Townhall Icon, a Place for Town Meeting, Lous Views

09 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments

BOC’s Public Hearing / Regular Meeting 09/19/23

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here

Meeting was not held, there was not a quorum present

Mayor Holden stated that they can’t do anything since they  don’t have a quorum

Commissioner Murdock and Mayor Pro Tem Smith – were not in attendance

The Mayor and three Commissioners, or three Commissioners without the Mayor shall constitute a quorum (simple majority) of the Town BOC (G.S. § 160A-74).

Animated Image of a Old Man with My Two Cents Text

The vacancy should have been filled,  but they chose not to fill the seat. What do you think about their decision now?

Filling a Vacancy on the Town Council

Previously reported – March 2021
Commissioner Pat Kwiatkowski has resigned, she plans on moving off the island. The Board needs to fill the vacant seat sooner rather than later since we have just begun the budget process. When Woody resigned  they decided  that although the statute  states that the position is to be filled by appointment by the Board, they would consider anybody in the Town that wants to be a Commissioner. That Board agreed to request that anybody interested should submit their qualifications.

Previously reported – April 2021
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.

Coates’ Canons NC Local Government Law
§G.S. 160A- 63 says: “A vacancy that occurs in an elective office of a city shall be filled by appointment of the city council.” Does the “shall” in this sentence mean that they are required to fill the vacancy, or does it mean that if it is to be filled, the council is the body to fill it? There appears to be no case interpreting this provision, so it could be read either way. I think the safest and most appropriate reading is that the council must fill the vacancy.

The statute does not set a time frame within which this must be done.  In contrast, the statute directing county commissioners to fill vacancies clearly requires them to do it and provides for the clerk of superior court to do it if the commissioners fail to within 60 days after the vacancy occurs. See, G.S. 153A-27.  It could be argued that the difference suggests a legislative intent to allow cities an indefinite amount of time to fill the vacancy, but it’s hard to square that with the statute’s provision that city councils “shall” fill a vacancy. If there is no time within which the appointment must be made, in effect, they never have to make it. If the legislature intended this result, it seems that the statute would say they “may” fill the vacancy.

City council members sometimes suggest that they would prefer to leave it to the electorate to choose a new council member – essentially making a decision not to fill the vacancy before the next election. While this may reflect a genuine desire to avoid displacing the public’s opportunity to choose a council member, it opens the process up to manipulation. For example, in the case of an odd-numbered board operating with one less member, a decision not to fill the vacancy increases the role of the mayor in breaking ties. To avoid this, and to provide citizens with the benefit of deliberation and action by the full complement of members called for in the charter, the vacancy should be filled as soon as reasonably possible.
For more information » click here

Brian stated that regrettably we have an open seat, and we are far enough out from an election that we need to fill the vacancy. Brian felt that the public is not adequately represented now, and we should ask for candidates like we did the last time. He felt that we need five (5) people on the Board. Rick felt it could wait and have the public make the decision. Also, if they fill the seat now, it would only be till the election in November. Brian made the motion but there was no second so we will play man down until December after the November elections.
No decision was made – No action taken

Animated Image of a Old Man with My Two Cents Text

Ironically they chose not to fill the seat despite the fact that two (2) of the Commissioners now on the Board were selected to fill an unexpired commission term. Coates’ Canons NC Local Government Law interprets shall be filled as mandatory and the Board must fill the vacancy. The vacancy should be filled as soon as possible, this is not optional. I personally feel that we really need to fill the seat sooner rather than later, because we have a lot of time left on the clock till December and a lot of loose ends that decisions need to be made on.

Public Hearing

PUBLIC HEARING: Concerning the Approval of the Execution and Delivery of an Installment Financing Contract in a Principial Amount Not to Exceed $5,000,000 to Finance the Upfit of the Town’s Sewer Lift Station #2

Regular Meeting

1.   Police Report – Lieutenant Frank Dilworth

Agenda Packet – pages 12 – 24

Police Report » click here NA


Seasonal change:
Pets allowed back on the beach strand
effective September 10th
still need to be on leash, and to clean up after them

The police department currently has only nine (9) officers of the ten (10) they are budgeted to have. 

      • They are down officer Preston Conley who is out on long-term medical disability
      • John our new officer hire has been sworn in
      • So, we still only have eight (8) officers out there

What he did not say –

Remind everyone that its Hurricane Season – be prepared, have a plan!

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

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

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

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

        • Child Restraint Laws must be followed
        • Headlights
        • Tail lights
        • Turn signals
        • Rear view mirrors
        • State Inspection Sticker
        • License Plate Issued by NCDMV
        • Liability Insurance

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

2.   Inspections Department Report – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 25 – 26

Inspections Report » click here NA

3.   Discussion and Possible Award of Contract for Upfit of Sewer Lift Station #2 – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 19 – 79

The attached bid documents (Attachment I), from T.A. Loving in the amount of $4,311,700 are for the board’s consideration. The first bid opening was held on August 17th at which time there were no bids. The second bid opening was held August 30, 2023 and T.A. Loving was the only respondent. A public hearing is being held on the proposed installment financing contract to finance the upfit of the lift station. Town staff is working closely with our financial advisor, DEC Associates, to formulate the best financing options for the town; realizing the EPA grant may still come through. Those terms will be finalized, and it is anticipated the board will review them at the October board meeting. Documents in the packet are draft documents and would be finalized to use bank specific language and with outlined terms for that meeting. Current plans based on ongoing discussions are to finance $2,731,324 and pay go $2,000,000 from town cash. The remainder of the loan amount above the $4.3 million covers engineering, the skid for the system, and cost of issuance. If the board does not act on the contract this evening, the next time the project can be presented to the Local Government Commission is the January/February meeting based on audit requirements. If the board decides to accept the construction bid, 2 CFR requirements would be added to the contract by the town to align with EPA procurement guidelines.

Attachment I : Construction Bid Documents
Attachment 2: Installment Financing Contract
Attachment 3: Deed of Trust

Note: Contract execution is contingent on Local Government Commission approval.

Previously reported – September 2021
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 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

Previously reported – July 2023
The town engaged with the new project coordinator with EPA and to date met all requirements until we hear back about the NEPA review and whether it is needed for this project. Since we are working on someone else’s timeline , the borrowing calendar will not mesh with the construction and federal calendars to complete the project this year. If the town wants to continue to move toward the EPA grant funding, we will need to postpone the project for one year. As an alternative, the town could choose to fund the entire project to achieve a deliverable of construction this winter.

Grant Update » click here

This is one of the Congressional earmarks for $2,669,867 for the Greensboro Street Lift Station #2 Hazard Mitigation Project. Despite the federal budget appropriation and that that  the grant was Congressional directed we still have to apply for the money. The Board was given two (2) options, either to move forward with grant funding and postpone the project or the town would need to fund the entire project. Town staff all seemed to lean towards walking away from the grant and proceeding with the project now. Andrew our financial advisor remotely joined the meeting and gave them additional input. Unfortunately, based on the timelines they were given the decision has to be made tonight. The federal share is $2,669,867  and our  match would be at least $667,467 for a total of $3,337,334. They decided to forego the grant money and proceed with the project paying for it through town funding only. David said that the Water/Sewer Fund has funds of $3,869,859. The recommendation is to do a fifty-fifty split between cash and borrowing. It was a difficult decision for them, either way people were going to be unhappy with whatever they decided to do. The Board struggled with the decision weighing waiting for the grant funds vs. moving forward now to prevent not having an operating sewer system should it be destroyed in a storm event. Tentatively construction would start as soon as this October. A lot of moving parts and Town Manager Hewitt explained that this was a very compressed schedule, and we may not be able to make it work as planned. The motion was made to proceed with self-funding for this critical asset of the island.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Animated Image of a Old Man with My Two Cents Text
Just to be clear, we just walked away from a
$2,669,867 grant for lift station #2

Previously reported – August 2023
The attached resolution (Attachment 1), prepared by our bond attorney firm, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP, is a necessary component for the application to the Local Government Commission (LGC) to obtain financing for the improvement/remodeling of Sewer Lift Station 2. The resolution authorizes the negotiation of an installment financing contract with a financial institution to be determined and the provision of a security interest in the real property on which Sewer Lift Station 2 is located . Also attached is the required public hearing notice (Attachment 2- Exhibit A) that sets the date of the public hearing for September 12, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. and a Notice to the Joint Legislative Committee (Attachment 3) that is a required as part of the installment financing process.

Attachment 1 : Resolution # 23-11 / Resolution of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina, Authorizing Negotiation of an Installment Financing Contract and Providing for Certain Other Related Matters

Attachment 2 : Exhibit A / Public Hearing Notice

Attachment 3 : Notice to Joint Legislative Committee

Suggested Motion: Approval of Resolution # 23-1 I, as well as Exhibit A, to set the public hearing and direct the town manager to notify the Joint Legislative Committee of the Town’s intentions through execution of Attachment 3.

Section I.   The Mayor and  the Town Manager,  and  their respective  designees, individually and collectively, with advice from the Town Attorney and the Town’s financial advisor and Special Counsel, are hereby authorized and directed to negotiate on behalf of the Town (1) the financing of the Project for a principal amount not to exceed $5,000,000 under the Contract, to be entered into in accordance with the provisions of Section 160A-20 of the General Statutes of North Carolina, as amended, and (2) the provision of a security interest under a deed of trust in the Town’s fee simple interest in the real property on which the Project is located, together with all improvements thereon, as may be required by the financial institution providing the funds to the Town under the Contract to secure the Town’s obligations thereunder.

Section 2. The Board finds and determines that:

    • The proposed Contract is necessary or expedient;
    • The Contract, under the circumstances, is preferable to a bond issue for the same purpose;
    • The sums to fall due under the Contract are adequate and not excessive for its proposed purpose;
    • The Town’s debt management procedures and policies are good;
    • The increase in taxes, if any, necessary to meet the sums to fall due under the Contract will not be excessive; and
    • The Town is not in default in any of its debt service

Resolution 23-11 » click here

The public has questioned the approval of a $5,000,000 installment financing contract for Sewer Lift Station #2. The explanation given is that this is a limit, the maximum amount, worst case scenario, that we may need to complete the project. Christy emphasized that they don’t intend for it to cost that much but we won’t know until the bids come in. Applying to get that amount of money gives us the flexibility to move forward with the project. The Town is still working with the EPA to obtain the $2.7M grant funding for the project  and are hoping that it may be available to us. THB has scheduled a meeting with the Local Government Commission (LGC) on October 3rd to get approval for the five million dollar financing just in case the grant does not come through. The Board decided to move forward with obtaining financing the of the project for a principal amount not to exceed $5,000,000. The Board scheduled a Public Hearing at the beginning of the next Regular Meeting in September.
A decision was made – Approved (2-1)
Mayor Pro Tem Rick Smith opposed the motion

Jackie Chan Still from a Movie with Wait What Text

The original option selected last month was to borrow $2,000,000 and use $1,337,334 from Water/Sewer reserve fund that currently has $3,869,859 in it. After some discussion I thought that they had agreed to do a fifty-fifty split between cash and borrowing. Regardless of the actual split the total cost was $3,337,334. What just happened: they went from a match of just $667,467, to borrowing approximately two (2) million dollars, to now borrowing five (5) million dollars in just one month. This is a travesty!

Update –
Sewer Lift Station TA Loving bid:
A         $2,137,400
B         $759,400
C         $685,400
D         $729,500
Total   $4,311,700

2018 – Sewer Station #4 / $158,000 + $1,413,000 + $282,700 +$104,920 =                         $1,958,620

2020 – Sewer Station #3 / $311,805 + $349,000 $1,622,500 =                                  $2,283,305      +17%

2023 – Sewer Station #2 /  $2,137,400 + $759,400 + $685,400 + $729,500 =                        $4,311,700     +89%

Just to be clear, the same vendor had a bid of $2,664,000 in September of 2021 so the new bid in September of 2023 of $4,311,700 is an increase of 62%         

4.   Discussion and Possible Amendment to the Contract Between the Town and Southern Disaster Recovery, LLC – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet – pages 80 – 81

The County has informed the Town that the Multijurisdictional Disaster Debris Management  contract with Southern Disaster Recovery, LLC does not include the removal of eligible hazardous tress of less than six inches in diameter. The proposed amendment to the contract adds this service to the fee schedule in the contract.

The recommended motion is to approve the second amendment to the contract between Southern Disaster Recovery, LLC and the Town of Holden Beach.

Contractor and Activating Entity previously entered into a Multi­ Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Management contract with an effective date of September 12, 2019. It now appears there was an omission in the fee schedule for removal of eligible hazardous trees with work consisting of removing hazardous trees. Contractor and Activating Entity have agreed to amend the original contract to set forth the facts for said additional services.

Previously reported – August 2019
MultiJurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement
The Town is a member of the Brunswick County Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement. Currently, the contract is with Crowder Gulf. Beginning September 15, 2019, the county’s new contract will take affect with Southern Disaster Recovery (SDR) as the   primary contractor and Ceres Environmental as the secondary.

Per the Brunswick County Background Information: The disaster debris management contract is a pre­-positioned contract with no funding associated with the contract for the purpose of assisting the county in the event of a disaster such as a hurricane, tornado or earthquake. Six proposals were received in response to the request for proposals for disaster debris management services. There are numerous services and equipment priced in the bids and no one company was low bidder on all items. A weighted formula was used to determine the overall best proposal for the county with consideration to other items and services included with the proposal. Using this formula SDR scored the highest number of points and Ceres with the second highest number of points. References from the industry were consulted and gave favorable recommendations for SDR and Ceres.

If the Town would like to continue to be a member of the agreement, we will need to execute the paperwork to participate. Brunswick County’s bid tabulation is included detailing the scoring criteria. Staff recommends the Town continue to participate in the Brunswick County Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement and that Town Manager Hewett is authorized to execute any paperwork on behalf of the Town, subject to final approval of the contracts by the Town Attorney.

David handled this in Chris’s absence. County has changed contractor and we have an opportunity to piggyback on the County contract. It’s a no brainer.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – August 2019
MultiJurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement
The Town is a member of the Brunswick County Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement. Currently, the contract is with Crowder Gulf. Beginning September 15, 2019, the county’s new contract will take affect with Southern Disaster Recovery (SDR) as the   primary contractor and Ceres Environmental as the secondary.

Per the Brunswick County Background Information: The disaster debris management contract is a pre­ positioned contract with no funding associated with the contract for the purpose of assisting the county in the event of a disaster such as a hurricane, tornado or earthquake. Six proposals were received in response to the request for proposals for disaster debris management services. There are numerous services and equipment priced in the bids and no one company was low bidder on all items. A weighted formula was used to determine the overall best proposal for the county with consideration to other items and services included with the proposal. Using this formula SDR scored the highest number of points and Ceres with the second highest number of points. References from the industry were consulted and gave favorable recommendations for SDR and Ceres.

If the Town would like to continue to be a member of the agreement, we will need to execute the paperwork to participate. Brunswick County’s bid tabulation is included detailing the scoring criteria. Staff recommends the Town continue to participate in the Brunswick County Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement and that Town Manager Hewett is authorized to execute any paperwork on behalf of the Town, subject to final approval of the contracts by the Town Attorney.

David handled this in Chris’s absence. County has changed contractor and we have an opportunity to piggyback on the County contract. It’s a no brainer.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

5.   Discussion and Possible Action on Regulations for Removing  Sand From the Beach – Mayor Holden

Agenda Packet – pages 82 – 85

No person, firm or corporation shall remove or cause to be removed any beach sand from its natural state, except necessary excavation in preparation for building, remodeling, or repairing the premises; provided that any beach sand so removed shall be placed nearer the road adjoining the premises or, at the option of the owner of the premises, hauled to another suitable location within the town limits, provided also that the sand dunes lying adjacent to the ocean front shall not be lowered below six feet in height above the abutting street elevation, and that in making such excavation no vegetation shall be destroyed which is growing on the front slope of the ocean front sand dune. Provided further that under no circumstances shall any quantity of beach sand be transported to a location outside the town limits.

Update –
Agenda packet included Ordinances from Caswell Beach, Ocean Isle, and Sunset Beach.

6.  Town Manager’s Report

Canal Dredging
The process for canal dredging in Harbor Acres has started and the dredging will occur this winter.   

LWF Inlet
LWFIX & Bend-Winder navigation maintenance projects are scheduled to start this winter. USACE will contract to remove 140k cyds of sand with placement of beach compatible sand on the east end of our beach strand. THB local share of the $535,000 project is approximately $100,000, the funds have already been transferred. 

In Case You Missed It –

Ocean Boulevard Resurfacing/Bike Lane Project

DOT Bike Lane Report Presentation » click here

The plan includes bike lanes of 5’ on each side of Ocean Boulevard. It will be an asymmetrical widening, that is 7’ on the south side and only 3’ on the north side where the sidewalk is.  The most likely scenario is that construction won’t start till the end of 2023.

Update –
Survey work is scheduled to start in September with construction beginning in November. Mayor Holden will participate in the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study (GSATS) meeting  this week and should be able to get more details about the project for us. 

National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On December 23, 2022, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to September 30, 2023.

News from Town of Holden Beach
The town sends out emails of events, news, agendas, notifications and emergency information. If you would like to be added to their mailing list, please go to their web site to complete your subscription to the Holden Beach E-Newsletter.
For more information » click here

Paid Parking on Holden Beach
Paid parking will be enforced April 1st – October 31st in all Holden Beach designated parking areas. It will be enforced from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily, with free parking before and after that time. All parking will use license plates for verification. 

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. 

Map Aerial view of the Block Q4

Dubbed Block Q,
this Brunswick town is making big plans to transform an open lot
Plans to transform a 1.79-acre lot in Holden Beach into a public paid parking lot are moving forward. Looking to further its paid parking plan, the town of Holden Beach purchased the 1.79-acre property between Shore Drive and Brunswick Avenue, commonly known as Block Q, for $2 million in early 2022. Well over a year later, the town is moving forward with plans to transform the space and create more than just a parking lot. At its August meeting, the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners held a public hearing regarding the town’s application for a $420,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

Here’s the latest on the project and what’s next.

What is Block Q?
A previously privately owned vacant lot just off N.C. 130 in Holden Beach, Block Q was purchased in 2022 by the town. At the time, Holden Beach had just approved its paid parking plan and acquired the property with plans to add up to 235 parking spaces. Mayor Alan Holden confirmed that, to his knowledge, there is no significance to the name “Block Q,” and the property has simply been referred to by that name historically. The property sits across the street from the Intracoastal Waterway and boat ramp and is just one block from the public beach access. The site is currently a vacant lot that the town purchased to “provide additional amenities for residents and visitors” – namely parking. Local residents expressed concern at the time of the sale, noting that while the purchase would increase revenue for the town, they worried about the impact the purchase could have on traffic and, ultimately, the town’s character.

What is the plan?
At the time of the purchase, the town indicated the lot would be transformed into a public parking lot. Now, updated plans indicate the town looks to further enhance the space with the addition of a new public restroom facility, boat trailer parking, stormwater improvements and green space, in addition to the previously planned public parking. According to the town, the site will hopefully relieve the stress and demand on the wildlife boat ramp across the street, which has limited parking that is inadequate for the number of patrons who frequent the facility. Current plans indicate the lot will consist of 79 car parking spots and 15 boat trailer spots. The town clarified that it is moving forward with the public car and boat trailer parking independently and is asking for grant assistance with the public restroom facility, associated parking and sidewalks. Plans indicate the restroom facility will be ADA compliant. While no members of the public were physically present to voice their thoughts about the grant application at the August meeting, several residents sent their thoughts to town staff. Repeated concerns include the project’s cost and necessity.

What is the North Carolina Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program?
The town has applied for a grant as part of the North Carolina Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program. According to the DEQ’s Division of Coastal Management, the program looks to provide matching grants to local governments for projects that improve pedestrian access to beaches and waterways in North Carolina. Eligible projects include land acquisition, rehabilitation, maintenance and construction projects, such as parking and restroom facilities. The town of Holden Beach indicated they would match $140,000 for the project – 25% of the grant funds requested. The project is anticipated to cost $560,000.

What’s next?
Assistant Town Manager Christy Ferguson said the grant application was due to the state by Aug. 28. The town indicated it will move forward with the parking aspects of the project whether the funding is approved or not. The grant would assist in funding the construction of the public restroom facilities. If the grant is awarded, construction could begin within six months, the application indicates, and the project could be completed within 18 months.
Read more » click here 

 Upcoming Events –

Lunch and Learn
The Town of Holden Beach will host a lunch and learning workshop with Dr. Joseph Richter from Novant Health Rehabilitation Services on Tuesday, September 20th at noon. The focus of the workshop will be on fall prevention. The town will be providing lunch.

Shag Lessons
Lessons are set to begin Wednesday, October 11th. Classes will move to Thursdays for the next five weeks. The fee is $60 per person with beginner’s classes running from 6:00 – 7:00 pm and intermediate from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. The last day to register is September 29th. Email Christy at [email protected] with your name, phone number and whether you are interested in the beginner or intermediate class.

Volunteer Luncheon
The Town of Holden Beach will hold its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, October 19th at noon. Town board and committee members are invited to attend and bring a guest. Please RSVP by emailing Christy at [email protected] with your name and the total number in your party. The last day to register is October 2, 2023.

Meet the Candidates Night
HBPOA and the League of Women Voters of Lower Cape Fear  will be hosting Candidates Night Friday, October 20th at 5:30 at the Holden Beach Chapel. The League of Women Voters will be conducting this year’s event to avoid any potential conflicts of interest given that several HBPOA Board Members are running in this year’s election.  HBPOA is only hosting the event.  Questions will not be taken from the floor this year, but you can submit questions for the candidates to the League of Women Voters at this email:  [email protected]

The objective of a Candidates Night event is to help the electorate

make an informed choice when they vote for Town leaders.

The Town of Holden Beach will hold Barktoberfest on Friday evening, October 27th. Owners and their dogs should meet at Town Hall at 5:30 p.m. where we will do a trick-or-trot up to the HB Pavilion for a doggie costume contest and fall pictures. Registration is required by October 6th. Email Christy at [email protected] in order to register.

N.C. Festival by the Sea  / October 28th & 29th                   
Hosted by the Holden Beach Merchants Association this two-day festival occurs on the last full weekend in October.

Monster Mash Trunk-or-Treat
The Town of Holden Beach will hold a trunk-or-treat on Tuesday, October 31st from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the HB Pavilion. Residents and property owners may register by October 13th to decorate your trunk and pass out candy. Trunks must be ready by 5:30 p.m. There will be a prize for best decorated trunk and a costume contest held at 7:00 p.m. Categories include 3 and under, 4-7, 8-11, 12-15 and adult. Register by emailing Christy at [email protected]

7.   Mayor’s Comments

Town of Holden Beach From the Mayor’s Desk (08/28/23)
National Hurricane Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. All citizens are encouraged to develop an emergency plan, build an emergency kit and communicate the plan to all members of their household. Click here to view the full proclamation declaring September 2023 as Preparedness Month in the Town of Holden Beach.

 Visit for more info on creating a plan.

Town of Holden Beach From the Mayor’s Desk (09/20/23)
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) National Day of Service is a day when GFWC members come together in service to create awareness of the critical issues of food insecurities, hunger and food safety within the United States.

The Town of Holden Beach designates Saturday, September 30th as GFWC of Holden Beach National Day of Service to Battle Food Insecurity in Brunswick County. GFWC of Holden Beach members will be at the HB Pavilion on September 30th, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. to collect non-perishable items for people in Brunswick County with food insecurities. 

Click here to view the full proclamation. Click here to view the GFWC flyer.

General Comments –

BOC’s Meeting

The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, October 17th

 It’s not like they don’t have anything to work on …

The following twenty-five (25) items are what’s In the Works/Loose Ends queue:

        • 796 OBW Project
        • ADA Mediation Agreement
        • Audit Committee Chair
        • Beach Mat Plan
        • Bike Lanes
        • Block Q Project
        • Carolina Avenue
        • Crosswalks OBW
        • Dog Park
        • Fire Station Project
        • Harbor Acres
        • Hatteras Ramp/Coastal Waterfront Access Grant
        • ICW/No Wake Zone Enforcement
        • Inlet Hazard Areas
        • Parking – 800 Block
        • Pier Properties Project
        • Rights-of-Way
        • Sailfish Park Site Project
        • Sewer System/Lift station #2
        • Stormwater Management Project
        • USACE/Coastal Storm Risk Management Study
        • Vacant Commissioner Position
        • Water System Assessment/Water Tower
        • Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy
        • Wetland Delineation/Bulkheading

The definition of loose ends is a fragment of unfinished business or a detail that is not yet settled or explained, which is the current status of these items. All of these items were started and then put on hold, and they were never put back in the queue. This Board needs to continue working on them and move these items to closure.

Hurricane Season
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Be prepared – have a plan!


Emergency Preparedness

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

NOAA boosts Atlantic hurricane forecast, leans toward busy season
The midseason outlook update is a dramatic shift toward what experts warn may be an above-average season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated hurricane season outlook Thursday morning that now speaks of a high likelihood of an above-average hurricane season. The midseason update reflects a dramatic shift in NOAA’s thinking as the agency joins a number of others in expecting a busy season. Last week, Colorado State University shared its updated outlook, projecting a total of 18 named storms, including the five that have already formed in the open Atlantic. It says the United States has a nearly fifty-fifty shot at being hit by a major hurricane, rated Category 3 or higher. AccuWeather also nudged its forecast upward. Hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and on average peaks around Sept. 15, traditionally does not perk up until mid- to late August. The season to date has featured four named storms. And an unnamed subtropical storm spun up hundreds of miles off the East Coast in mid-January. Forecasts are highlighting the potential for a season similar to last year’s.

Here are NOAA’s latest projections:

    • 14 to 21 named storms the 12-17 named storms predicted in late May. This includes the four tropical and subtropical storms that have formed, as well as Hurricane Don in July.
    • 6 to 11 hurricanes, as opposed to the May prediction of 5 to 9
    • 2 to 5 major hurricanes, boosted from 1 to 4.

The Hurricane National Center also now estimates a 60 percent chance of an above-average season — double the predicted odds in May. It also says there is a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season. It puts the odds of a below-average season at only 15 percent. At present, only the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting, which oversees the operation of the “Euro” model, paints a picture of a near-average season. Its analysis suggests that 8.5 more named storms are likely. Regardless, there is a growing cause for concern, as noted by the forecasters behind NOAA’s outlook. “During active years, there’s a doubling in the chance of a hurricane hitting the East Coast of the U.S. compared to an average or below-average season,” said Matthew Rosencrans, a meteorologist and the director of NOAA’s Climate Test Bed, at a news conference Thursday.

What are the key drivers of this season’s hurricane forecast?
Meteorologists tasked with predicting how the season will play out have been juggling two deeply conflicting signals: record-high Atlantic sea-surface temperatures and a strong El Niño. High sea-surface temperatures are crucial in helping spawn and intensify hurricanes. This year, the waters are red-hot and reaching records. “One of the local conditions in the Atlantic that we monitor is the sea-surface temperature,” Rosencrans said. “The June and July sea-surface temperatures in the Main Development Region were the warmest since 1950, about [2.2] degrees above normal.” He said the formation in June of Bret and Cindy in the “Main Development Region” — the tropical zone between the eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea and western Africa — probably was highly influenced by the hot seas. “Tropical development in the deep tropics in June or July is usually a harbinger of a more active season,” he said. The water temperatures will raise the odds of rapid intensification of the storms that do form, posing the danger of big lurches in strength in any potentially landfalling hurricane. Working against a busy hurricane season is the ongoing El Niño weather pattern. El Niño, which begins as a warming of water temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific, results in sinking air and hostile upper-level winds over the Atlantic. The nascent El Niño isn’t going away any time soon. “Odds are in excess of 95 percent that the ongoing El Niño will continue into autumn,” Rosencrans said. However, his team expects a delayed start to the arrival of En Niño-esque conditions — the same ones usually inhibitive of an above-average hurricane season. With El Niño’s true fingerprint taking a while to show up, the exceptionally warm ocean waters may help kick things into unimpeded overdrive. “Changes of El Niño appear to be emerging later than expected,” Rosencrans said. “If those changes move in quickly, then activity could be [near the] lower end of our predicted ranges.” In predicting seasonal hurricane activity, forecasters also consider the Saharan air layer, a stretch of hot, dry and sandy air that wafts over the Atlantic and suppresses storm growth. “Saharan air outbreaks do peak in June and July, and then fade off in area and intensity as the season goes on,” Rosencrans said, suggesting that this phenomenon will increasingly become less of an impediment to storms. An active West African monsoon, which provides a source of moisture and disturbances that can become the seeds for hurricanes, also could elevate storm activity. “During 2023, the West African monsoon rains have been robust, but the winds have been near normal, giving a bit of a mixed signal,” Rosencrans said.

The bottom line
NOAA is exhibiting confidence that the high sea-surface temperatures will supersede the effects of El Niño, favoring a busy season. Irrespective of how many storms do spin up, it only takes one hitting a populated zone to leave a mark. “Landfalls are only predictable up to about one week from a storm reaching a coastline,” Rosencrans said. “People should be busy preparing for the storms that this forecast implies.”
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It’s a number attached to every hurricane, crucial to emergency response teams and city officials to mobilize preparedness: the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, characterized by five categories. The scale only measures one component of a hurricane: the wind. Each category is divided by a range of wind speeds, estimating potential damage and impacts on properties. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an above-normal hurricane season. Record-breaking warm water in the Atlantic has increased tropical storm and hurricane activity. Five hurricanes have swept through the Atlantic this year. Before the season concludes at the end of November, the Atlantic may experience a total of six to 11 hurricanes. Three of the hurricanes so far this year were considered major — Category 3 or above — and NOAA predicts that there could be up to two more.

An imperfect scale
The scale used to include other impacts like storm surge ranges and flooding, but they were removed to reduce public confusion, according to the National Hurricane Center. “Now the wind is the scale’s strength — but also its weakness,” said Gina Eosco, the division chief and social science expert at the Weather Program Office for NOAA. It ends up missing the myriad of other risks that are oftentimes more serious in a hurricane, such as storm surge,” she said. Scientists and forecasters are still learning how individuals perceive and adjust to risks as threats develop during hurricanes, Eosco said. Some experts hypothesize that people anchor to the storm category and don’t adjust for other risks. “It is very misleading because somebody may not evacuate for a tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane, but we have seen time and time again that these storms have had a lot of impact,” said Jennifer Collins, a hurricane researcher at the University of South Florida. Each storm has its own personality, and there isn’t always a direct correlation between category and damage. This means a Category 1 hurricane could be more devastating than a Category 3. “A simple one, two, three, four, five scale is not sufficient to communicate the threat that a hurricane brings,” said Jeff Masters, a hurricane expert for Yale Climate Connections.

Here is other extreme weather that’s associated with a hurricane:

As a hurricane barrels across the open ocean, strong winds drive the water forward. Once the water reaches the shore, it combines with normal tides and creates the storm surge. Storm surge is the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States, according to the National Weather Service. “The Hurricane Center realized this is a problem because [the scale] didn’t speak to storm surge in particular — which is the threat that kills the most people from hurricanes — so they introduced a separate storm surge watch and storm surge warning product,” Masters said. In some cases, storm surge is responsible for the most hurricane destruction. Hurricane Ike made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane with walloping sustained winds of 110 mph in September 2008, with hurricane-force winds extending 125 miles from the center. But the wind wasn’t what caused the most damage. The storm had a surge of more than 20 feet, the largest storm surge on record for a Category 2 hurricane. Imagine rushing water the height of two basketball hoops stacked on top of each other barreling toward homes, cars and buildings. The storm claimed 195 lives and resulted in $30 billion in damage. It wasn’t even considered a major hurricane.

Not to be mistaken with storm surge, the other main cause of flooding during a hurricane is rain. While some inland communities assume they are spared from the wrath coastal communities endure, storm impacts can occur tens to hundreds of miles outside of the storm’s eye. During hurricanes, excessive amounts of rain cause streams and creeks to overflow their banks and clog storm drains and sewage systems, which results in devastating flooding. Hurricane winds weaken as they move over land, but the torrential rains don’t stop. Inland cities, with vast amounts of concrete and impermeable surfaces, also have a high risk of excess runoff and flooding. Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 with maximum wind speeds surpassing 130 mph in August 2017. But by the next day, the hurricane fell to a Category 1 and eventually was considered a tropical storm. Yet the storm wasn’t done. Instead of moving on, Harvey stalled over Texas for days. In the end, the slow-moving storm unloaded 33 trillion gallons of water along the Gulf of Mexico and became the second costliest storm in U.S. history. An unprecedented 60 inches of rain fell in Southeast Texas, producing devastating and deadly flash and river flooding, according to the Weather Service. A year after Harvey, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane and brought destructive flooding across the Carolinas. Florence was responsible for the heaviest rainfall ever recorded from a tropical cyclone in both South Carolina and North Carolina, according to the Hurricane Center. Twenty-two people died due to direct impacts from Florence — 17 deaths of them from inland flooding. Damage totals exceeded $20 billion. Florence, which peaked as a Category 4 hurricane over the ocean, had been downgraded to a tropical storm when it dropped most of its rain.

The last risk people worry about when thinking about hurricanes is tornadoes. The severe spin from hurricane systems, coupled with atmospheric instability and wind shear, creates perfect conditions for tornadoes. Both hurricanes and tornadoes cause damage due to strong rotating winds, so it’s not surprising that a large rotating system could also produce twisters. Tornadoes generally start within thunderstorms embedded in the outer rain bands of hurricanes, according to the Weather Service. But sometimes they form near the eyewall, which is the ring of destructive winds that surround the storm center. In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan unleashed a damaging storm surge, inland flooding and powerful wind gusts spanning Alabama to Florida. But that wasn’t the end of its impact. The Category 3 hurricane was most notable for its unprecedented tornado outbreak. About 120 twisters touched down from Florida to Pennsylvania — across nine different states — over the course of three days. Virginia alone experienced a record-breaking 38 tornadoes across the state. Overall, the tornadoes from Ivan were responsible for eight deaths and 17 injuries, according to the Weather Service.

The size of a hurricane matters. A larger hurricane will tend to produce a more severe storm surge as well as stronger winds and heavier rain over a larger area. But the storm category doesn’t take size into account. One of the ways hurricanes expand is through a process known as an eyewall replacement cycle. During this process, the inner eyewall collapses as a much larger outer eyewall forms around it, often resulting in a bigger hurricane. Not long before striking land last year, Hurricane Ian underwent an eyewall replacement cycle, enlarging the storm substantially. It made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane very close to where Hurricane Charley did at roughly the same intensity in 2004. But Ian was a much larger storm and thus had more severe impacts. Ian’s catastrophic surge, record-breaking inland flooding and damaging winds propelled it to become the costliest hurricane in Florida’s history and the third-costliest hurricane in the United States, according to the Hurricane Center.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe this hurricane season:

    • Prepare your emergency supply kit: Include nonperishable food, a generator in case of power outages, important identification information, essential medications and cash.
    • Save water: Fill your tub, sinks or containers with drinking water in case public water systems become compromised.
    • Protect your home: Board windows with storm shutters or plywood to protect them from wind damage.
    • Secure your surroundings: Clear any outdoor objects that could be picked up by the wind.
    • Trim weak tree branches that could fall on your home or car. Make sure drains, gutters and downspouts are cleared to prevent flood risks or mold.

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