10 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 09/28/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here 

Audio Recording » click here


1.   Interviews for Vacancy on the Board of Commissioners

 These are the eight (8) candidates being considered to fill the BOC’s vacancy

      1. Gerald Arnold
      2. Jim Bauer
      3. Mike Felmly
      4. Richard Griffin
      5. Luke Lodge
      6. Rick McInturf
      7. Sylvia Pate
      8. Keith Smith

The BOC’s held interviews to select a person to fill the vacancy. They interviewed all of  them individually. Each commissioner and Mayor Alan Holden had the opportunity to ask each candidate questions. This is the first time that I can recall that it was conducted with audio for the public to  listen to.

2.   Discussion and Possible Action on Vacancy

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.

Previously reported – August 2022
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

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

Previously reported – September 2022
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.

Update –
The Board voted by ballot and Mayor Holden served as the tie-breaking vote. They selected Judge Gerald Arnold to fill the vacancy left by deceased former Commissioner Gerald Brown.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

3.   Discussion and Possible Action on the Corps’ Coastal Storm Risk Management Study

Agenda Packet  –
Colonel Bennett, representing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, presented proposed changes in the Coastal Storm Risk Management Study duration, scope, costs, and potential funding opportunities at the September board meeting. Attached please find the letter of intent  the Wilmington  District  would  like from the Board (Attachment 1) to apply for 2019 Disaster Relief Act funding. Prior to the  regular September meeting staff consulted with Ward and Smith /Ferguson Group to develop the attached draft letter of intent at Attachment 2; however, the Wilmington District  has communicated “HQ  would  like  to see full acknowledgement of the additional time and  costs”  (Christine  Brayman ).  Also included  is what we have obtained since the meeting to describe actions/costs to date (Attachment 3).

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.

Previously reported – September 2022
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.

Update –
Christy went over the information presented at the last meeting and the potential options available to us. USACE Wilmington District would like the first letter in the packet to be sent from the Board to apply for the 2019 Disaster Relief Act funding. Board approval of  the letter of intent is an acknowledgement of the additional time and costs. Motion was made to send the first letter in the packet to the USACE.

The Town of Holden Beach, NC, supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District’s request for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (DRA19) funding to complete the Brunswick County Beaches, Holden Beach Portion, General Reevaluation Report (GRR) at 100% Federal cost . We understand the current study cost is $4,250,000 and will now require an additional 11 months to complete the study for a total of 47 months due to additional requirements. If DRA19 funding is approved, the Town understands that no further non-Federal contribution would be required to complete the GRR and the cost sharing agreement would be adjusted to reflect this change to 100% Federal funding requirements.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

If I understood correctly, they did not agree to ante up any additional funds. They are applying to the federal government to produce the money. In addition, I was not really clear if the USACE was asking us for the full $1.25M or to split this amount with them. For the time being we have not committed any additional funds and have just spent $500,000 for the study so far. Stay tuned …

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

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

Previously reported – September 2022
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

Update –
Surprisingly, there was no discussion they just handed in their scorecards
The Board selected the following firms:
Pier / Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects
Block Q / Pinnacle Architecture
David will request a proposal from each firm with contract terms
The next step would be to enter in a contractual agreement with them

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

5.   Closed Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(6), Personnel and North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(1), To Prevent the Disclosure of Privileged Information

No decision was made – No action taken


BOC’s Special Meeting 10/10/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


Judge Gerald Arnold was selected to fill the vacancy left by deceased former Commissioner Gerald Brown. At this meeting he was sworn in, took the oath of office, and then took his seat on the council.


1. Work Session with Firm Selected for Pier Project
Previously the Board selected Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects for the pier project. Chip a representative of the firm was present to discuss the Request for Qualifications (RFQ). He wanted to gather information so that the firm can make a proposal to the Board. In other words, he wanted to know what would they like to do with the property. Commissioner Kwiatkowski attempted to walk him through what they have discussed and considered so far. Commissioner Murdock went into a little more detail about some potential options for the property. Planning & Inspections Director Tim Evans went over the regulations that would apply to the building renovations. The architectural firm plans to have a dialogue with Timbo to make sure they understand all the potential regulations and restrictions that affect what they can do there. The firm will submit a proposal to develop a conceptual site plan for the Board to consider.


BOC’s Regular Meeting 10/18/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1.   Legislative and Advocacy Update – Mike McIntyre, Ward & Smith (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)

Agenda Packet – background information was not provided

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

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

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

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

Previously reported – December 2021
Discussion and Possible Action on Ward & Smith Engagement Letter – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 60 – 63

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

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

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

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

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

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

Update –
Mike McIntyre with Ward & Smith in conjunction with the Ferguson Group represents the town in advocacy matters at the federal level as it is related to beach renourishment. Mike did a brief overview of what’s happening in Washington that will impact us. There are three direct congress appropriation projects approved, he is optimistic all of them will get over the finish line. The three earmarks are as follows: $1,00,000 for the General Reevaluation Report, $2,669,867 for the Greensboro Street Lift Station #2 Hazard Mitigation Project, and $100,000 for the Ocean Boulevard Stormwater Mitigation Project. Periodic update from our lobbyist, he covered a lot of ground and once again he left a very favorable impression of what they are doing on our behalf.


2. Discussion and Possible Action on Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Project Grant Application

  • Item was added to the agenda

    Supplemental
    » click here
  • Contract » click here

  • Based on the BOC’s direction to pursue grant opportunities to assist with the land acquisition related to the pier properties, staff submitted a PARTF application, which was approved by the state in the amount of $500,000. This is the maximum amount eligible for the award. The contract is before you for consideration and was the number one ranked application by the regional consultants scoring the applicants.
    Suggested motion: authorize the staff to have the contract executed

Previously reported – April 2022

PARTF Grant Application for the Holden Beach Pier (04/01/22)
The Town of Holden Beach will hold a public input meeting exclusively for the purpose of obtaining comments regarding a NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant project application for the pier property (441 Ocean Boulevard West). The meeting will be held Monday, April 18th at 10:00 a.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly (110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462). We look forward to seeing you at the meeting to explain this exciting grant opportunity and receiving your comments!

Public Input Meeting (04/13/22)
The Town will hold a public input meeting on Monday, April 18th at 10:00 a.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly. The sole purpose of the meeting will be to receive public comment on submitting a $500,000 grant application to the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund regarding reimbursement of pier property acquisition costs. Click here to view the application components. A slideshow presentation will explain the grant documents prior to public comment.  This is a staff run meeting and will not be an official meeting of the Board of Commissioners.  It will not be broadcast on Facebook Live. 

Description and Justification for the: Holden Beach Pier Property Project
Local Government: Town of Holden Beach

Description:
This is land acquisition only project. The property consists of 350 feet (300-foot-wide oceanfront lot and an adjacent 50-foot-wide oceanfront lot) of oceanfront property with a fishing pier. Recreational facilities include the pier, beach access, parking, a pier house, and six full-service camping sites. Additional proposed future facilities include an update to the pier house, a concession facility that will provide food for fisherman and the public, public restrooms and showers, and a deck.

Lot 1 dimensions: 2.94 acres; Lot 2: 0.49 acres.

Justification:
The Town of Holden Beach was presented with the opportunity to purchase the Holden Beach Fishing Pier which includes the ocean pier located on one 300-foot-wide oceanfront lot and an additional 50-foot­ wide oceanfront lot. Collectively, these two lots have 350 continuous feet of oceanfront real estate and total slightly over 3 acres. The property is located in the center part of the island and provides access to 400+ canal properties, as well as many day trippers, that visit the beach daily and park at the pier. The current owner of this commercial property was looking to sell and if the property went to a private buyer all the above-mentioned attributes would be lost. Many canal property owners would have to walk between ¼ mile and a mile to gain access to the beach. The town negotiated a bargain sale as the sale price came in under the appraised value of the property. The property was identified as a future community park on page 40 of the 2021 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Public surveys and focus group sessions showed that access to fishing and public water access were common high priorities. The town was just awarded a public beach and coastal waterfront access program grant for$180,460.00 toward the cost of the 50-foot lot only. Besides the benefits already mentioned, the property also affords emergency vehicular access to the beach to assist with medical emergencies, access for trash collection along the beach strand, and a means to get large equipment on the beach for periodic beach nourishment. Our moniker is, “The Family Beach”, and the acquisition of this iconic landmark for the town signifies commitment to maintain a culture that recognizes the importance of family and family­ friendly recreational pursuits. As individuals spoke in previous public hearings, they referenced learning to fish from the pier and wanting to have the ability to take their grandchildren to fish and walk on the pier. The acquisition of the property adds an iconic attraction to what can be considered the biggest playground (the beach strand) the town has for the public and visitors to enjoy.

Regular Meeting 04/19/22
Discussion and Possible Action on Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Project Grant Application Submission – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 29 – 47 which is too large to include here

Based on the BOC’s direction to pursue grant opportunities to assist with land acquisition related to the pier properties, staff has prepared a PARTF application (Attachment 1). The application is  land acquisition only in the amount of $500,000. Staff applied for a waiver in the June timeframe of last year which affords the town two application cycles for this grant. Decisions are expected to be reached by the PARTF Commission in last summer/early fall. The Basic Facts and Assurances page requires that the application be approved by the local governing board.

Suggested Motion: Motion to submit a grant application in the amount of $500,000 to the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

Christy did the slide show presentation that was presented yesterday at the Public Input Meeting for the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant project application for the pier property. The Board had concerns about an encumbrance with significant financial penalties if we ever plan to sell the property for any reason. In other words, you are basically giving up the land in perpetuity. They were informed that this restriction is attached to accepting all grants. The decision was made to wait for the report on the engineers report on the pier condition. At that time, they can decide whether to move forward with the grant application next year.

A decision was made – Not Approved (3-2)
Commissioner Brown and Dyer supported the motion

Previously reported – May 2022
Discussion and Possible Action on Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Project Grant Application Submission

Agenda Packet – pages 1– 20 which is too large to include here

Brittany the state coordinator for the PARTF was available by phone to elaborate on questions that were previously answered by Christy, but the Board still had some concerns about. It appeared that the Board were satisfied with her responses.

Pat pointed out that this encumbrance was never mentioned before. The Board should do what they said they were going to do. There was never any discussion about turning this into park land. The public should have an opportunity to weigh in on this decision.

Brian passionately stated his position, that they never ever will sell this piece of property it is for the public to enjoy from now on. All of his questions were answered, but still would like some additional clarifications to ensure most of the proposed options are still on the table. He said that they have an obligation to make sure whatever they do doesn’t cost the taxpayers on this island anything. They made commitments and need to do what they said to make it revenue neutral. He would prefer to have more time to make major decisions like this, but unfortunately they don’t.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Kwiatkowski opposed the motion

Although the in perpetuity is a serious encumbrance, I really can’t imagine a scenario where we would need to sell the pier property. That said, it seems like a poorly thought-out policy shift. After the last brouhaha over purchasing the pier property it would seem prudent that the Board asks for public input, so it gets a better feel for what the community wants.

Update –
Added to the agenda for consideration by the Board. The Town staff submitted a PARTF application, which was approved by the state in the amount of $500,000. This is the maximum amount eligible for the award. It was the number one ranked application by the regional consultants scoring the applicants. Commissioner Kwiatkowski pointed out that the amount is small compared to the total expense of the project yet restricts what can be done on the parcel in perpetuity.  The request was to authorize the Town staff to have the contract executed. The Board voted to accept the PARTF grant and approved the contract for the pier properties project.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Kwiatkowski opposed the motion 


3.  Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Agenda Packet – pages 15 – 21

Police Report » click here


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

Experienced a normal seasonal decline of activity

 

Public Service Announcements

      • The speed limit did not change and remains 35mph for all of Ocean Boulevard
      • Pets are allowed on the beach strand all day, leash law is still in place
      • Festival by the Sea is scheduled for October 29th – 30th

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.


Neighborhood Watch

      • Need to look out for each other and report any suspicious activity
      • Call 911 if you see or hear anything suspicious
      • Fill out Keep Check Request Form if you will be out of town
      • Submit completed Property Registration Form
      • Pickup copy of Protecting Your Home

4.   Inspections Department Report – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 22 – 24

Inspections Report » click here


ACTIVE NEW HOME PERMITS = 44
OTHER ACTIVE PERMITS = 282
PERMITS ISSUED OVER $30,000 = 2          (AMOUNT INCLUDED IN ACTIVE TOTAL)
PERMITS ISSUED WAITING PICK UP = 18
TOTAL PERMITS = 344

PERMITS IN REVIEW = 11
CAMA IN REVIEW = 4
ZONING IN REVIEW = 5
CAMA PERMITS ISSUED = 6

PERMITS SERVICED FOR INSPECTIONS FROM 9/09-10/11 =120
TOTAL INSPECTIONS MADE = 525

Update –
Timbo briefly reviewed department activity last month. Bottomline, they are very busy because a lot of building is still going on. The department is now fully staffed, they have two (2) trainees. He feels that the personnel have been able to improve the service they are providing to the community. The department is hosting a contractors information meeting which provides contractors with information to minimize and avoid turn downs. I don’t really see the need for a monthly update, I’d think his time is better spent elsewhere.



Contractors Information Seminar
The Planning & Inspections Department, supported by the town staff, will be hosting the eleventh annual Contractors Information Seminar on Thursday, November 10th.


5.   Discussion and Possible Action on the Planning & Zoning Board’s Response to the Board’s Tasker Concerning Frontal Dunes (Code of Ordinances Section 94.03 Frontal Dune Policies and Regulations) – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 25 – 27

Subject: Amendments to 94.03 specifically exceptions to walkways with over 300 feet to the last line of Natural Stable Vegetation.

The Board tasked the Planning Board with review of the 94.03, The TOHBPB reviewed and discussed Ordinance 94.03 and asked the staff to return  with options, Planning staff presented  5 options to the Planning Board at the next scheduled meeting. The Planning Board advertised the proposed changes to the public and then voted to send the approved changes forward to the Board.

Note: Town staff supports these changes.

The Planning & Zoning Board voted unanimously on September 27, 2022 to send forward option 5 (see attached), to the Board of Commissioners for approval.

Staff recommended changes to remain in 94.03

Staff input: Assistant Town Manager Christy Ferguson, Development service Officer Rhonda Wooten, Planning and Inspections Director Timothy Evans, and Public Works Director Chris Clemmons

§94.03 FRONTAL DUNE POLICIES AND REGULATIONS

 (2)   Frontal dune policy and restrictions.

         (a)   Whenever property owners elect to construct a walkway across the frontal dune on their property, to provide pedestrian access to the beach strand, the following specifications shall apply. (Note: the same criteria applies when property owners seek to apply for town approval of an encroachment agreement to construct a walkway over public property adjacent to their residence.)

    1. The walkway shall be constructed only of building materials approved by the North Carolina State Building Code North Carolina Building Code. The walking passageway shall be no wider than four feet. The underside of the walkway across the frontal dune shall be a minimum of 18 inches and a maximum of 36 inches above the crest of the sand. Exception: Town owned CAMA accessways may utilize a six-foot walkway.
    2. The first step down to the beach strand shall be placed no farther seaward than the beginning of the downward slope of the dune, or the existing line of escarpment determined by averaging the downward slope or escarpment line for the property in question and those properties directly adjacent.
    3. Steps shall be of open tread construction with a maximum riser height of eight and one-quarter inches and a minimum tread depth of nine inches and shall meet the requirements of the North Carolina State Building Code North Carolina Residential Building Code.
    4. In accordance with North Carolina State Division of Coastal Management’s enforcement of the Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA), the walkway access to the beach strand over the frontal dune shall be conclusively presumed to entail negligible alteration of the dune. The walkway shall be raised on posts or pilings a minimum of two feet and a maximum of five feet depth into the dune. In no case shall the walkway be permitted if it will, in the opinion of the Local CAMA Permit Officer, diminish the dune’s capacity as a protective barrier against flooding and erosion.
    5. Except for handicap ramps, steps from the walkway to the beach strand shall be placed only perpendicular to the frontal dune line.
    6. No structure other than the one four-foot-wide wooden walkway shall be located south of the landward toe of the frontal dune. This applies to decks, gazebos, sitting areas and other additions that a property owner may desire to make to the allowed walkway. Structures (other than the four-foot walkway) that exist when this section is adopted may remain in place temporarily; however, all such structures must be removed no later than December 31, 2003, in order to be in compliance with this section. A building permit is required if there are any repairs needed to walkway load bearing surfaces, such as supporting posts. Adding additional lengths to supporting posts shall constitute a repair. Exception: town-owned CAMA accessways may utilize a six-foot walkway. Exception: 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, as determined by the local CAMA officer, may install a single walkway with a maximum width of four feet; the walkway shall be a minimum of three feet high with a maximum height not to exceed four feet; and shall terminate at the last line of natural stable vegetation. Walkways shall be permitted and built-in accordance with all federal, state and local building requirements. Exception: swimming pools may be located south of the town’s designated frontal dune; placement of pools and decking shall not extend more than 50 feet from the established seaward toe of designated frontal dune. This exception only applies when the CAMA dune is more seaward than the town’s frontal dune.

Frontal Dune Policies

Holden Beach Code of Ordinances Submitted by the Planning & Zoning Board
.   a) 94.03, Frontal Dune Policies and Regulations

Town would like walkways to go over newly created dunes.
.       * Currently there is no requirement to build any walkways

Most walkways are not in compliance including the towns.
.    1) Walkways are supposed to go over the frontal dune, the one closest to the water
.       a) The goal is to minimize people walking across the dunes
.       b) Ordinance has $500 fine for walking on dunes – no citations have been issued

Significant cost to oceanfront property owners.
.     *
No easy or inexpensive solution

Complicating the issue:
.    1)
the situation varies based on location on the island
.    2)
sand and dunes are constantly shifting

It does not make sense to continue to spend money to put sand on the beach strand and then not address this issue.  All agreed we need to protect the dunes, now we need to figure out how we can do that.

Proposed three possible solutions:
.   1) Change ordinance
.   2) Change definition of frontal dune
.   3) Require portable board and chain paths 


Previously reported – June 2022
Discussion and Possible Action to Request that the Planning & Zoning Board Evaluate andPropose 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 although 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.

 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.

Update –
Timbo reported that they considered five (5) options and selected this one. Text was amended and there were no substantial changes proposed. Commissioner Kwiatkowski asked him for more information on the Planning & Zoning Board’s response to the Board’s tasker. She didn’t just want their recommendation but also wanted to see how they came to that conclusion. By Board consensus they asked him to come back with support information for their position. He agreed to provide more information at the next scheduled meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken


It was my understanding that  they were supposed to be reviewing allowing walkways that were less than 300 feet as stipulated in the current ordinance. The proposed ordinance does not appear to address this issue.


6.   Discussion and Possible Action on the Upgrading of the Greensboro Street Lift Station – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet – pages 28

I am seeking the Board of Commissioners’ approval for Green’s Engineering to advertise for bids on the Greensboro Street Pump Station #2 Upgrade Project.

Previously reported – September 2021
Discussion and Possible Award of Contract for Vacuum Sewer System #2 Upgrade – Leo Green, Green Engineering (Public Works Director Clemmons)

Agenda Packet –
The bid opening for the Lift Station #2 upfit was held at 2:00p.m. on September 9th. There was only one bid submitted. Since three are required, Leo Green will rebid for opening on the 20th of September with the intent to present to the Board at the September 21st regular meeting.

David indicated that the project needed to be rebid. Leo said we still only had one bid from the vendor that did the other lift stations. He attempted to explain the driving forces for the significantly higher price.

Lift Station #4             2018                $1,205,000
Lift Station #3             2019                $1,622,000      @35% increase vs. lift station #4
Lift Station #2             2021                $2,664,000      @64% increase vs. lift station #3

Pat pointed out that we will need to go through another hurricane season before the project is completed. They discussed proceeding versus waiting, some of the variables that needed to be considered are the cost of materials, the cost of borrowing money, the availability of materials, and the potential increase of number of projects because of Federal Infrastructure money. Not saying that we are not going to do the project, but they prefer to hold off proceeding for the time being. They decided to put the project on hold.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Chris said he put it out there so they can figure out where we stand. This is one of the Congressional earmarks for $2,669,867 for the Greensboro Street Lift Station #2 Hazard Mitigation Project. The Board approved his request and will have Green Engineering advertise for bids on the Sewer Street Lift Station #2 Project.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Commissioner Kwiatkowski requested that Chris discuss the sewer system issues during the storm event. Chris said despite the raised stations the system doesn’t work when they are under a few feet of water caused by the storm surge. He admitted that there was not a quick fix but has some ideas on things they can do that might help. Pat suggested that they consider elevation of candy canes in low lying areas that are prone to flooding to minimize that water getting into the system.


7.  Discussion and Possible Action on Vinyl Siding as it Relates to Storm Damage and Safety Issues (Possible Limits of Use) – Mayor Holden

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Update –
Alan stated that the purpose was simply to provide educational information in an attempt to inform the public about lap vinyl siding. The Town cannot change the building code, but they do not recommend using lap vinyl siding on the island. Builder grade lap siding continues to prove it does not hold up in high winds like we just had. He requested that contractors should attempt to educate homeowners and try to get them to upgrade from lap vinyl siding.  


8.  Discussion and Possible Action on Bulkheads from 796 Ocean Boulevard West through 800 Block Properties (Parcourse Area) – Commissioner Murdock

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Wetland Delineation

Previously reported – March 2021
Commissioners Murdock and Tyner are recommending to the BOC that the Town appropriate funding to build parking lots on Town-owned properties in the 800 block and 764 0BW.

Pat questioned how the parking plan went from thirty-one (31) designated parking spaces to just sixteen (16) spaces. The discussion was about whether to start the process now because we need to get the ball rolling and what needs to be done. 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.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Editor’s Note –
The Town owns ten (10) parcels in the 800 block which we obtained on 04/21/13 ostensibly to be used for parking. They are as follows: 46BC001, 246BC010, 246BC011, 246BC012, 246BC013, 246BC014, 246BC015, 246BC016, 246BC01604, and 246BC01609.

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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.

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

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

Previously reported – June 2022
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.

Previously reported – July 2022
We delineated all town property bordering marsh areas that is included in the parking plan. The discussion was about adding parking on marsh streets and the 800 Block lots. The results of the wetlands determination was that there are only about thirty-five (35) viable parking spots. We don’t know yet if they will be allowed to be permitted.

Update –
Delineation study was completed, now we need to act on it. Brian stated he was looking for the Board’s thoughts on protecting those properties. This is a necessary step if we want to make use of these Town owned parcels. Timbo recommended proceeding by applying for CAMA permits for bulkheads there. David suggested Right Angle Engineering could give us the probable cost of construction. The motion was made to have the Town’s engineer, Right Angle Engineering, pursue getting CAMA permits and also to determine height of bulkheads that are needed with the estimated cost. 

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Smith opposed the motion

Editor’s Note –
The Par Course properties are located on the second row, between Greensboro and Scotch Bonnet which is not in the area that was stated in the agenda item. Frankly, I’m not clear whether this area was included or not.


9.  Discussion and Possible Action to Solicit Engineering Firms to Evaluate the Potential Need and Cost for Additional Water Storage Capacity for Holden Beach – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – pages 29

This has been a BOC priority for the past 2 years. We should proceed with a study to evaluate the need and options moving forward. Issuing an RFQ would be the first step.

Previously reported – February 2019
Receipt of Water Tower Memo from Planning & Zoning Board – Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet –
At the October 23, 2018 BOC meeting the Planning and Zoning Board was asked to further analyze the potential need for a second water tower.

The preliminary report prepared by Right Angle Engineering was reviewed and further research was done with input from staff, Tri-Beach Fire Department Chief and Right-Angle Engineering.

The Planning and Zoning Board voted to recommend a phased approach to the issue. The first phase would consist of a study to be done by an engineering   firm which specializes in water systems and has experience performing water supply studies to determine at what point a second water tower may be needed.

We also recommend that if it is determined that a second tower is needed in the near future that the County be contacted about potential cost sharing.

Update –
Positioned this not simply as a capacity issue but more importantly as a safety issue. Motion was made to issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a study to evaluate the need and options for a second water tower.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


  • 10.  Consideration of Early End to Paid Parking this Year – Town Manager Hewett

  • Agenda Packet –
    pages 30

    Mr. Varner with Otto Connect contacted me regarding the possibility of ending paid parking on October 28, 2022 and allowing free parking island-wide for festival weekend, October 29th and 30th. I suggested this decision would require BOC approval. Mr. Varner needs direction so that he can plan accordingly if the season will end on October 28th.
  • .
    Update –
    David stated that this is a contract matter and that he needs Board direction. The thinking is that in order to promote the festival it would be advantageous to suspend paid parking. They agreed to suspend the paid parking season and Otto enforcement island wide as on October 28th
  • .
    A decision was made –
    Approved unanimously

Otto Connect reported over 60,000 parked vehicles this summer
with a violation rate of just 2.5%

Town of Holden Beach Newsletter
Paid Parking Update
In an effort to better facilitate the Festival by the Sea, the Board of Commissioners voted during their last meeting to end paid parking effective October 28, 2022. We would like to remind everyone that while parking will remain free until April 2023, all other parking regulations are in effect and will be enforced. For complete details refer to our website at https://hbtownhall.com/ordinances.

It’s a zoo out there during the festival weekend. With all the parking problems that happen during the festivals you would think we would want to continue enforcing parking in designated areas only. By suspending enforcement that was done by Otto people can and will park anywhere they want. It seems to me that they put up the white flag and surrendered. Instead of attempting to get some semblance of compliance they are going with – it is what it is.


  • 11.  Town Manager’s Report

Beach Strand
Gave a brief report, his subjective opinion, as to how our beach strand held up during the storm event. There was very little damage during Hurricane Ian to the engineered portion of the beach. He estimates that it will take approximately $300,000 to bring sand fencing and plantings to as before condition . Recognized that the west end did get hit hard with damage to walkways, dunes and vegetation there. They do not intend to survey either to quantify or qualify any sand loss since no funds are available. Beach equilibration has occurred.

Budget Report 

David did a brief overview of the budget at the end of the quarter
Finances are normal for this time of year
Occupancy taxes are up compared to last year
Overall we are about $542k in the black
The budget report is posted on the Town’s website

Bike Lane

Previously reported – October 2021
OBW paving/bike path are still on track, but they were some eighteen (18) to twenty-four (24) months off.

Previously reported – July 2022
The NC Department of Transportation has informed the town that due to permitting issues raised during their review of the Ocean Boulevard Repaving/Bike Lane Project, construction will not begin in September as previously planned. Construction is now scheduled to start after the first of the year. The project will still have a completion date of Memorial Day.

Update –
NCDOT has contacted the Town and informed us that there is an issue in getting the CAMA permit for the resurfacing/bike lane project. It will require additional work to get it reconciled and execute the contract. They are inconclusive on whether the project will happen this spring, though they are still hoping to complete it before Memorial Day. Not what we want to hear but what we have been told.

It seems that both of these projects keep getting pushed back
It’s kinda like when Lucy tells Charlie Brown to kick the football


Run HB Canceled
Out of an abundance of caution due to the expected weather conditions, Run Holden Beach (originally scheduled for Saturday, October 1st) was canceled. They are working on a new date which has not been determined yet.

In Case You Missed It –


National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On September 30, 2022, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to December 16, 2022.

Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP
by no later than 11:59 pm on December 16, 2022


LWF Inlet Dredging
Sidecaster Dredge Merritt was scheduled to be here from September 19th through October 9th
. Apparently their schedule slipped, and they arrived here on October 3rd. The current vessel rate for the Merritt is $1,708 per hour with a minimum 10-hour day at a cost of approximately $17,080 per day.

Previously reported – December 2020
LWF  Maintenance Project
USACE plan is in place for the LWF inlet maintenance project
Five events per year, at a cost of  approximately one million dollars just for side-caster dredger
Funding commitments are not in place yet, THB cost share would be roughly $60,000
That’s as close as we have been to having an annual maintenance program for the inlet

 

USACE Merritt
The Merritt is a side-cast dredge that has two drag arms on each side of the vessel that operators lower into the water. The dredge removes sediment from the bottom and pumps it through a discharge pipe outside of the channel and into the direction of the current. It can dredge to a depth of up to 20 feet. The Merritt is especially suited for maintenance of shallow, un-stabilized inlets where larger hopper dredges cannot operate due to strong currents and ocean environment.


 Upcoming Events –


Festival by the Sea
Two day festival occurs on the last full weekend in October.



Contractors Information Seminar
The Planning & Inspections Department, supported by the town staff, will be hosting the eleventh annual Contractors Information Seminar on Thursday, November 10th.



Veterans Appreciation Luncheon   
The Town will hold its Veterans Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday, November 9th.

 

The event will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the picnic shelter at Bridgeview Park. If the weather is not conducive to an outside event, we will move the event indoors at Town Hall. Please RSVP by calling 910.842.6488 prior to Wednesday, November 2nd with your name and the name of your guest.



Turkey Trot
The Town of Holden Beach will hold its annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, November 24th at 8 a.m. All individuals interested in participating should call 910.842.6488 to register. Please bring a canned food item to donate to the local food pantry. 


12.   Mayor’s Comments

Alan was thankful we got through the storm event with minimal damage. Although hurricane season is still on the calendar, traditionally by the middle of October we have been out of the woods. He feels that we have safely made it through another hurricane season and have been very fortunate this year.


13. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3), To Consult with the Town Attorney (Town Manager Hewett) and Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(6), Personnel (Commissioner Kwiatkowski)

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, November 15th
    .


     


    • Hurricane Season
      .
      For more information
      » click here

      .
      Be prepared – have a plan!


No matter what a storm outlook is for a given year,

vigilance and preparedness is urged.


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