05 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 05/21/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Poyner Spruill Update

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

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.

Update –
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.

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. 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.


BOC’s Regular Meeting 05/21/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

There were no comments


2. Recognition of PAR Course Eagle Scout Project, Todd Robbins – Christy Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
At the May 13, 2019 meeting of Troop 262, Todd Robbins was awarded his Eagle Scout award.  After meeting with staff to discuss options for Town projects, Todd chose to make improvements to the PAR Course along Ocean Boulevard.   The process involved several months of planning, establishment of a project budget, and the implementation of project management and leadership skills.

The Town would like to recognize Todd Robbins for his hard work and improvements in our community.

Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Scouts BSA program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Since its inception in 1911, only four percent of Scouts have earned this rank after a lengthy review process.

Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges. The Eagle Scout must demonstrate Scout Spirit, an ideal attitude based upon the Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the Scout.

Christy presented the award to Todd followed by a photo-op.

I would like to give a special shout-out to Todd, congratulations on earning the highest honor in scouting the rank of Eagle Scout. I salute your achievement and wish you every success in the future.


3. Recognition of International City/ County Management Association (ICMA) Award of Credentialed Manager Status to Town Manager Hewett – Tommy Combs, ICMA Senior Advisor

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

International City/County Management Association vision is to be the leading organization of local government professionals dedicated to creating and supporting thriving communities throughout the world. We do this by working with our more than 11,000 members to identify and speed the adoption of leading local government practices in order to improve the lives of residents.  ICMA offers membership, professional development programs, research, publications, data and information, technical assistance, and training to thousands of city, town, and county chief administrative officers, their staffs, and other organizations throughout the world.
For more information » click here

ICMA Credentialed Managers are professional local government managers qualified by a combination of education and experience, adherence to high standards of integrity, and an assessed commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. 

Town Manager Hewett met all the requirements with distinction and achieved Credentialed Manager designation.


4. Lockwood Folly Inlet Sedimentation Analysis Presentation – Fran Way, Applied Technology & Management
Agenda Packet –
background information not provided

There have been 41 projects in the last 48 years (since 1971) where the sand was put on Holden Beach. THB initiated this study because USACE put sand from the dredging project on the west end of Oak Island this year. Frankly it made no sense since Oak Island’s west end is accretional where the east end of Holden Beach is erosional.

The sand nourishment project (140,000cy) is a critical element to keep the east end of Holden Beach healthy and stable. USACE even states that Holden Beach is the “base” or “standard” disposable plan because it is the least costly alternative. Modeling was done and we now have imperial data to make the case to justify putting the sand on the east end of Holden Beach in the future.


5. Fire Department Update – Fire Chief Doug Todd
.       a)
Letter of Support for West End Access
.       b)
Letter of Support for Second Water Tower

Agenda Packet –

TRI-BEACH VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
I am writing to let you know that the Fire Department would support the town in trying to get an area at the west end of the island for emergency vehicles to be able to access the beach strand. The closest access that we have currently is at the 800 block of the island. It takes a lot longer to drive on the strand from that location than it would if we could drive down the highway and get on the strand closer to the west end of the island. The higher number of calls for water rescue that we have are at the two ends of the island. We have a great access at the east end of the island, and it would be a great help to have one closer to the west end. Any help that the town could give us with this matter would be greatly appreciated.

TRI-BEACH VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
I am writing to let you know that the Fire Department is in support of a second water tank on the island. We have had several times in the last few years when there have been problems with the county water system that could have infected the amount of water that was available to the island. I have been told several times that the demand on the water system in the summertime is just about to the maximum. I think that the Town would be making a great proactive move for the future of the island to move forward with building a second water tank on the island. This could help with drinking water as well as water for the protection of the island in case of a fire.

MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department is to protect the life and property of our citizens and visitors from fire and other emergencies through incident response, public education, and first response. As a customer driven organization, it is our mission and number one priority to deliver the best possible service to our customers.
For more information » click here

Assistant Fire Chief David Ward made the presentation. David briefly reviewed the Tri-Beach Fire Department call statistics. He also informed us the island station #2 will have full-time staffing beginning May 24th from 7:00am to 7:00pm, during which time roughly 61% of the island calls happen.


6. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
It’s the beginning of the busy season on Holden Beach
Memorial Day is the official kickoff for the 100 fun days of summer

 

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. 


Modern technology meets old school: How law enforcement investigated the suspected Holden Beach murderer

The tiny beach town of Holden was rocked when 71-year-old Judy Brock was murdered, allegedly by her husband. Find out how authorities made their case using data stored by cell phone and internet companies.

Modern communications technology paired with old-fashioned interview tactics are helping at least nine agencies build a strong case against Phillip Brock, a 71-year-old indicted last week for the first-degree murder of his wife. From the day Brock first reported his wife missing until the first week of April, 15 search warrants have been issued. Some search warrants are what one might expect in a murder investigation: a property search, DNA and cheek swab collection, or bank transaction tracking. But others, like those with a 48-hour return directive — effectively a legal rush-order — to out-of-state companies including Yahoo!, Google, Inc. and Verizon Wireless, show how law enforcement agencies are taking advantage of ubiquitous data collection practices that are more often used to sell targeted advertising. Traditional investigative techniques, like noticing inconsistencies in an interview, opened up suspicion against Phillip Brock. Brock called 911 to report his wife missing at 3:16 p.m. on March 15. Fine-tuned location data — sourced from a cell phone — could further reveal Brock’s precise movement that day — information that could remove any doubt about his involvement in Judy Brock’s murder. And communication records, which were examined alongside cellphone use, could help the prosecution clear up any suspicion about Rhen Wise, Brock’s alleged mistress, and the extent — if any — of her involvement in the murder; initial communication records show Wise continued to communicate with Brock after his wife’s murder for five days, until his arrest on March 20. Warrants cite the pervasive nature of cell phone use as part of their usefulness in tracking behavior. Cell phones “generally geographically mirror their user’s pattern of movement over time,” multiple warrants in the Brock case state.

Suspicion
The investigation began as a missing person case. After Brock reported his wife missing, officers conducted an initial search of his waterfront Holden Beach home. No signs of forced entry were present. Initial forensics conducted on Judy Brock’s cell phone — which was left at the residence — showed her husband texted her at 8:02 and 8:03 a.m., with no response. He told investigators he left home that morning at 5:45 a.m. and that his wife was still sleeping. Forensics conducted on Brock’s phone showed data before and during March 15 had been deleted. According to the search warrant to Google Inc., issued on March 18, deleting communication records to conceal them from law enforcement can show “consciousness of guilt,” information that can help prosecutors frame motive and intent to commit a crime. Information Google Inc. provides — which according to the warrant is likely to be stored both inside and outside the U.S. — “may tend to identify potential witnesses and/or suspects” in a “chronological and geographic context.” These initial forensics also showed Google searches from two weeks prior for escort services near South Carolina. This information served as probable cause to serve the first two search warrants on March 18: the first to Verizon Wireless and the second to Google Inc. At this point in the case, Judy Brock’s disappearance was being investigated as an “endangered missing person suspected by foul play.” Investigators believed Judy Brock could still be alive. After issuing the first search warrant to Verizon Wireless on the afternoon of March 18, Major Laurie Watson with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office re-faxed it twice the next morning, at 7:03 a.m. and at 8:51 a.m. with the urgent message: “I am requesting [range to tower records] as soon as possible in hopes of finding her alive.” According to the law firm Yavitch & Palmer, Verizon Wireless stores range-to-tower records, or RTT data. RTT data helps narrow down the distance from a device to a cell tower (or multiple cell towers) at the time of receiving or placing a call or text message. This type of data can track a device’s precise measurement to about one-tenth of a mile. But it’s only maintained by carriers for less than two weeks. Major Watson also requested the location of each of Verizon’s cell sites (equipment including antennas that transmit signals) and towers (the structures sites are attached to), including the horizontal beam widths and orientations of the cell sites.

Locking down location
It wasn’t until officers searched the Brocks’ Holden Beach property on Greensboro Street that they discovered data tying Phillip Brock to the crime. The property was searched on March 20, the warrant shows, which included a search of vehicles at the scene. Forensics from showed Brock’s 2018 Ford 150 revealed recent GPS locations in Sampson County — a location Brock told investigators he had not been to in months. The locations tied Brock to Wright Bridge Road – a 3.5-mile road that cuts around several acres of woods off U.S. 701 in Sampson County. Later that day, multiple law enforcement agencies found Judy Brock’s body in the same location, after discovering tire tracks and freshly-disturbed ground off Wright Bridge Road. Phillip Brock was arrested at 5:30 p.m. following the discovery.

Ongoing investigation, expanded focus
New search warrants show the focus has expanded to Brock’s suspected mistress, who continued to communicate with him for at least five days after Judy Brock’s suspected time of death. Bank records revealed a financial relationship between Brock and Wise, in which Brock paid Wise’s phone bill, provided her with credit cards, and gave her funds and covered other expenses. The two also met in several hotels since 2018, according to an April 4 warrant for Wise’s Yahoo! records tied to her email account. Holden Beach Police Department, which still is handling the case according to a Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, did not respond to multiple inquiries. It’s not clear whether Wise is a suspect — as of April 29, Wise has not been arrested by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. It appears that, from an investigative side, the state has more than what it needs; after a review of Brock’s court file Wednesday, no new search warrants have been issued since April 4. On April 15, a grand jury returned a bill of indictment after hearing evidence presented by Watson and Detective John Duncan of the Holden Beach Police Department. Brock’s murder marks the first for the small beach town, home to less than 1,000 residents.
Read more » click here


7. Discussion and Possible Action on Status of 2018 Audit – Mayor Pro Tem Fletcher

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Previously reported – March 2019
Board authorized request to get an explanation for the delay in the annual audit report

Previously reported – April 2019
We still do not have the completed audit in hand although a rough draft has been provided.

Update –
We still do not have results of the completed audit some seven months after it was due.

Fiscal Year 2017 – 2018 Audit Results
Auditor’s report is due by November 1st and is normally is given at the November meeting. The report still has not been given yet. Town Manager reported at the October meeting that the storm events have delayed the annual audit process. We are still waiting for the report. The auditor Rives & Associates
has advised the Local Government Commission.

Nothing for nothing but it has been like eight months since the last storm event.

Really this is unacceptable.


8. Discussion and Possible Action – Review of Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 Budget Message – Commissioner Freer

Budget Message
Notice is hereby given that the Budget proposed for the Fiscal Year, beginning July 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2020, has been submitted to the Board of Commissioners. Click here to view the Budget Message online.

A public hearing on the proposed Budget will be held by the Board of Commissioners at 7:00 p.m. or shortly thereafter on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in the Holden Beach Town Hall Public Assembly, 110 Rothschild Street. Oral and written comments will be received at the hearing from any interested person.

Key Takeaway

Tax Rate
The value of the Town’s real estate went up almost nine (9) percent in the Brunswick County property revaluation this year. The revenue-neutral rate, the rate necessary to generate the same amount of ad valorem tax revenue, would require the real estate tax rate to go down.
By leaving the tax rate at twenty-two cents per one hundred dollars of valuation essentially what you have is a hidden tax rate increase. The Board of Commissioners top two goals this year were to have no additional taxes and no tax increase.

Previous property valuation of $1.227 billion
Current property revaluation of $1.336 billion
Valuation increase 109,107,354 or @8.89%
2018 Tax rate = $.022 / Collection rate 98.64%
$1,227,304,318 X $.022 = $2,700,069
$1,336,411,672 X $.020 = $2,672,873 / Revenue neutral tax rate $.020 vs. $.022
$1,336,411,672 X $.022 = $2,940,106 / Difference of an additional $240,037 (windfall)

The Board instructed the Town Manager to modify the budget to make it revenue neutral. They have chosen to address the property revaluation and its impact on the Town tax rate and eliminate what would have been a hidden tax increase.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Commissioner Sullivan recommended taking it one step further.
Mike took the following position: “The FEMA REIMBURSEMENT was in excess of 3 million dollars. Last year we set aside 3 million dedicated for beach nourishment and transferred an additional 250,000 to the BPART FUND from the general revenue fund. In this year’s budget an additional 250,000 will be transferred into the BPART FUND.  I argued last year and continue to believe that the 250,000 should be used to lower the tax rate by 2 cents. Not doing so is the equivalent of a hidden tax increase resulting from a tax rate that would never have been approved if the BOC knew a FEMA reimbursement would happen.” (Tax rate $.018 vs. $.020)

No decision was made – No action taken


9. Receipt of Inlet and Beach Protection Board Report – Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet –
April Meeting Update
The Inlet and Beach Protection Board (JBPB) met April 25 and the following issues and topics were addressed:

Status of the Beach and Inlets: Staff provided an overview of conditions and issues relative to the beach strand and inlets. The status of the Florence and Michael remediation project recently renamed the Central Reach Reimbursement Project, (CRR Project) including sand sourcing was discussed. The Wider-Deeper project has been canceled.  Work continues on obtaining easements from East End property owners to allow sand placement in the future.

Comprehensive Long-Term Plan: Work on the Long-Term Plan continues and was the major thrust of the meeting. Cathy Foerster, AIC Senior Planner and Facilitator with ATM is facilitating the effort.  Excellent progress has made on the plan and a first draft is expected at our next meeting.

Meetings: The IBPB was represented at the Brunswick County Shoreline Protection meeting April3. Members will attend the NC Beach Inlets and Waterways Association meeting April 29,30. The next IBPB meeting is May 23.

IBPB Member Richard Rice has submitted his resignation from the Board, effective April 30. Richard is moving to Florida for a new position. We wish him the best in his new endeavors and thank him for his efforts and insights on the IBPB.

Previously reported –
Ordinance 18-02 established the Inlet and Beach Protection Board
The Ordinance requires a written report from this Board

Update –
No issues, accepted report


10. Discussion and Possible Action – Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System #4 Upgrade Status Report – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Previously reported – March 2019
New system is up and running without any issues. Met with engineers and prepared punch list items necessary for project completion. He now anticipates project will be completed within the next fourteen (14) days.

Previously reported – April 2019
Leo Green from Green Engineering, the firm used for construction management services, gave the report. They were able to meet the target date for beginning operations there. Punch list items necessary for project completion took longer than expected and pushed them past scheduled completion date. Project has been completed and they have received the final certificate of occupancy.

Update –
Wait, What? It was my understanding that this was put to bed last month. Chris is still talking about punch list items being completed.


11. Discussion and Possible Action on Proposed Ordinance for Maximum House Size Construction – Planning Director Evans

Agenda Packet –

Proposed Zoning Ordinances Changes

  • Maximum House Size Of 6000 Square feet
  • Progressive Setbacks
  • Protection of Storm water Discharge through Reduction
  • Traffic Reduction
  • Reduced Parking Densi1y
  • Reduction of Trash refuse
  • Improve Quali1y Of Life
  • Increase Lot Open Space
  • Decrease Potential Secondary Storm Debris

Item was removed from the agenda
Planning & Inspections Director Tim Evans was not in attendance


12. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date for Interviews for Inlet & Beach Protection Board Vacancy – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Richard Rice has resigned from the Inlet & Beach Protection Board. Staff recommends the Board schedule a Special Meeting to hold interviews for the vacancy on June 18, 2019 at 6:45p.m., prior to the next Board meeting.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


13. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 19-08, An Ordinance Enacting and Adopting a Supplement to the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Holden Beach – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
The latest supplement to the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances In listed on the agenda as item 18. The supplement codifies the ordinances the Board approved since the last supplement.

ORDINANCE 19·08
AN ORDINANCE ENACTING AND ADOPTING A SUPPLEMENT TO THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA (Supplement 16)

WHEREAS, American Legal Publishing Corporation of Cincinnati, OH, has completed the 16th supplement to the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Holden Beach, which supplement contains all ordinances of a general and permanent nature enacted since the prior supplement to the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Holden Beach;
For more information » click here

Housekeeping issue
The supplement codifies the ordinances the Board approved since the last supplement.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


14. Town Manager’s Report

Concert Series
First concert of the season is scheduled for this weekend

Splash Pad
Will be operational for Memorial Day weekend

Beach Strand
They have put garbage pails back out there


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

No decision was made – No action taken


General Comments –

Commissioner Patricia Kwiatkowski – was not in attendance

There were fifteen (15) members of the community in attendance

The BOC’s June Regular Meeting has been rescheduled to the third Tuesday of the month, June 18th

Agenda Packet
A number of agenda items do not have any supporting information in the agenda packet. Previously the Board agreed to only add agenda items with significant supporting documentation. Although I feel everyone should be able to submit something both ATM and Poyner-Spruill are the most egregious agenda items where background information was not provided this month.

RESOLUTION 18-07
RESOLUTION ADOPTING RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE BOC’s
The purpose of the proposed agenda is to expedite the conduct and business and enable the Board and members of the public to know in advance the potential subjects that are to be discussed. An agenda package shall be prepared that includes, for each item of business placed on the proposed agenda, as much background information on the subject as is available and feasible to reproduce.

Budget

Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:
. 1)
Raising taxes
. 2)
Cutting spending
. 3)
Operating more efficientl

Ensuring that government commitments are in line with available resources is an essential element of good governance.

The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st
Commissioners must adopt budget no later than July 1st for the next fiscal year
Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board

Budget Meeting Schedule / 2019

  • 16 January BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives
  • 05 February BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives / Capital Programs
  • 15 February Canal Dredging Working Group / PRAB / IBPB
    . * PRAB – Parks & Recreation Advisory Board
    . * IBPB – Inlet & Beach Protection Board
  • 22 February Departments Input to Manager
  • 7 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 21 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 28 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 12 April BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 19 April BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 6-10 May Budget Message
  • 18 June Public Hearing
  • 18 June Regular BOC’s Meeting – Ordinance Consideration
  • 1 July Budget adopted (No Later Than)

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Hurricane Season –

Hurricane #1 - CR

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a hurricane as “an intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

Be prepared – have a plan!

For assistance with making an emergency plan read more here »
. 1) FEMA Ready
. 2) American Red Cross Disaster and Safety Library
. 3) ReadyNC
. 4) Town Emergency Information
. 5) HBPOIN Hurricane Emergency Plan

THB – EVACUATION, CURFEW & VEHICLE DECALS
For more information » click here

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.

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

vigilance and preparedness is urged.


 

NOAA: $24 billion in damage from Florence, 9th most destructive in U.S. history
The National Hurricane Center has released its final report on Hurricane Florence. The report states Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach as a high category 1 hurricane with winds of 80 knots (about 92 mph). The storm resulted in 52 deaths in the Carolinas and Virginia. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) estimates the damage caused by Florence cost around $24 billion. This makes Florence the ninth-most-destructive hurricane to hit the United States. In North Carolina alone, damaged flooding totaled $22 billion, leaving 30 dead from direct, flooding or wind impacts. All of the freshwater deaths involved motor vehicles. The wind-related deaths were caused by falling trees. In New Hanover County, a tree fell on a home and killed a mother and her son during the storm. North Carolina’s agriculture industry lost about $20 million, consisting of forestry, fishery, damage to farm buildings, equipment, and infrastructure. Field crops, especially tobacco, soybeans, sweet potatoes, corn, and cotton, accounted for most of the state’s agricultural losses. Hurricane Florence caused the worst flooding in local history in Pender County. In just two days during the storm, there were 350 rescues due to closed roads and inundated neighborhoods. Overall, over 1,000 people were rescued and there were 3,882 flood-damaged structures across the county. Approximately 1.1 million people lost power due to Florence’s effects in both North and South Carolina. To view the final Hurricane Florence report, click here.
Read more » click here

Above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year
Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year. For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.
Read more » click here

Hurricane preparedness week: 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season 2019 is almost here, prepare before the storm
Hurricane Florence’s effects can still be seen around the region but the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season is right around the corner — now is the time to prepare.

The impact of Hurricane Florence will be felt in the Cape Fear region for months to come and it might even take years before the region is restored to pre-Florence conditions, but that doesn’t stop the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season from bearing down upon us. That’s why the National Weather Service is promoting this week as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. According to initial hurricane predictions from The Weather Company, the 2019 season is expected to be slightly above average with a total of 14 named storms predicted, seven of which are expected to be hurricanes. According to the National Weather Service, “Hurricanes are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. On average, 12 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year.” Recently, the National Weather Service in Wilmington’s Steve Pfaff spoke to residents in Carolina Beach. He encouraged residents to be prepared and not let their guards down simply because Florence made landfall — every year people should be prepared for a storm, regardless of past experiences.

Prepare

The NWS offers several tips to prepare ahead of hurricane season including:

  • Know your zone: Do you live near the Gulf or Atlantic Coasts? Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation area by contacting your local government/emergency management office or by checking the evacuation site website.
  • Put together an emergency kit: Put together a basic emergency. Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters.
  • Write or review your family emergency plan: Before an emergency happens, sit down with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of this plan in your emergency supplies kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster. Start at the ready.gov emergency plan webpage.
  • Review your insurance policies: Review your insurance policies to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home and personal property.
  • Understand NWS forecast products, especially the meaning of NWS watches and warnings.
  • Preparation tips for your home from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
  • Preparation tips for those with Chronic Illnesses
    Read more
    » click here

So why do we have a hurricane season?
About 97% of the tropical activity in the Atlantic happens between June 1 and November 30, the National Hurricane Center said. This includes the majority of tropical storms and minor and major hurricanes that have taken place from August through October — the season’s peak.


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

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05 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / May Edition

Calendar of Events –


Riverfest Celebration Conway Riverfest - CR
June 29th
Conway, SC


Held along the Waccamaw River in downtown Conway the festival
celebrates Independence Day with music and events for the entire family.
For more information » click here


4th of July Southport - CR 190
N.C. 4th of July Festival
,
July 4th
Southport


The patriotic spirit of America is alive and well in the City of Southport. For over 200 years this small maritime community has celebrated our nation’s independence in a big way. Incorporated as the N.C. 4th of July Festival in 1972 the festival committee strives to keep the focus of the festival on honoring our nation’s birthday with a little fun thrown in.

For more information » click here



Battleship Blast 4th of July Celebration
July 4th
Wilmington

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Annual 4th of July celebration at Riverfront Park in downtown Wilmington. Featured entertainment will perform from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, followed by fireworks at 9:05 PM launched from a barge in the Cape Fear River adjacent to the USS North Carolina Battleship. The only place you need to be this holiday is downtown Wilmington for the best view of fireworks.
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


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


 

Summer Day Camp Program

 

Day Camp is on Thursday during the summer beginning June 13th and is open to children ages 6 – 12. Kids can join us this summer for a variety of fun activities. Click here to view our Camp Schedule with each week’s activity and cost. Space is limited, you must pre-register. Completed registration forms must be mailed in with payment or dropped off with payment to Town Hall. Payment is non-refundable.



Tide Dyed Program
This event is located at the Holden Beach Pavilion. Tie dye your own shirts; the cost is just $5 per shirt. It takes place at 2:00 p.m. every Tuesday during the summer.


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 –


Bridge Work / Boat Ramp Closed
Based on guidance from DOT this morning, there are plans to make repairs to the caps and columns of the bridge at the boat ramp location beginning Monday, April 8th. During this time the boat ramp will be closed Monday – Friday. DOT expects the ramp to be open on the weekends.


 
Yard Waste Service
Yard debris pick-up will be provided twice a month on the 2ndand 4th Fridays during the months of March, April and May.Please have yard waste placed at the street for pick-up on Thursday night.

 

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 (10) 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.

The last yard debris collection for the season is scheduled for Friday, May 24th.



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).


Solid Waste Pick-Up Schedule
Waste Industries change in service, trash pickup will be twice a week. Starting the Saturday before Memorial Day through the Saturday after Labor Day: Pick-up is every Tuesday and Saturday from May 25th through September 7th  

 

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


  • Solid Waste Pick-up Schedule – starting May 25th twice a week
  • Recycling – starting May 28th weekly pick-up
  • Rollback – starting May 21st island wide service

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!


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’ June Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, June 18th

 



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 –


Insurance Policy
Previously reported – September 2018
Insurance Commissioner Causey settles homeowners’ insurance rate dispute
Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced today the N.C. Department of Insurance has ended the legal dispute with the North Carolina Rate Bureau on its proposal for an 18.7 percent homeowners’ insurance rate increase. Commissioner Causey has negotiated an almost 14 percent lower rate for an average 4.8 percent increase statewide. “I have negotiated a rate that will have minimal impact on the coast yet keep the state’s insurance companies financially sound,” said Commissioner Causey. The 4.8 percent increase will vary according to territory with a cap of 5.5 percent statewide instead of the 25 percent bump on the coast initially proposed by the NCRB. The agreement also covers insurance for tenants and condominiums, which is capped at 12 percent. This rate settlement will save consumers approximately $293 million in the first year alone, compared to the NCRB’s proposed increase.

The NCRB is separate from the NCDOI and is made up of insurance industry representatives. The Rate Bureau filed for the proposed 18.7 percent rate increase November 17, 2017, claiming the increase was necessary because of the increased costs stemming from tornado, severe thunderstorm, and windstorm/hail damage. Commissioner Causey had concerns over the initial filing and set a July 23, 2018, hearing date for the case to be decided if an agreement couldn’t be reached. Over the last several months, the Department and the NCRB have been in litigation while trying to settle the case without the necessity of a long, expensive hearing. The last time homeowners saw an insurance rate increase was in 2012. At that time, the NCRB case was settled for an average statewide increase of 7 percent. The increase will take effect October 1, 2018.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – February 2019
NC Rate Bureau seeks rate hike
Read more » click here

N.C. Rate Bureau asks for 17.4 percent rate increase for homeowners’ insurance
The North Carolina Rate Bureau has requested the N.C. Department of Insurance increase homeowners’ insurance rates 17.4 percent effective Oct. 1, 2019. The N.C. Rate Bureau represents the state’s insurance companies and is a separate entity from the N.C. Department of Insurance. The Rate Bureau attests the increase is needed to cover increased losses, hurricane losses and the net cost of reinsurance. Last year, the Rate Bureau requested an 18.9 percent increase in homeowners’ insurance rates, but Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey settled, instead, on an average 4.8 percent rate increase.
Read more » click here

Update –
NA


Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling

Previously reported – September 2015
Resolution 15-09 is in opposition to offshore exploration and drilling. Why? Because we have a tourism based economy, along with the local fishing industry and quality of life depends on the health and welfare of our natural resources. We believe that the inherent risks to our region from offshore exploration and drilling have the potential to irrevocably harm our natural environment, our economic well-being and our overall quality of life. Including us there are now 79 municipalities that have passed resolutions opposing offshore exploration and drilling.

Previously reported – December 2018
Trump admin. approves seismic tests for Atlantic offshore oil drilling
The approval moves forward a policy that many affected states don’t want.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – February 2019
Bill introduced to prevent seismic air gun testing in Atlantic Ocean
Read more » click here

Previously reported – March 2019
Bipartisan opposition is clear against Trump’s offshore drilling
Read more » click here

The objections to offshore drilling are economic, environmental and bipartisan
Read more » click here

Previously reported – April 2019
Bill would ban offshore drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts
In late March, Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., introduced the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, bipartisan legislation that would permanently ban oil and gas leasing off the coasts of the Pacific and Atlantic. The bill would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit the secretary of the Interior from including in any leasing program certain planning areas.
Read more » click here

Report finds ‘alarming unaddressed deficiencies’ in US offshore oil drilling
Even as the Trump administration has taken steps to expand offshore oil drilling, a new report shows that thousands of oil spills are still happening and that workers in the oil and gas industry are still dying on the job. The report comes from Oceana, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to protecting and restoring the oceans, which has sued the federal government to stop seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. The blasting is the first step needed to allow offshore drilling, when seismic airguns are used to find oil and gas deep under the ocean. Every state along the Atlantic coast has opposed the blasting, worried that spills could hurt tourism and local fisheries. Some scientists say the testing could also hurt marine life, including the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. The group tied its report, released Thursday, to the ninth anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill to show what has been happening since the government promised to hold the industry accountable to higher safety standards.
Read more » click here

Update –
Interior Dept. Delays Its Plan to Open U.S. Coastline to Drilling
The Trump administration on Thursday confirmed that it will likely delay the release of a long-awaited plan that had been expected to open most of the nation’s coastline for offshore oil drilling, pending the final outcome of a recent court decision that blocks drilling off the Alaskan coast. The delay appears to be an acknowledgment that the court decision is a significant setback for what President Trump has called his policy of “energy dominance” — an effort to rapidly expand oil and gas drilling across the country. The reason given for the delay was a March decision by a federal judge in Alaska to reinstate an Obama-era ban on Arctic drilling. “Given the recent court decision, the Department is simply evaluating all of its options to determine the best pathway to accomplish the mission entrusted to it by the President,” a spokeswoman for the Interior Department, Molly Block, wrote in an email. The delay was reported by The Wall Street Journal, quoting the Interior Department’s new secretary, David Bernhardt, as saying, “By the time the court rules, that may be discombobulating to our plan,” adding, “What if you guess wrong?” in reference to the uncertain outcome of the legal appeals process. The delay is the latest legal stumble in Mr. Trump’s effort to roll back environmental protections and increase fossil fuel production. Experts in environmental law estimate that, in its quest to quickly undo existing environmental protections, the administration has now lost about 40 cases in federal courts. In following Mr. Trump’s directive to expand offshore oil and gas drilling to almost the entire United States coastline, the Interior Department released a draft plan last year and was expected to release a final version this year. Oil industry lobbyists and Republicans on Capitol Hill who have worked closely with the administration on crafting the plan said earlier this year that they expected the final plan to be released this spring. The draft plan called for drilling off nearly the entire United States coastline. But the March 30 decision by Judge Sharon L. Gleason of the United States District Court for the District of Alaska concluded that a ban by President Obama on about 120 million acres of the Arctic Ocean and about 3.8 million acres in the Atlantic “will remain in full force and effect unless and until revoked by Congress.” She wrote that an April 2017 executive order by Mr. Trump revoking the drilling ban “is unlawful, as it exceeded the president’s authority.” Environmental groups cheered Thursday’s delay. “Every single governor from Maine to Florida and from Washington to California oppose offshore drilling off their coast,” said Collin O’Mara, president of National Wildlife Federation. “Republican and Democrat alike.” The oil industry expressed optimism that the legal case would be resolved quickly and that the plan could then be finalized. “We are hopeful that an appeal of this case will move quickly and that we can proceed with the important work of exploring for America’s offshore resources without unnecessary delay,” said Erik Milito, a vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies for oil companies.
Read more » click here

Trump’s Offshore Oil-Drilling Plan Sidelined Indefinitely
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt cites recent court decision blocking Arctic drilling
The Trump administration’s proposal to vastly expand offshore oil and gas drilling has been sidelined indefinitely as the Interior Department grapples with a recent court decision that blocks Arctic drilling, according to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. The ruling by a federal judge last month may force Interior officials to wait until the case goes through potentially lengthy appeals before they can make a final decision on what offshore areas to open up for the oil-and-gas industry, Mr. Bernhardt said.
Read more » click here

For now, plans are on hold for oil drilling off the North Carolina coast. This comes after an announcement by Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. In late April, he announced the Department was waiting for a decision on appeals of a court order blocking offshore drilling in the Arctic and within specific canyons in the North and Mid-Atlantic before continuing expansions on the East Coast.

While the news is good, it is being met with cautious optimism and opponents to drilling are not letting their guard down.

“This ruling may have temporarily stopped the clock but it does not diminish the threat of drilling along the North Carolina coast,” said Todd Miller, executive director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management still has scheduled open houses in Kill Devil Hills and Morehead City later this year, indicating the East Coast could still be considered in long-term drilling plans.

Federation members are encouraged to call their state and federal representatives to express concerns about the detrimental impacts offshore oil and gas exploration and seismic surveying would have on our coast. We support and are encouraging state legislation that would prevent offshore drilling.  

The federation and Don’t Drill NC Coalition partners continue to track activity and are providing updates at nccoast.org/oil.

Brunswick commissioners pressured on offshore drilling
Board is one of the few NC coastal governments that hasn’t come out against offshore drilling and seismic testing
“Save our Coast.” Those words echoed across the parking lot of the Brunswick County Government Center Monday night as citizens held a rally to oppose offshore drilling and seismic testing along North Carolina’s coast. The rally was one of many that have taken place in recent years, and it comes on the heels of Saturday’s “Hands Across the Sand,” where hundreds of citizens gathered on Brunswick County’s beaches and joined hands to show their opposition to the opening of the Tar Heel coast to drilling. For years, citizens across the county have urged commissioners to take a stance against offshore drilling. But despite the pleas, the board has taken no action, opting to take a neutral stance. In 2015 Brunswick County became one of the only local coastal N.C. governments to come out in favor of offshore drilling. The commissioners rescinded that resolution in March 2018 after a narrow 3-2 vote, but have yet to take any further action for or against drilling off the N.C. coast. So far, 13 of the county’s 19 municipalities have adopted resolutions against offshore drilling. The New Hanover County Commissioners, Wilmington City Council and beach towns in New Hanover and Pender counties also have passed resolutions opposing offshore drilling. Residents Monday night said they will continue to attend the meetings and speaking out against drilling and seismic testing until the Brunswick commissioners “takes a stand, one way or the other.”
Read more » click here


Previously reported –

Holden Beach Newsletter

 


Chemours has issued a press release announcing that the company will take measures to eliminate byproduct GenX wastewater emissions from its Fayetteville site.
Click here to view the release.

In order to keep citizens informed, Brunswick County has established a website to share information about GenX as they learn it. You can find this page at www.brunswickcountync.gov/genx. The website contains a FAQ section that they update as they learn additional information (or receive additional questions), links to all their press releases and links to other resources like information from NCDEQ. There is also a link where citizens can go to sign up to receive email updates on the topic.


The Public Information Officer for Brunswick County announced that the County has taken legal action against DuPont and Chemours for contaminating the Cape Fear River.

10.31.2017
Statement from Brunswick County
The filing of formal legal action against Chemours and DuPont represents another crucial step in protecting our public drinking water supply. It sends a clear message that Brunswick County will simply not stand for the discharge of emerging or unregulated chemicals into our public drinking water supply. Let us be clear…we will ensure that any company that threatens this vital resource is held responsible. Furthermore, our litigation team is consulting the nation’s leading experts to determine the best long-term water testing and treatment methods for the entire county. As part of that, we will ensure that the costs for doing so do not fall upon the rate payers, but upon those dumping the unregulated chemicals in the water.
For more information » click here

Previously reported – February 2019
Updated consent order requires Chemours to consider GenX in river
Read more » click here

Previously reported – March 2019
Judge signs GenX consent order
Read more » click here

Previously reported – April 2019
Proposed Gen X-related bill would target Chemours, form task force
Ambitious new legislation would set new standards for Gen X and other similar compounds in the state’s water supply. If passed, the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) would be required to form a task force to analyze and identify pollutants found in ground and surface waters, air, soil, dust, and food within the Lower Cape Fear River Basin. Cumberland, Bladen, Columbus, Brunswick, and New Hanover Counties all fall within that area. The measure would require Chemours and other polluting companies to be named and held financially responsible for replacing the tainted water supply with a permanent replacement water source. Additionally, polluting companies would be required to fund periodic maintenance for the filtration system used for the clean water supply. A chief sponsor of the bill, Sen. Harper Peterson believes that Gen-X is responsible for an elevated rate of thyroid cancer, liver cancer, and other illnesses in the Cape Fear region than in the rest of the state. The bill would require $270 million for funding.
Read more » click here

Update –
NA


Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging


Previously reported – February 2019
USACE dredge boat Murden replaced the Merritt and will be here until February 25th as long as conditions remain favorable. Murden deposits sand nearshore which is more beneficial than the side-caster Merritt, but not as good as putting it on the beach with a pipeline project. The good news is it is placing the sand off our beach, not Oak Island’s. That sand is then in “the system” and will eventually append to our beach – not just fall back in the inlet.

Lockwood Folly Inlet Hydrographic Survey After Dredging / March 2019

Update –
NA


Corrections & Amplifications –


The National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – December 2018
National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On July 31, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to November 30, 2018. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on May 31, 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 the 2017 hurricanes makes it abundantly clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – February 2019
Private Flood Insurance Gets Boost from Regulators
Flood insurance policies not backed by the government currently represent less than 5% of the residential market
The number of flood insurance policies underwritten by private companies could triple under a new federal rule that would require mortgage lenders to accept both private and government-backed policies.

The rule, approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency late last week, is aimed at boosting the availability of private flood insurance in flood zones, a market dominated by a multibillion-dollar government program. It could usher in private flood insurance for hundreds of thousands of residential properties in those areas, according to government estimates. “This ruling has the potential to open up the private insurance market,” said Michael Barry, a spokesman at the industry-funded Insurance Information Institute. He said the effect was likely to be concentrated in Florida, Louisiana and Texas, where most of the nation’s flood insurance policies are held.

The private-sector insurance industry historically has been reluctant to write flood insurance because of the potential for large losses, but interest has grown in recent years with the improvement of mapping and modeling technologies. Private flood insurance policies currently represent less than 5% of the residential market, according to government and academic research. Most private flood insurance is for commercial and more expensive residential properties that need coverage above the federal program’s $250,000 limit.

The public program had more than five million policies outstanding and $1.3 trillion in potential claims as of July 2018. It is operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “If the private market can take care of it, that’s just more sustainable for taxpayers and for society in general,” said R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a libertarian policy organization that has argued for shrinking the government flood insurance program.

The regulation is set to go into effect in July, as the next hurricane season gets under way. It stems from a provision in a 2012 flood insurance law that sought to partially address financial pressures on the government’s flood insurance program, which is deeply in debt from record disaster payouts in recent years and limitations on its ability to increase premiums.

Congress has for years debated how to fix the National Flood Insurance Program, created about 50 years ago because private insurers were unwilling to risk catastrophic flood losses. Lawmakers, divided based on the prevalence of floods in their districts, have approved only partial solutions such as premium increases or debt forgiveness for the government program. The government, for instance, wrote off $16 billion in debt for the federal program in 2017 following claims made in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Congress must reauthorize the federal insurance program this year. It is expected to discuss additional ways to overhaul the federal program, such as redrawing the maps that dictate where coverage is required and making it financially stable.

Opponents of opening up the flood insurance market argue private insurers could cherry-pick safer properties that could be cheaper to insure, saddling the public program with riskier ones. And some lawmakers, including Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), have called for increasing controls over the private flood insurance sector.

The rule would require lenders to accept private flood insurance policies that have coverage at least as comprehensive as what is offered by the federal program. Banks also could allow policies that aren’t as comprehensive as government flood insurance, a move backed by the insurance industry but opposed by some consumer advocates because it could concentrate riskier insurance policies in the federal plan.

Narrower coverage will “appeal more to lower risk people and then leave the National Flood Insurance Program principally with higher risk people,” said Daniel Schwarz, a professor at University of Minnesota Law School. Three other regulators, including the Federal Reserve, must still approve the rule.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – March 2019
National Flood Insurance Program needs long-term reauthorization to address key challenges
As the House Financial Services Committee meets this week to discuss reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), there is a lot at stake. The NFIP, on which 5 million Americans depend for protection from flooding, began with the best of intentions — reducing the burden on federal taxpayers stemming from flood relief while providing resources to help devastated communities rebuild. But as the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman was fond of saying, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” Judged by its results, the NFIP is badly in need of serious changes to address its massive debt, persistent operating deficits, and many structural flaws — all of which expose taxpayers to financial risk. With the NFIP’s authorization set to expire in May, Congress has an opportunity to enact real reforms that will put the NFIP on a sustainable, fiscally-responsible footing. Lawmakers should begin to chart a future for the NFIP that addresses its key challenges.

One of the NFIP’s biggest flaws is that it masks the true flood risk of properties by offering a significant portion of its policyholders heavily subsidized rates. One in five homeowners with NFIP protection pay less than half the full cost of their policy. No one begrudges low-income homeowners who need financial assistance to purchase coverage, but most of the NFIP’s subsidies actually go to homes with the highest values. A study by the Congressional Budget Office found that the median value of homes with NFIP coverage is about double that of all American homes. Not only that, but wealthier households tend to get much larger subsidies than middle-income homeowners. Ending these handouts to the wealthy and refocusing resources on the truly needy is essential. Limiting NFIP subsidies would have another positive effect. Currently, by shielding policyholders from the full cost of building in a flood zone, the government encourages more houses to be constructed in disaster-prone areas than if homeowners bore the costs of flooding themselves. Transferring more of the flood risk from federal taxpayers to individual homeowners would cause them to think twice about where to build their home.

But setting risk-based premiums is impossible without accurate flood maps. Many of the 22,000 communities that participate in the NFIP currently rely on outdated and inaccurate flood maps. A recent audit found that only 42 percent of the NFIP’s maps “adequately identified the level of flood risk.” Without better mapping that incorporates improvements in engineering methods and technology, full-risk insurance rates cannot be accurately determined, and homeowners and local policymakers may be misled about the true flood vulnerability of their communities.

Another issue that merits more attention is mitigation. The best way to reduce insurance premiums for homeowners is to lessen the risk of flood loss. Making communities more resilient to flooding before disasters strike by adopting better zoning and building codes and other measures can significantly reduce the cost of cleaning up after floods. Studies have shown that for every $1 invested in mitigation, society saves $6 in rebuilding costs. Overall, so-called “repetitive loss properties,” structures that are damaged and repaired over and over again, account for about 1-2 percent of the NFIP’s total policies but have been responsible for 30 percent of claims since the program began in 1968. One Mississippi home worth $70,000 filed 34 claims with the NFIP from 1978 to 2010 totaling $663,000 — more than 9 times the value of the house. Through more aggressive mitigation incentives, policymakers could reduce this massive drain on the NFIP’s finances.

Congress should also resolve ambiguities in federal law that have limited the growth of private flood insurance; currently, private insurance only makes up 4 percent of the residential market. Greater private-sector involvement in flood insurance would benefit both consumers — many of whom could find lower rates and more flexible options through private carriers — and taxpayers by reducing the NFIP’s financial exposure.

Rather than continue postponing meaningful reforms to the NFIP with short-term stop-gaps, Congress should work over the next several months to craft a long-term solution to the NFIP’s challenges. Without reform, the NFIP’s precarious financial position will only grow worse, to the detriment of taxpayers and homeowners alike.
Read more » click here

House Financial Services Committee Issues Hearing Memo on National Flood Insurance Program
Subject: March 13, 2019, Full Committee Hearing Entitled: “Preparing for the Storm: Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program”

Background
Prior to 1950, flood insurance was a peril often included in standard homeowners’ insurance policies. However, in response to an increasing frequency and severity in flood- related losses in the 1950s, insurance companies began excluding flood insurance coverage and selling it separately. By the 1960s, widespread flooding along the Mississippi River caused most private insurers to flee the business of flood insurance altogether, leaving many consumers with virtually no access to private flood insurance.1 The lack of availability of flood insurance for consumers left them vulnerable in the event of a flood, and also left taxpayers vulnerable to bearing the costs of flood damage through post-disaster relief in the case of a flood event.

In direct response to this private market failure, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in 1968 with the passage of the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA). In doing so, Congress determined that “as a matter of national policy, a reasonable method of sharing the risk of flood losses is through a program of flood insurance which can complement and encourage preventive and protective measures” and that transferring the costs of private property flood losses from the general taxpayer to individuals in the floodplains through premiums would ease the strain on the nation’s limited disaster resources. Congress also passed the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (FDPA) that requires most property owners in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area to purchase flood insurance.

The last long-term reauthorization of the NFIP occurred when Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12), which was subsequently amended by the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA). Since the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017, the NFIP has been reauthorized ten times and has experienced brief lapses. According to the National Association of Realtors, an estimated 40,000 home sales are lost or interrupted every month that the NFIP’s authority lapses. The NFIP’s authorization is currently set to expire on May 31, 2019. In the event of a lapse, NFIP will be unable to enter into new flood insurance contracts, which will lead to widespread market instability due to the stalling of mortgage processing for homes that are statutorily required to have flood insurance.

Several Members of Congress have put forward legislative proposals to reauthorize the NFIP and make programmatic reforms to promote affordability, protect policyholders, and improve flood mapping and floodplain management.

Overview of the NFIP
The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration (FIMA). The NFIP was designed to serve two interrelated goals: (1) provide access to primary flood insurance and (2) reduce flood risk through the adoption of floodplain management standards. The NFIP advances these goals by offering primary flood insurance exclusively for properties in communities that adopt minimum floodplain management standards under FEMA regulations. The NFIP also administers the Community Rating System (CRS), which is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes communities for implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the NFIP’s minimum requirements and, in exchange, FIMA offers reduced flood insurance premiums to policyholders.

Today, the NFIP is the principal provider of primary flood insurance in the U.S., covering over 5 million households and businesses across the country for a total of over $1.3 trillion in flood insurance coverage. As of the end of FY 2018, approximately 22,324 communities participate in the NFIP, covering an estimated 93 percent of the U.S. population. According to FEMA, the NFIP saves the nation an estimated $1.87 billion annually in flood losses avoided because of the NFIP’s building and floodplain management regulations.

In 1983, FEMA created the Write Your Own (WYO) Program in an effort to: increase the NFIP’s policy base and geographic distribution of policies; improve service to NFIP policyholders through infusion of insurance industry knowledge and capacity; and, provide the insurance industry with direct operating experience with flood insurance. This WYO Program operates as a partnership between FEMA and participating property and casualty insurance companies that are compensated to write and service NFIP policies. The WYOs assume none of the risk by participating in this program. FEMA retains all of the insurance risk and underwrites any losses. Currently, approximately 60 different companies administer about 87 percent of NFIP policies through the WYO Program. The remainder of NFIP’s policies are provided through the Direct Program, which is operated by a government contractor and performs the same basic functions as a WYO company.

The NFIP offers a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) for properties in participating communities within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). By virtue of the mandatory purchase required by law, most property owners within the SFHA are required to purchase flood insurance. Many of the SFIP’s policy terms are set in statute. The maximum coverage amount for building coverage is $250,000 for single-family homes, and $500,000 for multi-family residential properties, and non-residential properties including commercial properties. The maximum coverage amount for contents only is $100,000.9 If the SFIP’s maximum coverage amounts are insufficient to cover the full value of the property, policyholders may have the option of obtaining excess flood insurance in the private market.

The NFIP also offers coverage for properties that are not within a SFHA, usually as a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP). PRPs include similar coverage but at discounted rates in accordance with their lower risk profile. If a property has a significant loss history, that policyholder may become ineligible for a PRP and would need to purchase a SFIP that is commensurate with the flood risk.

The NFIP’s Financial Status
The NFIP is largely self-funded through insurance premiums collected from policy holders. Policyholders are also assessed a number of surcharges and other fees. In FY 2018, policyholders paid $382 million in surcharges, $188.162 million in federal policy fees, and $496.82 million in reserve fund assessments. A portion of these premiums, fees, surcharges, and assessments goes towards the cost of flood mapping and floodplain management. A large portion also goes to paying interest on debt of the NFIP.

Congress designed the NFIP as a program that would operate on a cash flow basis, borrowing from the Treasury in bad years and returning funds to the Treasury in good years. The NFIP was largely self-supporting in this way from 1986 until 2005, but due to extraordinary losses incurred as a result of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005, and then Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, the program currently carries a debt of $20.5 billion.11 It is also important to note that a significant portion of the NFIP’s debt accrued as a result of Hurricane Katrina ($19 billion) could not possibly have been properly accounted for in NFIP’s risk modeling; specifically, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers took responsibility for engineering and design failures in the levees that should have been able to provide far better protection for New Orleans in the face of Katrina.

Taxpayers are not on the hook for this debt and receive millions of dollars in interest payments every year (currently approximately $400 million annually or a total of $4.2 billion since 2005) at the expense of policyholders. In 2017, following a proposal submitted by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, Congress passed legislation to partially forgive $16 billion of the NFIP’s debt of $30.4 billion, after the NFIP’s debt ballooned following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and other historic flooding that year.

Affordability Challenges
In 2018, FEMA submitted its congressionally mandated Affordability Framework demonstrating, among other things, that low-income homeowners and renters face significant affordability challenges. The report documents that those that are least able to afford higher premiums tend to live in the highest flood hazard areas writing, “generally, incomes are higher outside the SFHA than they are inside the SFHA. The median household income for residential policyholders is $82,000, although it is substantially lower in the SFHA than outside the SFHA.” Further, FEMA found that “the combination of higher premiums and lower incomes in the SFHA creates affordability pressure on households.”

Draft Legislation
* Waters_009 is a discussion draft that would reauthorize the NFIP through September 30, 2024 and address a number of affordability issues such as: 1) forgiving the NFIP’s debt; 2) creating a 5-year demonstration for means-tested assistance to low-income policyholders; 3) reducing fees and surcharges; 4) revising the NFIP’s coverage limits; 5) enabling policyholders to pay premiums in monthly installments; and 6) creating a state revolving loan fund modeled after legislation previously introduced by Rep. Crist.

* Maj_Mitigation is a discussion draft that would make several improvements to floodplain management and mitigation such as: 1) raising the amount of funds available under Increased Cost of Compliance program and expanding the eligible mitigation activities to include the cost of acquisitions, among others; 2) granting the Administrator discretion to consider the extent to which communities are working to remedy problems with repeatedly flooded areas when administering mitigation assistance; 3) granting credits for alternative forms of mitigation, allowing coverage for coops and community-based policies; and 5) authorizing and flood plain management activities.

* Maj_Mapping is a discussion draft that would reauthorize the flood mapping program and provide funding to support flood mapping. It would also make several improvements to the mapping program such as: 1) requiring the most up-to-date technology, and more advanced and granular flood maps; 2) improving the process for policyholders and communities to appeal FEMA’s mapping decisions; and 3) creating new flood map zones for levee-impacted and for agricultural areas.

* Velazq_035 is a bill that would make numerous improvements to the claims process drawing on the lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy. The bill would ensure that policyholders better understand the terms of their flood insurance policies and improve the appeals and litigation process for consumers
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Climate Advocates Cheer Trump Policy Shift on Flood Insurance

  • Premiums to be based on full flood risk starting in late 2020
  • Change expected to raise costs for the most deluge-prone homes

Climate advocates say an overhaul of the nation’s flood insurance program being unveiled by the Trump administration will spur communities around the country to better plan for extreme weather, but could drive up costs for some homeowners.

The changes being announced Monday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency represent one of the most significant reforms in the history of the National Flood Insurance Program. It will tie premiums to the actual flood risk facing individual homes nationwide starting in October 2020. The current system sets prices based largely on whether a home is inside or outside of the 100-year flood plain.
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Trump Administration Plans Flood Insurance Overhaul
Expensive properties could see rate increases under new FEMA plan
The Trump administration said Monday it plans to overhaul government-subsidized flood insurance, in a sweeping proposal that could raise rates on more expensive properties and those in higher-risk areas. The new system would affect policies for most homeowners who own property in flood-prone areas, where such coverage is required because few private companies offer flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which runs the National Flood Insurance Program, said the plan would start assessing properties individually according to several variables—including hurricane rainfall, coastal surges and the distance to a body of water—rather than applying one formula across an entire flood zone when assessing flood risk and contract cost. The government also would factor in the replacement cost of the home, which could push up premiums for homeowners with higher-valued properties and decrease those with lower-cost homes. FEMA plans to announce the new rates on April 1, 2020 and implement them starting Oct. 1 that year. They could affect more than 5 million single-family policyholders of public flood insurance. The NFIP covers both coastal flood zones and inland river flood plains, though the policy change may have a greater impact in coastal states including Florida, Louisiana and Texas, where most of the policies are held.

The changes are likely to stoke a longstanding debate over flood insurance, with policy makers divided over how much the public should subsidize the program. While those in coastal areas have advocated for more federal funding, both environmentalists and fiscal conservatives have argued the program encourages building in risky flood-prone zones. FEMA has increasingly struggled to pay off claims after a series of natural disasters in recent years. The government wrote off $16 billion in debt for the federal program in 2017 following claims made in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Scientists say the frequency of such events is influenced by climate change. FEMA’s current system calculates rates based on whether a home falls in a designated flood zone. Since higher-valued properties are more likely to hit the $250,000 insurance cap because they face costlier damages, “there’s an inequity,” said David Maurstad, FEMA’s deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation. “Lower-value homes are paying proportionately more than higher-value homes.” “What we’re going to do is change an insurance-rating structure that hasn’t fundamentally been changed since the 1970s,” Mr. Maurstad added. “We’re going to consider more flood risk than we currently do now.” The changes would also leverage new loss-estimation technology, said Mr. Maurstad. In recent years, private insurers have developed increasingly sophisticated models that account for variables including climate change. The agency hopes that a more risk-sensitive pricing could attract more homeowners to purchase flood insurance, even if they aren’t required to. “People even outside the high-risk area will have a better understanding of what the specific risk is,” said Mr. Maurstad. “They will take the responsible action and insure for flood just like they insure for windstorms, hail and fire.”

FEMA faces Congressional restrictions on how much it can increase rates, so the agency could phase in the rate changes, said Mr. Maurstad. It plans to make more details of the plan public in the coming weeks, he added. For years, Congress has debated how to modernize the financially beleaguered flood-insurance program, created about 50 years ago because private insurers were unwilling to risk catastrophic flood losses. Lawmakers are set to reauthorize the federal insurance program this year, after granting a short-term extension in December.
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Update –
Vote set on flood insurance extension
Nick Sobczyk, E&E News, May 13, 2019
The House will vote this week to extend the National Flood Insurance Program until the end of the fiscal year, another sign lawmakers have again punted on reform talks.  The NFIP expires at the end of the month, and despite months of extra time to reach a deal on a reform package, the measure up for a vote under fast-track procedure this week would be the 11th short-term reauthorization in two years. The measure would extend the program until Sept. 30.  There are talks underway on both sides of Capitol Hill, but few signs lawmakers are close to striking a long-term reauthorization deal for a program that advocates say is badly in need of reform.  Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said last week he’s working with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) on a reform bill. And House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has drafted reform proposals and held a hearing on the NFIP to jump-start efforts on the other side of Capitol Hill.  Meanwhile, four bipartisan former Federal Emergency Management Agency administrators penned a letter to congressional leaders last week imploring lawmakers to make long-term changes to the program.  The group includes Obama-era FEMA chief Craig Fugate and Brock Long, who resigned the post earlier this year.  Among other things, they suggest a requirement that sellers disclose flood risk to potential homebuyers and a low-interest loan program to help buy out owners of properties that are repeatedly flooded.  Especially in a time when losses from natural disasters and flood events are ballooning, it doesn’t make sense for the federal government to keep paying to rebuild in flood zones, they wrote.  “By incentivizing Americans to live in vulnerable areas without taking steps to mitigate the risk, the NFIP gives property owners a false sense of security,” they wrote. “In the absence of reforms, costs in taxpayer dollars and lives lost will only get worse.”


Inlet Hazard Areas

Previously reported – January 2019
New proposed rules could significantly impact real estate property values
Significantly expands area covered on the island
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by .4 miles on the east end
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by 1.7 miles on the west end
Coastal Resource Commission report to be presented at their February meeting

Panel Proposes Redrawn Inlet Hazard Areas
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Coastal Resources Commission
CRC Science Panel / Inlet Hazard Area (IHA) Delineation Update
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Previously reported – March 2019
CRC Advances New Inlet Hazard Maps, Rules
The North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission has approved preliminary boundaries and building rules at inlets. Though official adoption of the redrawn inlet hazard area, or IHA, maps and guidelines for development within those areas is still months away, the CRC’s decision last week puts the state one step closer to amending the current outdated maps.

North Carolina Division of Coastal Management Director Braxton Davis told members of the commission at the quarterly meeting Thursday that the regulatory agency understands the revised maps are going to be a topic of controversy in the coastal towns at inlets. “These maps were done in 1981,” he said. “We have IHAs that don’t even capture some of these areas.” A little more than 2,900 acres of land is designated as IHA 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. The CRC approved removing IHA designations at inlets where the adjacent land is undeveloped and owned either by the state or federal government.

IHAs are defined as shorelines especially vulnerable to erosion and flooding where inlets can shift suddenly and dramatically. Inlets typically move over time in one of two ways. An inlet migrates, meaning it moves in one general direction, or it oscillates, wagging back and forth. A majority of the state’s inlets oscillate. Long-term erosion rates are about five times greater at oceanfront shorelines near inlets. The proposed maps expand current IHAs collectively by a little more than 1,359 acres while removing about 470 acres from existing boundaries at the 10 developed inlets. A majority of IHAs are being expanded under the proposed boundaries. The preliminary maps place an additional 152 acres and 243 structures within an ocean hazard area of environmental concern, or AECs. Ocean hazard AECs are defined as those 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.

Rules governing development within IHAs were established to control density and structure size along the shorelines affected by the dynamic waterways. The proposed setbacks have been established through years of work by the science panel that advises the CRC. The science panel studied historical shoreline data at each inlet, then used that information to predict erosion and accretion rates at those inlets. DCM has established building setbacks in the new boundaries based on the annual inlet erosion rates rather than the oceanfront erosion rates now. For some of the inlets, this method of calculation equates to no change in the current building setbacks. For others, the setbacks vary. Current rules do not allow lots about one-third of an acre in size to be subdivided. Residential structures of four units or fewer or nonresidential structures of less than 5,000 square feet are only allowed on lots within an IHA. The updated rules maintain the size limitation to no more than 5,000 square feet of heated space and remove restrictions on the number of units allowed in a structure. Larger structures that would be included in the new boundaries would be grandfathered under the rules.

North Topsail Beach Alderman Mike Benson expressed his concerns about condominiums at the north end of town that would be grandfathered in under the new maps. Benson told the commission during a public hearing on the proposed IHA map changes that the revised boundary at New River Inlet would include 11 buildings that are all larger than 5,000 square feet. If any of those buildings were to be destroyed in a hurricane or fire, Benson wanted to know if they could be rebuilt. DCM shoreline management specialist Ken Richardson clarified that structures between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet could be rebuilt to the same footprint. The owners of a structure greater than 10,000 square feet, such as Shell Island Resort in Wrightsville Beach, could request a variance from the CRC to rebuild. Richardson said he will turn over DCM’s recommended changes to the state Office of State Budget and Management for review. Once that office confirms its findings, a series of public meetings will be held where the public will get an opportunity to comment on the maps and rules. Richardson said he hopes those meetings will kick off some time in the spring and that revised maps are adopted by year’s end. If adopted, the new IHA boundaries would be updated every five years.
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Previously reported – April 2019
Development rules near inlets have been basically the same since 1981.
This year that could change
Over 1,000 inlet-adjacent acres in the Cape Fear region could soon be subject to an additional set of state development regulations. At the same time, 500 acres could be removed from the same regulatory designation designed to limit risky development near dynamic inlet shorelines.
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Holden Beach Property Owners Association / Inlet Hazard Areas
The Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) has established new boundaries for Inlet Hazard Areas on each end of the island, greatly increasing the number of properties that fall within this designation. The CRC determined the new IHA boundaries based on historic vegetation line data. The CRC sent the rules to the State for review. After review there will be public comment before the rule are put in place.

Inlet Hazard Areas (IHAs) are sections of islands that are more vulnerable to erosion due to the impact of the inlets. The new maps show Holden Beach will be hit hard, especially on the West End.

The West End currently has 15 lots in the IHA, which will go up to 173 lots, and includes all the oceanfront properties from roughly Sailfish to the end of the island. The area will increase from 290.5 acres to 569.3 acres, almost double in size. This will be the largest IHA in the state.

The East End will also see changes. The IHA there is 64 acres and will jump to 189.5 acres – an almost 200% increase in size. Currently, there are 52 lots in the IHA, which will increase to 156.

Visit our website to see the maps and determine if your property is impacted by the new IHA boundaries.

What Does It Mean?

1) Structures (residential or commercial) will be limited to 5000sf of heated space. Existing larger structures would be grandfathered and could be rebuilt if destroyed.

2) Insurance is impacted for homes in an IHA.

3) New development would require lots with a minimum of around one-third acre.

4) The ability to have a concrete slab under a home might be restricted in some cases, as impervious surfaces at ground level may not be allowed

It is not clear what impact the changes will have on property values and the Town’s tax base – if any.

Update –
NA


Odds & Ends


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

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 –
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This & That

Water upgrades mean a few dollars more on bills in Brunswick County, wholesale costs could also rise
In two years, water customers in Brunswick County should expect to pay a few dollars more on their water bill to finance a planned plant $47 million expansion, $90 to $100 million treatment upgrade, and $42 million regional water supply project.

Average water customers in Brunswick County could pay about 14 percent more on their water bill in fiscal year 2022, according to the county’s water rate recommendation presented Monday. For an average residential water user, whose bill is paid straight to the county, the cost will increase by about $3.22 in two years. Wholesale customers will bear a larger cost burden, which could mean a larger increase for their residential customers compared to customers paying directly to the county. If the county’s 10 wholesale customers — like Leland, Southport, or H2GO — choose to pass on their increase, their average customers will see an approximately $4.60 increase on their 2022 bills, according to the county’s recommendation. The rate increase is needed to cover increased expenses for Brunswick County’s planned $137 million Northwest Water Treatment plant expansion and upgrade to outfit the system with low-pressure reverse osmosis technology. The county is also obliged to chip in $42 million to cover its portion of Lower Cape Fear Water Sewer Authority’s planned construction of a 54-inch parallel water supply main.

Water rate study

Brunswick County commissioned a water rates study from the firm Raftelis Financial Consultants in December 2018, which was presented to the board Monday during a workshop. The study was needed to show the Local Government Commission the county’s ability to take on debt, which could approach $216 million between four water and sewer projects. Raftelis’ study showed that by the time the plant is complete in fiscal year 2022, the county’s debt service based on the planned $179 million water projects will increase by $7 million. Operating and maintaining the new systems — expected to reach “final completion” in September 2022 — will cost an added $2.9 million annually. To cover the anticipated costs, Raftelis projected the county needs to increase overall revenues by about 31% between fiscal year 2020 and fiscal year 2024. To do this, the county must increase water rates.

Manager-recommended changes

Water rates are likely to increase for all county customers. But, for an average residential county customer, the change won’t hurt too badly. About 84% of the county’s residential customers use 5,000 gallons of water a day or less. Residentially-sized meters’ base fee will increase by $3 in 2022; for the smallest meter, customers will pay a base of $15; for the largest, customers will pay $27. Accounting for the average 4,500 gallons-per-day customer, using the smallest-sized three-quarter inch meter, an average county water bill will increase from $25.73 — the current average bill — to $28.95 in two years. The transition will take place in a tiered structure, with the first changes taking place next fiscal year. Before the increase, bills will actually decrease next year, by about $0.90 for an average residential customer.

Brunswick County’s wholesale customers include:

  • Bald Head Island
  • Holden Beach
  • Leland
  • Navassa
  • Oak Island
  • Ocean Isle Beach
  • Shallotte
  • Southport
  • H2GO Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer
  • Northwest

View Brunswick County’s water rates recommendations reviewed by the Board of Commissioners Monday.
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Turtle Watch Program – 2019

. 1) Current nest count – sixteen (16) as of 05/25/19
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Average annual number of nests is 39.5
. 2)
First nest of the season was on May 9th

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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.
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Almost Turtle Time at Holden Beach
It’s official…. the turtle season has started!
Turtles usually start laying their eggs on our beach mid to late May.
Turtle Watch ATV riders are out looking for tracks of the mother turtle each morning.
Last year the first nest was laid on our beach on May 16th.

FIRST NEST
The first nest of 2019 on Holden Beach was found by our ATV rider yesterday morning (May 9). Yeah! It was behind the first dune in the 1300 block of Ocean Boulevard West. A volunteer team was called out and the nest was moved because it was so far back behind the dune the hatchlings would have a difficult time getting to the ocean. There were 126 eggs. A team will begin watching this nest in late June. Incubation usually takes 50-60 days—but the first nest of the season frequently takes longer. The season has started!

 May 9 is the earliest nest in the past 14 years.


Despite Hurricane Florence, Holden Beach sea turtles beat the odds
The Holden Beach Turtle Patrol is hosting a series of summer classes to help educate residents and visitors on sea turtles in the area.
The destruction of Hurricane Florence affected thousands of people across the region, but the storm impacted more than just people. In Holden Beach, an unlikely story of survival came from two little turtles. The Holden Beach Turtle Patrol was keeping a close eye on turtle nests on the beaches when Hurricane Florence made its way to the coast. Generally, a storm like Florence brings an end to the turtle season and with two unhatched nests found before the evacuation, there was some doubt to the survival of the hatchlings. “After the storm, a team went out to check these remaining nests. To their surprise, one of the nests had two hatchlings trying to get out. Both baby turtles were energetic and went right into the water, so a happy ending. Both nests had hatched and were relatively dry, so [it was] considered a success. They did it on their own despite Mother Nature’s fury, according to a Holden Beach Turtle Patrol press release. “Leatherbacks are the largest of all sea turtles and can be 4-8 feet long and weigh between 500-2,000 pounds.  Although they don’t frequently come to Holden Beach, Leatherbacks are one of the types of sea turtles that lay eggs on North Carolina beaches,” according to the Turtle Patrol. For those interested in learning more about sea turtles, the group is hosting a series of ‘Turtle Talks’ this summer. The talks will be held every Wednesday in June, July, and August and are free to attend; there will also be an additional program for kids interested in learning more about the sea turtle population. “Holden Beach is a Turtle Sanctuary and every year sea turtles are welcomed and protected on the beach. Founded in 1989, the HBTP protects sea turtles through education, nest protection, and sea turtle rescue. The Turtle Patrol operates under the authority of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. In its 31st year, this all-volunteer program is supported by the sale of an annual T-shirt and donations,” according to the release.
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Turtle Talk will be held in Holden Beach
The Holden Beach Turtle Patrol announces the first Turtle Talk of the summer will be June 5. Turtle Talk will begin at 7 p.m. at the Holden Beach Town Hall, 110 Rothschild Street on Holden Beach. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and seating is limited. This free weekly educational program will conduct each Wednesday evening in June, July and August. The program shares information about the Turtle Patrol, the sea turtles and how vacationers and residents can help the sea turtles that nest on Holden Beach. Several turtle artifacts will be on display and educational materials available. The 45 minutes presentation includes a short video about the life cycle of the sea turtle. Members of the Holden Beach Turtle Patrol will be available to answer questions about the turtles and the program. Turtle Talk is open to all family members and enjoyed by people of all ages with no admission charge. The Holden Beach Turtle Patrol also offers an additional program for younger turtle enthusiasts. This program is called “Children’s Turtle Time” and will be held Wednesdays June 26, July 3, July 10, 17, 24 and August 1 from 4-5 p.m. at the Holden Beach Town Hall. This class will feature crafts, stories and activities for children ages 3-6. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Holden Beach is a Turtle Sanctuary and every year sea turtles are welcomed and protected on the beach. Founded in 1989, the HBTP protects sea turtles through education, nest protection and sea turtle rescue. The Turtle Patrol operates under the authority of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. In its 31st year this all-volunteer program is supported by sale of an annual T-shirt and donations. This year’s shirt is blue with the theme “The Ocean is Calling.” It features a turtle hatchling coming out of an egg on the back and the HBPT logo on the front. The shirts are $15 for the youth sizes and $17 for the adults, 2X & 3X are $20. Long sleeve shirts are $22 for S-XL and $25 for @ XL and 3XL. T-shirts will be available for sale at Turtle Talk programs and at the Lighthouse Gifts on the causeway in Holden Beach. Shirts are also available by mail, see the website for details.

For more information on Turtle Talk, the Holden Beach Turtle Patrol or how to volunteer or support visit the website at http://www.hbturtlewatch.org/.
Read more » click here


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


Brunswick County among fastest growing areas in the country
The latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed Brunswick County experienced the largest population growth of all North Carolina’s 100 counties, with an increase of 4.6 percent from 2017 to 2018. It also ranked fourth in the nation for percentage growth for counties with populations of 20,000 or more. According to Census estimates, Brunswick County had a population of 107,429 in 2010 that number has grown to 136,744 in 2018.
For more information » click here

Fastest Growing Counties / Brunswick Ranked

2006    14th2013    47th
2007    17th2014    47th
2008    28th2015    53rd
2009    65th2016    19th
2010   Census Year2017    1st
2011    30th2018    1st
2012    93rd 

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.
Read more » click here 


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.
///// March 2019
Name:                Chianti South
Cuisine:
            Italian
Location:          2109 Highway 17 South, Little River SC
Contact:            843.249.7888 / http://chiantisouth.us/
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:              Two Stars
A great local classic authentic family professionally run Italian restaurant, serving traditional Italian cuisine since 1997. Broad based menu offers something for everyone. They also have an extensive wine list, which earned Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” every year since 1988. We have always enjoyed the dining experience there. I’ve never heard anything but good reviews about this restaurant. Serving some of the best Italian cuisine in the area, it’s as good as it gets here.


Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
/////
KINGDOM OF THE BLIND by Louise Penny
This is the fourteenth entry in the series of crime fiction novels featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.  The investigation into the events that led to his suspension has dragged on, and Armand is taking increasingly desperate measures to rectify previous actions. While on suspension, Chief Superintendent Armand Gamache becomes embroiled in a murder case when he is enlisted to be executors for a stranger’s will. A secondary plot involving a rogue shipment of opioids, that he allowed to slip through his hands in the previous book, that he
tries to keep the deadly narcotics off Montreal’s streets. The two stories wind back and forth, both come to a satisfactory close.

Chief Inspector Gamache tells new agents the four (4) sayings that can lead to wisdom – I was wrong, I’m sorry, I don’t know, I need help


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/

04 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 03/28/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information
» click here

Audio Recording » click here

1. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/03/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information
»
click here NA

Audio Recording » click here

1. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3), To Consult with the Attorney and North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(6), To Discuss a Personnel Matter


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/12/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
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Audio Recording » click here

1. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/19/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information » click here
Supplemental information » click here

Audio Recording » click here

1. Discussion and Possible Selection of Engineering Firm for Engineering Design and Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System Station #3 Upgrade – Public Works Director Clemmons

Previously reported –      March 2019
Sewer Lift Station Engineering Responses

Agenda Packet –
Request for Qualifications Vacuum Sewer System Station #3 Upgrade
In accordance with North Carolina General Statute § 143-64.31, the Town advertised a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Engineering Design and Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System, Station #3 Upgrade.

We received three Statements of Qualifications in response to the RFQ, Green Engineering, McGill and Associates and East Engineering and Surveying. Copies of their responses are enclosed for your review (separate packets).

In order to proceed and make the first step in the improvement process, the Board needs to select a firm.

Town advertised for bids and have three responsive bidders. Work for sewer system #3 upgrade is the same improvements just completed on sewer system #4. The Board asked Chris for his recommendation and he hedged his bet by answering that they all are qualified. The Board seemed to impart a lot of value to the vendor that just completed the project on sewer station #4. David would like to move forward but asked them to defer selecting an engineering firm for design and construction management for sewer modifications at Station #3 until the successful completion of the current project. 

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
To be clear, this is strictly for engineering services. The Board needs to select a firm based on qualification criteria only; they selected Green Engineering for Sewer System #3 upgrade. Green Engineering will provide all engineering services required to construct a vulnerability reducing structure of Lift Station #3. The engineer firm is responsible for the design, bid, and construct process. The Board authorized the Town Manager to negotiate a contract with the selected engineering firm.

2. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Regular Meeting 04/16/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information
» click here

Audio Recording » click here NA


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

There were no comments


2. Discussion and Possible Award of Contract for Roadway Work (Sand Spur, Sand Dune and Sand Piper) – Shane Lippard, Right Angle Engineering (Public Works Director Clemmons)

Agenda Packet –
Award of Contract for Street Work
Right Angle Engineering is soliciting bids for roadway work on behalf of the Town. The work includes street paving for Sand Spur, Sand Dune and Sand Piper. Bids are due to the engineer by April 12th. They will need time to qualify the bids once they have been received. We anticipate being able to present the low bidder at the April 16th meeting for the Board’s consideration. We will send a supplemental packet once the information is available.

Previously reported –
Streets Condition Survey report dated November 2015. We have a total of 12.8 paved asphalt roadways with @40% of the roads in need of maintenance. Total estimated costs are a whopping $1,200,000. Surface evaluation was done rating each street and prioritizing the work that needs to be done. Recommended we address it with a ten-year game plan, budgeting accordingly, tackling it on a yearly basis. Understandably we can expect our streets to continue to degrade while costs will continue to go up.

Previously reported – April 2018
Highland Paving had the low bid at $92,050. Right Angle Engineering firm has previously worked with them on several projects. Work will be performed before Memorial Day weather permitting. Highland Paving was awarded the contract for roadway work for the maintenance of existing streets on the island in accordance with the approved Streets Survey dated November 2015. The streets having work done this year are Marlin and Boyd. These streets, Sand Spur, Sand Piper, and Sand Dune are all scheduled for 2019.  Also, the Town plans to update the pavement management plan this year.

Update –
Highland Paving had the low bid at $96,000. Right Angle Engineering firm has previously worked with them on several projects and they did the paving project for us last year.  Chris felt that they did an exceptional job and recommended them. Highland Paving was awarded the contract for roadway work for the maintenance of three streets on the island, they are Sand Spur, Sand Piper, and Sand Dune.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


3. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police PatchIt’s almost the start of the busy season, things are starting to pick up.

Recognition was given to Officer Jessica Camara for her successful completion of a training program. She has obtained the Intermediate Law Enforcement Certificate. Several other officers were in attendance to acknowledge her accomplishment.

Professional Certificate Program
In order to recognize the level of competence of law enforcement officers serving governmental agencies within the State, to foster interest in college education and professional law enforcement training programs, and to attract highly qualified people into a law enforcement career, the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission established the Law Enforcement Officers’ Professional Certificate Program. Under this program dedicated officers may receive statewide and nationwide recognition for education, professional training, and on-the-job experience.
For more information » click here

Holden Beach swears in Dixon as new police chief
The Town of Holden Beach made it ofcial Monday, April 1, when they swore in Jeremy Dixon as the town’s newest police chief, taking the mantle from former chief Wally Layne. Friends, family and representatives from all over Brunswick County came to the ceremony at 10 a.m. at Holden Beach Town Hall. Mayor Alan Holden in his opening remarks praised Dixon, Holden Beach police and other state law enforcement agencies for their work in solving the disappearance of Holden Beach resident Judy Brock Brown, whose body was discovered in Sampson County March 20—ve days after her husband Phillip Harry Brock reported her missing. He’s since been charged with rst-degree murder. “(You’re) beautiful people that come together in time of need,” Holden said. “When we look at the history of the Town of Holden Beach, in many ways we’ve been very boring. We haven’t had much big-time excitement. But the good news is, in recent days when we’ve had bad news/bad events, we came together, we solved the questions, we resolved the matter, and regrettably have to follow through with what we found. “The good news is that all of you in this room represent the pieces of government and community that we all need to support one another, as we go through these times of trials.” Holden said Dixon is stepping into a new role but has served the town faithfully for years. “We’re proud of him as an individual. We’re proud of what he has done in the job, and we know he’s going to do a great job forward as Police Chief Dixon,” he said. Brunswick County Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis gave Dixon his Oath of Office as his wife Denise Dixon aided him by holding the Bible. My heart is full,” Lewis said. Former chief Wally Layne presented his badge to Dixon following his swearing in. “You guys are really lucky to have him going forward. He’ll do a great job for the town,” Layne said. “I can’t say enough about him. I love him like my brother, because in reality he is my brother from another mother…and it’s a pleasure and an honor for me to pin this badge on him.” Town Administrator David Hewett then presented Denise Dixon flowers for her role as the spouse of a law enforcement officer, and she presented her husband with his epaulettes, or ornamental shoulder piece or decoration. The new chief said all those attended his ceremony in one way, or another had touched, impacted and influenced his career in some way. “And I am grateful to each one of you,” he said. Dixon has been with Holden Beach police since 2007.
Beacon Article


1 month after murder, Holden Beach community waits for answers
Phillip Brock is charged with first-degree murder in wife’s death
Mayor Alan Holden, whose family has lived in the community for seven generations, said Brock’s alleged murder was the first in the town’s history since it incorporated in 1969. With roughly 1,000 permanent residents, violent crime in general is rare on the island. “We’ve never had anything like this,” Holden said. “Holden Beach is a very quiet, simple family-oriented community, and we all regret what has taken place and pray for the family.”
Read more » click here


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

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


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


4. Receipt of Inlet and Beach Protection Board Report – Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet –
February Meeting Update
The IBPB met February 13 and the following issues and topics were addressed:

Status of the Beach and Inlets: Staff provided an overview of conditions and issues relative to the beach strand and inlets. Fran Way of ATM gave a status update on the storm damage and the modeling work on the Lockwood Folly Inlet.  The Wider-Deeper project is still pending.

Possible Collaboration with UNCW: Dr. Joni “Osku” Backstrom and Dr. Sheri Shiflett discussed the work UNCW is doing and possible areas of collaboration with the Town and ATM.

Comprehensive Long-Term Plan: Work on the plan was kicked off.  ATM will be working with us to help facilitate the report. We plan to complete the deliverable within six months. Cathy Foerster, AICP, Senior Planner and Facilitator with ATM was introduced and will facilitate the effort. A schedule and high-level content was provided.  Fran Way of ATM discussed the past plan and major initiatives.

Budget Items for FY 19-20: Board Members discussed project and items they would like to see included in the upcoming budget. Items include additional mats, additional plantings, a regular dune fertilization schedule, replacement of “Keep Off Dunes” signs, and additional monitoring for the West End and both inlets. A collaboration with UNCW and options were also discussed. A motion was passed to recommend these items.

Meetings:  Members of the Board attended the Brunswick County Shoreline Protection meeting January 30 and plan to attend the next meeting March 27. The IBPB is following the CRC meeting in Manteo February 27-28 where the Inlet Hazard Area changes will be discussed. Members are also attending a Dune Repair Workshop March 9 in Surf City.

March Meeting Update
The IBPB met March 28 and the following issues and topics were addressed:

Status of the Beach and Inlets:  Staff provided an overview of conditions and issues relative to the beach strand and inlets. The status of the Florence and Michael remediation project (tentatively called Central Reach Project 2 or CRP2) including sand sourcing was discussed. Fran Way of ATM gave a status update on the modeling work on the Lockwood Folly Inlet. The Wider-Deeper project is still pending.

Comprehensive Long-Term Plan: Work on the Long-Term Plan continues and was the major thrust of the meeting. Cathy Foerster, AICP, Senior Planner and Facilitator with ATM is facilitating the effort.

Meetings: Members of the Board attended a Dune Repair Workshop March 9 in Surf City and visited Coastal Transplants in Bolivia. Members will be attending the Brunswick County Shoreline Protection meeting April 3. The next IBPB meeting is April 25.

Previously reported –
Ordinance 18-02 established the Inlet and Beach Protection Board
The Ordinance requires a written report from this Board

Update –
No issues, accepted report

Discussion centered around naming the project for the Florence and Michael FEMA reimbursement. It was decided by consensus to call it Central Reach Reimbursement (CRR) project instead of CRP2.


5. Discussion and Possible Action – Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System #4 Upgrade Status Report – Public Works Director Clemmons

Previously reported – December 2017
McGill and Associates were commissioned to perform a Sewer Study to evaluate sewer system vulnerability reducing measures. A fiscal year 2017-2018 budget appropriation of $1,413,000 was made to accommodate total programmatic expenses of Lift Station #4 improvements. Green Engineering firm was awarded the $158,000 contract for Sewer System #4 upgrade. Green Engineering will provide all engineering services required to construct a vulnerability reducing structure of Lift Station #4.

Previously reported –
April 2018
Four (4) meetings have been held between staff and the engineering firm to date. The final plans were delivered to the Town and have been reviewed and approved by the Building Inspector. Deliverables – Timeline has been revised. Buildings were designed in the same style as Town Hall. We are currently on schedule, but Chris cautioned that it was still early in the game. The Board requested monthly updates, reporting on whether we remained on schedule and within budget.

Previously reported –
May 2018
We’ve had a slight setback, we did not receive the three (3) bids required to move forward. Officially we accepted no bids, the two bids submitted will be held and opened upon the completion of the second go round. Chris was a little surprised and disappointed since their appeared to be a lot of interest when they held meeting with vendors. We will need to start the bid process over. The protocols on the second bid process do not require the three bids but the caveat is we can only consider quality bids.

Previously reported –
June 2018
BOC’s SPECIAL MEETING / May 23, 2018
Approved award of the Lift Station #4 upgrade contract to T.A. Loving Company in the amount of $1,205,000

Total project cost went from $1,413,000 to $1,695,700 or a $282,700 difference
Contingency funds were reduced from $157,400 to $52,480 or a $104,920 difference
Bottomline, the project cost just went up $387,620 ($282,700 + $104,920) or @27% (Yikes!)

A pre-construction meeting is scheduled for June 28th
We should have a tentative construction start date then

Previously reported –
July 2018
A pre-construction meeting was held on June 28th
The contractor was given notice to proceed
Mobilization is scheduled for the first week of August
Concerns:
. 1) Time to get materials – delay waiting for foundation steel
. 2)
Storm Season

Previously reported –
August 2018
Reviewed progress to date, despite the rain they are still on schedule, gave some tentative project timelines. It’s all good!

Previously reported –
October 2018
Making good progress, despite the two storm events they are still on track to complete project on schedule.

Previously reported – November 2018
Town hired Green Engineering for construction management services. Leo Green gave a brief status report. It’s all good, we are still on budget and on schedule. Project tentative completion date is the middle of January well before the tourist season begins. Leo meets with the town staff monthly to discuss any issues and keep everyone informed about the status of the project. Building Inspections Director Evans gave them two thumbs up for the work that has been done so far; really high praise coming from Timbo.

Previously reported – December 2018
Tentative startup date is now January 15th, station will be fully operational after that date. Expectation is that they should have everything wrapped up by March of 2019.

Previously reported – January 2019
They are making progress daily and are attempting to tie up any loose ends. Airvac is scheduled to be on site this week in order to initiate the integration and changeover of the upgraded sewer lift station machinery and equipment.

Previously reported – February 2019
We have switched over and the new system is up and running without any issues. Still have a number of loose ends that he expects to be resolved shortly. Anticipates project will be completed by the next BOC’s meeting.

Previously reported – March 2019
New system is up and running without any issues. Met with engineers and prepared punch list items necessary for project completion. He now anticipates project will be completed within the next fourteen (14) days.

Mini-Me

Update –
Leo Green from Green Engineering, the firm used for construction management services, gave the report. They were able to meet the target date for beginning operations there. Punch list items necessary for project completion
took longer than expected and pushed them past scheduled completion date. Project has been completed and they have received the final certificate of occupancy.


6. Discussion and Possible Selection of Contractor to Perform Rollback Services for the Town – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet –
Rollback Services
We received four bids by the deadline of April 8th at noon in response to our solicitation of bids for a contractor to perform rollback services. See the attached bid tabulation (Attachment 1) and individual responses (Attachment 2). The Statement of Work is also included for your review (Attachment 3). The apparent low bidder is Fullwood’s Lawn Service Plus. The Board of Commissioners would need to select a contractor and make the award of contract contingent on review of the contract documents by the Town Attorney.

Fullwood’s Lawn Service Plus            $50,000
Mermaid Resort Services                     $62,414
Errand Island Management                $54,160
K&R Home Improvement                    $195,188

Previously reported – December 2018
Town Manager Hewett developed a budget estimate of $85,000 to provide Town-wide rollback service. The Board all agreed that rollback service should be provided for the whole island year-round and that all bins will be rollbacked, empty or not. So, this then became a budget issue. How do we fund this? They finally decided that they would continue to tap the BPART account fund for approximately $35,000 and the additional estimated $50,000 cost would come out of general funds which comes from property taxes.

Previously reported – February 2019
We received four bids in response to our solicitation of bids for a contractor to perform rollback services. The prices on an annualized basis are as follows:

Fullwood’s Lawn Service Plus            $52,416
Mermaid Resort Services                     $67,414
Coastal Transplants                               $78,000
Lyons Contract Service                         $65,520

The apparent low bidder is Fullwood’s Lawn Service Plus. The Board of Commissioners would need to select a contractor and make the award of contract contingent on review of the contract documents by the Town Attorney.

Item was removed from the agenda. Due to the changes to the Solid Waste Ordinance made tonight a new request for proposal (RFP) will need to be done. The two changes were not to roll back full containers and continue to rollback to corrals instead of back to house storage location.

 Update –
Fullwood’s was the low bidder again and were awarded the contract for island wide rollback service.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Commissioner Sullivan objected to spending money to rollback empty trash cans but continue to allow full trash cans to stay at curbside for up to a week.


It makes no sense; I’m with Mike on this one.


7. Planning Inspections Report – Planning Director Evans

Timbo gave them a ringing endorsement of the work that was done at Sewer System #4; really high praise coming from him.

Presentation was an infomercial for his department. Frankly, doing their job entails more than you would think. The numbers he gave were very impressive. Bottomline, is that they have been and are very busy. Message he delivered was that despite the public’s perception, they are there to protect the public.

Community Rating System progress has been slow by design. They have been taking baby steps in order to minimize any negative economic impact.

Previously reported –
Community Rating System (CRS)
The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) 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 resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:
    1) Reduce flood damage to insurable property;
.     2)
Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and
.     3) Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

For CRS participating communities, flood insurance premium rates are discounted in increments of 5% (i.e., a Class 1 community would receive a 45% premium discount, while a Class 9 community would receive a 5% discount (a Class 10 is not participating in the CRS and receives no discount)). The CRS classes for local communities are based on 18 creditable activities, organized under four categories:
.     1) Public Information,
.     2) Mapping and Regulations,
.     3) Flood Damage Reduction, and
.     4) Flood Preparedness.
For more information » click here


8. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 19-06, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 18-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 (Amendment No. 6) – Fiscal Operations Clerk Lockner 

Agenda Packet –
FEMA Florence Reimbursement
The Town received a FEMA check for Category B (Emergency Protective Measures) in the amount of $96,562.57. It is recommended by staff that the Board adopt Ordinance 19-06 in order to reimburse budget lines associated with the expenses accrued during Hurricane Florence.

ORDINANCE NO.19-06
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO.18-10,

THE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS ORDINANCE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018-2019 (Amendment No.6)

Staff recommended that they adopt the Ordinance, accept the reimbursement and their recommended appropriation of the funds.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


9. Discussion and Possible Action to Instruct Town Manager to Obtain Bids for the Development of a Cost Justified Water and Wastewater System Development Fees Report – Commissioner Freer
a.
Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 19-07, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 1810, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 (Amendment No. 7)

ORDINANCE NO.19-07
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO.18-10,

THE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS ORDINANCE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018-2019 (Amendment No.7)

Moved funds of $10,000
From Revenue account #30.0399.0500 to Expense account#30.0810.0400

The original motion was to allocate funds to obtain bids for the development of a cost justified water and wastewater system Development Fees Report by a financial firm rather than an engineering firm like the first time. After a bit of finger pointing as to why we need to have another report they were able to find some common ground. 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. They will pursue bids from all qualified vendors whether they are an engineering or financial firm. Commissioner Sullivan pointed out that by rescinding the adopted development fees cost the town $157,000, which is the difference in the revenue stream from adopted to rescinded fees.

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

D.R. Horton files federal class action against Brunswick County seeking over $5 million in damages

D.R. Horton, a publicly-traded company that calls itself “America’s Largest Homebuilder,” filed a class-action federal lawsuit against Brunswick County earlier this month.

Asking for in excess of $5 million, D.R. Horton claims the county collected illegal water and wastewater fees as a prerequisite to providing utility service at its numerous residential projects. The allegedly illegal fees cut into the company’s profits, creating greater expenses, according to the suit.
Impact fees
Referred to as impact, capacity, capital recovery or system development fees, litigation surrounding the fees among builders and municipalities has increased over the last two years. In fact, D.R. Horton’s suit — filed March 5 in the United States District Court — is at least the third filed in the Cape Fear region regarding allegedly illegal impact fees. A North Carolina Supreme Court case found impact fees charged to fund future service costs to be unlawful in 2016. Then in 2017, the General Assembly passed House Bill 436. The bill legalized and clarified the fees – now dubbed “system development fees” — under certain conditions. Utility providers can’t assess the fees arbitrarily. The fees must be based on a professional analysis, used to recoup capital improvement costs to service new development. Last fiscal year, Brunswick County charged $1,150 in water and $4,000 for wastewater connection for a three-bedroom unit in “capital recovery fees.” During that time, the county issued 1,307 residential permits — with new construction valued at $459.1 million — according to its most recent permit report. With five months left in the current fiscal year, the county has already issued 1,475 residential permits as of January. Ann Hardy, Brunswick County’s manager, said the county was served about two weeks ago. She said the county intends to defend its stance that the fees were charged lawfully. “We have not yet filed a response,” Hardy wrote in an email Thursday. “We will defend the county’s position that the county’s utility system development fees were appropriately charged and collected.”
Claims

D.R. Horton’s class action claims Brunswick County charged these fees with “deliberate indifference” to the company’s constitutional rights. Under the Fourteenth Amendment, the government is prohibited from depriving property rights without due process. This alleged constitutional violation, among other reasons, is cited as grounds for the suit D.R. Horton filed the case in United States District Court rather than Brunswick County Superior Court. The suit argues Brunswick County was aware, or should have been aware, that its actions violated both federal and state law. Municipalities were warned in 1982, the suit states, when the North Carolina Supreme Court cautioned local governments that they may lack the power to charge for future services. Brunswick County illegally collected in excess of $5 million between June of 2015 and June 2018, the suit alleges. D.R. Horton has filed a similar federal lawsuit against the City of Charlotte and its water utility, Charlotte Water (formerly known as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department). Filed on January 11 in the Western District of United States District Court of North Carolina, the class-action suit also includes a half-dozen other home builders as co-plaintiffs. In that suit, the companies claim the same amount — at least $5 million plus 6 percent interest — is owed. In mid-March, Charlotte’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case, but it is still currently pending.
Third case in Cape Fear region
When the law changed two years ago, it did not retroactively authorize utility providers to charge the illegal fees. With a three-year statute of limitation, some builders that believe they were assessed illegally between September 2015 and June 2018 are pursuing legal action to get their money back. Mecklenburg-based J.A.C.K. Development, LLC, and Wilmington-based Coastal Cypress Building Company, founded by Steve Swain, filed a class action suit against Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) in August 2018. The suit claims CFPUA’s baseless collection of fees — charged with no concrete plan — “shocks the conscience.” (D.R. Horton’s suit also uses this same legal jargon.) That same month, the Town of Leland entered into a tolling agreement with Bill Clark Homes Wilmington. The agreement preserves Bill Clark Homes’ right to enter a lawsuit, of which it has not yet filed. It precludes Leland from claiming statutes of limitations in a future suit, and claims the company overpaid utility impact fees for several years. Then, in September 2018, Wilmington-based Plantation Building Corp. filed a class action suit against the town, alleging the same thing. Both Leland and CFPUA denied the builders’ claims. According to the lead attorney for plaintiffs that filed cases against Leland and CFPUA, the firm Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP has filed several similar suits across the state.
Read more » click here

Review of Development Fees Timeline

Previously reported – February 2018

North Carolina General Assembly – House Bill 1730 / S.L. 2004-96
Enacted on 07/13/2004
Gives us the authority to impose sewer fees
For more information » click here

Holden Beach Sewer Treatment Fee
For more information » click here

House Bill 436 / Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act
Enacted on 07/20/2017
Eliminates the authority to charge the sewer fee
Authority to impose fees has been modified
Necessitates us having to retool water and sewer fee rate schedule
Recommends it be prepared by licensed professional engineer
Town must comply not later than July 1, 2018
Town Manager plans to commission McGill and Associates to develop rate schedule
For more information » click here

Previously reported – April 2018
McGill and Associates has prepared the System Development Fees Report for the Town. The report was posted to our website on March 26th and written comments were solicited. The report must be posted for at least 45 days.

In accordance with §162A-209, after expiration of the posting period, the Board needs to hold a public hearing prior to considering the adoption of the analysis. We recommend the Board schedule the public hearing for May 14th.

System Development Fees Report
Click here to view the System Development Fees Report prepared by McGill and Associates in accordance with HB 436. Written comments on the report may be sent to heather@hbtownhall.com. Comments will also be accepted by mail at Town of Holden Beach, Attn: Heather Finnell, 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462. The Board will schedule a public hearing prior to considering the adoption of the analysis. Information on the public hearing date will be provided when available.

Previously reported – May 2018
In accordance with §162A-209, after expiration of the posting period, the Board needs to hold a public hearing prior to considering the adoption of the analysis. The Board has scheduled to hold a Public Hearing on May 23rd at 1:00pm

Notice of Public Hearing
The Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach will hold a Public Hearing on May 23, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. or shortly thereafter in the Town Hall Public Assembly, 110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462 to hear a presentation on the study of System Development Fees that could be levied by the Town. This hearing, the study and the presentation are in accordance with NC Administrative Code 15A NCAC 18C.0409 and 15A NCAC 02T.011. McGill Associates will present the study results which is posted on our website. Click here to view the study. All interested people are invited to attend.

Previously reported – June 2018
Agenda Packet –
Legislation House Bill 436 required a Public Hearing as one of the steps that must happen before the Town can move forward and implement the charges. HB436 is prescriptive, with precise instructions and the report given is in accordance with the legislation. The next steps are adoption of the study report and creating Ordinance that incorporates the recommended fees into a fee schedule. This process must be completed no later than July 1st. We are required to review the fee schedule and must reevaluate it in a maximum five-year timeframe.

RESOLUTION 18-04 / ADOPTING SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT FEES REPORT
RESOLUTION 18-05 / AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH FEE SCHEDULE

Fee Schedule / Water and Sewer System Development Fees

  1. Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) Capacity Fees- based on a three-bedroom single family dwelling, NC Administrative Code 15A NCAC 18C.000409 & 15A NCAC 02T.0114 and McGill Associates Cost Justified Water and Wastewater System Development Fees Report Capacity dated March 2018.
    .       a. Water Capacity Fee = $5,792 ($14.48 per gallon per day)
    .       b.Sewer Capacity Fee= $14,785 ($41.07 per gallon per day)
  1. Residential capacities above/below the rated three-bedroom ERU in para 1 above shall be calculated and fees assessed on a pro rata per bedroom basis using the applicable Administrative code and the McGill Report as guide.
  1. Vacant lots that have never been connected to the Town’s sewer system will be credited in an amount equal to the sewer capacity fee for one ERU (3 bedrooms); however, no credit shall be provided for said vacant lots that have not paid sewer share fees to the Town of Holden Beach as previously authorized by Town of Holden Beach Ordinance 02·13 dated 10-14-02 “Chapter 52-04-Share Fees”
  1. Vacant lots that have been previously connected to the Town’s water and sewer systems and are being redeveloped will be credited in an amount equal to the prorated amount of water and sewer capacity fees in para 1 above per bedroom based on the actual number of bedrooms previously connected. The Town of Holden Beach Building Inspector may use any and all public information available to ascertain the number of bedrooms to use for the credit.
  1. Water and sewer service capacity requirements (gallons per day) for other than residential dwellings shall be determined in accordance with the applicable NC Administrative Code referenced above and fees calculated as follows:
    .      
    a. Water Capacity Fee= Required gallons per day multiplied by $14.48 per
          b.
    Sewer Capacity Fee= Required gallons per day multiplied by $41.07 per gallon.
          c.
    Fee calculations for water and sewer capacity fees based on changes in uses of a property that cause capacity usage changes will provide for determining a credit for the existing use water and sewer capacity charges against the new uses’ water and sewer capacity requirements as established by the NC Administrative Code referenced above.
  2. Sewer Capacity charges and credits shall be calculated and collected at the time a building permit is applied for.

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH / RESOLUTION 18-04
RESOLUTION ADOPTING SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT FEES REPORT

WHEREAS, Session law 2017-138 (House Bill 436) known as the “Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act” sets certain standards and limitations before a town may adopt a system development fee for water and sewer service; and

WHEREAS, said Act requires that a system development fee be established only after written analysis prepared by a qualified financial professional or qualified licensed professional engineer in a manner as set forth in said Act; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach has retained McGill Associates, a qualified and licensed professional engineer and consulting firm, to perform said analysis in accordance with said Act; and

WHEREAS, McGill Associates has performed said analysis and delivered a written report to the

Town of Holden Beach pursuant to said Act; and

WHEREAS, the Audit Committee of the Town of Holden Beach has reviewed the report and had no comment other than it appeared to be accomplished in accordance with the Act; and

WHEREAS, the analysis has been posted on the Town’s website as required in said Act and a public hearing has been held as required in said Act; and

WHEREAS, all other conditions, standards and requirements of said Act has been satisfied.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLIVED by the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners that the Town hereby adopts and approves the Cost-Justified Water and Wastewater System Development Fees Report created by McGill Associates, dated March 2018.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH / RESOLUTION 18-05
RESOULUTION AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH FEE SCHEDULE

WHEREAS. the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners adopted the Cost-Justified Water and Wastewater System Development   Fees Report created by McGill Associates, dated March 2018; and

WHEREAS, the Holden Beach Fee Schedule needs to be updated to reflect the recommendations in the Report.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina does hereby approve the deletion of the Impact Fees and the Share Cost sections and the addition of the Water and Sewer System Development Fees (Attachment 1) to the Holden Beach Fee Schedule.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – July 2018
RESOLUTION 18-04 / ADOPTING SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT FEES REPORT
RESOLUTION 18-05 / AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH FEE SCHEDULE

Fee is based on combination of existing system capacity and planned capital improvements to expand capacity  

An unintended consequence of System Development Fee adopted in June
.         •
Seven (7) bedroom permit was $10,000 now costs $30,000 a difference of $20,000
.         • Five (5) bedroom permit was $7,000 now costs $21,000 a difference of $14,000

That’s a whapping 300% increase which will negatively impact new construction on the island. By comparison, Ocean Isle Beach had a minor increase since their system is older and already paid for. I’d expect to see both the General Contractors and the Realtors up in arms. Unchanged we will have significantly reduced the future revenue stream from new construction from both our Ad Valorem and Occupancy taxes. Really don’t see how the Board doesn’t have to reevaluate the fee schedule.          

 Town Attorney Noel Fox walked them through the prescriptive legislation and all the protocols that were followed which was a lengthy and complicated procedure. Most of the community including contractors and realtors were unaware of the significant fee increase. Based on what was presented to the public, a reasonable case could be made that posting System Development Fees without any explanation given as to the effect on construction cost is why no one questioned the report or even knew the building permit fees would be impacted.  Although the process was followed as required, they are now aware that people who needed to know didn’t. Thus, the brouhaha. In an attempt to address any misunderstanding, the Board submitted some thirty (30) questions for the Town Manager to complete and post on the Town website. It appears that they are at least willing to give it a second look. They were elected, and it is strictly their call whether to make an adjustment or not.  I got the feeling that the Board took umbrage to some of the comments that were made, particularly a lack of understating what the fee schedule change would actually translate to in dollars and cents. In addition, they questioned the negative economic impact that was suggested by some of the speakers. If in fact they decide to reduce the development fee it was established that they can’t make it retroactive.

 


This Board –
  1)
chose to implement the max recommended fee schedule
.   2)
did not adequately consider whether the increased fee would “unduly burden new development”

Previously reported – August 2018
Water and Sewer System Development Fee
The North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 436 in July 2017, amending Chapter 162A of the General Statutes by adding “Article 8, System Development Fees.” This amendment was enacted as “An Act to Provide for Uniform Authority to Implement System Development Fees for Public Water and Sewer Systems in North Carolina and to Clarify the Applicable Statute of Limitations.” in HB436, which requires compliance with designated calculation methodology by July 1, 2018.

In response to the House Bill 436, the Town of Holden Beach retained McGill and Associates to complete a system development fee analysis. Based on the Town of Holden Beach’s combination of existing system capacity and planned capital improvements to expand capacity, the development fee, in accordance with HB 436 rules for an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) for water and sewer was calculated to be $20,577. ERU is defined as the water and sewer capacities required to serve the most typical user type, which is a three-bedroom single-family dwelling.

McGill Associates has calculated costs for water and wastewater capacity on a per gallon per day basis for the Town of Holden Beach. This calculation was performed using the Combined Method to account for the Town’s combination of existing capacity and planned future capacity expansion through capital expenditure. This calculation resulted in a development fee of $20,577 for an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU). ERU is defined as the water and sewer capacities required to serve the most typical user type, which is a three-bedroom single-family dwelling. The fee for other types of development can be calculated by applying the calculated the cost of capacity per gallon of flow per day to the water and wastewater demands for various uses as defined by NC Administrative Code 15A NCAC 18C .0409 and 15A NCAC 02T.0114. Using NC Administrative Code 15A NCAC 18C.0409 and 15A NCAC 02T.0114 ensures that the same standard used to plan, design, construct and finance capital assets is applied as the same cost recovery basis to be applied to new development.

The Town may elect to charge less than the cost-justified System Development Fee documented in this report. Any adjustment must be calculated on a cost per unit volume basis, meaning the same cost per gallon adjustment must be applied equally to all customers.

Repeal the Board’s Previous Vote on Implementation of the Water and Sewer Development Fees 

They repealed and replaced the development fee schedule
.   1)
Repealed Resolution 18-05
  2)
Replaced with the following interim fee schedule:
.         •
Water Capacity Fee is $100 per bedroom
.         •
Sewer Capacity Fee is $2,700 per bedroom

A five (5) bedroom in the sewer fee schedule before June 30th was $13,125
A five (5) bedroom in the new interim sewer fee schedule after June 30th is $13,500
A five (5) bedroom in both the old and the new interim water fee schedule is $500
Total cost of $14,000 vs. $13,625, approximately what the fees were before July 1st

For those property owners that already paid their sewer share fee they will get a credit of $2,700 per bedroom up to and including a five-bedroom house; additional bedrooms will be assessed at $2,700 per bedroom

This is an interim fee schedule until they have an opportunity to reevaluate the situation

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
Vote was three (3) to two (2), no surprise there
Mayor Pro Tem Sullivan and Commissioner Kwiatkowski both voted against the motion

Previously reported – October 2018
Discussion of Activities and Timelines to Re-conduct the Determination of Maximum Sewer and Water System Development Fees and Subsequently Set “Permanent Fees Before the End of 2018 – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

All Pat said is that the interim rates would remain in effect for the next ninety (90) days which takes us into 2019.

No discussion of activities, timelines, or variables being considered were shared with the public.

Previously reported – February 2019

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This was supposed to be an interim fee schedule
They committed to permanent fees before the end of 2018
Then they said the interim fees would remain in effect for the next ninety (90) days
Well both of those dates have come and gone
A permanent fee schedule has yet to be adopted


10. Discussion and Possible Action to Instruct Town Manager to Obtain Bids to Evaluate and Propose Optimum Holden Beach Town Government Organization – Commissioner Freer

Previously reported – February 2019
Finance Officer
While the Town is not required by standards to have a separate Town Manager and Finance Officer, based on our internal control review, we believe it prudent and we recommend you separate the two roles. Separating the two responsibilities would allow the Town Manager to devote the entire day towards high-level Town objectives and the Finance Officer to financial reporting, budgeting and accounting tasks. Having another experienced individual specific to the government accounting arena would allow the Town to implement specific policies and procedures to strengthen the controls around many of the transaction cycles, including mitigation of numerous segregation of duties weaknesses as noted below. As Government Auditing Standards progress towards removing the allowability of the external auditors to also draft the financial statements, having an additional seasoned individual would allow for drafting of the financial statements to occur in-house versus relying on outsourcing. It is also worth noting that several times within the past eight years the Town has received a material weakness as it relates to technical expertise in full-accrual accounting and drafting full disclosure financial statements which would help to strengthen the concerns for separating the roles of Town Manager and Finance Officer.

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 and we hire new Town Manager           and a separate Finance Officer

 Stay tuned …

 Update –
The agenda item appeared to address the entire Town staff organizational structure. Commissioner Freer’s motion narrowed it down to just the Finance Department. Either way commissioners Sullivan and Kwiatkowski were not having any of it. The gist of the discussion was that we don’t need to spend any more money for another report to tell us what we already know. They all agreed that we need to address the deficiencies identified by the Internal Report. Town Manager Hewett was given an opportunity to bring them up to speed. It seems like he has attempted to address these issues and is making every effort to close the gaps between desired state and actual state of affairs. They agreed to have David formally address them with action plans by the scheduled June BOC’s Regular Meeting. 


11. Discussion and Possible Action Pertaining to Salary and Benefits External Review – Commissioner Butler

Previously reported – February 2019
Commissioner Freer did a brief overview.
Peter expected RSM to make a number of proposals to address issues that were identified as deficiencies.Since they didn’t, he asked that the Town initiate a request for proposal (RFP) to do the following:

  • Establish set job descriptions for each position, and a compensation pay range
  • Conduct a total compensation study
  • Setup a formal review process of vendors

 Update –
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


12. Discussion and Possible Action Pertaining to ATM Projects – Commissioner Butler
.     a) Lockwood Folly Inlet Modeling
.     b)
Florence/ Michael Remediation
    c)
Lockwood Folly Inlet Deeper and Wider Dredging

Applied Technology and Management a coastal engineering firm hired by the town

Assistant Town Manager Christy Ferguson explained what’s going on with these projects
.       a) Lockwood Folly Inlet Modeling – requested to have data driven arguments to justify getting sand from USACE dredging projects

      b) Florence/ Michael Remediation – CRR project, 1.13 cubic yards lost during the two storm events, remediation cost will be in the twenty-five (25) million-dollar range, looks like it may be combined into one project

      c) Lockwood Folly Inlet Deeper and Wider Dredging – Brunswick County is no longer taking the lead on this project. The Town would need to cover the cost of the entire project and budget for $4,132,000 expense. The Town would need to apply for and receive a grant from NC Department of Environmental Quality / Division of Water Resources on a reimbursement basis. BOC’s decided not to move forward with this project.

.       d) LWF Inlet Crossing Project – For the Town to place sand on the east end from the bend widener project would require us to piggyback on the USACE project. The Town Attorney would need to certify that easements would be in place to proceed with contract documents.


13. 
Discussion and Possible Action Regarding the 2018 Audit Report – Mayor Pro Tem Fletcher

Previously reported – March 2019
Board authorized request to get an explanation for the delay in the annual audit report

Update –
We still do not have the completed audit in hand although a rough draft has been provided


Fiscal Year 2017 – 2018 Audit Results
Auditor’s report is due by November 1st and is normally is given at the November meeting. The report still has not been given yet. Town Manager reported at the October meeting that the storm events have delayed the annual audit process. We are still waiting for the report. The auditor Rives & Associates has advised the Local Government Commission.

Nothing for nothing but it has been like seven (7) months since the last storm event. Really this is unacceptable!


14. Review and Agreement of Board 2019 Priority Objectives – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
Policies/procedures/resolutions
13        Address Ocean Blvd water retention issues
13        Improve Community Rating Score

Long Range Planning
12        Initiate Stage IT Sewer Pump Station Upgrade
12        Fully support IBPB and implement strategy
11        Make a decision on the second water tower
11        Approve and fund an appropriate near-term beach re-nourishment project
11        Review proposed Land Use Plan and approve an appropriate final document

Ordinances
15        Trash related decisions
13        Ensure clear enforcement procedures are in place as appropriate
12        Control of large homes

Advocacy
15        Promptly address any activity/support and funding requests that result from Poyner Spruill advocacy efforts for short- and long-term coordination with state, county and federal groups

15        Define sand fund strategies and supporting documents for starting various levels of government advocacy
15        Become more involved in coastal advocacy groups
14        Increase participation in NCLM to secure support on objectives most relevant to THB
12        Increase involvement in regional planning with other coastal communities

Additional Policies/Procedure/Resolutions Objectives
10        Prioritize Brunswick Avenue road repair
10        Cross train finance staff
10        Improve communication among alerted officials
10        Use pre and post beach sand data to conclude a crisis point
10        Establish a communication plan and website
10        Get more general public involvement

Item was removed from the agenda since it was covered at a Budget Workshop


15. Town Manager’s Report

Canal Dredging Project
 Dredging projects were completed before the dredging permit expired.

Dog Park
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 on the island. Meanwhile, David has asked the County to consider including a dog park in the 35-acre nature park being planned for on the mainland just across the ICW from us.



Bridge Work / Boat Ramp Closed
Based on guidance from DOT this morning, there are plans to make repairs to the caps and columns of the bridge at the boat ramp location beginning Monday, April 8h. During this time the boat ramp will be closed Monday – Friday. DOT expects the ramp to be open on the weekends.

Trash Collection
An extra trash collection is scheduled for the Saturday following Easter (April 27th).

Vehicle Decals
The 2019 hurricane vehicle decals were distributed with the March water bills.

Beach Strand Monitoring
Annual beach strand monitoring is underway. We have an engineered beach – which means it has been nourished and is being monitored. ATM is a coastal engineering firm hired by the town has done the annual monitoring since 2001.

Port-a- Johns
The Town budgeted money from the BPART account to cover the costs of seasonal (100 days of summer) public restroom facilities and services. We will have four handicap accessible units strategically placed at three locations on the island.

They are located as follows:
    1)
Two are at the far east end
.     2) One is at sewer lift station by Greensboro
.     3)
One is at sewer lift station just before the 800 block


General Comments –

There were eleven (11) members of the community in attendance

The BOC’s May Regular Meeting has been rescheduled to the third Tuesday of the month, May 21st

Agenda Packet
A number of agenda items do not have any supporting information in the agenda packet. Previously they agreed to only add agenda items with significant supporting documentation. What’s the story?

BOC’s Special Meeting 12/18/18
RESOLUTION 18-07
RESOLUTION ADOPTING RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE BOC’s
Part VI. Agenda / Rule 13. Agenda
(a) Draft and Proposed Agenda. The purpose of the proposed agenda is to expedite the conduct and business and enable the Board and members of the public to know in advance the potential subjects that are to be discussed. The proposed agenda allows preparation by Commissioners, staff and encourages public participation. The proposed agenda is the result of discussion and agreement between the Executive Secretary and Town Clerk on the clarity and completeness of each item on the draft agenda. The Town Clerk shall first prepare a draft, and ultimately a proposed, agenda in advance of each meeting of the town board in collaboration with the Executive Secretary designated by the board as described below. Any board member may, by a timely request to the Town Clerk, have an item placed on the draft agenda. A request to have an item of business placed on the draft agenda must be received by the Town Clerk at least seven working days before the meeting; any supplemental information/materials shall also be provided in advance. The Executive Secretary selected by the board, or his/her designated substitute in case of absence, shall review the draft agenda and available materials with the Town Clerk one week before the meeting to agree correctness and completeness of all items; items lacking clarity or adequate supporting materials may be deferred to a future meeting at the discretion of the Executive Secretary and Town Clerk if additional explanation or documentation is not made available by the agenda item requestor. Following this meeting, the Town Clerk shall prepare the proposed agenda. If the board is expected to consider one or more proposed ordinances or ordinance amendments, a copy of the proposed ordinances and/or amendments shall be attached to the proposed agenda. An agenda package shall be prepared that includes, for each item of business placed on the proposed agenda, as much background information on the subject as is available and feasible to reproduce (where appropriate, directions to web links may be used). Each board member shall receive a copy of the proposed agenda and the agenda package at least three working days before a regular meeting and they shall be available for public inspection and distribution or copying when they are distributed to the board members.


Budget

Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:
. 1)
Raising taxes
. 2)
Cutting spending
. 3)
Operating more efficientl

Ensuring that government commitments are in line with available resources is an essential element of good governance.

The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st
Commissioners must adopt budget no later than July 1st for the next fiscal year
Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board

Budget Meeting Schedule / 2019

  • 16 January BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives
  • 05 February BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives / Capital Programs
  • 15 February Canal Dredging Working Group / PRAB / IBPB
    . * PRAB – Parks & Recreation Advisory Board
    . * IBPB – Inlet & Beach Protection Board
  • 22 February Departments Input to Manager
  • 7 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 21 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 28 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 12 April BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 19 April BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 6-10 May Budget Message
  • 7 June Public Hearing
  • 18 June Regular BOC’s Meeting – Ordinance Consideration
  • 1 July Budget adopted (No Later Than)

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Hurricane Season –

Hurricane #1 - CR

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a hurricane as “an intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

Be prepared – have a plan!

For assistance with making an emergency plan read more here »
. 1) FEMA Ready
. 2) American Red Cross Disaster and Safety Library
. 3) ReadyNC
. 4) Town Emergency Information
. 5) HBPOIN Hurricane Emergency Plan

THB – EVACUATION, CURFEW & VEHICLE DECALS
For more information » click here

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.

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

vigilance and preparedness is urged.


Good riddance: Florence, Michael retired as hurricane names
The two destructive storms both hit the East Coast last fall, bringing wind and rain from Florida to the Carolinas and claiming nearly 100 lives

After making their mark on the Cape Fear region and the East Coast last year, both Florence and Michael have been retired as hurricane names by the World Meteorological Organization, which includes NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. The two names have been replaced Francine and Milton, both of which will officially enter the rotation in 2024 hurricane season. Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said Wednesday that names are on a six-year cycle and are only retired if reusing them would be insensitive to those affected by the name’s previous storms. “There was never any question that these two were going to be retired,” he said. Including Florence and Michael, 88 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953, when storm naming became a practice. The 2005 hurricane season, which included Katrina, has the most retired names for one season – five. Previously retired storm names that affected the area were Matthew (2016), Floyd (1999), Fran (1996) and Hazel (1954). Hurricane Florence is considered one of the most destructive to ever hit the Carolinas, where it made landfall in Wrightsville Beach in the early morning of Sept. 14. It went on claim at least 51 deaths and caused extensive flooding across North and South Carolina, and Virginia.
Read more » click here

Atlantic Hurricane Season Could Bring 13 Named Storms This Year
There’s a lot of reasons people think 13 is an unlucky number. This year may add another. At least 13 storm systems should reach tropical strength and get a name in 2019, with five becoming hurricanes and two spawning winds of 111 miles per hour (179 kilometers) or more, Colorado State University said in its annual Atlantic forecast. While the overall storm number is one above the 30-year average, it’s down from 15 last year. But that isn’t a reason for coastal residents to drop their guard. “As we always say, it only takes one storm to make it an active season.’’ Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the study, said by telephone. “People have to prepare the same as always.’’ An El Nino weather pattern will linger into at least September, and that’s helping to keep the hurricane season close to average, but there is no way of telling if one or more storms will become strong enough to cause destruction for the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean.
Recent Destruction
The U.S. was hit by three major hurricanes in 2017, with the entire season causing about $215 billion in damage. Last year, hurricanes Florence and Michael ripped through the Carolinas and Florida with the total damage for the year reaching $51 billion, according to Munich Re. The six-month season begins June 1, when the warming Atlantic water becomes a nursery for the destructive storms often born from weather systems drifting off Africa. Atlantic hurricanes are closely watched because they can shake energy and agriculture markets, threaten coastal real estate, impact politics and leave long-lasting suffering for people and businesses in their wake. This week, Congressional Republicans and Democrats haggled over disaster funding for Puerto Rico, still reeling from 2017’s Hurricane Maria. Politics aside, the perils faced by hurricanes are massive. In the U.S., more than 6.9 million homes, valued at $1.6 trillion, are at risk from storms, according to CoreLogic. Across the South, many are still trying to recover from multiple strikes over the last several years. In Dillon County, South Carolina, residents were struggling to recover from flooding brought by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 when Florence brought a second deluge last year. “It is an ongoing process,’’ said Kenneth Smith, Dillon County’s long-term recovery chairman. “It has been going on since Matthew. They got hit twice.’’
April Forecasts
Nature’s cycles could rob the six-month 2019 season of some of its power, Klotzbach of Colorado State said. El Nino in the equatorial Pacific causes wind shear to develop across the Atlantic. Tropical storms and hurricanes can be ripped apart by wind shear with the tops of the storms being cut clear off. Klotzbach also said that forecasts made in April are among the hardest for both storms and El Nino. From 2015 to 2018, Colorado State’s forecast underestimated the overall storms by 1 to 4 systems. At the same time, El Nino could fade. “There is a lot of uncertainty about El Nino at this time of year,’’ Klotzbach said. “But I don’t see any smoking guns that is going to change that.’’
Read more » click here

We are way overdue for a major hurricane’: National Weather Service talks hurricane season at Carolina Beach
The impacts of Hurricane Florence are still visible throughout the Cape Fear region as we head into the 2019 hurricane season. And, while devastating, Hurricane Florence could have been much worse — and according to the National Weather Service’s Steve Pfaff, the region is “way overdue” for a major hurricane.

While some people might think Florence was a major hurricane, it made landfall as only a Category 1 storm. “We had it bad, but it certainly could have been a lot worse. As you recall it was forecast to maybe come ashore as a major hurricane. The last major hurricane to make landfall in our area was Fran back in 1996. The average return frequency for a major hurricane in this area is 21 years. So even though Florence wasn’t a major hurricane, we had a major impact but when you look at the intensity of the wind … we are way overdue for a major hurricane,” Pfaff said during a Tuesday night meeting at Carolina Beach.

The meeting was held at Town Hall to address the town’s Emergency Operations Plan and see what the town as a whole as well as residents can do to prepare for the inevitable. According to Pfaff, Florence was the sixth most costly storms to hit the area with costs reaching $45 billion. There were also 30 direct fatalities from the storm and 23 indirect deaths due to the storm.

One of the biggest problems from Florence was the fact that when the storm made landfall and was weakened to tropical storm force winds, people thought that meant conditions were safe — the opposite was actually true, he said. The only thing that the Saffer-Simpson scale tells people is the strength of the winds, but that is only one part of the danger when it comes to these storms. The rain and tornados that spawned once the storm made landfall were one of the more dangerous aspects of the storm, according to Pfaff.

The 2019 Hurricane Season officially begins June 1 and goes until Nov. 30 and early predictions show an active hurricane season in the Atlantic. Predictions have this year’s season seeing 12-14 storms with five to seven of those being hurricanes and two to four becoming major hurricanes. As always, hurricane prediction can only make educated guesses and Pfaff recommends everyone prepare for the worst before a storm hits.
Read more » click here


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/

04 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / April Edition

Calendar of Events –



Days at the Docks Festival

April 27th – 28th
Holden Beach

.

The annual festival occurs in April or May and is sponsored by the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association. It’s the Holden Beach way to kick-off the Spring and start the vacation season. In addition to the food and arts & crafts, enjoy live music & entertainment, a horseshoe tournament and the world famous “Bopple Race”. Lots of activities for the entire family!
For more information » click here



Blue Crab Festival

May 18th – 19th
Little River SC

.

This will be the 38th annual world famous Blue Crab Festival. It is held on the waterfront in Little River and is one of the largest festivals in the Southeast. The purpose of this festival is one that supports and showcases the fabulous atmosphere of the local communities.
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


HBBC

Holden Beach Beautification Club Plant Sale
The HBBC is holding their 8th Annual Plant Sale on Friday, April 26th and Saturday, April 27th at the Emergency Operations Center, which is beside Food Lion located at 1044 Sabbath Home Road. Landscaping plants, perennials, annuals, herbs and gardening gloves will be available for purchase. All funds generated from the plant sale are earmarked for beautification projects on the island. Visit the Beautification Club’s website at http://holdenbeachbc.org/ if you are unable to attend the plant sale but would like to contribute.



Days at the Docks Festival

This is either a one or two-day event. The festival occurs in April or May of each year and is sponsored by the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association. This year it is April 27th & 28th. It’s the Holden Beach way to kick-off the Spring and start the vacation season.

 



Pickleball Tournament
Holden Beach is hosting their third annual Pickleball Tournament. This year the Battle at the Beach tournament is May 3rd to May 5th.

 

What is Pickleball you ask?

Pickleball: growing sport for seniors
Pickleball originated in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The ball used is a perforated plastic ball similar to a Whiffle ball. The game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. The net is a couple inches lower than a tennis court net and the court is smaller too (20 feet by 44 feet vs. 36 by 78), and the paddles are oversized ping pong paddles made of plywood, aluminum or graphite. The game can be played with two or four players. Experience in tennis, badminton and ping pong is helpful, as there are similarities with those sports. There already are over 100,000 players in the United States alone. When tennis and badminton players find it difficult to navigate the larger courts, the next step is Pickleball, where there is not as much running required.
Read more » click here

Pickleball: The fastest growing sport you’ve never heard of
Looking for a new warm-weather sport? Try pickleball. And, no, it’s not just for seniors.
Read more » click here
 


The Town will sponsor a Paint it Purple Cancer Survivors’ Dessert and Ice Cream Social on Friday, May 17th at 1:00 p.m. Survivors, their guests and citizens who would like to show support should call (910) 842-6488 by Monday, May 13th to register. To help support the cause, we ask that you please wear purple to the event if possible.


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


 

Summer Day Camp Program  

 

Day Camp is on Thursday during the summer beginning June 13th and is open to children ages 6 – 12. Kids can join us this summer for a variety of fun activities. Click here to view our Camp Schedule with each week’s activity and cost. Space is limited, you must pre-register. Completed registration forms must be mailed in with payment or dropped off with payment to Town Hall. Payment is non-refundable. 


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


Reminders –


Bridge Work / Boat Ramp Closed
Based on guidance from DOT this morning, there are plans to make repairs to the caps and columns of the bridge at the boat ramp location beginning Monday, April 8th. During this time the boat ramp will be closed Monday – Friday. DOT expects the ramp to be open on the weekends.


Brunswick County Shred Event
On April 26th, bring your files that need to be shredded to the Brunswick County Complex between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. The County will have shred trucks parked in the parking lot between buildings B & G (look for the signs). This event is free and open to all businesses, property owners and residents of Brunswick County. For more information call (910) 253-2520.

Brunswick County Governmental Center
3325 Old Ocean Hwy.
Bolivia, NC 28422


 

Trash Collection
An extra trash collection is scheduled for the Saturday following Easter (April 27th).

 


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 will take place on April 1st and be in effect through September 30th .



Yard Waste Service
Yard debris pick-up will be provided twice a month on the 2ndand 4th Fridays during the months of March, April and May. Please have yard waste placed at the street for pick-up on Thursday night.

 

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 (10) 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.


Hurricane Vehicle Decals
The 2019 vehicle decals were distributed with the March water bills. Each bill included four (4) vehicle decals.Please avoid misplacing the decals, as a $10 fee will be assessed to anyone who needs to obtain replacement decals.

.Decals are your passes to get onto the island to check your property only in the case of a storm the would necessitate restricting access to the island. These are to be used only for your primary vehicles and should be placed on the interior of the lower driver side windshield.

If you own rental property with full-time tenants, two free decals may be obtained by the property owner to distribute to the tenants.

Please make sure to place your decals in your vehicle or in a safe place. Property owners without a valid decal will not be allowed on the island during restricted access. No other method of identification is accepted in an emergency situation. Click here to visit our website to find out more information regarding decals and emergency situations.


Smoke Detectors
Time change means time to check smoke detectors, too. The fire department is encouraging people to test their smoke alarms and change the battery. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, whether they are battery-operated or hard-wired.



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!


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’ May Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, May 21st

 



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



Canal Dredging

The Town is planning to perform a complete dredge of all of the canals this coming fall/winter (November 2018 – Mar 2019). 


Dredging Project –
April
Dredging projects were completed before the dredging permit expired. 


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.


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 –


Insurance Policy
Previously reported – September 2018
Insurance Commissioner Causey settles homeowners’ insurance rate dispute
Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced today the N.C. Department of Insurance has ended the legal dispute with the North Carolina Rate Bureau on its proposal for an 18.7 percent homeowners’ insurance rate increase. Commissioner Causey has negotiated an almost 14 percent lower rate for an average 4.8 percent increase statewide. “I have negotiated a rate that will have minimal impact on the coast yet keep the state’s insurance companies financially sound,” said Commissioner Causey. The 4.8 percent increase will vary according to territory with a cap of 5.5 percent statewide instead of the 25 percent bump on the coast initially proposed by the NCRB. The agreement also covers insurance for tenants and condominiums, which is capped at 12 percent. This rate settlement will save consumers approximately $293 million in the first year alone, compared to the NCRB’s proposed increase.

The NCRB is separate from the NCDOI and is made up of insurance industry representatives. The Rate Bureau filed for the proposed 18.7 percent rate increase November 17, 2017, claiming the increase was necessary because of the increased costs stemming from tornado, severe thunderstorm, and windstorm/hail damage. Commissioner Causey had concerns over the initial filing and set a July 23, 2018, hearing date for the case to be decided if an agreement couldn’t be reached. Over the last several months, the Department and the NCRB have been in litigation while trying to settle the case without the necessity of a long, expensive hearing. The last time homeowners saw an insurance rate increase was in 2012. At that time, the NCRB case was settled for an average statewide increase of 7 percent. The increase will take effect October 1, 2018.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – February 2019
NC Rate Bureau seeks rate hike
Read more » click here

N.C. Rate Bureau asks for 17.4 percent rate increase for homeowners’ insurance
The North Carolina Rate Bureau has requested the N.C. Department of Insurance increase homeowners’ insurance rates 17.4 percent effective Oct. 1, 2019. The N.C. Rate Bureau represents the state’s insurance companies and is a separate entity from the N.C. Department of Insurance. The Rate Bureau attests the increase is needed to cover increased losses, hurricane losses and the net cost of reinsurance. Last year, the Rate Bureau requested an 18.9 percent increase in homeowners’ insurance rates, but Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey settled, instead, on an average 4.8 percent rate increase.
Read more » click here

Update –
NA


Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling

Previously reported – September 2015
Resolution 15-09 is in opposition to offshore exploration and drilling. Why? Because we have a tourism based economy, along with the local fishing industry and quality of life depends on the health and welfare of our natural resources. We believe that the inherent risks to our region from offshore exploration and drilling have the potential to irrevocably harm our natural environment, our economic well-being and our overall quality of life. Including us there are now 79 municipalities that have passed resolutions opposing offshore exploration and drilling.

Previously reported – December 2018
Trump admin. approves seismic tests for Atlantic offshore oil drilling
The approval moves forward a policy that many affected states don’t want.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – February 2019
Bill introduced to prevent seismic air gun testing in Atlantic Ocean
Read more » click here

Previously reported – March 2019
Bipartisan opposition is clear against Trump’s offshore drilling
Read more » click here

U.S. Interior official suggests Trump drilling proposal will include Atlantic: recording
Read more » click here

The objections to offshore drilling are economic, environmental and bipartisan
Offshore drilling in the Atlantic and the related seismic airgun blasting used to identify oil and gas deposits pose unacceptable risks to East Coast economies, marine life and our environment.

But the Trump administration, with a “drill baby, drill” mind-set, has awarded permits allowing five companies to “incidentally” harass whales, dolphins and other marine life by performing deafening seismic blasting — the precursor to oil and gas drilling — from Cape May, N.J., to Cape Canaveral, Fla.

While federal lawsuits aim to stop the rush to blast and drill, the Trump administration should abandon this precipitous course. Every state governor up and down the coast from both sides of the aisle is opposed to this terrible move, and coastal communities are united against it. President Trump has the opportunity to do the right, bipartisan thing by stopping these permits from moving forward — or the courts may decide for him.

The Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina coasts, which boast some of the best beaches, magnificent natural habitats and robust coastal economies on the Eastern Seaboard, are firmly in the oil industry’s crosshairs.

For Virginia, offshore drilling would put 86,000 jobs and $4.8 billion in GDP from coastal tourism and fishing at risk, according to the environmental and conservation group Oceana. For Maryland, 96,000 jobs and $6 billion would be imperiled, while in North Carolina, offshore drilling would threaten 51,000 jobs and $2.2 billion in GDP. This when there is little demand for more oil.

But let’s not forget about the impact on marine life.

In Virginia and Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab, the protagonist in William W. Warner’s Pulitzer-winning Beautiful Swimmers, have survived just about every attack thrown its way — overharvesting, pollution and habitat destruction among others. Now, one threat looms that may be their death knell.

Maryland often takes credit for the blue crab, but every bay crab is born a Virginian. Pregnant females spend the winter at the mouth of the bay, then release their larvae to float as far as 50 miles out into the ocean, directly where energy companies are proposing to test and drill.

When they grow fins, they dive to the bottom and ride underwater currents back to the bay. Until then, they are vulnerable, and an oil spill could be their undoing, potentially killing an entire year of juvenile crabs. That’s to say nothing of the impact on other finfish and shellfish.

If implemented, seismic airgun blasts — which are used to identify offshore deposits and can be heard up to 2,500 miles away — would occur five million times, or every 10 seconds for weeks on end, disrupting turtle mating, whale migrating, fish feeding and other marine activities along the entire East Coast.

Among the louder noises in oceans, the blasts would endanger communities of beaked whales, which are particularly sensitive to underwater noise, off North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and could irreparably harm North Atlantic right whales, which are on the verge of extinction, with only 400 remaining in the Atlantic.

When the blasting is over, it’s time for the drilling. With oil spills, it’s not a question of if, but when, and the results can be catastrophic. The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster spilled 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, killed 11 workers and caused fisheries to lose $8.7 billion and 22,000 jobs by 2020. But leaving Deepwater aside, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says that another 2,440 oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico between 1964 and 2015 discharged more than 12 million gallons of oil into the Gulf. A 2016 survey of the oil industry found an average 23 spills a day across the United States.

Offshore wells also pollute the air. An typical oil and gas exploration well releases roughly 50 tons of nitrogen oxides, 13 tons of carbon monoxide and six tons of sulfur oxides a year. And what goes up does come down. Almost 30 percent of the Bay’s nitrogen pollution, the chemical responsible for underwater dead zones, arrives on the wind, and introducing a new pollution source would put the bay’s fragile recovery at risk.

Communities up and down the east coast have voted to oppose offshore drilling. They all recognize the risk is simply not worth the meager rewards, if any, of more oil produced in an oil-glutted market on a planet with a rapidly changing climate threatening our very existence.

Now is the time to move away from expensive and inefficient fossil fuels toward a 21st-century regime of innovative, job-creating alternative energies that will promise a brighter future for all. And, at the same time, save precious marine life and coastal economies alike.
Read more » click here

Update –
Bill would ban offshore drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts
In late March, Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., introduced the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, bipartisan legislation that would permanently ban oil and gas leasing off the coasts of the Pacific and Atlantic. The bill would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit the secretary of the Interior from including in any leasing program certain planning areas.
Read more » click here

Report finds ‘alarming unaddressed deficiencies’ in US offshore oil drilling
Even as the Trump administration has taken steps to expand offshore oil drilling, a new report shows that thousands of oil spills are still happening and that workers in the oil and gas industry are still dying on the job. The report comes from Oceana, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to protecting and restoring the oceans, which has sued the federal government to stop seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. The blasting is the first step needed to allow offshore drilling, when seismic airguns are used to find oil and gas deep under the ocean. Every state along the Atlantic coast has opposed the blasting, worried that spills could hurt tourism and local fisheries. Some scientists say the testing could also hurt marine life, including the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. The group tied its report, released Thursday, to the ninth anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill to show what has been happening since the government promised to hold the industry accountable to higher safety standards.
Read more » click here


Previously reported –

Holden Beach Newsletter

 


Chemours has issued a press release announcing that the company will take measures to eliminate byproduct GenX wastewater emissions from its Fayetteville site.
Click here to view the release.

In order to keep citizens informed, Brunswick County has established a website to share information about GenX as they learn it. You can find this page at www.brunswickcountync.gov/genx. The website contains a FAQ section that they update as they learn additional information (or receive additional questions), links to all their press releases and links to other resources like information from NCDEQ. There is also a link where citizens can go to sign up to receive email updates on the topic.


The Public Information Officer for Brunswick County announced that the County has taken legal action against DuPont and Chemours for contaminating the Cape Fear River.

10.31.2017
Statement from Brunswick County
The filing of formal legal action against Chemours and DuPont represents another crucial step in protecting our public drinking water supply. It sends a clear message that Brunswick County will simply not stand for the discharge of emerging or unregulated chemicals into our public drinking water supply. Let us be clear…we will ensure that any company that threatens this vital resource is held responsible. Furthermore, our litigation team is consulting the nation’s leading experts to determine the best long-term water testing and treatment methods for the entire county. As part of that, we will ensure that the costs for doing so do not fall upon the rate payers, but upon those dumping the unregulated chemicals in the water.
For more information » click here

Previously reported – February 2019
Updated consent order requires Chemours to consider GenX in river
Read more » click here

Previously reported – March 2019
Judge signs GenX consent order
Read more » click here

Update –
Proposed Gen X-related bill would target Chemours, form task force
Ambitious new legislation would set new standards for Gen X and other similar compounds in the state’s water supply. If passed, the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) would be required to form a task force to analyze and identify pollutants found in ground and surface waters, air, soil, dust, and food within the Lower Cape Fear River Basin. Cumberland, Bladen, Columbus, Brunswick, and New Hanover Counties all fall within that area. The measure would require Chemours and other polluting companies to be named and held financially responsible for replacing the tainted water supply with a permanent replacement water source. Additionally, polluting companies would be required to fund periodic maintenance for the filtration system used for the clean water supply. A chief sponsor of the bill, Sen. Harper Peterson believes that Gen-X is responsible for an elevated rate of thyroid cancer, liver cancer, and other illnesses in the Cape Fear region than in the rest of the state. The bill would require $270 million for funding.
Read more » click here


Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging


Previously reported – February 2019
USACE dredge boat Murden replaced the Merritt and will be here until February 25th as long as conditions remain favorable. Murden deposits sand nearshore which is more beneficial than the side-caster Merritt, but not as good as putting it on the beach with a pipeline project.  The good news is it is placing the sand off our beach, not Oak Island’s.  That sand is then in “the system” and will eventually append to our beach – not just fall back in the inlet.

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

USACE Murden
This vessel will work in the shallow-draft ocean bar channels along the Atlantic Coast.  In addition to removing dredged material from the channel it can transport the material to the downdrift beach and deposit it in the surf zone to nourish sand-starved beaches.

Update –
Lockwood Folly Inlet Hydrographic Survey After Dredging / March 2019


Corrections & Amplifications –


The National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – December 2018
National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On July 31, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to November 30, 2018. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on May 31, 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 the 2017 hurricanes makes it abundantly clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.
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Previously reported – February 2019
Private Flood Insurance Gets Boost from Regulators
Flood insurance policies not backed by the government currently represent less than 5% of the residential market
The number of flood insurance policies underwritten by private companies could triple under a new federal rule that would require mortgage lenders to accept both private and government-backed policies.

The rule, approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency late last week, is aimed at boosting the availability of private flood insurance in flood zones, a market dominated by a multibillion-dollar government program. It could usher in private flood insurance for hundreds of thousands of residential properties in those areas, according to government estimates. “This ruling has the potential to open up the private insurance market,” said Michael Barry, a spokesman at the industry-funded Insurance Information Institute. He said the effect was likely to be concentrated in Florida, Louisiana and Texas, where most of the nation’s flood insurance policies are held.

The private-sector insurance industry historically has been reluctant to write flood insurance because of the potential for large losses, but interest has grown in recent years with the improvement of mapping and modeling technologies. Private flood insurance policies currently represent less than 5% of the residential market, according to government and academic research. Most private flood insurance is for commercial and more expensive residential properties that need coverage above the federal program’s $250,000 limit.

The public program had more than five million policies outstanding and $1.3 trillion in potential claims as of July 2018. It is operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “If the private market can take care of it, that’s just more sustainable for taxpayers and for society in general,” said R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a libertarian policy organization that has argued for shrinking the government flood insurance program.

The regulation is set to go into effect in July, as the next hurricane season gets under way. It stems from a provision in a 2012 flood insurance law that sought to partially address financial pressures on the government’s flood insurance program, which is deeply in debt from record disaster payouts in recent years and limitations on its ability to increase premiums.

Congress has for years debated how to fix the National Flood Insurance Program, created about 50 years ago because private insurers were unwilling to risk catastrophic flood losses. Lawmakers, divided based on the prevalence of floods in their districts, have approved only partial solutions such as premium increases or debt forgiveness for the government program. The government, for instance, wrote off $16 billion in debt for the federal program in 2017 following claims made in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Congress must reauthorize the federal insurance program this year. It is expected to discuss additional ways to overhaul the federal program, such as redrawing the maps that dictate where coverage is required and making it financially stable.

Opponents of opening up the flood insurance market argue private insurers could cherry-pick safer properties that could be cheaper to insure, saddling the public program with riskier ones. And some lawmakers, including Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), have called for increasing controls over the private flood insurance sector.

The rule would require lenders to accept private flood insurance policies that have coverage at least as comprehensive as what is offered by the federal program. Banks also could allow policies that aren’t as comprehensive as government flood insurance, a move backed by the insurance industry but opposed by some consumer advocates because it could concentrate riskier insurance policies in the federal plan.

Narrower coverage will “appeal more to lower risk people and then leave the National Flood Insurance Program principally with higher risk people,” said Daniel Schwarz, a professor at University of Minnesota Law School. Three other regulators, including the Federal Reserve, must still approve the rule.
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Previously reported – March 2019
National Flood Insurance Program needs long-term reauthorization to address key challenges
As the House Financial Services Committee meets this week to discuss reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), there is a lot at stake. The NFIP, on which 5 million Americans depend for protection from flooding, began with the best of intentions — reducing the burden on federal taxpayers stemming from flood relief while providing resources to help devastated communities rebuild. But as the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman was fond of saying, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” Judged by its results, the NFIP is badly in need of serious changes to address its massive debt, persistent operating deficits, and many structural flaws — all of which expose taxpayers to financial risk. With the NFIP’s authorization set to expire in May, Congress has an opportunity to enact real reforms that will put the NFIP on a sustainable, fiscally-responsible footing. Lawmakers should begin to chart a future for the NFIP that addresses its key challenges.

One of the NFIP’s biggest flaws is that it masks the true flood risk of properties by offering a significant portion of its policyholders heavily subsidized rates. One in five homeowners with NFIP protection pay less than half the full cost of their policy. No one begrudges low-income homeowners who need financial assistance to purchase coverage, but most of the NFIP’s subsidies actually go to homes with the highest values. A study by the Congressional Budget Office found that the median value of homes with NFIP coverage is about double that of all American homes. Not only that, but wealthier households tend to get much larger subsidies than middle-income homeowners. Ending these handouts to the wealthy and refocusing resources on the truly needy is essential. Limiting NFIP subsidies would have another positive effect. Currently, by shielding policyholders from the full cost of building in a flood zone, the government encourages more houses to be constructed in disaster-prone areas than if homeowners bore the costs of flooding themselves. Transferring more of the flood risk from federal taxpayers to individual homeowners would cause them to think twice about where to build their home.

But setting risk-based premiums is impossible without accurate flood maps. Many of the 22,000 communities that participate in the NFIP currently rely on outdated and inaccurate flood maps. A recent audit found that only 42 percent of the NFIP’s maps “adequately identified the level of flood risk.” Without better mapping that incorporates improvements in engineering methods and technology, full-risk insurance rates cannot be accurately determined, and homeowners and local policymakers may be misled about the true flood vulnerability of their communities.

Another issue that merits more attention is mitigation. The best way to reduce insurance premiums for homeowners is to lessen the risk of flood loss. Making communities more resilient to flooding before disasters strike by adopting better zoning and building codes and other measures can significantly reduce the cost of cleaning up after floods. Studies have shown that for every $1 invested in mitigation, society saves $6 in rebuilding costs. Overall, so-called “repetitive loss properties,” structures that are damaged and repaired over and over again, account for about 1-2 percent of the NFIP’s total policies but have been responsible for 30 percent of claims since the program began in 1968. One Mississippi home worth $70,000 filed 34 claims with the NFIP from 1978 to 2010 totaling $663,000 — more than 9 times the value of the house. Through more aggressive mitigation incentives, policymakers could reduce this massive drain on the NFIP’s finances.

Congress should also resolve ambiguities in federal law that have limited the growth of private flood insurance; currently, private insurance only makes up 4 percent of the residential market. Greater private-sector involvement in flood insurance would benefit both consumers — many of whom could find lower rates and more flexible options through private carriers — and taxpayers by reducing the NFIP’s financial exposure.

Rather than continue postponing meaningful reforms to the NFIP with short-term stop-gaps, Congress should work over the next several months to craft a long-term solution to the NFIP’s challenges. Without reform, the NFIP’s precarious financial position will only grow worse, to the detriment of taxpayers and homeowners alike.
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House Financial Services Committee Issues Hearing Memo on National Flood Insurance Program
Subject: March 13, 2019, Full Committee Hearing Entitled: “Preparing for the Storm: Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program”

Background
Prior to 1950, flood insurance was a peril often included in standard homeowners’ insurance policies. However, in response to an increasing frequency and severity in flood- related losses in the 1950s, insurance companies began excluding flood insurance coverage and selling it separately. By the 1960s, widespread flooding along the Mississippi River caused most private insurers to flee the business of flood insurance altogether, leaving many consumers with virtually no access to private flood insurance.1 The lack of availability of flood insurance for consumers left them vulnerable in the event of a flood, and also left taxpayers vulnerable to bearing the costs of flood damage through post-disaster relief in the case of a flood event.

In direct response to this private market failure, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in 1968 with the passage of the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA). In doing so, Congress determined that “as a matter of national policy, a reasonable method of sharing the risk of flood losses is through a program of flood insurance which can complement and encourage preventive and protective measures” and that transferring the costs of private property flood losses from the general taxpayer to individuals in the floodplains through premiums would ease the strain on the nation’s limited disaster resources. Congress also passed the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (FDPA) that requires most property owners in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area to purchase flood insurance.

The last long-term reauthorization of the NFIP occurred when Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12), which was subsequently amended by the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA). Since the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017, the NFIP has been reauthorized ten times and has experienced brief lapses. According to the National Association of Realtors, an estimated 40,000 home sales are lost or interrupted every month that the NFIP’s authority lapses. The NFIP’s authorization is currently set to expire on May 31, 2019. In the event of a lapse, NFIP will be unable to enter into new flood insurance contracts, which will lead to widespread market instability due to the stalling of mortgage processing for homes that are statutorily required to have flood insurance.

Several Members of Congress have put forward legislative proposals to reauthorize the NFIP and make programmatic reforms to promote affordability, protect policyholders, and improve flood mapping and floodplain management.

Overview of the NFIP
The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration (FIMA). The NFIP was designed to serve two interrelated goals: (1) provide access to primary flood insurance and (2) reduce flood risk through the adoption of floodplain management standards. The NFIP advances these goals by offering primary flood insurance exclusively for properties in communities that adopt minimum floodplain management standards under FEMA regulations. The NFIP also administers the Community Rating System (CRS), which is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes communities for implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the NFIP’s minimum requirements and, in exchange, FIMA offers reduced flood insurance premiums to policyholders.

Today, the NFIP is the principal provider of primary flood insurance in the U.S., covering over 5 million households and businesses across the country for a total of over $1.3 trillion in flood insurance coverage. As of the end of FY 2018, approximately 22,324 communities participate in the NFIP, covering an estimated 93 percent of the U.S. population. According to FEMA, the NFIP saves the nation an estimated $1.87 billion annually in flood losses avoided because of the NFIP’s building and floodplain management regulations.

In 1983, FEMA created the Write Your Own (WYO) Program in an effort to: increase the NFIP’s policy base and geographic distribution of policies; improve service to NFIP policyholders through infusion of insurance industry knowledge and capacity; and, provide the insurance industry with direct operating experience with flood insurance. This WYO Program operates as a partnership between FEMA and participating property and casualty insurance companies that are compensated to write and service NFIP policies. The WYOs assume none of the risk by participating in this program. FEMA retains all of the insurance risk and underwrites any losses. Currently, approximately 60 different companies administer about 87 percent of NFIP policies through the WYO Program. The remainder of NFIP’s policies are provided through the Direct Program, which is operated by a government contractor and performs the same basic functions as a WYO company.

The NFIP offers a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) for properties in participating communities within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). By virtue of the mandatory purchase required by law, most property owners within the SFHA are required to purchase flood insurance. Many of the SFIP’s policy terms are set in statute. The maximum coverage amount for building coverage is $250,000 for single-family homes, and $500,000 for multi-family residential properties, and non-residential properties including commercial properties. The maximum coverage amount for contents only is $100,000.9 If the SFIP’s maximum coverage amounts are insufficient to cover the full value of the property, policyholders may have the option of obtaining excess flood insurance in the private market.

The NFIP also offers coverage for properties that are not within a SFHA, usually as a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP). PRPs include similar coverage but at discounted rates in accordance with their lower risk profile. If a property has a significant loss history, that policyholder may become ineligible for a PRP and would need to purchase a SFIP that is commensurate with the flood risk.

The NFIP’s Financial Status
The NFIP is largely self-funded through insurance premiums collected from policy holders. Policyholders are also assessed a number of surcharges and other fees. In FY 2018, policyholders paid $382 million in surcharges, $188.162 million in federal policy fees, and $496.82 million in reserve fund assessments. A portion of these premiums, fees, surcharges, and assessments goes towards the cost of flood mapping and floodplain management. A large portion also goes to paying interest on debt of the NFIP.

Congress designed the NFIP as a program that would operate on a cash flow basis, borrowing from the Treasury in bad years and returning funds to the Treasury in good years. The NFIP was largely self-supporting in this way from 1986 until 2005, but due to extraordinary losses incurred as a result of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005, and then Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, the program currently carries a debt of $20.5 billion.11 It is also important to note that a significant portion of the NFIP’s debt accrued as a result of Hurricane Katrina ($19 billion) could not possibly have been properly accounted for in NFIP’s risk modeling; specifically, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers took responsibility for engineering and design failures in the levees that should have been able to provide far better protection for New Orleans in the face of Katrina.

Taxpayers are not on the hook for this debt and receive millions of dollars in interest payments every year (currently approximately $400 million annually or a total of $4.2 billion since 2005) at the expense of policyholders. In 2017, following a proposal submitted by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, Congress passed legislation to partially forgive $16 billion of the NFIP’s debt of $30.4 billion, after the NFIP’s debt ballooned following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and other historic flooding that year.

Affordability Challenges
In 2018, FEMA submitted its congressionally mandated Affordability Framework demonstrating, among other things, that low-income homeowners and renters face significant affordability challenges. The report documents that those that are least able to afford higher premiums tend to live in the highest flood hazard areas writing, “generally, incomes are higher outside the SFHA than they are inside the SFHA. The median household income for residential policyholders is $82,000, although it is substantially lower in the SFHA than outside the SFHA.” Further, FEMA found that “the combination of higher premiums and lower incomes in the SFHA creates affordability pressure on households.”

Draft Legislation
* Waters_009 is a discussion draft that would reauthorize the NFIP through September 30, 2024 and address a number of affordability issues such as: 1) forgiving the NFIP’s debt; 2) creating a 5-year demonstration for means-tested assistance to low-income policyholders; 3) reducing fees and surcharges; 4) revising the NFIP’s coverage limits; 5) enabling policyholders to pay premiums in monthly installments; and 6) creating a state revolving loan fund modeled after legislation previously introduced by Rep. Crist.

* Maj_Mitigation is a discussion draft that would make several improvements to floodplain management and mitigation such as: 1) raising the amount of funds available under Increased Cost of Compliance program and expanding the eligible mitigation activities to include the cost of acquisitions, among others; 2) granting the Administrator discretion to consider the extent to which communities are working to remedy problems with repeatedly flooded areas when administering mitigation assistance; 3) granting credits for alternative forms of mitigation, allowing coverage for coops and community-based policies; and 5) authorizing and flood plain management activities.

* Maj_Mapping is a discussion draft that would reauthorize the flood mapping program and provide funding to support flood mapping. It would also make several improvements to the mapping program such as: 1) requiring the most up-to-date technology, and more advanced and granular flood maps; 2) improving the process for policyholders and communities to appeal FEMA’s mapping decisions; and 3) creating new flood map zones for levee-impacted and for agricultural areas.

* Velazq_035 is a bill that would make numerous improvements to the claims process drawing on the lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy. The bill would ensure that policyholders better understand the terms of their flood insurance policies and improve the appeals and litigation process for consumers
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Climate Advocates Cheer Trump Policy Shift on Flood Insurance

  • Premiums to be based on full flood risk starting in late 2020
  • Change expected to raise costs for the most deluge-prone homes

Climate advocates say an overhaul of the nation’s flood insurance program being unveiled by the Trump administration will spur communities around the country to better plan for extreme weather, but could drive up costs for some homeowners.

The changes being announced Monday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency represent one of the most significant reforms in the history of the National Flood Insurance Program. It will tie premiums to the actual flood risk facing individual homes nationwide starting in October 2020. The current system sets prices based largely on whether a home is inside or outside of the 100-year flood plain.
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Trump Administration Plans Flood Insurance Overhaul
Expensive properties could see rate increases under new FEMA plan
The Trump administration said Monday it plans to overhaul government-subsidized flood insurance, in a sweeping proposal that could raise rates on more expensive properties and those in higher-risk areas. The new system would affect policies for most homeowners who own property in flood-prone areas, where such coverage is required because few private companies offer flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which runs the National Flood Insurance Program, said the plan would start assessing properties individually according to several variables—including hurricane rainfall, coastal surges and the distance to a body of water—rather than applying one formula across an entire flood zone when assessing flood risk and contract cost. The government also would factor in the replacement cost of the home, which could push up premiums for homeowners with higher-valued properties and decrease those with lower-cost homes. FEMA plans to announce the new rates on April 1, 2020 and implement them starting Oct. 1 that year. They could affect more than 5 million single-family policyholders of public flood insurance. The NFIP covers both coastal flood zones and inland river flood plains, though the policy change may have a greater impact in coastal states including Florida, Louisiana and Texas, where most of the policies are held.

The changes are likely to stoke a longstanding debate over flood insurance, with policy makers divided over how much the public should subsidize the program. While those in coastal areas have advocated for more federal funding, both environmentalists and fiscal conservatives have argued the program encourages building in risky flood-prone zones. FEMA has increasingly struggled to pay off claims after a series of natural disasters in recent years. The government wrote off $16 billion in debt for the federal program in 2017 following claims made in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Scientists say the frequency of such events is influenced by climate change. FEMA’s current system calculates rates based on whether a home falls in a designated flood zone. Since higher-valued properties are more likely to hit the $250,000 insurance cap because they face costlier damages, “there’s an inequity,” said David Maurstad, FEMA’s deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation. “Lower-value homes are paying proportionately more than higher-value homes.” “What we’re going to do is change an insurance-rating structure that hasn’t fundamentally been changed since the 1970s,” Mr. Maurstad added. “We’re going to consider more flood risk than we currently do now.” The changes would also leverage new loss-estimation technology, said Mr. Maurstad. In recent years, private insurers have developed increasingly sophisticated models that account for variables including climate change. The agency hopes that a more risk-sensitive pricing could attract more homeowners to purchase flood insurance, even if they aren’t required to. “People even outside the high-risk area will have a better understanding of what the specific risk is,” said Mr. Maurstad. “They will take the responsible action and insure for flood just like they insure for windstorms, hail and fire.”

FEMA faces Congressional restrictions on how much it can increase rates, so the agency could phase in the rate changes, said Mr. Maurstad. It plans to make more details of the plan public in the coming weeks, he added. For years, Congress has debated how to modernize the financially beleaguered flood-insurance program, created about 50 years ago because private insurers were unwilling to risk catastrophic flood losses. Lawmakers are set to reauthorize the federal insurance program this year, after granting a short-term extension in December.
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Update –
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Inlet Hazard Areas

Previously reported – January 2019
New proposed rules could significantly impact real estate property values
Significantly expands area covered on the island
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by .4 miles on the east end
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by 1.7 miles on the west end
Coastal Resource Commission report to be presented at their February meeting

Panel Proposes Redrawn Inlet Hazard Areas
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Coastal Resources Commission
CRC Science Panel / Inlet Hazard Area (IHA) Delineation Update
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Previously reported – March 2019
CRC Advances New Inlet Hazard Maps, Rules
The North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission has approved preliminary boundaries and building rules at inlets. Though official adoption of the redrawn inlet hazard area, or IHA, maps and guidelines for development within those areas is still months away, the CRC’s decision last week puts the state one step closer to amending the current outdated maps.

North Carolina Division of Coastal Management Director Braxton Davis told members of the commission at the quarterly meeting Thursday that the regulatory agency understands the revised maps are going to be a topic of controversy in the coastal towns at inlets. “These maps were done in 1981,” he said. “We have IHAs that don’t even capture some of these areas.” A little more than 2,900 acres of land is designated as IHA 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. The CRC approved removing IHA designations at inlets where the adjacent land is undeveloped and owned either by the state or federal government.

IHAs are defined as shorelines especially vulnerable to erosion and flooding where inlets can shift suddenly and dramatically. Inlets typically move over time in one of two ways. An inlet migrates, meaning it moves in one general direction, or it oscillates, wagging back and forth. A majority of the state’s inlets oscillate. Long-term erosion rates are about five times greater at oceanfront shorelines near inlets. The proposed maps expand current IHAs collectively by a little more than 1,359 acres while removing about 470 acres from existing boundaries at the 10 developed inlets. A majority of IHAs are being expanded under the proposed boundaries. The preliminary maps place an additional 152 acres and 243 structures within an ocean hazard area of environmental concern, or AECs. Ocean hazard AECs are defined as those 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.

Rules governing development within IHAs were established to control density and structure size along the shorelines affected by the dynamic waterways. The proposed setbacks have been established through years of work by the science panel that advises the CRC. The science panel studied historical shoreline data at each inlet, then used that information to predict erosion and accretion rates at those inlets. DCM has established building setbacks in the new boundaries based on the annual inlet erosion rates rather than the oceanfront erosion rates now. For some of the inlets, this method of calculation equates to no change in the current building setbacks. For others, the setbacks vary. Current rules do not allow lots about one-third of an acre in size to be subdivided. Residential structures of four units or fewer or nonresidential structures of less than 5,000 square feet are only allowed on lots within an IHA. The updated rules maintain the size limitation to no more than 5,000 square feet of heated space and remove restrictions on the number of units allowed in a structure. Larger structures that would be included in the new boundaries would be grandfathered under the rules.

North Topsail Beach Alderman Mike Benson expressed his concerns about condominiums at the north end of town that would be grandfathered in under the new maps. Benson told the commission during a public hearing on the proposed IHA map changes that the revised boundary at New River Inlet would include 11 buildings that are all larger than 5,000 square feet. If any of those buildings were to be destroyed in a hurricane or fire, Benson wanted to know if they could be rebuilt. DCM shoreline management specialist Ken Richardson clarified that structures between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet could be rebuilt to the same footprint. The owners of a structure greater than 10,000 square feet, such as Shell Island Resort in Wrightsville Beach, could request a variance from the CRC to rebuild. Richardson said he will turn over DCM’s recommended changes to the state Office of State Budget and Management for review. Once that office confirms its findings, a series of public meetings will be held where the public will get an opportunity to comment on the maps and rules. Richardson said he hopes those meetings will kick off some time in the spring and that revised maps are adopted by year’s end. If adopted, the new IHA boundaries would be updated every five years.
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Update –
Development rules near inlets have been basically the same since 1981.
This year that could change
Over 1,000 inlet-adjacent acres in the Cape Fear region could soon be subject to an additional set of state development regulations. At the same time, 500 acres could be removed from the same regulatory designation designed to limit risky development near dynamic inlet shorelines.
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Holden Beach Property Owners Association / Inlet Hazard Areas
The Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) has established new boundaries for Inlet Hazard Areas on each end of the island, greatly increasing the number of properties that fall within this designation.  The CRC determined the new IHA boundaries based on historic vegetation line data.  The CRC sent the rules to the State for review.  After review there will be public comment before the rule are put in place.

Inlet Hazard Areas (IHAs) are sections of islands that are more vulnerable to erosion due to the impact of the inlets.  The new maps show Holden Beach will be hit hard, especially on the West End. 

The West End currently has 15 lots in the IHA, which will go up to 173 lots, and includes all the oceanfront properties from roughly Sailfish to the end of the island.  The area will increase from 290.5 acres to 569.3 acres, almost double in size.  This will be the largest IHA in the state. 

The East End will also see changes.  The IHA there is 64 acres and will jump to 189.5 acres – an almost 200% increase in size.  Currently, there are 52 lots in the IHA, which will increase to 156.

Visit our website to see the maps and determine if your property is impacted by the new IHA boundaries.

What Does It Mean?

1) Structures (residential or commercial) will be limited to 5000sf of heated space.  Existing larger structures would be grandfathered and could be rebuilt if destroyed.

2) Insurance is impacted for homes in an IHA.

3) New development would require lots with a minimum of around one-third acre.

4) The ability to have a concrete slab under a home might be restricted in some cases, as impervious surfaces at ground level may not be allowed

It is not clear what impact the changes will have on property values and the Town’s tax base – if any.


Odds & Ends


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

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 –
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This & That
Lockwood Folly Off Limits for Shellfishing
Shellfish waters in a Brunswick County river popular for oystering and clamming have been closed indefinitely. The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, or DMF, recently announced the closure of 255 shellfish acres in Lockwood Folly River after water sample tests show fecal coliform bacteria levels exceed the national standards for safe shellfish harvest. This latest closure, following one in 2017, covers about 3,759 acres of the river’s 4,417-acre growing area, which includes portions of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and inlet. “Most of the river proper is closed in the Lockwood Folly River,” said Shannon Jenkins, DMF’s Shellfish Sanitation and Recreational Water Quality Section chief. “We continue to sample and will continue to sample in the hopes that conditions will change.” A majority of shellfish waters in the nearly 14-mile tidal river are classified as conditionally approved closed, which means growing areas cannot be harvested throughout the year.
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Factoid That May Interest Only Me –

‘Extreme Pollen’ Blankets North Carolina in a Sneeze-Inducing Yellow Haze
Spring can feel like the end of the world for allergy sufferers, but in North Carolina this week, it looked that way, too. And it has a name to match: “Pollenpocalypse”. Massive clouds of sneeze-inducing pollen overtook North Carolina this week, tinting the skies yellow and covering cars, streets and ponds in a fine powder that left footprints on the carpets of unsuspecting residents and made allergy sufferers want to hibernate in a panic room until summer.
Read more » click here


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.
///// February 2019
Name:             Flying Fish Public Market & Grill
Cuisine:          Seafood
Location:       4744 Highway 17 S,
Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach, SC
Contact:         843.663.3474 /
www.flyingfishmarket.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:            Two Stars
Flying Fish is one of ten restaurants in the Homegrown Hospitality Group, this one is primarily a seafood restaurant and a fish market. They are located in Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach next to the Alabama Theatre, overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway they have indoor and outdoor dining options. It is a unique casual waterfront dining experience, featuring local seafood and a raw bar with a variety of shellfish and sushi. Would recommend a visit to the bar to take advantage of the great deals at Happy Hour. We were pleasantly surprised, a great value. 


Dining Guide – Local

Name:            Mermaid’s Island Grill
Cuisine:         American
Location:      102 Jordan Boulevard, Holden Beach
Contact:        910.842.4999 / https://mermaidsislandgrill.com/
Mermaid’s is a low-key waterfront restaurant with a menu that offers something for everyone at an affordable price. Nothing fancy here. The atmosphere is casual, easy-going and comfortable, now with indoor or outdoor dining options. They just completed a major renovation adding two levels of outside dining areas including a bar on the upper deck.

Mermaid’s has created the largest outdoor waterfront dining areas in the world
You find that hard to believe

Would you believe the largest in the state?
You don’t believe me

How about the largest in Brunswick County?
No

OK then, but it is pretty big
Seriously folks, you should try them, I think you’ll like them!

Advertisement – not paid for
Pete the owner of this local establishment is a friend of mine.
That said this is a shameless plug for his restaurant.

Dining Guide – Local » click here 


Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
/////
AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING by Hank Green
Amusing book from author Hank Green in his debut comic sci-fi novel. April May encounters a large armored humanoid sculpture. She and her friend Andy post a video of the object, which they name Carl. The next day April’s life is turned upside down when the video goes viral and Carl’s appear in dozens of cities around the world. April and her friends are on the front lines of the quest to try and figure out what the Carl’s are doing here. She thought that she had accidentally made first contact with a space alien, but it turns out Carl specifically picked April.


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/

03 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 03/07/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information
» click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Budget Workshop – Rough Draft Revenues and Expenses

Holden Beach holds first of five budget workshops
Holden Beach commissioners had a revenue/expense workshop for the budget season on March 7, the first of five workshops set through April 19. Budget season began for the town on Feb. 5, when commissioners had a special workshop to talk about budget goals, with department input given to Town Manager David Hewett by town departments by Feb 22. The next four workshops are set for March 21 and 28 and April 12 and 19, followed by the budget message May 6-10. Hewett said originally commissioners were set to consider a budget ordinance June 12 but consideration had to be moved to the board’s regular meeting June 18, which is still 12 days before the ordinance must be approved and the budget adopted.

Hewett also needed clarification based on goals commissioners established at their Feb. 5 meeting. Hewett told commissioners the town is in the middle of attempting to get approval for projects related to Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael. He said the town’s draft inputs to FEMA have shown in terms of total losses the town is anticipating a project being approved that will exceed the town’s existing sand source. Hewett asked commissioners if they wanted him to go ahead and start the search for more sand or push the search into next year’s budget. He told commissioners FEMA will only reimburse the project for Holden Beach’s engineered beach that was completed during the Central Reach Project in early 2017.

The board also approved letting Hewett move forward with personnel/compensation studies. Hewett said the League of Municipalities has secured a contractor that provides this type of thing for local governments and that the cost would be about $7,500, taking about three months. He said it’s been about 15 years since the board had a review of its descriptions and did a classification paid plan review a couple of years ago.

Mandy Lockner with fiscal operations for the town gave a budget presentation and said the numbers included in her PowerPoint were not finalized by any means. With property taxes, Lockner said the estimated tax base for the town as of February 2019 was $1,336,411,67, with estimated revenue for the 2019-2020 fiscal year at $2,897,180. The occupancy tax estimated revenue as of March was $1,854,223. Under expenses, Lockner said the police department had requested an additional officer, two new police vehicles and new uniforms for nine officers and for the governing body/administration, budgeted salaries include a 3 percent increase either by merit or cost of living adjustment.
Read more » click here


BOC’s Special Meeting 03/21/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information
» click here

Audio Recording » click here

1. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Regular Meeting 03/19/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information
» click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items
There were no comments


2. Request by the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce to Ask Permission to Host a Kids Expo at the Holden Beach Pavilion – Robyn Beliveau / Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce request permission to host a Kids Expo on Saturday, August 11t11,2019 by the Holden Beach NC Pavilion.

This event, the Building Brunsco Kids Expo is the culmination of workshops and other preparation for a one-day pop-up-shop in which kids ages 7 – 17 create, brand, market and sell a product or service that they create. The effort was engaged by the Brunswick County Chamber to encourage entrepreneurship in our county’s youth.

We would ask the Board to approve the event and allow the kids to sell their products and services on this one day. The event is from 10am – 1pm with set-up from 7am – 9:30am. Immediately following the event we provide lunch to the kid vendors and then have an awards ceremony under the Pavilion. No other businesses aside from the Kid Vendors are allowed to sell at the event. Sponsors are promoted through signage.

We are excited to host an event in Holden Beach and hope you will approve this activity.

The Building Brunsco Kids Expo is the Chamber’s new event geared towards the next generation of entrepreneurs and business owners.
The event offers kids ages seven to eighteen an opportunity to create, develop and market a product or service that they are passionate about. Strictly for kids only, adults are not allowed to help sell or market the child’s product or service. The event is not only a showcase for the children, but an opportunity to understand the elements of owning one’s own business. The kid vendors will learn and use real life skills such as math, communication and creative thinking. Development and marketing of their product or service will have an impact on their sales at the event and offer them some insight into what it takes to own their own business.
Read more » click here

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


3. Police Report – Detective Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
No one from the Police Department was in attendance
No report was given

 

Holden Beach woman reported missing
A Silver Alert has been issued for a Holden Beach woman who was last seen Friday morning. According to the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons, a Silver Alert was issued Saturday for 71-year-old Judy Brown Brock of Greensboro Street. Brock is described as a white female standing 5-feet 2-inches tall and weighing 155 pounds. She has blue eyes and short brown hair. She is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment. Jeremy Dixon with the Holden Beach Police Department said Monday morning that Brock was last at her home on Greensboro Street Friday morning and that no one had had any contact with her since then. “We have been working diligently to locate Mrs. Brock since she was reported missing on Friday evening,” Dixon said. He said Holden Beach police with assistance from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Brunswick County Search and Rescue and North Carolina Marine Patrol have been searching Holden Beach by land, water and air in an attempt to find Brock.
Read more » click here

Missing Brunswick woman found dead, husband charged with murder
The body of a missing Holden Beach woman has been found and her husband has been charged with murder, police say. On Wednesday, officers located the body of Judy Brown Brock, 71, in a wooded area of Sampson County, according to a news release from the Holden Beach Police Department. Brown had been reported missing Friday, and a Silver Alert was issued for her by the N.C. Center for Missing Persons. Phillip Harry Brock, 71, Brown’s husband, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death, according to the release. Brock will make his first appearance in Brunswick County court Thursday. Brock was booked into the Brunswick County jail without bail. “This remains an ongoing investigation,” the release stated. “More details will be released at a later time.” Judy Brock had been reported last seen on Greensboro Street in Holden Beach. According to Brunswick County property records, she and her husband had owned a home on that street since 1999. According to the news release, nine law enforcement agencies have assisted with the investigation so far, including the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. State Bureau of Investigations, Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office.
Read more » click here

Investigators: Husband claimed wife had impairment to cover tracks
Read more » click here


Personnel Announcements
Chief Layne retirement is effective 1 April 2019. Retirement Celebration (Hail & Farewell) honoring Police Chief Wally Layne was held on Thursday, March 21st. Detective Jeremy Dixon swearing in as Chief is scheduled on April 1st at 10am.


Reminder that we all serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement.
If you know something, hear something, or see something –
call 911 and let police deal with it.


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


4. Discussion and Possible Action – Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System #4 Upgrade Status Report – Public Works Director Clemmons

Previously reported – December 2017
McGill and Associates were commissioned to perform a Sewer Study to evaluate sewer system vulnerability reducing measures. A fiscal year 2017-2018 budget appropriation of $1,413,000 was made to accommodate total programmatic expenses of Lift Station #4 improvements. Green Engineering firm was awarded the $158,000 contract for Sewer System #4 upgrade. Green Engineering will provide all engineering services required to construct a vulnerability reducing structure of Lift Station #4.

Previously reported –
April 2018
Four (4) meetings have been held between staff and the engineering firm to date. The final plans were delivered to the Town and have been reviewed and approved by the Building Inspector. Deliverables – Timeline has been revised. Buildings were designed in the same style as Town Hall. We are currently on schedule, but Chris cautioned that it was still early in the game. The Board requested monthly updates, reporting on whether we remained on schedule and within budget.

Previously reported –
May 2018
We’ve had a slight setback, we did not receive the three (3) bids required to move forward. Officially we accepted no bids, the two bids submitted will be held and opened upon the completion of the second go round. Chris was a little surprised and disappointed since their appeared to be a lot of interest when they held meeting with vendors. We will need to start the bid process over. The protocols on the second bid process do not require the three bids but the caveat is we can only consider quality bids.

Previously reported –
June 2018
BOC’s SPECIAL MEETING / May 23, 2018
Approved award of the Lift Station #4 upgrade contract to T.A. Loving Company in the amount of $1,205,000

Total project cost went from $1,413,000 to $1,695,700 or a $282,700 difference
Contingency funds were reduced from $157,400 to $52,480 or a $104,920 difference
Bottomline, the project cost just went up $387,620 ($282,700 + $104,920) or @27% (Yikes!)

A pre-construction meeting is scheduled for June 28th
We should have a tentative construction start date then

Previously reported –
July 2018
A pre-construction meeting was held on June 28th
The contractor was given notice to proceed
Mobilization is scheduled for the first week of August
Concerns:
. 1) Time to get materials – delay waiting for foundation steel
. 2)
Storm Season

Previously reported –
August 2018
Reviewed progress to date, despite the rain they are still on schedule, gave some tentative project timelines. It’s all good!

Previously reported –
October 2018
Making good progress, despite the two storm events they are still on track to complete project on schedule.

Previously reported – November 2018
Town hired Green Engineering for construction management services. Leo Green gave a brief status report. It’s all good, we are still on budget and on schedule. Project tentative completion date is the middle of January well before the tourist season begins. Leo meets with the town staff monthly to discuss any issues and keep everyone informed about the status of the project. Building Inspections Director Evans gave them two thumbs up for the work that has been done so far; really high praise coming from Timbo.

Previously reported – December 2018
Tentative startup date is now January 15th, station will be fully operational after that date. Expectation is that they should have everything wrapped up by March of 2019.

Previously reported – January 2019
They are making progress daily and are attempting to tie up any loose ends. Airvac is scheduled to be on site this week in order to initiate the integration and changeover of the upgraded sewer lift station machinery and equipment.

Previously reported – February 2019
We have switched over and the new system is up and running without any issues. Still have a number of loose ends that he expects to be resolved shortly. Anticipates project will be completed by the next BOC’s meeting.

Update –
New system is up and running without any issues. Met with engineers and prepared punch list items necessary for project completion. He now anticipates project will be completed within the next fourteen (14) days.

Mini-Me


5. Discussion and Possible Selection of Engineering Firm for Engineering Design and Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System Station #3 Upgrade – Public Works Director Clemmons

Sewer Lift Station Engineering Responses

Agenda Packet –
Request for Qualifications Vacuum Sewer System Station #3 Upgrade
In accordance with North Carolina General Statute § 143-64.31, the Town advertised a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Engineering Design and Construction Management Services of the Vacuum Sewer System, Station #3 Upgrade.

We received three Statements of Qualifications in response to the RFQ, Green Engineering, McGill and Associates and East Engineering and Surveying. Copies of their responses are enclosed for your review.

In order to proceed and make the first step in the improvement process, the Board needs to select a firm.

Town advertised for bids and have three responsive bidders. Work for sewer system #3 upgrade is the same improvements just completed on sewer system #4. The Board asked Chris for his recommendation and he hedged his bet by answering that they all are qualified. The Board seemed to impart a lot of value to the vendor that just completed the project on sewer station #4. David would like to move forward but asked them to defer selecting an engineering firm for design and construction management for sewer modifications at Station #3 until the successful completion of the current project. 

No decision was made – No action taken


6. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 19-03, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 50: Solid Waste – Town Clerk Finnell

Solid Waste Report

Agenda Packet –
TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH ORDINANCE 19-03
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES,
CHAPTER 50: SOLID WASTE

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 50: Solid Waste be amended as follows:

Section One: Amend Chapter 50: Solid Waste to read as follows:

CHAPTER 50: SOLID WASTE Section
50.01 Definitions
50.02 Container specifications
50.03 Burning or burying of garbage regulated
50.04 Accumulation and collection
50.05 Collections prohibited
50.06 Yard waste
50.07 Transporting waste materials; covering during transport
50.08 Rental homes
50.99 Penalty

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

BUILDING MATERIAL SCRAP. All scrap material from the construction, reconstruction, remodeling or repair of a building, walkway, driveway, sign or other structure, including, but not limited to, excavated earth, tree stumps, rocks, gravel, bricks, plaster, concrete, lumber, insulation, fixtures (e.g., commodes, sinks) or wrappings for materials or any other materials necessary for the construction, reconstruction, remodeling or repair of a building.

GARBAGE. All animal, fruit and vegetable matter, all small cans, glassware, crockery, bags, and other small containers in which matter has been left or stored.

LARGE HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. Accessories or fittings for a particular use inside, outside or around a house including but not limited to tables and chairs; sofas and recliners; bed frames; dressers; mattresses and box springs; small electronics such as computers and televisions; refrigerators; ovens and microwave ovens; washing and drying machines.

PUTRESClBLE WASTE. Solid waste that contains organic matter capable of being decomposed by microorganisms and of such a character and proportion as to cause obnoxious odors and to be capable of attracting or providing food for birds or animals.

REFUSE. All other types and kinds of materials intended to be discarded, scrapped, or otherwise disposed of.

RECYCLABLE REFUSE. Types and kinds of materials intended to be discarded, scrapped or otherwise disposed of that are defined as recyclable material under the current waste collection contract, e.g., cardboard; newspaper; magazines; small metal and glass containers and certain type of plastic containers in which matter has been stored and possibly residues left.

SUMMER RENTAL SEASON. The period of time that garbage collection occurs twice weekly per town contract.

YARD WASTE. All wastes pertaining to a landscaped/managed property, including but not limited to tree limbs, leaves, shrubbery, weeds, plants or grass.

§50.02 CONTAINER SPECIFICATIONS.

(A) Residential requirements.

(1) Garbage will be kept only in contractor-owned and provided standard, 90- gallon capacity roll-out containers. Each residence is authorized one container; however, additional containers are available for a set monthly fee.

(2) Recyclable refuse can be disposed of in standard garbage containers. Alternatively, 90-gallon capacity containers for recyclable materials only are available by contract through the town for a set annual fee. They will be provided to a property in addition to, not in replacement of, the required number of garbage containers.

(3) Property owners are responsible to assure they have sufficient 90-gallon containers to properly contain refuse prior to collection. Garbage placed on top of or beside the container(s) will not be picked up by the contractor, nor will garbage placed in non-standard containers.

(B) Commercial requirements.

(1) All commercial establishments catering to the public in such a manner as to create refuse shall be required to place an adequate number of refuse containers in such positions and locations as to encourage their use.

(2) All such commercial related containers shall be maintained in a sound and presentable condition.

(C) No person shall throw, place, or deposit any garbage or refuse of any kind, in any place or in any public or private property, except in approved containers or as otherwise provided in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(D) Containers on town-owned property and other public areas are for the use of the town and for the general use of residents and visitors using the public areas. It shall be unlawful for anyone otherwise to place commercial or residential waste or refuse into such containers.

§50.03 BURNING OR BURYING OF GARBAGE REGULATED.

It shall be unlawful to bum or bury garbage or trash for the purpose of disposal unless a special permit has been issued by the Town Police Department.

§50.04 ACCUMULATION AND COLLECTION.

(A) All garbage and household refuse shall be kept in proper containers as required by this chapter and it shall be unlawful for any person to permit garbage to accumulate or remain on any premises longer than is reasonably necessary for its removal. It is the intent of the town that all containers be secured in such a manner either next to non-elevated or underneath elevated houses, or alongside of the house except prior to collection days when they are to be placed at street side, so that the town street right-of-way remains clear of empty   containers, and so that containers are not damaged or overturned by high winds or other occurrences. Trash corrals are an acceptable alternative method of storage. Containers will be located at curbside no earlier than 6:00p.m. the evening before designated collection days during the summer rental season. For the rest of the year containers   will be located at curbside no more than 48 hours before the designated collection. All containers should be returned to the normal house-side storage location by 6:00 p.m. the day after collection. Through a town contract for island wide rollback, empty trash and recycling containers will be rolled back to the street side of the house or to a corral if available. Full containers will stay curbside until emptied by the next pickup.

(B) It shall be the duty of every owner or occupant of every building or premises where garbage or refuse exists, to reasonably and regularly clean the 90-gallon containers and other legal refuse collection containers.

(C) The owners, occupants and lessees of all property, jointly and severally, are required to control all refuse, placing such refuse in proper containers and/or arranging for collection or other disposal disposition in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(D) Garbage and household refuse will be collected and removed from the aforesaid containers or cans in accordance with the schedule set forth in the garbage collection service contract, executed independently from this chapter.

(E) This chapter shall be enforced by the town either by civil proceedings or by removing and disposing of litter according to the provisions and procedures for abatement of litter as provided in this chapter and as prescribed by G.S. 160A-174, 160A-175, 160A-192, 160A-193, and 160A-303.1, including the provisions for notice and hearings provided or referred to therein.

§50.05 COLLECTIONS PROHIBITED.

All matter, refuse, and materials such as industrial refuse, building materials and scraps, tree trimmings, walkway scraps, or any other refuse from building or remodeling, large containers, or large household items shall not be accepted or picked up as part of the regular garbage collection service contract.

§50.06 YARD WASTE

Yard waste will be accepted under certain conditions and at defined times under a contract separate from the standard waste collection contract. Permissible yard waste must not be placed at roadside for collection more than one week prior to a scheduled collection. Property owners who are consistently found in violation may receive written notice from the town that they are in violation of town ordinance in that regard. Those so affected will be asked to correct the situation so they come into compliance with the code or receive a civil fine of $50 per day per offense.

§50.07 TRANSPORTING WASTE MATERIALS; COVERING DURING TRANSPORT.

All persons transporting waste material, construction material, or any manner of loose materials over the public or private roadways in the town shall insure that such materials are not lost or scattered on or along the rights-of-way of such roadways. These materials shall be securely covered during transit in such manner as to prevent the loss thereof from the transporting vehicle.

§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).

(B) Any property found in violation of division (A) above shall be subject to the penalties listed in § 50.99.

§50.99 PENALTY.

(A) Criminal. Violators of Chapter 50 will not be subject to a criminal penalty.

(B) Civil. Property owners who are found in violation of Chapter 50 may receive written notice from the town that they are in violation of town ordinance in that regard. In accordance with § 10.99(B) of this code of ordinances, the civil fine for violation of any provision of this chapter shall be $50 per offense. Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the penalty provided in § 10.99(B) of this code of ordinances. The civil fine for violation of any provision of this chapter shall be $50 per day per offense.


Previously reported – February 2019

In case you were not keeping a scorecard,
this is where we are at for the time being …

.     1) Roll back will be provided for the entire island
.     2) Full containers will be left at the street and not rolled back until pickup is made
    3) Corrals will continue to be permitted where they are located now
    4) Rollout requirements are being eliminated
.     5) Enforcement fines will apply where applicable

 

 

In the Regular December Meeting the Board adopted the Solid Waste Ordinance 18-16

At the Special Meeting on February 5ththey all agreed that they should not have adopted the Ordinance without a complete solution in hand

Non-residents may not be able to comply with the Ordinance
.
The rollout requirements are the major stumbling block

They also agreed that they need to do the following:
.     1)
get it right, not continue to make piecemeal changes
    2)
defer the date of the enforcement piece
.     3) have a plan for a fee-based rollout solution
.     4) develop education and enforcement plan
.     5)
establish protocols to communicate change before they codify

They unanimously agreed to take a TIMEOUT and not make any additional changes
They all agreed that the only exception would be for the enforcement component date

On tonight’s agenda they had Ordinance 19-02,
amending Chapter 50: Solid Waste, §50.99 Penalty
.
(C) Penalties for violations of Chapter 50 will not be assessed till May 1, 2020.

The coalition of three that voted for this change didn’t do what they said they would, which was to take a timeout. In other words, they reneged on the agreement they made only two weeks ago.


Update –
Unbelievably at the eleventh hour they changed the language for §50.99 PENALTY yet again. Commissioner Sullivan made a valiant last-ditch effort to convince the Board to not make changes to the Ordinance. He gave a brief timeline overview of the work that had been done to develop a comprehensive plan to address the issues that had been identified as problems. His position simply stated is that only one component, the rollout portion, needs to be worked on and he was confident they would be able to work it out. The proposed ordinance does not solve the problem and makes the situation worse then when they started working on these issues. His plea to give it a chance to work seems to fall on deaf ears. Commissioner Kwiatkowski who spearheaded the development of the ordinance reiterated that the biggest piece was requirements of getting the cans back off curbside which they just eliminated.

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
Vote was three (3) to two (2) as it has been on a lot of issues, so no surprise there
Commissioners Kwiatkowski and Sullivan both voted against amending the Ordinance

 Instructed the Town Manager to do a statement of work for the rollback element
A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Sullivan voted against


7. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 19-04, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 18-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 (Amendment No. 5) – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
New Sand Search
As discussed in the budget workshop on Thursday, March 7, 2019, the Town will need to find a new sand source in order to construct a project to mitigate Hurricane Florence and Michael damages. The volume of sand loss exceeds the Town’s current sand source. The commissioners decided they would like to begin the sand search process this budget year. The engineer’s cost estimate for the project is $170,000. The sand search will be a lengthy process and costs not expended this fiscal year will need to be carried forward to the next fiscal year. The attached budget amendment would need to be adopted in order to appropriate funds.

Moved funds of $170,000
From Revenue account #50.0399.0000 to Expense account#50.0710.0902

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

The cost went up from last year’s estimate of $132,000 to the $170,000 approved tonight. Funds will be taken from BPART account and should be a FEMA reimbursed expense. (BPART – Beach Preservation / Access & Recreation / Tourism Fund)


8. Discussion and Possible Action on Holden Beach Bridge Maintenance and Repairs Schedule and Timeline – Town Manager Hewett / Commissioner Freer

Previously reported – August 2018
Agenda Packet –
Safety Railing for the Holden Beach Bridge
It is the intent of the Department of Transportation to provide a bicycle/pedestrian railing atop the Town’s concrete bridge barrier, as an added safety improvement. They would like feedback from the Town on a preferred option for the safety rail. It seems as though they need an answer sooner than our normal meeting schedule allows.

I don’t think it is the manager’s call on this and feel the Board should review and make the recommendation.  Please see the attached pictures and let me know if you have any questions.

Bridge Health Index
NCDOT is committed to measuring and improving its overall performance. One of the department’s goals is to make the state’s infrastructure last longer by setting a target for at least 70 percent of bridges rated to be in good condition or better. Good means that the bridge can safely carry the typical-sized commercial or passenger vehicles for that route. To achieve this goal, the department uses a data-driven strategy to improve the overall condition of all bridges in North Carolina by focusing taxpayer dollars where they’re needed most.

 North Carolina Department of Transportation selected Holden Beach bridge as a High Value Bridge. They have allocated funding to make safety improvements and improve the expected life expectancy of the bridge. Work includes adding bicycle / pedestrian railing a safety improvement and also do basic repair to the substructure. NCDOT will pay the entire estimated $1.5 million to $2.0 million cost of the project. Work on the bridge is scheduled to begin in September. The estimated time frame to complete the work is the better part of eighteen months.

Chad Kimes Deputy Division Engineer informed the Board that NCDOT intends to install a bicycle / pedestrian railing on top of the concrete bridge barrier, which does not meet current safety standards, as a safety improvement. He asked the Board for feedback regarding what look did they want. The Board was given the opportunity to choose whether the rails would be vertical or horizontal and also select the color. 

 

The Board chose to have three horizontal railings with an aluminum finish atop the concrete bridge barrier.

Town Manager David Hewett said the bridge was never intended for bicycle and pedestrian traffic and putting up the railing up may give people the wrong impression. Commissioner Butler agreed with David and voted against the motion essentially saying we were creating an attractive nuisance. David asked whether the funds could be used to pave Ocean Boulevard West. Chad said the monies for resurfacing and for the bridge project are separate, so NO.

Previously reported – December 2018
Bridge Rehabilitation Project
As you may recall a couple of months ago, we presented two bridge railing options at your Commissioners meeting in reference to the Holden Beach bridge rehabilitation project, for your review and consideration. The Town chose the three horizontal rail design as shown in the attachment titled “Holden Rail Retrofit ­ Options 1 and 2.” Upon further consideration, we requested our design consultant provide a third railing option for the bridge rail retrofit, which I have attached, titled “Holden Rail Retrofit – Option 3.” The idea for this option came from the latest Surf City bridge design, which includes a smaller vertical “picket” than the option provided at the council meeting and may provide greater visibility. The support posts in this option are modified slightly as well.

The Town’s prior decision is still a perfectly valid option and it is not our intent to complicate matters with this proposal, we just wanted to extend this option to you, since it is also being extended to Ocean Isle Beach. We are currently under contract with Coastal Gunite Construction to perform the rehab work and will need to provide them with your choice of the 3 options.  If you will please review the attachments and provide us with a response by Friday, December 14, 2018, if at all possible, it will be greatly appreciated and can help the project stay on schedule.

The contract has been awarded, NCDOT plan to spend 3.3 million dollars rehabilitating the bridge, part of the High Value Bridge Program, including adding safety railings which brings the wall from 27” to 48” to meet current safety criteria. The project is scheduled to start in January and is expected to take through October of 2019 to complete. The BOC’s selected the new third option which includes two horizontal aluminum bars with thin vertical pickets.

The Surf City railing shown below is what we are getting minus the top horizontal bar.

Update –
Planning Director Tim Evans met with the NCDOT to get more information about the project and made the presentation tonight. Most of the Towns concerns about activities being compromised during bridge maintenance project were addressed.

Tim also wanted to set the record straight on some issues to correct any misinformation: .   1) Bridge project does not include a bike path
.   2)
They plan on moving staging area so that they can reopen the boat ramp
.   3) Contract does not permit them to work during weekends and holidays

Town of Holden Beach Newsletter
Bridge Work
Per the Department of Transportation’s latest guidance, the contractor performing work on the HB Bridge will NOT close or narrow a lane of traffic during the following times:

Week before Memorial Day to the Week after Labor Day (Summer)
Monday – Thursday, 5:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday at 5:00 a.m. – Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

Week after Labor Day to Week before Memorial Day (Offseason)
Monday – Thursday, 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. & 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
From Friday at 6:00 a.m. to Sunday at 7:00 p.m.

The contractor will also not narrow or close lanes of traffic, detain, and/ or alter the traffic flow during holiday weekends, special events or other times when traffic is unusually heavy.


9. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 19-05, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 157.062: Commercial District– Planning Director Evans
a. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Hold a Public Hearing on Proposed Changes to Section 157.062: Commercial District

Previously reported – February 2019

Agenda Packet –
Recently the Planning Board asked staff to look into the adequacies of the C1 zoning rules. Staff found what appeared to be some major deviancies in the setbacks/buffers and presented text amendments for review.

The Planning Board approved the amendments and has found the changes to be consistent with the current Land Use Plan.

Staff also concurs that these changes will make Holden Beach a better place to visit and live and recommend that in the interest of life safety health and welfare that these changes be implemented.

§ 157.062 COMMERCIAL DISTRICT (C-1)

. (A) The Commercial District is established as the district in which a variety of sales and service facilities may be provided to the general public. The specific intent is to encourage the construction of and the continued use of land and buildings for commercial and service uses that are compatible with the family beach character of Holden Beach and serve to enhance the services available to residents and visitors. All commercial activities shall be conducted from a permanent structure, shall comply with the town’s noise ordinance, and meet or exceed the parking requirements of this chapter.

. (B) Refer to the Table of Permitted Uses, §157.054, for permitted uses in this district.

. (C) Dimensional requirements C-1.
.
(1) Front yard. Minimum required: 25 feet.
Front yard setbacks 50 feet

. (2) Side yard. Minimum required: five feet. Open porches, steps, or overhangs shall not be within five feet of the property line.
Side yard. Minimum required: 20 feet. Open porches, steps, or overhangs shall not encroach in to the established setbacks, Side yard setbacks minimum required shall be ten feet where landscape buffering meets the requirements of §157.062

. (3) Rear yard. Minimum required: five feet, except that if a commercial use abuts a residential district there shall be a rear yard of 20 feet.
Rear yard. Minimum required: 25 Feet. Landscaping buffering required.
.
(4)
Buildings constructed or converted to commercial use after the effective date of this chapter shall provide off-street parking and loading space as required in §157.075 through §088 of this chapter.

. (5) All signs and billboards must meet the requirements set forth in §157.079 of this chapter

. (6) Building height. No building shall exceed a maximum height of 31 feet measured from design flood elevation to the highest point of the structure.

. (7) Lot coverage. Driveways, parking lots, parking spaces, parking areas, patios and other similar areas and surfaces located outside of the building footprint shall be gravel, grass or of an approved pervious product. Required Buffers must have the required approved landscaping

. (D) Screening shall be required to conceal from public view HVAC equipment, utility equipment, accessory structures, and other accessory facilities accessory to a commercial use.

. (E) Solid waste disposal containers to be screened. Screening for solid waste disposal (dumpsters) shall be of comparable material and color as the structure they are accessory to. The height of the screen shall be equal to or greater than the height of the container being screened. The width shall be sufficient to permit two feet clearance between the receptacle and the screen to facilitate cleaning and maintenance. A concrete pad with drain to sanitary sewer or a dry well is required by the NC State Board of Health. The opening shall have a gate or slide that can be held in place while being serviced. All other refuse containers, such as cans or bins, shall be adequately screened from the view of adjacent properties or the street right-of-way.

. (F) Outside material storage. Outside storage shall be within a fully enclosed accessory structure or shall be screened from view of all adjacent properties and the street right-of-way by a perpetually maintained vegetative buffer or fence of comparable material and color that matches the primary structure. Only material, goods, wares, etc. That are incidental to that business are permitted to be stored.

. (G) Outside display of items for sale. The display of any goods, material, or items for sale may be displayed outside of a business so long as they are contained or secured to prevent blowing off site and are not encroaching upon the required pedestrian way or reduce the required number of parking spaces established by this chapter. All displays shall be of the same product line sold by the occupant in the primary use of the lot.

. (H) Sidewalks required. It is the intent of the town to require safe pedestrian access along all commercial properties. If the developer of commercial property does not install sidewalks at the time the property is developed, the town reserves the right and the property owner shall agree to pay an assessment sufficient to construct public sidewalks along the street adjacent to the development at a later date.

. (I) Landscaping required. All commercial structures shall have landscaping installed, by the property owner, to soften the impact of the bare walls to adjacent properties and the streets.
Areas required to be landscaped buffered under 157.062 (C) l-3, shall be a minimum of 6 feet high on the sides of property with spacing no less than three feet. Buffering must be maintained so as to be perpetual in its functioning for the life of the use.

The Town of Holden Beach Planning & Zoning Board hereby recommends approval of the text amendment to §157.062 COMMERCIAL DISTRICT C-1 of the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances.

As required by G.S. 153A-344 and 160A-387, the Planning and Zoning Board has reviewed the proposed changes and finds them to not be inconsistent with the adopted 2009 CAMA Land Use Plan, specifically goals, objectives and policies in section 9.1. Land Use and Development. In addition, the Planning and Zoning Board feels the changes are in the public’s interest because they will promote public health, safety, and general welfare within our community.

Upon approval by the Board of Commissioners the Comprehensive Plan will be deemed amended and shall not require any additional request or application for amendment.

Mayor Holden encouraged them to consider that we should notify owners of these commercial properties. Tim recommended we also notify the adjacent property owners too. The staff will bring back changes in an Ordinance form. The next step would be to have a Public Hearing before adopting Ordinance with these recommended changes.

Update –
Tim made a mea culpa for presenting this before getting adequate feedback regarding the major impact of the changes. Unfortunately, the ordinance is not going to work as presented. It appears that it would have more negative impact on commercial properties then they thought once they looked at individual parcels. It was recommended and decided that it should be sent back to P&Z Board to address these issues. There is no hurry and they would like to get it right.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


10. Discussion and Possible Action on Matters Discussed in the March 8th Audit Committee Meeting – Mayor Pro Tem Fletcher

Agenda Packet –
. 1)
Request to organize a 2-hour workshop, provided by LGC or NCLM staff, to improve Board of Commissioners and Audit Committee’s understanding of municipal financial accounting.
. 2)
Recommendation to gain a complete explanation from the audit firm, Rives & Associates, as to the causes for the significant delay in the completion of the 2018 annual audit.
. 3)
Request to have the monthly financial statements prepared for the Board and the Audit Committee in excel format and to show each fund individually with Revenue followed by Expenses for each fund.
. 4)
Confirmation to the Town Manager/Finance Director that any proposed internal control changes, including those resulting from the RSM internal control evaluation, would initially be presented to the Audit Committee by Town Manager/Finance Director for review and comment. The Audit Committee would then provide their recommendation to the Board of Commissioners.

LGC – Local Government Commission
NCLM – North Carolina League of Municipalities

They agreed to do the following:
.   1) Schedule workshop for a better understanding of municipal financial accounting
.   2) Request an explanation for the delay in the annual audit report
.   3) Requested monthly financial statements be presented in Excel format
.   4) Requested that any internal control changes be presented to them for review

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


11. Discussion and Possible Approval of Updated Records Retention and Disposition Schedule: General Records Schedule for Local Government Agencies – Town Clerk Finnell

Retention Schedule

Agenda Packet –
2019 General Schedule for Local Records
The new General Schedule for Local Government Agencies is now available for adoption. According to NCGS §121-S(b) and NCGS §132-3, you may destroy public records only with the consent of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR). The State Archives of North Carolina is a division of DNCR charged with administering a records management program. The proposed schedule is the primary way the State Archives gives its consent. If we do not approve the schedule, we are obligated to obtain the State Archive’s permission to destroy any record, no matter how insignificant.

The new schedule (included packet) requires each local government to define when the reference value ends for many types of records. There is plenty of guidance available that provides information about records retention and public law, including training opportunities and tips for maintaining records. I recommend the Board approve the schedule and allow the staff to establish and enforce internal policies setting minimum retention periods for the records that DNCR has scheduled with the disposition instruction ‘”destroy when reference value ends.”

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


 12. Town Manager’s Report


Vac Sled Procurement
Purchased rather then lease, budget adjustment to sewer fund of $15,000
.
I have no idea what this is


Storm Events
Three FEMA hurricane damage reimbursement programs being worked simultaneously
. 1)
Matthew $335,000 reimbursement still outstanding, final report was sent
. 2)
Florence submitted everything we could
. Federal Beach Technical Advisor completed required Cat G Project Worksheet
. • Engineered beach damages quantified/submitted 700K cubic yards @$17 million
. 3) Michael submitted our estimated losses
. • Federal Beach Technical Advisor needs to complete required Cat G Project Worksheet
. • Engineered beach damages quantified at 400K cubic yards

Working through process of potentially executing one project for the two events
Significant savings in mobilizations costs if we can combine the two
Florence 990k cubic yards; 560k cubic yds from CRP
Michael 533k cubic yards; 303k cubic yds from CRP
We are talking about an amount in the mid $20 million-dollar range
We will need to identify locations where we can get more sand from


Vehicle Decals
The 2019 hurricane vehicle decals were distributed with the March water bills.


Canal Dredging Project
Previously reported – December 2017
Adoption Resolution 17-10, Water Resources Development Grant ($1,439,922)
The grant is good for two years and will accelerate our current dredging schedule. Each canal will be responsible for paying for their dredging project costs upfront. It is a reimbursement grant which means we do not receive the funds from the state until after satisfactory completion of the project.

Previously reported – June 2018
The Town is planning to perform a complete dredge of all of the canals this coming fall/winter (November 2018 – Mar 2019). We have been apprised of recent changes regarding the obtainment of consent agreements for USACE dredge spoil areas. Those changes will result in closer scrutiny of remaining capacity in existing sites; hence longer/unknown lead times and quite possibly denial of permission to place material from this fall’s canal maintenance dredging in the Corps disposal sites. The Town has been preparing the area adjacent to the dog park as an alternate site if unable to use the USACE dredge spoil areas. David reminded us that this is a big undertaking with lots of moving parts and will require considerable time and effort from the Town staff to pull it off without a hitch.

Water Bill
The Town is planning to perform a complete dredge of all of the canals this coming fall/winter (November 2018 – Mar 2019). It is recommended that property owners begin getting ready for the canal dredging as early as possible by first assessing the condition of their bulkheads so that repairs on those structures can be made in plenty of time before dredging begins. This will not only provide for the best dredging effort, but also lesson the possibility of leaky bulkheads filling canals back in prematurely after dredge completion. The Town will also be conducting its annual inspection of the bulkheads. Likewise, it is also recommended that property owners begin to coordinate the actions needed to move your floating docks in anticipation of the actual dredge arrival in order to facilitate a better excavation near their pilings. Finally, boat movements should also be considered. You may want to begin planning for winter accommodations and repairs to your boat now. Remember that boat dry docks book up fast.

Previously reported – August 2018
Town had meeting with potential bidders for the canal dredging project
He anticipates bid letting date sometime in September
Dredging is scheduled to start in the middle of November

The Town has been preparing the area adjacent to the dog park off Scotch Bonnet.
It will be necessary to close the dog park this winter once dredging project begins.
The dog park will probably have to be closed until Memorial Day in 2019.

Previously reported – October 2018
Construction at the Scotch Bonnet dredge spoil area began this week in preparation for this winter’s canal dredging project. We ask that canal property owners begin to move their boats and docks if possible in preparation for the dredge event. The tentative schedule will begin with Holden Beach Harbor mid-November, followed by Heritage Harbor mid-January, and Harbor Acres mid-February.

Previously reported – November 2018
King Dredging is fully mobilized on site with dredge in canals. Scotch Bonnet dredge spoil area work is just about completed. Dredging operations are scheduled to commence the first day of December working the canals from east to west. Property owners should have made dock and boat arrangements already, but if you haven’t there’s still a little time left.

King Dredging is just about ready to begin with the following tentative schedule:
. 1)
Holden Beach Harbor – December 1st through January 25th
. 2) Heritage Harbor – January 26th through February 25th
. 3) Harbor Acres – Feb 26th through April 9th

Previously reported – December 2018
Canal Dredging operations are underway but is running about two weeks behind projected schedule. The dredge “Patricia Sanderson” started work in the Holden Beach Harbor feeder canal.
.

Previously reported – January 2019
Progress continues, proceeding without any significant issues.

Heritage Harbor
The contractor anticipates beginning work in Heritage Harbor, which includes canals between Scotch Bonnet and Sand Dollar, in February. Due to the size of the dredge, the contractor has asked that boats on lifts in Heritage Harbor be removed before dredging begins. This will allow for a better dredge in this set of canals as the dredge follows the designed template. Please accommodate the request at your earliest convenience.

Previously reported – February 2019
The dredging in Holden Beach Harbor is complete. The contractor is now dredging in Heritage Harbor. This set of canals includes Scotch Bonnet, Lions Paw, Starfish and Sand Dollar. Heritage Harbor work should be completed by the end of February based on the current schedule. The contractor will then move into Harbor Acres. Harbor Acres canal property owners should prepare to remove their boats from canals and from any lifts over the canals. Also, owners should swing their docks out of the way if possible.

Both Holden Beach Harbor and Heritage Harbor dredge project has been completed. The contractor is expected to start work dredging in Harbor Acres next week (02/25/19). Harbor Acres includes Swordfish Drive, Dolphin Drive, Tuna Drive, Marlin Drive, Tarpon Drive and Sailfish Drive.

Dredging Project – March
Currently the dredge is located in Harbor Acres, which includes canals between Swordfish and Sailfish

Update –
Active dredging projects are approximately 90% completed, only a few canals left to do in Harbor Acres. The dredging permit expires at the end of this month. Any damages caused by the dredging will be addressed after they have completed the dredging operations.


Upcoming Events

Hail & Farewell
Chief Layne’s retirement dinner is scheduled for Thursday, March 21st

Swearing in Ceremony
Detective Jeremy Dixon swearing in ceremony as Chief will be on April 1st

NCMCA
North Carolina Association of Municipal Clerks Academy
Holden Beach is the host site for their annual training seminar on April 5th

Volunteer Luncheon
In recognition and thanks for all the volunteers do for the Town, a luncheon is scheduled for April 11th

Pickleball
Battle of the Beach
Pickleball Tournament will be held on Holden Beach on May 3rd through May 5th


13. Public Comments on General Items

Speaking for the six (6) boat captains that were in attendance, a request was made for Holden Beach to work with the County in approaching the state for a desperately needed additional boat ramp.


General Comments –

There were thirty (30) members of the community in attendance

The BOC’s April Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month,
April 16th


Fiscal Year 2017 – 2018 Audit Results
Auditor’s report is due by November 1st and is normally is given at the November meeting. The report still has not been given yet. Town Manager reported at the October meeting that the storm events have delayed the annual audit process. We are still waiting for the report. The auditor Rives & Associates has advised the Local Government Commission.

Nothing for nothing but it has been like six (6) months since the last storm event.



Budget

Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:
. 1)
Raising taxes
. 2)
Cutting spending
. 3)
Operating more efficientl

Ensuring that government commitments are in line with available resources is an essential element of good governance.

The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st
Commissioners must adopt budget no later than July 1st for the next fiscal year
Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board

Budget Meeting Schedule / 2019

  • 16 January BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives
  • 05 February BOC’s Workshop Goals & Objectives / Capital Programs
  • 15 February Canal Dredging Working Group / PRAB / IBPB
    . * PRAB – Parks & Recreation Advisory Board
    . * IBPB – Inlet & Beach Protection Board
  • 22 February Departments Input to Manager
  • 7 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 21 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 28 March BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 12 April BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 19 April BOC’s Workshop Revenues & Expenses
  • 6-10 May Budget Message
  • 7 June Public Hearing
  • 18 June Regular BOC’s Meeting – Ordinance Consideration
  • 1 July Budget adopted (No Later Than)

News & Views reports what’s happening on Holden Beach and in the surrounding area with items of interest.

Post contains the following:
. 1)
Calendar of Events
. 2)
Reminders
. 3)
Upon Further Review
. 4)
Corrections & Amplifications
. 5)
Odds and Ends
. 6)
This and That
. 7)
Factoid That May Interest Only Me
. 8)
Things I Think I Think
.
a) Restaurant Review
.
b) Book Review


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Hurricane Season –

Hurricane #1 - CR

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a hurricane as “an intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

Be prepared – have a plan!

For assistance with making an emergency plan read more here »
. 1) FEMA Ready
. 2) American Red Cross Disaster and Safety Library
. 3) ReadyNC
. 4) Town Emergency Information
. 5) HBPOIN Hurricane Emergency Plan

THB – EVACUATION, CURFEW & VEHICLE DECALS
For more information » click here

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.

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

vigilance and preparedness is urged.


Good riddance: Florence, Michael retired as hurricane names
The two destructive storms both hit the East Coast last fall, bringing wind and rain from Florida to the Carolinas and claiming nearly 100 lives

After making their mark on the Cape Fear region and the East Coast last year, both Florence and Michael have been retired as hurricane names by the World Meteorological Organization, which includes NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

The two names have been replaced Francine and Milton, both of which will officially enter the rotation in 2024 hurricane season.

Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said Wednesday that names are on a six-year cycle and are only retired if reusing them would be insensitive to those affected by the name’s previous storms.

“There was never any question that these two were going to be retired,” he said.

Including Florence and Michael, 88 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953, when storm naming became a practice. The 2005 hurricane season, which included Katrina, has the most retired names for one season – five.

Previously retired storm names that affected the area were Matthew (2016), Floyd (1999), Fran (1996) and Hazel (1954).

Hurricane Florence is considered one of the most destructive to ever hit the Carolinas, where it made landfall in Wrightsville Beach in the early morning of Sept. 14. It went on claim at least 51 deaths and caused extensive flooding across North and South Carolina, and Virginia.
Read more »
click here


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