09 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 09/03/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 20-11, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances Title XV: Land Usage

Previously reported – August 2020
Public Hearing: To Hear Public Comments Regarding Amendments to The Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 157 – Zoning Code (Ordinance 20-11)

Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 20-11, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinance Title XV: Land Usage (Ordinance cannot be adopted until after 24 hours from the time of the public hearing) – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
Ordinance 20-11,

An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Title XV: Land Usage

As previously discussed, new regulations on remote meetings include a provision to allow public hearings to be held during an authorized remote meeting, but there is an added requirement for written public comment. A local board may conduct any public hearing required or authorized by law during a remote meeting, but the board must allow written comments on the subject of the public hearing to be submitted between publication of the notice and 24 hours after the public hearing.

The Town is not technically meeting remotely since the Board is in attendance at Town Hall, but since the public is not, we should abide by the new regulation. I recommend the Board recess to a date/time certain or wait until the next meeting to vote on the ordinance in order to accommodate this new regulation.

They just had the Public Hearing, so they can proceed with Ordinance adoption. Unable to approve tonight, they are required to wait twenty-four (24) hours after the Public Hearing

A decision was made –
Approved unanimously

Update –
Housekeeping item, clarification of Ordinances and Rules

A decision was made –
Approved unanimously

2. Discussion and Possible Approval of Amendment to the Southern Disaster Recovery Contract – Public Works Director Clemmons

Previously reported – August 2020
Agenda Packet –
The Town previously entered into a Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Management contract with Southern Disaster Recovery in 2019. It now appears that local landfills are nearing capacity as shown by the Brunswick County Landfill Disposal Efficiency Report (attached). The contractor may be required to haul debris for longer distances than covered by the terms of the original contract .

The Town will need to amend the original contract to accommodate the longer distance. The proposed amendment is attached.

Amendment to Contract
For more information » click here

Contractor wants to increase their charges because the local landfills are nearing capacity which will require the contractor to haul debris for longer distances than agreed to. Chris basically took the position that we do not have a lot of squiggle room and we need to accept the proposed contract. Commissioner Sullivan did not agree, he questioned whether the current contract has any provisions that allows them to make revisions to the contract. Commissioner Kwiatkowski inquired, what was the percentage of the rate increase? They agreed to have our attorney look at contract to determine our obligations.

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
Adopted cubic yardage price, increase was not substantial enough to legally challenge it.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

3. Discussion and Possible Approval of Constitution Week Proclamation

The Board of Commissioners approved a Proclamation declaring the week of September 17th – 23rd as Constitution Week. Click here to view the full text.

Constitution Week
Constitution week, September 17th through 23rd, commemorate the anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution. The United States Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties, freedoms, and inalienable rights. The purpose of the observance week is to promote study and education about the constitution which was originally adopted by the American Congress of the Confederation on September 17, 1787.


BOC’s Special Meeting / Public Hearing 09/15/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Public Hearing: To Hear Public Comments Regarding Amendments to The Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 157 – Zoning Code (Ordinance 20-04)

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

There were no comments


BOC’s Regular Meeting 09/15/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here
Editor’s Note – agenda packet is 222 pages / Yikes!

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 20-04, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach  Code of Ordinances, Chapter 157: Zoning Code (Ordinance cannot be adopted until after 24 hours  from the time of the public hearing) – Inspections Director Evans 

Agenda Packet –
As previously discussed, new regulations on remote meetings include a provision to allow public hearings to be held during an authorized remote meeting, but there is an added requirement for written public comment. A local board may conduct any public hearing required or authorized by law during a remote meeting, but the board must allow written comments on the subject of the public hearing to be submitted between publication of the notice and 24 hours after the public hearing.

The Town is not technically meeting remotely since the Board is in attendance at Town Hall, but since the public is not, we should abide by the new regulation . I recommend the Board wait until the next meeting to vote on the ordinance in order to accommodate this new regulation.

Previously reported – February 2020
Agenda Packet –
The Board directed  Inspections Director Evans to prepare an ordinance around his description for house size  limitation and provide it to the attorney  before it was presented  to the Board for review. Attorney Carpenter has advised me that she does not have any concerns with the ordinance prepared by Inspections Director Evans. It is enclosed for your review.

We have been working on this issue for at least the last five (5) years. Timbo did not make slide presentation since he has made this same presentation numerous times already. The abridged version is simply that you can’t build as big a house that you could before. State statutes require that the governing board hold a public hearing prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any ordinance regulating developmentTherefore, it was decided to schedule a Public Hearing before the next Regular BOC’s meeting so they can adopt the Ordinance.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – July 2020
Proposed Ordinance » click here

They didn’t make a decision at this meeting because they needed clarification regarding square footage verbiage, otherwise we are good to go. Request was made for Inspections Director Evans to bring back to the Board at the next Regular Meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken

Previously reported – August 2020
Ordinance  20-04,  An  Ordinance  Amending  the  Holden  Beach  Code  of  Ordinances, Chapter 157: Zoning Code

At the July Board of Commissioners’ meeting, Inspections Director Evans agreed to report back to the Board at the August meeting with his suggestion on final language for Ordinance 20-04. He will provide information for the Board’s discussion at the meeting. Before the ordinance can be approved, a public hearing would need to be scheduled.

Timbo clarified that square feet by definition should read gross floor area. He also pointed out that the proposed changes to the Inlet Hazard Areas by the Coastal Resource Commission (CRC) made clear their intention to restrict dwellings to a maximum structure of 5,000 square feet. Request was made for Inspections Director Evans bring a final version with the changes that they discussed to the next Regular Meeting.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

 Update –
Timbo introduced the  big house issue again, which has been presented numerous times already, changes were made, and a final version is ready to go. Since the Ordinance cannot be adopted until after 24 hours  from the time of the Public Hearing they plan to recess at the end of meeting and reconvene Friday at 11:00am.


2. Discussion and Possible Approval of Contract Between the Town and Raftelis (System Development  Fee Study) – Town Manager Hewett  

Agenda Packet –
At the August Board of Commissioners meeting, the Board selected Raftelis to complete a System Development Fee Study. Raftelis has provided an Engagement Letter (Attachment I ) for the Board’s review.

Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc. (Raftelis) is pleased to submit this engagement letter to the Town of Holden Beach (Town) to perform a water and sewer system development fee study. Raftelis is providing this engagement letter to the Town to provide assistance with developing cost-justified water and sewer system development fees using methodologies consistent with the methodology described in HB 436.

Project Scope

Methodology

      1. Buy-In Approach
      2. Marginal Incremental Approach
      3. Combined/Hybrid Approach

Tasks

      1. Task 1:Project Management and Administration
      2. Task 2: Data Collection and Review
      3. Task 3:Data Analysis and Model Development
      4. Task 4: Preparation of Report and Presentation of Study Results

Project Staffing and Fees
We propose to complete the scope of work outlined above for fees and expenses not-to-exceed $
23,858.

Previously reported – August 2020

Agenda Packet –
The Town solicited proposals from qualified professionals to update our Water & Sewer System Development Fee Analysis. Two firms submitted proposals: The Wooten Company, an engineering firm and Raftelis, financial professionals. The proposals are included in theBoard’s packets for your review. Staff seeks guidance on the Board’s preferred firm.

System Development Fee Study – Proposal 1 / Raftelis
For more information » click here

Request was for qualifications only, that is why there is no cost in their proposals. Brief discussion, consensus was this was more of a financial rather than an engineering issue. Board directed the Town Manager to proceed to get a proposed contract from Raftelis the financial firm that responded.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Engagement letter was included in agenda packet for their review and consideration. Just three years later, the cost to do the study has more than doubled. That said, they decided they need to redo study to establish appropriate cost justified fees. Financial firm Raftelis contract was approved.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


3. Report and Possible Action on Speed Limit on Ocean Boulevard – Chief Dixon (Commissioner  Sullivan) 

Agenda Packet –
Chief  Dixon  will  provide  information  on  his  conversations  with  the  Department  of  Transportation regarding the speed limit on Ocean Boulevard .

Previously reported – January 2020
Proposal is to reduce speed limit on OBW to 35 miles per hour year-round
Police Chief Dixon had four (4) talking points

    1. Accident death rate goes from 45% to 85% when speed is increased by 10mph
    2. Stopping distance increases by 79 feet when speed is increased by 10mph
    3. Time difference from general store to west end gate is just over 1 minute with change
    4. Lower speed limit allows golf carts and installation of crosswalks

Previously reported – February 2020
John Plumridge made appeal again, at the Public Comments section of the meeting, in favor of keeping OBW at 35mph year-round. His case is plain and simple, we need to take reasonable precautions to safeguard pedestrians. Despite the talking points presented the community still does not appear to be convinced about making the change. The Board hedged their bets, seeking additional public input since it is pretty much a split decision right now. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on them putting safety over mobility.

Previously reported – July 2020
Request: Direct Town Clerk to prepare a draft ordinance to modify the existing Town of Holden Beach speed limit ordinance to set the speed limit west of the Holden Beach pier to 35 mph year-round.

Police Chief Jeremy Dixon
Per your request, I have further researched NC General Statutes and the latest NC Traffic Ordinance Manual (NCDOT); below are my findings.

NCGS 20-141regulates speed restrictions on NC roadways. The most important subsections for our purposes are 20-141(b)(1) and 20-141(f).Subsection 81states that it shall be unlawful to operate a vehicle in excess of 35 MPH inside of municipal corporate limits. Subsect ion F states that local authorities may only increase the 35 MPH limitations upon the basis of a traffic and engineering study, and when a reasonable and safe limit has been determined from such engineering and traffic investigation.

The NC Department of Transportation’s Traffic Ordinance Manual also provides a lot of useful information. Chapter 3, section 24 provides guidance on “seasonal” speed limits. According to this manual, seasonal speed limits are designed to REDUCE speeds during peak or primary seasons and provide no guidance for increasing speeds during the off-season.

An increase to 45 MPH actually falls back to NCGS 20·141(f), since the 35 MPH municipal speed limit has already been established and would again require a traffic study.

In summary, during my reading I find that NC law has been established to regulate municipal speed limits to a maximum of 35 MPH. With this, Holden Beach should not be increasing the speed limit on Ocean Blvd to 45 MPH without first conducting a traffic and engineering study. I also find that seasonal speed limits are designed to reduce the speed limit during peak seasons and are not designed to be used to increase speeds during the off-season. An example of the seasonal speed limit would actually be in direct contrast to what we do now; for example – speed limit 25 MPH from east end to General Store from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

https://www.ncleg.gov/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_20/GS_20-141.pdf

https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/safety/Crash%20Data%20and%20TEAAS%20System/Chapter_03_Speed_Limits.pdf

The links above will provide you with the full readings on the topic. Quite simply, the speed limit by law must remain at 35 MPH within our corporate limits and can only be increased upon the completion and documentation of an engineering study.

Public Comments – Tracey Thomas
Speed limit change:  

First of all, let’s be clear that the speed limit on Ocean Blvd west of the pier is 45 mph (with a seasonal reduction to 35pmh), so Jeremy’s argument in his memo dated 7/13/20 saying we cannot increase the limit to 45 mph due to NCDOT Traffic Ordinance chapter 3 section 24 is flawed – the speed limit is currently 45 mph!

(Ref: http://ncdot.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?layers=2229ffaa3ea5470992d021023618e1e6&useExisting=1)

The rest of Jeremy’s arguments then support the current 45 mph speed limit.  This speed limit was determined by a NC traffic and engineering study and is the safe and correct speed for that section of the road.

We should accept the science on the correct speed limit and the fact that there has never been an incident (per Jeremy at the Jan meeting), and not change it because a couple people want to drive their golf carts on the road in the winter.  Please make a fact-based decision and not based on unsubstantiated fear of accidents.

We currently do NOT have any official crosswalks in that area.  If and when we get them, perhaps the speed limit will need to be revisited, but until then that shouldn’t be used as a reason.  Hopefully where crosswalks are needed will also be based on a scientific study and not someone subjectively choosing.

Finally, when surveyed in the Fall of 2019, almost 80% of over 400 respondents wanted the 45 mph to remain in effect during the off season.  The people have spoken!  (Woody’s email to 100 people is not a ‘random’ sample like the survey was.)

 I hope that the commissioners will listen to the majority of people.

I live full time on the west end and feel very strongly that the speed limit remains 45 mph in the off season.  

Update –
Police Chief Dixon reached out to the NCDOT. Unfortunately, they are unable to get their hands on the traffic engineering study that was done quite some time ago. What they did was to begin to gather information for a new study. Jeremy was informed that our Ordinance could remain in place as written until a new study is completed. Decision was to leave the speed limit as is until the study is completed.

No decision was made – No action taken


4. Report in Response to Wild Dunes Speed Bump Petition – Chief Dixon 

Agenda Packet –
During the July 2020 Board of Commissioners meeting, Chief Dixon was tasked with identifying the potential need for speed bumps or alternative traffic calming solutions in the Wild Dunes neighborhood.

The attached documents will provide you with that analysis and possible solutions to consider addressing the concerns of this community.

    • Petition signed by members of the Wild Dunes neighborhood
    • Traffic Study White Paper – Dixon, Chief of Police
    • Traffic Calming Fact Sheet – Institute of Transportation Engineers
    • Traffic Calming Trends – com
    • NC DMV-349 (redacted) – Holden Beach Police Department
    • Stop Signs Brief – US Dept of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
    • LED Stop Sign Spec Sheets (2) -Solar Traffic Systems & Traffic Safety Warehouse

The Wild Dunes neighborhood has expressed in writing its desire to increase the safety of its community by installing speed bumps at two of its intersections. Research finds that speed bumps are not designed to address the concern of stop sign violations and lacks the corroborated support for this type of traffic calming solution. There are however other traffic calming solutions that may address the concerns of the Wild Dunes neighborhood . The decision of appropriate traffic calming solutions rests with the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners, and it is this authors objective that this document assist you in reaching  an educated, well informed, and substantiated decision.

A PowerPoint presentation will be given by Chief Dixon during the September Board of Commissioners meeting to provide details on the findings of this study.

Previously reported – September 2017
Agenda Packet –
Shell Drive is the last street on the right before reaching the private section of the island; therefore, we get a lot of traffic that must use our street to tum around.  The problem we are having is the speed at which some of the vehicles are leaving going back to Ocean Boulevard.

They deferred making a decision, requested it be put on the October meeting agenda. Town Manager is charged with gathering more information. The Town attorney recommended that the Town Manager and staff determine approval criteria since other streets will request this too. The Mayor recommended that we notify everyone on that street, especially after the recent fiasco with Elizabeth Street parking, that we are considering this action.

No decision was made – No action taken

Previously reported – October 2017
Agenda Packet –
At the last Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the Board directed me to gather information relative to Mr. Batchelor’s request to install speed bumps on Shell Drive.

Staff contacted the Town’s insurance provider, the League of Municipalities. There is no specific exclusion for general liability claims caused by speed bumps on town-owned streets.  The League provided us with examples of claims and payouts that have been made relating to speed bumps (Attachment 1).

Mark Hoeweler, Assistant Executive Director – Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments and Liaison for the Grand Strand Metropolitan Planning Organization, is not in favor of speed bumps. He provided literature for the Town to review (Attachment 2).

Staff also contacted the Cape Fear Council of Governments to ask for the pros and cons of speed bumps. Allen Serkin, Director of Local Government Services, responded   that speed bumps are usually discouraged for many reasons (Attachment 3). He also provided us with several resources that the Board may find helpful in consideration of Mr. Batchelor’s request (Attachment 4).

Pretty clear that the information gathered did not support us moving forward with request for speed bumps

Previously reported – July 2020
Agenda Packet –
Request: The Board of Commissioners direct Police Chief Jeremy Dixon and other Town employees as needed to review the vehicular traffic concerns of the Wild Dunes property owners and bring back to the August Board meeting his evaluation of the situation and a recommendation to address the Wild Dunes residents’ concerns.

These concerns have been considered several times already and have not been acted on. This time the Board was presented with a petition signed by 52 of 60 neighborhood property owners asking that something be done. The agenda item specifically asks to install speed bumps so that’s all they really should have talked about. The Board directed Police Chief Jeremy Dixon and other Town employees as needed to review the concerns of the Wild Dune property owners and bring back to the to the Board at the next Regular Meeting their evaluation of the situation and a recommendation to address the Wild Dunes residents’ concerns.

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
Commissioners Brown and Sullivan voted against the motion

Update –
All the intersections were monitored from an unmarked HB Police Department vehicle. The overall safety concern presented was the ongoing failure of vehicles to stop as required at intersection streets. Installing speed bumps does not fix the problem. There are however other traffic calming solutions that may address the concerns of the Wild Dunes neighborhood . This is really an enforcement issue; decision was that for a period of time we have an increased police presence there and have the police issue summons for any violations.

No decision was made – No action taken


5. Status of Beach and Inlet Projects – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
Slide presentation

      • Where We’ve Been
      • Where We Are
      • Where We Are Going

Update –
We are still attempting to bundle all the projects together but may have to go with what we have project worksheets on. Just completed sand search last month, but don’t have enough sand for all the projects so we will need to do another search.


6. Discussion and Possible Selection of a Coastal Engineering Firm – Assistant Town Manager  Ferguson
.   a)
Resolution 20-08, Selection of Coastal Engineering Firm  

Agenda Packet –
In order to comply with federal and state contracting regulations, the Town advertised an RFQ (Attachment 1)
for coastal engineering services in the Wilmington Star News, on the Town of Holden Beach website and through direct contact with several coastal engineering firms that are affiliated  with  the  North Carolina Beach, Inlet, and Waterway Association to solicit competitive  proposals.  The  Town  only received one proposal by the first due date of August 17•h, which came from the Town’s current contractor, ATM (Attachment 2). While the Mini-Brooks Act does not require the unit  to receive  a minimum number of responses before any can be considered, there are federal standards for procurement that suggest FEMA can decide what is considered an “adequate number” of qualified sources under the competitive procurement method. The Town opted to re-advertise the RFQ, with the second round of solicitation resulting in two proposals (ATM again, Attachment 3 and SEPI, Attachment 4). Staff recommends the selection of ATM as the Town’s consultant engineer for the Town’s Beach Management Program with key work including multi-million-dollar FEMA projects, erosion restoration and inlet navigation projects and other beach fill projects and related initiatives as determined necessary by the Town based on the Town Manager’s Evaluation and Ranking (Attachment  5).

Recommend Approval

Suggested Motion: Approval of Resolution 20-08 (Attachment 6) establishing ATM as the Town’s Coastal Engineer.

RESOLUTION 20-08
SELECTION OF COASTAL ENGINEERING FIRM

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina is a barrier island community located in Southeast NC; and

WHEREAS, the Town has engaged in a robust beach and inlet management program for two decades and recognizes the importance of ongoing beach management as a vital part of a thriving coastal community; and

WHEREAS, the Town’s Beach and Inlet Management Program is comprised of local, state, and federal components, often requiring specific technical coastal engineering expertise; and

WHEREAS, the Town has engaged the services of Applied Technology & Management (ATM) since 2001; and

WHEREAS, the Town has benefited greatly from its client/consultant relationship with ATM; and

WHEREAS, ATM has worked on a half dozen FEMA storm damage projects, is currently involved in ongoing FEMA projects, and provides the annual beach management monitoring program for the Town; and

WHEREAS, it is the Town’s understanding that FEMA policy on reimbursement of coastal engineering expenses requires a procurement process that adheres to uniform procurement guidance; and

WHEREAS, the Town has specifically solicited coastal engineers and advertised in accordance with well-established protocols for firms providing coastal engineering services in order to be compliant with existing state and federal procurement regulations; and

WHEREAS, said advertising for coastal engineering proposals has been repeated after an initial request for proposals yielded only one qualified response; and

WHEREAS, the second solicitation has yielded two proposal; and

WHEREAS, ATM has responded to both solicitations in accordance with the criteria established by the Town for consideration; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach is desirous of procuring the coastal engineering services of ATM.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach that it does hereby select ATM as the Town’s Coastal Consulting Engineer and authorizes the Town Manager to negotiate and enter into such contracts as funds may be provided for by Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach in accordance with the NC Local Budget and Fiscal Control Act.

Update –
We went with the incumbent, establishing ATM as the Town’s coastal engineering firm again.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Discussion and Possible Action on Resolution 20-09, Resolution Establishing a Policy for Disaster  Debris Located Inside Gated Communities – Town Manager Hewett  

Agenda Packet –
RESOLUTION 20-09
RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A POLICY FOR DISASTER DEBRIS LOCATED  INSIDE GATED COMMUNITIES

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach has a prepositioned disaster debris management contract in place with Southern Disaster Recovery to deal with storm related debris; and

WHEREAS, FEMA has specific rules regarding reimbursement expenses for hurricane debris; and

WHEREAS, Hurricane Isaias hit the Town of Holden Beach on August 3, 2020, causing damages requiring the activation of the Town’s disaster debris management contract with Southern Disaster Recovery; and

WHEREAS, it is the Town of Holden Beach’s understanding that current FEMA regulations do not provide for the reimbursement of expenses relating to disaster debris removal inside of gated  communities; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach activated the contract with Southern Disaster Recovery on August 7, 2020 during an emergency meeting held by the Board of Commissioners; and

WHEREAS, during the emergency meeting, the Board of Commissioners were apprised of FEMA’s non-reimbursement of disaster debris removal expenses inside gated communities; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners authorized expense appropriations for the removal of the disaster debris within the gated communities regardless of FEMA rules regarding reimbursement of said expenses; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach is not cognizant of any pending changes to FEMA’s policy for reimbursement of disaster debris removal expenses inside gated communities;

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach has two gated communities within its’ corporate limits; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach is of the opinion that regardless of FEMA’s non­ reimbursement  policy, disaster  debris removal expenses  incurred  inside gated communities is an expense that the Town of Holden Beach will absorb through the Southern Disaster Recovery contract.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the Town of Holden Beach recognizes that the removal of disaster debris inside gated communities is a fundamental life, safety, and public health issue; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the Town of Holden Beach does hereby adopt the policy of having disaster debris inside gated communities removed in accordance with the same process, procedures, and expedience as all other parts of the Town of Holden Beach; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the town manager is author sized to communicate the Town of Holden Beach’s policy to any and all appropriate local, state and federal agencies to affect amendment to FEMA’s current non-reimbursement policies for disaster debris in gated communities as may be practical.

Update
After Hurricane Isaias, this Board chose to remove debris from inside gated communities regardless of whether or not we are going to get reimbursed from FEMA. This resolution does two things. First it clarifies the Town’s position going forward. It also established the Town’s position as an advocate for gated communities to get equal treatment statewide.  Over Commissioner Sullivan’s objection to this resolution as written it was withdrawn. It was decided to break the resolution into two separate pieces, one for advocacy and the other one for storm debris removal policy. Request was to have the two resolutions on the agenda for their consideration next month.

No decision was made – No action taken


8. Discussion and Possible Action on Review of Employee Benefits – Commissioner Sullivan 

Agenda Packet –
Benefits Survey Summary
Vacation and Longevity

Previously reported September 2019
The Maps Group has completed their research in August last year. The study updates the classification and pay plan for THB as well as making recommendations concerning personnel policies and fringe benefits. Some of the Board members stressed that we need to address all the components of the total compensation package not just implementing the pay plan.

Update –
Commissioner Sullivan said that the study was done and that the Board adopted the monetary part of the report, but never addressed health care coverage. Mike proposed that consideration be given for modifications of our family health insurance coverage. He requested that staff prepare a table showing the cost of family coverage at five (5) percentage levels for them to consider.

No decision was made – No action taken


9. Discussion and Possible Approval of Contract for Landscaping Services – Assistant Town Manager  Ferguson
   a) Ordinance 20-15, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 20-10, The Revenues and  Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2020 – 2021 (Amendment No. 4) 

Agenda Packet –
The current landscaping and irrigation contract with Champion Resort Maintenance expires October 6, 2020 (Attachment 1). Staff has conducted an informal bid  solicitation (Attachment  2) for the Town’s landscaping and irrigation services contract. Three bids were received (Attachments 3,4,5) with Carolina Creations submitting the most responsive bid.  

The most responsive bid is $26,681.04 higher than the existing appropriations. Currently, this service is budgeted at $31,200 and sourced equally between the BPART budget ($15,600.00) and General Fund ($15,600). Continuing this method of paying for the service would require sourcing of $13,340.52 from both the BPART Fund and the General Fund. This can be done from within existing resources should the Board desire to make award to Carolina Creations. The BPART Fund contribution would come from reprogramming $13,340 from the “Concert” line due to cancelations from Covid and likewise the General Fund contribution would come from reprogramming funds from the “Available for Appropriation” line.

Approval of a one-year contract will require BOC action to do so along with approval of the attached budget amendment (Attachment 6).

ORDINANCE NO. 20-15
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 20-10, THE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS ORDINANCE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2020 2021 (Amendment No. 4)

BE IT ORDAINED BY the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina, that Ordinance No. 20-10 appropriating funds for the Fiscal Year 2020 – 2021 be amended as follows:

Provide funds for the Town’s Landscaping and Irrigation Services Contract

Moved funds of $13,340
From Revenue account #10.0410.9200 to Expense account#10.0570.1500

Moved funds of $13,340
From Revenue account #50.0710.2600 to Expense account#50.0710.0906

Update –
Presented as these are the costs, it is what it is. David said that it takes money to maintain what we have, and it needs to be tendered to if we want to keep it looking like it does. Commissioner Kwiatkowski  attempted to broach having Public Works handle this, but that position was immediately shut down by the Town Manager.  There was some discussion about making some landscape design improvements, but this contract is just for maintenance only. Commissioner Sullivan pointed out a discrepancy with an insurance liability issue in the contract and recommended a change be made. They decided to accept the $55,127 Carolina Creations contract pending the suggested revisions.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


  • 10. Paving Assessment Slideshow – Town Manager Hewett  

    Agenda Packet –

    Special Assessments N.C.G.S Section 160A Article 10

    • Petition is received
    • Clerk certifies that the petition is signed by a majority of property owners
    • No more than 50% of the cost can be assessed
    • Preliminary resolution is adopted which gives details of the project
    • Public Hearing held on preliminary resolution
    • Notice must be published that the preliminary resolution has been adopted and a Public Hearing set
    • Notice must be mailed to owners of all property to be assessed
    • After the hearing, the Board may adopt a resolution directing the project to be undertaken


    Previously reported –
    July 2020
    Agenda Packet –
    Deal and Seagull Streets are “Town” streets but are currently unpaved. They are in bad shape with very  little to work with from a maintenance perspective.  New construction has populated these streets to a point where owners are seeking a remedy to improve the streets. Town practice provides for a petition process to occur but an estimate for constructing suitable improvements needs to be obtained prior to a more formal undertaking.

    Request the Board of Commissioners direct the Town Manager to obtain a preliminary engineering cost estimate necessary to improve Deal and Seagull Streets. At a minimum – improvements evaluation should address coquina/marl, gravel, and full paving options in addition to any other considerations that are relevant.

    NC Chapter 160A, Article 10
    §160A-216.  Authority to make special assessments.
    Any city is authorized to make special assessments against benefited property within its corporate limits for:

    (1) Constructing, reconstructing, paving, widening, installing curbs and gutters, and otherwise building and improving streets;

    §160A-217.  Petition for street or sidewalk improvements.
    (a) A city shall have no power to levy special assessments for street or sidewalk improvements unless it receives a petition for the improvements signed by at least a majority in number of the owners of property to be assessed, who must represent at least a majority of all the lineal feet of frontage of the lands abutting on the street or portion thereof to be improved. Unless the petition specifies another percentage, not more than fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the improvement may be assessed (not including the cost of improvements made at street intersections).

    For more information » click here

    Added Canal Drive to agenda item, they discussed adding other streets too
    Board approved getting engineering cost estimate for the three (3) streets listed

    A decision was made – Approved unanimously

    Previously reported – August 2020
    Agenda Packet –
    Engineering Report
    For more information » click here

    SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, and RECOMMENDATIONS
    The Town of Holden Beach proposes to pave three existing roads within the Town limits; Seagull Drive, Deal Drive, and Canal Drive. The three streets were created from different property subdivisions that occurred decades ago. Many houses have been constructed over the years along the roads and continue to do so. The roads are primarily compacted soil with some stone that has be placed over the years. The lots were platted, and roadways constructed prior to 1988 on Seagull and Canal, while Deal was constructed under State Stormwater permitting rules. There are existing water and vacuum sewer service mains serving the lots. We would recommend adding ABC base course stone, asphalt pavement, and limit the amount of impervious driveway surfaces. We have provided overall project cost estimates for each road and are included in the figures. Seagull Drive is estimated to be $145,000; Deal Drive is estimated to be $65,200, and Canal Drive is estimated to be $80,962. Total project costs are estimated to be $291,151.

    Shane Lippard of Right Angle Engineering made the presentation. He reviewed the engineering report summary conclusion and responded to the Board’s questions. Town Manager proposed that the Town take the lead by submitting the petition for the improvement. That way they only need the property owners consent to proceed.

    A decision was made – Approved unanimously

    Update –
    David gave an overview of the process. We are looking at doing the work some time next summer. Therefore, it will need to be addressed in next year’s budget process.


  • 11. Town Manager’s Report

    Genset Status
    The unit has been installed, awaiting startup test to be scheduled
    Rental unit contract through the end of the month

    Hurricane Debris
    Island debris removal was completed at the end of August
    Removal of damaged post and rope/sand fencing has not begun yet

  • Federal Project
    Last month we submitted Letter of Intent using existing authorization which could make us eligible to be included in workplan as early as next Spring. Therefore, we will wait to submit 7001 application until we know how that plays out.

    LWF Inlet Status
    Inlet has not been adequately maintained
    Coast Guard wants to pull the buoys that are out there
    Meeting scheduled tomorrow with USACE and the Coast Guard


  • The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking comments prior to the November 2, 2020 deadline on their proposal to discontinue navigation aids in the Lockwood Folly Inlet. They have released notice to mariners. Click here to view the notice. The Town was made aware of the information this week.

    HB Bridge Safety Railing Project
    Contract was awarded October 29, 2018 with the completion date for the contract to be October1, 2019. Work on the bridge safety railing has finally appears to be completed.

    Sewer Lift Station #3
    Contract completion date of December 18th
    Project is ahead of schedule with a tentative startup date at the middle of October


12. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11 (A)(6) to Discuss a Personnel Matter  (Commissioner Kwiatkowski) and to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(A)(1) To Approve Minutes (Town Clerk  Finnell)  

No decision was made – No action taken


  • 13. Police Report

Police Patch

Another busy month …
.
…….


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.


  • Loose Ends (11)
    • Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy          January 2019
    • Fee Based Rollout of Containers                    January 2019
    • Commercial District / Zoning                        February 2019
    • Development Fees                                            April 2019                Sept. agenda item
    • Parking                                                              October 2019
    • Audit Remedial Policies & Procedures         November 2019
    • Land Use Plan                                                  January 2020            July agenda item
    • Dog Park                                                           January 2020            July agenda item
    • 796 OBW                                                           January 2020
    • BPB – Dune Protection Game Plan               February 2020
    • VRBO Action Plans                                          April 2020    

  • General Comments –

    Due to the Town of Holden Beach’s State of Emergency Restrictions and Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order, in person public attendance is prohibited. The meeting will be livestreamed on the Town’s Facebook page. Visit https://www.facebook.com/holdenbeachtownhall/ to watch the livestream.


    Commissioner Woody Tyner  – was not in attendance


  • .
    BOC’s Meeting
    The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, October 20th
    .


    Currently, North Carolina is severely undercounted in the 2020 Census. We are on track to lost $74 billion in federal funding over the next decade. These are our tax dollars, hard earned and rightfully ours, and this funding is critical. The only way to access that money is to be fully counted.

    Here’s what it will affect:
    – Roads and transportation
    – Early education
    – Senior services
    – Veterans services
    – Infrastructure that supports local businesses
    – Rural development
    – Emergency services
    – Military resources
    – Parks and recreation programs

    If you have not yet responded to the 2020 Census, do so immediately. It takes less than 10 minutes. All information is confidential and specific information is unable to be accessed by law for 72 years. All that matters is that you are counted, since federal funds will be distributed by population.

    Help keep our community strong.

    You can respond immediately online or by phone:
    Online: https://my2020census.gov/
    Phone: ​844-330-2020​

    The 2020 Census will now end on September 30th, one month before the previously announced deadline. We are running out of time to get all North Carolinians counted. As of July 31st, 41 percent of NC households have NOT completed the 2020 Census. That’s more than four million North Carolinians who have not completed the census.

    Every response makes a difference.

    A Census response brings $1,823 per person, per year in federal and state funds back to NC counties and towns.

    That’s $18,230 over the decade.
    For a family of five, that’s $91,150.
    For a neighborhood of 150, that’s $2,734,000.
    For a community of 1,200, that’s $21,876,000.

    Every single response truly makes a difference.​​


  • Hurricane #1 - CR

     


    Hurricane Season

    For more information » click here

    Be prepared – have a plan!

    .

    .
    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.”

    2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Fast Facts
    The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The areas covered include the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.

    The National Weather Service defines a hurricane as a “tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

    Hurricanes are rated according to intensity of sustained winds on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

    The 1-5 scale estimates potential property damage.
    A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.
    The National Hurricane Center advises preparedness:

      • A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that a region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.
      • A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours.

    Read more » click here

    THB EMERGENCY INFORMATION

    EVACUATION, CURFEW & DECALS

    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.

  • 3 North Carolina counties lead U.S. in hurricane impacts since 2010
    Brunswick, Hyde and Dare counties each had 10 hurricane-based FEMA emergency declarations between 2010 and 2019
    A new report quantifies what many North Carolina residents already know: They have faced a lot of hurricanes over the past decade — reinforced most recently by last week’s Hurricane Isaias. The report is by the ValuePenguin financial advice website. It states that from 2010 through 2019, Brunswick County on the southern North Carolina coast and Dare and Hyde counties along the state’s northeast coast each had 10 hurricane-based Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) emergencies. Those three counties tied for first place nationally.
    Read more » click here


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


    Do you enjoy this newsletter?
    Then please forward it to a friend!


    Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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

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

    https://lousviews.com/

 

09 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / September Edition


Calendar of Events –

Most events have either been postponed or cancelled


October 1-3  King Mackerel Fishing Tournament, Southport
This will be the 42ndAnnual U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament. It has taken place since 1979 and is held annually the first week in October. The U.S. Open is one of the largest king mackerel tournaments on the East Coast and part of the SKA (Southern Kingfish Association) Tournament Trail. The tournament now attracts almost 400 boats annually.
For more information » click here

The U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament is still on.

This year’s tournament will be at Dutchman Creek Park off Fish Factory Road.


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 –

All programs are temporarily on hold


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


Reminders –


Currently, North Carolina is severely undercounted in the 2020 Census. We are on track to lost $74 billion in federal funding over the next decade. These are our tax dollars, hard earned and rightfully ours, and this funding is critical. The only way to access that money is to be fully counted.

Here’s what it will affect:
– Roads and transportation
– Early education
– Senior services
– Veterans services
– Infrastructure that supports local businesses
– Rural development
– Emergency services
– Military resources
– Parks and recreation programs

If you have not yet responded to the 2020 Census, do so immediately. It takes less than 10 minutes. All information is confidential and specific information is unable to be accessed by law for 72 years. All that matters is that you are counted, since federal funds will be distributed by population.

Help keep our community strong.

You can respond immediately online or by phone:
Online: https://my2020census.gov/
Phone: ​844-330-2020​

The 2020 Census will now end on September 30th, one month before the previously announced deadline. We are running out of time to get all North Carolinians counted. As of July 31st, 41 percent of NC households have NOT completed the 2020 Census. That’s more than four million North Carolinians who have not completed the census.

Every response makes a difference.

A Census response brings $1,823 per person, per year in federal and state funds back to NC counties and towns.

That’s $18,230 over the decade.
For a family of five, that’s $91,150.
For a neighborhood of 150, that’s $2,734,000.
For a community of 1,200, that’s $21,876,000.

Every single response truly makes a difference.​​


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



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.
* 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 once a week. This year September 26th will be the  the last Saturday trash pick-up until June. Trash collection will go back to Tuesdays only.

 

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 October once a week

Recyclingstarting October every other week


Vehicle Decals
The 2020 vehicle decals were distributed with the March water bills. Each bill included four (4) vehicle decals. It is important that you place your decals in your vehicle or in a safe place. A $10 fee will be assessed to anyone who needs to obtain either additional or replacement decals. Decals will not be issued in the 24-hour period before an anticipated order of evacuation.

The decals are your passes to get back onto the island to check your property in the event that an emergency would necessitate restricting access to the island. Decals must be displayed in the driver side lower left-hand corner of the windshield, where they are not obstructed by any other items. Officials must be able to clearly read the decal from outside the vehicle.

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 the Town website to find out more information regarding decals and emergency situations.


It is still early in the Atlantic hurricane season. Check to make sure your 2020 decals are affixed to your vehicle’s windshield. If you need additional decals, send a self-addressed stamped envelope, along with a check for the decals to Town Hall. Make sure you check for your decals now; they are not sold during an emergency situation.


 

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

 

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



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


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!


Building Numbers
Ocean front homes are required to have house numbers visible from the beach strand.
Please call Planning and Inspections Department at 910.842.6080 with any questions.

§157.087 BUILDING NUMBERS.

(A) The correct street number shall be clearly visible from the street on all buildings. Numbers shall be block letters, not script, and of a color clearly in contrast with that of the building and shall be a minimum of six inches in height.

(B) Beach front buildings will also have clearly visible house numbers from the strand side meeting the above criteria on size, contrast, etc. Placement shall be on vertical column supporting deck(s) or deck roof on the primary structure. For buildings with a setback of over 300 feet from the first dune line, a vertical post shall be erected aside the walkway with house numbers affixed. In all cases the numbers must be clearly visible from the strand. Other placements may be acceptable with approval of the Building Inspector.



BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, October 20th
.


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 $93.29 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

 

Recycling renewal form was sent, you should have gotten e-mail letter already


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.


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


Coronavirus –

Brunswick County COVID-19 Snapshot: as of September 17th


State of Emergency – Timeline

09/04/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 163 which revised some prohibitions and restrictions to the state’s “Safer At Home” measures and will move into Phase 2.5 of the pandemic recovery.  Click here to view the Executive Order details.

08/05/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 155 which extends the state’s “Safer At Home” Phase 2 measures for five (5) additional weeks until at least September 11, 2020. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

07/28/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 153 which restricts late-night service of alcoholic beverages. The governor also said that bars will remain closed as North Carolina continues efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Click here
to view the Executive Order details.

07/14/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 151 which extends the state’s Safer At Home Phase 2 measures for three additional weeks until at least August 7, 2020. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

06/26/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 147 which pauses the state’s Phase 2 economic reopening’s for three additional weeks went into effect at 5:00 p.m. Friday, June 26. The Governor announced that the new face covering requirement in public places statewide is to slow the spread of the virus during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

06/02/20
With the exception of the playground and splash pad, Bridgeview Park is now open. Click here to view Amendment No. 10 of the Town’s State of Emergency.

This amended declaration shall remain in force until rescinded or amended.

05/29/20
With the exception of Bridgeview Park (across from Town Hall), Town recreational areas are now open. Click here to view Amendment No. 9 of the Town’s State of Emergency.

05/22/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 141 which is a transition to Phase 2 of a three-part plan to reopen North Carolina amid the coronavirus pandemic went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, May 22. The Governor announced that they are lifting the Stay at Home order and shifting to a Safer at Home recommendation. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

05/18/20
Public restroom facilities are now open. Click here to view Amendment No. 8.

05/08/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 138 to modify North Carolina’s stay-at-home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions. Phase 1of Governor Cooper’s three-part plan to reopen North Carolina amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8. It’s the first step in the state’s gradual return to normalcy. Phase two is expected to begin two to three weeks after phase one, given that certain conditions are met. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

04/30/20
Having consulted in an emergency meeting with the Board of Commissioners, the terms of the State of Emergency have been amended. Highlights include the following: rentals may resume as of May 8th; and public parking and public accesses are open immediately. All other restrictions remain in full force. Click here to view Amendment No.7.

04/19/20
Item #9 of the existing Town of Holden Beach State of Emergency, which was made effective on April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., shall hereby be rescinded at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. This action will thus allow the beach strand to be open for the purpose of exercise and relaxation. No congregating shall be allowed. All other parts of the current declaration of emergency shall remain in effect. Click here to view Amendment No. 6.

04/08/20
Emergency Management Director, in consultation with the Commissioners, have decided to close the beach strand effective Wednesday, April 8 at 11:59pm. Today’s Amendment No. 5 is being added to the existing Declaration of the State of Emergency. Any person who violates any provision of this declaration or any provision of any Executive Order issued by the Governor shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of sixty days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine per offense.
Click here to view Amendment No. 5.

04/01/20
Town of Holden Beach has declared a State of Emergency, Amendment No. 4 is an attempt to define the purpose of the original declaration more clearly (no new tenancy).
Click here to view Amendment No. 4.

03/31/20
The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended to coincide with Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order. Click here to view the Amendment No. 3.

03/27/20
Governor Cooper announces Executive Order No. 121, state-wide Stay at Home Order. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

03/27/20
The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended regarding short-term rentals. Click here to view the Amendment No. 2.

03/23/20
The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended regarding prohibitions and restrictions to be implemented within the Town of Holden Beach.
Click here to view the Amendment No. 1.

03/23/20
Mayor Holden, with the consensus of all five commissioners, has declared a State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach. Click here to view the Declaration.

Coronavirus Information
The Town Hall is currently open during normal business hours. All activities, with the exception of Board of Commissioners’ meetings, scheduled in the Town Hall Public Assembly and conference rooms and the Emergency Operations Center conference rooms are canceled until further notice. The Town encourages residents to follow social distancing protocols and to seek communication options like phone, email and other online resources to limit exposure to others.

Brunswick County has developed a dedicated webpage for community assistance. Click here to view their website. Remember to seek the most verified information from sources likes the CDC, NC DHHS and the county regarding the coronavirus. You can contact the Brunswick County Public Health Call Line at (910) 253-2339 Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. You can also email them at coronavirus@brunswickcountync.gov. The NC Public Health Call Line can be reached at 866-462-3821 (open 24/7).

The situation is serious; take it seriously!

You may not be interested in the coronavirus, but it is interested in you.


Upon Further Review –


796 OBW
Previously reported –
June 2019
Engineering was just awarded the $311,805 contract for Sewer System Engineering to Sewer Pump Station Number 3. Why is there an additional $153,805 in cost only eighteen (18) months later? The explanation given was that this station is only sixteen (16) feet from adjacent property and will require additional acoustic engineering. Due to the station location it is different from the first project and will have a significant higher cost to build.

Previously reported – July  2019
A significant portion of the cost of acquiring this property is offset by us no longer needing to do additional acoustical engineering. The property is located at 796 OBW, adjacent to sewer station #3, with a Taxable Value of $376,610

Previously reported – August 2019
The Town is purchasing 796 OBW for $349,000 or 93% of tax value
.
Average for second row home this year is 117% of tax value

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
We still have no game plan for what we will do with this property that was purchased one (1) year ago.


Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy       

Chapter 50 / Solid Waste
  a) rental homes – specific number of trash cans based on number of 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 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 homes 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). In instances where three trash cans or more are required, one can may be substituted with a contractor approved recycling bin.

Property shown here advertises that there are seven (7) bedrooms. Ordinance compliance would require them to have four (4) trash cans at their property. In January of 2019, the Town staff declined the BOC’s offer to work with them on an enforcement policy. If my memory serves me, the Town staff said that it was their role not the Board’s to develop a plan of action. So, what’s the plan? This is not the only property that is not in compliance.

With no consequence for noncompliance: What do you expect?


  • 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.

    Previously reported – January 2020
    Dog park was utilized for canal dredging spoil site. We did some site ditching prior to Hurricane Dorian storm event to facilitate draining of the pond.

    Intent is to reestablish pre-dredge capabilities which in order of priority are as follows:
    . 1.
    Permitted primary disaster debris management area
    . 2.
    Public Works lay down yard
    . 3.
    Dog Park

    Must maintain compliance with environmental permit and monitoring
    Safety is the priority for this site, at present it is not ready for use


    Four people spoke during the Public Comments session at the January BOC’s meeting, all in favor of creating a new Dog Park area. The park was utilized by people daily. We no longer have anywhere on the island to walk a dog safely. The nearest dog park for off leash activity is in Shallotte. I think we should make every effort to provide an area for dogs on the island. My recommendation is to utilize existing town property. The Town actually owns quite a bit of property. For instance, we have two parcels between BAW and OBW, across from Marker Fifty-Five, that were platted as streets but never put in; between High Point Street and Neptune Drive. We had previously discussed the possibility of creating parking areas out of them, one of them could be made into a dog park. Parking should be on the BAW side of the park, so it doesn’t get taken over by guests going to the beach. The designated area would be an additional recreational opportunity as well as an option for having dogs off their leashes instead of in unauthorized areas like the beach strand. As for allocating funds the cost should be paid for by the canal POA’s. You ask: Why? In April of 2014 we established the Dog Park on Town owned property at Scotch Bonnet Drive, at a cost of $19,000 sourced from BPART account. The Canal Dredging Project was mostly paid for from the Water Resources Development Grant of $1,439,922 which we secured in December 2017. According to Town Manager Hewett, “the Canal Dredging Project is paying all costs for the reconstitution of the Scotch Bonnet site to include installation of dog park facilities at that location.” That’s all well and good but meanwhile we do not have a dog park. It is my humble opinion that the right thing to do is for them to pay to create a temporary replacement dog park too.

    NRPA Park Pulse: Americans Agree Dog Parks Benefit Local Communities
    Local parks and recreation agencies provide dog parks for the areas they serve
    Each month, through a poll of Americans that is focused on park and recreation issues, NRPA Park Pulse helps tell the park and recreation story. Questions span from the serious to the more lighthearted. With this month’s poll, we look at the possible benefits dog parks bring to their communities.

    91% of Americans believe dog parks provide benefits to their communities

    Availability of dog parks is especially popular among millennials (94 percent) and Gen Xers (92 percent) followed by baby boomers (89 percent) who agree dog parks provide benefits to communities.

    Top 3 Community Dog Park Benefits:

        • 60% Gives dogs a safe space to exercise and roam around freely
        • 48% Allows dogs to socialize with other dogs
        • 36% Allows owners a chance to be physically active with their pet

    For more information » click here

  • Previously reported – July 2020
    BOC’s are cognizant that the residents want a dog park. The Board went with Option #2 – Request the Parks and Recreation Committee to include a new dog park in their upcoming Master Plan development efforts and recommend a possible site.


    Corrections & Amplifications –

    A Second Helping
    They just completed the sixteenth year of the program. For the last thirteen weeks they have collected food on Saturday mornings in front of Beach Mart; the food is distributed to the needy in Brunswick County. During this summer season, they collected 7,081 pounds of food and $1,243 in monetary donations. Their food collections have now exceeded two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) pounds of food since this program began in June of 2005. Hunger exists everywhere in this country.  Thanks to the Holden Beach vacationers for donating again this year!  Cash donations are gratefully accepted. One hundred percent (100%) of these cash donations are used to buy more food. You can be assured that the money will be very well spent.

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


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

    A Second Helping bids farewell to Holden Beach collection season
    A Second Helping volunteers wrapped up their 15th season Saturday, Sept. 12, as Holden Beach vacationers departed the island and headed home. Despite COVID and a delayed beach season, volunteers collected 7,509 pounds of food, paper products, unused toiletries, garbage bags and other unused items, compared to 2019 collections of 14,330 pounds. A Second Helping also received $1,543 in cash donations this summer, compared to $1,849 collected the previous summer. “It was a wonky summer for us all,” said Doug Cottrell, operations manager. “Let’s hope by spring 2021 we are experiencing healthier and simpler lives.” A Second Helping operated throughout the beach season with the assistance of 42 volunteers … “half helping at collection, half helping with transportation of what we collect.” The group sets up camp in the Beach Mart parking lot on the Holden Beach causeway every summer, gathering items from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. This summer, due to COVID restrictions, the collection season lasted only 15 weeks. A Second Helping kicked off the 2020 season on June 6. It plans to begin collecting again June 5, 2021.
    Read more » click here 

  • Editor’s Note –
    Even though we had one of the busiest rental seasons, donations were considerably lower than usual this year. That’s really bad news since those in need was even greater than usual. Meanwhile, they will continue to accept monetary donations to assist their efforts. I’d ask that perhaps you could see clear to make a monetary contribution this year to help make up for the shortfall.


  • Turtle Watch Program


Turtle Watch Program – 2020
. 1) Current nest count – 65 as of 09/20/20
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Average annual number of nests is 39.5
. 2)
First nest of the season was on May 11th

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

>
Total number of nests historically –

        • 2012: 48
        • 2013: 73
        • 2014: 19
        • 2015: 53
        • 2016: 52
        • 2017: 50
        • 2018: 30
        • 2019: 105
        • 2020: 65

Odds & Ends –



Seasonal Police Officers

 

  • .
    Previously reported – June 2020
    Commissioner Sullivan requested a committee investigate the feasibility of hiring seasonal part-time police officers for the next budget year. The motion tasked the committee with looking into this option. Both Pat and Mike volunteered to be on the committee.

Editor’s note –
The Town of Holden Beach has 575 permanent residents and this year we have budgeted for ten (10) full-time officers and zero (0) part-time officers. By contrast, The Town of Ocean Isle Beach has 554 permanent residents and
employs thirteen (13) full-time officers and ten (10) part-time seasonal officers.

Previously reported – July 2020
Holden Beach ponders seasonal police help for 2021
Holden Beach commissioners are looking into the possibility of hiring summer law enforcement officers for the 2021 season. At a meeting last Thursday, July 2, the board started evaluating and discussing what is needed for that to happen.
Read more » click here

Update –
Holden Beach officials contemplate efforts to extend police force on island

The Town of Holden Beach held a special meeting Thursday, Sept. 3, to continue discussion on the feasibility of hiring seasonal law enforcement officers for the 2021 season. Following their last meeting on July 2, Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon contacted other police chiefs in similarly situated municipalities to discuss their handlings of the beach strand. Dixon reported diverse policing across the towns but found a common problem is retention. In the future he wanted to hold a conference call with Ocean Isle Beach Police Chief Ken Bellamy because their town is similar. Dixon also presented the board with the cost of equipment and transportation for officers. Vehicles vary from $4,000 for a 4-wheeler to $20,000 for side-by-side vehicles. Dixon suggested paying new officers the starting salary of approximately $17/hour. The main area the committee was concerned about addressing were how to handle owners bringing dogs on the beach and golf cart violations. Commissioner Pat Kwiatkowski said they struggle to get police down fast enough to issue dog citations. “We basically never have citations issued for the dogs on the beach and I think people know that. Because we can’t get police officers down fast enough to actually capture it at the moment and that’s the reality of having our force on an 8-mile beach,” Kwiatkowski said. Hewett said the practicalities are hard, too, in regard to waiting for civilians to go back to their homes to get their license. He also was uninterested in solely issuing citation warnings. “I’m not a warning kind of guy. I dealt with two and three years of warning of cabanas. We went through all kinds of conniptions about seeing cabanas out there and tagging them and keeping track of who is under the cabana. If a dog is out there, write them a ticket,” Hewett said. “I do agree with you, but the feeling has been in a lot of people’s eyes that if there is a knowledge that you can get a citation, that if you catch someone early in the week, a new vacationer, and I can tell you now, down by us, down on the west end, our walkways do not have a sign about the violation for dogs. These are private walkways,” Kwiatkowski said. “We have vacationers come who they somehow don’t realize that dogs are not supposed to be on the strands during these hours. You tell them the first time, a lot of them then say, ‘Thank you, didn’t realize it.’” She felt citations should be limited to those who are already aware of the rule and choose to ignore it. In the most recent years, Holden Beach has employed two separate shifts, which overlap to allow more coverage on the island. “Programmatically we had envisioned two rangers in a vehicle and two shifts. It didn’t play out that way because the personnel was not needed,” Hewett said. “It wasn’t a logical deployment of the assets.” In addition to lack of manpower, Holden Beach had to contend with police vehicles being out for repairs. Dixon said most of the vehicles are replaced after two years since most do not make it through three years. Going forward Hewett said the town may consider leasing vehicles. Other issues raised from the last seasonal law enforcement officers committee meeting regarded how much enforcement was wanted on the quality of life issues frequently addressed on the beach. Commissioner Mike Sullivan raised several questions during the latest meeting: How much coverage does the town have on patrol, and how much coverage they need? What will it take to enforce the parking regulations and the beach strand? How will the town do it? The committee debated whether to limit the extra police force for the beach strand or the entirety of the island. “At the end of the day, my thought was we would come up with a plan that either says, ‘It’s a good idea to have police for these reasons,’ or, ‘It’s not such a good idea to have police for these reasons,’” Sullivan said. “I don’t want to pigeon-hole that we’re just looking at the strand.” “What could we do if we put beach ranger money to part-time police, plus we’re trying to save on officers? So, would it be fair to say, what kind of presence could you have, program could you have? How many people, how many hours if you were given beach ranger budget plus maximum one officer budget? I’m trying to kind of get a number there,” Kwiatkowski said. However, Sullivan said he’d rather tackle the issue by determining how many officers are necessary and then determine the cost. The committee also tried to define what is required so non-police officers could enforce rules and regulations on the beach. Hewett said civil citations for building violations are issued by building inspectors, but all other citations may be issued by any police officer or the town manager. Sullivan requested the chief and town manager check on the fringe benefit so they could have a side-by-side comparison of the costs for beach rangers as opposed to seasonal police officers. After his quick calculation of the salary comparison it appeared the difference was about $13,000. The group decided to hold one more meeting before contacting Bellamy so they could clarify the roles of the part-time officer and ask more specific questions.
Kwiatkowski said for the next meeting they needed to be clear about what is getting investigated for the blended program of the land and seaside. She also requested Dixon look into the frequency of parking and speeding violations. The next meeting is on Oct. 1.
Read more » click here


2019
Beach Ranger Program
Previously reported – 2009
Police took over Beach Patrol role previously handled by temporary seasonal employees

Previously reported – 2016
Commissioner Freer broached the issue of the public’s safety on the beach strand by taking the tack that he would like to see us supplement the Police force. Previously he pointed out that the current budget covers only eight (8) officers which are really not adequate to meet our needs during the 100 days of summer. The approach he suggested should be one of improving awareness as well as enforcement. His recommendation was as follows:

    • Under the Police Department umbrella consider a part-time seasonal staff for the beach strand
    • Under the umbrella of Parks & Recreation Board entertain establishing a Beach Ambassador Program

Previously reported – 2017
Target Ordinances –

      • Fill holes
      • Remove gear
      • Stay off dunes
      • No glass
      • Control pets – leash / waste

Purpose –
Put a friendly face out there to interact with guests
Educate guests about targeted ordinances to get compliance
Explain the purpose of the ordinance and consequences for non-compliance

Goals – keep beach protected, clean and safe

Beach strand ordinance compliance is a real quality-of-life issue. The flashing educational signs on the Causeway have significantly improved beach strand ordinance compliance. Still feel strongly that the Town should adjust staffing to respond to the seasonal increase in work load. Delighted that the Board finally decided to address this issue. I have made my position abundantly clear regarding having a seasonal code-enforcement team / beach patrol on the beach strand. They need to be on the beach strand to enforce ordinances and to ensure the public safety. Regardless of who or how many patrols the beach strand we need high visibility for them to be effective.

Update –
Currently there are three (3) Beach Rangers out there from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It was expanded to include a second shift extending the hours that they are on the beach strand, also added a second gator. Rangers are on the beach strand during the busiest time frame from roughly 8:30am till 7:30pm. They are out there to educate, provide information and assist folks. Program appears to be working well. I for one would like to see them expand the program by having it cover shoulder season too.


This and That –


County ranks 9th among the state’s 100 counties in spending by visitors
Domestic visitors to and within Brunswick County spent $633.62 million in 2019, an increase of 5.8 percent from 2018. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. Among the state’s 100 counties, Brunswick County ranks 9th in spending by visitors. In response to the release of the 2019 data, Bonnie Cox, chairman of the Brunswick County Tour-ism Development Authority, said, “We’re pleased with the continued growth in tour-ism’s economic impact on Brunswick County. Tourism is an essential part of our local economy, providing jobs and tax dollars necessary for the well-being of our community.

Tourism impact highlights for 2019
The travel and tourism industry directly employ more than 6,000 people in Brunswick County. Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Brunswick County was $125.63 million. State tax revenue generated in Brunswick County totaled $28.94 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $38.37 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses. Visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2019. The $26.7 billion in total spending represented an increase of 5.6 percent from 2018.These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2019,” which can be accessed at https://partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association. “The numbers confirm the strength of North Carolina’s tourism industry as an anchor of economic development,” said Wit Tuttell, director of Visit North Carolina. “As the No. 6 state in the country for overnight visitation, we can attribute our success to the natural beauty and authenticity that visitors experience, and to a passionate effort to inform and inspire travelers. The money they spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing our residents’ tax burden.”

Statewide highlights
State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 5 percent to more than $1.3 billion in 2019.Visitors spend more than $73 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $5.92 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.7 million in state taxes and $2.2 million in local taxes). The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 235,000 North Carolinians. Each North Carolina household saves on average $551 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.
Brunswick Beacon


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


COVID crashed North Carolina’s tourism sector, but vacation rentals are up
With spending down nearly 60% since March 1, the industry is trying to bring back its customers
While most people might still have the itch to get away this summer, the COVID-19 pandemic, and associated restrictions — not to mention health and safety concerns — have put the brakes on many travel plans. But there’s one sector of North Carolina’s battered tourism industry that is racing back — vacation rentals. Still, the state’s tourism sector has severely declined since the COVID-19 pandemic sent the national and state economies into a tailspin, according to a presentation made this week to the North Carolina Travel & Tourism Board. Surveys have been conducted to measure consumer sentiment and other efforts are underway to try to bring back the customers, presenters told the board. “It is estimated that North Carolina has suffered a loss of about $6.8 billion in travel spending from the beginning of the pandemic,” said Marlise Taylor, the director of tourism research for Visit North Carolina. Visit NC is part of the public-private Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, an economic development organization. The Travel & Tourism Board advises state policy makers on the industry’s matters. The $6.8 billion loss is a 57.9% decline in travel spending between March 1 and Aug. 1 of 2020 compared to March 1 and Aug. 1 of 2019, Taylor’s report states. The math works out to $11.74 billion in 2019 and $4.94 billion in sales this year. Local, state, and federal tax collections from travel spending are down $871 million, Taylor said. Weekly travel spending has rebounded some during the summer, but as of Aug. 1 was still 42% below last year’s numbers. The loss of local revenue prompted one North Carolina beach town to increase its parking rates mid-pandemic by up to 66% — raising the ire of many visitors. With rentals and hotel room stays all but suspended for several weeks at the start of the pandemic and many businesses forced to close or scale back their operations, Wrightsville Beach officials said they had little choice but to look to boost parking revenue to make up for the estimated 17% downturn in room-occupancy and sales tax proceeds.

Surge in demand’
But there is a bright spot, Taylor said: vacation rentals are running ahead of last year’s sales. Vacation rentals are short-term rentals of places like homes or cabins, and by far summer is their peak season from the mountains to the sea. Sales, measured as “guest nights,” dropped sharply March to April, but then spiked steeply, the data shows. They peaked in July at nearly 307,000 guest nights. This compares to the annual peak in July 2019 of almost 279,000, and of almost 281,000 in July 2018. Vacation rental bookings going forward remain strong into the fall, Taylor’s statistics show, and are running higher for August and September than they did in 2019 and 2018. Caleb Hofheins, marketing operations director for Greybeard Realty and Rentals in Asheville, said Taylor’s data matches the strong demand he has seen for the 220 vacation properties his company manages. “I think just the appeal of private accommodations has kind of spiked due to the pandemic and everything going on,” he said. A home or cabin provides a place with amenities (like a hot tub, kitchen and pleasant outdoor views and outdoor space) and isolation from other people, Hofheins said. At the same time, his guests who want to get out are close to the attractions in the Asheville area. Some of Hofheins’ guests this year originally planned to take other vacations, such as trips overseas, he said, or they are taking trips that were postponed from the spring when the shutdown started.
“It is obvious that some of the people that are booking with us aren’t used to vacation rentals, because they’ll, they’ll just mention like — have questions about — hotel type amenities that are different with vacation rentals, and stuff,” Hofheins said. Some people are taking the chance to escape a step further, especially with interest rates still hovering near historic lows. Vacasa, the country’s largest full-service vacation rental management company, said sales of vacation properties are booming. “We’ve seen a surge in demand for vacation homes across our portfolio, and real estate transactions are up as much as 35% in some of our vacation rental markets across the country when compared to July 2019,” said Shaun Greer, Vacasa’s vice president of sales and marketing, in a release this week accompanying the latest version of the company’s report noting the best places to buy a vacation home. “Many buyers believe we will be impacted by COVID-19 for the next 12 to 18 months, and are seeking a place close to home where they can get away with their families, work remotely if needed, and generate income when the home is not in use.” That trend can be seen in Southeastern North Carolina, which includes major second-home markets in the beach towns of New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties. Home sales in July were up 34% over July 2019′s number, according to the Cape Fear Realtors, with pending sales last month up an eye-watering 54%.

Price doesn’t matter
Vacation rentals make up only about 3.5% of all commercial lodging room nights, Taylor said. She and others in the meeting outlined programs and research findings for the rest of the industry as it tries to find ways to boost sales under pandemic conditions:

A survey of 1,201 people conducted Aug. 7 – 9 found 46.5% have no plans for leisure travel the rest of the year. This was down from more than 50% saying that the prior week.

Among people have decided not to travel because of the coronavirus, 70.5% said discounts and price cuts wont change their minds.

A program called Count On Me NC provides training and certification that businesses have trained their employees how to conduct operations with the coronavirus threat. Customers can look up these businesses at CountOnMeNC.org, and the program is being promoted in advertisements.
Read more » click here

Rental homes meet a need for virus-wary vacationers
As people venture back out on the road again, they’re doing it on their own terms, and that often means avoiding hotels and major cities. “Short-term rentals, particularly vacation rentals, which usually are whole homes, are hot right now,” says Dennis Schaal, founding editor of Skift, a travel industry media company. “That’s because many travelers don’t want to get on a plane, are shunning cities and are driving to remote or nonurban locations for vacations, or even for work, as a temporary solution.” In July, Airbnb announced that for the first time in a single day since March, guests booked more than 1 million nights of stays. Of those, 50 percent were within 300 miles from home, and more than two-thirds were within 500 miles. Families are booking accommodations later in August, September, and October than in the past because flexible schooling and remote work allow for flexible travel, VRBO reports. Anecdotally, travelers say that they’re drawn to the privacy and solitude of a vacation rental, at a time when social distancing is paramount and anxieties about coronavirus exposure run high.
Read more » click here

COVID-19, hurricanes can’t dampen vacation rental market as Labor Day arrives
Occupancy rates are high at Wilmington-area beaches despite repeated and unexpected closures since the spring
First came the pandemic, then came the hurricane. For vacation rental companies, 2020 has delivered one hurdle after another. What started out as a promising spring was detoured in March when the initial wave of COVID-19 shutdowns closed beaches and vacation or short-term rentals with them. By May, most beach towns again allowed visitors to rent homes, opening the door to a busier-than-expected summer. Then hurricane season ramped up and churned out Isaias, which slammed into Southeastern North Carolina, closing rentals once again – some for a matter of days, others for a month. “It’s been something, I’ll tell you that,” said Kristen Goode, marketing director for Oak Island Accommodations. “2020 has been a year like no other, but thankfully, we’re still smiling down here in Oak Island.” On Friday, the final portion of the banged-up island restricted to visitors since the hurricane hit on Aug. 3, reopened for vacation rentals – just in time for Labor Day, the end of the summer tourist season. Goode said her company had about 100 properties (about a fifth of their total inventory) go back on the market for guests to rent after being unavailable for more than a month. Even with the temporary loss in inventory, the vacation rental market in Oak Island and throughout the region has been healthy – if not prosperous – in 2020, despite most property management companies bracing for the worst after the first pandemic-induced closures in the spring. “We found out early in the summer that a lot of people still really wanted that vacation they had planned, despite everything going on,” Goode said. “They could travel as a family to another house where they could still socially distance, they could be on a beach that has plenty of space to spread out, and even cook in their homes. It appealed to them, and gave them chance to just de-stress from everything.” As renters take stock of the summer that was, they are even bullish on just how good the summer rental market has been, in spite of everything. At Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach, Intracoastal Vacation Rentals property manager Ian Kraus said they weren’t fully prepared for the floodgates to reopen as soon as COVID closures were lifted. “This summer has been the busiest I have experienced here,” Kraus said. “We almost always have a handful of properties, maybe 5 or 10, that just didn’t get booked for whatever reason one week here and there, but we were 100 percent booked for the entirety of July and almost all of August this summer.” The same could be said for Sloane Realty Vacations, which serves Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach in Brunswick County. General manager Whitney Sauls said they have been at 100 percent capacity this summer, something she was not expecting back in the spring. “It has been an exceptionally good summer, and we weren’t confident it would be back in April,” she said. “We were really worried how the summer would play out. But people want to be able to take a vacation and connect away from the living environment they’ve been confined to and vacation rentals are a safe way to do that.” Keeping business booming even in such uncertain and restrictive times has been the area’s drive-to capabilities. With people still hesitant to hop on airplanes and international travel still prohibited, 2020′s summer vacations have been largely centered on where people and families can get in their car and drive. In other words, Walt Disney World may have to wait, but the beach was there to cushion the blow. The Topsail Beach and Surf City area certainly benefited from those dashed vacations forcing people to look outside their usual plans. “This year, it has brought a new influx of people who have not been to Topsail Island before,” said Ashley Ides, a market assistant with Access Realty. “We’ve seen more people booking online or calling in to talk about the area. I think people are just trying something different if their vacations got canceled, they can’t go on cruises or don’t want to stay in hotels.” Also fueling this banner year for vacation rentals is the relative privacy afforded to those who can shell out for a few days or week in one of the homes. Most have contactless check-in with keypad access and plenty of restaurants at the beaches were serving takeaway dinners to enjoy at home. “The summer could have been a complete disaster, but with the seclusion of a vacation rental, it helps people have that safety of their own home and still have a vacation,” said Ides. All these vacation rental companies said at times they were overwhelmed with just how much business they saw this summer, and many expect it to continue well after Labor Day’s ceremonial end to summer. With many kids remote learning this semester and offices still allowing people to work from home, long-term rentals in the fall are pouring in. “The rest of September and October are still insanely busy, with a lot of longer-term rentals coming off the market for two or three months,” Kraus said. For Goode, it comes down to a simple pitch to guests weighing the options of a fall at home or at the coast. “Would you rather work on your computer in your kitchen or work with the ocean right in front of you?” she asked.
Read more » click here


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


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    Climate
    For more information » click here

    There’s something happening here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear


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    Development Fees
    For more information » click here
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    Flood Insurance Program
    For more information » click here
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    National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
    Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to December 20, 2019.

    Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP
    by no later than 11:59 pm on September 30, 2020.

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

    NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance.

    The level of damage from recent catastrophic storms makes it clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.

    Flood insurance – whether purchased from the NFIP or through private carriers – is the best way for homeowners, renters, business, and communities to financially protect themselves from losses caused by floods.
    Read more » click here


     

    GenX
    For more information » click here
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    Homeowners Insurance
    For more information » click here
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    Hurricane Season

    For more information » click here

     


     

    Inlet Hazard Areas
    For more information » click here
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    Lockwood Folly Inlet
    For more information » click here
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    Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling
    For more information » click here
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  • .
    NC attorney general files federal lawsuit to block offshore drilling
    Attorney General Josh Stein on Wednesday announced he has filed a lawsuit that seeks to block the Trump Administration from allowing seismic exploration for oil and gas off the North Carolina coast. “Protecting our state’s beautiful natural resources – and the critical economic benefits they bring to our state – is one of the most important mandates of my job,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “North Carolinians have made their views crystal clear: We do not want drilling off our coast. I am going to court to fight on their behalf.” The Trump administration overruled North Carolina’s objections to offshore drilling, opening the way for WesternGeco, one of five companies seeking to conduct seismic exploration, to move one step closer to receiving necessary permits. Seismic testing uses powerful airguns that blast sounds at the ocean floor repeatedly for long periods of time. Marine experts say these sounds can harm sea life and coastal resources – and could have significant impacts on North Carolina’s fishing and tourism industries. ”It will have real impact on marine life and our fisheries, which will damage our economy,” Stein said. The state denied a permit WesternGeco needed to move forward with the process after holding a series of hearings, but the federal government cast that aside, which Stein argues violates the state’s right to control what happens off the coast. “They ignored the decision that the state of North Carolina made, I find that offensive and that’s why I’m going to go to court to try to stop it,” he said. Stein said coastal communities are largely in agreement that they don’t want drilling allowed. “Almost every single coastal county commission has issued a resolution opposing these oil rigs, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Democratic commission or Republican commission. This is not a partisan issue,” the attorney general said. “This is do you value the Outer Banks, the crystal coast, the Brunswick beaches, and if you do and you recognize its importance to the vitality and health of eastern North Carolina, then you will inevitably oppose the oil rigs.”
    Read more » click here


    NC officials appeal federal decision to allow seismic surveying
    Governor Roy Cooper Wednesday announced North Carolina will continue to fight against seismic testing along the state’s coast. North Carolina has filed an appeal of the decision by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to override the state’s objection to WesternGeco’s plan for offshore seismic testing. Gov. Cooper said in a press release Wednesday North Carolina has been clear in its position on seismic surveys. “We do not want seismic testing in our coastal waters, or the damage from offshore drilling that could follow,” the governor said. “The studies of our waters show little prospect for drilling, and the environmental damage to our coast could be irreparable if seismic testing goes forward.” Seismic surveying is a matter that has proven contentious in recent years, including in Carteret County. The surveys use blasts from pressurized air guns to test for offshore oil and natural gas deposits without exploratory drilling. Concerns have been raised by environmentalists, scientists, and others about the potential environmental effects of the surveys and the offshore drilling that may result from them. These concerns range from the blasts potentially injuring marine animals to the long-term effects of allowing offshore drilling near coastal economies that are heavily reliant on tourism. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Northern Division to appeal the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s June decision to override the state’s objection to the consistency certification under the Coastal Zone Management Act. In June of 2019, the Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management objected to WesternGeco’s proposal to conduct a Geological and Geophysical survey off the North Carolina coast. DEQ Secretary Michael Regan said in the press release state officials “will continue to take all necessary actions to protect our coastal resources and economy.” “These destructive activities are not welcome off the North Carolina coastline,” Mr. Regan said. “We support the communities along our coast who have vehemently opposed seismic testing that would lead to offshore drilling.” In 2019, local government leaders signed a resolution to oppose seismic testing and the offshore drilling that could follow. Coastal leaders also expressed their concerns about the effects of offshore drilling on the state’s coastal economy during a roundtable with Gov. Cooper last fall. The N.C. Department of Justice is representing the state in the matter. Documents related to the case can be found on the DCM website at deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/coastal-management/coastal-management-permits/federal-consistency/national-oil-and#seismic-surveys.
    Read more » click here


  • NC Absent from Expanded Offshore Drilling Moratorium
    Just after labor day, President Trump extended a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in a portion of the Central and most of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and expanded the decade-long ban to planning areas off the coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. During his remarks, the President extended “congratulations to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and frankly North Carolina.” Unfortunately, North Carolina was not included in the expanded moratorium so frankly, there is no reason to celebrate. If anything, the recent order should cause concern since North Carolina remains under consideration for proposed offshore oil and gas lease sales. As background, the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management is the federal agency responsible for administering the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) and established schedule for oil and gas lease sales, which is developed on a 5-year basis. BOEM is currently administering the lease sale schedule outlined in the 2017 – 2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Proposed Final Program that includes sales within the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico as well as Cook Inlet, AK. In 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order to implement an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy and develop a new National OCS Program that would allow oil and gas drilling along the South Atlantic. As a result, 2019 -2024 Draft Proposed Program, or plan for future offshore oil and gas lease sales, was released to the public for review and comment in January 2018. Offshore drilling and seismic surveying for oil and gas exploration would not be compatible with our vibrant coastal environment and economy. That’s the sentiment from 100% of the oceanfront municipalities. The North Carolina coast has been off-limits to offshore drilling for over 30 years, help us keep it that way by contacting your local, state, and federal representatives to request they call for expansion of the recently announced moratorium to include North Carolina and the entire Atlantic Coast.
    Read more » click here


    Cooper urges Trump administration to include North Carolina in offshore oil drilling moratorium
    Governor Roy Cooper said he’s reached out to President Donald Trump and his administration to include North Carolina in the recently announced moratorium on offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. Last week, Trump extended a ten-year moratorium on offshore oil drilling for South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, but did not include North Carolina in the executive order. “I am deeply concerned and disappointed that you did not include North Carolina in the moratorium,” Cooper wrote in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday. “Offshore drilling threatens North Carolina’s coastal economy and environment and offers our state minimal economic benefit. Accepted science tells us that there is little, if any, oil worth drilling for off North Carolina’s coast, and the risks of offshore drilling far outweigh the benefits.” Cooper said the dangers of offshore drilling would threaten coastal communities by jeopardizing tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, and natural resources that generate $3 billion annually for North Carolina and supports 30,000 jobs. During a virtual briefing last week, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said President Trump would include North Carolina in the executive order if state officials wanted to be. “I don’t know where North Carolina will be, but I talked to the president last night. He said if they wanted to be included in the executive order then he would do that,” Graham said during the Sept. 9 briefing. Forty-five North Carolina communities have adopted formal resolutions opposing the expansion of drilling, Cooper said. In the meantime, Attorney General Josh Stein told WECT on Monday that his office will continue its lawsuit against the Trump administration for approving permits for seismic testing off North Carolina’s coast.
    Read more » click here



    .
    Solid Waste Program

    For more information » 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.
    ///// Outdoor dining at area restaurants
    Name:           Indochine                                                                                                           Cuisine:         Asian
    Location:      7 Wayne Drive, Wilmington NC
    Contact:        910.251.9229 /
    https://www.indochinewilmington.com/
    Food:             Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
    Service:         Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
    Ambience:    Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
    Cost:               Inexpensive <=$18 / Moderate <=$24 / Expensive <=$30 / Exorbitant <=$40
    Rating:          Three Stars
    Indochine is an Asian fusion restaurant serving delicious authentic Asian cuisine. It is a great food establishment; the place is always packed. The food is incredible; the portions are huge, with relatively inexpensive prices. The beautifully decorated environment is delightful both inside and outside and is like a trip to the Orient.  In a nutshell, it is a great value for the price. This is my favorite restaurant in Wilmington. It’s about as good as it gets! They have been voted Best Restaurant Overall, Best Thai Restaurant, Best Atmosphere, numerous years running in the Best of Wilmington done by Encore Magazine.

    Photos: Indochine Restaurant
    Indochine restaurant is located at 7 Wayne Drive in Wilmington. The extremely popular restaurant specializes in Thai and Vietnamese food and opened in 2000. They also feature a large outdoor seating area behind the restaurant.
    Read more » click here


    Cloud 9         
    9 Estell Lee Pl
    Wilmington, North Carolina 28401
    910.726.9226
    https://www.cloud9ilm.com/

    Enjoy panoramic views from the Cloud 9 rooftop bar which overlooks picturesque downtown Wilmington. This premier open-air rooftop venue is located on the Riverwalk in downtown Wilmington on the ninth floor of the Embassy Suites. The bar is open seven (7) days a week at 4:00 PM and is currently serving almost fifty (50) different brews on tap and in cans and more than 20 wine selections. They also offer live music Thursday through Saturday evenings throughout the summer months. This is a must visit the next time you are in Wilmington.


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


ONE MINUTE OUT
by Mark Greaney
This is the ninth entry in the Gray Man novel series. Courtland Gentry the former CIA operative, the world’s most dangerous assassin who is better known as the Gray Man, takes on  an international sex slave cartel. The Gray Man makes it his personal mission to burn the entire operation to the ground, and those who oppose him usually end up dead. Writing in the first-person narrative mode, allows Gentry to speak directly to the reader.

 


  • .That’s it for this newsletter

    See you next month


    Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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

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

    https://lousviews.com/

08 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Emergency Meeting 08/07/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Receive an Update on Current Recovery Operations and Consider Any Required Budgetary Actions Necessary to Respond Thereto – Mayor Holden

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

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

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

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

County has changed contractor and we have an opportunity to piggyback on the County contract. Reimbursement rates are established by FEMA and the contract locks the vendors into a price. It provides the same level of service as if we the primary contract holder. It’s a no brainer.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Update –
The Mayor gave a brief summary regarding the condition of the island

The Town Manager addressed financials, specifically three (3) budget amendments as follows:
.   1 ) Ordinance 20-12, Activate contract that is already in place for  of disaster debris
.     a)
They will not make transfer of funds as budgeted to the Beach & Inlet Capital          .         Reserves Fund
.     b)
Instead they are reprograming the $267,000 which will be used for the projected      .         expenses of the contract
    c)
Most of the damage is primarily on the canal streets
    d)
Island wide debris removal with the exception of our gated communities
.       •
They are researching this since the gated communities are part of the municipality
.   2)
Ordinance 20-13, Appropriate $42,000 from BPART funds for debris removal on the        beach strand
.   3)
Ordinance 20-14, Restore the dunes with sand fencing and vegetation to damaged     .        areas island wide at a cost of $629,000

Ordinance 20-12
Moved funds of $267,603 / beach nourishment
From Revenue account #10.0410.9900 to Expense account #10.0580.4500

Ordinance 20-13
Moved funds of $42,000 / debris removal
From Revenue account #50.0399.0000 to Expense account #50.0710.1801

Ordinance 20-14
Moved funds of $629,400
From Revenue account #50.0399.0000 to Expense accounts
#50.0710.4700 /  $153,400 / sand fencing
#50.0710.1700 / $476,000 / beach vegetation

No federal declaration was made, so we are working with our money
Reimbursement is uncertain
The Board passed three budget amendments for a total expense of $938,000

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Breaking News –
Debris removal for items resulting from Hurricane Isaias will be conducted island wide, including the gated communities. The contractor will be collecting debris through August 25th, so please place your debris curbside in a timely manner. In order to expedite the removal process, follow the rules on sorting. Click here to view the guidelines.


BOC’s Special Meeting / Public Hearing 08/18/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Public Hearing: To Hear Public Comments Regarding Amendments to The Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 157 – Zoning Code (Ordinance 20-11)

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

There were no comments


BOC’s Regular Meeting 08/18/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Engineer’s Report on Potential Paving Costs for Sea Gull Street, Deal Street and Canal Street – Shane Lippard, Right Angle Engineering (Town Manager Hewett)

Agenda Packet –
Engineering Report
For more information » click here

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, and RECOMMENDATIONS
The Town of Holden Beach proposes to pave three existing roads within the Town limits; Seagull Drive, Deal Drive, and Canal Drive. The three streets were created from different property subdivisions that occurred decades ago. Many houses have been constructed over the years along the roads and continue to do so. The roads are primarily compacted soil with some stone that has be placed over the years. The lots were platted, and roadways constructed prior to 1988 on Seagull and Canal, while Deal was constructed under State Stormwater permitting rules. There are existing water and vacuum sewer service mains serving the lots. We would recommend adding ABC base course stone, asphalt pavement, and limit the amount of impervious driveway surfaces. We have provided overall project cost estimates for each road and are included in the figures. Seagull Drive is estimated to be $145,000; Deal Drive is estimated to be $65,200, and Canal Drive is estimated to be $80,962. Total project costs are estimated to be $291,151.

Previously reported – July 2020
Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff to Obtain Probable Costs for the Paving of Sea Gull Street, Deal Street, and Canal Drive – Commissioner Murdock

Agenda Packet –
Deal and Seagull Streets are “Town” streets but are currently unpaved. They are in bad shape with very  little to work with from a maintenance perspective.  New construction has populated these streets to a point where owners are seeking a remedy to improve the streets. Town practice provides for a petition process to occur but an estimate for constructing suitable improvements needs to be obtained prior to a more formal undertaking.

Request the Board of Commissioners direct the Town Manager to obtain a preliminary engineering cost estimate necessary to improve Deal and Seagull Streets. At a minimum – improvements evaluation should address coquina/marl, gravel, and full paving options in addition to any other considerations that are relevant.

NC Chapter 160A, Article 10
§
160A-216.  Authority to make special assessments.
Any city is authorized to make special assessments against benefited property within its corporate limits for:

(1) Constructing, reconstructing, paving, widening, installing curbs and gutters, and otherwise building and improving streets;

§160A-217.  Petition for street or sidewalk improvements.
(a) A city shall have no power to levy special assessments for street or sidewalk improvements unless it receives a petition for the improvements signed by at least a majority in number of the owners of property to be assessed, who must represent at least a majority of all the lineal feet of frontage of the lands abutting on the street or portion thereof to be improved. Unless the petition specifies another percentage, not more than fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the improvement may be assessed (not including the cost of improvements made at street intersections).

For more information » click here

Added Canal Drive to agenda item, they discussed adding other streets too
Board approved getting engineering cost estimate for the three (3) streets listed
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Shane Lippard of Right Angle Engineering made the presentation. He reviewed the engineering report summary conclusion and responded to the Board’s questions. Town Manager proposed that the Town take the lead by submitting the petition for the improvement. That way they only need the property owners consent to proceed.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


2. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Southern Disaster Recovery Contract – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet –
The Town previously entered into a Multi-Jurisdictional Disaster Debris Management contract with Southern Disaster Recovery in 2019. It now appears that local landfills are nearing capacity as shown by the Brunswick County Landfill Disposal Efficiency Report (attached). The contractor may be required to haul debris for longer distances than covered by the terms of the original contract .

The Town will need to amend the original contract to accommodate the longer distance. The proposed amendment is attached.

Amendment to Contract
For more information » click here

Update –
Contractor wants to increase their charges because the local landfills are nearing capacity which will require the contractor to haul debris for longer distances than agreed to. Chris basically took the position that we do not have a lot of squiggle room and we need to accept the proposed contract. Commissioner Sullivan did not agree, he questioned whether the current contract has any provisions that allows them to make revisions to the contract. Commissioner Kwiatkowski inquired, what was the percentage of the rate increase? They agreed to have our attorney look at contract to determine our obligations.

No decision was made – No action taken


Well this is very disappointing

.
Town staff was not prepared to answer two fundamental questions:
    1)
Are their provisions for a rate increase?
    2)
What is the proposed percentage increase?
How do you bring this new contract to the Board without knowing the answers?


3. Update on Current Recovery Operations – Mayor Holden

Previously reported –
According to Holden Beach’s State of Emergency Amendment No. 3, Hurricane Isaias caused extensive damage to beach accesses and significant erosion of the dune and vegetation system

Update –
We are in pretty good shape, particularly compared to our neighbors
Thanked everyone involved – for their efforts
The streets are all cleared and open with no standing water issues
Debris removal for items is ongoing island wide
Contractors are all backed up so if you need work done call and get into the queue
Rentals are extraordinarily strong and rental season will extend well into the fall
Not everyone happy about mandatory evacuation decision for non-residents
Alan said they do the best they can

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Well, you just can’t please everyone!


Previously reported – 2019
Mayor’s Comments
The Town’s Emergency Management Team continuously reviews Town ordinances and our Emergency Plan to ensure compliance with State and Federal laws, guidelines and practices and investigates methods to implement updated information into our plan. The Team also works closely with the County’s Emergency Team and attends their conferences and training opportunities.  

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

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

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

During an emergency, email updates will be issued. 

Being prepared is key to making it through the season.


HURRICANE ISAIAS: Did North Carolina underestimate the storm?
Isaias, which strengthened to a hurricane just before making landfall late Monday, hit Brunswick County on a full moon at high tide
Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden knew his evacuation order was not going to be popular. Like many North Carolina beach towns, summer renters are the lifeblood of the local economy. But as Tropical Storm — later Hurricane — Isaias spun off the Florida coast with a potential path that could bring it close to Southeastern North Carolina, Holden ordered all visitors out of his Brunswick County beach town by 7 p.m. Saturday. Holden Beach was one of only a few communities along the coast — one of the others being the neighboring town of Ocean Isle Beach — to order a mandatory evacuation of non-residents as Isaias approached the Tar Heel State. “Yep, a lot of heat,” the mayor, chuckling, said Wednesday morning about his order. “A lot of heat.” But no one is second guessing Holden’s decision now after Hurricane Isaias slammed into the Brunswick County coast on a full moon at near high tide, pummeling beaches and low-lying areas with powerful wind gusts and 5-foot storm surge that sent sand washing into streets and tossed boats around like rag dolls. Holden Beach didn’t escape unscathed, Holden said, with broken docks and rising waters in its canal systems. But it could have been potentially a lot worse if his island was full of vacationers who don’t know what to do in a hurricane situation. “Blame it on a lifetime of experience and a whole lot of luck,” said the mayor, whose family founded Holden Beach. “We lived real good this time, thank the Lord, but do feel for our neighbors in Ocean Isle Beach and Oak Island.”
Read more » click here


4. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 20-04, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 157: Zoning Code – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
Ordinance  20-04,  An  Ordinance  Amending  the  Holden  Beach  Code  of  Ordinances, Chapter 157: Zoning Code

At the July Board of Commissioners’ meeting, Inspections Director Evans agreed to report back to the Board at the August meeting with his suggestion on final language for Ordinance 20-04. He will provide information for the Board’s discussion at the meeting. Before the ordinance can be approved, a public hearing would need to be scheduled.

Previously reported – June 2019
Agenda Packet –
The Planning Board has approved a proposed ordinance change for consideration by the Board of Commissioners. As you are aware, Commissioners have voiced some concerns over possible future and present issues related to homes that are so large that they pose an impact to the quality environment that the Holden Beach wishes to portray.

This ordinance has been vetted by the planning Department and is similar to other beach town regulation pertaining to the same issues.

Proposed Zoning Ordinances Changes

      • Maximum House Size of 6,000 square feet
      • Progressive Setbacks
      • Protection of Storm Water Discharge through Reduction
      • Traffic Reduction
      • Reduced Parking Density
      • Reduction of Trash refuse
      • Improve Quality of Life
      • Increase Lot Open Space
      • Decrease Potential Secondary Storm Debris

Clear, concise, easily understood presentation by Timbo. This has been a major issue for years. He said that he attempted to be fair and equitable for everyone. Well thought out, benchmarked other beach town regulations and the Planning Board has already signed off on the proposal. Proposal would not be changing the dynamics of what has been done before; but homes will fit better on the lots now. Next step is for staff to put this into an Ordinance format.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – October 2019
Agenda Packet –
Attached is the proposed ordinance for maximum house size construction that Inspections Director Evans sent to Attorney Fox for review per the Board’s direction. Attorney Fox suggested that the new attorney selected by the Board have the opportunity to review it before action is taken. If the Board agrees a motion to send it to the new attorney should be made.

New Town attorney will work on language that is both lawful and enforceable.
Consensus of the Board is to put item on the agenda at the November Regular Meeting

Previously reported – January 2020
Agenda Packet –
Attached is a presentation provided by Inspections Director Evans at a previous meeting. Based on the presentation, the Board directed him to prepare an ordinance around his description for house size limitation and provide it to the attorney before it is presented to the Board for review. The item is on the agenda for the attorney to issue comments and guidance to the Board

Item was removed from the agenda yet again

Previously reported – February 2020
Agenda Packet –
The Board directed Inspections Director Evans to prepare an ordinance around his description for house size limitation and provide it to the attorney before it was presented to the Board for review. Attorney Carpenter has advised me that she does not have any concerns with the ordinance prepared by Inspections Director Evans. It is enclosed for your review.

We have been working on this issue for at least the last five (5) years. Timbo did not make slide presentation since he has made this same presentation numerous times already. The abridged version is simply that you can’t build as big a house that you could before. State statutes require that the governing board hold a public hearing prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any ordinance regulating development. Therefore, it was decided to schedule a Public Hearing before the next Regular BOC’s meeting so they can adopt the Ordinance.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Previously reported – July 2020

Agenda Packet –
§157.060 RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT (R-1).
. (D) Dimensional requirements R-1.

.     (1) Lot area. Minimum required:
.        (a) For a one-family dwelling,5,000 square feet.
.        (b) For a two-family dwelling, 7,500 square feet.
.     (2) Lot width. Minimum required: 50 feet.
.     (3) Front Yard Setbacks per structure size:
.            <4000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 25 Feet
.            4000 < 5000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 30 Feet
.            5000 > 6000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 35 Feet
.    (4) Side Yard Setbacks per Structure Size:
.           4000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 5 feet
.           4000 < 5000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 7 Feet
.           5000 > 6000 Square Feet Minimum Required:10 Feet
.        (a) Open porches, decks, or overhangs shall not extend into minimum setbacks
.    (5) Rear Yard Setbacks Per structure S1ze
.            <4000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 20 Feet
.            4000 < 5000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 25 Feet
.            5000 > 6000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 30 Feet
.    (7) Lot coverage.
.       (a) Lot coverage of main structure shall not exceed 30% of the platted lot. If structure is 4000 square feet or greater then lot coverage cannot be greater than 25 percent. If structure coverage is 5000 square feet or greater lot coverage is limited to 20 percent.
.   (12) Minimum floor area of building 750 square feet of heated space.
.       (a) Maximum Structure Size of any dwelling shall be 6000 Square Feet
.   (13) Open uncovered stairs, not including any deck or landing at porch level, may project up to ten feet into the required front or rear yards of structures <4000 Square Feet, but not both.

Proposed Ordinance » click here

They didn’t make a decision at this meeting because they needed clarification regarding square footage verbiage, otherwise we are good to go. Request was made for Inspections Director Evans to bring back to the Board at the next Regular Meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken


Oak Island leaders tackling issue of ‘mini-hotels’
Some Oak Island leaders are again tackling the complex issue of when a one- or two-family dwelling becomes not just a house but, as they call it, a “mini-hotel.” The question has vexed coastal communities that are economically dependent on short-term rentals for years. The concerns include noise, overcrowding, parking, fire safety and the general use of “single-family” residential areas. One and two-family dwellings are exempt from state fire codes. The question has become “What constitutes a single-family dwelling, versus a small hotel?” Earlier local attempts to limit the number of bedrooms or bathrooms were squashed by the state General Assembly. House sizes in most residentially zoned areas of Oak Island are restricted to 4,000 square feet unless the applicant obtains a special use permit, which puts the cap at 5,000 square feet. Local leaders have also included off-street parking requirements in an effort to limit so-called “mega-houses.” The results are a mixed bag. A quick look at a popular short-term rental website showed several houses – including at least one built in the past year – offering 19 or more beds. Oak Island Mayor Ken Thomas said he’s seen places stating they could sleep more than 20 people. “Some of them sleep up to 38,” he said. “I want the builders to build,” Thomas said. “But we have to have integrity, safety and morality, and put sprinkler systems in these larger houses.” Oak Island’s unified development ordinance (UDO), adopted in October 2018, states that temporary rental “for the occupancy of more than 14 individuals shall be without further administrative action immediately thereby classified as a hotel/motel use of property and considered a non-permitted use in that residential district…” “The reason it continues is the failure of code enforcement to act,” said Planning Board Chairman Bob Carpenter. He raised the issue at the June meeting. Thomas said regardless of the 14-person limit, the town should consider requiring fire suppression systems in larger houses, especially those at the ends of the water system where fire hydrant flows can be half or one-third the available water along most of the rest of the town. “I want to see build-out,” Thomas said. “But I also want to see safety.” Development Services Director Steve Edwards said town officials are compiling lists of short-term rentals and their advertised occupancy. Those built after the UDO was adopted in October 2018 are required to comply with the 14-person limit, he said. “There is action on these properties,” he said. There is a balance between long- and short-term rentals and the town cannot be more restrictive than state rules, said Edwards.
Read more » click here

Update –
Timbo clarified that square feet by definition should read gross floor area. He also pointed out that the proposed changes to the Inlet Hazard Areas by the Coastal Resource Commission (CRC) made clear their intention to restrict dwellings to a maximum structure of 5,000 square feet. Request was made for Inspections Director Evans bring a final version with the changes that they discussed to the next Regular Meeting.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


5. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 20-11, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinance Title XV: Land Usage (Ordinance cannot be adopted until after 24 hours from the time of the public hearing) – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
Ordinance 20-11, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Title XV: Land Usage

As previously discussed, new regulations on remote meetings include a provision to allow public hearings to be held during an authorized remote meeting, but there is an added requirement for written public comment. A local board may conduct any public hearing required or authorized by law during a remote meeting, but the board must allow written comments on the subject of the public hearing to be submitted between publication of the notice and 24 hours after the public hearing.

The Town is not technically meeting remotely since the Board is in attendance at Town Hall, but since the public is not, we should abide by the new regulation. I recommend the Board recess to a date/time certain or wait until the next meeting to vote on the ordinance in order to accommodate this new regulation.

Update –
Housekeeping item
They just had the Public Hearing, so they can proceed with Ordinance adoption
Unable to approve tonight
They are required to wait twenty-four (24) hours after the Public Hearing

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously


6. Discussion and Possible Selection of a Firm to Perform a System Development Fee Study – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet –
The Town solicited proposals from qualified professionals to update our Water & Sewer System Development Fee Analysis. Two firms submitted proposals: The Wooten Company, an engineering firm and Raftelis, financial professionals.

The proposals are included in theBoard’s packets for your review. Staff seeks guidance on the Board’s preferred firm.


System Development Fee Study – Proposal 1 / Raftelis
For more information » click here



System Development Fee Study –
Proposal 2 / The Wooten Company
For more information » click here
.


Update –
Request was for qualifications only, that is why there is no cost in their proposals. Brief discussion, consensus was this was more of a financial rather than an engineering issue. Board directed the Town Manager to proceed to get a proposed contract from Raftelis the financial firm that responded.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 20-06, Resolution Regarding the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Holden Beach’s Recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the Passage of the 19th Amendment Providing Women the Right to Vote – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet –
RESOLUTION 20-06
RESOLUTION REGARDING THE GFWC OF HOLDEN BEACH’S RECOGNITION OF THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PASSAGE OF THE 19th AMENDMENT PROVIDING WOMEN THE RIGHT TO VOTE

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT:

WHEREAS, The 19th Amendment recognized the significance of women’s suffrage, which when ratified in 1920, affirmed the citizenship of more than 26 million women and granted them a mechanism to empower themselves, their families, and their communities; and

WHEREAS, The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920; and

WHEREAS, The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and offers an unparalleled opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy .

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town of Holden Beach is proud to recognize that the ratification of the 19th Amendment marked the end of a three-generation struggle to win the right to vote, for women; and

BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, that the Town of Holden Beach supports GFWC (General Federation of Women’s Clubs) of Holden Beach’s celebration of the 100th Anniversary of women winning the right to vote.

Update –
In a week marking the hundredth anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, the Town is giving recognition to this important milestone.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8. Discussion and Possible Approval or Resolution 20-07, Resolution Approving BB&T Signature Card – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet –
RESOLUTION 20-07
RESOLUTION APPROVING BB&T SIGNATURE CARD

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach currently holds accounts with BB&T; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach and BB&T requires approval of the signatures to be placed on the BB&T Signature Card.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners that Mayor J. Alan Holden, Mayor Pro Tern Gerald Brown, Town Manager David W. Hewett and Budget & Fiscal Analyst Daniel McRainey be designated as the official signatories for the Town of Holden Beach’s BB&T account.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the official signatories selected visit the Holden Beach branch of BB&T to sign the necessary official paperwork .

Update –
Housekeeping item – update of signatories

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


9. Clarification of Storm Debris Pickup for Gated Neighborhoods – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
background information not provided

Originally it was announced that they would provide island wide debris removal with the exception of our gated communities. This is not a Town decision but rather it is a FEMA requirement for reimbursement.  The gated communities can move debris to the public rights-of-way outside of the gated community. Although that does not seem to be practical or viable on our island. The Board decided and announced debris removal will be conducted island wide, including the gated communities. We will not be reimbursed for debris removal from the gated communities. To be clear,  the Board will need to decide on a case by case basis for each storm event whether to pay for debris removal in the gated communities.


  • 10. Discussion and Possible Approval to Change Regular Meeting Starting Time – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
  • Item was added to the agenda


    Proposal was to make the Regular Meeting starting time earlier during the period when public attendance is prohibited. Change is contingent on that it is acceptable to the Town staff; the motion is to move future meetings to 5:00pm.

    A decision was made – Approved unanimously


11. Town Manager’s Report


Mosquito Control
Current EPA protocol is that spraying is complaint driven

Urged everyone to call Town Hall if they have mosquito issues so that they can spray
They are spraying  but they are unable to just spray as they had in the past

Hurricane Isaias Engineer’s Analysis
Initial analysis indicates that losses are not as bad as we had feared

Hurricane Debris
Island debris being removed with cutoff date of Tuesday, August 25th
Beach strand debris removal has been completed
Removal of damaged post and rope/sand fencing has begun, working from East to West

Occupancy Tax Receipts
Revenues still good, we are at 111% which is ahead of the projections we put in the budget

Audit Status
On schedule, auditor completed field work July 29th
Initial report “no findings” subject to review

Central Reach Project / Beach Nourishment

Previously reported –
January 2020
The sand search continues.  The hydrography survey and vibracores have been completed. However, we were told that an archeological side beam scan is required before we can submit for permit modification. Offshore investigation is moving forward expecting that it will be completed soon.

Previously reported – February 2020
Surveyor left for another opportunity, so we had to source a second surveyor
Work should be completed by the end of February
We need to submit permit revisions by the end of April

Previously reported – April 2020
Bad weather has compromised bathymetry
.       •
The measurement of depth of water
Now looking at May / June completion date

Previously reported – May 2020
Working on requirements for archeological survey; plan to submit permit sometime in June

Previously reported – June 2020
On schedule plan to submit permit sometime in August

Editor’s Note –
How is this on schedule? This was supposed to be completed in February.

Update –
The sand search has been completed
Anticipate submitting permit by the end of this month

Federal Project
Submitted Letter of Intent using existing authorization which could make us eligible to be included in workplan as early as next Spring. Therefore, we will wait to submit 7001 application until we know how that plays out.

Congressman Rouzer
He toured the island to view storm damages unable to tell us when or if  a Federal Declaration would be made for Brunswick County.

NC DPS Special Project Manager
North Carolina Department of Public Safety  project manager also paid us a visit. Unofficially, we were informed that FEMA is not recognizing beach strand damages in determining amount for federal disaster declarations.

Coastal Engineering Services RFQ
Solicited Request for Quotation from a number of qualified firms, only one (1) response was received

Recreation Programs
Continuing to adapt due to coronavirus restrictions
Concerts are cancelled for this season

In Case You Missed It –

HB Bridge Safety Railing Project
Contract was awarded October 29, 2018
Completion date for the contract to be October 1, 2019
Work on the bridge safety railing has been delayed
COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in delayed fabrication and delivery of the rail
Work is scheduled to resume on June 15th

Previously reported – June 2020
Work started a week before the date it was scheduled to resume. The existing concrete railing structure doesn’t meet the 48” minimum safety standard height requirement  guidelines for cycling and pedestrians. The existing railing is only 27″ high, the newly installed railing adds another  21” which gets us up to the 48” minimum safety standard height requirement.  Just so you know, work has not been completed yet.

Previously reported – July 2020
Project is approximately 35% completed, railing is currently out of stock
Railing should be installed sometime at the end of August or beginning of September

Update –
The contractor who is installing the rail on the HB Bridge intends to resume work on the project on August 16th. Work should be completed by August 20th.  Just so you know, as of today the work has not been completed yet.


  • 12. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(6) to Discuss Qualifications, Competence, Performance of a Public Officer or Employee – Commissioners Sullivan

    No decision was made – No action taken


    13. Police Report

Police Patch
Busy month, typical for this time of the year
Typical summertime fun at the beach
Home stretch, only twenty (20) days left to Labor Day (09/07/20)

 

We are just beginning the Hurricane Season – make sure your plans are in order
If the Town declares a mandatory evacuation, PLEASE LEAVE


Public Safety Announcement
The Police Department would like to remind everyone that it is important to protect your personal property. Remove all items of value from your vehicle when you are not driving it. Always lock your vehicle doors when you are not in it. Leaving items on display, whether on the dashboard or sitting on a passenger seat, is an invitation to opportunist individuals. Make sure to follow these important tips!


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
Pets must be on a leash at all times on the island.
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.


  • Loose Ends (14)
          1. Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy January 2019
          2. Fee Based Rollout of Containers January 2019
          3. Commercial District / Zoning February 2019
          4. Development Fees April 2019                                               August agenda item
          5. Parking October 2019
          6. Mega-Houses / Zoning October 2019                                  August agenda item
          7. Audit Remedial Policies & Procedures November 2019
          8. Land Use Plan January 2020                                                 July agenda item
          9. Dog Park January 2020                                                          July agenda item
          10. 796 OBW January 2020
          11. Speed Limit January 2020                                                      July agenda item
          12. IBPB – Dune Protection Game Plan February 2020
          13. Beach Patrol April 2020                                                         June agenda item
          14. VRBO Action Plans April 2020

    General Comments –

    Due to the Town of Holden Beach’s State of Emergency Restrictions and Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order, in person public attendance is prohibited. The meeting will be livestreamed on the Town’s Facebook page. Visit https://www.facebook.com/holdenbeachtownhall/ to watch the livestream.


    Since this Board was elected it’s been like “kumbaya.”


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


    Currently, North Carolina is severely undercounted in the 2020 Census. We are on track to lost $74 billion in federal funding over the next decade. These are our tax dollars, hard earned and rightfully ours, and this funding is critical. The only way to access that money is to be fully counted. 

    Here’s what it will affect:
    – Roads and transportation 
    – Early education 
    – Senior services
    – Veterans services
    – Infrastructure that supports local businesses
    – Rural development
    – Emergency services
    – Military resources
    – Parks and recreation programs

    If you have not yet responded to the 2020 Census, do so immediately. It takes less than 10 minutes. All information is confidential and specific information is unable to be accessed by law for 72 years. All that matters is that you are counted, since federal funds will be distributed by population.

    Help keep our community strong.

    You can respond immediately online or by phone:
    Online: https://my2020census.gov/
    Phone: ​844-330-2020​

    The 2020 Census will now end on September 30th, one month before the previously announced deadline. We are running out of time to get all North Carolinians counted. As of July 31st, 41 percent of NC households have NOT completed the 2020 Census. That’s more than four million North Carolinians who have not completed the census.

    Every response makes a difference.

    A Census response brings $1,823 per person, per year in federal and state funds back to NC counties and towns.

    That’s $18,230 over the decade.
    For a family of five, that’s $91,150.
    For a neighborhood of 150, that’s $2,734,000.
    For a community of 1,200, that’s $21,876,000.

    Every single response truly makes a difference.​​


  • Hurricane #1 - CR

     


    Hurricane Season

    For more information » click here

    Be prepared – have a plan!

    .

    .
    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.”

    2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Fast Facts
    The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The areas covered include the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.

    The National Weather Service defines a hurricane as a “tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

    Hurricanes are rated according to intensity of sustained winds on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

    The 1-5 scale estimates potential property damage.
    A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.
    The National Hurricane Center advises preparedness:

      • A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that a region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.
      • A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours.

    Read more » click here

    THB EMERGENCY INFORMATION

    EVACUATION, CURFEW & DECALS

    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.

    Busy Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2020
    Multiple climate factors indicate above-normal activity is most likely
    An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
    Read more » click here

  • 3 North Carolina counties lead U.S. in hurricane impacts since 2010
    Brunswick, Hyde and Dare counties each had 10 hurricane-based FEMA emergency declarations between 2010 and 2019
    A new report quantifies what many North Carolina residents already know: They have faced a lot of hurricanes over the past decade — reinforced most recently by last week’s Hurricane Isaias. The report is by the ValuePenguin financial advice website. It states that from 2010 through 2019, Brunswick County on the southern North Carolina coast and Dare and Hyde counties along the state’s northeast coast each had 10 hurricane-based Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) emergencies. Those three counties tied for first place nationally.
    Read more » click here


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


    Do you enjoy this newsletter?
    Then please forward it to a friend!


    Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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

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

    https://lousviews.com/

08 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / August Edition


Calendar of Events –

Most events have either been postponed or cancelled


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 –

All programs are temporarily on hold


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


Reminders –


Currently, North Carolina is severely undercounted in the 2020 Census. We are on track to lost $74 billion in federal funding over the next decade. These are our tax dollars, hard earned and rightfully ours, and this funding is critical. The only way to access that money is to be fully counted.

Here’s what it will affect:
– Roads and transportation
– Early education
– Senior services
– Veterans services
– Infrastructure that supports local businesses
– Rural development
– Emergency services
– Military resources
– Parks and recreation programs

If you have not yet responded to the 2020 Census, do so immediately. It takes less than 10 minutes. All information is confidential and specific information is unable to be accessed by law for 72 years. All that matters is that you are counted, since federal funds will be distributed by population.

Help keep our community strong.

You can respond immediately online or by phone:
Online: https://my2020census.gov/
Phone: ​844-330-2020​

The 2020 Census will now end on September 30th, one month before the previously announced deadline. We are running out of time to get all North Carolinians counted. As of July 31st, 41 percent of NC households have NOT completed the 2020 Census. That’s more than four million North Carolinians who have not completed the census.

Every response makes a difference.

A Census response brings $1,823 per person, per year in federal and state funds back to NC counties and towns.

That’s $18,230 over the decade.
For a family of five, that’s $91,150.
For a neighborhood of 150, that’s $2,734,000.
For a community of 1,200, that’s $21,876,000.

Every single response truly makes a difference.​​



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.
* 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 23rd through September 5th

 

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 23rd twice a week

Recyclingstarting May 26th weekly pick-up


Waste Management Wants Consumers to Pay More as It Moves More Trash
Working from home, Americans produce more household waste, resulting in higher costs for trash haulers
Read more » click here


Vehicle Decals
The 2020 vehicle decals were distributed with the March water bills. Each bill included four (4) vehicle decals. It is important that you place your decals in your vehicle or in a safe place. A $10 fee will be assessed to anyone who needs to obtain either additional or replacement decals. Decals will not be issued in the 24-hour period before an anticipated order of evacuation.

The decals are your passes to get back onto the island to check your property in the event that an emergency would necessitate restricting access to the island. Decals must be displayed in the driver side lower left-hand corner of the windshield, where they are not obstructed by any other items. Officials must be able to clearly read the decal from outside the vehicle.

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 the Town website to find out more information regarding decals and emergency situations.


It is still early in the Atlantic hurricane season. Check to make sure your 2020 decals are affixed to your vehicle’s windshield. If you need additional decals, send a self-addressed stamped envelope, along with a check for the decals to Town Hall. Make sure you check for your decals now; they are not sold during an emergency situation.  


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 10th 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) Sixteenth year of the program
. 2) Food collections have now exceeded 273,000 pounds
. 3)
Collections will begin on June 6th and run through September 12th
. 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


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!


Building Numbers
Ocean front homes are required to have house numbers visible from the beach strand.
Please call Planning and Inspections Department at 910.842.6080 with any questions.

§157.087 BUILDING NUMBERS.

(A) The correct street number shall be clearly visible from the street on all buildings. Numbers shall be block letters, not script, and of a color clearly in contrast with that of the building and shall be a minimum of six inches in height.

(B) Beach front buildings will also have clearly visible house numbers from the strand side meeting the above criteria on size, contrast, etc. Placement shall be on vertical column supporting deck(s) or deck roof on the primary structure. For buildings with a setback of over 300 feet from the first dune line, a vertical post shall be erected aside the walkway with house numbers affixed. In all cases the numbers must be clearly visible from the strand. Other placements may be acceptable with approval of the Building Inspector.



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


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


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


Recycling-Bin
Curbside Recycling

Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $93.29 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

 

Recycling renewal form was sent, you should have gotten e-mail letter already


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.


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


Coronavirus –

Brunswick County COVID-19 Snapshot: as of August 10th

Key Points

    • As of Monday, Aug. 10, there are now 1,259 positive cases of COVID-19 among county residents (1,055 considered recovered, 172 isolating at 141 different homes, 11 hospitalized, 21 deaths)
    • Eight more deaths related to the virus have occurred in the past two weeks, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related fatalities to 21 residents and two non-residents
    • North Carolina’s Safer at Home Phase 2 continues to at least Friday, Sept. 11; continue to avoid social gatherings, stay home when possible and practice the three W’s (wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, wash hands often) to help us keep on track the next few weeks and over Labor Day Weekend

  • State of Emergency – Timeline

    08/05/20
    Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 155 which extends the state’s “Safer At Home” Phase 2 measures for five (5)  additional weeks until at least September 11, 2020. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

    07/28/20
    Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 153 which restricts late-night service of alcoholic beverages. The governor also said that bars will remain closed as North Carolina continues efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Click here
    to view the Executive Order details.

    07/14/20
    Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 151 which extends the state’s Safer At Home Phase 2 measures for three additional weeks until at least August 7, 2020. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

    06/26/20
    Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 147 which pauses the state’s Phase 2 economic reopening’s for three additional weeks went into effect at 5:00 p.m. Friday, June 26. The Governor announced that the new face covering requirement in public places statewide is to slow the spread of the virus during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

    06/02/20
    With the exception of the playground and splash pad, Bridgeview Park is now open. Click here to view Amendment No. 10 of the Town’s State of Emergency.

    This amended declaration shall remain in force until rescinded or amended.

    05/29/20
    With the exception of Bridgeview Park (across from Town Hall), Town recreational areas are now open. Click here to view Amendment No. 9 of the Town’s State of Emergency.

    05/22/20
    Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 141 which is a transition to Phase 2 of a three-part plan to reopen North Carolina amid the coronavirus pandemic went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, May 22. The Governor announced that they are lifting the Stay at Home order and shifting to a Safer at Home recommendation. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

    05/18/20
    Public restroom facilities are now open. Click here to view Amendment No. 8.

    05/08/20
    Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 138 to modify North Carolina’s stay-at-home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions. Phase 1of Governor Cooper’s three-part plan to reopen North Carolina amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8. It’s the first step in the state’s gradual return to normalcy. Phase two is expected to begin two to three weeks after phase one, given that certain conditions are met. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

    04/30/20
    Having consulted in an emergency meeting with the Board of Commissioners, the terms of the State of Emergency have been amended. Highlights include the following: rentals may resume as of May 8th; and public parking and public accesses are open immediately. All other restrictions remain in full force. Click here to view Amendment No.7.

    04/19/20
    Item #9 of the existing Town of Holden Beach State of Emergency, which was made effective on April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., shall hereby be rescinded at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. This action will thus allow the beach strand to be open for the purpose of exercise and relaxation. No congregating shall be allowed. All other parts of the current declaration of emergency shall remain in effect. Click here to view Amendment No. 6.

    04/08/20
    Emergency Management Director, in consultation with the Commissioners, have decided to close the beach strand effective Wednesday, April 8 at 11:59pm. Today’s Amendment No. 5 is being added to the existing Declaration of the State of Emergency. Any person who violates any provision of this declaration or any provision of any Executive Order issued by the Governor shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of sixty days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine per offense.
    Click here to view Amendment No. 5.

    04/01/20
    Town of Holden Beach has declared a State of Emergency, Amendment No. 4 is an attempt to define the purpose of the original declaration more clearly (no new tenancy).
    Click here to view Amendment No. 4.

    03/31/20
    The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended to coincide with Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order. Click here to view the Amendment No. 3.

    03/27/20
    Governor Cooper announces Executive Order No. 121, state-wide Stay at Home Order. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

    03/27/20
    The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended regarding short-term rentals. Click here to view the Amendment No. 2.

    03/23/20
    The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended regarding prohibitions and restrictions to be implemented within the Town of Holden Beach.
    Click here to view the Amendment No. 1.

    03/23/20
    Mayor Holden, with the consensus of all five commissioners, has declared a State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach. Click here to view the Declaration.

    Coronavirus Information
    The Town Hall is currently open during normal business hours. All activities, with the exception of Board of Commissioners’ meetings, scheduled in the Town Hall Public Assembly and conference rooms and the Emergency Operations Center conference rooms are canceled until further notice. The Town encourages residents to follow social distancing protocols and to seek communication options like phone, email and other online resources to limit exposure to others.

    Brunswick County has developed a dedicated webpage for community assistance. Click here to view their website. Remember to seek the most verified information from sources likes the CDC, NC DHHS and the county regarding the coronavirus. You can contact the Brunswick County Public Health Call Line at (910) 253-2339 Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. You can also email them at coronavirus@brunswickcountync.gov. The NC Public Health Call Line can be reached at 866-462-3821 (open 24/7).

    The situation is serious; take it seriously!

    You may not be interested in the coronavirus, but it is interested in you.


    Upon Further Review –


    Previously reported – August 2019
    PAR Course / Fitness Trail
    Par Course is a fitness trail which consists of a course equipped with a series of stations distributed along the way where one is to stop and perform a specific exercise. The course is designed for exercising the human body to promote good health. March of 2011 the BOC’s approved a contract between the Town and Holden Beach Enterprises for the purchase of eighteen properties for $76,000 that had a tax assessment value of $1,976,020. The properties were zoned conservation and are located on the second row, between Greensboro and Scotch Bonnet.

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

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

  • We still have not completely implemented plan
  • that was approved some nine (9) years ago.

    Previously reported – August 2019

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

    According to Brunswick County tax records, the house belongs to Elisabeth Schaider. County records list her permanent address as 359 Timber Cove Drive, Whiteville. Planning and inspections director Evans said the homeowner has never applied for a permit. Evans says the property owner claims the house was damaged during Hurricane Florence.  The owner(s) have approached Evans on multiple occasions yet have never filed an application for a permit, he said. “I am as baffled as anyone,” Evans said, adding that the house is entirely gutted. With no way to provide power to the cottage, Evans is not able to issue a permit.
    Read more » click here

    Nothing has been done from one (1) year ago.


  • 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.

    Previously reported – January 2020
    Dog park was utilized for canal dredging spoil site. We did some site ditching prior to Hurricane Dorian storm event to facilitate draining of the pond.

    Intent is to reestablish pre-dredge capabilities which in order of priority are as follows:
    . 1.
    Permitted primary disaster debris management area
    . 2.
    Public Works lay down yard
    . 3.
    Dog Park

    Must maintain compliance with environmental permit and monitoring
    Safety is the priority for this site, at present it is not ready for use


    Four people spoke during the Public Comments session at the January BOC’s meeting, all in favor of creating a new Dog Park area. The park was utilized by people daily. We no longer have anywhere on the island to walk a dog safely. The nearest dog park for off leash activity is in Shallotte. I think we should make every effort to provide an area for dogs on the island. My recommendation is to utilize existing town property. The Town actually owns quite a bit of property. For instance, we have two parcels between BAW and OBW, across from Marker Fifty-Five, that were platted as streets but never put in; between High Point Street and Neptune Drive. We had previously discussed the possibility of creating parking areas out of them, one of them could be made into a dog park. Parking should be on the BAW side of the park, so it doesn’t get taken over by guests going to the beach. The designated area would be an additional recreational opportunity as well as an option for having dogs off their leashes instead of in unauthorized areas like the beach strand. As for allocating funds the cost should be paid for by the canal POA’s. You ask: Why? In April of 2014 we established the Dog Park on Town owned property at Scotch Bonnet Drive, at a cost of $19,000 sourced from BPART account. The Canal Dredging Project was mostly paid for from the Water Resources Development Grant of $1,439,922 which we secured in December 2017. According to Town Manager Hewett, “the Canal Dredging Project is paying all costs for the reconstitution of the Scotch Bonnet site to include installation of dog park facilities at that location.” That’s all well and good but meanwhile we do not have a dog park. It is my humble opinion that the right thing to do is for them to pay to create a temporary replacement dog park too.

    NRPA Park Pulse: Americans Agree Dog Parks Benefit Local Communities
    Local parks and recreation agencies provide dog parks for the areas they serve
    Each month, through a poll of Americans that is focused on park and recreation issues, NRPA Park Pulse helps tell the park and recreation story. Questions span from the serious to the more lighthearted. With this month’s poll, we look at the possible benefits dog parks bring to their communities.

    91% of Americans believe dog parks provide benefits to their communities

    Availability of dog parks is especially popular among millennials (94 percent) and Gen Xers (92 percent) followed by baby boomers (89 percent) who agree dog parks provide benefits to communities.

    Top 3 Community Dog Park Benefits:

        • 60% Gives dogs a safe space to exercise and roam around freely
        • 48% Allows dogs to socialize with other dogs
        • 36% Allows owners a chance to be physically active with their pet

    For more information » click here

  • Previously reported – July 2020
    BOC’s are cognizant that the residents want a dog park. The Board went with Option #2 – Request the Parks and Recreation Committee to include a new dog park in their upcoming Master Plan development efforts and recommend a possible site.


    Corrections & Amplifications –


    Holden Bridge Safety Railing Project

    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.

    A decision was made – Approved (4-1)

    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.

    A decision was made – Approved unanimously

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

    Previously reported – February 2019
    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.

    Previously reported – October 2019
    The work on the bridge will not be finished until at least March of 2020 due to the decorative guard rail we selected.
    Contract was awarded October 29, 2018 with the completion date for the contract to be October 1, 2019

    Previously reported – April 2020
    Traffic Alert
    The contractor for the Department of Transportation is scheduled, weather permitting, to remobilize on Monday, April 27th to begin the rail retrofit work on the Holden Beach Bridge. Work will be conducted 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mondays – Thursdays and 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Fridays. Drivers should expect delays due to lane closures during these times and should use caution in the work area.



    Bridge Safety Railing Project
    Work on the bridge safety railing has been delayed. COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in delayed fabrication and delivery of the rail. Work is scheduled to resume on June 15th.


    I am shocked – shocked – that almost no work was done on the bridge safety railing project. Let me get this straight, they are going to do the project at the busiest time of the year on the island.

    You can’t make this stuff up!


    Previously reported – June 2020
    Work started a week before the date it was scheduled to resume. The existing concrete railing structure doesn’t meet the 48” minimum safety standard height requirement guidelines for cycling and pedestrians. The existing railing is only 27″ high, the newly installed railing adds another 21” which gets us up to the 48” minimum safety standard height requirement.

    Tah-Dah!

    Previously reported – July 2020
    Project is approximately 35% completed, railing is currently out of stock
    Should be installed sometime at the end of August or beginning of September

    Update –
    The contractor who is installing the rail on the HB Bridge intends to resume work on the project on August 16th, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Work should be completed by August 20th. 


    Bridge
    In 1986 a new high-rise bridge replaced the turn-table bridge structure that was built in 1954.

    Of all the bridges to the Brunswick beaches the one to Holden Beach appears to be the highest and hooks far to the right as you get to the ocean side.

    Why is the bridge so high?
    N.C. Department of Transportation Division 3 Bridge Program Manager Amanda Glynn explained the vertical clearance over the Intracoastal Waterway channel is 65 feet from mean high water – the U.S. Coast Guard’s requirement for minimum vertical clearance – on all the Brunswick beach bridges.

    Why does it hook?
    To reach the required vertical clearance over the main channel at Holden Beach, the bridge had to turn to allow enough room to tie it to the elevation on the island.  “If the bridge had continued straight, it would have had a very steep slope so that it could intersect with Ocean Boulevard,” Glynn explained. 

    Why is the retaining wall so low?”
    The retaining wall is actually a barrier rail, constructed to meet the design standards in effect in 1985 when the bridge was built.


  • Turtle Watch Program

Turtle Watch Program – 2020
. 1) Current nest count – 63 as of 08/22/20
.
Average annual number of nests is 39.5
. 2)
First nest of the season was on May 11th

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

>

Only three of 45 unhatched sea turtle nests in Holden Beach survived Isaias
Holden Beach officials announced on Friday that nearly all of the unhatched sea turtle nests on the island were wiped out by Hurricane Isaias. Accordingto a Facebook post by the town, a total of 45 nests were identified along the Holden Beach shoreline prior to the storm’s arrival. After Isaias swept through Brunswick County earlier this week, only three of those nests managed to survive the storm’s wrath. “Turtle Patrol members will monitor these nests with the hope of seeing hatchlings later in the season. And, we will continue to look for signs of new turtle nests each morning,” the post stated. Sea turtle nesting season on North Carolina beaches typically runs from May to August.
Read more » click here


Odds & Ends –


Visitor Map
Click here to view a printable version of the Town’s Visitor Map. Click here to check out the Google Map version. The map features public accessways, parking, handicap parking, restrooms/port-a-johns, showers, handicap accesses and parks.



Seasonal Police Officers

 


  • .
    Previously reported – June 2020
    Commissioner Sullivan requested a committee investigate the feasibility of hiring seasonal part-time police officers for the next budget year. The motion tasked the committee with looking into this option. Both Pat and Mike volunteered to be on the committee.

Editor’s note –
The Town of Holden Beach has 575 permanent residents and this year we have budgeted for ten (10) full-time officers and zero (0) part-time officers. By contrast, The Town of Ocean Isle Beach has 554 permanent residents and
employs thirteen (13) full-time officers and ten (10) part-time seasonal officers.

Holden Beach ponders seasonal police help for 2021
Holden Beach commissioners are looking into the possibility of hiring summer law enforcement officers for the 2021 season. At a meeting last Thursday, July 2, the board started evaluating and discussing what is needed for that to happen. At the last board meeting June 16, Town Manager David Hewett, Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon and commissioners Pat Kwiatkowski and Mike Sullivan were tasked with investigating part-time officer options. “When the commissioners did their objectives, one of the things around the police department was making sure we are addressing the sore spots that our residents raise all the time,” Kwiatkowski said. The three main “sore spots” Kwiatkowski wants part-time officers to address include dogs on the beach, accumulation of glass from alcoholic beverages in the sand and inappropriate vehicle actions including speeding, parking violations and misuse of golf carts. Sullivan said the overall goal in adding additional officers in summer months is to patrol the island better and take care of enforcement. While officers handle the law enforcement side of things, Kwiatkowski discussed the possibility of having rangers or others handle civil issues like parking tickets and dog warnings. Hewett posed the question, “Are we going to have a debate or discussion on whether or not it should be police officers? Can we have civilians cite civil citations? So, we’re open-minded toward the flavor of Kool-Aid here. It’s trying to ascertain what we might mix of the workforce.” To get a better idea of what works and what does not, the group decided to look into what other beach towns are doing. Kwiatkowski said that Ocean Isle Beach and Emerald Island use part-time officers and might be good to talk to town officials to see the good, the bad and the ugly. Similarly, Dixon said it may be good to consider what towns that do not use part-time police are doing, to see the flipside. Dixon volunteered to call up other police chiefs to see what their towns are doing to properly manage their beaches. During their next meeting, the group wanted to dig more into methods other towns use. Other considerations the group brought up included the scheduling and date range of officers. According to Hewett, typically, additional help is hired between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but he said he would look more into a possible range date. Dixon suggested keeping part-time help on reserve for when hurricane season arrives as well. The commissioners, Hewett and Dixon also weighed costs other than salary. Sullivan said they would have to purchase weapons and provide a mode of transportation, whether that be a Gator, car, golf cart or motor scooter. Kwiatkowski said before purchasing weapons, they would need to determine the purpose of the officer since the civil side of the job description did not require a gun. In the meantime, Dixon said he could look into the full cost for gear and figure out what transportation options are available or needed for a future officer. Both Dixon and Hewett agreed to work together to see how much enforcement they want for quality of life. The next meeting for seasonal officer discussion will be Aug. 6, with further brainstorming on “anything you can think of,” it was noted. The group plans to hold meetings regularly on the first Thursday of each month. Due to the town’s state of emergency restrictions, which shut down town hall, no in-person attendance was permitted. The meeting was livestreamed and can be viewed on the town’s Facebook page.
Read more » click here


2019
Beach Ranger Program
Previously reported – 2009
Police took over Beach Patrol role previously handled by temporary seasonal employees

Previously reported – 2016
Commissioner Freer broached the issue of the public’s safety on the beach strand by taking the tack that he would like to see us supplement the Police force. Previously he pointed out that the current budget covers only eight (8) officers which are really not adequate to meet our needs during the 100 days of summer. The approach he suggested should be one of improving awareness as well as enforcement. His recommendation was as follows:

    • Under the Police Department umbrella consider a part-time seasonal staff for the beach strand
    • Under the umbrella of Parks & Recreation Board entertain establishing a Beach Ambassador Program

Previously reported – 2017
Target Ordinances –

      • Fill holes
      • Remove gear
      • Stay off dunes
      • No glass
      • Control pets – leash / waste

Purpose –
Put a friendly face out there to interact with guests
Educate guests about targeted ordinances to get compliance
Explain the purpose of the ordinance and consequences for non-compliance

Goals – keep beach protected, clean and safe

Beach strand ordinance compliance is a real quality-of-life issue. The flashing educational signs on the Causeway have significantly improved beach strand ordinance compliance. Still feel strongly that the Town should adjust staffing to respond to the seasonal increase in work load. Delighted that the Board finally decided to address this issue. I have made my position abundantly clear regarding having a seasonal code-enforcement team / beach patrol on the beach strand. They need to be on the beach strand to enforce ordinances and to ensure the public safety. Regardless of who or how many patrols the beach strand we need high visibility for them to be effective.

Update –
Currently there are three (3) Beach Rangers out there from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It was expanded to include a second shift extending the hours that they are on the beach strand, also added a second gator. Rangers are on the beach strand during the busiest time frame from roughly 8:30am till 7:30pm. They are out there to educate, provide information and assist folks. Program appears to be working well. I for one would like to see them  expand the program by having it cover shoulder season too.


Large great white sharks ‘converging’ off Carolinas. Is the weather a cause?
A sudden convergence of great white sharks is taking place off the Carolinas — from Cape Hatteras to Charleston — proving the apex predators are being mysteriously drawn to a tight strip off the coast. Satellite tags reveal seven great whites are within that area, with an eighth hovering at the South Carolina-Georgia border, near Hilton Head. Most (five) are sitting off Southport, near Wilmington.
Read more » click here

Tracking site » click here

Cluster of sharks in one spot off Carolinas coast grows more intense
The clustering of great white sharks off the Carolinas coast is growing more pronounced and mysterious, based on satellite tracking data shared Saturday on social media. Eight tagged great white sharks are now practically on top of each other along the border of North and South Carolina — and they represent the only sharks currently tracking along the East Coast, according to a map posted on Facebook by OCEARCH. Researchers began noticing a convergence of great white sharks off the Carolinas in late January, but the group was more spread out. Now the sharks are exhibiting a clear preference for the same spot off Southport, near Wilmington, the data shows. OCEARCH says the tagged sharks, ranging in size from 8 feet to nearly 13 feet, represent a tiny sampling of what is actually off the coast, meaning waters could be full of great
Read more » click here

Update –
There Are 15 Sharks Swarming The Outer Banks Of North Carolina Right Now
Read more » click here


Sharks of North Carolina
Read more » click here

Shark Attack
The chances of being attacked by a shark are exceedingly small compared to other animal attacks, natural disasters, and ocean-side dangers. Many more people drown in the ocean every year than are bitten by sharks. The few attacks that occur every year are an excellent indication that sharks do not feed on humans and that most attacks are simply due to mistaken identity.

Your chances of being attacked by a shark are just 1 in 11.5 million!

What Are the Odds? Long, Most Likely
Not everyone is at risk of a being bitten by a shark. 1 in 11.5 million is the rate of attacks in one year at 68 U.S. beaches and is based on attendance figures at the venues.
Read more » click here


This & That


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


Portuguese Man o’ Wars wash ashore Eastern NC beaches
While finding washed up jellyfish are a pretty common part of visiting the beach, sightings of Portuguese Man o’ Wars, a creature known for its painful sting, are being reported at beaches up and down the coast. Whether they’re alive in the water or washed up in the sand, they can sting you. If you’re stung, you’ll need to get medical attention. Experts warn not to apply vinegar, vodka, or urine to the sting, and to gently remove the tentacles with a credit card. The sting is described as incredibly painful, but it’s not a life-threatening injury. Rob Condon has a PHD in marine science has studied drivers of jellyfish populations for the past 20 years and says the recent weather systems are what brought them to our local beaches. The creatures drift around in the ocean and if they get caught in a current or a breeze, they get blown ashore. Jellyfish of all kinds are important to the environment and serve as a food source for large fish and sea turtles. Condon says jellyfish populations rise and fall over a 20-year period and right now, we’re in a rising phase.
Read more » click here


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


COVID crashed North Carolina’s tourism sector, but vacation rentals are up
With spending down nearly 60% since March 1, the industry is trying to bring back its customers
While most people might still have the itch to get away this summer, the COVID-19 pandemic, and associated restrictions — not to mention health and safety concerns — have put the brakes on many travel plans. But there’s one sector of North Carolina’s battered tourism industry that is racing back — vacation rentals. Still, the state’s tourism sector has severely declined since the COVID-19 pandemic sent the national and state economies into a tailspin, according to a presentation made this week to the North Carolina Travel & Tourism Board. Surveys have been conducted to measure consumer sentiment and other efforts are underway to try to bring back the customers, presenters told the board. “It is estimated that North Carolina has suffered a loss of about $6.8 billion in travel spending from the beginning of the pandemic,” said Marlise Taylor, the director of tourism research for Visit North Carolina. Visit NC is part of the public-private Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, an economic development organization. The Travel & Tourism Board advises state policy makers on the industry’s matters. The $6.8 billion loss is a 57.9% decline in travel spending between March 1 and Aug. 1 of 2020 compared to March 1 and Aug. 1 of 2019, Taylor’s report states. The math works out to $11.74 billion in 2019 and $4.94 billion in sales this year. Local, state, and federal tax collections from travel spending are down $871 million, Taylor said. Weekly travel spending has rebounded some during the summer, but as of Aug. 1 was still 42% below last year’s numbers. The loss of local revenue prompted one North Carolina beach town to increase its parking rates mid-pandemic by up to 66% — raising the ire of many visitors. With rentals and hotel room stays all but suspended for several weeks at the start of the pandemic and many businesses forced to close or scale back their operations, Wrightsville Beach officials said they had little choice but to look to boost parking revenue to make up for the estimated 17% downturn in room-occupancy and sales tax proceeds.

Surge in demand’
But there is a bright spot, Taylor said: vacation rentals are running ahead of last year’s sales. Vacation rentals are short-term rentals of places like homes or cabins, and by far summer is their peak season from the mountains to the sea. Sales, measured as “guest nights,” dropped sharply March to April, but then spiked steeply, the data shows. They peaked in July at nearly 307,000 guest nights. This compares to the annual peak in July 2019 of almost 279,000, and of almost 281,000 in July 2018. Vacation rental bookings going forward remain strong into the fall, Taylor’s statistics show, and are running higher for August and September than they did in 2019 and 2018. Caleb Hofheins, marketing operations director for Greybeard Realty and Rentals in Asheville, said Taylor’s data matches the strong demand he has seen for the 220 vacation properties his company manages. “I think just the appeal of private accommodations has kind of spiked due to the pandemic and everything going on,” he said. A home or cabin provides a place with amenities (like a hot tub, kitchen and pleasant outdoor views and outdoor space) and isolation from other people, Hofheins said. At the same time, his guests who want to get out are close to the attractions in the Asheville area. Some of Hofheins’ guests this year originally planned to take other vacations, such as trips overseas, he said, or they are taking trips that were postponed from the spring when the shutdown started.
“It is obvious that some of the people that are booking with us aren’t used to vacation rentals, because they’ll, they’ll just mention like — have questions about — hotel type amenities that are different with vacation rentals, and stuff,” Hofheins said. Some people are taking the chance to escape a step further, especially with interest rates still hovering near historic lows. Vacasa, the country’s largest full-service vacation rental management company, said sales of vacation properties are booming. “We’ve seen a surge in demand for vacation homes across our portfolio, and real estate transactions are up as much as 35% in some of our vacation rental markets across the country when compared to July 2019,” said Shaun Greer, Vacasa’s vice president of sales and marketing, in a release this week accompanying the latest version of the company’s report noting the best places to buy a vacation home. “Many buyers believe we will be impacted by COVID-19 for the next 12 to 18 months, and are seeking a place close to home where they can get away with their families, work remotely if needed, and generate income when the home is not in use.” That trend can be seen in Southeastern North Carolina, which includes major second-home markets in the beach towns of New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties. Home sales in July were up 34% over July 2019′s number, according to the Cape Fear Realtors, with pending sales last month up an eye-watering 54%.

Price doesn’t matter
Vacation rentals make up only about 3.5% of all commercial lodging room nights, Taylor said. She and others in the meeting outlined programs and research findings for the rest of the industry as it tries to find ways to boost sales under pandemic conditions:

A survey of 1,201 people conducted Aug. 7 – 9 found 46.5% have no plans for leisure travel the rest of the year. This was down from more than 50% saying that the prior week.

Among people have decided not to travel because of the coronavirus, 70.5% said discounts and price cuts wont change their minds.

A program called Count On Me NC provides training and certification that businesses have trained their employees how to conduct operations with the coronavirus threat. Customers can look up these businesses at CountOnMeNC.org, and the program is being promoted in advertisements.
Read more » click here


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


    ..
    Climate
    For more information » click here

    There’s something happening here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear


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    Development Fees
    For more information » click here
    .


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    Flood Insurance Program
    For more information » click here
    .


    National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
    Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to December 20, 2019.

    Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP
    by no later than 11:59 pm on September 30, 2020.

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

    NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance.

    The level of damage from recent catastrophic storms makes it clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.

    Flood insurance – whether purchased from the NFIP or through private carriers – is the best way for homeowners, renters, business, and communities to financially protect themselves from losses caused by floods.
    Read more » click here


     

    GenX
    For more information » click here
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Deal reached for Chemours to stop remaining GenX chemical pollution of Cape Fear River
While the parties praise the proposed lawsuit settlement, the water utility in Wilmington says it and its customers were left out of the negotiations.
North Carolina regulators and an environmental group reached a tentative agreement in their lawsuit with the Chemours Co. on how Chemours will curb its remaining PFAS and GenX “forever chemicals” contamination of the Cape Fear River, the parties announced Thursday afternoon. The main supplier of drinking water in the Wilmington area, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, said late Thursday it was not included in the negotiations, and it is unhappy that it knew nothing of the proposed deal until it was contacted by the state earlier in the day. The utility gets its water from the river. The parties are the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, the Cape Fear River Watch environmental organization and Chemours. The proposed deal would be an amendment to the terms of a previous lawsuit settlement regarding Chemours’ long discharge of PFAS chemicals into the river and the air from its plant on the Cape Fear River south of Fayetteville. “Today’s actions lay out exactly how Chemours will clean up the residual contamination they’ve caused that continues to impact communities along the Cape Fear River,” DEQ Secretary Michael S. Regan said in a news release. The amendment would address pollution getting into the Cape Fear River from contaminated groundwater on Chemours’ property, from contaminated surface waters there and from rainwater that picks up PFAS chemicals when it lands on the site. The DEQ said it will take public comment on the settlement’s proposed addendum for 30 days and consider those comments before submitting it to a judge in Bladen County Superior Court. Under the original agreement, Chemours stopped the intentional discharge of the PFAS pollutants into the water and spent $100 million to build a system to remove PFAS from the air emissions at its Fayetteville Works plant. These remedies did not address the groundwater and surface waters. The settlement amendment announced Thursday spells out goals and deadlines for Chemours to install additional equipment and infrastructure to filter and treat the groundwater and surface waters. The company is to remove 99% of the PFAS contamination.
Read more » click here

DEQ, Chemours reach agreement to further reduce PFAS pollution
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Chemours have reached another agreement that will reduce PFAS pollution from entering the Cape Fear River through groundwater. Since 2017, DEQ actions and the Consent Order have stopped the process wastewater discharge from the facility and drastically reduced air emissions of PFAS by 99.9%. The additional actions presented Thursday in the Addendum to the Consent Order will further reduce the PFAS contamination to the Cape Fear River and improve water quality for downstream communities. These additional actions address more than 90% of the PFAS entering the Cape Fear River through groundwater from the residual contamination on the site. “We have already issued significant penalties and ordered Chemours to stop actively polluting. Today’s actions lay out exactly how Chemours will clean up the residual contamination they’ve caused that continues to impact communities along the Cape Fear River,” said DEQ Secretary Michael S. Regan. “This level of action is unprecedented and continues to build a foundation for the Attorney General’s broader investigation of PFAS in North Carolina. As a state, we will not wait for action from the federal government to provide relief for our communities and protect our natural resources.”

Moving forward, Chemours is required to treat four identified ‘seeps’ which account for more than half of the contaminated groundwater reaching the river in two phases.

  • The interim measures to filter PFAS at an efficiency of at least 80% from the first of the four seeps will go into effect starting by Mid-November – with all four completed by April 2021.
  • The permanent measure is the construction of a subsurface barrier wall approximately 1.5 miles long and groundwater extraction system that will remove at least 99% of PFAS to be completed by March 2023.

Chemours is also required to treat on-site stormwater that is adding residual pollution to the river with a capture and treatment system that must remove at least 99% of PFAS.

  • Failure to meet the schedules or achieve the removal goals will result in financial penalties, including:
  • Failure to meet the construction schedule for the interim measures will result in fines of $5,000 per day for the first 14 days and $10,000/day until construction is complete.
  • Failure to meet the barrier wall installation schedule results in a $150,000 fine followed by $20,000 per week until installation is complete.
  • Failure to meet the barrier wall’s 95% mass loading goal in the initial demonstration results in a $500,000 fine, with a $100,000 fine for failure to meet any of the four subsequent demonstrations.

“We believe this commitment is significant and meaningful; it aligns to our Chemours Corporate Responsibility Commitments to reduce the emissions of PFAS by at least 99% at all Chemours manufacturing sites worldwide,” Chemours said in a news release. “These actions are in addition to the successful installation of over $100 million in emissions control technology, including a state-of-the art thermal oxidizer, that are controlling over 99% of all PFAS emissions from our manufacturing processes, a treatment system for the historic discharge channel at the site that is under construction and scheduled to be commissioned in late September pending NC DEQs issuance of a permit, and the extensive actions to provide a permanent drinking water source for private well owners whose wells tested above PFAS levels as provided in the Consent Order Agreement.” However, CFPUA was surprised by the Chemours Consent Order addendum. CFPUA said it was not provided with an advanced copy of the addendum.

“It is disappointing that we and our customers have once again been excluded by the State from these discussions about a subject that is of vital interest to our community,” said CFPUA Executive Director Jim Flechtner. “We have seen no evidence this or any of the steps proposed so far by Chemours will sufficiently improve water quality to the same level that the State has set as the standard for private well owners around Chemours’ site,” Flechtner said. “We continue to be frustrated that our customers continue to be treated differently than people near the plant.” The Addendum to the Consent Order with the additional requirements and penalties will be provided for public comment for 30 days. The comment period will be announced next week. DEQ will consider the public comments before the Addendum is presented for entry by the Bladen County Superior Court. The Addendum is available here.
Read more » click here


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    Homeowners Insurance
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    Hurricane Season

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    Hurricane season crashes into a pandemic
    How will North Carolina fare if a hurricane and COVID-19 are raging at the same time?
    Most coastal North Carolina residents are hurricane veterans, experts even, taught by that best of teachers — experience. But when it comes to dealing with a hurricane in the midst of a pandemic, we’re all rookies — even those leading the response. That is weighing heavy on the minds of emergency-response officials as a hurricane season like no other begins Monday, June 1, and runs to Nov. 30. (There already have been two named storms in the Atlantic, but meteorologists say that is not unusual and doesn’t in itself portend a busy season — although that’s what was forecast earlier this year.) In past hurricanes, vital relief has come from state and federal agencies and organizations — both private and public. Many of those groups remain overwhelmed with the COVD-19 response — both financially and operationally. Perhaps the biggest concern is how to provide evacuation shelters with social-distancing requirements in place. Of course, if a hurricane were to hit late in the season, those restrictions may already have been lifted. But with the coronavirus on its own unpredictable track and an early season storm possible, a double dose of emergencies can’t be ruled out. And as coastal residents think about tasks like boarding up windows or securing boats, those living inland know that they are not immune from tropical weather — storms such as Floyd (1999), Matthew (2016) and Florence (2018) all produced devastating and deadly flooding far from the coast. Meanwhile, the entire nation’s emergency-response system remains under the strain of dealing with a pandemic. Mike Sprayberry, N.C.’s director of emergency management, told The Atlantic that he hadn’t had a day off in nearly 40 days — and that was a week ago. If a coastal area were to be hit by a major hurricane, people and organizations from other states may not have the ability to help as they have in the past. There’s also concerns for after a storm, when large groups of volunteers have gathered in the past to help with recovery and long lines can form at sites distributing food and water. And what about groceries? Stores have beefed up staffing levels to deal with the unique demands of the pandemic, but the problem has more often been a lack of certain essential items. Can the already-often-bare toilet tissue, paper towel, disinfectant and meat aisles handle a hurricane? Then there’s another piece to the unpleasant possibility of a major hurricane strike. Although the financial toll from COVID-19 on local governments and agencies is still playing out, there’s no question that anticipated tax revenues are going to take a hit. Governments are not anticipating any outside funding to make up for lost revenues and emergency funding after hurricanes can come long after the storm is over. (New Hanover Schools, which had many facilities with structural damage and mold, recently received $3 million from the Federal emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reimburse repair costs). After a hurricane, school systems and other government entities often have expensive repairs and other tasks — such as debris removal — that can’t wait on FEMA and other relief sources. They are often paid for out of fund balances — essentially their savings. So, the impact that COVID-19 revenue losses has on budgets could play a role in any hurricane response. Many places in North Carolina haven’t recovered from Hurricane Matthew, much less Florence. The idea of a Florence-type storm while COVID-19 is still raging is almost unimaginable. “That’s our nightmare scenario,” said Bill Saffo, mayor of Wilmington, which suffered massive damage from Florence and more than 1,000 people in emergency shelters. “We’ve been thinking about it from the time this all started,” Saffo said in April as the virus was gathering steam in North Carolina. “It would be the perfect storm for all of us.”
    Read more » click here

    HURRICANE ISAIAS: Did North Carolina underestimate the storm?
    Isaias, which strengthened to a hurricane just before making landfall late Monday, hit Brunswick County on a full moon at high tide
    Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden knew his evacuation order was not going to be popular. Like many North Carolina beach towns, summer renters are the lifeblood of the local economy. But as Tropical Storm — later Hurricane — Isaias spun off the Florida coast with a potential path that could bring it close to Southeastern North Carolina, Holden ordered all visitors out of his Brunswick County beach town by 7 p.m. Saturday. Holden Beach was one of only a few communities along the coast — one of the others being the neighboring town of Ocean Isle Beach — to order a mandatory evacuation of non-residents as Isaias approached the Tar Heel State. “Yep, a lot of heat,” the mayor, chuckling, said Wednesday morning about his order. “A lot of heat.” But no one is second guessing Holden’s decision now after Hurricane Isaias slammed into the Brunswick County coast on a full moon at near high tide, pummeling beaches and low-lying areas with powerful wind gusts and 5-foot storm surge that sent sand washing into streets and tossed boats around like rag dolls. Holden Beach didn’t escape unscathed, Holden said, with broken docks and rising waters in its canal systems. But it could have been potentially a lot worse if his island was full of vacationers who don’t know what to do in a hurricane situation. “Blame it on a lifetime of experience and a whole lot of luck,” said the mayor, whose family founded Holden Beach. “We lived real good this time, thank the Lord, but do feel for our neighbors in Ocean Isle Beach and Oak Island.”
    Read more » click here

     2020 Hurricane Season Off to a Record Fast Start
    Weather experts predict that the year could have as many as 25 named tropical storms and hurricanes
    With a record fast start to the Atlantic hurricane season, federal forecasters are now predicting that 2020 could have as many as 25 named tropical storms and hurricanes—a number that would put it just shy of the 28 named storms seen during the historically high 2005 season. There have already been a record nine named storms this season. In an average year,  there might be two named storms by early August, with the ninth not forming until sometime in early October. “This season could be one of the more active in the historical record,” said Gerry Bell, lead hurricane season forecaster at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which put out an updated outlook Thursday. The agency is now predicting as many as 25 named storms—the most it has ever forecast for a hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Forecasters predicted a maximum of 21 hurricanes in 2005. Since 2010, the number of named storms and hurricanes in a season has fallen within NOAA’s forecasted range six times. Forecasters initially predicted as many as 19 storms this season but revised that outlook upward amid atmospheric conditions that forecasters say have become even more favorable to storm formation and intensification. Those conditions include warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker Atlantic trade winds, and wind patterns off Africa that more easily spin off storms. “These conditions are all typical evidence of an above normal and extremely active season,” Dr. Bell said.

    Forecasters are now expecting as many as 11 named storms to become hurricanes this season, and three to six to become major hurricanes rated Category 3 or higher. An average hurricane season typically has about a dozen named storms, roughly half of which become hurricanes. Three typically have winds strong enough to be rated a major hurricane.
    Read more » click here

    Storm Isaias’s Most Damaging Winds Were on Its Right
    Tropical storm left millions without power; its asymmetrical wind field helps explain why
    When Isaias swept up the East Coast last week, it was far from the worst storm to batter the U.S. in recent years. But after making landfall in North Carolina, the tempest moved inland and darted up the Eastern Seaboard, allowing its most damaging winds to bash cities and towns lying between the hurricane’s eye and the country’s edge. “The majority of the wind field was to the right of the storm center,” said Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “While this is typical to some degree, the asymmetry was very pronounced in Isaias.” After landfall, the storm—whose name is pronounced ees-sah-EE-ahs—slowed from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm with sustained winds ranging in speed from 39 miles an hour to 73 mph. But as the storm’s rotational winds slowed, its forward momentum increased, elevating its total wind speed. “When it was coming toward Florida, it was moving 8 miles per hour,” said Joel Cline, tropical program coordinator at the National Weather Service. “In North Carolina, it was moving 22 miles per hour.” On average, a hurricane’s forward speed is around 15 mph to 20 mph. But by the time Isaias was in the vicinity of New York City, he said, it was pushing forward at 40 mph. “Toward the end of their lives, they tend to speed up,” Mr. McNoldy said. According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which rates hurricanes on a scale of 1 to 5 based on sustained wind speed, a Category 1 storm, like Isaias, ranges from 74 mph to 95 mph. Category 2 ranges from 96 mph to 110 mph; Category 3 from 111 mph to 129 mph; Category 4 from 130 mph to 156 mph; and Category 5 from 157 mph on up. Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, was a Category 5 storm. As a rule of thumb, a hurricane’s expected damage rises by a factor of four for every category increase, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But a storm’s rotational speed is compounded by its forward momentum. In the Northern Hemisphere, where hurricanes spin counterclockwise, the strongest winds occur to the right of the eye, based on the direction the storm is moving. That’s because on the right, the rotational winds spin in the direction the storm is traveling, and pick up speed from that force. On the left, the rotational winds push in the opposite direction, causing a loss of speed. “If a storm is moving northwards at 10 miles per hour, and the wind’s rotational speed is 90 miles per hour, then to the east, the wind speed will be 100 miles per hour, and to the west, it will be 80 miles per hour,” said Steve Ackerman, director of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In Isaias’s case, when the National Hurricane Center recorded 70 mph winds in Maryland at 11 a.m. on Aug. 4, those were the storm’s fastest sustained winds at that point in time—but not everyone felt the same thrust. “People to the left of the track would not have experienced those winds,” Mr. McNoldy said. Storm surges also are worse on the right side of a hurricane and might be amplified by a full moon’s tidal effect. Isaias made landfall under a full moon, and about 50 miles away, Wilmington, N.C., experienced the highest storm surges it has ever recorded, with water levels reaching 4.19 feet over normal high tide, breaking the record set during Hurricane Florence in 2018. Overall, an estimated 3.6 million customers lost power during the storm, and for Consolidated Edison Inc., the utility that serves New York City, it was the largest number of outages since Hurricane Sandy—by then a superstorm—brutalized the Northeast in 2012. “We’re trying to get people to make less of the hurricane category,” Mr. Cline said, “and actually see more of what the potential impacts are.” As the storm watchers say, there’s more to the story than the category.
    Read more » click here

  • 3 North Carolina counties lead U.S. in hurricane impacts since 2010
    Brunswick, Hyde and Dare counties each had 10 hurricane-based FEMA emergency declarations between 2010 and 2019
    A new report quantifies what many North Carolina residents already know: They have faced a lot of hurricanes over the past decade — reinforced most recently by last week’s Hurricane Isaias. The report is by the ValuePenguin financial advice website. It states that from 2010 through 2019, Brunswick County on the southern North Carolina coast and Dare and Hyde counties along the state’s northeast coast each had 10 hurricane-based Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) emergencies. Those three counties tied for first place nationally.
    Read more » click here 


     

    Inlet Hazard Areas
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    Lockwood Folly Inlet
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    Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling
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    Solid Waste Program

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    Things I Think I Think –

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

    Restaurant Review:
    Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
    ///// September 2019
    Name:            Brasserie du Soleil / Urban Food Group
    Cuisine:         French
    Location:      1908 Eastwood Road, Wilmington NC
    Contact:        910.256.2226 /
    www.brasseriedusoleil.com
    Food:              Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
    Service:         Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
    Ambience:    Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
    Cost:               Inexpensive <=$18 / Moderate <=$24 / Expensive <=$30 / Exorbitant <=$40
    Rating:          Three Stars
    Brasserie du Soleil is one of six restaurants in the Urban Food Group. This one is primarily a French bistro, an informal café. They seem to have an extremely popular build your own salad option, on the Lunch menu only, that was voted Best Salads, in the Best of Wilmington done by Encore Magazine. Outside seating is a good choice, not as noisy and it’s a beautiful setting. Overall, it was a very pleasant dining experience.

    3 Wilmington restaurants sold to Raleigh-based group
    Three prominent Wilmington restaurants have been sold to a Raleigh-based restaurant group. Urban Food Group (UFG), owned by Kevin and Stacey Jennings, purchased Brasserie du Soleil, Osteria Cicchetti, and Boca Bay, as the company marks its first expansion into the Port City. Ash Aziz, the former owner of the trio of restaurants and head of Circa Restaurant Group, will retain ownership of his other Wilmington-based eateries: Pizzeria Il Forno, Circa 1922, Junction 421, and a new concept planned for River Place in downtown.
    Read more » click here


    NC restaurants opened their doors again
    Restaurants, which previously had only been allowed to offer takeout, can now open their dining rooms at 50% capacity, as long as social distancing and other guidelines are followed. Tables must be spaced out six feet apart, and shared spaces and surfaces must be cleaned constantly.


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



    DEAR EDWARD by Ann Napolitano
    Edward is twelve (12) years old and the sole survivor of a plane crash in which he lost his immediate family. In alternating chapters, we examine Edward’s story as he struggles to find a way to cope with everyday life and what happens on the flight.

     


    .That’s it for this newsletter

    See you next month


    Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

    .           • 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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07 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 07/21/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Federal Updates and Discussion and Possible Action on Next Steps for Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study – Poyner Spruill (Mayor Holden)

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Previously reported – January 2020
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 any beach nourishment opportunities  at Holden  Beach, North  Carolina,  excluding  the Brunswick  County  Beaches  Corps  of Engineers 50-year Project and (2) federal issues related to Lockwood Folly Inlet maintenance along with beach nourishment efforts for placement of beach-quality sand on the east end of Holden Beach. The Client acknowledges and agrees that Poyner Spruill LLP does not have control over third party decision makers, and, that Poyner Spruill makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees that it can achieve  any particular results. Poyner Spruill LLP shall act in good faith with the necessary due diligence in connection with its performance of the services described herein. Two local meetings with the Council and two trips to Washington, D.C., per 12-month period, as well as a monthly status report, are included in the services to be provided. Our work for this engagement will be on the federal level. It is understood that The Ferguson Group will be assisting our firm on your behalf. As the need arises for specialized assistance, such as grant writing or for legislative monitoring/research, then fees and costs incurred for such services will be billed separately to the client.

Retainer
The retainer for their services is $7,725 per month or a minimum of $92,700 annually. Retainer is the minimum it will cost us. Ferguson Group services are billed separately. Additionally, we are billed monthly for all kinds of additional charges.

Update –
Congressman Mike McIntyre of Poyner Spruill made presentation to the Board with an update on Poyner Spruill and The Ferguson Group’s most recent advocacy efforts. The Ferguson Group team was also listening in and available to answer questions and provide additional information to the discussion.

Board was presented with four options for moving forward and recommended pursuing the following two options:

1) Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study Authorization Section 7001 program – three / three / three. Three years / three million dollars / reviewed at all three levels – District / Division/ Washington. Deadline to file a Letter of Intent application, is the end of next month, this just gets us in line to be included for consideration. If we are selected and we have made the cut, we would then have to sign a contract probably sometime around 2024 making a commitment to pay our share. That would be half the cost, so our portion would be $1.5 million. At best this is a long shot and years down the road. That said, we would still be committing to pay $1.5 million for the study with no assurances  that we will actually have the project constructed.

2) Congressional authority to do study was approved in 1966 but was never completed. We could pursue this option simultaneously with the 7001 process. However, as it stands now, we would be obligated to pay the costs that were incurred during the original study request. This is like a Hail Mary pass. We would attempt to run the 1966 Brunswick County Beaches Project up the flag pole.  USACE spent $8.5 million and the beaches are obligated to pay half of that.  We could ask for forgiveness, where we would not agree to pay for our share which is $1.1 million and do a new study. Uncertain whether USACE would go for this.   

The whole purpose of the study is to identify a plan of improvement that is in the public’s best interest which comprises of three prongs that includes being technically feasible, environmentally acceptable, and cost justified.

Board agreed to give authority to proceed with both options, with no financial obligation at this point.

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
Commissioners Kwiatkowski and Sullivan voted against the motion

Not providing background information is completely unacceptable. Neither the Board nor the public were able to review this material prior to the meeting.

HB commissioners vote for beach nourishment application submission
“Let’s not leave any stone … any pebble of sand unturned,” said Mike McIntyre, Poyner Spruill partner and former congressman, during discussion of Holden Beach’s beach restoration options. Holden Beach Board of Commissioners met with McIntyreon Tuesday, July 21, for a special meeting regarding the possibility of partaking in a Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Three individuals from The Ferguson Group (TFG) joined via conference call to provide guidance in the commissioners’ decision. On call was Rodger Gwinn, CEO; Earl Stockdale, council and senior advisor; and Stephanie Missert, principal and manager of policy and regulatory affairs. McIntyre described The Ferguson Group as “a strategic monitoring and legislative research group that is right there in Washington. They are our eyes and ears on the hill so that we can monitor legislation daily.” TGA is working as the advocate for Holden Beach, committed to do whatever it takes to help them. Stockdale explained that TGA is trying to devise a path forward that will get Holden Beach a plan of improvement on the shortest timeline with a clear understanding of what that means to them on terms of cost and with part of the strategy involving when they would be expected to pay for either options. “The idea here is basically to preserve a path forward,” Stockdale said. McIntyre opened the meeting by providing background context of what is going on in Congress in the first half of 2020. He said the House energy and water appropriation bill has funding for USACE of $49.6 billion, an increase of 3 percent from last year. In addition, money has been appropriated for seven new study starts, which McIntyre said is a major feat compared to their normal one study start appropriation. An additional $43.5 billion has been appointed for emergency spending money for COVID-related items. McIntyre said this budget might help free up money for projects such as beach nourishment. “These are at least the silver lining around the dark clouds of the coronavirus, in looking at the funding that’s been added to the core to deal with some of its projects,” McIntyre said. McIntyre reported having extensive discussions about status of authorization from Flood Control Act of 1996 for Brunswick County beaches with both senator offices and committee staff over this past month. The Wilmington District USACE has heeded the Lockwood Folly and beach nourishment status at Holden Beach. They recommended the town apply for Section 7001 of Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2014. According to the Congressional Research Service, for USACE studies and projects, congressional study and project authorization generally is required prior to being eligible for federal appropriations. Congress generally considers an omnibus USACE authorization bill, known as WRDA, biennially. WRDA is an annual process for identifying proposals for site-specific studies and projects under USACE’s water resource mission and authorities for congressional consideration of the proposal’s authorization. The submission period for the 2021 WRDA opened May 1 and closes Aug. 31. McIntyre presented the board with four options. Option A, they do nothing. Option B, apply for the Section 7001 to request authorization and start the process over. Option C, request a new study using the existing 1966 Brunswick County Beaches authority. The final option is to submit a letter of intent (LOI) for the new study using the existing 1966 Brunswick County Beaches Authority and commit to paying back the town’s share of construction costs. “It may be worthwhile to go ahead and put your name in the pot because if it’s not in the pot it’s not going to be considered and it’s not costing you anything right now,” McIntyre said. While Section 7001 requires a payment of $1.5 million,the town does not have to pay anything upfront. McIntyre estimated the payment would not be made until 2023. “I guess the sweetener for that deal is that, sure if the prior authorization works and it saved you a few years of waiting on getting a construction project done, then that may have been worth paying that $1 million back,” McIntyre said. Commissioner Mike Sullivan asked if the board decided to go forward with the Section 7001 program whether that would preclude them from being eligible for FEMA reimbursements in the future. Similarly, Commissioner Woody Tyner questioned the difference between FEMA and USACE funding. TGA employees said the advantage of USACE funding is they can apply pressure and be watchdogs in D.C. USACE also allows projects to be paid for, get technical expertise and bring the beach back up to USACE level. Commissioner Gerald Brown motioned to start the Section 7001 application process, authorizing town manager David Hewett to do preliminary work in conjunction with TGA. “We’re not obligated to spend one dime, but at least we’re rolling the ball in the right direction,” Brown said. Thevote was passed with three in favor and Commissioners Pat Kwiatkowski and Sullivan opposed. To learn more about Section 7001 Annual Report Process, go to fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R45185.pdf. The meeting was livestreamed on the Town’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/holdenbeachtownhall/ to provide social-distancing measures.
Read more » click here 


BOC’s Regular Meeting 07/21/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Membership of Town Boards and Committees – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
At the June Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the Board decided to vote regarding existing members who were interested in serving another term at the July meeting. For the remaining vacancies, the Board agreed to wait until the Board  is able to hold  interviews like it traditionally has done in the past. All eligible members, with the exception of Ronda Dixon are willing to serve another term. Below is a breakdown of the vacancies on each board.

Board of Adjustment: Two regular members’ terms are expiring, and they are not eligible to serve another term. Anne Arnold’s Regular Member term is expiring. She is eligible to serve another term.  Jack Lohman, Mary Lou Lahren and Phil Caldwell are the current Alternate Members. Their terms are expiring, and they are all eligible to serve another term. Two of those members can be moved to the Regular Member positions if the Board chooses to fill the positions in that manner.

Inlet & Beach Protection Board: Dean Thomas is eligible and willing to serve another term. Ms. Dixon does not want to serve another term at this time.

Parks & Recreation Advisory Board: Becky Willis, John McEntire, Dolly Mitchell, and Candace Vick are eligible and would like to serve another term. There is one additional vacancy that the member’s term is expiring, and they have already served the maximum number of terms.

Planning & Zoning Board: Greg Shue’s Regular Member term and Peter Pallas  and Stu Atwell’s Alternate Members terms are expiring. They are all eligible and willing to serve another term.

If the Board would like to assign additional terms to the current eligible members, I would recommend the Board make a motion to appoint the current eligible members of the Inlet and Beach Protection Board, Parks & Recreation Advisory Board and the Planning & Zoning Board to serve another term. I would suggest that the Board vote on the Board of Adjustment in a separate motion or by ballot in order to accommodate filling the vacancies of the Regular Members (potentially with two of the current Alternate Members). Ballots will be supplied at the meeting if the Board desires to vote by ballot.

Previously reported – June 2020
Discussion and Possible Action on Membership of Town Boards and Committees – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Attached is list of current members serving on boards and committees of the town. Appointments to most boards are typically made in July of each year. The members who are highlighted have terms that are expiring.

A majority of the current members are eligible to serve another term if they are interested and the Board agrees (highlighted in yellow on lists). There are a couple of members who have reached the maximum terms allowed for their positions (highlighted in blue on lists). Normally the Board will hold interviews for any vacancies on the various boards at this time.

Due to the current restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, staff needs direction on our interview process. Options include soliciting volunteers, with the Board making their decisions based on the applications submitted or having staff arrange for a remote interview process. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Blue / not eligible to serve another term, there are three (3) volunteers
Yellow / eligible to serve another term, there are thirteen (13) volunteers

Discussion was on how to proceed given the current restrictions in interviewing candidates. None of the Boards or Committees are currently holding any meetings. Therefore, there is no sense of urgency, so they decided to  hold off on doing anything at this time.

No decision was made – No action taken

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

The Board reappointed everyone that was eligible. On the Board of Adjustment, Phil Caldwell and Mary Lou Lahren will replace Larry Blume and Ben Baker.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

I’m of the opinion that our Board term policy unnecessarily creates vacancies. Interestingly we have term limits for all our Boards except the Board of Commissioners. In what universe does that make sense?

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


2. Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff to Obtain Probable Costs for the Paving of Sea Gull Street, Deal Street, and Canal Drive – Commissioner Murdock

Agenda Packet –
Deal and Seagull Streets are “Town” streets but are currently unpaved. They are in bad shape with very  little to work with from a maintenance perspective.  New construction has populated these streets to a point where owners are seeking a remedy to improve the streets. Town practice provides for a petition process to occur but an estimate for constructing suitable improvements needs to be obtained prior to a more formal undertaking.

Request the Board of Commissioners direct the Town Manager to obtain a preliminary engineering cost estimate necessary to improve Deal and Seagull Streets. At a minimum – improvements evaluation should address coquina/marl, gravel, and full paving options in addition to any other considerations that are relevant.

NC Chapter 160A, Article 10
§160A-216.  Authority to make special assessments.
Any city is authorized to make special assessments against benefited property within its corporate limits for:

.   (1) Constructing, reconstructing, paving, widening, installing curbs and gutters, and otherwise building and improving streets;

§160A-217.  Petition for street or sidewalk improvements.
    (a) A city shall have no power to levy special assessments for street or sidewalk improvements unless it receives a petition for the improvements signed by at least a majority in number of the owners of property to be assessed, who must represent at least a majority of all the lineal feet of frontage of the lands abutting on the street or portion thereof to be improved. Unless the petition specifies another percentage, not more than fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the improvement may be assessed (not including the cost of improvements made at street intersections).

For more information » click here

Update –
Added Canal Drive to agenda item, they discussed adding other streets too
Board approved getting engineering cost estimate for the three (3) streets listed

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


3. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 20-04, Resolution Amending the Holden Beach Fee Schedule – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
Based on a review of other municipalities and a discussion with the PRAB prior to Covid restrictions, the staff recommends the following changes/additions to the fee schedule.

Facility/Program- Pavilion (Jordan), Bridgeview Park Picnic Shelter, Recreation Programs, Independent Contract Instructors

RESOLUTION 20-04
RESOULUTION AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH FEE SCHEDULE

WHEREAS , the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners has fees for facility rentals and programs that need to be changed to  reflect  current market  value.

WHEREAS, the fee increase also considers contract instructors and the need for service fees to be set by those instructors.

WHEREAS, the Holden Beach Fee Schedule needs to be updated to reflect both of these circumstances

Update –
Approved as submitted

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


4. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 20-05, Resolution Establishing Criteria for Engineering Firm Selection for FEMA Projects – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION AND RANKING OF ENGINEER FIRMS FOR PROJECTS FUNDED THROUGH FEMA’S PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Item 1: General Qualifications and Availability 15 points

    1. Provide the following information:
      • Legal name of firm
      • Location of Office that will be conducting the work
      • Contact Persons
      • Date of firm formation
      • Legal business description (Individual, Partnership, Corporation, Joint Venture, etc.)
    2. Provide a statement on the availability and commitment of the firm, its principal(s) and assigned professionals to undertake the project, reporting responsibilities and how the firm will interface with the Town of Holden Beach Town Manager and Project meetings will be required, as necessary.
    3. Provide a statement of interest for the project including a narrative describing the firm’s specific expertise and unique qualifications as they pertain to these projects.

Item 2: Proposed Staff 25 points

    1. Organizational chart for personnel (including sub-consultants) who are to work on this project including license information.
    2. Names and roles of key personnel proposed to work on this project and their office locations.
    3. Include resumes for all key personnel and indicate any individuals who have had previous experience on similar projects.
    4. Provide staffing size by areas of expertise.
    5. Provide current workload of prime firm.
    6. Provide staff availability to perform services.
    7. Provide the Project Managers experience with similar size/type projects. Project Manager shall demonstrate knowledge of similar Disaster Recovery Project.
    8. Provide the sub-consultants experience with similar size/type projects.

Item 3: Project Experience 40 points

    1. Provide an overview and brief history of the firm and sub-consultants.
    2. Services provided
      • Date of completion or project status
      • Final construction costs
      • Client name and contact person
      • History of meeting project schedules
      • History of accomplishing services within established budget, include planned versus actual
      • Detail cost savings or cost increases

Item 4: Project Experience 20 points

    1. Explain how the team will assess and design the project(s). Are there multiple or alternate design options, etc.?
    2. Provide an example of a typical project schedule.

Update –
We have some large FEMA projects coming up. The most restrictive rules procurement requirements under federal uniform guidelines require competitive proposal procedure for contracts for engineering services. Based on size and scope of upcoming projects necessitates needs us to engage in this process. In order for us to comply, and in accordance with North Carolina General Statute § 143-64.31, we will need to send out Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to solicit competitive proposals for engineering services. Approved as submitted.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


5. Discussion and Possible Action on Request by AT&T to Renegotiate the Terms of the Water Tower Lease – Budget & Fiscal Analyst McRainey


Agenda Packet –
Lease Optimization
AT&T has requested a rent reduction shown in the attached memo from AT&T (Attachment 1). This is a substantial reduction from their current monthly payment shown in the right column of the chart. We have made improvements to the water tower within the past two years and believe it would be in the towns best interest to deny their request.

Update –
The Town’s water tower lease agreement with AT&T has expired. The proposed agreement is a continuation of the expired lease with a lesser monthly payment. They are requesting the agreement be renewed for another five years at the proposed lower rent. The proposed lease for sixty (60) months would go from $154,117 to $114,000; approving the contract would result in a revenue loss of approximately $40,000. Verizon is paying us $3,048 a month while AT&T is paying us just $2,419 a month. The AT&T proposal is for $1,900 a month, approximately a 21.5% rate reduction. AT & T has attempted to renegotiate the contract before. It has been our policy not to respond to these rate reduction requests. No action was taken, and the rate remained the same. The concern is if they cut their rate other carriers will want their rate reduced too. Our Town Manager recommended that we stay with the current contract.



What are they mashugana?


Update –
AT&T is requesting the Town’s water tower lease agreement be renewed for another five years at the proposed lower rent. The proposed lease for sixty (60) months would go from $154,117 to $114,000; approving the contract would result in a revenue loss of approximately $40,000. Verizon is paying us $3,048 a month while AT&T is paying us just $2,419 a month. The AT&T proposal is for $1,900 a month, approximately a 21.5% rate reduction. AT&T has attempted to renegotiate the contract before. It has been our policy not to respond to these rate reduction requests. No action was taken, and the rate remained the same. In the past., the concern was if they cut their rate other carriers will want their rate reduced too. The Town staff recommended that we deny this request.

Motion was made to deny the request
A decision was made – Approved unanimously


6. Discussion and Possible Action to Receive Distribution of Federal CARES Act Funding
Added to the agenda

Municipality COVID-19 Grant
Option to receive CARES Act funding or be subject to the federal compliance requirements and documentation.

With a population of only 651 our percentage share of the distribution is .99951%
Round 1 we received $8,203 of the $846,110 total amount of the grant
Round 2 we would receive $8,835 of the $911,240 total amount of the grant
The total we would receive is $17,038 of the $1,757,350 total amount of the grant

County has received appropriation, distribution to the towns will use the same methodology that is used for the sales tax distribution. Perhaps not the best way but it is the simplest way to handle.  We need to send declination letter to the County advising them that we do not want to receive the CARES Act funding that was mandated by NC Session Law 2020-80(HB1023). It’s an either/or deal, you can’t double dip. The Board decided to approve sending the declination letter. Since the Town has spent approximately $70,000, we will need to submit a reimbursement request to FEMA too.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

7. Discussion and Possible Action on Suggested Changes to Draft Land Use Plan – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski has prepared the changes discussed by the Board at the January 17th Special Meeting (Attachment 1 ). Wes Macleod has reviewed them and asked that staff communicate to the Board that Goal 4.2 on page 4-16 comes from the state’s 7B planning guidelines (Attachment 2). He encourages the Board to consider leaving the goal as originally written.

The  proposed  plan was  approved  by the  Department  of  Coastal  Management. The  next step  in the adoption process would be to schedule a Public Hearing on the plan.

Land Use Plan document with proposed changes is way too large a document (@16 pages) to include here


Previously reported – September 2019
Land Use Plan
For more information » click here

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

Previously reported – October 2019
Agenda Packet –
As the Board of Commissioners are aware, the Land Use Plan Committee completed their work as commissioned by the Board of Commissioners. The LUP was then sent to the Holden Beach Planning and Zoning Board where a public hearing was held. The P&Z Board approved sending the completed document for review.

The P&Z Board requested that another public hearing be set before the Board of Commissioners’ meeting. They erred in this request, as only the Board of Commissioners can set their public hearings. While a second public hearing is not necessary at this time, the Board may request such if they feel the need arises.

The P&Z Board provided three recommendations:

      1. Accept the Document and send it forward to DEQ for staff review.
      2. Send the Document Back to the LUP Committee with changes.
      3. Amend the document.

* If the document is amended any amendments will need to be reviewed by Wes McLeod and staff for    compliance with the 7B statutory requirements.

It is important to understand that while the document is a guideline and a mirror of the community’s philosophies, it is not a regulatory document. It is basically a comprehensive guideline to show that the town’s future is directed towards those ideals as set forth in the Statutes.

Wes explained the procedure to get this plan adopted. It has been recommended for approval by both Boards that worked on it (Land Use Plan Committee & Planning and Zoning Board). The statuary process for this to be adopted requires it to be submitted to the Division of Coastal Management (DCM) for completeness review. After that 75-day review process we are still required to have a Public Hearing, after that it can then be adopted by the BOC’s. It then goes back to the DCM for certification.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Only approved submitting proposed Land Use Plan to DCM for their review

Previously reported – December 2019
Board will coordinate their schedules to determine date of meeting

For starters, the plan merely sets guidelines which can be changed as the situation requires. What’s more it is nonbinding. Every land use or zoning decision needs a consistency statement that says whether the recommendation conforms to the LUP or not.   We can recommend something that does not conform if we state why it is in the best interest to do that.  A considerable amount of time and effort were put in to develop this plan. The BOC’s had a chance to give input on the plan, along with the rest of the Town, at the input meetings and at every LUP meeting.  All shareholders were involved in the process and contributed a significant amount of input.  It is a compromise document, no one got everything they wanted in it. Cannot imagine what value the BOC’s think that they can add to what was already submitted.

Previously reported – January 2020
Special Meeting held

Audio Recording » click here 

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
Commissioners Kwiatkowski submitted proposed changes at the January Regular Meeting, but it was not approved at a later meeting because of  amended agendas due to the pandemic. The Board decided to approve amended Land Use Plan with just one additional change. Based on the recommendation from Wes McLeod, they excluded changing 4.2 Public Access and Recreation in order to remain in compliance with the 7B statuary requirements. We will still need to schedule a Public Hearing before they can approve the LUP finalized version.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 20-04, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 157: Zoning Code – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
§157.060 RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT (R-1).
. (D) Dimensional requirements R-1.

.     (1) Lot area. Minimum required:
.        (a) For a one-family dwelling,5,000 square feet.
.        (b) For a two-family dwelling, 7,500 square feet.
.     (2) Lot width. Minimum required: 50 feet.
.     (3) Front Yard Setbacks per structure size:
.         <4000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 25 Feet
.         4000 < 5000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 30 Feet
.         5000 > 6000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 35 Feet
.     (4) Side Yard Setbacks per Structure Size:
.        4000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 5 feet
.        4000 < 5000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 7 Feet
.        5000 > 6000 Square Feet Minimum Required:10 Feet
.       (a) Open porches, decks, or overhangs shall not extend into minimum setbacks
.     (5) Rear Yard Setbacks Per structure S1ze
.        <4000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 20 Feet
.        4000 < 5000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 25 Feet
.        5000 > 6000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 30 Feet
.     (7) Lot coverage.
.     (a) Lot coverage of main structure shall not exceed 30% of the platted lot. If structure is 4000 square feet or greater then lot coverage cannot be greater than 25 percent. If structure coverage is 5000 square feet or greater lot coverage is limited to 20 percent.
.    (12) Minimum floor area of building 750 square feet of heated space.
.       (a) Maximum Structure Size of any dwelling shall be 6000 Square Feet
.    (13) Open uncovered stairs, not including any deck or landing at porch level, may project up to ten feet into the required front or rear yards of structures <4000 Square Feet, but not both.


Proposed Ordinance » click here

Previously reported – June 2019
Agenda Packet –
The Planning Board has approved a proposed ordinance change for consideration by the Board of Commissioners. As you are aware, Commissioners have voiced some concerns over possible future and present issues related to homes that are so large that they pose an impact to the quality environment that the Holden Beach wishes to portray.

This ordinance has been vetted by the planning Department and is similar to other beach town regulation pertaining to the same issues.

Proposed Zoning Ordinances Changes

      • Maximum House Size of 6,000 square feet
      • Progressive Setbacks
      • Protection of Storm Water Discharge through Reduction
      • Traffic Reduction
      • Reduced Parking Density
      • Reduction of Trash refuse
      • Improve Quality of Life
      • Increase Lot Open Space
      • Decrease Potential Secondary Storm Debris

Clear, concise, easily understood presentation by Timbo. This has been a major issue for years. He said that he attempted to be fair and equitable for everyone. Well thought out, benchmarked other beach town regulations and the Planning Board has already signed off on the proposal. Proposal would not be changing the dynamics of what has been done before; but homes will fit better on the lots now. Next step is for staff to put this into an Ordinance format.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – October 2019
Agenda Packet –
Attached is the proposed ordinance for maximum house size construction that Inspections Director Evans sent to Attorney Fox for review per the Board’s direction. Attorney Fox suggested that the new attorney selected by the Board have the opportunity to review it before action is taken. If the Board agrees a motion to send it to the new attorney should be made.

New Town attorney will work on language that is both lawful and enforceable.
Consensus of the Board is to put item on the agenda at the November Regular Meeting

Previously reported – January 2020
Agenda Packet –
Attached is a presentation provided by Inspections Director Evans at a previous meeting. Based on the presentation, the Board directed him to prepare an ordinance around his description for house size limitation and provide it to the attorney before it is presented to the Board for review. The item is on the agenda for the attorney to issue comments and guidance to the Board

Item was removed from the agenda yet again

Previously reported – February 2020
Agenda Packet –
The Board directed Inspections Director Evans to prepare an ordinance around his description for house size limitation and provide it to the attorney before it was presented to the Board for review. Attorney Carpenter has advised me that she does not have any concerns with the ordinance prepared by Inspections Director Evans. It is enclosed for your review.

We have been working on this issue for at least the last five (5) years. Timbo did not make slide presentation since he has made this same presentation numerous times already. The abridged version is simply that you can’t build as big a house that you could before. State statutes require that the governing board hold a public hearing prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any ordinance regulating development. Therefore, it was decided to schedule a Public Hearing before the next Regular BOC’s meeting so they can adopt the Ordinance.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
They didn’t make a decision at this meeting because they needed clarification regarding square footage verbiage, otherwise we are good to go. Request was made for Inspections Director Evans to bring back to the Board at the next Regular Meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken


Oak Island leaders tackling issue of ‘mini-hotels’
Some Oak Island leaders are again tackling the complex issue of when a one- or two-family dwelling becomes not just a house but, as they call it, a “mini-hotel.” The question has vexed coastal communities that are economically dependent on short-term rentals for years. The concerns include noise, overcrowding, parking, fire safety and the general use of “single-family” residential areas. One and two-family dwellings are exempt from state fire codes. The question has become “What constitutes a single-family dwelling, versus a small hotel?” Earlier local attempts to limit the number of bedrooms or bathrooms were squashed by the state General Assembly. House sizes in most residentially zoned areas of Oak Island are restricted to 4,000 square feet unless the applicant obtains a special use permit, which puts the cap at 5,000 square feet. Local leaders have also included off-street parking requirements in an effort to limit so-called “mega-houses.” The results are a mixed bag. A quick look at a popular short-term rental website showed several houses – including at least one built in the past year – offering 19 or more beds. Oak Island Mayor Ken Thomas said he’s seen places stating they could sleep more than 20 people. “Some of them sleep up to 38,” he said. “I want the builders to build,” Thomas said. “But we have to have integrity, safety and morality, and put sprinkler systems in these larger houses.” Oak Island’s unified development ordinance (UDO), adopted in October 2018, states that temporary rental “for the occupancy of more than 14 individuals shall be without further administrative action immediately thereby classified as a hotel/motel use of property and considered a non-permitted use in that residential district…” “The reason it continues is the failure of code enforcement to act,” said Planning Board Chairman Bob Carpenter. He raised the issue at the June meeting. Thomas said regardless of the 14-person limit, the town should consider requiring fire suppression systems in larger houses, especially those at the ends of the water system where fire hydrant flows can be half or one-third the available water along most of the rest of the town. “I want to see build-out,” Thomas said. “But I also want to see safety.” Development Services Director Steve Edwards said town officials are compiling lists of short-term rentals and their advertised occupancy. Those built after the UDO was adopted in October 2018 are required to comply with the 14-person limit, he said. “There is action on these properties,” he said. There is a balance between long- and short-term rentals and the town cannot be more restrictive than state rules, said Edwards.
Read more » click here


9. Discussion and Possible Action on Text Amendments for Ordinances Pertaining to Construction and Flood Management – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
The Planning and Inspections Department often finds discrepancies in the ordinance that are either violations of state law, are problematic in their application, have no practical purpose or are not in the best interest of the town or the well-being of the Citizens. The reasons for this can be internal, external, or simply outdated application, when this happens clarification and correction should be followed for ease of use and understanding and for citizens clarification. The proposed changes fall into those categories.

Update –
Basically housekeeping, cleaning up some of our existing Ordinances. Timbo reviewed Ordinances that he recommends being changed and explained the reasons to make these changes. Board approved changes as submitted. State statutes require that the governing board hold a Public Hearing prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any ordinance regulating development. Therefore, it was decided to schedule a Public Hearing before the next Regular BOC’s meeting so they can adopt the Ordinance

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


10. Discussion and Possible Action on Chapter 160D Requirements for Local Governments – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
The General Assembly enacted legislation (S.L. 2020-25) making Chapter 160D effective on June  19, 2020. This law allows cities and counties greater flexibility in the timing for adoption of amendments to conform local development regulations to the new statute. The law also makes technical and clarifying amendments to Chapter 160D. Inspections Director Evans will provide the Board with information on Chapter 160D requirements for local  governments.

Session Law 2020-25 / Senate Bill 720
AN ACT TO COMPLETE THE CONSOLIDATION OF LAND-USE PROVISIONS INTO ONE CHAPTER OF THE GENERAL STATUTES AS DIRECTED BY S.L. 2019-111, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE GENERAL STATUTES COMMISSION

For more information » click here

Update –
Timbo recommended that the Board allow staff to compare our Ordinances to make sure they are in line with the changes made by the state in Chapter 160D. Board agreed to the review.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


  1. 11. Discussion on Designating Back-up Emergency Managers in Case of Unavailability or Incapacity ofthe Emergency Manager During a State of Emergency – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
  2. Agenda Packet –

    §33.08 ABSENCE OR DISABILITY OF MAYOR.
    In case of the absence or disability of the Mayor, the Mayor-Pro Tern, or such other person as may be designated by the Board of Commissioners, shall have and exercise all of the powers herein given the Mayor. A line of succession, at least three deep, should be designated by the Board of Commissioners.  Recommendations shall include other elected officials, the Town Manager and other key staff as deemed appropriate.

  3. Update –
    Ordinance as written addresses the Mayor’s role and responsibilities but does not adequately address Emergency Manager duties. Pat felt that we haven’t adequately addressed the selection and designation of Emergency Manager in the event the Mayor cannot fulfill his duties. Discussion considered the possibility that the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem might not be knowledgeable or kept abreast of what the role requires during an emergency situation. Consensus appeared to be that if they get in that situation, they will meet to decide a way forward.

    No decision was made – No action taken

    Editor’s note –
    Given the high level of responsibility that the Emergency Manager has it would be prudent if all of the Board members had some basic training and meetings to ensure that all of them are up to speed and could assist or step in if required to do so.


  4. 12. Discussion on the Practices that Could be Taken to Reduce Resident and Employee Exposure to COVID-19 if There is a Return to More Restrictive State or County Directives Based on the Town’s Experience of Steps Considered and/or Taken Between March and July of this Year – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

    Agenda Packet –
    Discussion on the practices that could be taken to reduce resident and employee exposure to COVID-19 if there is a return to more restrictive State or County directives based on the Town’s experience of steps considered and/or taken between March and July of this year.

    Based on risk management methodology, the Town could benefit from including the below actions when defining and carrying out a COVID response plan

    1. Draw up scenarios and needs
    For example, what actions might we take if we are required to return to Phase 1 or even Phase O/stay at home and what additional materials or resources would be needed
    2. Continually assess and implement feasible practices that reduce exposures to as low as reasonably achievable Consider employees and town contractors and residents (visitors where possible).
    3. Continually communicate risk reduction methods and the importance of personal responsibility Guidance can change as more becomes known.
    4. Coordinate with other municipalities.
    Positive impacts can be increased for our community if the Brunswick islands all take similar steps to the same timeline.

  5. Update –
    Recommendation made was that similar to after storm event we should do an after-event review. Based on our recent experiences we can develop a plan of action for the future, so we are better prepared the next time.



    Editor’s note –
    Facebook audio stopped recording before the rest of the agenda items. Heather was encountering technical difficulties posting  the YouTube audio, which is still not up yet. We are unable to complete our report at this time, but we will update the remaining agenda items as soon as the audio is posted. Sorry for any inconvenience.




  6. YouTube was posted on 07/27/20

    Agenda items have been updated
    .


    13. Discussion and Possible Direction Concerning Property Owners Desire for a Dog Park to Replace the One Previously Located on Scotch Bonnet Drive – Commissioner Tyner

    Agenda Packet –
    Request:
    The BOC make a decision about the next course of action to address the desires expressed by property owners for a new dog park to replace the one previously located on Scotch Bonnet

    At the January 21, 2020 Board of Commissioners meeting, property owners addressed the Commissioners about their desire for a dog park to replace the one previously located on Scotch Bonnet. Emails were subsequently sent by property owners to the Commissioners expressing their desires for a replacement dog park.

    On January 24, 2020, I sent an e-mail to 100 property owners requesting their feedback concerning the request to replace the previous dog park and the request to set the speed limit west of the Holden Beach pier to 35 mph year-round.

    As of February 10, 2020, 53 property owners had responded to the e-mail. 37 responses were in favor of replacing the dog park, 5 were opposed, and 11 had no opinion or no preference.

    At the February 11, 2020 Board of Commissioners meeting, I stated the issue of replacing the dog park would be placed on the agenda for the March board meeting.

    As I see the issue, we have four possible options to address the property owners’ request to replace the dog park:

    1. Direct the Town Manager to identify suitable replacement options.
    2. Request the Parks and Recreation Committee to include a new dog park in their upcoming Master Plan development efforts and recommend a possible site.
    3. Wait for the Scotch Bonnet site used for disposing the canal dredging materials to dry out.
    4. Do nothing


    I believe options #1 and #2 would be the best courses of action to address property owners’ concerns. Option #2 would be my preferable option as a new dog park site would be considered as part of a much larger effort to address all the parks and recreation needs for residents, property owners, and visitors. However, this option would most probably not be a near-term solution.

    I request we address the concerns expressed by property owners for a new dog park by deciding which course of action is most suitable at this time.

    Previously reported – January 2020
    Dog park was utilized for canal dredging spoil site. We did some site ditching prior to Hurricane Dorian storm event to facilitate draining of the pond.

    Intent is to reestablish pre-dredge capabilities which in order of priority are as follows:

    • Permitted primary disaster debris management area
    • Public Works lay down yard
    • Dog Park


    Must maintain compliance with environmental permit and monitoring

    Safety is the priority for this site, at present it is not ready for use

    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. Four people spoke during the Public Comments session at the January BOC’s meeting,  all in favor of creating a new Dog Park area. The park was utilized by people daily. We no longer have anywhere on the island to walk a dog safely.  The nearest dog park for off leash activity is in Shallotte. I think we should make every effort to provide an area for dogs on the island. My recommendation is to utilize existing town property. The Town actually owns quite a bit of property. For instance, we have two parcels between BAW and OBW, across from Marker Fifty-Five, that were platted as streets but never put in: between High Point Street and Neptune Drive. We had previously discussed the possibility of creating parking areas out of them, one of them could be made into a dog park. Parking should be on the BAW side of the park, so it doesn’t get taken over by guests going to the beach. The designated area would be an additional recreational opportunity as well as an option for having dogs off their leashes instead of in unauthorized areas like the beach strand. As for allocating funds the cost should be paid for by the canal POA’s. You ask: Why? In April of 2014 we established the Dog Park on Town owned property at Scotch Bonnet Drive, at a cost of $19,000 sourced from BPART account. The Canal Dredging Project  was mostly paid for from the Water Resources Development Grant of $1,439,922 which we secured in December 2017. According to Town Manager Hewett, “the Canal Dredging Project is paying all costs for the reconstitution of the Scotch Bonnet site to include installation of dog park facilities at that location.” That’s all well and good but meanwhile we do not have a dog park.  It is my humble opinion that the right thing to do is for them to pay to create a temporary replacement dog park too.

  7. Previously reported – February 2020
    Discussion and Possible Direction Concerning Property Owners’ Desire for a Dog Park to Replace the One Previously Located on Scotch Bonnet Drive – Commissioner Tyner
    Agenda Packet –
    Several property owners offered comments at January’s Board of Commissioners meeting during the public comment time on the agenda concerning the desire to see a replacement dog park for the previous one located on Scotch Bonnet Drive.
    The purpose  of this  agenda item is to discuss  the concerns expressed  by the property owners  and determine  whether the Board  should  request  the Town Manager to explore options to replace the previous dog park.


    Update –
    BOC’s are cognizant that the residents want a dog park. The Board went with Option #2 – Request the Parks and Recreation Committee to include a new dog park in their upcoming Master Plan development efforts and recommend a possible site.

  8. A decision was made – Approved unanimously

  9. 14. Discussion and Possible Direction Concerning the Speed Limit on Ocean Boulevard – Commissioner Tyner

    Agenda Packet –
    Request:
    Direct
    Town Clerk to prepare a draft ordinance to modify the existing Town of Holden Beach speed limit ordinance to set the speed limit west of the Holden Beach pier to 35 mph year-round.

    At the January and February 2020 Board of Commissioners meetings, property owners addressed the Commissioners about their desire to see the speed limit west of the pier on Ocean Boulevard set to 35 mph year-round.

    This item was included on February’s board meeting agenda for discussion by Commissioner Sullivan. David Plumridge spoke during the public comments time on agenda items in favor of keeping the speed limit at 35 mph west of the pier year-round. The Board subsequently agreed to table the item until the next meeting.

    I have placed this item on the July agenda for discussion and action. My request is we direct the Town Clerk to prepare a draft ordinance to modify the existing Town of Holden Beach speed limit ordinance to set the speed limit west of the Holden Beach pier to 35 mph year-round.

    TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH
    BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
    TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2020 – 7:00 P.M.

    DISCUSSION PERTAINING TO SPEED LIMIT ON OCEAN BOULEVARD
    Commissioner Sullivan said Mr. Plumridge gave a good synopsis of the information from the last meeting. He doesn’t have much to add, except to say it is a hot topic of conversation as people are divided on whether the Town should maintain the speed at 45 or lower it to 35. His point of view is he is more interested in knowing what the people who live on the island think about it. The folks who live here need to put up with that speed limit every day. He asked that people email him with their position and the reason why they are for or against it. Commissioner Sullivan said he thinks next month they should vote on it one way or the other. Commissioner Kwiatkowski has been privy to some of the emails that have been flying back and forth. She said in her opinion what is important about this is the marked crosswalks. She lives on the west end, so she is one of the people impacted by the extra minutes. She can live with the extra minutes. The golf carts are nice, but to her that is not the point of this. Commissioner Kwiatkowski stated the point is the benefit of having marked crosswalks. Commissioner Murdock said he has been asked by quite a few people to not budge because it has been like this for a long time. He thinks the repercussions of some of this are greater than getting there a little bit faster. He works on the island and loves it when the speed limit changes. He stated he is seeing people stay longer and we need to keep them safe. Commissioner Murdock wants to listen to everyone’s opinion and the Board needs input. He said if we save one person it is going to be worth it. He said he thinks we can all consider living with it. The crosswalks are the main deal. We need people to visit and rent houses. It is not over Labor Day weekend anymore. He stated he will do what most of the people want to do, but he asked people to consider it. Commissioner Tyner said he wants to hear from a lot of people on what they think about the subject, so he sent out an email to about 100 people. He said it was a survey and he listed items like the speed limit and dog park. He presented the facts and asked what people thought. Commissioner Tyner said as of today he has 53 responses. On the speed limit it was 21 in favor of changing it, 24 opposed and 8 with no preference. What people did comment on was golf carts. There are underage kids driving. They are not using seatbelts and are not following the laws. He said a lot of folks said the first accident would be when a golf cart gets hit, not somebody crossing the street. He said he thinks we need to think more about golf carts. The feedback he got was basically 50/50. Chief Dixon said he is getting a lot of that too. Commissioner Murdock said when you are on a canal and you need to lug all of that stuff to the ocean, there are people that would fight you tooth and nail for golf carts. He said there is a lot of give and take. Commissioner Tyner said they were complaining about how the golf carts were being used. The Board agreed to table the item until  the next meeting.


    Holden Beach Code of Ordinances / SCHEDULE I. SPEED LIMITS.

    (A) The streets or parts of streets described in this traffic schedule shall have the speed limits designated in the following table.

    (B) In accordance with division (A) of this traffic schedule, the following speed limits shall be established for the following streets or parts of streets:

    Name of StreetSpeed Limit (mph)

    Seasonal

    Limitations

    S.R. 1116 (Ocean Boulevard, East and West), from its western terminus to its eastern terminus35

    April 1 –
    September 30

    (inclusive)

    S.R. 1116 from a point 1.76 miles west of NC 130 (Greensboro Street) to a point 5.01 miles west of NC 130 (west end of road).45

    October 1 –
    March 31

    (inclusive each year)

    Delanne Street15
    Dunescape Drive15
    Serenity Lane15
    Windswept Way15
    All other streets25
    And all other streets within the Holden Beach West Subdivision25No seasonal

    limitations

    Proposal is to reduce speed limit on OBW to 35 miles per hour year-round



Police Chief Jeremy Dixon
Per your request, I have further researched NC General Statutes and the latest NC Traffic Ordinance Manual (NCDOT); below are my findings.

NCGS 20-141regulates speed restrictions on NC roadways. The most important subsections for our purposes are 20-141(b)(1) and 20-141(f).Subsection 81states that it shall be unlawful to operate a vehicle in excess of 35 MPH inside of municipal corporate limits. Subsect ion F states that local authorities may only increase the 35 MPH limitations upon the basis of a traffic and engineering study, and when a reasonable and safe limit has been determined from such engineering and traffic investigation.

The NC Department of Transportation’s Traffic Ordinance Manual also provides a lot of useful information. Chapter 3, section 24 provides guidance on “seasonal” speed limits. According to this manual, seasonal speed limits are designed to REDUCE speeds during peak or primary seasons and provide no guidance for increasing speeds during the off-season.

An increase to 45 MPH actually falls back to NCGS 20·141(f), since the 35 MPH municipal speed limit has already been established and would again require a traffic study.

In summary, during my reading I find that NC law has been established to regulate municipal speed limits to a maximum of 35 MPH. With this, Holden Beach should not be increasing the speed limit on Ocean Blvd to 45 MPH without first conducting a traffic and engineering study. I also find that seasonal speed limits are designed to reduce the speed limit during peak seasons and are not designed to be used to increase speeds during the off-season. An example of the seasonal speed limit would actually be in direct contrast to what we do now; for example – speed limit 25 MPH from east end to General Store from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

https://www.ncleg.gov/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_20/GS_20-141.pdf

https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/safety/Crash%20Data%20and%20TEAAS%20System/Chapter_03_Speed_Limits.pdf

The links above will provide you with the full readings on the topic. Quite simply, the speed limit by law must remain at 35 MPH within our corporate limits and can only be increased upon the completion and documentation of an engineering study.

Originally reported – January 2020
Discussion and Possible Action Pertaining to the Speed Limit on Ocean Boulevard – Commissioner Sullivan

Proposal is to reduce speed limit on OBW to 35 miles per hour year-round

Police Chief Dixon had four (4) talking points

    1. Accident death rate goes from 45% to 85% when speed is increased by 10mph
    2. Stopping distance increases by 79 feet when speed is increased by 10mph
    3. Time difference from general store to west end gate is just over 1 minute with change
    4. Lower speed limit allows golf carts and installation of crosswalks

Previously reported – February 2020
Speed Limit on Ocean Boulevard
John Plumridge made appeal again, at the Public Comments section of the meeting, in favor of keeping OBW at 35mph year-round. His case is plain and simple, we need to take reasonable precautions to safeguard pedestrians. Despite the talking points presented the community still does not appear to be convinced about making the change. The Board hedged their bets, seeking additional public input since it is pretty much a split decision right now. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on them putting safety over mobility. 

No decision was made – No action taken


Update –
Police Chief is attempting to locate the completed traffic engineering study that they think was done sometime around 1985. The Board decided that they need additional information before making a decision. Agenda item was tabled again

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Public Comments – Tracey Thomas
Speed limit change:
First of all, let’s be clear that the speed limit on Ocean Blvd west of the pier is 45 mph (with a seasonal reduction to 35pmh), so Jeremy’s argument in his memo dated 7/13/20 saying we cannot increase the limit to 45 mph due to NCDOT Traffic Ordinance chapter 3 section 24 is flawed – the speed limit is currently 45 mph!

(Ref: http://ncdot.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?layers=2229ffaa3ea5470992d021023618e1e6&useExisting=1)

The rest of Jeremy’s arguments then support the current 45 mph speed limit.  This speed limit was determined by a NC traffic and engineering study and is the safe and correct speed for that section of the road.

We should accept the science on the correct speed limit and the fact that there has never been an incident (per Jeremy at the Jan meeting), and not change it because a couple people want to drive their golf carts on the road in the winter.  Please make a fact-based decision and not based on unsubstantiated fear of accidents.

We currently do NOT have any official crosswalks in that area.  If and when we get them, perhaps the speed limit will need to be revisited, but until then that shouldn’t be used as a reason.  Hopefully where crosswalks are needed will also be based on a scientific study and not someone subjectively choosing.

Finally, when surveyed in the Fall of 2019, almost 80% of over 400 respondents wanted the 45 mph to remain in effect during the off season.  The people have spoken!  (Woody’s email to 100 people is not a ‘random’ sample like the survey was.)

I hope that the commissioners will listen to the majority of people.

I live full time on the west end and feel very strongly that the speed limit remains 45 mph in the off season.  


15. Discussion and Possible Direction Concerning Petition by Wild Dunes Neighborhood Residents to Install Speed Bumps at Specific Street Locations – Commissioner Tyner

Agenda Packet –
Request:
The Board of Commissioners direct Police Chief Jeremy Dixon and other Town employees as needed to review the vehicular traffic concerns of the Wild Dunes property owners and bring back to the August Board meeting his evaluation of the situation and a recommendation to address the Wild Dunes residents’ concerns.

On Monday, July 6, I received a request from Carolina Avenue property owners Mack and Suzannah Tucker to meet with a group of residents representing the Wild Dunes neighborhood to discuss concerns related to vehicular traffic in their neighborhood.

On Friday, July 10, I met with four Wild Dune property owners to discuss their concerns with vehicles/drivers not making a complete stop or making a rolling stop at the intersections of Halstead Street and Carolina Avenue and Halstead Street and Brunswick Avenue East.

At this meeting, I was presented a petition signed by 52 of 60 neighborhood property owners requesting the Board of Commissioners consider the installation of speed humps just prior to the existing stop signs at the intersections noted above.

The petition also asks the Board to provide an alternative solution to address residents’ concerns if the speed humps cannot be approved.

The representatives of the Wild Dunes neighborhood presented the following concerns:

  • Many residents observe “dozens of times a day” drivers/vehicles performing a rolling stop or driving through the two stop signs on Halstead Street at the intersections with Carolina Avenue and Brunswick Avenue East.
  • A resident installed a remote camera to film activity for one hour on July 8 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm at the intersection of Carolina Avenue and Halstead During the one hour, nine (9) events were captured where a driver performed a rolling stop or did not stop at all.
  • The neighborhood representatives also recounted the recent event noted in the petition where a Holden Beach police officer failed to stop for the stop sign where Halstead crosses Brunswick Avenue Eas The officer almost t-boned a resident and his daughter.
  • The neighborhood representatives also noted that except for Ocean Boulevard and Brunswick Avenue West, their neighborhood is unique in that Carolina Avenue and Brunswick Avenue East are long thoroughfares and not simply side streets off Ocean Boulevard.
  • In addition to the speed humps, residents are also interested in converting the Halstead/Carolina Avenue and Halstead/Brunswick Avenue East intersections into four-way.
  • It was also noted the bushes on the vacant lot at the southeast corner of Brunswick Avenue East and Halstead Street are overgrown thereby creating a challenge to see oncoming traffic on the east side of Halstead Street at theintersection with Brunswick Avenue East.
  • The neighborhood representatives noted they have requested on two previous occasions that the Commissioners make these intersections a four-way Their requests were denied on both occasions.
  • The neighborhood representatives stated the Town may be shown to be negligent and held liable if a serious accident occurs and it is discovered the Town took no action on requests from residents to address their concerns.

I informed the Wild Dune neighborhood representatives I would place their concerns and the petition on the July Board meeting agenda for discussion and possible action.

I request the Board of Commissioners direct Police Chief Jeremy Dixon and other Town employees as needed to review the concerns of the Wild Dune property owners and bring back to the August Board meeting his evaluation of the situation and a recommendation to address the Wild Dunes residents’ concerns.

Lastly, I also noticed we have a similar situation where Quinton Street crosses Carolina Avenue and Brunswick Avenue East.

Previously reported – September 2017
Report on Speed Reducing Devices for Shell Drive – Building Official Evans Agenda Packet –
Shell Drive is the last street on the right before reaching the private section of the island; therefore, we get a lot of traffic that must use our street to tum around.  The problem we are having is the speed at which some of the vehicles are leaving going back to Ocean Boulevard.

They deferred making a decision, requested it be put on the October meeting agenda. Town Manager is charged with gathering more information. The Town attorney recommended that the Town Manager and staff determine approval criteria since other streets will request this too. The Mayor recommended that we notify everyone on that street, especially after the recent fiasco with Elizabeth Street parking, that we are considering this action.

No decision was made – No action taken

Previously reported – October 2017
Agenda Packet –
At the last Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the Board directed me to gather information relative to Mr. Batchelor’s request to install speed bumps on Shell Drive.

    1. Staff contacted the Town’s insurance provider, the League of Municipalities. There is no specific exclusion for general liability claims caused by speed bumps on town-owned streets.  The League provided us with examples of claims and payouts that have been made relating to speed bumps (Attachment 1).Mark Hoeweler, Assistant Executive Director – Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments and Liaison for the Grand Strand Metropolitan Planning Organization, is not in favor of speed bumps. He provided literature for the Town to review (Attachment 2).Staff also contacted the Cape Fear Council of Governments to ask for the pros and cons of speed bumps. Allen Serkin, Director of Local Government Services, responded   that speed bumps are usually discouraged for many reasons (Attachment 3). He also provided us with several resources that the Board may find helpful in consideration of Mr. Batchelor’s request (Attachment 4).

    2. Pretty clear that the information gathered did not support us moving forward with request for speed bumps

      Previously reported – July 2013
      Discussion and Possible Action on Request for a Four Way Stop at the Intersection of Halstead Street and Brunswick Avenue
      No accidents ever at this intersection
      Could we put stop sign there – Absolutely
      Would it be beneficial – Don’t think so
      Probably do more harm than good
      We do not have a four way stop at an intersection anywhere on the island

      No decision was made – No action taken

      Previously reported – July 2018
      Discussion and Consideration on Petition for Four Way Stop for Carolina Avenue – Chief Layne

      Agenda Packet –
      Homeowners Letter
      Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to return my call and giving advice on the direction that needs to be taken on the issue that is being addressed in this letter. Homeowners are requesting that stop signs are installed on Carolina Avenue at the intersection of Halstead Avenue and Carolina Avenue. We have a real problem with individuals speeding down Carolina Avenue and running the stop signs on Halstead Avenue. This has created an opportunity for an accident, and we feel that it is just a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

      We are requesting that this item be put on the agenda for the Holden Beach Board Meeting in June with the understanding that an ordinance change would be deemed necessary to have the installation of additional stop signs.

      Police Chief Wally Layne
      A group of homeowners submitted a petition requesting that stop signs be installed on Carolina Avenue at the intersection of Halstead Street and Carolina Avenue. They are concerned with individuals speeding down Carolina Avenue and running the stop signs on Halstead Street.

      If the Board desires to move forward with this request, you would need to approve an ordinance amendment for Chapter 71, Traffic Schedules of the Code of Ordinances. The amendment would need to add a section to create a four-way stop at the intersection of Carolina Avenue and Halstead Street. If the Board decides to move forward with this request, an ordinance will be prepared for your consideration at the August meeting.

      “It’s like Déjà vu, all over again” – Yogi Berra
      In order to be consistent, they would need to amend the Traffic Code Ordinance.
      No accidents ever at this intersection
      Could we put stop sign there – Yes
      Would it be beneficial – Probably not
      We do not have a four way stop at an intersection anywhere on the island

      No decision was made – No action taken
      The Board said they would like to look at all their options before proceeding.

      I suppose they didn’t want to open a can of worms. I get why they want a four-way stop there. Of course, if granted this would set a precedent. Is the Board planning on making the same accommodation for all the other street intersections too?

      Update –
      These concerns have been considered several times already and have not been acted on. This time the Board was presented with a petition signed by 52 of 60 neighborhood property owners asking that something be done. The agenda item specifically asks to install speed bumps so that’s all they really should have talked about. The Board directed Police Chief Jeremy Dixon and other Town employees as needed to review the concerns of the Wild Dune property owners and bring back to the to the Board at the next Regular Meeting their evaluation of the situation and a recommendation to address the Wild Dunes residents’ concerns.

      A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
      Commissioners Brown and Sullivan voted against the motion


    3. 16. Town Manager’s Report

    4. Beach Strand Solid Waste Hauler Service
      Vendor has withdrawn, they have an alternate vendorSeasonal Police/Beach

    5. Seasonal Police Committee
      First of monthly meetings was held in July.Sewer Lift Station #3
      Project is approximately 44% completed with completion date of December 18th
      Project is on schedule and should be finished prior to the contract completion date
      Budget Status
      Town must have its records in order by the end of the year
      .
      Budget Status
      Revenues are all coming in above budgeted amounts
      Looking surprisingly good
      Town must have its records in order by the end of the year
      Information is posted on the Town website

      .
      Auditor Schedule
      On schedule, auditor will complete field work next week
      Ahead of where we were last year.
    6. .
      Internal Controls

      Implemented plan
      .
      Genset Status
      Being shipped even as we speak, should be installed by the end of August

      .
      HB Bridge Safety Railing Project
      Contract was awarded October 29, 2018
      C
      ompletion date for the contract to be October 1, 2019
      Work on the bridge safety railing has been delayed
      COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in delayed fabrication and delivery of the rail
      Work is scheduled to resume on June 15th.

      Previously reported – June 2020
      Work started a week before the date it was scheduled to resume. The existing concrete railing structure doesn’t meet the 48” minimum safety standard height requirement guidelines for cycling and pedestrians. The existing railing is only 27″ high, the newly installed railing adds another 21” which gets us up to the 48” minimum safety standard height requirement. Just so you know, work has not been completed yet.

      Update –
      Project is approximately 35% completed, railing is currently out of stock
      Railing should be installed sometime at the end of August or beginning of September
      .
      FEMA /Storm Events
      Total Cat G beach nourishment funding is now close to $40 million dollars
      Five projects in play, full time administrative effort is ongoing
      Not helping the situation, we are on our tenth FEMA Project Manager

      Dorian
      Federal declaration was made for Hurricane Dorian that includes coastal communities in Brunswick County.
      Town has estimated approximately $14.9mm for Cat G FEMA reimbursements. We are still in the environmental review stage.

      COVID
      Two employees have tested positive

      Deal Street
      Beach access was an easement, gift from the estate, we now have the deed

      Recreation Programs
      Continuing to adapt due to coronavirus restrictions
      Concerts continue to be cancelled as long as we remain in Phase 2
      Tide-dye has become a do it yourself activity, sold @$1,500 in tee shirts 


    7. 17. Police Report

 Police Patch
It’s the busy season on Holden Beach
First two weeks in July are the busiest weeks of the year
Typical summertime fun at the beach

 


We are just beginning the Hurricane Season – make sure your plans are in order

If the Town declares a mandatory evacuation, PLEASE LEAVE


Public Safety Announcement
The Police Department would like to remind everyone that it is important to protect your personal property. Remove all items of value from your vehicle when you are not driving it. Always lock your vehicle doors when you are not in it. Leaving items on display, whether on the dashboard or sitting on a passenger seat, is an invitation to opportunist individuals. Make sure to follow these important tips!


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
Pets must be on a leash at all times on the island.
From May 20th through September 10th
It is unlawful to have any pet on the beach strand
. * During the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm


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


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


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


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


Loose Ends (14)

        1. Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy            January 2019
        2. Fee Based Rollout of Containers                      January 2019
        3. Commercial District / Zoning                          February 2019
        4. Development Fees                                             April 2019              June agenda item
        5. Parking                                                               October 2019
        6. Mega-Houses / Zoning                                      October 2019        July agenda item
        7. Audit Remedial Policies & Procedures           November 2019
        8. Land Use Plan                                                     January 2020       July agenda item
        9. Dog Park                                                              January 2020       July agenda item
        10. 796 OBW                                                              January 2020
        11. Speed Limit                                                          January 2020       July agenda item
        12. IBPB – Dune Protection Game Plan                February 2020
        13. Beach Patrol                                                       April 2020             June agenda item
        14. VRBO Action Plans                                            April 2020

General Comments –

Due to the Town of Holden Beach’s State of Emergency Restrictions and Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order, in person public attendance is prohibited. The meeting will be livestreamed on the Town’s Facebook page. Visit https://www.facebook.com/holdenbeachtownhall/ to watch the livestream.


.
BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, August 18th

 


Hurricane #1 - CR

 

Hurricane Season
For more information » click here

Be prepared – have a plan!

.

.

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.”

2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Fast Facts
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The areas covered include the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.

The National Weather Service defines a hurricane as a “tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

Hurricanes are rated according to intensity of sustained winds on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

The 1-5 scale estimates potential property damage.
A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center advises preparedness:

    • A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that a region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.
    • A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours.

Read more » click here

THB EMERGENCY INFORMATION

EVACUATION, CURFEW & DECALS

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.

Busy Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2020
Multiple climate factors indicate above-normal activity is most likely
An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
Read more » click here


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


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