.5mm spread over course of three years; $500k of which would need to be included in fiscal year 21/22. David received a call today informing him that Holden Beach has been selected, which means we have been made a priority.

Breaking News
It appears that we have also been funded.

ARMY CIVIL WORKS PROGRAM / FY 2021 WORK PLAN – INVESTIGATIONS

Study: BRUNSWICK COUNTY BEACHES (HOLDEN BEACH), NC
Allocation: $500,000
Summary of Work: Initiate a General Reevaluation Report for Holden Beach

Previously reported – July 2020
Congressman Mike McIntyre of Poyner Spruill made presentation to the Board with an update on Poyner Spruill and The Ferguson Group’s most recent advocacy efforts.

Board was presented with four options for moving forward and recommended pursuing the following two options:

1) Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study Authorization Section 7001 program – three / three / three. Three years / three million dollars / reviewed at all three levels – District / Division/ Washington. Deadline to file a Letter of Intent application, is the end of next month, this just gets us in line to be included for consideration. If we are selected and we have made the cut, we would then have to sign a contract probably sometime around 2024 making a commitment to pay our share. That would be half the cost, so our portion would be $1.5 million. At best this is a long shot and years down the road. That said, we would still be committing to pay $1.5 million for the study with no assurances  that we will actually have the project constructed.

2) Congressional authority to do study was approved in 1966 but was never completed. We could pursue this option simultaneously with the 7001 process. However, as it stands now, we would be obligated to pay the costs that were incurred during the original study request. This is like a Hail Mary pass. We would attempt to run the 1966 Brunswick County Beaches Project up the flag pole.  USACE spent $8.5 million, and the beaches are obligated to pay half of that.  We could ask for forgiveness, where we would not agree to pay for our share which is $1.1 million and do a new study. Uncertain whether USACE would go for this.   

The whole purpose of the study is to identify a plan of improvement that is in the public’s best interest which comprises of three prongs that includes being technically feasible, environmentally acceptable, and cost justified.

Board agreed to give authority to proceed with both options, with no financial obligation at this point.

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
Commissioners Kwiatkowski and Sullivan voted against the motion

Editor’s Note
Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (S. 1811)
Backlog of Authorized Projects
S.
1811 (§301) addresses the authorization of various types of projects in the backlog.
.     * 
deauthorize projects authorized prior to November 17, 1986, that had not been started or were unfunded for 10 years;

HB commissioners vote for beach nourishment application submission
“Let’s not leave any stone … any pebble of sand unturned,” said Mike McIntyre, Poyner Spruill partner and former congressman, during discussion of Holden Beach’s beach restoration options. Holden Beach Board of Commissioners met with McIntyreon Tuesday, July 21, for a special meeting regarding the possibility of partaking in a Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Three individuals from The Ferguson Group (TFG) joined via conference call to provide guidance in the commissioners’ decision. On call was Rodger Gwinn, CEO; Earl Stockdale, council and senior advisor; and Stephanie Missert, principal and manager of policy and regulatory affairs. McIntyre described The Ferguson Group as “a strategic monitoring and legislative research group that is right there in Washington. They are our eyes and ears on the hill so that we can monitor legislation daily.” TGA is working as the advocate for Holden Beach, committed to do whatever it takes to help them. Stockdale explained that TGA is trying to devise a path forward that will get Holden Beach a plan of improvement on the shortest timeline with a clear understanding of what that means to them on terms of cost and with part of the strategy involving when they would be expected to pay for either options. “The idea here is basically to preserve a path forward,” Stockdale said. McIntyre opened the meeting by providing background context of what is going on in Congress in the first half of 2020. He said the House energy and water appropriation bill has funding for USACE of $49.6 billion, an increase of 3 percent from last year. In addition, money has been appropriated for seven new study starts, which McIntyre said is a major feat compared to their normal one study start appropriation. An additional $43.5 billion has been appointed for emergency spending money for COVID-related items. McIntyre said this budget might help free up money for projects such as beach nourishment. “These are at least the silver lining around the dark clouds of the coronavirus, in looking at the funding that’s been added to the core to deal with some of its projects,” McIntyre said. McIntyre reported having extensive discussions about status of authorization from Flood Control Act of 1996 for Brunswick County beaches with both senator offices and committee staff over this past month. The Wilmington District USACE has heeded the Lockwood Folly and beach nourishment status at Holden Beach. They recommended the town apply for Section 7001 of Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2014. According to the Congressional Research Service, for USACE studies and projects, congressional study and project authorization generally is required prior to being eligible for federal appropriations. Congress generally considers an omnibus USACE authorization bill, known as WRDA, biennially. WRDA is an annual process for identifying proposals for site-specific studies and projects under USACE’s water resource mission and authorities for congressional consideration of the proposal’s authorization. The submission period for the 2021 WRDA opened May 1 and closes Aug. 31. McIntyre presented the board with four options. Option A, they do nothing. Option B, apply for the Section 7001 to request authorization and start the process over. Option C, request a new study using the existing 1966 Brunswick County Beaches authority. The final option is to submit a letter of intent (LOI) for the new study using the existing 1966 Brunswick County Beaches Authority and commit to paying back the town’s share of construction costs. “It may be worthwhile to go ahead and put your name in the pot because if it’s not in the pot it’s not going to be considered and it’s not costing you anything right now,” McIntyre said. While Section 7001 requires a payment of $1.5 million, the town does not have to pay anything upfront. McIntyre estimated the payment would not be made until 2023. “I guess the sweetener for that deal is that, sure if the prior authorization works and it saved you a few years of waiting on getting a construction project done, then that may have been worth paying that $1 million back,” McIntyre said. Commissioner Mike Sullivan asked if the board decided to go forward with the Section 7001 program whether that would preclude them from being eligible for FEMA reimbursements in the future. Similarly, Commissioner Woody Tyner questioned the difference between FEMA and USACE funding. TGA employees said the advantage of USACE funding is they can apply pressure and be watchdogs in D.C. USACE also allows projects to be paid for, get technical expertise and bring the beach back up to USACE level. Commissioner Gerald Brown motioned to start the Section 7001 application process, authorizing town manager David Hewett to do preliminary work in conjunction with TGA. “We’re not obligated to spend one dime, but at least we’re rolling the ball in the right direction,” Brown said. The vote was passed with three in favor and Commissioners Pat Kwiatkowski and Sullivan opposed. To learn more about Section 7001 Annual Report Process, go to fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R45185.pdf. The meeting was livestreamed on the Town’s Facebook page at facebook.com/holdenbeachtownhall to provide social-distancing measures.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – August 2020
Submitted Letter of Intent using existing authorization which could make us eligible to be included in workplan as early as next Spring. Therefore, we will wait to submit 7001 application until we know how that plays out.

Previously reported – April 2021
Presentation and Possible Action on Holden Beach Coastal Storm Risk Management Study Federal Cost Share Agreement (FCSA) – Bob Keistler, Corps (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)
.  a.
Ordinance 21-09, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 20-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2020 – 2021 (Amendment No. 11)

Agenda Packet – slide presentation pages 14 to 40

In order for us to become a USACE beach requires a new study be authorized
Three (3) years / Three (3) levels of review / Three (3) million dollars
     *
$1.5 million Feds and $1.5 million Town of Holden Beach

Why consider doing a study?

    • FEMA is not an insurance policy
    • The rule book is changing
    • We have to consider risks

Coastal Storm Risk Management Study
This attached draft agreement for a Coastal Storm Risk Management Study (Attachment 1) between the USACE and the Town of Holden Beach represents the inclusion of the study in the Corps work plan for this federal fiscal year. The study was the Town’s number one advocacy priority at the federal level as a proposed means of storm damage reduction . The Town will not know if it is economically and environmentally feasible for us to become a federal beach unless the study is conducted. The attached budget amendment (Attachment  2) in the amount of $500,000 represents the town’s commitment for the upcoming FY for the Town’s share of the total non-federal (Town) study cost of $1,500,000.

If the BOC chooses to pursue the study, a motion will need to be made to authorize the Town Manager to execute the contract document and self-certification of financial capability with the USACE and approve the attached budget amendment.

ORDINANCE NO. 21-09
Moved funds of $500,000
From Revenue account #50.0398.0300 to Expense account#50.0710.5008

Christy went through a slide presentation briefly reviewing how we got to this point. The abridged version is that FEMA continues to change the rules for engineered beaches maintenance programs. The study with the USACE gives us another option if we can’t count on FEMA moving forward. Commissioner Kwiatkowski was prepared as usual and had a number of questions for the USACE representatives that were in attendance at the meeting. The Corps representative walked them through the process. Commissioner Sullivan asked a couple additional questions regarding funding. An important takeaway is the federal government contributes 65% of the costs for initial construction, the cost split is 50% between federal and non-federal funding for maintenance nourishment projects. Of course, the major concern is whether there will be adequate funding for not only the study but for an approved project. The Corps rep made it very clear that there is no guarantee, but he felt confident that they both would be funded. He understands that the Town is looking to obtain the best deal possible. FEMA and USACE organizations are both here to help and each have a place. The difference between them is that the USACE is more of a designed project, build, and maintain whereas FEMA is primarily there to help cover emergencies. The BOC’s decided to fund the  $1.5 million study and take the funds from the BPART account instead of the Capital Reserve account.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

We just approved spending $1.5 million to potentially switch to USACEwait for itafter we just received $45 million for FEMA projects. I have some reservations about making the change and was really disappointed that there was not more serious discussions prior to spending that kind of money.  Just to be clear I’m for beach nourishment, but I am generally opposed to moving forward with the federal project due to the uncertainty of the funding. Congressional authorization of a project does not necessarily mean that the project will receive federal construction funds. Project authorizations over the years have far outpaced the level of federal appropriations provided. Our portion is $1.5 million just for the Storm Risk Management study, which is a huge amount of money when we don’t even know if the study will be completely funded let alone whether the project will be approved or funded.

Update –
USACE briefly reviewed the process and gave us a status update. Hat in hand, they said they are not able to get it done as presented to us; neither in the time frame three (3) years nor for the budget of three (3) million dollars. Additional work beyond what they planned is needed. They realize that they need to take other variables into consideration, and they need to address it now. Colonel Bennett stated that they were not here to advocate for or against the project but were here to communicate capability. The sooner that they get Board approval the better, it would likely be a greater opportunity to be selected. The Board allowed the public to ask any questions that they had. Town Manager will draft letter of intent and the BOC’s will discuss at the Special Meeting scheduled for September 28th.

No decision was made – No action taken

Let me get this straight we already committed $1.5 million for our portion just over one (1) year ago and now they want us to ante up another 1.25 million? The additional cost prohibits us from doing other things that we planned on doing.


2.   Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
Jeremy reviewed the actions that were taken by them last month

 Experienced a normal decline of activity after the Labor Day weekend

 Agenda Packet – pages 12 – 18

Otto connect the paid parking vendor, is handling parking issues and issued 344 citations last month.

Child Passenger Safety Week – briefly reviewed seat belt requirements to increase awareness

Next major events are:
Run Holden Beach on October 1st
Mountain to Coast Ride on October 8th
Festival by the Sea is scheduled for October 29th – 30th
Expect significant traffic delays

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.  The Police department has produced a safety video to improve awareness.

Public Service Announcement – Chief Dixon
Click here
to see Chief Dixon’s public service announcement regarding low-speed vehicles.

Reminded everyone its Hurricane Season be prepared, have a plan!
We are in the more active hurricane period which is from August to October


3.   Inspections Department Report – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 19 – 21

 Previously reported – June 2022
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.

Previously reported – July 2022
Bottomline, a lot of building is going on. They have a new inspector in training, so we now have two people out there. The department is down an  administrative person which will affect turnaround time. They are trying to do the best they can. Don’t really see the need for a monthly update, I’d think his time is better spent elsewhere.

Previously reported – August 2022
Timbo reported what the department is busy doing. Finally, activity has started to be trending down. The department is now fully staffed, they have two (2) trainees.

Update –
Timbo briefly reviewed what’s going on. He feels that the personnel have been able to improve the service they are providing to the community.


4.   Discussion and Possible Action on Statements of Qualifications Received for Block Q and the Pier Properties – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – page 22, plus separate packet

Block Q/Pier Proposals

As directed, staff readvertised the Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Block Q and HB Pier properties.

In response to the RFQs, we received Statements of Qualifications from the following firms for the Block Q properties: McGill Associates, Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects and Pinnacle Architecture. The same firms, along with Stature Engineering provided a statement in response to the RFQ for the HB Pier property.

The Statements of Qualifications are included for the Board’s review and discussion on how to proceed.

Previously reported July 2022
The Board was not comfortable with having only one response. They gave direction to the Town Manager to reach out and attempt to get more responses. 

Previously reported – August 2022
As directed, staff readvertised the Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Block Q and HB Pier properties. In addition to placing an ad in the Star News, advertising on our website and sending the RFQ to the original directly solicited recipients, the RFQs were sent to additional firms as requested by the Board. These firms include Withers & Ravenel, WK Dickson and Co., McPherson Engineering Design, Moffatt and Nichol, Gary Gurganus, Applied Technology and Management and Stature Engineering.

In response to the RFQs, we received Statements of Qualifications from two firms. McGill Associates provided statements for both the HB Pier and Block Q properties. Stature Engineering provided a statement in response to the RFQ for the HB Pier property.

The Statements of Qualifications are included for the Board’s review and discussion on how to proceed.

A number of firms were contacted. But after re-advertising, only one (1) firm submitted for Block Q and two (2) for the Pier. The Board was still not comfortable with this few responses. The BOC’s would like to have at least three (3) responses for each property. They gave direction to the Town Manager to reach out and attempt to get more responses.
No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
They finally have at least three (3) responses for each property. BOC’s need to select an engineering firm for the Block Q and Pier properties plan for development. They need to follow the process for grant funding, which means that they are  required to select an engineering firm based on their qualifications. David put together a score sheet to help them make the selection. The BOC’s will discuss and select engineering firm at the Special Meeting scheduled for September 28th.

No decision was made – No action taken


5.   Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 22-20, An Order Closing Carolina Avenue from its Intersection with Jordan Boulevard to its Intersection with Quinton Street – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – pages 23 – 26

A public hearing on the proposed closure of a portion of Carolina Avenue will be held at the September
20th meeting.

If it is found to the satisfaction of the Board that closure is not contrary to public interest and no individual owning property in the vicinity of the street would be deprived of reasonable ingress or egress to the property, the Board could adopt Ordinance 22-20 (Attachment 1). The ordinance orders that the portion of Carolina Avenue from its intersection with Jordan Boulevard to its intersection with Quinton Street be closed effective immediately and directs that the order be filed in the office of the Register of Deeds.

Update –
Commissioner Murdock questioned whether it was necessary for a portion of the street to be closed immediately since we currently do not have a plan in place to utilize the property. Decision was to hold in abeyance until they have a plan in place.

No decision was made – No action taken


6.  Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Hold a Special Meeting to Interview Potential Candidates to Fill the Vacancy on the Board of Commissioners and to Select a New Member to Fill the Vacancy – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – page 27, plus separate packet

Commissioner Vacancy

The following people have submitted their information to be considered to fill the vacancy on the Board of Commissioners: Gerald Arnold, Jim Bauer, Mike Felmly, Richard Griffin, Luke Lodge, Rick McInturf, Sylvia Pate and Keith Smith.

As directed at the last meeting, the Board will need to set a date for a special meeting to hold  interviews. Based on everybody’s availability that I received,  I  would  recommend  it  be  set  for  Wednesday,  September 28th at 5:30 p.m.

Previously reported – August 2022

Filling a Vacancy on the Town Council

§ 30.11 TERMS OF OFFICE; FILLING OF VACANCIES.
     (A)     Commissioner shall be two years, both of which begin on the day of first regular meeting in December following their election, except in case either is elected to serve an unexpired term, in which case the newly elected officers shall qualify and commence serving immediately upon the declaration of the result of the election by the Town BOC.

     (B)     Vacancies shall be filled as provided for in North Carolina General Statute § 160A-63

§ 160A63. Vacancies.
A vacancy that occurs in an elective office of a city shall be filled by appointment of the city council. If the term of the office expires immediately following the next regular city election, or if the next regular city election will be held within 90 days after the vacancy occurs, the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term. Otherwise, a successor shall be elected at the next regularly scheduled city election that is held more than 90 days after the vacancy occurs, and the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall serve only until the elected successor takes office. The elected successor shall then serve the remainder of the unexpired term.

Holden Beach Commissioner Gerald Brown passes away
Holden Beach Town Commissioner Gerald Brown has passed away after battling health issues for the past several weeks, according to Mayor J. Alan Holden. Holden said Brown passed away in the hospital on Sunday. Brown was elected as Town Commissioner in November 2019. He served as Mayor Pro Tem after taking office. Holden said he hoped to have additional details on services for Brown in the next couple of days. According to the mayor, the Board of Commissioners will appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of Brown’s current term, which ends in December 2023. Holden said he did not know when that selection would take place.

Although the statute  states that the position is to be filled by appointment by the Board, they decided that instead they would consider anybody in the Town that wants to be a Commissioner. The Board agreed to request that anybody interested should submit their qualifications in the next thirty (30) days. Applications will be accepted, and candidates will be interviewed by the Board at a Special Meeting. They will be selected, but not seated until the October meeting.

A decision was made – Approved (3-1)
Commissioner Smith opposed the motion

Board of Commissioners’ Vacancy
There is currently a vacancy on the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners.

If you are a resident and interested in filling the vacancy, please send your name, qualifications/background and a description of why you would like to serve to Heather Finnell at heather@hbtownhall.com or to 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462 by September 20th.

The Board of Commissioners will review the submissions and schedule a special meeting to interview the interested candidates. If there are any dates that you are unavailable (through mid-October) please indicate that on your submission. 

Update –
The BOC’s will hold interviews to select person to fill vacancy at the Special Meeting scheduled for September 28th.


7.   Discussion and Possible Action on Potential Funding Options Presented by Brunswick County for Biosolids Disposal – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet – pages 28 – 31

The West Brunswick Regional Wastewater Treatment Plan is in need of upgrading in order to effectively manage the disposal of biosolids during wet weather. Over the past several years, the facility has experienced operational issues caused by the inability to dispose of biosolids during wet weather that have caused an increase in operational costs and are the underlying reason for Notices of Violation in previous years.

The county selected Dewberry Engineers to conduct a comprehensive study for a solution to effectively manage the disposal of biosolids from the facility. The cost of identified needed upgrades is estimated at $6.6 million. The Brunswick County Finance Department has developed several financing scenarios that are attached for your review.

Option 1 – Project funding could be borne by the individual participants based on their existing allocation in the facility

Option 2 – Use of 20-year debt funding term over a 5 or 20-year rate increase term to finance the project with an associated rate adjustment to meet the debt service requirements of the project.

      • 5-year rate increase option
      • 20-year rate increase option

Option 3 – County issuance of long-term debt (bond issuance).

Estimate Average Annual Cost
2022 Usage                            98,383,672
Usage %                                 6.9%
5-Year rate Increase            $145,596
20-Year Rate Increase         $36,399

Basics of Biosolids
Biosolids are a product of the wastewater treatment process. During wastewater treatment the liquids are separated from the solids. Those solids are then treated physically and chemically to produce a semisolid, nutrient-rich product known as biosolids. The terms ‘biosolids’ and ‘sewage sludge’ are often used interchangeably. 

Biosolids that are to be beneficially used must meet federal and state requirements. Examples of beneficial use include application to agricultural land and reclamation sites (e.g. mining sites). When applied to land at the appropriate agronomic rate, biosolids provide a number of benefits including nutrient addition, improved soil structure, and water reuse. Land application of biosolids also can have economic and waste management benefits (e.g., conservation of landfill space; reduced demand on non-renewable resources like phosphorus; and a reduced demand for synthetic fertilizers). Biosolids also may be disposed of by incineration, landfilling, or other forms of surface disposal.
For more information » click here

Update –
Discussed financing options for the Town’s portion of the upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant. County is currently polling; we need to tell them what our preference is. Based on polling results the County not us decides which option they want to implement. Chris recommended that we select option 2b the 20-year rate increase option. This would translate into a $36,399 increase for the Town. Motion was made to choose option 2b.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8.  Discussion and Possible Direction on Establishing a Stormwater Management Program – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet – pages 32 – 43 which is too large to include here

Stormwater has been a major challenge for years on the island and is getting worse with increased development.

I would like to request that the Board approve sending out a Request for Qualifications for engineering services to develop an island-wide stormwater master plan that would better equip the Town for these issues moving forward.

Update –
BOC’s approved sending out a Request for Qualifications for an island-wide Stormwater Master Plan. They said that Grant money may be available too.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

The last communication that we were given indicated that we should be just six (6) to twelve (12) months from the Ocean Boulevard street paving and bike path projects. It seems to me that this is pretty late in the game to first request a stormwater master plan. Don’t you think we should have done this before now?  Can’t imagine that we can develop and implement a stormwater plan before these projects start. Well, I guess better late than never.


9.  Discussion and Possible Action on Encroachment Agreement between the Town and Jerry Fairchild (222 Ocean Boulevard East) – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 44 – 48

The owner Jerry Fairchild of 222 Ocean Blvd East is asking for the town to approve an encroachment agreement so that he may have access across the portion of the dune located over the top of Hillside Drive. There are several of these agreements in place along this portion of road that is now below the frontal dune.

Previously reported –
Hillside Drive no longer exists and lies below / underneath the dune pictured
Property owner requested easement for walkway across the dunes
Right is not transferable that’s why we have to do this with each new owner
Walkway would encroach on the public right-of-way owned by the Town
Town policy has been to control access
We have approved this action several times before
Action would be consistent with what we have done for others
Staff recommends approval

Update –
Property owner has requested to encroach upon Hillside Drive, which is under the dunes, for the purpose of constructing   a  walkway  to  cross  the  dunes  and  gain  access  to  the  beach.  They need  to  have  an encroachment agreement in place before a permit can be issued. Standard practice staff recommended approval.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


  • 10.  Discussion and Possible Action on Jordan Boulevard Restrooms – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – page 49

The Board was recently informed that Staff considers that the public restroom facility should be relocated to Block Q because the existing structure is partly located on property not owned by the Town.

Restroom relocation has not been discussed/debated at Board level. What would have been done had the Board not decided to purchase Block Q? All opt ions should be put on the table and pros and cons considered before a decision is made.

Update –
Renovation of the restrooms has been in the budget for years. NCDOT has communicated to us that there are issues with locating public facilities in a federally controlled highway easement. Discussion about having to move the public restrooms under the bridge to Block Q properties. Request was made that staff bring all the possibilities to the Board. David stated that they do not have staff capability to do that type of analysis.

No decision was made – No action taken


11. Inlet Hazard Area Situation Update from Town Staff – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – page 50

Proposed changes to rules and IHA boundaries for several coastal municipalities, including THB, were the subject of a DCM public meeting in Brunswick County held in May. What comments were made by Town staff to argue against the proposed IHA boundaries? What are the expected final results of the THB IHA boundaries and the proposed rule changes? What are the anticipated impacts on THB property owners?

Inlet Hazard Areas

Update –
Discussion of the changes Coastal Resources Commission approved last month to both the rules and Inlet Hazard Area boundaries. Commissioner Kwiatkowski was asking the staff  what will be the impact on us here at Holden Beach. Timbo informed us that the boundary and vegetation line overall impact will be minimal to us.


12.  Discussion and Possible Action on Planning for Dry Sand Placement of Mats and Discussion of Potential Residential Use for Walkways – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – pages 51 – 54

Request for staff opinion on moving forward with planning for dry sand placement of mats at select THB public accesses to enhance handicap access to the beach based on information in the CRC-22-17 document (provided as background). Request for staff opinion to allow residential use of mats for beach walkways, including consideration as a potential solution to debris concerns arising from construction of long wooden walkways over multiple dunes.

Memo from North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
Last year, the Commission amended the rules that established specific use standards  for structural pedestrian accessways (dune crossovers) that allow for public access to the beach. You will recall that the use standards previously limited these accessways to elevated, piled-supported structures terminating on the beach near the seaward toe of the frontal dune. Due to numerous local governments expressing interest in using synthetic or wooden roll-out matting as a handicap-accessible alternative for beach access, the accessway rules were amended to allow the use of these types of mats for public beach access. However, the use these materials was limited to State, federal or local governments due to concerns expressed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NC WRC) and the U.S . Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) about potential adverse impacts on sea turtle habitat resulting from their use waterward of the frontal dune.

Since the amendments went into effect, Staff has had further discussion regarding the use of beach matting for residential applications as an alternative to structural accessways. As you are aware, during storms, dune crossovers (including stairways) can account for a great deal of the debris that wind up scattered across beaches and in waterways. Staff believes that by limiting matting to the same general standards that apply to structural accessways (six feet wide and no farther waterward than six feet from the toe of the dune), public access and wildlife protection goals will be met while reducing debris on the state’s beach during storm events. Residential application of matting material would adhere to the same standards previously approved including installation at grade and prohibiting extension onto the public trust beach.

In addition, in recent years the Commission has approved three petitions for variances from local governments (Carolina Beach, Topsail Beach and Kure Beach) seeking to install beach mats on the dry sand beach (seaward of the frontal or primary dune and vegetation line) in support of enhanced handicap accessibility. The Division and Commission have supported both variance petitions, and in both cases, efforts were taken to minimize risks to sea turtles, including changes in siting, size, and orientation of the proposed structures. However, following the Commission’s variance and issuance of a CAMA Minor Permit to the Town for installation of beach mats, the Town still assumes some liability for any “takes” of threatened or endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act. For this reason, DCM has advised the Towns to consult directly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resolve this situation, potentially through the development of “Habitat Conservation Plans” or other formal approvals that can be issued by the USFWS for non-federal entities in accordance with the Endangered Species Act.

Staff are proposing a change to 07H.0308(c)(2)(C) to potentially allow beach mats on the dry sand beach without the need for a variance from the Commission, where they are sponsored by a local government for the purpose of enhanced handicap accessibility and are subject to review by the NC WRC and USFWS. The proposed amendments to 07K .0207 would also add residential use of matting material to the exemption language for beach accessways.

Coastal Resources Commission expands exemptions for beach mats
The NC Coastal Resources Commission approved new guidelines on Thursday that allows beach mats to be used in more ways. In a memo from the NC Department of Environmental Quality, staff says towns like Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Topsail Beach have petitioned to install the mats closer to the water. Additionally, staff says they’ve also had several requests from oceanfront homeowners to install the mats for private beach access instead of a typical wooden walkway. The commission approved an amendment at its meeting in Wilmington on Thursday allowing mats sponsored by local governments to be installed on dry sand without a variance from the commission. The amendment also allows the residential use of the matting for beach walkways.
Read more » click here

Mobi-Mat

Update –
The NC Coastal Resources Commission approved new guidelines that allows beach mats to be used in more ways. Public Comments speaker pointed out that accessibility is a need not a want. Discussion to allow dry sand placement of mats at some public beach accesses for handicap use and possibly for residential walkways too. Commissioner Kwiatkowski would like to see this done for next season. Motion made was to have staff make recommendation where mats can be utilized.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


13.  Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 22-21, An Ordinance Enacting and Adopting a Supplement to the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina (Supplement 17) – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – pages 55 – 56, plus separate packet

Supplement 17

The latest supplement to the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances is included for your review (Attachment 1). The supplement codifies the ordinances the  Board  approved since the last supplement.

If you approve Ordinance 22-2 l (Attachment 2) that adopts the supplement at Tuesday’s meeting, please follow the instruction sheet and replace the old pages in your Code books. If you prefer, you could bring me your book and the supplement, and I will do it for you.

Update –
Housekeeping item adopted as submitted.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


14. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 22-08, Resolution Approving Truist Signature Card – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – pages 57 – 58

Historically, the official signatories for the Town’s Truist accounts are the mayor, mayor pro tern and two staff members. Resolution 22-08 updates the current signature card by designating Mayor Holden, Mayor Pro Tern Smith, Town Manager Hewett and Fiscal Operations Clerk McRainey as the official signatories.

Staff recommends approval of the resolution.

Update –
Housekeeping item – update of signatories.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


15.  Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 22-22, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 22-14, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023 (Amendment No. 1) – Budget & Fiscal Analyst McRainey

Agenda Packet – pages 59 – 60

This amendment is to move outstanding appropriations from fiscal year 2022 to the current fiscal year 2023. The appropriations were encumbered in last year’s budget but due to supply chain issues the products /services were not delivered before June 30, 2022, making this amendment necessary.

Staff recommends approval of Ordinance 22-22

Update –
Housekeeping item adopted as submitted.
Moved funds of $425,609.13

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


  • 16.  Town Manager’s Report

Paid Parking

Revenue
$388,991 in revenue through August with another $28,586  in receivables due for September as of this date for a total of $417,577

ExpensesProgram expenses so far total $50,863

TotalNet program proceeds as of this date calculated to be $366,714

FEMA storm damage repair project
Requested formal project closeout
Special Obligation Bond has been retired
.      *
Interest has been approved for reimbursement
.      *
$500k in eligible project expenses reimbursement still pending until final inspection
         a.
Could take a year or more

Notice of Violation (NOV) sand compatibility
not as expected and will need to be monitored for the next two (2) years

Previously reported – July 2022
Rolled over the special obligation bond of $4.28M. We will incur interest payment charges of $617K, eligibility for reimbursement has not been determined yet

Previously reported – August 2022
David reported that as of last week the Town has received all but $45K in cost from the $23M FEMA beach renourishment project not counting interest cost. Reimbursement on the interest cost on the FEMA loan is still undetermined but we believe it is an allowable expense.

Pier Grant status
CAMA Acquisition – $180k contract award reduced to $150k
.      *
Difference in estimate vs. actual purchase price
PARTF Acquisition – $500k reimbursement award for pier purchase
CAMA Access – application submitted for $50k grant

In Case You Missed It –

Hurricane Vehicle Decals
Please make sure you have your vehicle decals in place now. Do not wait! These decals are necessary for re-entry to the island in the event of an emergency situation that restricts access to the island. These are to be used only for your primary vehicles and must be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the windshield.  Click here for more information on decals. 

Upcoming Events

Saturday, October 1, 2022 – The Run HB event will be held from 6:45 until 11:30. There will be significant traffic slowdowns during this time and the bridge will be closing for the half-marathon participants to cross around 8am. Please plan your travel accordingly.

 Saturday, October 8, 2022 – Cycle NC will end their 400+ mile tour from the mountains of NC to the coast at Holden Beach. The majority of the riders will arrive between 11 and 2. The bridge will not close for this event. Please join us in welcoming the cyclists!

Previously reported – April 2022
Mountain to Coast Ride
The first Cycle North Carolina Mountains to Coast Ride was held in 1999. In the twenty-one years since, the Mountains to Coast Ride has traversed the state using a different week-long route each year. The Mountains to Coast Ride is not a race, but a recreational trek across the state using scenic back roads. The ride is designed to promote physical fitness, good health, and the scenic beauty of North Carolina.

David announced the 2022 ride terminus will be Holden Beach. This is another activity that gives us exposure on a much broader scale.


17.   Mayor’s Comments

Previously reported – August 2022
We are going into the more active hurricane period which is from August to October – be prepared, have a plan! Mayor Holden met with the Town staff and reviewed responsibilities, and they are on top of things. He plans to meet with the rental property management companies to review the Town plans during an emergency.

From the Mayor’s Desk (08/29/22)

The Town of Holden Beach is declaring September 2022 as Preparedness Month to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. Click here to read the full proclamation.

As mayor/emergency management director, I encourage all citizens to develop their emergency plan, build an emergency kit and communicate your plan to your household. Click here for some helpful information you can use while developing your plan. Also, make sure you have your vehicle decals in  place. Decals must be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the windshield in the event we have an evacuation.

It is important to be prepared for potential emergencies now, do not wait.

From the Mayor’s Desk (09/24/22)
There is a hurricane possibly approaching Florida. Please monitor the weather forecast and make your preliminary plans now as we are in the heart of hurricane season. Click here for some helpful information you can use while developing your plan.


18. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(6), Personnel (Commissioner Murdock), North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3), Consult with the Attorney (Town Manager Hewett) and North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(1), To Prevent the Disclosure of Privileged Information (Town Clerk Finnell)

No decision was made – No action taken


General Comments –



BOC’s Meeting

The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, October 18th
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  • Hurricane Season
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    For more information
    » click here

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


NOAA still expects above-normal Atlantic hurricane season

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather experts still expect the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season to have above-normal activity. NOAA released Thursday its annual mid-season update to the 2022 outlook issued in May by the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. Since the May report, which covers the six-month hurricane season that began June 1 and ends Nov. 30, forecasters have slightly decreased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season from 65% to a 60% chance. Meanwhile, the likelihood of near-normal activity has risen to 30% and the chances remain at 10% for a below-normal season. NOAA’s update to the 2022 outlook calls for 14-20 named storms, which have winds of 39 mph or greater. Six to 10 of those named storms could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or greater. Of those, three to five could become major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or greater. NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. “We’re just getting into the peak months of August through October for hurricane development, and we anticipate that more storms are on the way,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, in a statement. Erik Heden, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service forecast office for Morehead City, told Coastal Review Monday that the peak of hurricane season is not until around Sept. 10. “Typically, the season really doesn’t get going until later in August through October. It’s too early to let our guard down, we aren’t even close to the typical peak yet,” he said. “Lastly, it only takes one storm to make a difference in your lives. Take this quiet time in the season to finish your hurricane kit and plan.” He recommended visiting www.weather.gov/MHX/hurricaneprep for help with a hurricane kit and plan. Heden said his office is offering more hurricane talks ahead, including one at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Emerald Isle board meeting room, 7500 Emerald Drive, and 6 p.m. Aug. 16 in North Topsail Beach Town Hall, 2008 Loggerhead Court. Sign up to virtually attend the North Topsail Beach talk. Two talks are planned for later this month on the Outer Banks, as well.
“Communities and families should prepare now for the remainder of what is still expected to be an active hurricane season,” said Ken Graham, director of the National Weather Service. “Ensure that you are ready to take action if a hurricane threatens your area by developing an evacuation plan and gathering hurricane supplies now, before a storm is bearing down on your community.”So far, the season has seen three named storms and no hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin. An average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which seven become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. The outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Landfalls are largely governed by short-term weather patterns that are currently only predictable within about one week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline, according to NOAA. I urge everyone to remain vigilant as we enter the peak months of hurricane season,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “The experts at NOAA will continue to provide the science, data and services needed to help communities become hurricane resilient and climate-ready for the remainder of hurricane season and beyond.” There are several atmospheric and oceanic conditions that still favor an active hurricane season. This includes La Niña conditions, which are favored to remain in place for the rest of 2022 and could allow the ongoing high-activity era conditions to dominate, or slightly enhance hurricane activity. In addition to a continued La Niña, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, an active west African Monsoon and likely above-normal Atlantic sea-surface temperatures set the stage for an active hurricane season and are reflective of the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes. NOAA’s hurricane science and forecasting information is available at Hurricane Season Media Resource Guide and the National Hurricane Center provides the latest on tropical storm and hurricane activity in the Atlantic. “Although it has been a relatively slow start to hurricane season, with no major storms developing in the Atlantic, this is not unusual  and we therefore cannot afford to let our guard down,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. She recommends being proactive by downloading the FEMA app and visiting Ready.gov or Listo.gov for preparedness tips. “And most importantly, make sure you understand your local risk and follow directions from your state and local officials.”
Read more » click here


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


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