10 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / October Edition

Calendar of Events –


October 19-20 N.C. Oyster Festival, Ocean Isle Beach

Oyster Festival Logo - CRThis is the thirty-ninth (39th) annual North Carolina Oyster Festival. The coastal waters of Brunswick County provide an abundance of the marine mollusks each year bringing over 30,000 people to Ocean Isle Beach to celebrate the tasty treat. The beach center becomes a walking district that offers something for everyone: local cuisine, arts and crafts, children’s activities, live music, Oyster Stew Cook-off and the Oyster Shucking Contest.
For more information » click here


October 26-27 N.C. Festival by the Sea, Holden Beach

Hosted by the Holden Beach Merchants Association this two day festival occurs on the last full weekend in October. This two day event is kicked off with a parade down the Holden Beach causeway. There is a fishing tournament, horseshoe tournament, and a sandcastle building contest. Vendors provide food, arts and crafts, amusement rides and other activities. There is live musical entertainment both days at the Holden Beach’s Pavilion.
For more information » click here


Events
TDA - logo
Discover a wide range of things to do in the Brunswick Islands for an experience that goes beyond the beach.
For more information » click here


Calendar of Events – Island


SEARCH 5K Color Run
See Every Athlete Run for Conditional Health. The purpose of the program and of this event is to work on reducing childhood obesity by promoting healthy, active lifestyles into adulthood. This year the event is scheduled for Saturday, October 19th.


Boo at the Beach
Mark your calendars. Boo at the Beach will be held on Saturday, October 19th from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Holden Beach Pavilion. This free event features booths with carnival games for children, sponsored by organizations, business and residents. Community organizations who would like to participate by providing a carnival game and candy in exchange for advertising their business should contact the Town at (910) 842-6488.


Parks & Recreation / Programs & Events
For more information » click here


Reminders


Veteran’s Appreciation Luncheon  
Luncheon is on Friday, November 8th at 12:00 p.m. in the Town Hall. The event is free, but registration is required. Call the Town at (910) 842-6488 to register.


Yard Waste Service
Yard debris pick-up is provided twice a month on the 2ndand 4th Fridays during the months of October, November and December. Yard debris needs to be secured in a biodegradable bag or bundled in a maximum length of five (5) feet and fifty (50) pounds in weight. A total of ten items (bundles of brush/ limbs, bags) will be picked up by Waste Industries. Yard waste must be placed at the street for pick-up. No pick-ups will be made on vacant lots or construction sites.



BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the monthNovember 19th


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


Volunteers needed
The Town is always looking for people to volunteer for their various boards and committees. If you are interested in serving, please fill out a resume form and submit it to heather@hbtownhall.com.


Recycling-Bin
Curbside Recycling

Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $82.48 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here


Elevator - CRElevators
Most states mandate that elevator systems be tested and inspected annually. Currently the state of North Carolina does not require annual inspections to be performed on all elevator systems. The use of unsafe and defective lifting devices imposes a substantial probability of serious and preventable injury to your family and guests. It is in the owner’s best interest to minimize injuries and liability by scheduling an annual safety inspection to ensure the safe operation of their elevator system.

Safety Notice –
Waupaca Elevator Company has issued an important safety notice. The potential hazard is associated with normal wear in your elevator. If your elevator develops the problem and it is not repaired, the elevator may drop unexpectedly with you in it and you may be injured. They recommend you contact your elevator service company.

Waupaca Elevator Recalls to Inspect Elevators Due to Injury Hazard
For more information » click here


Library
If you need something to keep you busy in this colder weather, make sure to visit the island library. The library is in the upstairs of Holden Beach Town Hall. All the books were donated. Patrons of the library don’t have to check out a book; they are on the honor system to return it.



Neighborhood Watch –

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


Upon Further Review –


Southern Lady / Shrimp Boat

 

 

Then & Now

 

 

 

Previously reported –
Half submerged and prominently visible from the Holden Beach Bridge the 62-foot commercial shrimp boat Southern Lady is sinking on the north side of the ICW across from the Chapel. It has been over five years now, still no progress has been made with removing the shrimp boat Southern Lady because no one has jurisdiction to remove the abandoned boat.  

There are navigational, environmental and public safety hazards. It’s a regulatory no man’s land: No one wants to deal with these boats. The Army Corps of Engineers removes abandoned vessels that block federal navigation channels. The United States Coast Guard moves recreational boats that pose environmental risks. Compounding the problem are the layers of bureaucracy required to remove a boat, including the issuance of environmental permits and the legal filings needed to declare vessels abandoned property. Still, the contracting process does not resolve the thorny issue of what agency is responsible for removing the boats, in part, it seems, because no one wants to assume the cost.

Update –
First reported in the 10-11-11 newsletter
Eight (8) years later and all things are as they were …


Corrections & Amplifications –


Gerrymandering
Previously reported – January 2018
Federal court voids North Carolina’s GOP-drawn congressional map for partisan gerrymandering
Read more » click here

Previously reported – September 2018
NC Congressional Districts Unconstitutionally Gerrymandered
A panel of three federal judges ruled for the second time this year that the state’s congressional map was drawn to so egregiously benefit Republicans that it violates the Constitution.

North Carolina Republicans’ long track record of unconstitutional laws
This week a panel of federal judges ruled that North Carolina Republicans unconstitutionally gerrymandered the state’s congressional districts to disadvantage Democrats, the latest move in a legal saga going back to 2011.

Gerrymandering is the process by which legislators draw voting districts that give their own party a political advantage. The North Carolina map, for instance, allowed Republicans to take 10 out of the state’s 13 House seats in 2016 despite winning 53 percent of the statewide popular vote.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – September 2018
North Carolina court strikes down state legislative map as unconstitutional gerrymander
A North Carolina court on Tuesday struck down the Republican-drawn state legislative map as an illegal partisan gerrymander and gave lawmakers two weeks to enact new district lines for next year’s elections.
Read more » click here

Three North Carolina Judges Step in Where the Supreme Court Refuses
The Supreme Court’s conservatives said gerrymandering was not a matter for courts, leaving the job of protecting democratic self-rule to state judges.
Read more » click here

Update –
Suit Takes Aim at North Carolina’s Congressional District Lines
Group backed by Eric Holder says 2016 plan violated state Constitution and created a partisan advantage for GOP
North Carolina Democrats, after successfully challenging the makeup of districts in the state Legislature, are now taking aim at the drawing of congressional districts. A new state lawsuit, backed by former Attorney General Eric Holder, claims North Carolina’s 2016 congressional redistricting plan violated the state Constitution and created a partisan advantage for Republicans. Filed Friday, it targets the state’s 13 congressional districts, represented by 10 Republicans and three Democrats in Washington, D.C. The new legal challenge could set the stage for more state lawsuits against partisan gerrymandering months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled federal judges have no authority to correct the practice. Earlier this month, a three-judge panel in state court struck down North Carolina’s GOP-drawn map of legislative districts, finding the Republican majority improperly gerrymandered state voting lines in 2017. Now, Democrats are shifting their attention to the state lines that determine its representatives in Congress. The lawsuit alleges the current map, drawn in 2016, “may be the most extreme and brazen partisan gerrymander in American history.” “For nearly a decade, the people of North Carolina have been forced to vote on manipulated electoral maps that were drawn by Republicans in the legislature to create a partisan outcome,” Mr. Holder said. “It’s time for this era of gerrymandering in North Carolina to come to an end.” The National Redistricting Foundation, part of Mr. Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee, is behind the lawsuit, which cites voters from the 13 congressional districts as plaintiffs. Law firm Arnold & Porter, one of two firms representing plaintiffs, has been involved in other state gerrymandering challenges, including a case last year in Pennsylvania. Republican state lawmakers, named as defendants along with the State Board of Elections, said they would return a strong delegation to Congress no matter the outcome of the lawsuit. “Conservatives will have no problem returning a powerful group of representatives to the U.S. House under any election lines that Eric Holder’s phony Sue ’til Blue ‘fair maps’ group can obtain, whose tax filing literally states its mission is to ‘favorably position Democrats for the redistricting process,’ ” said Rep. David Lewis and Rep. Destin Hall, the Republicans who co-chair the state House redistricting committee. Following the ruling over state legislative districts in early September, Republicans complied with the creation of a new map. This week, lawmakers asked the North Carolina Superior Court to approve new 2020 election districts drawn from a computer generated map, according to North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore’s office.
Read more » click here


Odds & Ends


Previously reported – July 2018


Cape Fear Council of Governments Letter
The Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) is pleased to submit this proposal and agreement to develop a Comprehensive Land Use Plan (LUP) for the Town of Holden Beach. Assisting our member governments is a primary tenet of our mission and vision, and we hope that we can continue our years of involvement by performing the work outlined in the Proposal for you.

In the past few years, the CFCOG has developed or updated Land Use Plans for Ocean Isle Beach, Boiling Spring Lakes, Shallotte, Sunset Beach, Southport, and Topsail Beach. Our reputation for professionalism, competence, and technical skill has been earned by delivering valuable products that meet or exceed customer expectations. Our staff values that reputation and we look forward to the opportunity to validate it during the process of developing your Land Use Plan.

This project will be led by our Senior Regional Planner, Wes Macleod, who will be the primary contact for the Town. I will provide oversight and technical support. As CFCOG’s Executive Director, Chris May will be available to the Town to oversee staff and to guide the entire process. The CFCOG will work with Holden Beach to settle on a completion date and will not exceed our proposed budget of $30,000 to be expended over the course of two fiscal years.
For more information » click here

HOLDEN BEACH LAND USE PLAN / PUBLIC INPUT MEETING
A public input meeting will be held on Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly. This meeting is held as part of the land use planning process for the Town of Holden Beach. Holden Beach’s Land Use Plan provides guidance to local decision-makers to achieve the long-term vision for the community. This allows local decision makers to be proactive rather than reactive and helps maintain Holden Beach as one of the finest family-oriented beaches on the East Coast of the United States. The meeting is structured to be engaging and informative.

Town’s Land Use Plan

Previously reported – February 2019
Holden Beach residents give input for updated land use plan
Holden Beach residents at a Feb. 7 meeting with the Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) were able to give input on the town’s developing land use plan. Town commissioners voted in July to approve an agreement between the town and the CFCOG for a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) land use plan update. A land use plan is an official document containing goals, policies, analyses and maps that serves as a community’s blueprint for growth, Wes MacLeod, senior regional planner with CFCOG, told attendees at the special meeting, providing them with some of the data about the town already collected for the land use plan.

MacLeod provided history on the town’s population growth, which shows a decrease of more than 200 residents from the year 2000, with 787 permanent town residents, to 575 permanent residents in 2010. As of 2016 the number of permanent Holden Beach residents was 633. It’s estimated that the population will grow to 708 in 2020, 783 in 2025, 859 in 2030, 935 in 2035, 1,016 in 2040 and 1,095 by 2046. The median age for the town is 61.4, compared to the county’s median age of 50.9, and the state’s median age of 38.3. The majority of those living in Holden Beach are considered Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 74), making up 56.35 percent of the town. For the seasonal population, the most recent data from 2016 showed the peak seasonal overnight population estimate for Holden Beach at 16,811 people. The median value of owner-occupied housing in Holden Beach as of 2016 was $406,000.

MacLeod also showed information from the community survey update. He said CFCOG received 891 responses, including 810 property owner responses and 81 non-resident responses, including visitors and off-island residents. The survey showed Holden Beach residents when it comes to new private development desires, would most like to see more entertainment on the island like restaurants and theaters, low-density single-family residences and small businesses that serve the needs of residents. Survey takers said they consider the most important roles for the town to play in influencing the character of development on Holden Beach to be managing the density and intensity of new development by regulating the size and layout of buildings, protecting the beach and encouraging continued coastal storm damage reduction and beach protection and retaining and enhancing the community’s appearance through landscaping, signs, lighting and architectural standards. They also said coastal storm damage reduction, density development and environmental protections are the most important growth and development issues facing Holden Beach. When it comes to transportation issues, survey takers said the most important ones are maintenance of the town’s existing roadways, parking availability/public access congestion and roadway drainage. When asked to share their favorite things about Holden Beach, the most common responses from survey takers were its lack of commercial development, its uncrowded and clean beaches, its family-friendly atmosphere, its natural resources including the beaches and marshes, it’s quiet, off-season “solitude’ and the fact that the town is mostly made up of single-family houses.

Attendees were then given a brainstorming exercise. MacLeod wrote down on large pieces of paper what those at the meeting thought were the town’s most important assets, important issues and their desires for the future in Holden Beach. Attendees were then given dots to place next to the two of those they considered the most important. Preliminary results showed attendees saw the most important assets as the beach, the lack of commercial development, Lockwood Folly and the marshes and wetlands. The most important issues appeared to be rising sea levels, offshore drilling and stormwater. As for desires for the town, the most popular answers were sustainable growth, improving the causeway’s appearance and a fully maintained and marked inlet. MacLeod said the answers would be tallied by CFCOG to be used in the land use plan.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – September 2019
Land Use Plan Steering Committee’s meeting was held on August 27th.
Agenda Packet » click here
This should be their last meeting; a draft will be sent to P&Z for approval.
Land Use Plan Engagement Session was held on September 17th.
View draft of the plan » click here

What is the Land Use Plan?
“Holden Beach’s Land Use Plan provides guidance to local decision-makers seeking to achieve the community’s long-term vision. This process allows public officials, staff, and other stakeholders to be proactive rather than reactive in maintaining Holden Beach’s status as one of the finest family oriented coastal communities on the East Coast of the United States. This plan builds on the previous land use plans prepared by Holden Beach in 1980, 1985, 1990, 1997, and 2009. It encompasses all geographic areas in the community; considering issues of future land use, development, and natural resource protection. The plan is long-range in nature and looks beyond current issues to address potential future land use and environmental issues over the next 10 to 15 years and beyond.”

If you have any input or questions email them to HBPOA@hotmail.com

Update –
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This & That

Brunswick County restaurant significantly damaged by fire
A fire early Tuesday morning caused significant damage to a Supply restaurant. Crews from the Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department responded to Ginny’s Chicken House, located at 3258 Holden Beach Road near Holden Beach, around 3:20 a.m. Firefighters found a fire on the front deck of the restaurant, according to Chief Douglas Todd. “Responding crews brought the fire under control within six minutes,” Todd said. No one was injured as a result of the fire. Its cause is under investigation by the Brunswick County Fire Marshall’s Office and Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. Owner Virginia Craig said investigators have ruled out arson and believe the fire may have been the result of discarded cigarette on the front deck. Firefighters from Civietown, and Supply Fire Departments and units from Brunswick County EMS responded to the scene to assist.
Read more » click here


Remembering Hurricane Hugo 30 years later
Decades later, many residents of the Carolinas still recall Hugo as one of the worst natural disasters they can remember. Thirty years after the storm, the National Weather Service shared old photos, radar images and stories from the catastrophic storm. Hurricane Hugo made landfall at midnight on September 22, 1989 near Sullivans Island as a category 4 hurricane, according to the National Weather Service. Hurricane Hugo was responsible for at least 86 fatalities and caused $10 billion in damage. Brunswick and New Hanover County beach towns both saw impacts. At least 25 beachfront homes were damaged in Holden and Yaupon Beaches, and in some places 50 feet of beach was lost. Dunes previously seven to eight feet tall were wiped out. The end of Holden Beach fishing pier was destroyed, and the Yaupon Pier was destroyed. Initial estimates put the damage in Holden Beach at $30 million and Ocean Isle Beach at $15 million.
Read more » click here


Drivers must replace license plate every 7 years under new NC law
 North Carolina drivers will have to get new plates every seven years under new DMV laws signed by the governor Friday.
House bill 211 governing DMV changes was ratified on September 18. Under the law, existing plates must be replaced with new registration plates if, upon the date of renewal, the plate is seven or more years old or will become seven or more years old during the registration period. The mandatory renewal rule falls under a section on reflectivity standards for license plates to ensure they can be read clearly and be seen at night. Plates must be treated with “reflectorized materials” that pass standards set by lawmakers. The change will take effect July 1, 2020. The DMV says the new replacement requirement won’t produce any additional costs for customers, WRAL reports. The DMV laws passed this week also include a section allowing officials to begin a study on digital license plates as an alternative to traditional physical plates. The results of the feasibility study will be reported in the 2020 regular session.
Read more » click here

Cooper signs bill requiring NC license plates to be replaced every seven years
Car and truck owners will need to turn in their North Carolina license plate and get a new one every seven years, under a bill signed into law Friday by Gov. Roy Cooper. Up to now, the state has set no time limit for replacing a license plate; you could keep the one you were given as long as it held up. State law includes a provision that says it can order someone to give up a plate that “has become illegible or is in such a condition that the numbers thereon may not be readily distinguished.” The bill signed into law Friday says simply, “All registration plates shall be replaced every seven years.” The Division of Motor Vehicles won’t charge for the replacement plates required by the new law, said spokeswoman Binta Cisse. Beyond that, the DMV is still developing a plan to implement the new requirement, Cisse said, so it’s not clear yet how the DMV will notify vehicle owners that it’s time to get a new plate or whether they’ll have to go to a license plate office to get a new one.
Read more » click here

News on WECT
Town Manager Hewett, along with leaders in several beach towns, was recently featured in a story on WECT about nourishment programs.

Coastal towns credit beach nourishment projects for minimal dune erosion in Hurricane Dorian
The dune system is our coastline’s first line of defense when it comes to protecting property from storms. To keep them strong, many beach towns maintain the dunes through beach nourishment projects. “I like to say that a wide, healthy beach is like the bumper on the car, it acts as the crush zone whenever there is an accident and that’s exactly what we’ve managed to create with our coastline,” said David Hewett, Town Manager Holden Beach. “We’ve been through several storms over the last 12 to 15 years and have actually never had any homes lost.”

Because the North Carolina coastline is very dynamic, nourishment programs differ in their specific needs for each beach. Ocean Isle, Wrightsville, Carolina, and Kure Beaches work with the Army Corp of Engineers to help plan and manage their projects. Together, they move sand mounds underwater, on the beach or in the dunes to fight erosion. “We do a long-term study to look at what are the requirements for that beach,” said Commander Robert Clark, Wilmington District, Army Corp of Engineers. “Every beach is engineered a little bit differently and they are supposed to be natural barriers where the sand can ebb and flow with the natural environment and over time. The renourishment is either a 3 or a 4-year cycle depending on the requirements.”

Every storm is different and can impact beaches in different ways. “The beaches within the Town of Topsail Beach fared very well during both Hurricane Florence and Dorian,” says Michael Rose, Town Manager of Topsail Beach. “While approximately 1,000,000 cubic yards of sand was lost during Florence, very little was lost during Dorian. The sand management project has performed as designed, utilizing not just the dunes, but the beach and the near-shore sandbars to dissipate wave energy and protect the upland structures and habitats.” These projects are aimed at using the most natural ways to build up the dunes. Some projects rely on dredging and moving sand, and others by planting sea grass and sea oats to help maintain the dune system and continue to build them higher.

“One hour after I lifted the curfew after Hurricane Dorian people were on the beach Carolina Beach was open for business, immediately,” said Carolina Beach Mayor, Joe Benson. “The dunes stood the test of Florence and Dorian for sure. They prove their value in those two cases and we couldn’t be happier.”

Towns continue to keep improve and maintain their dunes and beaches to make sure the first natural barrier is ready for the next storm.
Read more » click here


Municipal Elections

The following candidates have officially filed for Holden Beach municipal elections.

Holden Beach Mayor
Alan Holden 128 OBW Holden Beach (incumbent)

Holden Beach Commissioner
Gerald Brown          851 Heron Landing     Holden Beach      (former)
Joe Butler                 169 BAE                         Holden Beach      (incumbent)
John Fletcher           148 Yacht Watch         Holden Beach       (incumbent)
Peter Freer               198 BAW                       Holden Beach      (incumbent)
Pat Kwiatkowski     1298 OBW                    Holden Beach      (incumbent)
Regina Martin         1032 OBW                    Holden Beach       (former)
Brian Murdock       124 Durham Street      Holden Beach      /
Mike Sullivan          648 OBW                       Holden Beach      (incumbent)
Woody Tyner           137 Tarpon Drive        Holden Beach      /

All five Commissioners seats are up for election, nine candidates have filed. As approved by a referendum in 2017, the three candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to serve four-year terms and the two candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected to serve two-year terms.


Meet the Candidates Night
The Holden Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) will host its “Meet the Candidates Night” on Friday, October 18th in the Town Hall meeting room. The objective of their event is to help you make an informed decision when you vote for Town leaders.

About Candidates Night:
The Holden Beach Property Owners Association gives a collective voice to the views and interests of those who choose to own property on this beautiful island. It also provides a way for citizens to listen to the voices of those who seek to lead by serving as municipal officers of the Town of Holden Beach.  The objective of our “Meet the Candidates Night” event is to help you make an informed decision when you vote for Town leaders.

In addition to the Meet the Candidates Night event we submitted questions to every candidate and their responses will be distributed at Meet the Candidates Night and posted below.  Past questions and answers are available below for historical reference.
For more information » click here

2017 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2015 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2013 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2011 Meet the Candidates Q & A 

2009 Meet the Candidates Q & A 

2007 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2005 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2003 Meet the Candidates Q & A 

2001 Meet the Candidates Q & A

1999 Meet the Candidates Q & A

Going to the polls on Election Day is one of our core responsibilities in a democratic nation. Voter turnout has been a big problem for decades. Increased voter turnout can dramatically alter election outcomes and resulting public policies.

General Election 2019 – Tuesday, November 5th
.     1) Encourage everyone to vote
.     2) Remember it’s a right and a privilege to be able to do so
    3)
Polling place location is at the HB EOC Building, 1044 Sabbath Home Rd., Supply

For more information visit The North Carolina State Board of Elections web site
Read more »
click here


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


Watch out for deer
NCDOT warns motorists across North Carolina to stay alert for deer now that fall has arrived. Every year during late autumn, auto and body shops across the region brace for a bumper crop of business, comprised of an influx of cars with damage from collisions with deer. Beginning in October, roads across the state become hazardous as North Carolina’s deer population fans out, lurking on highway shoulders in search of food and potential mates. It’s the deadliest time of the year for deer, which also pose a particular danger to motorists. Nearly half of vehicle accidents involving white-tail deer occur from October to December. Deer accidents typically begin rising in October, peak in November and begin dropping off after December, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Deer are crepuscular mammals, meaning they’re most active at dawn and dusk – which, following the onset of daylight savings time, places them near roads and byways precisely when large numbers of residents are commuting to and from work.


Hot Button Issues
Subjects that are important to people and about which they have strong opinions


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Climate
For more information » click here

 

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Oceans are under threat, report warns
Climate change is disrupting seafood harvests, posing risks to important marine ecosystems and threatening the well-being of hundreds of millions of coastal residents, according to a United Nations report released today.

The report, based on more than 7,000 studies, represents the most extensive look so far at the effects of climate change on oceans, ice sheets, mountain snowpack and permafrost. (Read it here.)

Why it matters: The oceans have long served as a buffer against global warming, absorbing carbon dioxide and excess heat. Without those protections, the land would be heating much more rapidly.v


New U.N. climate report: Monumental change already here for world’s oceans and frozen regions
Growing coastal flooding is inevitable, and damage to corals and other marine life has already been unleashed. But scientists say the world still has time to avert even more severe consequences.
Climate change is already having staggering effects on oceans and ice-filled regions that encompass 80 percent of the Earth, and future damage from rising seas and melting glaciers is now all but certain, according to a sobering new report from the United Nations. The warming climate is killing coral reefs, supercharging monster storms, and fueling deadly marine heat waves and record losses of sea ice. And Wednesday’s report on the world’s oceans, glaciers, polar regions and ice sheets finds that such effects foreshadow a more catastrophic future as long as greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked. Given current emissions levels, a number of serious effects are essentially unavoidable, says the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Read more » click here


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Development Fees
For more information » click here
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Flood Insurance Program
For more information » click here
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Gillibrand Urges Senate to Reauthorize National Flood Insurance Program Immediately
The National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire at the end of this month
With the National Flood Insurance Program set to expire at the end of September, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Tuesday urged Senate leadership, via a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs, to extend the NFIP without delay and to ensure that any legislation includes her reforms to fix the current broken system and make flood insurance policies more affordable for New Yorkers. Gillibrand helped write the bipartisan National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2019, which would extend the NFIP for five years and fix the problems plaguing the beleaguered program. The NFIP Re Act of 2019 was introduced in the Senate earlier this summer, but no vote has been taken on the measure.

 The NFIP Re Act of 2019 would:

  • Place protections against sudden rate shocks for policy holders and implement regulations for Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new rating methodology.
  • Provide vouchers for homeowners and renters if their flood insurance premium causes their housing costs to exceed 30 percent of the Adjusted Gross Income.
  • Freeze interest payments on the NFIP debt while reinvesting savings towards mitigation efforts to restore the program to solvency and reduce future borrowing.
  • Provide robust funding levels for cost-effective investments in mitigation, which have a large return on investment and are the most effective way to reduce flood risk, Gillibrand said.
  • Increase the maximum limit for Increased Cost of Compliance coverage and expand ICC coverage eligibility to encourage more proactive mitigation before natural disasters.
  • Authorize funding for Light Detection and Ranging technology, which would help create more accurate mapping of flood risk across the country, reducing confusion and generating better data.
  • Place limits on profits for private insurance companies; Write Your Own compensation policies would be capped at the rate that FEMA pays to service its own policies.
  • Create new oversight measures for insurance companies and vendors and provide FEMA with greater authority to terminate contractors that have a track record of abuse.
  • Fundamentally reform the claims process to level the playing field for policyholders during appeal or litigation, ban aggressive legal tactics preventing homeowners from filing legitimate claims, hold FEMA to strict deadlines so that homeowners get quick and fair payments, and end FEMA’s reliance on outside legal counsel from expensive for-profit entities.
  • Provide for increased training and certification of agents and adjusters to reduce mistakes and improve the customer experience.

“My constituents across the State of New York desperately need this bipartisan, common-sense bill, from families still struggling to rebuild from Superstorm Sandy on Long Island to low-income homeowners in Syracuse who are struggling to keep up with rising premiums they cannot afford,” Gillibrand wrote in her Tuesday missive to McConnell and Crapo. “I urge you to make reauthorizing and reforming the NFIP a priority for this Congress and seize the opportunity to achieve a real bipartisan legislative accomplishment that will profoundly help millions of Americans.”
Read more » click here

National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On September 27, 2019, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to November 21, 2019. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on November 21, 2019.

FEMA and Congress have never failed to honor the flood insurance contracts in place with NFIP policyholders. Should the NFIP’s authorization lapse, FEMA would still have authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would stop selling and renewing policies for millions of properties in communities across the nation. Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors estimates that a lapse might impact approximately 40,000 home sale closings per month.

NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance. The level of damage from recent catastrophic storms makes it clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.
Flood insurance – whether purchased from the NFIP or through private carriers – is the best way for homeowners, renters, business, and communities to financially protect themselves from losses caused by floods.
Read more » click here 


 

GenX
For more information » click here
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Chemours vows to become ‘best in the world’ at controlling PFAS
During a tour of Chemours last week, plant manager Brian Long stopped near a maze of pipes to explain new carbon adsorption systems that the company says are reducing airborne emissions of GenX and other potentially harmful fluorochemicals by 92 percent from 2017 levels. A few minutes later, Long stopped again, this time at a construction site surrounding a giant metal tower of pipes, chambers and supports that, by year’s end, is anticipated to become an operable, $100 million thermal oxidizer. Long said the oxidizer will destroy 99 percent of all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — or PFAS — keeping them from becoming airborne and leaving the plant’s boundaries.

Chemours has no choice but to meet the Dec. 31 deadline. It’s specified in a consent order entered in February between the company, the state and the environmental group Cape Fear River Watch. Construction crews are now working in two shifts to meet the deadline, Long said. Chemours has been under fire since June 2017, when the Wilmington Star-News reported that a potentially cancer-causing PFAS chemical called GenX had fouled the drinking water for an estimated 250,000 people who draw their water from the Cape Fear River downstream of the Chemours plant in Bladen County.
Read more » click here


 

Homeowners Insurance
For more information » click here
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Commissioner Causey negotiates settlement on homeowners’, mobile home insurance rates

Costly hearing is canceled
The N.C. Department of Insurance has settled a homeowners’ insurance legal dispute with the North Carolina Rate Bureau, averting a potentially costly administrative battle with insurance companies. This means the hearing scheduled for Oct. 2 is canceled. In addition, Commissioner Mike Causey announced that the Department has also negotiated a settlement with the NCRB on mobile home insurance rates. “I am happy to announce that North Carolina homeowners will save nearly $285 million a year in premium payments compared to what the NCRB had requested,” Commissioner Causey said. “I am also glad the Department of Insurance has avoided a lengthy administrative legal battle which could have cost consumers time and money.”

Homeowners’ insurance
In 2018, the Rate Bureau, which represents companies writing property insurance in North Carolina and is not a part of the N.C. Department of Insurance, proposed a 17.4% statewide overall increase in homeowners’ insurance rates. After studying the data, Commissioner Causey negotiated a settlement for a much smaller rate of an overall statewide increase of 4%. The 4% increase will vary according to territory, with a cap of 10% statewide instead of the 30% cap in some coastal territories initially requested by the NCRB. The highest negotiated rate increase is 9.8% in some coastal territories. The western-most territory in the state will see an average 0.1% decrease. Compared to the rates requested by the NCRB, the settlement means a significant savings for homeowners. For example, Wilmington residents with a $200,000 frame home with a $1,000 deductible would pay an average $400 less a year than had the NCRB’s requested rates gone into effect. Residents for similar homes in Wake and Durham counties would pay an average $120 less. The increase will take effect on new and renewed policies beginning on or after May 1, 2020.
Read more » click here

NC homeowner insurance to rise next spring
North Carolina homeowner insurance rates will go up 4% on average next spring as part of an agreement between the Insurance Department and an entity representing the industry. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said the settlement announced Friday means an administrative fight between his office and the North Carolina Rate Bureau ends. A hearing had been set for next week. Causey’s news release says the Rate Bureau, composed of the state’s property insurance writers, initially sought an overall increase of more than 17%. Causey’s office says the highest rate increases would occur in coastal counties as well as in Duplin and Lenoir counties, where lots of flooding occurred during recent hurricanes. Those counties will see increases of 9.8%. Far-western counties like Cherokee and Clay will see a slight decrease.
Read more » click here

To see the rate increase for where you live just click here.
NC Homeowners Territories
Territory                                                          120
Counties Located in this Territory              Beach areas in Brunswick Counties
Rate increase                                                   9.8%



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Hurricane Season

For more information » click here
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Inlet Hazard Areas
For more information » click here

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Public Can Weigh in on Inlet Hazard Updates
The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management will host of public meetings on proposed updated inlet hazard area boundaries and building rules within those areas, after a series of hearings about the updated erosion rates used to determine the proposed IHAs. Everyone from coastal property owners to developers will get a chance to weigh in on the preliminary boundaries, which were approved earlier this year by the state Coastal Resources Commission, or CRC.

The CRC unanimously approved the fiscal analysis and rule amendments to the proposed inlet hazard areas, or IHAs, Wednesday during the commission’s quarterly meeting held in Wilmington. That analysis, approved Aug. 30 by the Office of State Budget and Management and state Department of Environmental Quality, details the number of structures removed from and added to be included within the boundaries. Currently there are 750 structures within IHAs, which are defined as shorelines especially vulnerable to erosion and flooding where inlets can shift suddenly and dramatically. Of those structures, 307 would be removed from ocean hazard areas, or OHAs, under the proposed boundary revisions. Any of those homes built before 1980 would, for the first time in nearly 40 years, not be included inside of these boundaries, according to Ken Richardson, shoreline management specialist with Division of Coastal Management.

OHAs are made up of three areas of environmental concern, or AECs: IHAs, ocean erodible areas, or OEAs, and unvegetated beach. The proposed updated boundaries would include a total of about 930 structures within IHAs. Of those, 219 would be new to the OHA, meaning this would be the first time they would be within an IHA or OEA. Properties newly exempt from the OHA will have less stringent development and redevelopment rules than those within an IHA. AECs are identified as areas that may be easily destroyed by erosion or flooding or may have environmental, social, economic or aesthetic values that make it valuable to the state. More than 2,900 acres of land is within IHA boundaries at 10 of the 19 active inlets in the state. The 10 are: Tubbs, Shallotte and Lockwood Folly inlets in Brunswick County; Carolina Beach, Masonboro, Mason and Rich inlets in New Hanover County; New Topsail Inlet in Pender County; New River Inlet in Onslow County; and Bogue Inlet in Carteret County.

A majority of IHAs are being expanded under the proposed boundaries, which include building setbacks that vary from inlet to inlet. The science panel that advises the CRC has for years worked on the proposed setbacks, studying historical shoreline data at each inlet and using that information to predict erosion and accretion rates at those inlets. Building setbacks in the new boundaries are set based on annual inlet erosion rates rather than oceanfront erosion rates. For some of the inlets, this method of calculation equates to no change in the current building setbacks. For others, the setbacks vary. Setback requirements will not change for a little more than 730 properties in IHAs. Fifty-seven properties will have decreased setback requirements, while setback requirements will increase for 137 properties. Under the proposed changes, boundaries and setbacks will be reviewed every five years.

Richardson told the CRC last week that OEAs and IHAs are not factors in the calculation of flood insurance premiums. The proposed IHA updates “do not have an immediate negative or positive impact” to community National Flood Insurance Policy’s Community Rating System, a voluntary program that incentivizes communities that go above and beyond the minimum floodplain management requirements, according to the fiscal analysis.

The updated rules maintain the structure size limitation to no more than 5,000 square feet of heated space and no more than one unit per 15,000 square feet of land area. Homes and businesses that exceed the size limit and would be included in the new boundaries would be grandfathered under the rules. IHA rules apply to property owners who want built a new structure or replace one that has been damaged and requires more than 50% repair.

If approved, the amended boundaries and rules may be adopted by early next year.

Public hearings on the updated erosion rates use to determine the proposed IHAs will be held at the following times and locations:

  • 10 a.m. Oct. 3, Northeast Library, 1241 Military Cutoff Road, Wilmington.
  • 2 p.m. Oct. 3, Harper Library, 109 W. Moore St., Southport.
  • 1:30 p.m. Oct. 8, Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, 822 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke.
  • 10 a.m. Oct. 9, Nags Head Board of Commissioners room, 5401 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head.
  • 2:30 p.m. Oct. 9, Outer Bank Center for Wildlife Education, 1160 Village Lane, Corolla.
  • 10 a.m. Oct. 15, Surf City Welcome Center, 102 North Shore Drive, Surf City.
  • 3 p.m. Oct. 15, Sneads Ferry Library, 1330 N.C. 210, Sneads Ferry.
  • 3 p.m. Oct. 17, North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, 400 Commerce Ave., Morehead City.
    Read more » click here.

 

Lockwood Folly Inlet
For more information » click here
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Lockwood Folly Inlet
For more information » click here
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Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling
For more information » click here
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Solid Waste Program

For more information » click here
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Things I Think I Think –

Dining #2Eating out is one of the great little joys of life.

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// May 2019
Name:              Joseph’s                   
Cuisine:          Italian Bistro
Location:       5003 O’Quinn Boulevard, Southport NC
Contact:         910.454.4440 /
www.josephsitalianbistro.com

Food:               Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:          Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:     Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:               Inexpensive <=$18 / Moderate <=$24 / Expensive <=$30 / Exorbitant <=$40
Rating:          Three Stars
Probably easier to get to by boat than by car but don’t be discouraged by the trip for good things can be found in out of the way places. Located at the South Harbour Marina, the view overlooking the marina and ICW is outstanding. Be advised reservations are not accepted so be cautious about making dining plans during prime tourist season. It’s a busy, busy place, but the great bar makes waiting a pleasure. The menu reflects home-style interpretations of their family favorites and is the finest Italian cuisine in the area.


Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
/////
MAGPIE MURDERS by Anthony Horowitz
An Agatha Christie style murder mystery, an ingenious whodunit that both honors and pokes fun at the genre. The story has dual narratives, structured as a novel within a novel, a mystery within a mystery. A London book editor receives the partial manuscript of a murder novel. When the author turns up dead, the editor turns sleuth. Of course, in a good whodunit the murder always gets solved; but you won’t be able to figure out who the murderers are until the very end of the book.


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THE WORD IS MURDER
by Anthony Horowitz

A clever and inventive mystery starring a fictional version of the author himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes. Their first joint investigative venture concerns the strangulation of Diana Cowper in her London home, mere hours after she visited a funeral parlor and made detailed arrangements for her own funeral. Hawthorne wants Horowitz to chronicle, in real time, his cases into books, and eventually gets him to agree.



THE SENTENCE IS DEATH
by Anthony Horowitz
A brilliant whodunit murder mystery, the second in the series.
Horowitz’s doppelganger, Horowitz-the-author plays Horowitz-the-character, once again plays Dr. Watson to Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne’s Sherlock Holmes. This time around the duo sets out to investigate the murder of London divorce attorney Richard Pryce, bludgeoned to death with a bottle of vintage wine in his home..


That’s it for this newsletter

See you next month


HBPOIN / Lou’s Views

.           • Gather and disseminate information
.           • Identify the issues and determine how they affect you

.           • Act as a watchdog
.           • Grass roots monthly newsletter since 2008

https://lousviews.com/

09 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 08/30/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Classification & Pay Study & Updated Personnel Policy Presentation – Becky Veazey, The Management & Personnel Services Group
Agenda Packet – background information not provided
No material was provided at the meeting

Previously reported – February 2019
Commissioner Freer asked that the Town initiate a request for proposal (RFP) to do the following:
.     1) Establish set job descriptions for each position, and a compensation pay range
    2)
Conduct a total compensation study

Previously reported – April 2019
Town Manager Hewett said that they had already engaged the MAPS Group. The process has been started but he anticipated that it would take the better part of three to four months before they had the completed report.

The Management and Personnel Services Group – MAPS – is a team of consultants specializing in human resource management and development.
For more information » click here

Previously reported – June 2019
Evaluation of compensation package and job descriptions should be completed shortly. After Town Manager reviews report it will be presented to the BOC’s.  

Previously reported – July 2019 
MAPS including end of fiscal year salary rate changes is still working on the study
David should be able to present to the Board in August

Previously reported – August 2019
Agenda Packet –
The Maps Group has completed their research for the Classification and Pay Study and would like to schedule a meeting to review their findings with the Board. Becky Veazey from the MAPS Group, has provided their availability for the last week in August and for the first couple of weeks in September. Please provide Town Clerk Finnell with your schedules so we can coordinate a time to hold a special meeting. Ms. Veazey anticipates the information will take approximately one hour to present to the Board.

Heather handled; they simply need to coordinate their schedules to set meeting date.

Update –
The study updates the classification and pay plan for THB as well as making recommendations concerning personnel policies and fringe benefits. Recommendations are being made for salary schedule, position classification plan, and costs for implementing the salary plan. Salary data determined by prevailing rate in geographic area as well as with employers who directly compete for the same pool of workers with those job skills. The salaries represent the local market which provides a reflection of the actual cost of living in the geographic area. Implementation strategy offered three options; the recommended option had an additional annual price tag of $80,327 in just salary cost. An additional cost of roughly 20% for benefits brings the total cost to implement at almost $100,000 annually. Interestingly, we offer significantly higher family health insurance coverage than the rest of the local market, yet we didn’t seem to get any credit for that in a total compensation package. Recommendations for THB are based on meeting the market, not leading the market. Takeaway was that we were in pretty good shape considering we hadn’t done a study in a very long time, but adjustments need to be made to stay competitive in the local market. Staying competitive in our total compensation package will allow us to recruit and retain employees. Presentation was a very pragmatic approach to the subject and clearly directs us on how to proceed.

2. Discussion & Possible Establishment of a Process to Interview Attorneys – Commissioners Freer & Butler
Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Previously reported February 2016
Noel Fox of Craige & Fox was selected as our new town attorney
They terminated the interim attorney agreement and hired a permanent attorney
Noel has municipal law experience and her family owns property on Holden Beach

Previously reported – June 2019
Town Attorney Noel Fox tendered her resignation
A search will begin to hire a new attorney as soon as possible

Previously reported – July 2019
The Town initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP)
Anticipate having candidate options for the Board at the next meeting

Previously reported – August 2019
Agenda Packet –
Request for Proposals for Legal Service
A Request for Proposals (RFP) for Legal Services was advertised in the local paper and was placed on the North Carolina   League of Municipalities’ website.   In response to the RFP, the Town received four proposals. The firms who are interested in providing legal services to the Town are the Law Offices of G. Grady Richardson, Jr., P.C., The Brough Law Firm, PLLC, the Law Office of Matthew A. Nichols and the Law Firm of Richard F. Green, PLLC. The proposals are included in the Board’s meeting information for review.

Richard Green Proposal

Matthew Nichols Proposal

Brough Proposal

Grady Richardson Proposal

Commissioner Sullivan indicated that it was not prudent to hire an attorney without conducting interviews. His recommendation was to interview the firms at a Special Meeting. Heather will handle, they simply need to coordinate their schedules to set meeting date.

Update –
They were able to reach consensus on two issues. Decision was made that all of them should be there to interview each firm individually. They also eliminated Brough simply based on they are geographically undesirable, too far away.


BOC’s Special Meeting 09/12/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 19-15, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 19-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 (Amendment No. 3)

Agenda Packet –
Moved funds of $349,000
From Revenue account #30.0399.0500 to Expense account#50.0810.7402

Previously reported – July 2019

Parcel #246BC002 which is located on the second row, between Sanddollar and Swordfish. The Town owns parcels in the 800 block which we obtained on 04/21/13 ostensibly to be used for parking. They are as follows: 246BC010, 246BC011, 246BC012, 246BC013, 246BC014, 246BC015, 246BC01604, and 246BC01609. THB also owns adjacent lots 246BC001, 246BC01601, 246BC01602 and 246BC016.

The property is located at 796 OBW, adjacent to sewer station #3, with a Taxable Value of $376,610

Update –
The Town is purchasing 796 OBW for $349,000 or 93% of tax value
.        •
Average for second row home this year is 117% of tax value

Previously reported – June 2019
Green Engineering was awarded the $158,000 contract for Sewer System Engineering to Sewer Pump Station Number 4 in December of 2017. Green Engineering was just awarded the $311,805 contract for Sewer System Engineering to Sewer Pump Station Number 3. You may ask yourself: Why is there an additional $153,805 in cost only eighteen (18) months later? The explanation given was that this station is only sixteen (16) feet from adjacent property and will require additional acoustic engineering. Due to the station location it is different from the first project and will have a significant higher cost to build. Leo when asked how much more threw out a 25% more number just as a ballpark figure. Yikes!

A significant portion of the cost of acquiring this property is offset by us no longer needing to do additional acoustical engineering.

 2. Discussion and Possible Approval of Assignment of Contract and Purchase of Property (Parcel 246BC002) 

Alan Holden “Assignor”, that is by law a person who transfers property rights or powers to another. It appears that Alan has entered into a certain Offer to Purchase and Contract with the Seller. For the sum of one dollar he has assigned, transferred, sold and conveyed that to the THB.

The Mayor was instrumental in the acquisition of the property and waived all of real estate transaction fees. Thanks!


BOC’s Special Meeting 09/17/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Classification & Pay Study & Updated Personnel Policy Review – Becky Veazey, The Management & Personnel Services Group
Agenda Packet – background information not provided

For more information » see Special Meeting 08/30/19

Update –
The recommended option being considered had an additional annual price tag of $80,327 in just salary cost. An additional cost of roughly 20% for benefits brings the total cost to implement at almost $100,000 annually. The Board is considering adopting this option with the new personnel policy and classification and pay plan potentially beginning January 1, 2020. They have requested that the Town Manager look at how we would pay for it.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)


BOC’s Special Meeting 09/18/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here NA


1. Interviews of Firms Interested in Providing Legal Services to the Town

 For more information » see Special Meeting 08/30/19

Update –
The Board interviewed four (4) firms but did not make a selection yet.

No decision was made – No action taken


BOC’s Regular Meeting 09/17/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Presentation of Oceanfront and Inlets Management Plan – Fran Way & Cathy Foerster, Applied Technology and Management (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)

Agenda Packet –
Long-term Beach and Inlet Management Plan
As part of the powers and duties assigned to the Inlet and Beach Protection Board in Ordinance No. 18-02, the board is to prepare and recommend a comprehensive long-term plan for the management, dredging, and protection of the inlets and management, protection and nourishment of the ocean beaches and protective dune systems. This document is to serve as a 10-year plan for the Town.  ATM facilitated the development of the plan in working with the IBPB since February. Cathy Foerster and Fran Way will present the plan for possible adoption by the BOC.

Oceanfront and Inlets Management Plan
For more information » click here

Presentation Outline
Planning Process

Focus Areas
Goals
Projects/Actions
Adaptive Management

Planning Process
Kickoff Meeting and Data Collection in February 2019

Five Work Sessions – IBPB and ATM (March to August 2019)

    • Prepare a goal-based adaptive management plan
    • Build upon technical approach memorialized in 2009 Beach Management Planning and Borrow Area Investigations
    • 10-year planning period
    • Funding options

Focus Areas
Shallotte Inlet / West End / Central Reach / East End / LWF Inlet

Goals
15 Goals
that Acknowledge and Address

      • Naturally occurring coastal erosion
      • Changing sea level
      • Impacts from recent climatic events
      • Baseline for community resiliency

Projects/Actions
19 Projects/Actions
Within the Next 10 Years

      • Address coastal erosion
      • Address dune retreat
      • Recover from recent climatic events
      • Achieve coastal resiliency

Focus on Short-Term (within 5 years)

Adaptive Management
IBPB and ATM will review plan annually

Recommend adjustments to the Board of Commissioners based on effects of:

      • Climatic events (hurricanes, sea level rise)
      • Potential damage (nor’easters)
      • Opportunities (funding, collaboration)
      • Consequences (new regulations or delayed projects)

2. Discussion and Possible Action on Asset and Inventory Assessment Grant Application – Leo Green, Green Engineering (Public Works Director Clemmons)
a.
Resolution 19-04, Resolution by Governing Body of Applicant

Agenda Packet –
ASSET AND INVENTORY ASSESSMENT GRANT APPLICATION
GRANT PROGRAM OVERVIEW

  • The Asset Inventory and Assessment grants were created in Session Law 2015-241 in the changes made to NCGS  159G, to broaden the use of grant funds to encourage water and wastewater utilities to become more viable and more proactive in the management and financing of their systems. The goal of this grant program is to inventory the existing water and/or sewer system and document the condition of inventoried infrastructure.
  • The grants are limited to $150,000 from the    Wastewater   Reserve (CWSRF) or the Drinking Water Reserve (DWSRF), over a period of three years, to the   same local   government unit or nonprofit water corporation.
  • The NC Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Infrastructure has structured the priority system to prioritize applications that reflect the greatest likelihood that information obtained through this project will be used by the utility to manage its infrastructure assets in the future.
  • Only systems with 10,000 residential accounts or less are eligible for these grants.
  • A local match is required based on how that unit’s indicators of percent population change, poverty rate, median household income (MHI), percent unemployment, and property valuation per capita compare with the state benchmarks. This “affordability criteria” does not necessarily limit the grant percentage or the eligibility for these grants.

NCDEQ
For more information » click here

RESOLUTION 19-04
RESOLUTION BY GOVERNING BODY OF APPLICANT

WHEREAS,    The Federal Clean Water Act Amendments of 1987 and the North Carolina the Water Infrastructure Act of 2005 (NCGS 159G) have authorized the making of loans and grants to aid eligible units of government in financing the cost of construction of (state whether a wastewater treatment works, wastewater  collection system,  stream  restoration,   stormwater   treatment,   drinking   water treatment works, and/or drinking water distribution system or other “green” project), or Asset and Inventory Assessments, and

WHEREAS,    The (Town of Holden Beach) has need for and intends to develop a Water and Waste Utility Asset Inventory and Assessment project, and

WHEREAS,    The (Town of Holden Beach) intends to request state (loan or grant) assistance for the project,

WHEREAS,    The (Town of Holden Beach) will pay aa applicable match for each grant awarded

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, BY THE HOLDEN BEACH BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS:

That (Town of Holden Beach), the Applicant, will arrange financing for all remaining costs of the project, if approved for a State (loan or grant) award.

That the Applicant will adopt and place into effect on or before completion of the project a schedule of fees and charges and other available funds which will provide adequate funds for proper operation, maintenance, and administration of the system and the repayment of all principal and interest on the debt.

That the governing body of the Applicant agrees to include in the loan agreement a provision authorizing the State Treasurer, upon failure of the Town of Holden Beach to make scheduled repayment of the loan, to withhold  from the Town of Holden Beach any State funds that would otherwise be distributed to the local government unit in an amount sufficient to pay all sums then due and payable to the State as a repayment of the loan.

That the Applicant will provide for efficient operation and maintenance of the project on completion of construction thereof.

Update –
Mayor Holden and Public Works Director Clemmons both lobbied for the need to obtain capability to identify where everything is. They indicated that it was particularly important after a major storm event. We can apply for $150,000 for each water system and sewer system. The Town match portion is 5% to 20% so on $300,000 the maximum exposure would be $60,000.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Know the difference between wants and needs?
One of the most basic concepts of economics is want vs. need.
A need is something you have to have.
. It’s something you can’t do without.
A want is something you would like to have.
.
It’s not absolutely necessary, but it would be a good thing to have.


3. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
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Personnel announcement, we hired officer Edwin Roman to fill the open position created when Wally retired.

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They got a lot of heat over the evacuation process. Mea Culpa!
In the future, beginning at 8:00am means you need to leave by then.

 


 Neighborhood Watch

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

Crime prevention 101 – Don’t make it easy for them
. a) Don’t leave vehicles unlocked
. b)
Don’t leave valuables in your vehicles
. c)
Lock your doors & windows – house, garage, storage areas and sheds

Keep Check Request Form
. a) Complete the form and return it to the Police Department
. b)
Officers check your property in your absence
.
Property Registration Form
. a)
Record of items in your home that have a value of over $100
. b)
Complete the form and return it to the Police Department


If the Town declares a mandatory evacuation, PLEASE LEAVE
General Assembly during the 2012 Session, specifically authorizes both voluntary and mandatory evacuations, and increases the penalty for violating any local emergency restriction or prohibition from a Class 3 to a Class 2 misdemeanor.  Given the broad authority granted to the governor and city and county officials under the North Carolina Emergency Management Act (G.S. Chapter 166A) to take measures necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare during a disaster, it is reasonable to interpret the authority to “direct and compel” evacuations to mean ordering “mandatory” evacuations. Those who choose to not comply with official warnings to get out of harm’s way, or are unable to, should prepare themselves to be fully self-sufficient for the first 72 hours after the storm. 

NC General Statute 166A·19.3l.
Power of municipalities and counties to enact ordinances to deal with states of emergency.

Synopsis –
The governing body may impose by declaration or enacted ordinance, prohibitions and restrictions during a state of emergency. This includes the prohibition and restriction of movements of people in public places,  including   imposing   a curfew; directing   or compelling the voluntary   or mandatory evacuation of all or part of the population, controlling ingress and egress of an emergency area, and providing for the closure of streets, roads, highways, bridges,  public  vehicular  areas. All prohibitions and restrictions imposed by declaration or ordinance   shall take effect immediately upon publication of the declaration unless the declaration sets a later time.  The prohibitions and restrictions shall expire when they are terminated by the official or entity that imposed them, or when the state of emergency terminates.

Violation –
Any person who violates any provisions of an ordinance or a declaration   enacted or declared pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.


4. Discussion & Possible Action Relative to Section 72.02 Parking Regulated on Public Streets & Rights-of-Way – Commissioner Sullivan

§72.02 PARKING REGULATED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY. (K)   Additional violation. It shall be a violation of this chapter to leave standing any portion of a vehicle in a lawful parking area between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Agenda Packet –
PARKING DISCUSSION
After due discussion and consideration, in April 2018 the Board of Commissioners voted to revise ordinance section 72.02 PARKING REGULATED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS OF WAY. The revised ordinance contains section(k) It shall be a violation of this chapter to leave standing any portion of a vehicle in a lawful parking area between the hours of 2:00am and 5:00am.

The stated purpose for the revision was a concern for the safety, privacy and property rights of the property owners of Holden Beach. Due to an increase in proactive enforcement measures of the Holden Beach Police Department related to parking in the right of way, the benefit of the revision has been questioned by some residents and visitors.

In an attempt to address the stated concerns and also protect the stated purposes of the revised ordinance, I suggest the following course of action:

1. Suggest to rental agencies that the number of available legal spaces be included in all advertisements for rental properties. This will give potential renters an opportunity to determine if a rental home has sufficient parking for their needs.

2. Allow Holden Beach property owners, displaying a valid Holden Beach Vehicle Decal, to park in the right of way adjacent to their property as long as such parking is not otherwise prohibited, i.e. no parking on OBW or within 25 feet of an intersection. This limited exception, coupled with other ordinance provisions, should address the vast majority of complaints without expanding the potential for overcrowding and the conversion of smaller rental properties into “event” properties.

Previously reported – August 2018
Agenda Packet –
Town Ordinance 18-07- revise Section (K) or create a new section in the ordinance that clearly states the following recommended wording:   Vehicles shall not be permitted to park in any beach access or any municipal designated parking areas, between the hours of 2:00am to 5:00am.

It is also recommended that signs be posted in the nine (9) municipal designated parking areas.

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH / ORDINANCE 18-07
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES, CHAPTER 72: PARKING REGULATIONS (SECTION 72.03 PARKING REGULATED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY)
(K)  Additional violation. It shall be a violation of this chapter to leave standing any portion of a vehicle in a lawful parking area for a period exceeding 72 consecutive hours between the hours of 2:00a.m. and 5:00a.m.

 Much ado about nothing. It was the Board’s intent to not permit parking between 2:00am and 5:00am only in the nine municipal designated parking areas. All of that verbiage was not included in the Ordinance they adopted. Apparently, Wally assured them that is not the case. He indicated that a revision of the Ordinance was not required. The police department will use their discretion and enforce only in municipal designated parking areas which was the Board’s intent.

No decision was made – No action taken

Previously reported – July 2019
Joe was concerned that tickets were being written for property owner vehicles parked in the right-of-way on their own property. They discussed what was the Board’s intent and what are the ramifications if they make any changes.

Once again, they decided that a revision of the Ordinance was not required. The Police Department will use their discretion and enforce only in municipal designated parking areas which was the Board’s original intent.

No decision was made – No action taken

Minutes – July 2019
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION TO REVISE CHAPTER 72: PARKING REGULATIONS, SECTION 72.02(K)
Commissioner Butler read the current verbiage concerning parking in Section 72.02(K). He believes the Board’s intent last August was to prohibit parking in the nine municipal areas between the hours of 2:00a.m.- 5:00a.m. Commissioner Sullivan said it is specifically how the Board wanted it. The Board had the discussion whether it would be better to prohibit the parking somewhere like under the bridge, but then that person would go park by someone’s home. He said the problem when the issue was raised was that people were complaining that people were parking overnight.  After all of the discussions, the Board decided that the most effective way to accomplish the goal was to have a window when you couldn’t leave your car parked. Commissioner Butler stated we have people who need to park in the rights-of-way (ROW) between the hours of 2:00a.m.- 5:00a.m. Commissioner Sullivan said this is an example of what he was talking about; the Board talks about something, passes a rule and then after it is put in place, we feel like we need to revise it.  He said if we are going to allow people to parking in the ROW, we might as well just rescind the whole ordinance. Commissioner Butler said he is not in favor of that. Commissioner Sullivan said the police will not know if a car belongs to the person at a house. He asked what the Board would be accomplishing. He suggested if the Board is going to make a change, they should give more thought and decide what the ramifications of the change would be. The guy that would park under the bridge will now park in front of somebody’s house and fisherman can’t park at all. Commissioner Butler said the municipal parking areas are identified with signs that say the prohibited hours. He explained we are a family beach and want to retain that title.

Planning Director Evans clarified there is a distinction between the ROW and municipal areas. Any homeowner   can stop people from parking in the ROW by putting up the legalized barriers. Commissioner Sullivan said if someone is renting a home, they won’t put up a fence because people may need to park there. It would take the problem from someone staying under the bridge and possibly move it to someone’s house. Commissioner Butler said he is glad the Board is discussing this. He had an officer bring it to his attention that it was hard to control this. Commissioner Freer stated he would leave it as it is, and it is at the discretion of the Police Department to enforce it. Commissioners Sullivan and Butler agreed.

Mayor Holden stated he bet the others aren’t getting the complaints he is getting. He provided information regarding a complaint concerning someone’s grandson who received a $75 ticket because there wasn’t anywhere to park during the night and there wasnt enough parking at the family house. The man has owned property for approximately 40 years. A friend of his looked for no parking signs and they couldn’t find any signs. Mayor Holden said this it isn’t working, and he will start sharing the complaints he receives. He asked how people are supposed to know there is no parking. He said people ask where they are supposed to park, there is nowhere to legally park. The citizen from the complaint he described said if all of the public parking is shut down and the streets are shut down, he would need to take his grandson to Walmart or somewhere to leave his car overnight.

Previously reported – August 2019
Apparently at the discretion of the Police Department meant something different to the Board and to the Police Department. The Police Department chose to enforce the ordinance and wrote twenty-three (23) tickets for vehicles parked in the right-of-way. Needless to say, Commissioner Butler was not happy with the situation. After another round of robust discussion, it was still unclear as how they planned to amend the Ordinance. They were all in agreement that it shall be a violation to leave any vehicle that is parked between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. in the nine (9) municipal public parking areas. What was not so clear, was parking in the right-of-way.

They were unable to amend ordinance because it was not on the original agenda. They asked the Police Chief to use his discretion and just focus on municipal public parking areas until they can amend ordinance at the next regular meeting. 

 Frankly we are making this way too complicated. On street parking should be allowed all the time. If an owner wants to restrict parking, they can use a post and rope fence. If someone parks between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. and is carrying on, then just call the Police the same way you would any other time of the day.

Update –
The proposal allows owners to park four (4) additional vehicles in the right-of way on their property. The storm vehicle decals issued to each property owner is what will be used for identification. The Board asked the Town attorney to prepare a revised Ordinance.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


This is a solution in search of a problem!


5. Discussion and Possible Action on Participating in the Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Planning & Support Management Contract – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet –

Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Planning & Support Management Contract
The Town is a member of the Brunswick County Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Planning & Support Management Agreement Currently, the contract b with Landfall Strategies. Beginning September 27, 2019, the county’s new contract will take affect with Tetra Tech as the primary contractor and Thompson Consulting as the secondary.

Per the Brunswick County Background Information: The disaster debris planning & support 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. Three proposals were received in response to the request for proposals. There are numerous services priced in the bids and no one company was the low bidder on all items. A scoring system was used, and Tetra Tech was the low bidder on cost and received the greatest number of points on the overall bid tabulation. Thompson Consulting tied for the second lowest bidder on cost and received the second greatest number of points on the overall bid tabulation.

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 Planning & Support Management Contract 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.

Previously reported – March 2016
The Town has an option to participate in a joint solicitation for a disaster debris contract with Brunswick County.  A joint multijurisdictional contract would give the Town the same level of service as if we were the primary contract holder and would fulfill FEMA requirements in order to allow us to qualify for federal disaster relief and reimbursements.  The Town would be able to declare an emergency at any time, without Brunswick County needing to activate the contract.

Participation in the solicitation docs not contractually obligate the Town to anything. However, given the economies of scale that such an arrangement should bring, staff anticipates a favorable solicitation and recommends the Town take part in the County’s process. A formal agreement based on the solicitation would be the next step and is expected to be available for Board consideration in June.

The contract we had expired, and the vendor is no longer in business. Our last request for proposals did not get any responses. Therefore, we really don’t have any other viable options but to piggyback on the County contract. A formal agreement will come back to the Board for their approval.

Previously reported – June 2016
At the March Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the Board voted to allow the Town to participate in a joint solicitation for a disaster debris contract with Brunswick County.

Recently, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners awarded the contract for management services to Crowder Gulf and the contract for monitoring services to Landfall Strategies. If the Board chooses to approve the contract, the joint multijurisdictional contract would give the Town the same level of service as if we were the primary contract holder and would fulfill FEMA requirements in order to allow us to qualify for federal disaster relief and reimbursements. The Town would be able to declare an emergency at any time, without Brunswick County needing to activate the contract.

David clarified that we are simply piggybacking on the County contract. Reimbursement rates are established by FEMA and the contract locks the vendors into a price. It provides the same level of service as if we the primary contract holder.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – August 2019
Agenda Packet –
MultiJurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement
The Town is a member of the Brunswick County MultiJurisdictional 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 MultiJurisdictional 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 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 

Update –
Same justification as last meeting, the 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


I’m confused, it was my understanding that we already approved this at the last meeting.
.


6. RSM Disbursement Disapproval – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet –

The Town has been billed an additional $988 (Atch 1) for “Professional services rendered in connection with follow-up procedures (Atch 2) to the RSM Internal Control Review Report (Atch 3) which was presented to the SOC at their 15 February Special Meeting (Atch 4). Engagement (Atch 5) was for not to exceed $20,000 per SOC approval of same (Atch 6).  A total of $20,000 has been paid (Atch 7,8,9).

No appropriation exists for the additional charge. No preaudit of the added expense was performed as no negotiations of a final billed amount occurred prior to additional work being performed per the terms of engagement. Additionally, no contract amendment nor review by the LGC as is required occurred.

I have disapproved payment of the $988 invoice per GG 159-28 (b).

The Board of Commissioners may approve the claim per GS 159 (c) subject to appropriating sufficient funds via a budget amendment and formal resolution stating the board’s reasons for allowing the claim.

The Audit Committee selected the firm RSM from Morehead City for the internal control Review. Recommendation is to obtain firm with a not to exceed price of $20,000. Scope of work subject to approval from The North Carolina Local Government Commission.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – July 2018     
Services and Scope of Work
In developing a risk matrix for the Town, we will consider internal control relevant to the Town’s preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design assurance procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances. Our risk assessment procedures are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the controls that are in place and to evaluate potential gaps in internal control that could lead to fraud or error in the above noted transaction cycles. Gaining an understanding of your internal control will assist us in identifying types of potential deficiencies in internal control and factors that affect the risks of material misstatement as assessed by your external auditors. We also will draw on this understanding to provide feedback in internal control risk matrix about opportunities you may have to strengthen controls or streamline processes.

Subject to approval from the Local Government Commission

With the understanding the Audit Chair will report back to the Board

Moved funds of $20,000
From Revenue account #10.0399.0200 to Expense account#10.0410.0400

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Commissioner Fletcher recommended paying but said after discussing the situation with the vendor they withdrew the invoice. They had a brief discussion as to why we should or should not pay invoice. Consensus appears to be the Board established a $20,000-dollar ceiling and that’s that.

No decision was made – No action taken


7. Discussion and Possible Approval for Town Manager to Enter into License Agreement with West End Property Owners Association – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet –

Attorney Fox is crafting a License Agreement with the Holden Beach West POA that will allow Town personnel/equipment additional room should the need arise for working space around the Lift Station 4 site.  The agreement will follow template for similar arrangement at the western edge access of the pier property.

Recommend Board approval and authorize Town Manager execution of same.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Hold Interviews for Vacancies on the Board of Adjustment – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –

There are two Alternate Member positions that are vacant on the Board of Adjustment I recommend the Board schedule a special meeting for October 15th at 6:15 p.m. in order to conduct interviews for the vacancies.

Boards
§ 155.11 MEMBERSHIP AND VACANCIES
No regular member shall serve for more than two consecutive terms,
and a member having served two consecutive terms shall not be eligible for reappointment until after remaining off the Board for one year.

Volunteers needed
The Town is always looking for people to volunteer for their various Boards and Committees. If you are interested, submit a resume form to heather@hbtownhall.com.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


9. Town Manager’s Report

Audit
Already had kickoff meeting with auditor Rives personnel, calendar developed.
Apparently, we are NOT on 2019 Unit Assistance List from Local Government Commission as previously reported. 

Editor’s Note –
Both the Mayor and the Town Manager questioned whether we had ever been on the “list”. Be that as it may, we were contacted by the NC Department of State Treasurer in May of 2019. At that time, we were informed of our inclusion on the 2019 Unit Assistance List. So, I am not sure why the feigned ignorance and implication that we had never been on the “list”.

LWF
LWF crossing bend widener project –
   a)
It was included in the base contract, but the project has to be rebid
   b)
Still waiting for USFW Biological Opinion
.       •
necessary for award and execution of the contract
.    c)
County has committed to local share of 25% ($97,074)
      • beach nourishment as part of a navigation project will get a maximum of 25%
.       • navigation only projects will receive a maximum of 50%. 

County commissioners deny town’s reimbursement request
Read more » click here

Beach Nourishment
Hydrographic Survey to identify locations where we can get more sand from was completed

FEMA / Storm Events
Currently working four (4) federally declared disasters simultaneously

Florence / Michael
FloMike hurricane projects remain stuck in EHP queue

Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) refers to FEMA’s review process for ensuring the protection and enhancement of environmental, historic, and cultural resources, as required by Federal environmental and historic preservation laws and Executive Orders. 

Matthew / Irene
R
evisions made and submitted

FEMA has denied $180k of Town’s $330k request for reimbursement of permitting expenses for the Central Reach / Matthew project /storm damage repair.  Denied costs were not eligible as submitted we do not intend to appeal the disallowed portion. However, we are amending another reimbursement request for Irene to include the $180k.

Dorian
Declaration is still pending, attending FEMA meeting on Wednesday 

Storm Event
Post storm outbrief, discussed issues that need to be addressed in Emergency Plan
Beach strand survey conducted

Sewer System
No issues this time
Best case scenario, it will take at least six (6) hours to get back up and running

Generator
Town Hall genset generator is history
Discussing options – repair cost / noise level / location are all issues being considered

Spoil Area
Dog park was utilized for canal dredging spoil site
We did some site ditching before the storm event to facilitate draining of the pond

Vehicle Decals
Sold like hotcakes the day before storm event
Revenue will exceed budget estimate

New Construction
Eight (8) properties were checked to ensure no negative impact on their setback requirements

Amicus Brief
System Development Fees lawsuit filed on Oak Island
We have filed an Amicus Brief in support of their position
THB will delay activity on our System Development Fees until this has been adjudicated

In split decision, court sides with property owners in Oak Island sewer lawsuit, town plans to appeal

Reversing the decision of the lower court, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina ruled against the Town of Oak Island in a lawsuit raised by property owners of undeveloped lots, despite one judge on the panel dissenting. The issue between property owners and the town dates back to 2015, when owners of undeveloped property on the island filed suit regarding the town’s sewer service fees. Tuesday, Oak Island’s sewer system cost $140 million to install. In 2004, action from North Carolina’s General Assembly allowed the town to charge property owners fees related to the sewer system in order to help reduce the debt the town carried as a result of the sewer installation. The action allows Oak Island to “impose annual fees for the availability of sewer service” on property owners who could or do benefit from the service. From 2010 to 2017, that resulted in developed property owners paying a total of $4,478.57 in fees, while undeveloped property owners would have paid $3,978.08. Additionally, the court pointed out in its ruling that from 2015 to 2017, the owners of undeveloped properties were actually paying more per year than those who owned developed lots. The term “availability” is what the court’s decision ultimately hinged upon, because the plaintiff property owners argued that for those with undeveloped lots, the sewer system is not actually “available” to them. Therefore, they argued, they should not be subject to the fees. They further argued charging undeveloped properties went beyond what the statute establishing the fees allows, and that the collection of the fees was unconstitutional. The appeals court agreed, saying: “although the Session Laws do not define the term ‘availability’ for purposes of imposing the sewer service availability fees, it is clear that the enabling Session Laws do not, as a matter of law, apply to Plaintiffs’ undeveloped property.” Originally, the plaintiffs wanted the court to declare the fees unconstitutional, as well as order the town to refund the fees paid by the owners of the undeveloped properties. In May 2018, when Brunswick County Superior Court Judge James Ammons found in favor of Oak Island, the plaintiffs attempted to change their plea, only asking for the refund. However, the court declined their motion to amend, and instead ruled in favor of Oak Island’s countersuit, therefore upholding the fee structure. As far as those occurrences, the appeals court said it could not weigh in, because the matters were never ruled upon, and therefore couldn’t be appealed. Judge Allegra Collins disagreed with her two fellow judicial colleagues, arguing the opposite with regard to the “availability” language. Collins argues that just because property owners would have to go through the development process in order to connect to the sewer system, doesn’t mean that it isn’t “available” to them. Despite the split decision, the Court of Appeals ruling reverses the ruling and remands the issue back to Brunswick County Superior Court. Town Attorney Brian Edes said in an email Tuesday the town will likely appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. His statement read: The North Carolina Court of Appeals issued a split opinion today ultimately holding that the subject 2006 N.C. Session Law does not authorize the Town of Oak Island to charge a sewer district fee to owners of undeveloped lots. Naturally, we are disappointed with this holding.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – August 2019
Central Reach Project
The Town’s Central Reach Project has been selected as a spotlight project for presentation at the October American Shore and Beach Preservation Association in Myrtle Beach.


10. Mayor’s Comments
The Mayor and the Board all thanked our town employees on a job well done during the storm event. Kudos!

Storm Event
Governor Roy Cooper issued a mandatory evacuation order for all NC barrier islands beginning at 8:00am. E-mail from the Mayor’s Desk stated that there was a mandatory evacuation beginning at 8:00am. Police Officers informed us that it was a mandatory evacuation by 8:00am.

So, beginning at vs. by 8:00am
Big difference!!!

Alan was pretty upset that the Governor declared a mandatory evacuation for Holden Beach. No one in Holden Beach was part of the decision. As far as the government is concerned, beginning at and by are the same thing. We complied with the governors mandatory evacuation and did what we were supposed to do.

 

.

Lots of people here after the mandatory evacuation deadline
Apparently, it was not really clear what was required and when
In disaster situations the key to communication is clarity and we did not have it
Last year the Town kept everyone well informed
This year, not so much


11. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3), To Consult with the Town Attorney and North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(3) To Consult with the Town Attorney

Town Manager’s Performance Review
The Town Managers performance review was supposed to be done on the anniversary date of his hire which is in February. Once again it was not done in a timely manner.

Previously reported – April 2017
Holden Beach manager gets 38 percent pay hike
After a closed-door session at the end of its March meeting, Holden Beach commissioners announced a significant salary increase for Town Manager David Hewett, upping his annual pay from $98,472 to $136,500. The 38 percent increase, Hewett said, is likely reflective of the fact that he has been working two jobs for the town since his hire in 2008, serving as both manager and financial officer. Neither has he had any merit increases in the last three years.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach manager merits 38-percent raise
Town commissioners unanimously approved a 38-percent pay increase for Holden Beach Town Manager David Hewett following a closed session March 21. The action increases Hewett’s salary from $98,472 to $136,500 annually, town clerk Heather Finnell confirmed Monday. It also now makes him the highest paid municipal manager on the Brunswick County coast, compared with Ocean Isle Beach Town Administrator Daisy Ivey’s $125,000, Bald Head Island Village Manager Chris McCall’s $112,000, Oak Island Town Manager David Kelly’s $107,000 and Sunset Beach Town Administrator Susan Parker’s $98,000 annual salaries.

Following the closed session lasting a little over an hour, commissioners voted to prepare an employment agreement using a form approved by Town Attorney Charlotte Noel Fox and agreed upon by Hewett. Details of Hewett’s new salary terms include an adjustment to a salary of $130,000 with a 5-percent merit raise; a severance package to include one month up to 12 months for each year Hewett is employed by the town; a year of health insurance for Hewett’s family or upon other employment, whichever is sooner; and life insurance to be paid by the town up to three times Hewett’s salary. The terms are retroactive to the February 2017 anniversary from Hewett’s hire date.

Hewett was hired nine years ago as town manager/finance director effective Feb. 1, 2008, at a starting salary of $85,000. The West Brunswick High School graduate and Air Force veteran previously served as town administrator in Caswell Beach and prior to that as town manager for seven years in Leland, where he started his local government career in 1999
Read more » click here

Update –
The Board conducts the Town Manager’s performance review in an Executive Session which the public cannot attend. Effective employee performance review systems require quantifiable metrics to accurately gauge each employee’s performance. The Board determines if the Town Manager has earned a merit increase and the amount, it’s their call. The Board is required to announce the amount of any salary increase in open session.
After all, it is part of the public record and it’s paid for with tax money.

The Board announced that they gave the Town Manager a 2% merit increase based on the performance review.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – February 2019
The Town Manager/Finance Officer needs to be given an opportunity to address the issues identified as deficiencies in the internal control report. Action plans need to be established and monitored. All options should be explored before we add the additional expense of hiring a separate Finance Officer. David should be given the chance to take whatever corrective action necessary to fix this. I personally believe it would be premature to take any more aggressive action then that at this time.

It will be interesting to see how this soap opera unfolds, a few possible scenarios:
1) Town outsources some of the financial work
2) Town Manager takes a pay cut and we hire a separate Finance Officer
3) Town Manager either resigns or gets terminated
.   • W
e hire new Town Manager and a separate Finance Officer

Stay tuned …

 

 

Who would have thought he would get a raise instead?

 

.


General Comments –

There were twenty (20) members of the community in attendance

The BOC’s October Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, October 15th


I am unable to attend the October meeting.
We are still publishing the October newsletter, albeit a week later than usual.
October newsletter will be posted on Sunday, October 27th



Municipal Elections
The following candidates have officially filed for Holden Beach municipal elections before the deadline.

Holden Beach Mayor
Alan Holden 128 OBW Holden Beach (incumbent)

Holden Beach Commissioner
Gerald Brown               851 Heron Landing          Holden Beach          (former)
Joe Butler                      169 BAE                              Holden Beach          (incumbent)
John Fletcher                148 Yacht Watch               Holden Beach          (incumbent)
Peter Freer                    198 BAW                            Holden Beach          (incumbent)
Pat Kwiatkowski          1298 OBW                         Holden Beach          (incumbent)
Regina Martin              1032 OBW                         Holden Beach           (former)
Brian Murdock             124 Durham Street          Holden Beach           /
Mike Sullivan                648 OBW                           Holden Beach           (incumbent)
Woody Tyner                137 Tarpon Drive             Holden Beach           /

All five Commissioners seats are up for election, nine candidates have filed. As approved by a referendum in 2017, the three candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to serve four-year terms and the two candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected to serve two-year terms.

 


Hurricane #1 - CR

 

Hurricane Season
For more information » click here

Be prepared – have a plan!

.


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


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HBPOIN – Lou’s Views
.         • Gather and disseminate information
.         • Identify the issues and determine how they affect you

.         • Act as a watchdog
.         • Grass roots monthly newsletter since 2008

https://lousviews.com/

09 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / September Edition

Calendar of Events –


October 3-5              U.S. Open King Mackerel Fishing Tournament, Southport

King Mackerel Tournament - CRForty (40) years ago a small group of community leaders met and decided that they needed an event to showcase the great fall fishing Southport-Oak Island area has to offer. The prizes and expenses for the first tournament were guaranteed by those community leaders signing a promissory note at a local financial institution – thus the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament was born. The U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament now attracts almost 400 boats annually and is held in high esteem by the community and anglers.
For more information » click here


October 5-6               Riverfest, Wilmington

Riverfest - CRWilmington’s Riverfest is celebrated in October and runs from the foot of Market Street to Cape Fear Community College over a half mile of free family entertainment. Riverfest began in 1979 and is now a three-day event.
For more information » click here


October 5               Sunset at Sunset, Sunset Beach

Held the first Saturday in October each year, Sunset at Sunset is the Town of Sunset Beach’s Community Block Party. The 13th annual autumn event is scheduled to happen again this year, in front of Ingram Planetarium on Sunset Blvd in Sunset Beach.
For more information » click here


October 19-20                N.C. Oyster Festival, Ocean Isle Beach

Oyster Festival Logo - CRThis is the thirty-ninth (39th) annual North Carolina Oyster Festival. The coastal waters of Brunswick County provide an abundance of the marine mollusks each year bringing over 30,000 people to Ocean Isle Beach to celebrate the tasty treat. The beach center becomes a walking district that offers something for everyone: local cuisine, arts and crafts, children’s activities, live music, Oyster Stew Cook-off and the Oyster Shucking Contest.
For more information » click here


October 26-27                                               N.C. Festival by the Sea, Holden Beach

Hosted by the Holden Beach Merchants Association this two day festival occurs on the last full weekend in October. This two day event is kicked off with a parade down the Holden Beach causeway. There is a fishing tournament, horseshoe tournament, and a sandcastle building contest. Vendors provide food, arts and crafts, amusement rides and other activities. There is live musical entertainment both days at the Holden Beach’s Pavilion.
For more information » click here


 Events
TDA - logo
Discover a wide range of things to do in the Brunswick Islands for an experience that goes beyond the beach.
For more information » click here


Calendar of Events – Island


International Coastal Clean-up
The Town of Holden Beach will participate in the International Coastal Clean-up on Saturday, September 21st. Participants will be assigned a beach access or waterway park area to clean. If you are interested, please call Town Hall at (910) 842-6488 to get your beach access assignment.

Harnessing the Power of People to Fight Ocean Trash
The International Coastal Cleanup began more than 30 years ago, when communities rallied together with the common goal of collecting and documenting the trash littering their coastline.


SEARCH 5K Color Run
See Every Athlete Run for Conditional Health. The purpose of the program and of this event is to work on reducing childhood obesity by promoting healthy, active lifestyles into adulthood. This year the event is scheduled for Saturday, October 19th.


Boo at the Beach
Mark your calendars. Boo at the Beach will be held on Saturday, October 19th from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Holden Beach Pavilion. This free event features booths with carnival games for children, sponsored by organizations, business and residents. Community organizations who would like to participate by providing a carnival game and candy in exchange for advertising their business should contact the Town at (910) 842-6488.


Parks & Recreation / Programs & Events
For more information » click here


Reminders –



Speed Limit
Please take notice – Speed limit seasonal limitations, in accordance with Town Ordinances. Speed limit will change on OBW from 35mph to 45mph west of the general store. This change will take place on October 1st and be effective through March 31st  


Vehicle Decals
It is important that you have your
vehicle decals in place in order to avoid being denied access to the island once re-entry is allowed during a storm event. If you do not have your decals, contact Town Hall now. Decals shall not be issued during the 24-hour period prior to an anticipated order of evacuation.


Solid Waste Collection Schedule    
Solid waste was being collected by Waste Industries on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Waste Industries change in service, trash pickup will be once a week. This year September 28th was the last Saturday trash pick-up until June. Trash collection went back to Tuesdays only.

Recycling – last weekly pick-up is September 24th
Waste Industries change in service, schedule goes back to every other Tuesday 

Please note:
.     • Trash carts must be at the street by 6:00 a.m. on the pickup day.
    • Carts will be rolled back to the front of the house.
    • BAG the trash before putting it in the cart.


 

Pets on the Beach Strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / 90.20
Effective September 10th

.

.
. 1) Pets allowed back on the beach strand during the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm
. 2) Dog’s need to be on a leash
. 3) Owner’s need to clean up after their animals




BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, October 15th

 


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


Volunteers needed
The Town is always looking for people to volunteer for their various boards and committees. If you are interested in serving, please fill out a resume form and submit it to heather@hbtownhall.com.


Recycling-Bin
Curbside Recycling

Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $82.48 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here


Elevator - CRElevators
Most states mandate that elevator systems be tested and inspected annually. Currently the state of North Carolina does not require annual inspections to be performed on all elevator systems. The use of unsafe and defective lifting devices imposes a substantial probability of serious and preventable injury to your family and guests. It is in the owner’s best interest to minimize injuries and liability by scheduling an annual safety inspection to ensure the safe operation of their elevator system.

Safety Notice –
Waupaca Elevator Company has issued an important safety notice. The potential hazard is associated with normal wear in your elevator. If your elevator develops the problem and it is not repaired, the elevator may drop unexpectedly with you in it and you may be injured. They recommend you contact your elevator service company.

Waupaca Elevator Recalls to Inspect Elevators Due to Injury Hazard

Hazard:
The elevator cab can fall unexpectedly to the bottom of the elevator shaft and abruptly stop, posing an injury hazard to consumers in the elevator cab.

Consumer Contact:
Waupaca Elevator toll-free at 833-850-7981 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, e-mail at info@WaupacaElevator.com or online at www.WaupacaElevator.com and click on Recall Information for more information.

Recall Details

Description:
This recall involves residential elevator models Custom Lift 450# and Custom Lift 500#, shipped and installed between 1979 and 2008. The recalled elevators are used in consumers’ homes.

Remedy:
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled elevators and contact Waupaca Elevator to schedule a free gearbox inspection and the installation of a free overspeed braking device. Waupaca Elevator also will provide the installation of a free gearbox if the gearbox inspection reveals that the gears in the gearbox have worn down.

For more information » click here


Library
If you need something to keep you busy in this colder weather, make sure to visit the island library. The library is in the upstairs of Holden Beach Town Hall. All the books were donated. Patrons of the library don’t have to check out a book; they are on the honor system to return it.



Neighborhood Watch –

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


Upon Further Review –


 

Turtle Watch Program – 2019

. 1) Current nest count – 105 as of 09/22/19
.
Average annual number of nests is 39.5
. 2)
First nest of the season was on May 9th

.


A record number of nests this year, breaking the previous record of 73 set in 2013


Total number of nests historically –

  1. 2012: 48
  2. 2013: 73
  3. 2014: 19
  4. 2015: 53
  5. 2016: 52
  6. 2017: 50
  7. 2018: 30
  8. 2019: 105

For more information » click here

N.C. beaches seeing a sea turtle nesting boom
Officials hope decades of protection efforts both on the beach and in the ocean are finally paying off
With the busiest months of nesting season behind us, some sites in Southeastern N.C. have seen more sea turtles laying their eggs on local beaches. As of the end of July, the number of nests from the northern Outer Banks to Bird Island was 2,136. “Previously, 2016 was our biggest year on record, with 1,622 loggerhead nests,” said Matthew Godfrey, a sea turtle biologist with the N.C. Sea Turtle Nesting Monitoring and Protection project. A total of 1,650 nest were reported that year. While the group began monitoring nesting activities in the late 1970s, complete data is only available for the state’s beaches since 2009. June and July are typically the busiest for nesting, but August and September can also see a number of visits.
Read more » click here

It’s a banner year for sea turtles along the North Carolina coast.
What’s behind it?
Read more » click here

How did North Carolina’s sea turtle nests fare during Dorian?
The fast-moving hurricane appears to have had a limited impact on the state’s remaining nests.
Read more » click here


PAR Course / Fitness Trail
Par Course is a fitness trail which consists of a course equipped with a series of stations distributed along the way where one is to stop and perform a specific exercise. The course is designed for exercising the human body to promote good health. March of 2011 the BOC’s approved a contract between the Town and Holden Beach Enterprises for the purchase of eighteen properties for $76,000 that had a tax assessment value of $1,976,020. The properties were zoned conservation and are located on the second row, between Greensboro and Scotch Bonnet.

The Holden Beach course is located on that quarter mile stretch on the north side of OBW. The course consists of twenty (20) exercise stations with multiple stations clustered together. The plan was approved in August 2011 and installation of the equipment was completed in September of 2011. Par Course was supposed to include benches, water fountains and palm trees with project costs already in budget with the BPART account as the source of the funding. Original plans called for seventy (70) palm trees but in February of 2012 the Board waffled and decided to put installing any vegetation on hold. Programmed funds for palms were not executed per BOC’s   and were returned to fund balance. So currently there is no vegetation there. It sorely needs some landscaping to make it more visually appealing.

So, let me get this straight –
We paid an engineer and landscape architect
We had Parks & Recreation Advisory Board recommend approval
We had Town staff support plan
Plan was approved by BOC’s in August of 2011
Installation of equipment was completed in September of 2011
Raging debate about vegetation was in February of 2012
.       •
Went from 70 palm trees to no vegetation
Benches and water fountains were installed in January of 2013
.       • We are still undecided about vegetation there

We still have not completely implemented plan

that was approved some ninety-six (96) months ago.


Corrections & Amplifications –


Gerrymandering
Previously reported – January 2018
Federal court voids North Carolina’s GOP-drawn congressional map for partisan gerrymandering
Read more » click here

Previously reported – September 2018
NC Congressional Districts Unconstitutionally Gerrymandered 
A panel of three federal judges ruled for the second time this year that the state’s congressional map was drawn to so egregiously benefit Republicans that it violates the Constitution.

North Carolina Republicans’ long track record of unconstitutional laws
This week a panel of federal judges ruled that North Carolina Republicans unconstitutionally gerrymandered the state’s congressional districts to disadvantage Democrats, the latest move in a legal saga going back to 2011.

Gerrymandering is the process by which legislators draw voting districts that give their own party a political advantage. The North Carolina map, for instance, allowed Republicans to take 10 out of the state’s 13 House seats in 2016 despite winning 53 percent of the statewide popular vote.
Read more » click here

Update –
North Carolina court strikes down state legislative map as unconstitutional gerrymander
A North Carolina court on Tuesday struck down the Republican-drawn state legislative map as an illegal partisan gerrymander and gave lawmakers two weeks to enact new district lines for next year’s elections.
Read more » click here

Three North Carolina Judges Step in Where the Supreme Court Refuses
The Supreme Court’s conservatives said gerrymandering was not a matter for courts, leaving the job of protecting democratic self-rule to state judges.
Read more » click here


Odds & Ends


Brunswick County residents invited to take hurricane survey
North Carolina’s estuarine habitats provide a wide range of benefits from being nursery habitats to filtering water pollution but are increasingly threatened by natural and human pressures. One of the greatest challenges for managing the coast is that drivers of habitat loss happen at different scales. For example, changes can be caused by short-term events, like hurricanes, or long-term from every day waves. A suite of options exist to manage erosion, such as hard bulkheads and nature-based living shorelines, but research comparing the various options and their broader impacts is limited. This study seeks to better understand how people and habitats are impacted based on the shoreline management project near them. This study combines science from multiple disciplines, through geospatial, emerging low-cost remote sensing and aerial mapping technologies, waterfront homeowner surveys, and citizen science. This study hopes to understand long-term patterns of shoreline and coastal habitat change, identify socio-ecological mechanisms responsible for shoreline and habitat changes and test citizen science-based approaches for future shoreline monitoring. As part of this study, researchers at East Carolina University and University of North Carolina at Wilmington have collaborated to develop an online survey related to people’s experiences during Hurricane Florence and their experiences living on the coast in North Carolina. The survey is part of a larger study on the impacts of shoreline management strategies. To access the survey, go to tinyurl.com/NCCoastalSurvey2019.Resilience of North Carolina estuarine ecosystems is dependent upon coastal management decisions made now. The results of this study will directly inform future coastal management, serve as a mechanism to educate homeowners on shoreline conservation and management strategies and enable the development of long-term, cost-effective shoreline monitoring procedures that can be scaled up to state or region levels.
10A Brunswick Beacon

County residents invited to take NC Coastal Shoreline and Hurricane Survey

>> Take survey at tinyurl.com/NCCoastalSurvey2019

>> Learn more about the NC Coastal Shoreline and Hurricane Survey and Study

North Carolina’s estuarine habitats provide a wide range of benefits from being nursery habitats to filtering water pollution but are increasingly threatened by natural and human pressures. One of the greatest challenges for managing the coast is that drivers of habitat loss happen at different scales. For example, changes can be caused by short-term events, like hurricanes, or long-term from every day waves. A suite of options exist to manage erosion, such as hard bulkheads and nature-based living shorelines, but research comparing the various options and their broader impacts is limited. This study seeks to better understand how people and habitats are impacted based on the shoreline management project near them. This study combines science from multiple disciplines, through geospatial, emerging low-cost remote sensing and aerial mapping technologies, waterfront homeowner surveys, and citizen science.

This study hopes to understand:
1. Long-term patterns of shoreline and coastal habitat change;
2.
Identify socio-ecological mechanisms responsible for shoreline and habitat changes;
3.
Test citizen science-based approaches for future shoreline monitoring.

As part of this study, researchers at East Carolina University and University of North Carolina Wilmington have collaborated to develop an online survey related to people’s experiences during Hurricane Florence and their experiences living on the coast in North Carolina. The survey is part of a larger study on the impacts of shoreline management strategies.

To access the survey, go to tinyurl.com/NCCoastalSurvey2019

Resilience of North Carolina estuarine ecosystems is dependent upon coastal management decisions made now. The results of this study will directly inform future coastal management, serve as a mechanism to educate homeowners on shoreline conservation and management strategies, and enable the development of long-term, cost-effective shoreline monitoring procedures that can be scaled up to state or region levels.


Previously reported – July 2018


Cape Fear Council of Governments Letter
The Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) is pleased to submit this proposal and agreement to develop a Comprehensive Land Use Plan (LUP) for the Town of Holden Beach. Assisting our member governments is a primary tenet of our mission and vision, and we hope that we can continue our years of involvement by performing the work outlined in the Proposal for you.

In the past few years, the CFCOG has developed or updated Land Use Plans for Ocean Isle Beach, Boiling Spring Lakes, Shallotte, Sunset Beach, Southport, and Topsail Beach. Our reputation for professionalism, competence, and technical skill has been earned by delivering valuable products that meet or exceed customer expectations. Our staff values that reputation and we look forward to the opportunity to validate it during the process of developing your Land Use Plan.

This project will be led by our Senior Regional Planner, Wes Macleod, who will be the primary contact for the Town. I will provide oversight and technical support. As CFCOG’s Executive Director, Chris May will be available to the Town to oversee staff and to guide the entire process. The CFCOG will work with Holden Beach to settle on a completion date and will not exceed our proposed budget of $30,000 to be expended over the course of two fiscal years.
For more information » click here

HOLDEN BEACH LAND USE PLAN / PUBLIC INPUT MEETING
A public input meeting will be held on Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly. This meeting is held as part of the land use planning process for the Town of Holden Beach. Holden Beach’s Land Use Plan provides guidance to local decision-makers to achieve the long-term vision for the community. This allows local decision makers to be proactive rather than reactive and helps maintain Holden Beach as one of the finest family-oriented beaches on the East Coast of the United States. The meeting is structured to be engaging and informative.

Town’s Land Use Plan

Previously reported – February 2019
Holden Beach residents give input for updated land use plan
Holden Beach residents at a Feb. 7 meeting with the Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) were able to give input on the town’s developing land use plan. Town commissioners voted in July to approve an agreement between the town and the CFCOG for a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) land use plan update. A land use plan is an official document containing goals, policies, analyses and maps that serves as a community’s blueprint for growth, Wes MacLeod, senior regional planner with CFCOG, told attendees at the special meeting, providing them with some of the data about the town already collected for the land use plan.

MacLeod provided history on the town’s population growth, which shows a decrease of more than 200 residents from the year 2000, with 787 permanent town residents, to 575 permanent residents in 2010. As of 2016 the number of permanent Holden Beach residents was 633. It’s estimated that the population will grow to 708 in 2020, 783 in 2025, 859 in 2030, 935 in 2035, 1,016 in 2040 and 1,095 by 2046. The median age for the town is 61.4, compared to the county’s median age of 50.9, and the state’s median age of 38.3. The majority of those living in Holden Beach are considered Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 74), making up 56.35 percent of the town. For the seasonal population, the most recent data from 2016 showed the peak seasonal overnight population estimate for Holden Beach at 16,811 people. The median value of owner-occupied housing in Holden Beach as of 2016 was $406,000.

MacLeod also showed information from the community survey update. He said CFCOG received 891 responses, including 810 property owner responses and 81 non-resident responses, including visitors and off-island residents. The survey showed Holden Beach residents when it comes to new private development desires, would most like to see more entertainment on the island like restaurants and theaters, low-density single-family residences and small businesses that serve the needs of residents. Survey takers said they consider the most important roles for the town to play in influencing the character of development on Holden Beach to be managing the density and intensity of new development by regulating the size and layout of buildings, protecting the beach and encouraging continued coastal storm damage reduction and beach protection and retaining and enhancing the community’s appearance through landscaping, signs, lighting and architectural standards. They also said coastal storm damage reduction, density development and environmental protections are the most important growth and development issues facing Holden Beach. When it comes to transportation issues, survey takers said the most important ones are maintenance of the town’s existing roadways, parking availability/public access congestion and roadway drainage. When asked to share their favorite things about Holden Beach, the most common responses from survey takers were its lack of commercial development, its uncrowded and clean beaches, its family-friendly atmosphere, its natural resources including the beaches and marshes, it’s quiet, off-season “solitude’ and the fact that the town is mostly made up of single-family houses.

Attendees were then given a brainstorming exercise. MacLeod wrote down on large pieces of paper what those at the meeting thought were the town’s most important assets, important issues and their desires for the future in Holden Beach. Attendees were then given dots to place next to the two of those they considered the most important. Preliminary results showed attendees saw the most important assets as the beach, the lack of commercial development, Lockwood Folly and the marshes and wetlands. The most important issues appeared to be rising sea levels, offshore drilling and stormwater. As for desires for the town, the most popular answers were sustainable growth, improving the causeway’s appearance and a fully maintained and marked inlet. MacLeod said the answers would be tallied by CFCOG to be used in the land use plan.
Read more » click here

Update –
Land Use Plan Steering Committee’s meeting was held on August 27th.
Agenda Packet » click here
This should be their last meeting; a draft will be sent to P&Z for approval.
Land Use Plan Engagement Session was held on September 17th.
View draft of the plan » click here

What is the Land Use Plan?
“Holden Beach’s Land Use Plan provides guidance to local decision-makers seeking to achieve the community’s long-term vision. This process allows public officials, staff, and other stakeholders to be proactive rather than reactive in maintaining Holden Beach’s status as one of the finest family oriented coastal communities on the East Coast of the United States. This plan builds on the previous land use plans prepared by Holden Beach in 1980, 1985, 1990, 1997, and 2009. It encompasses all geographic areas in the community; considering issues of future land use, development, and natural resource protection. The plan is long-range in nature and looks beyond current issues to address potential future land use and environmental issues over the next 10 to 15 years and beyond.”   

If you have any input or questions email them to HBPOA@hotmail.com


This & That


Meet the Candidates Night
The Holden Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) will host its “Meet the Candidates Night” on Friday, October 18th in the Town Hall meeting room. The objective of their event is to help you make an informed decision when you vote for Town leaders.

HBPOA invites all property owners to suggest topics and submit questions for the candidates to address.  Please e-mail your questions to: h.b.candidates@gmail.com. They will submit the questions to every candidate and give them plenty of time to compose their written answers. The candidate’s responses will be available on the HBPOA website prior to the session and copies will be handed out the night of the event. During the session, each candidate will have time to introduce themselves, describe their qualifications, tell us about their platform, and where they stand on key issues. They will also take questions from the floor for the candidates to answer. Candidates Night provides a way for citizens to listen to the voices of those who seek to lead by serving as municipal officers of the Town of Holden Beach.
For more information » click here


Could Holden Beach still lose its pier?
The pier went on the market in October 2018, and owner Guilford Bass said a potential buyer is investigating the property
On a warm Friday evening in August, the Holden Beach Fishing Pier is a busy place. Anglers are purchasing supplies, and vacationers are stopping by for ice cream and a moonlight stroll. The 510-foot-long pier has been a fixture on Holden Beach since 1959 — ten years before Holden Beach was incorporated as a town. But with the pier currently on the market, its future is very much in question. According to a brochure from Wilmington-based Cape Fear Commercial, the pier and it’s adjacent parcels, which include a 10-room motel and an RV park, are up for sale. The eight parcels total more than 4 acres, with about 735 feet of beach frontage. While the property is not yet under contract, property owner Guilford Bass said a potential buyer is considering the site.
Read more » click here


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


A Second Helping
They just completed the fifteenth year of the program. For the last thirteen weeks they have collected food on Saturday mornings in front of Beach Mart; the food is distributed to the needy in Brunswick County. During this summer season, they collected 14,330 pounds of food and $2,780 in monetary donationsTheir food collections have now exceeded two hundred and forty-three thousand (243,000) pounds of food since this program began in June of 2005. Hunger exists everywhere in this country.  Thanks to the Holden Beach vacationers for donating again this year!  Cash donations are gratefully accepted. One hundred percent (100%) of these cash donations are used to buy more food. You can be assured that the money will be very well spent.

Mail Donations to:
A Second Helping % Douglas Cottrell
2939 Alan Trail
Supply, NC 28462                         

Website:
http://www.secondhelping.us/


Hot Button Issues
Subjects that are important to people and about which they have strong opinions


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Climate
For more information » click here

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Major Climate Change Rules the Trump Administration Is Reversing
The move to rescind environmental rules governing emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, brings to 85 the total number of environmental rules that the Trump administration has worked to repeal. Officials at the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies have called the regulations burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other businesses. Half of those environmental rollback attempts, like the new methane reversal, will undercut efforts by previous administrations to reduce emissions and fight climate change. Many of these efforts have been challenged in the courts; whether the administration will succeed in achieving all of its goals is far from certain.
Read more » click here


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Development Fees
For more information » click here
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Flood Insurance Program
For more information » click here
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GenX
For more information » click here
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Homeowners Insurance
For more information » click here

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N.C. Rate Bureau requests rate increase for dwelling policies
The North Carolina Department of Insurance received a dwelling insurance rate filing from the N.C. Rate Bureau on Aug. 14. The N.C. Rate Bureau, which is not part of the Department of Insurance, represents all companies writing property insurance in the state. The NCRB requested a statewide average rate increase of 19.2%, varying by territory, with a requested effective date of July 1, 2020. The filing includes a requested increase of 24.3% in extended (wind) coverage and an increase of 4.6% in fire coverage. The proposed rate increases are capped by territory at 30% for extended coverage and 5% for fire coverage. Dwelling insurance policies are not homeowners’ insurance policies. Dwelling policies are for non-owner-occupied residences of no more than four units, including rental properties, investment properties and other properties that are not occupied full time by the property owner.
Read more » click here 
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Hurricane Season

For more information » click here

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Governor orders mandatory evacuation for barrier islands
Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered a mandatory evacuation for all barrier islands, including all Brunswick County beaches, effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday as Hurricane Dorian moves up the East Coast.
Read more » click here

Area beaches see minimal Dorian erosion, even gain sand
Even with reports of minor erosion, area beaches are exhaling a collective sigh of relief after the brush with Dorian, which skirted Southeastern North Carolina as a Category 2 storm overnight Thursday. Officials woke up Friday expecting the worst, only to find Dorian’s visit had gone better than expected — especially in the case of erosion.
Read more » click here

Brunswick officials breathe collective sigh of relief following Dorian’s passing
While the southern areas of Brunswick County appeared to bear the brunt of Hurricane Dorian, the central areas of Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and the Town of Shallotte fortunately suffered no significant damages during the storm.

Holden Beach
Beginning Thursday, Sept. 5, Mayor Alan Holden released information through the Holden Beach Newsletter and issued several communications throughout the storm. His 1:01 p.m. newsletter stated intermittent rain falling along the island with intervals of sunshine. The surf continued to become “more aggressive” throughout the afternoon as islanders anticipated stronger winds and rains into the evening. Holden stated he expected winds speeds of approximately 90 mph. Due to the prediction the storm was expected to pass offshore, Holden stated he expected less damage as the island appeared to be on the “good side” of Dorian’s path. Holden predicted storm surge could reach up to seven feet, especially if the wind direction shifted, pushing waters westerly. As the storm predictions pushed the storm’s overhead passing into the evening, Holden stated it would likely be Friday morning before “a reasonable safe inspection can be attempted.” Holden also stressed that allowing residents back to the island was “a priority.” The municipal water and sewer systems were shut off, but the island continued to receive power. Holden also reminded property owners decals were required to cross the bridge.

Later shortly after 9 p.m., Holden issued a second newsletter announcing the island “was in good shape.” He described the ocean as rough and rain bands as “active.” No water wash overs had been reported. The mayor reiterated he did not expect the island to suffer any major damages. He advised the Holden Beach Sewer Department would be checking systems as soon as possible “in hopes of returning to normal operations.” Holden, like the other Brunswick beaches, shifted to water stored in the town water tanks during the storm.

By Friday at 10:30 a.m., Holden assured residents the Public Works Department was working to get the sewer system up and running. The Holden Beach Fire Department was checking safety issues and the police department was patrolling for security. Holden and Town Manager David Hewett continued contact with authorities as required. Holden stated there was “very little damage to the houses. The beachfront suffered very little erosion. There are no dune breaches. There are some streets that have water too deep to drive through. Some canal homes have water in the yards and possibly in ground level garages, etc. There is very little roof damage on the island and very little damage to siding on the houses.”

Shortly before noon, Holden stated the “governor of North Carolina has given permission to open the island subject to local authority approval. Residents with 2019 approved decals will be allowed to re-enter and cross the bridge at 12:00 noon today. The island will open to the public at 12:30 p.m.” “Holden Beach has again dodged a bullet at the very last minute,” Holden stated. Throughout the storm, the beach continued to have power. The majority of streets were safe, and the sewer system was “almost 100 percent.”
Read more » click here

How did North Carolina’s sea turtle nests fare during Dorian?
The fast-moving hurricane appears to have had a limited impact on the state’s remaining nests.
Read more » click here

As part of Florence recovery, NC could help your favorite beach pay for sand
Florence’s damage is part of the reason, budget writers said, that the state budget includes $21.5 million for beach nourishment projects. Should North Carolina pass a budget containing those funds, it would come on the heels of $18.5 million in the state’s Florence disaster relief package, all adding up to the state’s first true effort to build its Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation — or beach nourishment — fund.
Read more » click here


 

Inlet Hazard Areas
For more information » click here

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Public Can Weigh in on Inlet Hazard Updates
The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management will host of public meetings on proposed updated inlet hazard area boundaries and building rules within those areas, after a series of hearings about the updated erosion rates used to determine the proposed IHAs. Everyone from coastal property owners to developers will get a chance to weigh in on the preliminary boundaries, which were approved earlier this year by the state Coastal Resources Commission, or CRC.

The CRC unanimously approved the fiscal analysis and rule amendments to the proposed inlet hazard areas, or IHAs, Wednesday during the commission’s quarterly meeting held in Wilmington. That analysis, approved Aug. 30 by the Office of State Budget and Management and state Department of Environmental Quality, details the number of structures removed from and added to be included within the boundaries. Currently there are 750 structures within IHAs, which are defined as shorelines especially vulnerable to erosion and flooding where inlets can shift suddenly and dramatically. Of those structures, 307 would be removed from ocean hazard areas, or OHAs, under the proposed boundary revisions. Any of those homes built before 1980 would, for the first time in nearly 40 years, not be included inside of these boundaries, according to Ken Richardson, shoreline management specialist with Division of Coastal Management.

OHAs are made up of three areas of environmental concern, or AECs: IHAs, ocean erodible areas, or OEAs, and unvegetated beach. The proposed updated boundaries would include a total of about 930 structures within IHAs. Of those, 219 would be new to the OHA, meaning this would be the first time they would be within an IHA or OEA. Properties newly exempt from the OHA will have less stringent development and redevelopment rules than those within an IHA. AECs are identified as areas that may be easily destroyed by erosion or flooding or may have environmental, social, economic or aesthetic values that make it valuable to the state. More than 2,900 acres of land is within IHA boundaries at 10 of the 19 active inlets in the state. The 10 are: Tubbs, Shallotte and Lockwood Folly inlets in Brunswick County; Carolina Beach, Masonboro, Mason and Rich inlets in New Hanover County; New Topsail Inlet in Pender County; New River Inlet in Onslow County; and Bogue Inlet in Carteret County.

A majority of IHAs are being expanded under the proposed boundaries, which include building setbacks that vary from inlet to inlet. The science panel that advises the CRC has for years worked on the proposed setbacks, studying historical shoreline data at each inlet and using that information to predict erosion and accretion rates at those inlets. Building setbacks in the new boundaries are set based on annual inlet erosion rates rather than oceanfront erosion rates. For some of the inlets, this method of calculation equates to no change in the current building setbacks. For others, the setbacks vary. Setback requirements will not change for a little more than 730 properties in IHAs. Fifty-seven properties will have decreased setback requirements, while setback requirements will increase for 137 properties. Under the proposed changes, boundaries and setbacks will be reviewed every five years.

Richardson told the CRC last week that OEAs and IHAs are not factors in the calculation of flood insurance premiums. The proposed IHA updates “do not have an immediate negative or positive impact” to community National Flood Insurance Policy’s Community Rating System, a voluntary program that incentivizes communities that go above and beyond the minimum floodplain management requirements, according to the fiscal analysis.

The updated rules maintain the structure size limitation to no more than 5,000 square feet of heated space and no more than one unit per 15,000 square feet of land area. Homes and businesses that exceed the size limit and would be included in the new boundaries would be grandfathered under the rules. IHA rules apply to property owners who want built a new structure or replace one that has been damaged and requires more than 50% repair.

If approved, the amended boundaries and rules may be adopted by early next year.

Public hearings on the updated erosion rates use to determine the proposed IHAs will be held at the following times and locations:

  • 10 a.m. Oct. 3, Northeast Library, 1241 Military Cutoff Road, Wilmington.
  • 2 p.m. Oct. 3, Harper Library, 109 W. Moore St., Southport.
  • 1:30 p.m. Oct. 8, Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, 822 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke.
  • 10 a.m. Oct. 9, Nags Head Board of Commissioners room, 5401 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head.
  • 2:30 p.m. Oct. 9, Outer Bank Center for Wildlife Education, 1160 Village Lane, Corolla.
  • 10 a.m. Oct. 15, Surf City Welcome Center, 102 North Shore Drive, Surf City.
  • 3 p.m. Oct. 15, Sneads Ferry Library, 1330 N.C. 210, Sneads Ferry.
  • 3 p.m. Oct. 17, North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, 400 Commerce Ave., Morehead City.
    Read more » click here.

 

Lockwood Folly Inlet
For more information » click here
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Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling
For more information » click here
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Solid Waste Program

For more information » click here
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Things I Think I Think –

Dining #2Eating out is one of the great little joys of life.

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// May 2019
Name:            Villa Romana                                                                                          Cuisine:           Italian
Location:        707 South Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach SC
Contact:          843.448.4990 /
www.villaromanamyrtlebeach.com
Food:                Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:           Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:      Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                 Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:            Three Stars
A quintessential Italian restaurant, it feels like the great Italian restaurants that were more prevalent many years ago. The decor mirrors traditional Roman architecture with its columns, statues and fountains. The roving accordion player contributes to its old-world charm. Established in 1985, Villa Romana has one of the most interesting Italian menus in Myrtle Beach. The menu reflects home-style interpretations of their family recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. What makes them great is they are happy to prepare any dishes you want as long as the ingredients are available. I just can’t say enough good things about this restaurant and the incredible dining experience they provide. It’s about as good as it gets!


Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
/////


RECURSION
by Blake Crouch
Technothriller about the space-time continuum. Neuroscientist Dr. Helena Smith who studies memory and N.Y.P.D. detective Barry Sutton make an unlikely pair. A machine she designed to help people relive their memories creates apocalyptic consequences, it has the ability to change memory and thereby reality. They join forces in a Groundhog Day maneuver to stabilize the continuum.

 .

 

REPLAY by Ken Grimwood
Replay, published in 1986, asks the question: “What if you could live your life over again?”  Jeff Winston repeatedly dies and wakes up earlier in his life, each time the length of the loopbacks growing shorter. He relives his life, over and over, with intact memories of the previous lives.


.


That’s it for this newsletter

See you next month


HBPOIN / Lou’s Views

.          • Gather and disseminate information
.          • Identify the issues and determine how they affect you

.          • Act as a watchdog
.          • Grass roots monthly newsletter since 2008

https://lousviews.com/

08 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 08/06/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet »
SPD&A Proposal
Martin Starnes Proposal
Rives Proposal
Bernard Robinson Proposal

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Selection of Auditor for Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2019 – Town Manager Hewett 

The audit committee voted unanimously to recommend we continue with Rives. We solicited proposals from qualified auditors that service other beach communities. Town initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP) and received four responses. Rives cost was significantly higher at @$32,000 and was twice what we budgeted for. That said, they are the only one that actually knows the amount of work that will be required, and their hourly rate was competitive with the other proposals.  In addition, Rives’ not-to-exceed bid price of $31,760 and variable-cost is our lowest risk and cost option.

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)

Commissioners
Kwiatkowski and Sullivan both voted against retaining Rives as our auditor

The Board will need to amend the budget in a subsequent meeting

2. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(1), Approval of Minutes and Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(6), To Discuss a Personnel Matter – Commissioner Sullivan & Commissioner Kwiatkowski


BOC’s Special Meeting 08/12/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 19-12, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 19-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 (Amendment No. 2)

Moved funds of $16,976
From Revenue account #10.0399.0200 to Expense account#50.0410.0400

A decision was made – Approved (3-1)

Commissioner Kwiatkowski voted against allocating extra funds for the proposed contract

2. Discussion and Possible Action on the Audit Contract for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 with Rives and Associates 

A decision was made – Approved (3-1)

Commissioner Kwiatkowski voted against approving the contract as written

Commissioner Butler – was not in attendance


Improvement needed after Holden Beach town audit
The Holden Beach Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, July 16, appeared to ruffle some feathers as board members questioned the 2018 audit presentation and the additional expenses incurred. Jay E. Sharpe of Rives & Associates, LLP, an accounting firm with offices in Raleigh, Charlotte and Lexington, presented the results of the 2018 audit.  Sharpe’s presentation indicated the town is financially in good shape as of the June 30th end of the fiscal year. Based on Sharpe’s findings, the town’s revenues outpace its expenses, its fund balance is “moving in the right direction,” the town’s property tax base is increasing even while the tax rate did not increase. The largest expenditures are public safety, followed by general government, transportation and environmental protection.

During the meeting, however, Commissioner Pat Kwiatkowski raised several questions. First, she asked, “why has the board not seen the actual final version” of the audit report. Secondly, she questioned the timeline of the audit process. “Why did it take so long?” Hurricane Florence delayed the audit fieldwork, creating a “material weakness.” Sharpe said. A material weakness refers to deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a misstatement of a town’s or other entity’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. Kwiatkowski also asked Sharpe “how do you assess the qualifications of the (town) staff (to) prepare its financial reports?”

In the summary of auditor’s results, Sharpe’s report states under the category of internal control over financial reporting, the audit identified material weaknesses, significant deficiency not considered to be material weaknesses, and noncompliance material to financial statements noted. His report further stated a significant deficiency regarding the town having an employee who is familiar with governmental accounting principles that “can review its financial statements each year and determine if they have been prepared accurately. “The Town’s staff has the ability to perform daily functions to operate the finance department. However, their expertise is limited in the area of financial statement preparation in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, specifically with full accrual basis statements as required by GASB 34.” GASB is a private, nonprofit organization formed in 1984 to develop and improve accounting and financial standards for state and local governments. In June 1999, GASB approved GASB-34, the latest in a series of standards that the board has issued. This proclamation requires that state and local governments begin to report on the value of their infrastructure assets—including roads, bridges, dams, and water and sewer facilities—and to develop procedures and methods for asset management systems. Under the current reporting method, revenue and expenditures are recorded in the fiscal year in which they are received or paid (cash-basis accounting). Under the GASB-34 method, governments must account for revenues and expenditures for the period in which they are earned or incurred (accrual-basis accounting). In addition, all current and long-term assets and liabilities, such as infrastructure and general obligation debts, need to be reported within the balance sheet. The report identifies the cause “as the town budget limits the number of personnel it can hire for various functions and training of these personnel.”

 In closing the report stated the administration has increased its budget for training and has hired part-time services “to perform financial reporting, train and assist current staff in preparation of the town’s financial reports.” In an e-mail dated July 19, Kwiatkowski states: “I believe the Town’s financial department is capable of handling their responsibilities. Mr. Sharpe indicated the rules and regulations impacting government finance reporting continually increase, and the town staff is receiving additional training and outside assistance to be prepared to meet new standards.” During Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Pro Tem John Fletcher stated the town has contracted “outside help to help staff” improve its accounting procedures.

Commissioner Mike Sullivan reminded the board “time is of the essence.” He also stated the town was “on a list.” According to Kwiatkowski, the list Sullivan referred to “was due to a letter the Town received from the LGC (Local Government Commission) because the audit report has not been submitted on time. The LGC will be watching next year’s audit report is provided according to the schedule.” The Local Government Commission is a division of the state treasurer’s office. The LGC assist local governments and “is responsible for monitoring and ensuring towns’ fiscal health. The LGC can intervene if it appears a town is not managing its financial obligations appropriately,” she explained.
Read more » click here


BOC’s Regular Meeting 08/20/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Appointment of New Member to the Board of Adjustment – Mayor Pro Tem John Fletcher
Item was added to the agenda

The Board of Adjustment consists of five regular members and three alternate members.

On the Board of Adjustment, Anne Arnold will replace Larry Reinhart.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

 Volunteers needed
The Town is always looking for people to volunteer for their various Boards and Committees. If you are interested, submit a resume form to heather@hbtownhall.com.


2. Poyner Spruill Update – Mike McIntyre & Roger Gwinn (Town Manager Hewett)

Agenda Packet –
Congressman Mike McIntyre of Poyner Spruill will provide the Board with an update on Poyner Spruill and The Ferguson Group’s most recent advocacy efforts  related to Public Law 116-20, the Additional Supplemental  Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019 (Disaster Relief Act),as well as relevant news from Washington of interest  to the Town, including updates on the annual budget process, flood insurance policy, and infrastructure and coastal legislation. Roger Gwinn, CEO of The Ferguson Group, will also be in attendance to answer questions and provide additional information to the discussion, as needed.

Previously reported – October 2018
It has been the Mayor’s position that we need to hire a professional consulting firm because we need representation on multiple topics at the local, state and national levels of government. McIntyre did a brief recap of presentation that was made at the Special Meeting earlier in the day on what they can do for us. The consensus appeared to be that we need someone to speak on our behalf and they can make it happen.

Previously reported – December 2018
Poyner Spruill Proposal Concerning Consulting Services
Scope of Engagement
We have agreed to advise and assist you with governmental matters and legal issues that arise and the Client hereby engages Poyner Spruill LLP to perform the following services in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement: working with the Client to secure federal assistance and project management regarding: (1) federal issues related to beach nourishment at Holden Beach, North Carolina, and (2) federal issues related to Lockwood Folly Inlet maintenance.

Board selected Poyner Proposal Option C – The level of proposed services (2) requires funding of $6,975 per month or a minimum of $83,700 annually. 

Previously reported – May 2018
They have been working with us since the beginning of the year and they send monthly updates to the Board. McIntyre did a brief overview, covering the two services they were hired for Lockwood Folly Inlet and beach nourishment. Lockwood Folly dredging they have already secured some sand to be placed on Holden Beach and are working to convince USACE with data that it makes more sense to put the sand from dredging on the east end of Holden Beach then on the west end of Oak Island. Beach nourishment is being addressed with request for a new General Reevaluation Report. Mike was fairly optimistic that we will be able to finally move forward on our own with implementation. Next step is for us to send a letter of intent to USACE.

Update –
Although they send monthly updates to the Board, McIntyre gave a brief overview covering the activity since the May presentation. Presentation included big picture at the federal level and then some specifics on what they are working on for us. A lot going on, but he was able to bring us up to date as to where we are at. They are staying on top of it with a lot of different balls in the air.

Frankly I had serious reservations about spending that kind of money without knowing what exactly we are getting and how much it will ultimately cost us. Once again, they significantly increased my comfort zone with spending the money based on their efforts thus far. Time will tell what kind of return on investment we get based on their efforts.


3. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
Busy month, typical for this time of the year
Typical summertime fun at the beach
Home stretch, only thirteen (13) days left to Labor Day (09/02/19)


NC General Statute 166A·19.3l.
Power of municipalities and counties to enact ordinances to deal with states of emergency.

Synopsis – The governing body may impose by declaration or enacted ordinance, prohibitions and restrictions during a state of emergency. This includes the prohibition and restriction of movements of people in public places,  including   imposing   a curfew; directing   or compelling the voluntary   or mandatory evacuation of all or part of the population, controlling ingress and egress of an emergency area, and providing for the closure of streets, roads, highways, bridges,  public  vehicular  areas. All prohibitions and restrictions imposed by declaration or ordinance   shall take effect immediately upon publication of the declaration unless the declaration sets a later time.  The prohibitions and restrictions shall expire when they are terminated by the official or entity that imposed them, or when the state of emergency terminates.

Violation – Any person who violates any provisions of an ordinance or a declaration   enacted or declared pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


4. Discussion and Possible Action to Revise Chapter 72: Parking Regulations, Section 72.02(K) – Commissioner Butler
Item was added to the agenda

§72.02 PARKING REGULATED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY.
(K)   Additional violation. It shall be a violation of this chapter to leave standing any portion of a vehicle in a lawful parking area between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Previously reported – August 2018
Agenda Packet –
Town Ordinance 18-07- revise Section (K) or create a new section in the ordinance that clearly states the following recommended wording:   Vehicles shall not be permitted to park in any beach access or any municipal designated parking areas, between the hours of 2:00am to 5:00am.

It is also recommended that signs be posted in the nine (9) municipal designated parking areas

 TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH / ORDINANCE 18-07
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES, CHAPTER 72: PARKING REGULATIONS (SECTION 72.03 PARKING REGULATED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY)

(K)  Additional violation. It shall be a violation of this chapter to leave standing any portion of a vehicle in a lawful parking area for a period exceeding 72 consecutive hours between the hours of 2:00a.m. and 5:00a.m.

Much ado about nothing. It was the Board’s intent to not permit parking between 2:00am and 5:00am only in the nine municipal designated parking areas. All of that verbiage was not included in the Ordinance they adopted. Apparently, Wally assured them that is not the case. He indicated that a revision of the Ordinance was not required. The police department will use their discretion and enforce only in municipal designated parking areas which was the Board’s intent.

No decision was made – No action taken

Previously reported – July 2019
Joe was concerned that tickets were being written for property owner vehicles parked in the right-of-way on their own property. They discussed what was the Board’s intent and what are the ramifications if they make any changes.

Once again, they decided that a revision of the Ordinance was not required. The Police Department will use their discretion and enforce only in municipal designated parking areas which was the Board’s original intent.

No decision was made – No action taken

Minutes – July 2019
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION TO REVISE CHAPTER 72: PARKING REGULATIONS, SECTION
72.02(K)
Commissioner Butler read the current verbiage concerning parking in Section 72.02(K). He believes the Board’s intent last August was to prohibit parking in the nine municipal areas between the hours of 2:00a.m.- 5:00a.m. Commissioner Sullivan said it is specifically how the Board wanted it. The Board had the discussion whether it would be better to prohibit the parking somewhere like under the bridge, but then that person would go park by someone’s home. He said the problem when the issue was raised was that people were complaining that people were parking overnight.  After all of the discussions, the Board decided that the most effective way to accomplish the goal was to have a window when you couldn’t leave your car parked. Commissioner Butler stated we have people who need to park in the rights-of-way (ROW) between the hours of 2:00a.m.- 5:00a.m. Commissioner Sullivan said this is an example of what he was talking about; the Board talks about something, passes a rule and then after it is put in place, we feel like we need to revise it.  He said if we are going to allow people to parking in the ROW, we might as well just rescind the whole ordinance. Commissioner Butler said he is not in favor of that. Commissioner Sullivan said the police will not know if a car belongs to the person at a house. He asked what the Board would be accomplishing. He suggested if the Board is going to make a change, they should give more thought and decide what the ramifications of the change would be. The guy that would park under the bridge will now park in front of somebody’s house and fisherman can’t park at all. Commissioner Butler said the municipal parking areas are identified with signs that say the prohibited hours. He explained we are a family beach and want to retain that title.

Planning Director Evans clarified there is a distinction between the ROW and municipal areas. Any homeowner   can stop people from parking in the ROW by putting up the legalized barriers. Commissioner Sullivan said if someone is renting a home, they won’t put up a fence because people may need to park there. It would take the problem from someone staying under the bridge and possibly move it to someone’s house. Commissioner Butler said he is glad the Board is discussing this. He had an officer bring it to his attention that it was hard to control this. Commissioner Freer stated he would leave it as it is, and it is at the discretion of the Police Department to enforce it. Commissioners Sullivan and Butler agreed.

Mayor Holden stated he bet the others aren’t getting the complaints he is getting. He provided information regarding a complaint concerning someone’s grandson who received a $75 ticket because there wasn’t anywhere to park during the night and there wasnt enough parking at the family house. The man has owned property for approximately 40 years. A friend of his looked for no parking signs and they couldn’t find any signs. Mayor Holden said this it isn’t working, and he will start sharing the complaints he receives. He asked how people are supposed to know there is no parking. He said people ask where they are supposed to park, there is nowhere to legally park. The citizen from the complaint he described said if all of the public parking is shut down and the streets are shut down, he would need to take his grandson to Walmart or somewhere to leave his car overnight.

Update –
Apparently at the discretion of the Police Department meant something different to the Board and to the Police Department. The Police Department chose to enforce the ordinance and wrote twenty-three (23) tickets for vehicles parked in the right-of-way. Needless to say, Commissioner Butler was not happy with the situation. After another round of robust discussion, it was still unclear as how they planned to amend the Ordinance. They were all in agreement that it shall be a violation to leave any vehicle that is parked between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. in the nine (9) municipal public parking areas. What was not so clear, was parking in the right-of-way.

They were unable to amend ordinance because it was not on the original agenda. They asked the Police Chief to use his discretion and just focus on municipal public parking areas until they can amend ordinance at the next regular meeting. 

Frankly we are making this way to complicated. On street parking should be allowed all the time. If an owner wants to restrict parking, they can use a post and rope fence. If someone parks between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. and is carrying on, then just call the Police the same way you would any other time of the day.


5. Discussion and Possible Action on Participating in the Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Management Contract – Public Works Director Clemmons

 Agenda Packet –
MultiJurisdictional Disaster Debris Agreement
The Town is a member of the Brunswick County MultiJurisdictional 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 MultiJurisdictional 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.

Previously reported – March 2016
The Town has an option to participate in a joint solicitation for a disaster debris contract with Brunswick County.  A joint multijurisdictional contract would give the Town the same level of service as if we were the primary contract holder and would fulfill FEMA requirements in order to allow us to qualify for federal disaster relief and reimbursements.  The Town would be able to declare an emergency at any time, without Brunswick County needing to activate the contract.

Participation in the solicitation docs not contractually obligate the Town to anything. However, given the economies of scale that such an arrangement should bring, staff anticipates a favorable solicitation and recommends the Town take part in the County’s process. A formal agreement based on the solicitation would be the next step and is expected to be available for Board consideration in June.

The contract we had expired, and the vendor is no longer in business. Our last request for proposals did not get any responses. Therefore, we really don’t have any other viable options but to piggyback on the County contract. A formal agreement will come back to the Board for their approval.

Previously reported – June 2016
At the March Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the Board voted to allow the Town to participate in a joint solicitation for a disaster debris contract with Brunswick County.

Recently, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners awarded the contract for management services to Crowder Gulf and the contract for monitoring services to Landfall Strategies. If the Board chooses to approve the contract, the joint multijurisdictional contract would give the Town the same level of service as if we were the primary contract holder and would fulfill FEMA requirements in order to allow us to qualify for federal disaster relief and reimbursements. The Town would be able to declare an emergency at any time, without Brunswick County needing to activate the contract.

David clarified that we are simply piggybacking on the County contract. Reimbursement rates are established by FEMA and the contract locks the vendors into a price. It provides the same level of service as if we the primary contract holder.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
David handled 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


6. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Review the Pay & Classification Study with the MAPS Group – Town Manager Hewett 

 Agenda Packet –
The Maps Group has completed their research for the Classification and Pay Study and would like to schedule a meeting to review their findings with the Board. Becky Veazey from the MAPS Group, has provided their availability for the last week in August and for the first couple of weeks in September. Please provide Town Clerk Finnell with your schedules so we can coordinate a time to hold a special meeting. Ms. Veazey anticipates the information will take approximately one hour to present to the Board.

RSM Salary & Benefit Review Report
Previously reported – February 2019
Commissioner Freer asked that the Town initiate a request for proposal (RFP) to do the following:
.     1)
Establish set job descriptions for each position, and a compensation pay range
    2)
Conduct a total compensation study

Previously reported – April 2019
Town Manager Hewett said that they had already engaged the MAPS Group. The process has been started but he anticipated that it would take the better part of three to four months before they had the completed report.

The Management and Personnel Services Group – MAPS – is a team of consultants specializing in human resource management and development.
For more information » click here

Previously reported – June 2019
Evaluation of compensation package and job descriptions should be completed shortly. After Town Manager reviews report it will be presented to the BOC’s.   

Previously reported – July 2019 
MAPS including end of fiscal year salary rate changes is still working on the study
David should be able to present to the Board in August

Update –
Heather handled; they simply need to coordinate their schedules to set meeting date.


7. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 19-13, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 91: Fire Prevention – Planning Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
Fire Ordinance
At the last regular scheduled meeting the Board of Commissioner’s asked the planning department to prepare a text amendment to clarify the town’s position for open flames and grills in public and private areas along the beach. This amendment was designed to prohibit fires, and any device that could possible cause to make fire or a hazard on the beach whether public and private.

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH ORDINANCE 19-13
CHAPTER  91:  FIRE PREVENTION

BE IT ORDAINED BY the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina that the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 91: Fire Prevention, be amended as follows:

Section One: Amend Chapter 91: Fire Prevention as follows:

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

CHARCOAL BURNER.
A stove that burns charcoal as fuel.

OPEN-FLAME DEVICES.
Portable   or   non-portable   flame    devices   fueled   by flammable or combustible gases or liquids that are not enclosed or installed in such a manner as to prevent the flame from contacting combustible material.

COMBUSTIBLE CONSTRUCTION
Capable   of   burning, generally   in   air   under   normal conditions of ambient temperature and pressure.

§91.15 PROHIBITED FIRES.
It shall be unlawful for any person or business to set or cause to be set any fire within the town.
Exception: § 91.17 and 91.17 (A)

§91.16 RECREATIONAL FIRES.
Recreational fires, except those confined within containers manufactured specifically for such purpose, shall not be allowed.

§91.17 Open-flame Devices.
Charcoal burners and other open-flame devices shall not be operated on or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction. Penalty, see§ 91.99

§91.17 (A) Exception / Propane fueled grills.

§91.18 All Open and Closed Flame devices, and Cooking Devices shall not be operated or put into use in any public areas or on private dunes

Previously reported – July 2019
Agenda Packet –
§91.16 RECREATIONAL FIRES.
Recreational fires, except those confined within containers manufactured specifically for such purpose, shall not be allowed.

Current Ordinance does not address grilling / barbecuing in public areas including the beach strand or Bridgeview Park. Town staff was charged with revising Ordinance and bring back for the next regular meeting.

Update –
Amended ordinance to add §91.18

Timbo lobbied for them to eliminate exception §91.17 because it was a safety issue
The police department, fire department and building inspector all want it removed
The Board wasn’t amenable to do so at this time

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 19-14, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 154: Flood Damage Prevention – Planning Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
Text Amendment Section 154 Flood Zone Prevention Ordinance
These text amendments are designed to bring into alignment sections of the newly adopted National Flood Plain Ordinance with other current sections of town’s regulatory and zoning ordinances. This will align the newly adopted ordinance with current policies literature and state standards for construction. Which will ensure that future CRS evaluations will reflect the maximum amount of points possible under these activities. This simplifies the language for the contractors and homeowners. This is house cleaning only.

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH ORDINANCE 19-14
CHAPTER 154: FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION

BE IT ORDAINED BY the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina that the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 154: Flood Damage Prevention, be amended as follows:

Section One: Amend Section 154.20 General Standards as follows:

§154.20 GENERAL STANDARDS.
In all special flood hazard areas, the following provisions are required:

(D)           All New and Substantially improved properties shall meet Both A and V zone standards for construction. All new electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, air conditioning equipment, and other service equipment shall be located at or above the RFPE or designed and installed to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during the occurrence of the base flood.   These include, but are not limited to, HVAC equipment, water softener units, bath/kitchen fixtures, ductwork, electric/gas meter panels/boxes, utility/cable boxes, water heaters, and electric outlets/switches. Electrical Switches and outlets branch circuits located below RFPE, shall be protected at the source not at the device. There shall be a minimum number of outlets and switches allowed below the RFPE

Exception: Meter bases with one main disconnect, with no other circuits.

Update –
RFPE – Regulatory Flood Protection Elevation

Housekeeping item to simplify things and use accepted standard language. By adding this language to the ordinance, we significantly improve our Community Rating System score. The National Flood Insurance Program’s   Community Rating System is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously


9. Discussion and Possible Action on Proposals to Provide Legal Services – Town Manager Hewett
Agenda Packet –
Request for Proposals for Legal Service
A Request for Proposals (RFP) for Legal Services was advertised in the local paper and was placed on the North Carolina   League of Municipalities’ website.   In response to the RFP, the Town received four proposals. The firms who are interested in providing legal services to the Town are the Law Offices of G. Grady Richardson, Jr., P.C., The Brough Law Firm, PLLC, the Law Office of Matthew A. Nichols and the Law Firm of Richard F. Green, PLLC. The proposals are included in the Board’s meeting information for review.

Richard Green Proposal
Matthew Nichols Proposal
Brough Proposal
Grady Richardson Proposal

Previously reported February 2016
Noel Fox of Craige & Fox was selected as our new town attorney
They terminated the interim attorney agreement and hired a permanent attorney
Noel has municipal law experience and her family owns property on Holden Beach

Previously reported – June 2019
Town Attorney Noel Fox tendered her resignation
A search will begin to hire a new attorney as soon as possible

Previously reported – July 2019
The Town initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP)
Anticipate having candidate options for the Board at the next meeting

Update –
Commissioner Sullivan indicated that it was not prudent to hire an attorney without conducting interviews. His recommendation was to interview the firms at a Special Meeting. Heather will handle, they simply need to coordinate their schedules to set meeting date.


10. Discussion and Possible Action to Allow the Meeting Agenda to be Provided a Week Before the Board of Commissioners’ Meetings – Commissioner Kwiatkowski Agenda Packet –
Discussion and possible action to allow the meeting agenda to be provided a week before the BOCM. With the increasing number of agenda items being covered at meetings, often including re-examination of at least one previously discussed issue, a significant amount of time is frequently needed to find and digest past discussions and decisions or research new topics. According to the Rules of Procedure, the agenda is to be agreed between the Executive Secretary and Town Clerk at least one week before the BOCM. I ask that at the end of the Tuesday before the BOCM the Town Clerk provides the agreed agenda to the mayor and commissioners to give them time for research and preparation in advance of receiving the full package.

Update –
They agreed to send that the agenda is to be sent to the Board once it is finalized.


11. Discussion and Possible Clarification of the Audit Committee Establishment, Powers and Duties and Possible Action to Revise the Audit Committee Ordinance (Section 30.26 Audit Committee of the BOC) – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Agenda Packet –
Audit Committee (AC) Responsibility Clarifications
I believe a well-directed, transparent and process driven audit committee can bring value to town government. However, I conclude from some discussions at recent Audit Committee meetings that there is a need to clarify the focus of the audit committee and ensure that the ordinance reflects the focus. At the last BOCM it was agreed that the Board should discuss the Audit Committee Ordinance (ACO) at the August BOCM.

§30.26  AUDIT COMMITTEE OF THE BOC.

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski cited clarity as the reason to make the recommended changes. The consensus view was that it was a bit premature to change the ordinance since it was only finalized in December of 2018.

 No decision was made – No action taken


12. Discussion and Possible Action to Reduce the Number of Agenda Items by Reducing the Frequency of Mandated Recurring Reports – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Agenda Packet –
Discussion and possible action to reduce the number of agenda items by reducing the frequency of mandated recurring reports. While it was prudent at the beginning of the Lift Station 4 project  to ask for monthly updates to help stay on top of budget and timeline, with the successful completion of Station 4 and retention of Leo Greene to oversee the Lift Station 3 project, the frequency of updates could be reduced to quarterly with the understanding Town Staff will be responsible for adding the topic to the agenda if a burning issue needs to be communicated in between  quarterly reviews. At the inception of the Inlet and Beach Protection Board, the IBPB was charged with providing a monthly update to the SOC (July 24,2018 special meeting). It was also agreed the update did not need to be a formal BOCM agenda item but could simply be put in the packet. Unless the update is reporting an issue around achieving IBPB priorities, providing a unique perspective on an emerging issue or detailing important information gleaned by members that should be communicated sooner than the formal minutes process allows, the IBPB updates should be included in the packet but not appear as an agenda item. If something in the update calls for an agenda item, it is suggested an IBPB member should provide the update and field questions.

Update –
They appeared to agree that these issues were important, but it was not necessary to include monthly on the agenda.


 13. Town Manager’s Report

Audit
 Local Government Commission has approved our audit and the auditor contract

Personnel
Planning & Inspections Director Tim Evans has been selected to attend NC Insurance Commissioner’s “Code College”. 

Public Works new hire David Wright started work last week

LWF
LWF crossing bend widener project –
.   a) Low risk that they will not receive USFW Biological Opinion
    •
necessary for award and execution of the contract
.   b)
County has committed to local share of 25% ($97,074)
.     •
beach nourishment as part of a navigation project will get a maximum of 25%
.     •
navigation only projects will receive a maximum of 50%. 

County commissioners deny town’s reimbursement request
Read more » click here

FEMA / Storm Events
FloMike hurricane projects remain stuck in EHP
Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) refers to FEMA’s review process for ensuring the protection and enhancement of environmental, historic, and cultural resources, as required by Federal environmental and historic preservation laws and Executive Orders. 

FEMA has denied $180,000 of Town’s $330,000 request for reimbursement of permitting expenses for the Central Reach / Matthew project /storm damage repair.  Denied costs were not eligible as submitted we do not intend to appeal the disallowed portion. However, we are amending another reimbursement request for Irene to include the $180k.

Hurricane Season
  1)
Two weeks away from Hurricane Florence anniversary
.   2)
Make sure you have vehicle decals
  3)
Be prepared, have emergency plan in place

Beach Nourishment
Hydrographic Survey to identify locations where we can get more sand from is scheduled for next week

Central Reach Project
The Town’s Central Reach Project has been selected as a spotlight project for presentation at the October American Shore and Beach Preservation Association in Myrtle Beach.  


14. Mayor’s Comments

Hurricane Season Information

Please remember that we are entering the high-risk part of hurricane season. Be sure you have your emergency plan of action prepared and know how to carry out your plan if and when action is needed.

Remember mandatory evacuations are “mandatory”. Everyone will be required to leave. Water and sewage services may be shut down by the Town. BEMC may turn off the power.

Make sure you have your vehicle decals in place. The decals are necessary for re-entry to the island in the event of an emergency situation that restricts access to the island. 

During an emergency, email updates will be issued.

 Being prepared is key to making it through the season.


15. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(6), To Discuss a Personnel Matter, Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(5) To Establish or Instruct the Staff or Agent Concerning the Negotiation of the Price or Terms of a Contract Concerning the Acquisition of Real Property and North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(3) To Consult with the Town Attorney

No decision was made – No action taken


General Comments –

There were fourteen (14) members of the community in attendance

The BOC’s Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month,
September 17th

Loose Ends:
Chapter 50: Solid Waste
Rental properties have specific number of trash cans based on number of bedrooms
Enforcement fines to those not following the yard waste requirements
Enforcement fines for those placing trash on the ground or on top of trash containers
Enforcement and communication reside with the town staff to determine
Examine the possibility of providing a rollout program in addition to rollback

We were told protocols would be established, communication to the public would be made, followed by enforcement. It’s the middle of July already, when were they planning to do these tasks?

Development Fees
In June of 2018, they adopted cost-justified water and wastewater system development fees report created by McGill Associates. In August 2018, they repealed and replaced the development fee schedule. This was supposed to be an interim fee schedule until they have an opportunity to reevaluate the situation. They committed to permanent fees before the end of 2018. In October 2018, they set timeline to set permanent fees and that the interim rates would remain in effect for the next ninety (90) days which takes us into 2019. In April 2019, they allocated funds to obtain bids for the development of a cost justified water and wastewater system Development Fees Report. Town Attorney Noel Fox stated that the fact of the matter is that it was not just one thing but many things that requires us to redo the report. Well it’s one year later and a permanent fee schedule has yet to be adopted.

The question still remains that needs to be asked is: What is the appropriate fee to charge that generates adequate revenue but does not unduly burden new development?

In split decision, court sides with property owners in Oak Island sewer lawsuit, town plans to appeal
Reversing the decision of the lower court, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina ruled against the Town of Oak Island in a lawsuit raised by property owners of undeveloped lots, despite one judge on the panel dissenting. The issue between property owners and the town dates back to 2015, when owners of undeveloped property on the island filed suit regarding the town’s sewer service fees. Tuesday, Oak Island’s sewer system cost $140 million to install. In 2004, action from North Carolina’s General Assembly allowed the town to charge property owners fees related to the sewer system in order to help reduce the debt the town carried as a result of the sewer installation. The action allows Oak Island to “impose annual fees for the availability of sewer service” on property owners who could or do benefit from the service. From 2010 to 2017, that resulted in developed property owners paying a total of $4,478.57 in fees, while undeveloped property owners would have paid $3,978.08. Additionally, the court pointed out in its ruling that from 2015 to 2017, the owners of undeveloped properties were actually paying more per year than those who owned developed lots. The term “availability” is what the court’s decision ultimately hinged upon, because the plaintiff property owners argued that for those with undeveloped lots, the sewer system is not actually “available” to them. Therefore, they argued, they should not be subject to the fees. They further argued charging undeveloped properties went beyond what the statute establishing the fees allows, and that the collection of the fees was unconstitutional. The appeals court agreed, saying: “although the Session Laws do not define the term ‘availability’ for purposes of imposing the sewer service availability fees, it is clear that the enabling Session Laws do not, as a matter of law, apply to Plaintiffs’ undeveloped property.” Originally, the plaintiffs wanted the court to declare the fees unconstitutional, as well as order the town to refund the fees paid by the owners of the undeveloped properties. In May 2018, when Brunswick County Superior Court Judge James Ammons found in favor of Oak Island, the plaintiffs attempted to change their plea, only asking for the refund. However, the court declined their motion to amend, and instead ruled in favor of Oak Island’s countersuit, therefore upholding the fee structure. As far as those occurrences, the appeals court said it could not weigh in, because the matters were never ruled upon, and therefore couldn’t be appealed. Judge Allegra Collins disagreed with her two fellow judicial colleagues, arguing the opposite with regard to the “availability” language. Collins argues that just because property owners would have to go through the development process in order to connect to the sewer system, doesn’t mean that it isn’t “available” to them. Despite the split decision, the Court of Appeals ruling reverses the ruling and remands the issue back to Brunswick County Superior Court. Town Attorney Brian Edes said in an email Tuesday the town will likely appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. His statement read: The North Carolina Court of Appeals issued a split opinion today ultimately holding that the subject 2006 N.C. Session Law does not authorize the Town of Oak Island to charge a sewer district fee to owners of undeveloped lots. Naturally, we are disappointed with this holding.
Read more » click here 


Municipal Elections
The following candidates have officially filed for Holden Beach municipal elections before the deadline.

Holden Beach Mayor
Alan Holden                                    128 OBW                        Holden Beach         (incumbent)

Holden Beach Commissioner
Gerald Brown                                 851 Heron Landing      Holden Beach         (former)
Joe Butler                                        169 BAE                          Holden Beach         (incumbent)
John Fletcher                                  148 Yacht Watch           Holden Beach         (incumbent)
Peter Freer                                      198 BAW                         Holden Beach         (incumbent)
Pat Kwiatkowski                            1298 OBW                      Holden Beach         (incumbent)
Regina Martin                                1032 OBW                      Holden Beach         (former)
Brian Murdock                               124 Durham Street       Holden Beach         /
Mike Sullivan                                  648 OBW                        Holden Beach         (incumbent)
Woody Tyner                                  137 Tarpon Drive          Holden Beach         /

All five Commissioners seats are up for election, nine candidates have filed. As approved by a referendum in 2017, the three candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to serve four-year terms and the two candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected to serve two-year terms.


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Hurricane #1 - CR

 

Hurricane Season
For more information » click here

Be prepared – have a plan!

.


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


HBPOIN – Lou’s Views
.         • Gather and disseminate information
.         • Identify the issues and determine how they affect you
.         • Act as a watchdog
.         • Grass roots monthly newsletter since 2008

https://lousviews.com/

08 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / August Edition

Calendar of Events –


Events
TDA - logo
Discover a wide range of things to do in the Brunswick Islands for an experience that goes beyond the beach.
For more information » click here


Calendar of Events – Island


Concerts on the Coast Series / 2019
The Town’s summer concert series calendar has been released! Live performances featuring local musical groups are held at the pavilion on Sunday evenings from late May to early September. The concerts are free of charge.
For more information » click here 


Turtle Talk
Two programs both are held every Wednesday during the summer at Town Hall. Children’s Turtle Time is at 4:00 p.m. with crafts, stories and activities for children ages 3 – 6. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Turtle Talk is an educational program at 7:00 p.m. for everyone else.


Parks & Recreation / Programs & Events
For more information » click here


Reminders –



Speed Limit
Please take notice – Speed limit seasonal limitations, in accordance with Town Ordinances. Speed limit will change on OBW from 45mph to 35mph west of the general store. This change took place on April 1st and be in effect through September 30th


Free Dump Week
Brunswick County property owners and residents may dispose of all materials, except for regular household trash and hazardous waste, at the Brunswick County Landfill free of charge September 15th – 20th. Metal, tires, electronics, latex paint and yard debris can be disposed of during free dump week, but they must be placed in their designated area. Business and commercial vehicles will be charged normal tipping fees. You must show proof of Brunswick County property ownership or residency.

Brunswick County Landfill
172 Landfill Rd NE, Bolivia, NC 28422
Hours of operation are –
Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 pm.


Household Hazardous Waste Collection
The Brunswick County Solid Waste Department will be at Southport Middle School, 100 Cougar Rd, Southport, on September 21st from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to collect household hazardous waste. Items will be taken free of charge from Brunswick County property owners, residents and farmers. You must show proof of Brunswick County property ownership or residency.

Some items that are accepted at the HHW collection are non-latex paints, stains, insecticides, herbicides, household cleaners, pool chemicals and aerosol cans. For items not mentioned please contact the Brunswick County Solid Waste Department at (910) 253-2520. All items brought to the event must be labeled. The staff onsite reserves the right to refuse any item brought to the event.

Electronics, latex paints, fluorescent bulbs, automotive fluids, clothing, smoke detectors and batteries are not included in the HHW collection, however, they are recycled at the Brunswick County Landfill year-round for free.

The following materials cannot be accepted: ammunition, radioactive materials, infectious or biological waste, explosives, shock sensitive materials and non-household materials.


Vehicle Decals
It is important that you have your vehicle decals in place in order to avoid being denied access to the island once re-entry is allowed during a storm event. If you do not have your decals, contact Town Hall now. Decals shall not be issued during the 24-hour period prior to an anticipated order of evacuation.



Trash Can Requirements – Rental Properties

Waste Industries – trash can requirements
Ordinance 07-13, Section 50.10


Rental properties have specific number of trash cans based on number of bedrooms.
. a) One extra trash can per every two bedrooms

§ 50.08 RENTAL HOMES.

(A) Rental homes, as defined in Chapter 157, that are rented as part of the summer rental season, are subject to high numbers of guests, resulting in abnormally large volumes of trash. This type of occupancy use presents a significantly higher impact than homes not used for summer rentals. In interest of public health and sanitation and environmental concerns, all rental home shall have a minimum of one trash can per two bedrooms. Homes with an odd number of bedrooms shall round up (for examples one to two bedrooms – one trash can; three to four bedrooms – two trash cans; five – six bedrooms – three trash cans, and the like).


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



Pets on the Beach Strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / 90.20
From May 20th through September 9th
It is unlawful to have any pet on the beach strand during the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm.



A Second Helping

Program to collect food Saturday mornings (7:00am to 12:00pm) during the summer at the Beach Mart on the Causeway.

 

.

. 1) Fifteenth year of the program
. 2) Food collections have now exceeded 229,000 pounds
. 3)
Collections will begin on June 8th
. 4) Food is distributed to the needy in Brunswick County
For more information » click here

Hunger exists everywhere in this country; join them in the fight to help end hunger in Brunswick County. Cash donations are gratefully accepted. One hundred percent (100%) of these cash donations are used to buy more food. You can be assured that the money will be very well spent.

Mail Donations to:
A Second Helping % Douglas Cottrell
2939 Alan Trail
Supply, NC 28462

Website:
http://www.secondhelping.us/



Bird Nesting Area

NC Wildlife Commission has posted signs that say – Bird Nesting Area / Please don’t disturb. The signs are posted on the west end beach strand around 1339 OBW.


People and dogs are supposed to stay out of the area from April through November

. 1) It’s a Plover nesting area
. 2) Allows migrating birds a place to land and rest without being disturbed



Mosquito Control
Current EPA protocol is that spraying is complaint driven
The Town is unable to just spray as they had in the past
. 1)
Complaint based
. 2)
Citizen request
. 3)
Proactively monitor hot spots

They recommend that you get rid of any standing water on your property that you can
Urged everyone to call Town Hall if they have mosquito issues so that they can spray

Spraying is complaint based, so keep the calls coming!

Mosquito population ‘below average’ so far in Brunswick County
Brunswick County Mosquito Control supervisor Jeff Brown says so far this season, mosquito populations have been lower than normal. That’s according to data collected over the past 20 years.
Read more » click here

Mosquito coast? Buzz and bite season may be on its way
Recent rain means that the biting insects, 42 species of which can be found in the region, may find more places to breed
Read more » click here


Dog Park Closed
The dog park will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The Town needed to use the land at the dog park to place material from the canal dredging project as the dredge spoils area. It is unknown when it will be returned to a useable state as a dog park again. They are currently looking at other options for a dog park.

The dredge spoils area has turned the dog park into a pond for the time being.



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

 


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


Volunteers needed
The Town is always looking for people to volunteer for their various boards and committees. If you are interested in serving, please fill out a resume form and submit it to heather@hbtownhall.com.


Recycling-Bin
Curbside Recycling

Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $82.48 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here


Elevator - CRElevators
Most states mandate that elevator systems be tested and inspected annually. Currently the state of North Carolina does not require annual inspections to be performed on all elevator systems. The use of unsafe and defective lifting devices imposes a substantial probability of serious and preventable injury to your family and guests. It is in the owner’s best interest to minimize injuries and liability by scheduling an annual safety inspection to ensure the safe operation of their elevator system.

Safety Notice –
Waupaca Elevator Company has issued an important safety notice. The potential hazard is associated with normal wear in your elevator. If your elevator develops the problem and it is not repaired, the elevator may drop unexpectedly with you in it and you may be injured. They recommend you contact your elevator service company.

Waupaca Elevator Recalls to Inspect Elevators Due to Injury Hazard

Hazard:
The elevator cab can fall unexpectedly to the bottom of the elevator shaft and abruptly stop, posing an injury hazard to consumers in the elevator cab.

Consumer Contact:
Waupaca Elevator toll-free at 833-850-7981 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, e-mail at info@WaupacaElevator.com or online at www.WaupacaElevator.com and click on Recall Information for more information.

Recall Details

Description:
This recall involves residential elevator models Custom Lift 450# and Custom Lift 500#, shipped and installed between 1979 and 2008. The recalled elevators are used in consumers’ homes.

Remedy:
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled elevators and contact Waupaca Elevator to schedule a free gearbox inspection and the installation of a free overspeed braking device. Waupaca Elevator also will provide the installation of a free gearbox if the gearbox inspection reveals that the gears in the gearbox have worn down.

For more information » click here


Library
If you need something to keep you busy in this colder weather, make sure to visit the island library. The library is in the upstairs of Holden Beach Town Hall. All the books were donated. Patrons of the library don’t have to check out a book; they are on the honor system to return it.



Neighborhood Watch –

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


Upon Further Review –


Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging
Previously reported – June 2019
Agenda Packet –
AIWW/ LWF Inlet Crossing Bend Widener
The Town received an email June 6, 2019 from Brennan Dooley, Project Manager with the Corps. The Corps estimates that there is approximately 135,000 cubic yards of material available to be dredged in the advanced maintenance widener not eligible for federal funding as part of the upcoming AIWW contract.   The Corps’ cost estimate to remove the material and utilize beneficial use beach placement is $1,165,000.

The Town is requesting the Corps include the bend widener as part of their base contract and have funds passed through the State of North Carolina, utilizing the Memorandum of Agreement.     Dr.  Coley Cordeiro with the Division of Water Resources was contacted by the Town to make her aware of our interest in the project. The Town has requested state funding through the NC Shallow Draft Channel and Aquatic Weed Fund in the amount of $776,705 and will need to match with local funding in the amount of $388,295.

Based on the information from Mr. Dooley, the Corps would need to receive all money through the State by June 27th, in order to include the widener as part of their contract.  He also requested a letter of intent from the Town.  To complete this action, $100,000 can be spent from the Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging Line in the BPART Budget.  The remainder of the funds ($288,295) will require a budget amendment to transfer funds from the Beach Renourishment & Inlet Management Fund to the Lockwood Folly Dredging Line in the BPART Budget.  Due to the timeline, the staff was not able to secure a county funding commitment prior to execution for the local match but has reached out to the County.  We will be asking for 50% reimbursement of the local share ($194,147.50)

Staff recommendation is to approve the budget amendment and the corresponding ordinance.

ORDINANCE NO.19-09
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO 18-10, THE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS ORDINANCE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018-2019 (Amendment 8)

Moved funds of $228,295
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Right now, we are committed to the full local funding amount of $388,295. Apparently, we decided to proceed without the County buy in. Traditionally the County goes for 25%, but we are asking for $194,147 or 50%.  David indicated we could pull the plug if County funding is not approved.

Update –
County commissioners deny town’s reimbursement request
The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners unanimously denied a request by Holden Beach officials seeking $194,157.50 partial reimbursement funds for beach renourishment during its Monday, Aug. 5, regularly scheduled meeting. Holden Beach officials have paid $388,295 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and requested the county bear 50 percent of that expenditure. The county normally pays 25 percent of the local share of similar projects that “provide beneficial sand for shoreline stabilization,” Deputy County Manager Steve Stone said. The Holden Beach request stems from the planned expansion of the Lockwood Folly Inlet Crossing Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) maintenance project. In a letter received June 28, Holden Beach Town Manager David Hewett requested the county “reimburse to Town of Holden Beach $194,157.50 for half of the local share equaling $388,295 that the Town has preemptively advanced to the Department of Environmental Quality for the next Lock-wood Folly maintenance dredging event scheduled for this coming fall.” The letter, addressed to Stone, referenced an email dated June 6, from Brennan Dooley, Project Manager for the Wilmington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dooley’s email stated the dredging would likely result in 135,000 cubic yards of “material to be dredged in the advanced maintenance widener that we will not have the federal funds to pay for. The cost estimate to remove this material is approximately $1,165,000. This estimate includes a $50,000 estimate for mobilization of the pipe and any extra pipe needed for the placement of the additional material.” Hewett’s letter stated the “beach quality” material would be placed on the east end of Holden Beach, improving not only “AIWW navigation in the local area but will also provide coastal storm drainage resiliency. The state will provide $776,705 from the North Carolina Draft Channel and Aquatic Weed Fund, Hewett’s letter states. Holden Beach officials have paid $388,295 to the Corps of Engineers for the project in an effort “to facilitate federal contracting efforts and winter 2019/20 dredging window,” Hewett’s letter continues. Stone provided back-ground information to the commissioners regarding similar requests. “While the County has often paid 50 (percent) of the cost of navigation projects that do not produce beneficial sand placement, staff recommend that the County only pay 25 (percent) of the local share of projects such as this that provide beneficial sand for shoreline stabilization,” Stone stated. The county’s portion would be $97,074, which county manager Ann Hardy described as “the normal appropriation. The Corps notified Holden Beach officials the expanded project “could not be included in the ‘base’ contract for the waterway project due to a pending ‘environmental opinion’ on the potential impacts of the expansion project,” Stone said. In addition, Stone stated that “there is no assurance that the expansion project will occur this fall/winter, despite the fact the State and Town have already provided the full non-federal project share to USACE. If the Board decides to provide any project reimbursement to the Town, you would have the option of not submit-ting the funding to the Town until there was confirmation from USACE that the project would occur in the fall of 2019.”Commissioner Pat Sykes made the motion to reimburse Holden Beach $97,074, or 25 percent of its request. Commissioner Marty Cooke seconded the motion. Comparing the Holden Beach request to “heart-burn,” Cooke reminded Hewett of Holden Beach’s decision in April 2018 to withdraw its application for a terminal groin at the east end of the island. The Holden Beach Town Council voted unanimously to withdraw its application, citing the expense of the project. The Corps estimated the cost of the groin and its maintenance could exceed $30 million. “Essentially the terminal groin project for Holden Beach was explored as a means to have a more stable situation with beach renourishment and to help sustain navigation,” Cooke respond-ed in an email to the Beacon. “Portions of the studies indicated that although maintenance of the terminal groin would still need to take place, the financial impact for the long term would be lower. Not having the terminal groin would entail a continual conventional beach renourishment perspective, which is happening now. “Maintenance would still take place with a terminal groin, but not with as great an expense.” Historically the state op-posed hardened structures as a method for controlling coastal erosion. In 1985, the North Carolina Coastal Re-sources Commission (CRC) concluded “the potential negative effects of such structures could cause irreversible damage to North Carolina’s beaches. As a result, the CRC recommended banning the construction of hard structures to protect buildings at the coast,” according to the North Carolina Coastal Federation website. In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly repealed a 30-year ban on terminal groins as a solution to beach erosion. Its action allowed up to four “test” terminal groins to be built. Four beaches sought permit applications: Figure Eight Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Bald Head Island and Holden Beach. “Holden Beach came to the commissioners yesterday asking for twice what we traditionally pay to assist municipalities for such renourishment. Although we are in favor to assist municipalities for such projects, and did so yesterday, they were asking for twice what we normally pay. We voted to assist with the amount we normally do, which was also what staff recommended,” Cooke stated. Cooke clarified his stance Monday evening, stating he fully supported beach renew-al and its role in the county’s tourism industry as well as its positive impact on the environment and wildlife. “Regardless of a terminal groin or not, the beaches must be supported and maintained. I was just stating that a terminal groin would have helped do so at a lower cost to the general public and to the taxpayers.
Read more » click here 


 

Turtle Watch Program – 2019

. 1) Current nest count – 105 as of 08/25/19
.
Average annual number of nests is 39.5
. 2)
First nest of the season was on May 9th

.


A record number of nests this year, breaking the previous record of 73 set in 2013

Members of the patrol started riding the beach every morning on May 1 and will do so through October looking for signs of turtle nests.
For more information » click here


Turtle Talk will be held in Holden Beach
Read more » click here

N.C. beaches seeing a sea turtle nesting boom
Officials hope decades of protection efforts both on the beach and in the ocean are finally paying off
With the busiest months of nesting season behind us, some sites in Southeastern N.C. have seen more sea turtles laying their eggs on local beaches. As of the end of July, the number of nests from the northern Outer Banks to Bird Island was 2,136. “Previously, 2016 was our biggest year on record, with 1,622 loggerhead nests,” said Matthew Godfrey, a sea turtle biologist with the N.C. Sea Turtle Nesting Monitoring and Protection project. A total of 1,650 nest were reported that year. While the group began monitoring nesting activities in the late 1970s, complete data is only available for the state’s beaches since 2009. June and July are typically the busiest for nesting, but August and September can also see a number of visits.
Read more » click here


Corrections & Amplifications –


A More Active Hurricane Season Could Lie Ahead, Scientists Warn
Federal weather researchers expect hurricane activity to be greater than normal for the rest of this year’s season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. The new analysis suggests that an above-average season is substantially more likely than the agency first predicted in May. NOAA now expects up to 17 named storms before the season ends on Nov. 30, with as many as four of those becoming major storms with winds of 111 miles per hour or more. The forecasters initially suggested a season with a normal level of hurricane activity, with 12 named storms and three major hurricanes. They based that forecast on the continued presence of an El Niño, the Pacific Ocean heating pattern that tends to suppress hurricane activity, and the likelihood that it might persist into October. But NOAA issued an updated El Niño report on Thursday stating that conditions had returned to a neutral status, which will eventually allow hurricane formation to ramp up. The forecasters at NOAA’s climate prediction center thus raised the likelihood of an above-normal season in the Atlantic to 45 percent, up from 30 percent in the May forecast. The chances of a below-normal season have dropped to just 20 percent.
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Brunswick County sees spike in ‘forever chemical,’ GenX still below ‘health goal’
Brunswick County’s raw water saw a spike in the level of one member of the PFAS family in its raw water, while the levels of other related chemicals – including GenX – remain under state and federal ‘health advisories.’ PFAS are a family of chemicals sharing similar carbon-fluorine bonds; they are used in a host of industrial and commercial applications including non-stick cookware, fire-fighting agents, and food packaging, capitalizing on their ability to repel grease and water. There are over 4,700 members of the family and only limited testing has been done on a few PFAS chemicals, including GenX. However, several PFAS chemicals have been linked to cancer. According to Brunswick County, the most recent results of PFAS testing in the raw water from the county’s water treatment plant show elevated levels of one main PFAS chemical, known as PFMOAA (Perfluoro-2-methoxyacetic acid). The testing, performed by the North Carolina Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance Testing (PFAST) Network, was done on a sample taken from Brunswick County’s Leland plant on May 29, 2019.
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How Hot Was July? Hotter Than Ever, Global Data Shows
European climate researchers said Monday that last month was the hottest July — and thus the hottest month — ever recorded, slightly eclipsing the previous record-holder, July 2016. “While July is usually the warmest month of the year for the globe, according to our data it also was the warmest month recorded globally, by a very small margin,” Jean-Noël Thépaut, head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said in a statement. The service, part of an intergovernmental organization supported by European countries, said the global average temperature last month was about 0.07-degree Fahrenheit (0.04 Celsius) hotter than July 2016.
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Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns
The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself. The report, prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries and released in summary form in Geneva on Thursday, found that the window to address the threat is closing rapidly. A half-billion people already live in places turning into desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is forming, according to the report. Climate change will make those threats even worse, as floods, drought, storms and other types of extreme weather threaten to disrupt, and over time shrink, the global food supply. Already, more than 10 percent of the world’s population remains undernourished, and some authors of the report warned in interviews that food shortages could lead to an increase in cross-border migration.
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Odds & Ends


Brunswick County residents invited to take hurricane survey
North Carolina’s estuarine habitats provide a wide range of benefits from being nursery habitats to filtering water pollution but are increasingly threatened by natural and human pressures. One of the greatest challenges for managing the coast is that drivers of habitat loss happen at different scales. For example, changes can be caused by short-term events, like hurricanes, or long-term from every day waves. A suite of options exist to manage erosion, such as hard bulkheads and nature-based living shorelines, but research comparing the various options and their broader impacts is limited. This study seeks to better understand how people and habitats are impacted based on the shoreline management project near them. This study combines science from multiple disciplines, through geospatial, emerging low-cost remote sensing and aerial mapping technologies, waterfront homeowner surveys, and citizen science. This study hopes to understand long-term patterns of shoreline and coastal habitat change, identify socio-ecological mechanisms responsible for shoreline and habitat changes and test citizen science-based approaches for future shoreline monitoring. As part of this study, researchers at East Carolina University and University of North Carolina at Wilmington have collaborated to develop an online survey related to people’s experiences during Hurricane Florence and their experiences living on the coast in North Carolina. The survey is part of a larger study on the impacts of shoreline management strategies. To access the survey, go to tinyurl.com/NCCoastalSurvey2019.Resilience of North Carolina estuarine ecosystems is dependent upon coastal management decisions made now. The results of this study will directly inform future coastal management, serve as a mechanism to educate homeowners on shoreline conservation and management strategies and enable the development of long-term, cost-effective shoreline monitoring procedures that can be scaled up to state or region levels.
10A Brunswick Beacon

County residents invited to take NC Coastal Shoreline and Hurricane Survey

>> Take survey at tinyurl.com/NCCoastalSurvey2019

>> Learn more about the NC Coastal Shoreline and Hurricane Survey and Study

North Carolina’s estuarine habitats provide a wide range of benefits from being nursery habitats to filtering water pollution but are increasingly threatened by natural and human pressures. One of the greatest challenges for managing the coast is that drivers of habitat loss happen at different scales. For example, changes can be caused by short-term events, like hurricanes, or long-term from every day waves. A suite of options exist to manage erosion, such as hard bulkheads and nature-based living shorelines, but research comparing the various options and their broader impacts is limited. This study seeks to better understand how people and habitats are impacted based on the shoreline management project near them. This study combines science from multiple disciplines, through geospatial, emerging low-cost remote sensing and aerial mapping technologies, waterfront homeowner surveys, and citizen science.

This study hopes to understand:
1. Long-term patterns of shoreline and coastal habitat change;
2.
Identify socio-ecological mechanisms responsible for shoreline and habitat changes;
3.
Test citizen science-based approaches for future shoreline monitoring.

As part of this study, researchers at East Carolina University and University of North Carolina Wilmington have collaborated to develop an online survey related to people’s experiences during Hurricane Florence and their experiences living on the coast in North Carolina. The survey is part of a larger study on the impacts of shoreline management strategies.

To access the survey, go to tinyurl.com/NCCoastalSurvey2019

Resilience of North Carolina estuarine ecosystems is dependent upon coastal management decisions made now. The results of this study will directly inform future coastal management, serve as a mechanism to educate homeowners on shoreline conservation and management strategies, and enable the development of long-term, cost-effective shoreline monitoring procedures that can be scaled up to state or region levels.


Previously reported – July 2018


Cape Fear Council of Governments Letter
The Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) is pleased to submit this proposal and agreement to develop a Comprehensive Land Use Plan (LUP) for the Town of Holden Beach. Assisting our member governments is a primary tenet of our mission and vision, and we hope that we can continue our years of involvement by performing the work outlined in the Proposal for you.

In the past few years, the CFCOG has developed or updated Land Use Plans for Ocean Isle Beach, Boiling Spring Lakes, Shallotte, Sunset Beach, Southport, and Topsail Beach. Our reputation for professionalism, competence, and technical skill has been earned by delivering valuable products that meet or exceed customer expectations. Our staff values that reputation and we look forward to the opportunity to validate it during the process of developing your Land Use Plan.

This project will be led by our Senior Regional Planner, Wes Macleod, who will be the primary contact for the Town. I will provide oversight and technical support. As CFCOG’s Executive Director, Chris May will be available to the Town to oversee staff and to guide the entire process. The CFCOG will work with Holden Beach to settle on a completion date and will not exceed our proposed budget of $30,000 to be expended over the course of two fiscal years.
For more information » click here

HOLDEN BEACH LAND USE PLAN / PUBLIC INPUT MEETING
A public input meeting will be held on Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly. This meeting is held as part of the land use planning process for the Town of Holden Beach. Holden Beach’s Land Use Plan provides guidance to local decision-makers to achieve the long-term vision for the community. This allows local decision makers to be proactive rather than reactive and helps maintain Holden Beach as one of the finest family-oriented beaches on the East Coast of the United States. The meeting is structured to be engaging and informative.

Town’s Land Use Plan

Previously reported – February 2019    
Holden Beach residents give input for updated land use plan
Holden Beach residents at a Feb. 7 meeting with the Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) were able to give input on the town’s developing land use plan. Town commissioners voted in July to approve an agreement between the town and the CFCOG for a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) land use plan update. A land use plan is an official document containing goals, policies, analyses and maps that serves as a community’s blueprint for growth, Wes MacLeod, senior regional planner with CFCOG, told attendees at the special meeting, providing them with some of the data about the town already collected for the land use plan.

MacLeod provided history on the town’s population growth, which shows a decrease of more than 200 residents from the year 2000, with 787 permanent town residents, to 575 permanent residents in 2010. As of 2016 the number of permanent Holden Beach residents was 633. It’s estimated that the population will grow to 708 in 2020, 783 in 2025, 859 in 2030, 935 in 2035, 1,016 in 2040 and 1,095 by 2046. The median age for the town is 61.4, compared to the county’s median age of 50.9, and the state’s median age of 38.3. The majority of those living in Holden Beach are considered Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 74), making up 56.35 percent of the town. For the seasonal population, the most recent data from 2016 showed the peak seasonal overnight population estimate for Holden Beach at 16,811 people. The median value of owner-occupied housing in Holden Beach as of 2016 was $406,000.

MacLeod also showed information from the community survey update. He said CFCOG received 891 responses, including 810 property owner responses and 81 non-resident responses, including visitors and off-island residents. The survey showed Holden Beach residents when it comes to new private development desires, would most like to see more entertainment on the island like restaurants and theaters, low-density single-family residences and small businesses that serve the needs of residents. Survey takers said they consider the most important roles for the town to play in influencing the character of development on Holden Beach to be managing the density and intensity of new development by regulating the size and layout of buildings, protecting the beach and encouraging continued coastal storm damage reduction and beach protection and retaining and enhancing the community’s appearance through landscaping, signs, lighting and architectural standards. They also said coastal storm damage reduction, density development and environmental protections are the most important growth and development issues facing Holden Beach. When it comes to transportation issues, survey takers said the most important ones are maintenance of the town’s existing roadways, parking availability/public access congestion and roadway drainage. When asked to share their favorite things about Holden Beach, the most common responses from survey takers were its lack of commercial development, its uncrowded and clean beaches, its family-friendly atmosphere, its natural resources including the beaches and marshes, it’s quiet, off-season “solitude’ and the fact that the town is mostly made up of single-family houses.

Attendees were then given a brainstorming exercise. MacLeod wrote down on large pieces of paper what those at the meeting thought were the town’s most important assets, important issues and their desires for the future in Holden Beach. Attendees were then given dots to place next to the two of those they considered the most important. Preliminary results showed attendees saw the most important assets as the beach, the lack of commercial development, Lockwood Folly and the marshes and wetlands. The most important issues appeared to be rising sea levels, offshore drilling and stormwater. As for desires for the town, the most popular answers were sustainable growth, improving the causeway’s appearance and a fully maintained and marked inlet. MacLeod said the answers would be tallied by CFCOG to be used in the land use plan.
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Update –
Land Use Plan Steering Committee’s meeting is scheduled for August 27th.
You can view the agenda online at http://hbtownhall.com/files/132385627.pdf

This should be their last meeting; a draft will be sent to P&Z for approval.  


This & That


Spray-painted message puzzles Holden Beach officials
A disgruntled homeowner seems to be hoping a 10-feet-tall message spray-painted on the starboard side of his beach cottage will attract attention. It has. Traveling along Ocean Boulevard East in Holden Beach, it’s difficult not to notice the message, which reads “9 month No B-Permit Why??” The message also has Holden Beach town officials befuddled. The house, located at 180 Ocean Boulevard east of the bridge, appears to be vacant. The front door and windows are covered with plywood.

 According to Brunswick County tax records, the house belongs to Elisabeth Schaider. County records list her permanent address as 359 Timber Cove Drive, Whiteville. Planning and inspections director Evans said the homeowner has never applied for a permit. Evans says the property owner claims the house was damaged during Hurricane Florence.  The owner(s) have approached Evans on multiple occasions yet have never filed an application for a permit, he said. “I am as baffled as anyone,” Evans said, adding that the house is entirely gutted. With no way to provide power to the cottage, Evans is not able to issue a permit.
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Mailbox mystery draws visitors at Holden Beach
Three mailboxes, posted throughout the island, invite beachgoers to share stories and memories
Poetry, memories, funny stories and letters to lost loved ones fill the notebooks at the “Golden Holden Memories Mailboxes.” Stocked with a notebook and plenty of pens, these special places beckon visitors and residents to stop by, reflect and share their memories of Holden Beach. The three mailboxes, positioned throughout the island, are popular spots. But they aren’t always easy to find. The main one, located on the east end, involves a bit of a hike. One must drive to the end of the island — where the paved road becomes dirt — park and walk out onto the beach, which faces Oak Island. The mailbox is located on the Intracoastal Waterway side of the island, about a half-mile walk on the beach. The second mailbox is easier to access. Located in Sailfish Park, one can park, walk a few steps and begin recording their memories. The third mailbox is located on the west end of the island inside a gated community. Those who have been say it’s just a generic mailbox somewhat hidden in the dunes.
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The World’s Most Littered Item Comes Under Fire
Smokers’ habit of tossing cigarette butts on the ground sparks concerns about single-use plastic
Cigarette butts, the most littered items in the world, are posing an intractable trash problem for regulators and tobacco companies: Throwing them on the ground is a firmly entrenched habit for many smokers. Regulators are taking a tougher stance on cigarette filter pollution amid concerns about the environmental impact of single-use plastic. Butts for decades have been made from cellulose acetate, a form of plastic, which takes years to break down. Studies show that butts—which often wash from sidewalks into drains and then waterways—can be toxic to fish. About 65% of cigarettes smoked in the U.S. are littered, according to Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit whose cigarette litter prevention program is funded by the tobacco industry.
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Clean Water case ferments trouble for craft breweries and environmentalists
Beer is mostly water — more than 90 percent, in some cases. Which is why the craft brewing industry is increasingly concerned about the Trump administration’s attempt to deregulate the 1972 Clean Water Act. Sixty craft breweries from across the country filed a brief in July in support of environmental advocates who are fighting the deregulation attempt in a case before the Supreme Court. They claim that weakening the protections around American waterways directly threatens their livelihoods — as well as one of America’s favorite adult beverages. “The cleanliness and flavor profile of the water is really at the heart of making great beer,” said Heather Sanborn, who opened Rising Tide Brewery in Portland, Maine, with her husband nine years ago. “We need to protect our water and make sure we have access to clean water to make great beer here in Maine and across the country.”
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Intersection projects totaling $110.7 million planned along U.S. 17
It won’t be long before some of the main intersections on U.S. 17 in southwestern Brunswick County start to transform. If plans presented by the North Carolina Department of Transportation proceed as scheduled, some of the biggest changes will occur at highway intersections at Hickman Road, Thomasboro/Pea Landing roads, Seaside/Longwood roads (N.C. 904), Smith Avenue in Shallotte and N.C. 211 in Supply. “The purpose of these projects is to improve safety and traffic operations,” Michael L. Bass Jr., advanced engineering technician with NCDOT’s Division 3 in Wilmington, wrote last week.
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Visitor impact for Brunswick County in 2018
On Aug. 15, Governor Roy Cooper announced that domestic visitors to and within Brunswick County spent $599.11 million in 2018, an increase of 6.5 percent from 2017. This percentage increase placed Brunswick County among the top 10 counties in the state in percentage of growth over 2017. Brunswick County ranks 9th among the state’s 100 counties in spending by visitors. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. “We’re pleased to be among the top 10 counties in the state in spending by visitors in 2018 and in visitor spending growth over 2017,” said Bonnie Cox, chairman of the Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority. “Tourism is the cornerstone of our county’s economy, providing jobs and supporting our local businesses which enhances the quality of life for our whole community.”

Tourism impact highlights
The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 5,900 people in Brunswick County. Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Brunswick County was $120.33 million. State tax revenue generated in Brunswick County totaled $27.52 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $36.61 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.Gov. Cooper announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2018. The $25.3 billion in total spending represented an increase of 5.6 percent from 2017. These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2018,” which can be accessed at partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association. “The numbers confirm the strength of North Carolina’s tourism industry as an anchor of economic development,” said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina. “As the No. 6 state in the country for overnight visitation, we can attribute our success to the natural beauty and authenticity that visitors experience, and to a passionate effort to inform and inspire travelers. The money they spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing our residents’ tax burden.”

Statewide highlights
State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 4.7 percent to more than $1.3 billion in 2018.Visitors spend more than $69 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $5.64 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.5 million in state taxes and $2.1 million in local taxes). The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 230,000 North Carolinians. Each North Carolina household saves on aver-age $532 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.
Brunswick Beacon 3A


Could Holden Beach still lose its pier?
The pier went on the market in October 2018, and owner Guilford Bass said a potential buyer is investigating the property

On a warm Friday evening in August, the Holden Beach Fishing Pier is a busy place. Anglers are purchasing supplies, and vacationers are stopping by for ice cream and a moonlight stroll. The 510-foot-long pier has been a fixture on Holden Beach since 1959 — ten years before Holden Beach was incorporated as a town. But with the pier currently on the market, its future is very much in question. According to a brochure from Wilmington-based Cape Fear Commercial, the pier and it’s adjacent parcels, which include a 10-room motel and an RV park, are up for sale. The eight parcels total more than 4 acres, with about 735 feet of beach frontage. While the property is not yet under contract, property owner Guilford Bass said a potential buyer is considering the site.
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Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


Staying safe at the beach: Rip currents, jellyfish, sharks, and other hazards
A trip to the beach can turn deadly (or painful) due to natural hazards but being aware of risks and mitigating hazards is a good way to prevent problems.
Picture this: warm weather, blue skies, and your toes in the sand — it sounds like a perfect lazy summer day at the beach. Maybe you decide to cool down in the ocean and find yourself bobbing around when suddenly you realize you are a little too far out. As panic sinks in and you start to swim towards dry land you realize your efforts are in vain and your whole body is getting tired, all the while you are drifting further into the Atlantic — you have gotten stuck in a rip current. It’s not the only potential danger in the ocean, though. There are also sharks. And, of course, there are some things on shore that ruin your day at the beach, too, including stepping on jellyfish and, of course, good old-fashioned sunburn.

Rip currents
According to the U.S. Lifesaving Association (USLA), 80 percent of all ocean rescues are related to rip currents and annually more than 100 fatalities across the country are due to rip currents. While it is obvious that swimming at a beach with lifeguards is one of the safer options, there are plenty of area beaches that lack lifeguards or maybe ocean rescue season has not started just yet. So, what is the best course of action for surviving a rip current? According to the National Weather Service, there are several things swimmers should keep in mind when dealing with these often-unseen dangers.

  • Relax. Rip currents don’t pull you under.
  • A rip current is a natural treadmill that travels an average speed of 1-2 feet per second but has been measured as fast as 8 feet per second — faster than an Olympic swimmer. Trying to swim against a rip current will only use up your energy; energy you need to survive and escape the rip current.
  • Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim along the shoreline until you escape the current’s pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • If you feel you can’t reach shore, relax, face the shore, and call or wave for help. Remember: If in doubt, don’t go out!
  • If at all possible, only swim at beaches with lifeguards.
  • If you choose to swim on beaches without a lifeguard, never swim alone. Take a friend and have that person take a cell phone so he or she can call 911 for help.

Sharks
Sharks are a fear on most every swimmer’s mind, regardless of the actual dangers posed by the large predatory fish. “NOAA states that while shark attacks are rare, they are most likely to occur near shore, typically inshore of a sandbar or between sandbars where sharks can be trapped by low tide, and near steep drop-offs where sharks’ prey gather. While the risks are small, it’s important to be aware of how to avoid an attack,” according to previous reporting.

Suggestions from NOAA for reducing the risk of a shark attack include:

  • Don’t swim too far from shore.
  • Stay in groups – sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual.
  • Avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight when sharks are most active.
  • Don’t go in the water if bleeding from a wound – sharks have a very acute sense of smell.
  • Leave the shiny jewelry at home – the reflected light resembles fish scales.
  • Avoid brightly-colored swimwear – sharks see contrast particularly well.Sunburns
    Most everyone has experienced a sunburn at one point in their life and while not often thought as a major concern for many, overexposure to UV light can cause serious long-term problems including skin cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using at least S.P.F. 15 sunscreen at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Wearing a hat, long sleeves, and other protective clothing is also recommended to keep skin protected.

Jellyfish
Jellyfish and Portuguese Man of War have been spotted along the beaches of New Hanover County and surrounding area beaches already this season and the little floating creatures can pack a punch. Often times beachgoers will spot them washed up on shore and other times they can be spotted in the water, but it is best to avoid them when you can. “While all jellyfish sting, not all contain poison that hurts humans. Be careful of jellies that wash up on shore, as some can still sting if tentacles are wet. NOAA recommends that if you are stung by a jellyfish to first seek a lifeguard to give first aid. If no lifeguards are present, wash the wound with vinegar or rubbing alcohol,” NOAA suggests. And what about that … other method of treating stings? Turns out, it’s a myth. In fact, urine can actually aggravate the stinging cells of jellyfish, making things worse. These cells, which detach and stick into the skin of prey, can continue to inject venom. Urine, as well as fresh water, can cause an imbalance to the salt solution surrounding the stinging cells, causing them to continue to fire. According to Scientific American, if you don’t have vinegar or rubbing alcohol, rinsing with salt water may be your best bet.
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No lifeguards on duty in Brunswick
Beach towns say policy remains ‘Swim at your own risk’

North Carolina’s tourist season is off to a tragic start. So far, at least eight people have drowned along the state’s coast, which ties the number of surf zone drowning deaths reported statewide in 2018.

According to the National Weather Service, at least six of the deaths this year were caused by rip currents, while another one was attributed to high surf. With the official start of summer still weeks away, many more visitors will make their way to the ocean in search of fun. But many aren’t aware of the danger and end up in distress. On Memorial Day weekend, lifeguards pulled 31 swimmers from rip currents along New Hanover County’s beaches. But what happens when there’s no lifeguard on duty? At Brunswick County’s beaches, that’s the case every day. None of the county’s six beach towns employ lifeguards. Pender County’s beaches also don’t have lifeguards, while all of New Hanover County’s beach towns employ them. According to Caswell Beach Town Administrator Chad Hicks, several of the Brunswick beach towns came together four years ago and considered employing lifeguards. He noted the move came at the urging of Rich Cerrato, who at the time served as Sunset Beach’s mayor. Hicks recalled that as the towns examined the figures, all deemed it would be too costly. “We’ve got such a tiny budget,” he said of Caswell Beach. “I don’t remember the exact figures, but it was more than we took in for accommodations tax.” One reason for the high cost is the amount of ground to cover. Brunswick County has more than 50 miles of coastline. While that land is divided between the six beach towns — Bald Head Island, Caswell Beach, Oak Island, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach — some would be responsible for stationing lifeguards along 10 miles of beaches.

Some safety steps
Though they don’t have lifeguards, beach town officials say they do have some water safety programs in place. Sunset Beach Town Administrator Hiram Marziano said the town has a beach patrol offered through the fire department. “We do have a beach patrol that monitors safety, but they aren’t responsible for life safety,” Marziano said. “They help out if they can and if they are trained.” He said the town’s fire chief had recently developed a program to station life rings at all the town’s beach accesses. “That way, if someone’s in trouble, they can throw that out to assist them until help arrives,” Marziano said. In Caswell Beach, the police department patrols the beach several times throughout the day. Hicks said all police officers and some public works employees carry flotation boards that can be thrown to assist distressed swimmers. The town also posts rip current warnings on an electronic message board near the police station. “That sign has come in handy, and it has helped a lot,” Hicks said. In addition, Caswell Beach is served by the Southport Fire Department, which has a water rescue division. Hicks recalled that recently the department used its boat to assist kayakers trapped in the marsh.

‘Swim at your own risk’
Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach also have water rescue programs. In Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach, the programs are coordinated through the fire department, and in Oak Island it is a nonprofit, volunteer organization with about 20 members. According to Holden Beach Town Manager David Hewett, the town doesn’t have a formal beach patrol or water rescue program, but it does post signs warning beachgoers about rip currents at the beach accesses. Aside from these efforts, officials at all beach towns say when it comes to safety, it’s the responsibility of the swimmer. “Our formal policy is swim at your risk,” Hewett said.
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Report: Two area sites listed among top 10 in state for most potentially unsafe swimming days in 2018
Two sites in our area were among the top 10 in the state for the most potentially unsafe swimming days in 2018, according to a new study. Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group released its study Safe for Swimming? Water Quality at Our Beaches this week. The study found that more than 2,600 of the 4,523 beaches tested in the U.S. demonstrated unsafe bacteria levels on at least one day in 2018. The causes of the water pollution included runoff from cities, sewage overflow and failing septic systems in addition to concentrated livestock manure, according to the report. The report warns that sewage and fecal contamination in swimming areas can cause swimmers to develop gastrointestinal illness, respiratory disease, infections and skin rashes. In North Carolina, 127 of 213 sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day last year. The study listed a site in Pender County and another in Brunswick County among the top 10 in the state with the most potentially unsafe swimming days last year. The public access at the end of Shore Line Drive in Pender County was listed as having seven potentially unsafe days while a site on the Intracoastal Waterway near marker #67 near Sailfish Street in Holden Beach had six.

The full study can be found here.
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Hot Button Issues
Subjects that are important to people and about which they have strong opinions


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Climate
For more information » click here

 


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Development Fees
For more information » click here
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Flood Insurance Program
For more information » click here
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GenX
For more information » click here
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Homeowners Insurance
For more information » click here
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Hurricane Season

For more information » click here
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Inlet Hazard Areas
For more information » click here
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Lockwood Folly Inlet
For more information » click here
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Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling
For more information » click here
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Solid Waste Program

For more information » click here
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Things I Think I Think –

Dining #2Eating out is one of the great little joys of life.

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// April 2019
Name:               Ciao!  
Cuisine:            Italian
Location:         5223 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach SC
Contact:           843.449.5700 /
http://www.ciaomyrtlebeach.com/

Food:                 Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:            Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:       Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                  Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:             Three Stars
Ciao is a great local classic family run Italian restaurant that is located in a nondescript small strip mall. It is ranked #4 out of @700 restaurants located in Myrtle Beach. It’s no longer a hole in the wall. In 2016 they took over the space next door, remodeled and added a huge bar. We enjoyed the dining experience at this place. That said, there are a number of other Italian restaurants that are at least as good and half the distance away.


Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
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MISSION CRITICAL by Mark Greaney
This is a Clancy-esque geo-political spy thriller, the eighth entry in the Courtland Gentry novel series. Gentry the former CIA operative who is better known as the Gray Man, is back with the CIA in an unofficial capacity as a freelance assassin.


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That’s it for this newsletter

See you next month


HBPOIN / Lou’s Views

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