Townhall Icon, a Place for Town Meeting, Lous Views

12 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments

BOC’s Regular Meeting 12/19/23

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here

1.   Public Comments on Agenda Items

There were comments made regarding the pier mostly asking that the pier contract be held in abeyance until we develop a plan within our financial restraints.

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

Recognition was given to all members of the outgoing board. The plaque was presented by Town Manager Hewett to the outgoing Board of Commissioners followed by a photo-op. The plaque will be hung in the Town Hall.

3.   Presentation of Plaques to Commissioners Murdock and Arnold of the Outgoing Board of Commissioners by Mayor Holden

Commissioner Murdock and Arnold  both received a plaque of appreciation from the town for their service. Mayor Holden presented the plaque to Commissioner Arnold only since Commissioner Murdock was not in attendance.

4.  Judge Gerald Arnold will Present the Oath of Office to the Incoming Board of Commissioners
.    a)
Mayor – J. Alan Holden
.    b)
Commissioners – Tom Myers, Tracey Thomas, Page Dyer and Rick Paarfus

Judge Arnold presided over the swearing in ceremony
.   • Elected officials were sworn in one at a time
.   • They each took the oaths of office and then took their seats on the council

5.   Election of Mayor Pro Tempore – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – page 9

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

.    (A) The BOC shall elect a Mayor Pro Tempore. The normal term of office of the      Mayor Pro Tempore shall be one year, commencing at the first regular meeting in December; provide, however, that the member shall serve at the pleasure of the

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

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

Update –
The Code of Ordinances reads that the Board shall elect a mayor pro tem from one of its members. Per the ordinance, the Board may choose to extend the current term of Mayor Pro Tem Smith or select another member to serve as the mayor pro tem. Commissioner Parfus made a motion to nominate Tom Myers for Mayor Pro Tem. Commissioner Myers was elected to serve as Mayor Pro Tem next year.

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
Commissioners Smith and Dyer opposed the motion

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

6.   Discussion and Possible Approval of 2024 Board of Commissioners’ Meeting Schedule – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – pages 10 – 11

Enclosed is the proposed 2024 Board of Commissioners’ Regular Meeting Schedule. All dates reflect the third Tuesday of the month. Staff recommends approval.

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

January 23rd changed from January 16th
February 20th
March 19th
April 16th
May 21st
June 18th
July 16th
August 20th
September 17th
October 15th
November 19th
December 17th

Meeting Schedule » click here

Update –
The monthly meeting schedule was adopted with amended change to the date of the January meeting.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

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

Agenda Packet – pages 12 – 31 which is too large to include here

The Board of Commissioners is required to adopt rules of procedure. The current version the Board is using is included for your review (Attachment 1). The Board may adopt these rules as written or make amendments to them. I suggest the Board review the materials and adopt rules at the January meeting.

Update –
The Board is required to adopt some version of Rules of Procedure each year. The Rules of Procedure were substantially revised in 2020. The motion was made by Commissioner Thomas to hold a special meeting before the next regularly scheduled meeting in January. This will be on the agenda again next month so that they can adopt rules as required.

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
Commissioners Smith and Dyer opposed the motion

8.   Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Agenda Packet – pages 32 – 37

Police Report » click here

Police Patch

Business as usual for this time of the year



Public Service Announcement –
Jeremy requested that we all use caution if driving during the holiday season.
Please drive safely!

The National Safety Council estimates 720 people may be killed on U.S. roadways during the upcoming holidays: 345 during the Christmas holiday driving period and an additional 375 during the New Year’s holiday driving period.

What he did not say –

Hunting season is underway, it is not allowed on the island

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
    • So, we still only have eight (8) officers out there

It’s that time of year, rental season ends, and break-in season officially starts
Requested that we all serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement.

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

Some local police departments need more staff to face growth
Although growth continues throughout Brunswick County, local law enforcement is already facing the mental and physical toll it takes to protect current residents with the staff they have. Not all safety and law enforcement departments consider themselves “short staffed,” however, a few local police chiefs have voiced their concerning experiences with not being fully staffed and its impact on officers. “The impact of staffing shortages is strenuous on the entire department,” Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon told The Brunswick Beacon. “First and foremost, it creates a dangerous scenario for patrol officers who are often responding to calls alone.” Dixon explained that his department has 10 officers when fully staffed and that they would have two officers per shift if fully staffed. Normal shifts include holidays, weekends and nights shifts, he added. “However, patrol is not the only consideration in staffing levels,” he said. “One must consider vacation leave, sick leave, family leave, training assignments, festivals, concerts, races and other special events as well.” Unlike Holden Beach, the Shallotte and Oak Island police departments have a larger staff of police officers to work with when it comes to patrolling and handling special events. Shallotte Police Chief Adam Stanley told The Beacon that the Shallotte Police Department currently has 18 full time police officers. The department has 19 full time police officers when fully staffed. He recently told the Shallotte Board of Alderman at a meeting that his department was about to be fully staffed with two new officers entering the team, however, he told The Brunswick Beacon on Friday, Nov. 3, that an officer had recently given their two-week’s notice and that they will be back to looking to fill another officer position again. Asked what has been the longest recruitment time to fill an empty police officer position during his time as chief, Stanley said three to five months. The Village of Bald Head Island handles their resident safety a little differently compared to other municipalities. The Village has a public safety department to protect their residents, not a police department. Village of Bald Head Island Public Information Officer Carin Faulkner explained that their staff consists of public safety officers (PSO) that are trained in law enforcement, fire, paramedic/EMT and water rescue. She said the village has a total of 24 PSO positions and that they currently have 23 filled, noting that they run a schedule of four shifts with six officers working each shift. The Oak Island Police Department is also down one officer out of their 32 police officers, which includes both full time and part time officers. “The Oak Island Police Department is considered ‘fully staffed’ at 48 employees, consisting of 28 full-time officers, four part-time officers, two administrative staff, 10 (seasonal) Beach Services Unit staff, three department volunteers and one chaplain,” Oak Island Chief of Police Charlie Morris told The Beacon. “The Department currently has one vacancy for full-time officer.” Morris, who joined the department in April 2022, said the Oak Island Police Department launched an aggressive recruitment campaign from late 2022 to early 2023 to increase recruitment efforts and officer pay. He said it was successful and included a new Paid Recruit Training program. “This program provides pay and benefits to future officers as they go through the [Basic Law Enforcement Training (B.L.E.T.)] program,” he said. “As of September, the four officers originally recruited through this program have begun their work as full-time officers.” Although he said his team is not understaffed at the moment, they could become understaffed quickly. “… In a small-to-medium sized department it only takes a few retirements or transfers to become understaffed again,” he said. Asked what kind of impact not having a full staff of police officers has on their team, Dixon, Morris and Stanley all told The Beacon it is challenging. “It can have a mental, physical and emotional impact because the extra workload can be exhausting,” Stanley said. Morris told The Beacon that public safety and having adequate jurisdiction coverage is the department’s top priority, however, like Stanley said, doing so without a full staff can impact officers’ well-being. “Beyond that however is a host of other concerns, including officer health, mutual aid response, and preventing “burnout” from overworked,” Morris said. “Ensuring officers are physically and mentally prepared to serve the public at the start of each shift can become difficult when there are not enough officers to meet a department’s needs.” Dixon said the Holden Beach Police Department has maintained between eight to ten officers for the last two to three years. He noted that they have consistently looked to hire and retain a full staff during that time. “Because of current staffing levels, and rotating shifts, our officers work alone about 50% of the time,” he said. “This means officers are responding to domestic disturbances, fight calls, irate subjects, intoxicated subjects, mental health patients and every other call by themselves.” He explained that having a lack of additional responding officers is a danger to the officers and to the public. In addition to the low number of officers on duty at a given time, the department does not have a detective position. So, incident reports are being left on the back burner. “In addition to being short staffed on patrol, our department has not been allotted a detective position,” he said. “Therefore, we have no dedicated investigator to follow-up on incident reports. This in itself is a disservice to the town.” He said officers will take a report of an incident, like a house break-in, but the report goes nowhere and there is no follow-up. “Trying to explain to our community that we cannot do our job because we do not have the resources is very stressful,” he added. Dixon said that these are just a few of the challenges that his staff face from not having a full staff and that officers often worry about the entire staff when sick or in need of a day off. Vacations and sick days are spent worried about another officer working overtime to cover their shift and the absent officers shift, he noted. “When an officer calls out sick, it places a burden on the entire staff because we’re already short,” he said. “This makes officers feel guilty for getting sick because they know the burden it creates on everyone else.” Asked what kind of toll an incomplete staff can cause on themselves as chiefs, Dixon and Stanley said it can be rough and mentally straining. “It is mentally exhausting for sure because I want my staff to be happy, both mentally and physically,” Stanley said. Dixon told The Beacon that anything could happen with a full staff and 10 additional officers on a scene, however, knowing an officer is hurt and alone is “unacceptable.” “The impact on me as the chief is hard to explain,” Dixon said. “I spend my days and nights worried to death that I’m going to get a phone call that one of our officers got hurt and no one was there to back them up.” Chiefs and department representatives were asked if they felt like they needed more officers, even if they were fully staffed. “In an ideal world, to be fully staffed, the town would budget for and approve the police department to employee 13 officers,” Dixon responded. “This would include eight patrol officers, two patrol sergeants, one detective, one lieutenant, and one chief. With 13 officers on staff, patrol shifts could be adequately covered, and investigations would be more thoroughly conducted.” Stanley said they too need more police officers — especially as the town continues to grow. “Yes, with the planned growth of several residential properties in town and the surrounding area, plus additional businesses, we will need to add staffing,” Stanley said. Morris said the Oak Island Police Department could need more officers in the future if the town’s population increases, however, he said they maintain their duties well with the current staffing level and do not see a need for more officers at this time. Faulkner said the Village of Bald Head Island is looking to hire one PSO, a public safety director and one captain position, and that two of those positions were posted over a month ago. She said they do not need more officers at this time, but that potential need is assessed annually. She did not answer the questions about the impacts officers and the lead officer can face from not having a full staff of officers. Asked what residents could do to help their local police departments, local chiefs said there are volunteer programs that folks can be a part of. “We currently have a volunteer service program,” Stanley said. “Some functions of the volunteer program are working [administration] duties such as answering the phone, meeting the public in the lobby and clerical work.” He said the community can also help the Shallotte Police Department with special events. “We will also be starting a citizen patrol which will help with traffic control duties, working special events and property and business checks,” he said. “This will aid our staff so they can continue to answer calls for service and enforcement actions.” “Many police departments have local volunteer programs that residents can be involved with,” Dixon said. “Residents can also speak to their elected officials to encourage them to apply tax dollars towards their police departments.” Morris said the Oak Island Police Department maintains a community-oriented approach to policing, noting that they do community activities, like “Coffee with a Cop” and “National Night Out,” to keep the community and police staff connected. “Basically, to support your local Police Department, get to know your local police department,” he said. “Attend their events and start a conversation.” The Beacon also reached out to Southport Police Chief Coring, Boiling Spring Lakes Police Chief Keven Smith, Ocean Isle Beach Chief of Police Ken Bellamy and the Northwest City Clerk. No other responses were given to the questions sent at the time of this publication’s deadline.
Read more » click here

‘Booze It & Lose It’ underway through holidays
Law enforcement statewide will increase patrols this holiday season to keep drivers safe against impaired driving. On Monday, the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program launched its Booze It & Lose It campaign. It’s in effect through Jan. 1, 2024. Its goal is to deter people from driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and other substances. “Festivities this time of year often involve alcohol consumption, which unfortunately leads to an increased risk of impaired driving,” Mark Ezzell, director of highway safety, said in a press release. “More than 25 percent of all N.C. crash fatalities in 2022 involved drivers who were under the influence of alcohol.” There were 471 alcohol-related crash fatalities in 2022, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Multiple sobriety checkpoints and patrols will be set up in heavily trafficked areas across the state. “It is essential to plan a safe ride before heading out,” Jennifer Lichtneger, executive director of NC Mothers Against Drunk Driving, added in the release. “If you wait until after you’ve been drinking, you will already be too impaired to make the right decisions.”
Read more » click here

Statewide holiday ‘Booze It & Lose It’ Enforcement Campaign underway
The statewide “Booze It & Lose It” campaign begins today and ends on Jan. 1. The campaign is part of the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program and aims to raise awareness and deter people from driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and all impairing substances. “Festivities this time of year often involve alcohol consumption, which unfortunately leads to an increased risk of impaired driving,” said Mark Ezzell, director of GHSP. “More than 25 percent of all N.C. crash fatalities in 2022 involved drivers who were under the influence of alcohol.” According to the N.C. Department of Transportation, 471 alcohol related crash fatalities occurred in 2022. The “Booze It & Lose It” campaign is a sobering reminder that there are severe consequences for reckless behavior. Now until Jan 1., law enforcement agencies throughout the state will increase the number of sobriety checkpoints and patrols in heavily trafficked areas. These checkpoints reinforce the message that there is a zero-tolerance approach toward driving under the influence. “The most important thing is to have a transportation plan before consumption of alcohol or drugs,” said Jennifer Lichtneger, executive director of NC Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “It is essential to plan a safe ride before heading out. If you wait until after you’ve been drinking, you will already be too impaired to make the right decisions.” Plenty of options are available to help drivers arrive safely at their destination, like designating a sober driver or calling a taxi or rideshare service. Visit this webpage to search for all available public transportation in any North Carolina city or county.
Read more » click here

9.  Inspections Department Report – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 38 – 40

Inspections Report » click here 

Update –
Timbo briefly reviewed department activity last month, the department still remains very busy.

Same As It Ever Was!

10.  Discussion and Possible Action on Bids Received for the Holden Beach Pier Project – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 41 – 42

The Town received two bids at the second scheduled bid opening for the Holden Beach Pier Phase 1, Paragon Building Corp and TD Eure. The most responsive bid appears to be Paragon at $2,197,181. This has been certified by the architect. The board has a few options moving forward including:

    • Award the bid as is and direct staff on preparation of a budget amendment for the $1,197,181 budget shortfall
    • Direct staff to engage in value engineering and negotiation with Paragon to incrementally reduce scope of work to better align with existing budget appropriations
    • Direct staff to engage in value engineering to reduce the scope of work and totally rebid the project

Let’s do the time warp again!

Previously reported – September 2021
The HPBOA official position statement is that they cannot support the proposed purchase of the pier properties until the inspection results listing any necessary repairs and their estimated cost are known.

Previously reported – October 2021

ATM Pier Inspection Report

The inspection of the timber piles was conducted by a three-person engineer dive team. MidAtlantic attempted to perform diving operation on the piles, but due to the sea state it was unsafe to continue. Alternatively, MidAtlantic inspected all the upland piles and performed a hands-on tactile inspection on the accessible  piles by wading into the wave break until water depths exceed 5ft. Piles which could not be safely inspected by a person in the water the piles were visually inspected using a drone. All work was performed in accordance with the ASCE Underwater Investigations Standard Practice Manual, No. 130. Based on the available information provided to ATM and the preliminary results of our inspection, the Holden Beach fishing pier has likely surpassed its remaining service life considering it was constructed in 1957, which is ~64 years old. Most fixed timber pier structures are constructed for a 50-year life span with regular maintenance. Without maintenance records it is difficult to ascertain when key components such as the pilings were replaced. One of the key concerns observed during the inspection was the heavily corroded and missing/damaged connection hardware throughout the pier structure. Most connections appear to have more than 50% sectional loss (thereby reducing their strength by 50%). In order to extend the service life to a reasonably acceptable time, many of the connections and bracing will need total replacement. While the piling may have a longer remaining service life than the other components, significant maintenance and repair of the other key structural components will need to be completed. Immediate repairs to the pier to extend the service life to a reasonable period of time (10-15 years) is estimated to be on the order of $500,000 to $750,000. This would include replacement or significant repair of the three damaged piles, replacement of the damaged pile caps, installation of new cross bracing and total replacement of corroded fasteners and connections. This estimate assumes that significant material such as decking and stringers can be salvaged, and the construction can be completed by land-based equipment (i.e., no mobilization of barges or water-based equipment).

Previously reported – November 2021
Commissioners Sullivan and Kwiatkowski – November Memo
More important is the pier inspection report. Despite the importance placed by us (Commissioners Sullivan and Kwiatkowski) on below water assessment of the pier pilings, the Board was given an inspection report at the October 19 Board meeting executive session that does not include the level of investigation expected. The report states “Due to weather conditions at the time of inspection, underwater visual and tactile inspections were limited”. Later in the report it is stated the divers “attempted to perform diving operations on the piles, but due to the state of the sea it was unsafe to continue. Alternatively, all upland piles were inspected, and a hands-on tactile inspection performed on the accessible piles by wading into the wave break until water depths exceed 5 feet.” We do not question the choice to limit the inspection for safety reasons; however, there was no communication to the Board that this was the case between the September 21 inspection date and October 19 when we received the report. This is disappointing, as there has been good weather in October, and it was for the specific possibility of unfavorable weather conditions that we added extra funds to the budget to allow for additional dive days. However, even with limited investigation, the report states that the pier, “Based on the available information provided to ATM and the preliminary results of our inspection, the Holden Beach fishing pier has likely surpassed its remaining service life considering it was constructed in 1957, which is 64 years old. Most fixed timber pier structures are constructed for a 50-year life span with regular maintenance.” (emphasis added). The report states further,” The nature of the due diligence inspection is to provide a high-level condition assessment of the facility, with a limited number of elements inspected only visually and tactilely. Prior to  making repairs, future functionality of the facility  needs to be determined and a feasibility study performed. Once facility functionality is determined , a design level inspection of the facility should be performed to confirm suitability for future operations.” (emphasis added). Based on the above cited sections of the Holden Beach Oceanfront Pier Due Diligence Inspection Report, it is clear that we cannot, at this time, make a reasonable estimate of the full cost to repair and maintain the pier, nor what it can be used for. In addition, based on the current condition of the pier, if the Town makes the purchase, it will need to be closed until repairs to pilings and railings are made which will cost AT LEAST 500-750 thousand dollars (ATM staff believes that the estimated costs for repairs is too low, particularly when considering current construction prices) to extend the lifetime of the pier by 10 to 15 years. 

Previously reported – December 2021

Name, logo, and website address of HBPOATom Myers, President / Holden Beach Property Owners Association

HBPOA Survey 768 responses

      • Buy the pier, keep it closed since it is not safe, and just sit on the property (6%)
      • Buy the pier, incur the $500,000 – $750,000 in repairs necessary to make it safe,
        and salvage the west end of the pier building (30%)
      • Buy the pier, tear it down and incur the cost to build a new pier and pier
        building (22%)
      • Buy the pier, tear it down, clean up the property and sell it (13%)
      • Buy the pier, tear it down, and turn it into a parking lot (13%)
      • Walk away from the deal and forfeit the earnest money (39%)
      • Do not increase taxes to cover costs associated with the pier (68%)

Animated Image of a Old Man with My Two Cents Text

Frankly, I’m not seeing much support for them moving forward with the purchase. Despite the public’s lack of support (30%), it appears they plan to move forward with the pier properties purchase.

Previously reported – May 2022

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

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

Update –
Paragon bid was for $2,191,181, the only other bid was from TD Eure at $3,900,000. That is a $1,708,819 spread or  put another way the high bid is 178% higher than the low bid  – Yikes! The options that were presented were designed with the intent of having the pier open for the next tourist season. Chip Hemingway, Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects spoke and recommended the third option; direct staff to engage in value engineering to reduce the scope of work and totally rebid the project. By changing the way that we install the pilings it will significantly reduce the cost of the project and also increase the number of bids; scope not being changed just the methodology. This phase is a bare bones minimum to make the pier safe and ADA compliant to get the pier open to the public. After considerable discussion it was decided that the contract should be held in abeyance and the project is to be put on hold. In other words, we are calling for a time out. The reasons given for not moving forward at this time boil down to the following: 1) they need to decide what they are going to do with this property 2) they need to develop a strategic plan of action 3) they need to determine how they plan to pay for it.

A motion was made to direct staff to engage in value engineering to reduce the scope of work and totally rebid the project.

A decision was made – Not
Approved (2-3)
Commissioners Myers, Thomas and Parfus opposed the motion

You Know… Elections Have Consequences 

A motion was made that we reject the bids, reevaluate the project, and start the process of developing a new plan by scheduling a special meeting.  

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
Commissioners Smith and Dyer opposed the motion

Animated Image of a Old Man with My Two Cents Text

David is right the pier is not a lemon it’s a white elephant. The fact that no one else was interested in purchasing the pier properties should have been a red flag and cause for concern. In their infinite wisdom, the previous Board committed to proceed with purchasing the properties regardless of the pier condition. They assured us that the purchase and ownership of the pier property will not impose any additional taxes or assessments on property owners. We only budgeted approximately one million dollars to make the necessary repairs, which is money we really don’t have. Now we are informed that the tab will be over two million dollars, and this is only the beginning of the project. We need a strategy and clearly defined vision to develop a plan that also is doable within our financial restraints.

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

Agenda Packet – pages 43 – 46

Waste Industries has provided the Town with a proposed amendment to the Solid Waste and Recyclables Collection, Transportation and Disposal Agreement. The current agreement’s term is through December 31, 2023. The amendment would extend the initial term by two years, with the end date being December 31, 2025. Pursuant to the terms of our contract, current rates would be adjusted by 3%. The second pickup rate is proposed to be increased from $10.82 per month per cart to $11.15 and the curbside recycling rate would increase from $6.19 to $6.38 per month. Staff recommends approval.

Previously reported – December 2021
Waste Industries has provided the Town with a proposed amendment to the Solid Waste and Recyclables Collection, Transportation and Disposal Agreement. The current agreement’s term is through December 31, 2021. The amendment would extend the initial term by two years, with the end date being December 31, 2023. The charge for residential curbside trash (second pickup) will be $10.50 per month per cart. We are currently being charged $7.78 per cart per month. This charge is for the Saturday pickups that occur June – September and the Saturdays before Memorial Day and after Easter. Waste Industries has explained the change is due to their increased cost of doing business over the past couple of years. Staff recommends the Board approve the Third Amendment to Solid Waste and Recyclables Collection, Transportation and Disposal Agreement and the associated budget amendment.

Update –
This is the fourth amendment to the agreement which extends the term by two (2) years and adjusts the rate.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

12. Town Manager’s Report

Block Q

We do not have a signed letter of engagement yet from the vendor that the contract was awarded to by the BOC’s

The town was contacted by NC Wildlife to schedule a meeting this week to discuss plans being considered to renovate the boat ramp

Sewer Lift Station #2

The Town was informed by Congressman Rouzer’s office that the EPA has awarded the project funding. The NCDWQ appropriation has not been finalized yet.

Tire Apocalypse
The past weekend’s storm has left several hundred tires from a decades old artificial reef experiment strewn the entire length of the beach. From time to time during storm events the reef breaks up further and old tires make their way on to the strand. We are working to get these hazards off the strand; however, it may take a week or more to remove what’s there already with more possibly showing up over the course of the next several days. Please remain vigilant as there will be extra equipment on the strand as the tires are collected and removed. Thank you.

Approximately one thousand (1,000) tires washed up from the weekend storm event
The Division of Marine Fisheries already removed all of the tires from the beach strand
If additional tires wash up, please call Town Hall to have them removed

Modular Restroom
The modular restroom at the pier is a three-season restroom and must be winterized. The Public Works Department completed the process yesterday based on the sudden drop in temperatures to preserve lines and prevent damage. Patrons visiting the pier should expect to find the modular restroom locked from this point forward and will need to use the handicap accessible porta  john that remains onsite.

 Icon of a Bike on Green Background, bikeBike Lane Project
The contractor is on site, and they are making necessary storm water fixes. Once they have completed that part of the project they should start prep work on the paving project.

The Department of Transportation has started stormwater work for the Ocean Boulevard Paving Project. Expect detours in the work area. DOT will be onsite to allow limited access to closed areas.

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. 

Highland Paving has been awarded the contract and has already met with the town staff

Surveying has already been completed and work on storm water issues will begin in November

Paving prep work will start once that is completed, probably sometime in December

They anticipate that the actual paving project will be done beginning March

Work will be done starting from the west end of the island working east

They are still committing to completing the project before Memorial Day

THB Newsletter (10/20/23)
Ocean Boulevard Resurfacing and Bike Lane Project
Highland Paving met with the Department of Transportation and staff last week to discuss the upcoming project. They communicated that storm water work will begin in November. The subsequent paving prep work, which we are thinking will take place in December, will involve removal of the road shoulders, three feet on the north side of the road and seven feet on the south side of the road. We do not know where the contractor will be at any given point in time. Property owners are responsible for removing any material (landscape timbers/specialty rock, etc.) from the construction area that they don’t want hauled off by the contractor. Replacement material will be generic ABC stone. Mailboxes will be moved/reset, but if they fall apart, the contractor will install a generic replacement. We are forecasting the paving won’t begin until March/April, with the project being completed by Memorial Day.

THB Newsletter (12/21/23)
Ocean Boulevard Resurfacing and Bike Lane Project
Paving prep work for the project will involve removal of the road shoulders, three feet on the north side of the road and seven feet on the south side of the road. Work is scheduled to start in the beginning of January. Make sure to remove any materials before this time.  Property owners are responsible for removing any material (landscape timbers/specialty rock, etc.) from the construction area that they don’t want hauled off by the contractor. Replacement material will be generic ABC stone. Mailboxes will be moved/reset, but if they fall apart, the contractor will install a generic replacement.

In Case You Missed It –

The Town can survive a year without a pavilion because the existing one needs to be shut down until properly repaired or reconstructed

Water/Sewer Account
Please note that you have a NEW ACCOUNT NUMBER for your water/sewer account. It is very important that you include the correct account number on your memo line when remitting payment, you will not be sending a paper stub in when making your payment moving forward. Click here if you would like to be set up on bank draft.

Town Hall Holiday Schedule
Town Hall will be closed December 25th, 26th, 27th, and January 1st in observance of the holidays.

Snow Flake Decorations for Boulevard Light Poles

Christmas Lights
Public Works have put up snow flake decorations on the boulevard light poles

    • Purple street lights are not part of the holiday decorations they are the LED’s failing

National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On November 17, 2023, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to February 2, 2024.

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.
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 Upcoming Events –


13.   Mayor’s Comments

From the Mayor’s Desk (12/18/23)

The unusual weather this weekend caused rough seas, high tides, very little wind damage, several streets were flooded, some beach erosion and approximately a thousand tires to wash upon the beach strand (from an offshore fish reef constructed by the state of North Carolina years ago) and some trash relocated due to water and wind.

The sustained winds were less than 45 MPH, we had seven inches of rain, and the tide was three feet above normal.

The tires are scheduled for removal immediately by the state of North Carolina thanks to the quick action of David Hewett and Town staff.

General Comments –

BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third fourth Tuesday of the month, January 23rd

Holden Beach Election Results / Through the Years …

BOC’s distribution list
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Official Seal for Town of Holden Beach,NC

Congratulations and thanks to our elected officials for their service to the community.

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

The following twenty-seven (27) items are what’s In the Works/Loose Ends queue:

        • 796 OBW Project
        • Accessory Structure
        • Accommodation/Occupancy Tax Compliance
        • 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
        • Pavilion Replacement
        • Pier Properties Project
        • Rights-of-Way
        • Sailfish Park Site Project
        • Sewer System/Lift station #2
        • Stormwater Management Project
        • USACE/Coastal Storm Risk Management Study
        • 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
For more information » click here.

Be prepared – have a plan!

 2023 Atlantic hurricane season ranks 4th for most-named storms in a year
NOAA advances modeling and observation capabilities during the season
The above-normal 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on Nov. 30, was characterized by record-warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a strong El Nino. The Atlantic basin saw 20 named storms in 2023, which ranks fourth for the most-named storms in a year since 1950. Seven storms were hurricanes and three intensified to major hurricanes. An average season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Hurricane Idalia was the only U.S. landfalling hurricane in 2023. It made landfall as a category-3 hurricane on Aug. 30 near Keaton Beach, Florida, causing storm surge inundation of 7 to 12 feet and widespread rainfall flooding in Florida and throughout the southeast. Tropical Storm Ophelia made landfall as a strong tropical storm with 70 mph winds on Emerald Isle, North Carolina, on Sept. 23 causing widespread heavy rainfall, gusty winds and significant river and storm surge flooding in portions of eastern North Carolina. Hurricane Lee made landfall as a post-tropical cyclone in Nova Scotia, Canada, on Sept. 16. Swells generated by Lee caused dangerous surf and rip currents along the entire U.S. Atlantic coast. Strong winds with hurricane‑force gusts from Lee caused extensive power outages in Maine and in parts of Canada. The 2023 Atlantic seasonal activity fell within the NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s predicted ranges for named storms and hurricanes in the August updated outlook. “The Atlantic basin produced the most named storms of any El Nino influenced year in the modern record,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center — a division of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “The record-warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic provided a strong counterbalance to the traditional El Nino impacts.” The eastern Pacific basin hurricane season was also above normal with 17 named storms, of which 10 were hurricanes and eight of those major hurricanes. From Aug. 16 to 21, Tropical Storm Hilary brought widespread heavy rainfall and flooding to Southern California, with some areas receiving up to 600% of their normal August rainfall. Hilary resulted in the first ever issuance of Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings for the Southern California coastline by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. In addition, the Center distributed key hazard focused messages for Hilary in Spanish through the agency’s new language translation project. Hurricane Otis made landfall near Acapulco, Mexico, on Oct. 25 as a category-5 hurricane with sustained winds of 165 mph. Otis holds the record as the strongest landfalling hurricane in the eastern Pacific after undergoing rapid intensification in which wind speeds increased by 115 mph in 24 hours. The central Pacific basin had a near-normal season with four tropical systems traversing the basin. Hurricane Dora, a category-4 storm, passed south of Hawaii in early August, marking the first major hurricane in the central Pacific basin since 2020. The strong gradient between a high pressure system to the north and Dora to the south was a contributing factor to the wind-driven, fast-moving wildfires in Hawaii. Hurricane season activity for the eastern Pacific and central Pacific fell within predicted ranges. “Another active hurricane season comes to a close where hazards from the storms extended well inland from the landfall location,” said NOAA National Hurricane Center Director Michael Brennan, Ph.D.  “This underscores the importance of having a plan to stay safe whether you’re at the coast or inland.” NOAA’s new Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System helped National Hurricane Center forecasters improve intensity predictions this season. NOAA’s intensity forecasts showed Hurricane Idalia as a major hurricane impacting the coast of Florida as early as Aug. 28. This lead time gave those in threatened areas more time to prepare and respond, and there were no storm surge fatalities from Idalia despite storm surge inundation of as much as 12 feet above ground level in some areas. Further, extending the National Hurricane Center’s tropical weather outlook product from five to seven days, this season provided emergency managers more time to prepare and stage resources before a storm.
NOAA’s hurricane research and response
This season, NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew 468 mission hours to collect atmospheric data that is critical to hurricane forecasting and research, passing through the eye of a hurricane 120 times and deploying over 1,400 scientific instruments. Since 2020 through this 2023 season, NOAA’s two Lockheed WP-3D Orion have flown 40% more hurricane mission flights than the preceding four years (2016-2019). NOAA celebrated the first operational launch of a Black Swift drone from a NOAA WP-3D Orion to gather atmospheric data in and around Hurricane Tammy. Further, the first successful coordination of a low-flying drone (Anduril’s Altius 600), atmospheric profilers (dropsondes), and ocean profilers (bathythermographs) also launched from a NOAA WP-3D Orion. Observations and information from these deployments are being evaluated to determine the feasibility of using the data to help with hurricane forecasting in the future. NOAA’s Beechcraft King Air flew 28 mission hours to collect aerial imagery used for emergency response after Hurricanes Idalia and Lee. Following Hurricane Idalia, NOAA’s National Ocean Service provided support to enable safe maritime navigation, gathering survey data for 36.8 linear nautical miles and identifying 29 potential obstructions along Florida’s coastal waterways. NOAA also worked to identify hazards caused by capsized vessels, damaged docks and piers, parts of homes and other types of marine debris, and shared findings with Florida’s debris task force following Hurricane Idalia.  NOAA’s geostationary and polar-orbiting weather satellites provided vital information for monitoring and forecasting the hurricanes and tropical weather that threatened our lives and property this season. Forecasters used one-minute geostationary satellite imagery to assess structure changes during the rapid intensity of storms such as Idalia, Lee and Otis. NOAA’s polar-orbiting satellites orbit the Earth from pole to pole 14 times a day, providing full global coverage twice daily. Throughout the hurricane season, these satellites made sophisticated and precise observations of the atmosphere, ocean and land, which were critical to developing daily and 3-5 day forecasts. The National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center Tropical Cyclone Reports for 2023, including synoptic history, meteorological statistics, casualties and damages, and the post-analysis best track, will be published on the 2023 Tropical Cyclone Report site in March 2024. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, will issue its 2024 hurricane seasonal outlook in May 2024. The hurricane season officially begins on June 1.
Read more » click here

My Xmas
I respectfully submit My Xmas List

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

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

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

. 4. Budget Season
. a)
Start the budget process earlier
. b)
Establish a monthly budget meeting schedule

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

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

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

Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday!

Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday!

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Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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