12 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Regular Meeting 12/17/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Old Business: Discussion and Possible Action on Contract Amendment to the Solid Waste and Recyclables Collection, Transportation and Disposal Agreement Between the Town and Waste Industries – Allen Thienpont (Public Works Director Clemmons)

Agenda Packet –
Waste Industries has provided the Town with a proposed amendment to the Solid Waste and Recyclables Collection, Transportation and Disposal Agreement. The current agreement’s term is through December 31,2019.

The amendment would extend the initial term by two years, with the end date being December 31, 2021. Per the amendment, there will be a $0.50 per month per cart increase. Waste Industries has explained the increase is due to their cost of doing business over the last year, in particular a large increase they took on in January when they changed their third-party haulers to haul the waste from the transfer station to the landfill. They said the change was necessary as the previous hauler was not following the terms of the contract and could not keep up with the volume of tons that go through the transfer station each day. Waste Industries is also raising their fixed rate service fee from 2% to 3% per year.

The cost for the service in the months with a second pickup will increase $1,818. The current budget supports the increase for the remainder of this fiscal year. However, adjustments will need to be made in next year’s budget to accommodate the increase.

Allen Thienpont, General Manager of Waste Industries will be in attendance to answer any questions the Board may have.

Update –
Staff recommends approval

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


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

Recognition was given to all the outgoing board.
The plaque was presented to everyone elected in 2017 and followed by a photo-op.
The plaque will be hung in the Town Hall.


3. Presentation of Plaques to Individual Members of the Outgoing Board of Commissioners by Mayor Holden
.   a.
Joe Butler
  b.
John Fletcher
  c.
Peter Freer

All three (3) outgoing Commissioners received plaques of appreciation from the town for their service. The plaque was presented to each individually and followed by a photo-op.

I’d personally like to thank the Commissioners
for their dedicated service to the community.


4. Judge Fred Gore will Present the Oath of Office to the Incoming Board of Commissioners
.   a.
Mayor J. Alan Holden
.   b.
Commissioners Gerald Brown, Woody Tyner, *Brian Murdock, Mike Sullivan and Pat Kwiatkowski

* Commissioner-Elect Brian Murdock was not in attendance due to a prior commitment, he will be sworn in as a Commissioner by the Town Clerk at an alternate time.

Fred Gore is a District Court Judge in Judicial District 13, which covers Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties. The 13th Judicial District judges preside primarily over civil, criminal and juvenile matters. Gore a native of Brunswick County is also a property owner on Holden Beach.

 

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


5. Election of Mayor Pro Tempore – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Per Section 30.05, Mayor Pro Tempore of the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, the Board shall elect from one of its members a Mayor Pro Tem and an Executive Secretary, who cannot be the same member. The normal term of office for both positions is one year, commencing with the December meeting.

Previously reported –
Per Town Ordinance §30.05 and North Carolina General Statute §160A-70
§30.05 MAYOR PRO TEMPORE AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
The BOC shall elect from one of its members: (1) a Mayor Pro Tempore, and (2) an Executive Secretary, who shall not be the same member. The normal term of office of both the Mayor Pro Tempore and the Executive Secretary shall be one year, commencing at the first regular meeting in December; provide, however that each shall serve at the pleasure of the BOC.

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

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

Candidate                            Position                   Term             Votes
Gerald Brown                       Commissioner          Second          246
Woody Tyner                        Commissioner          First              230
Brian Murdock                     Commissioner          First              225
Mike Sullivan                        Commissioner          Second          182
Patricia Kwiatkowski          Commissioner          Second          168

Update –
Discussion and Nomination of Board Member to the Mayor Pro Tem Position
Commissioner Sullivan made a motion to nominate Gerald Brown for Mayor Pro Tem Gerald Brown, the top vote getter, was elected as Mayor Pro Tem

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


6. Election of Executive Secretary – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Per Section 30.05, Mayor Pro Tempore of the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, the Board shall elect from one of its members a mayor pro tern and an executive secretary, who cannot be the same member. The normal term of office for both positions is one year, commencing with the December meeting.

Previously reported –
Per Town Ordinance §30.05 and North Carolina General Statute §160A-70 §30.05 MAYOR PRO TEMPORE AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
The BOC shall elect from one of its members: (1) a Mayor Pro Tempore, and (2) an Executive Secretary, who shall not be the same member. The normal term of office of both the Mayor Pro Tempore and the Executive Secretary shall be one year, commencing at the first regular meeting in December; provide, however that each shall serve at the pleasure of the BOC.

The Executive Secretary shall be responsible for: (1) creating the agenda for each regular and special meeting of the BOC, and (2) assembling all supporting agenda package materials, in consultation with the other members of the BOC and the Town Manager and Town Attorney, as applicable. The Executive Secretary shall timely deliver the same to the Town Clerk for copying, delivery and publication in accordance with these ordinances and the Rules of Procedure provided for herein. The Town Clerk and Town Manager shall provide logistical and advisory support to the Executive Secretary in performing these functions and the Town Attorney shall provide legal interpretation or support as requested by the Executive Secretary. No notice of any regular or special meeting of the BOC, nor any agenda or agenda package materials with respect thereto shall be delivered or published by the Town Clerk without the express prior authorization of the Executive Secretary.

Update –
Discussion and Nomination of Board Member to the Executive Secretary Position
Commissioner Tyner made a motion to nominate Pat K Executive Secretary
Commissioner Kwiatkowski was elected as Executive Secretary

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Discussion and Possible Approval of 2020 Board of Commissioners’ Meeting Schedule – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Enclosed is the proposed 2020 Board of Commissioners’ Regular Meeting Schedule. All dates, except for the February date, reflect the third Tuesday of the month. The proposed February date is for the second Tuesday of the month, due to scheduling conflicts. Staff recommends approval.

2020 BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS’ MEETING SCHEDULE
Regular Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month

TUESDAY, JANUARY 21st
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11th                         * Moved to the second Tuesday of the month
TUESDAY, MARCH 17th
TUESDAY, APRIL 21st
TUESDAY, MAY 19th
TUESDAY, JUNE 16th
TUESDAY, JULY 21st
TUESDAY, AUGUST 18th
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20th                         
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17th
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15th

Meeting schedule was adopted with no changes.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


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

Agenda Packet –
The Board of Commissioners is required to adopt Rules of Procedure per the Town’s Code of Ordinances, Section 30.19.

I have included the version currently being used. Another version. the Suggested Rules of Procedure for a City Council, by the School of Government has also been used in the past. A copy of this version is also included in your packets. If the Board chooses to adopt either version for the upcoming term, the entire rules can be adopted, or amendments may be made.

I suggest the Board review the materials and adopt rules at the January meeting.

Update –
The Board is required to adopt some version of Rules of Procedure each year. Heather has given them two (2) options or they can create their own new version. Pat has volunteered to review current version and make recommendations of any necessary changes. This will be on the agenda again next month so that they can adopt rules as required.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


9. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
It’s that time of the year, break-in season

Three vehicles on the east end were broken into recently


 Previously reported –
Public Service Announcement – Chief Wally Layne
Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. He used the term break-ins loosely since most of the vehicles were left unlocked. He preaches the same sermon to us each year to protect your personal property. Don’t be a volunteer victim! 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!


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


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


Neighborhood Watch

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

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

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


10. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Special Meeting to Interview Applicants for Vacancy on the Planning & Zoning Board and the Audit Committee – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Due to Woody Tyner being elected as a commissioner, there will be an Alternate Member vacancy on the Planning & Zoning Board. I recommend scheduling a special meeting at 6:45 p.m. on January 21st to conduct interviews for people interested in serving.

Update –
Interviews will be scheduled before the next Regular Meeting in January

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Volunteers needed
We have vacancies on two (2)  boards. 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.


11. Discussion on Establishing a Date Certain for a Special Meeting to Include the Members of the Land Use Planning Committee to Discuss the Pending Land Use Plan – Commissioner Sullivan

Agenda Packet –
Draft Land Use Plan » click here

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

Land Use Plan Steering Committee’s meeting was held on August 27th.
This should be their last meeting; a draft will be sent to P&Z for approval.
Land Use Plan Engagement Session was held on September 17th.

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 Statues.

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

Update –
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.


12. Discussion and Possible Direction on a Proposed Directive Regarding Board of Commissioners’ Requests to Advisory Boards or Committees – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
Noted comments from Commissioners at the November meeting: the directive should be adopted by resolution, the work opinion should be eliminated, and since there may be infrequent occasions where a request comes out of a special meeting, the statement should be altered to read “The directive for a recommendation from a specific Board or Committee will preferably be made by a vote at a BOC regular meeting.”.

Previously reported – November 2019
Agenda Packet –
Draft: Directive for Town of Holden Beach (THB) Board of Commissioner
Requests for Opinion/Recommendation to Advisory Boards or Committees

The Board of Commissioners (BOC) is responsible for policy making as well as decisions on administrative matters (School of Government publication “County and Municipal Government in North Carolina”, Chapter 3, County and City Governing Boards). The BOC performs its duties when convened in legal meetings, addressing items contained in the meeting agenda. There are occasions when the BOC may determine that a recommendation or opinion from a THB Advisory Board or Committee on an item related to the Town’s current operations or future development would assist the BOC in making the best possible decision for the Town. When seeking Advisory Board (AB) or Committee (AC) recommendation/opinion, the following steps shall be followed:

. 1) The directive for a recommendation/opinion from a specific Board or Committee shall be made by vote at a Board of Commissioners regular meeting;

. 2) Specific charge questions for the opinion will be finalized and agreed by vote at a Board of Commissioners meeting;

. 3) A proposed deadline for receiving the recommendation/opinion will be included in the directive.

For recommendations/opinions having potential implications on Town finance, Town capital projects, Town contracts or Town departmental processes, the AB/AC shall provide its recommendation/opinion in a report to the BOC, such report to contain:

      1. The original BOC directive and charge;
      2. The AB/AC recommendation/opinion;
      3. The AB/AC vote tally;
      4. A synopsis of the discussions leading to the recommendation/opinion of the AB/AC, said synopsis to be discussed and approved at an Advisory Board/Committee public meeting;
      5. Copies of presentations or written positions given by staff or external experts during the evaluation process;
      6. References to supporting documents or publications used in the decision­ making process;
      7. Copies of minutes of public meetings at which the directive for opinion was discussed.
    1. In order to normalize the process and improve the quality of public records of recommendations/opinions, a form entitled “Town of Holden Beach Advisory Board/Committee Recommendation/Opinion” will be used. A suggested format is provided below.

Town of Holden Beach Board Advisory Board/Committee

Recommendation/Opinion


From the BOC to the Board/Committee

Date of BOC Meeting When Directive was Made:

Agenda Item #:

Directive to:(specify AB/AC)

Issue and Action Requested:

Background and Potential Implications:

Charge Questions:

Proposed Deadline:


To the BOC from the Board/ Committee

AB/AC Recommendation/Opinion:


Completed by Town clerk after BOC takes action

Date of BOC Meeting When Decision was Made

BOC Decision:

BOC Vote Tally:

ATTACHMENTS:

Pat explained that this was simply a proposal. She said that it was being put out there for review and feedback. To codify this directive, it will be issued as an administrative document adopted by resolution, not an ordinance.

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
Pat explained that this was just a second reading of her proposal and it was being put out there for review and feedback. They have not received any feedback yet. Next month it will be issued as an administrative document adopted by resolution, not an ordinance.

No decision was made – No action taken


13. Discussion and Possible Direction on a More Formal Procedure for the Board of Commissioners’ Requests for Actions to the Town Manager or Town Attorney – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Previously reported – November 2019
Agenda Packet –
BOC Meetings often result in requests for Town Manager or Attorney action. There are times when the full ask is not clearly expressed by the Board, leading to confusion and time loss by Staff as they try to get clarity from meeting tapes or follow-up discussion with Commissioners.

A written form for BOC requests made to the Town Manager or Town Attorney that result from discussion and agreement at BOC Meetings could reduce the level of uncertainty that sometimes results, particularly after a lengthy debate.

Below is a draft of what a form might look like.


THB Board of Commissioner Requests for Town Manager/Attorney Action

      1. Date of BOC Meeting
      2. Agenda Item #
      3. Issue:
      4. Request to:
      5. Motion:
      6. Action Requested:
      7. Vote Tally:
      8. Proposed Deadline:

If an agenda item owner anticipates a BOC decision could lead to a work request (e.g., ordinance or policy change, plan of action presentation, request for an outside study, etc.), the agenda item owner would submit a form for the meeting packet with items 1 and 3 already completed and possibly a proposal for what they think the action could be and who the request will be made to (to be finalized after discussion and vote);Items 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 can be completed by the town clerk or BOC executive secretary following discussion and vote. The form would become part of the meeting minutes.

Pat explained again that this was simply a proposal. She said that it was being put out there for review and feedback. The gist of her position is for them to clarify: What exactly are we asking for? The action is to develop a specific ask so it can be properly actioned.

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
Pat explained that this was just a second reading of her proposal and it was being put out there for review and feedback. They have not received any feedback yet. Next month it will be issued as an administrative document adopted by resolution, not an ordinance.

No decision was made – No action taken


14. Discussion and Possible Action on Proposed Town of Holden Beach Resolution 19-07, Resolution Regarding NCDEQ Issuance of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits to CPI – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
RESOLUTION 19-07
RESOLUTION REGARDING NCDEQ ISSUANCE OF NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES) PERMITS TO CPI

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT:

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach, NC is a barrier island community located in Brunswick County; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach barrier island is a west to east oriented island, bounded by the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) on the north, the Atlantic Ocean on the south facing the Long Bay region of Brunswick County, the Shallotte Inlet to the west and the Lockwood Folly (LWF) Inlet to the east; and

WHEREAS, Oak Island is a west to east oriented barrier island bounded by the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) on the north, the Atlantic Ocean on the south facing the Long Bay region of Brunswick County, the LWF Inlet to the west and the mouth of the Cape Fear river to the east; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Caswell Beach is located near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, occupying the east end of Oak Island in Brunswick County; and

WHEREAS, CPI USA North Carolina LLC (CPI), a cogeneration power plant located at 1281 Powerhouse Drive, Southport NC, burns a mixture of coal, wood, and used tires to generate steam and electricity for sale; and

WHEREAS, all wastewater and stormwater discharge from CPI goes to the effluent channel used by Duke Energy Progress at their Southport power station, which discharges into the Atlantic Ocean approximately 2000 feet offshore of Caswell Beach; and

WHEREAS, CPI has applied to North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) for a renewal of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for wastewater (Draft Permit NC0065099) and stormwater (Draft Permit NCS000348); and

WHEREAS, NCDEQ has issued draft permits with conditions that would allow increased volume of permitted discharges from the site.

FURTHERMORE, LET IT BE KNOWN THAT:

WHEREAS, given the uncertain makeup of the CPI burn mixture, a consistent waste stream is difficult to envision; and

WHEREAS, bottom ash transport water and stormwater have been added to the allowed discharge; and

WHEREAS, longer term historical data on the specific components and their concentrations in various CPI discharges does not appear readily available on the NCDEQ website for the permit applications; and

WHEREAS, NCDEQ states that “compliance with the limitations for 126 Priority Pollutants shall be determined by engineering calculations which demonstrated that the regulated pollutants are not detectable in the final discharge by analytical methods in 40 CFR part 136 (in accord with 40 CFR 423.23 (d)(3))”; and

WHEREAS, given the uncertainties, monitoring frequency of once per permit cycle, i.e., once in 5 years, for Priority Pollutants of concern does not appear adequate; and

WHEREAS, given the uncertainties, quarterly monitoring frequency of pollutants of concern, which include copper and chromium, does not appear adequate; and

WHEREAS, said proposed CPI discharges have the potential to adversely impact ocean water and onshore and offshore sand quality, with potential safety ramifications for local and migratory marine species as well as humans; and

WHEREAS, natural nearshore transport of sand via littoral drift occurs from east to west in Long Bay; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach receives shoreline sand from the east to west littoral drift and increasingly relies on offshore sand dredging for beach re-nourishment; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Holden Beach relies on its reputation as a safe and pristine beach community to attract tourism, the main economic driver for the town.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach that, in the best interest of environmental and public safety of the public in general, the Town of Holden Beach and other Brunswick County beach communities, the NC DEQ, before issuing a final permit, shall make available to the public all modelling, existing individual component historical monitoring data, and risk assessments, whether provided by CPI or performed  by NCDEQ or other scientifically  qualified entities, which can be  used to understand the level of risk associated with the proposed discharge streams.

BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that before any decision is taken by NCDEQ on granting the two permits in question to CPI, additional public hearings shall be held and an additional period of public comment on the applications and proposed/draft permits shall be offered.

Update –
Pat’s takeaway from the meeting was that they did not provide sufficient information, justification or clarity to explain approving the discharge permit.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Environmental concerns raised over Brunswick’s delayed RO discharge permit
A host of environmental groups are raising concerns about Brunswick County’s draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit that would allow the release of reverse osmosis discharge containing an unknown makeup of emerging contaminants in the Cape Fear River. In a letter to regulators, the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of eight environmental advocacy groups both compliments and criticizes Brunswick County and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The groups say both the county and regulators can and should do more to ensure the discharge is safe and limits the release of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The letter claims both the county and DEQ have violated the Clean Water Act in the permitting process; the county violated the act by not disclosing PFAS concentrations in its permit application; the DEQ violated it by failing to ensure toxic substance standards required of Class C waters are met, according to the letter.

System failures
Brunswick County’s $90 million low-pressure reverse osmosis (RO) treatment solution to the emerging contaminants identified in the Cape Fear River involves enhancements to its conventional treatment system at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant. This solution is a “necessary response” to system failures, the letter states. These failures include the private sector’s failure to control discharge of emerging contaminants into the Cape Fear River and the DEQ’s failure in the permitting process to identify and control PFAS discharges, the environmental groups conclude. Brunswick County would be required to sample 28 PFAS on a semiannual basis, according to the draft permit. This monitoring requirement, among others, are “simply inadequate,” the letter states. PFAS are known to vary wildly in sampling data, so a monthly monitoring requirement would more accurately characterize PFAS concentrations, the groups say. “If Brunswick were to discharge undisclosed PFAS, it would violate the Clean Water Act. Moreover, because of this omission, DEQ does not have the information it needs to make a fully informed decision to issue the permit and the public does not have adequate information to meaningfully comment on it,” the letter states. By allowing Brunswick County to release PFAS — without explicitly listing concentrations on the discharge permit — the DEQ is repeating the same mistakes that contributed to the region’s water crisis, according to SELC attorney Geoffrey Gisler. Gisler, who co-wrote the letter to regulators, said the Clean Water Act clearly empowers the DEQ to require permitted dischargers to disclose what they’re discharging. The burden of responsibility to study the PFAS makeup in the discharge falls on the county, Gisler said. Once the concentrations are known, the onus is on the state, according to Gisler, to evaluation and require pollution-control measures to limit PFAS discharges. “That analysis needs to be done and made public,” Gisler said.

Diluted backwash
Research shows the RO treatment process can remove nearly all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from raw water, however, the technology inevitably includes discharging approximately one-fifth of the amount of water processed as backwash. The release of the discharge concentrate solution into public surface waters must be permitted. In a draft NPDES permit issued Oct. 31, DEQ would allow Brunswick County to release up to 5 million gallons a day (mgd) of RO backwash from a new discharge pipeline into the Cape Fear River. This discharge would serve as point source pollution, Gisler said. “Point source is anything that collects water pollution and dumps it into a river,” he said. “This is certainly a point source that is polluting.” The SELC points to Cape Fear Public Utilities’ (CFPUA) decision to install Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) at its water treatment facility, the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. Like RO, GAC can remove nearly all PFAS from raw water. Unlike RO, GAC captures contaminants in filters that can be burned and recycled or disposed of in a landfill. Before opting to move ahead with RO in May 2018, Brunswick County’s consultant studied GAC as a treatment solution but in its final recommendation, concluded RO was the best fit. Asked if SELC was proposing that Brunswick County install a GAC filter to reduce contaminant concentration in its RO backwash, Gisler said stakeholders should go where the research leads. “We don’t know where the analysis ends up,” Gisler said. “What we’re saying is we know these technologies are out there.”

Permit pending, project delayed
In a statement, Brunswick County maintains it has been transparent with regulators throughout the permitting process regarding PFAS. The county’s proposed RO discharge will not add any additional PFAS into the Cape Fear River, the county affirms. “Throughout the many meetings and telephone conversations regarding the project’s NPDES permit, DEQ staff have been made fully aware that the key water quality goal of this project is to remove PFAS contaminants from the County’s drinking water that cannot be removed through conventional treatment methods,” Brunswick County’s spokesperson provided in a statement (read the full statement at the bottom of this article). Raw water treated at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant is sourced from Kings Bluff in Riegelwood, 13 miles upstream. Brunswick County’s RO plans include constructing a new 4-mile concentrate discharge pipeline that would cross under Mt. Misery Road and release backwash into the Cape Fear River. Sarah Young, a DEQ spokesperson, could not immediately provide a response to SELC’s conclusions. Young confirmed Brunswick County’s draft NPDES permit is still pending with a decision due in early March 2020. DEQ staff are reviewing all comments received, Young said, which could inform changes to the permit prior to its possible issuance.

Meanwhile, the project itself is behind schedule. In a notice to prospective bidders in late November, the county delayed its bid due dates by three months. Bids for both the concentrate pipeline project and plant treatment enhancements are due in March 2020. This delay was caused by DEQ’s adjusted permit review process, the county said in a statement, and feedback from contractors who raised concerns about the tight project timeline. Pre-bidding documents revealed the county was still considering a no-RO upgrade solution as one of 10 alternatives being bid; while the county has consistently stated it is committed to an RO solution, this alternative is still on the table given three uncertainties shared with inquiring contractors: bid price, project budget, and status of the NPDES permit.

Read Brunswick County’s full response below:
“Brunswick County reaffirms that providing clean, reliable and affordable drinking water to our residents and customers is of paramount importance to our county leadership and the Public Utilities team. Brunswick County is planning to install one of the most effective, proven technologies for the removal of both regulated and unregulated contaminants that is protective of human health and resilient to contaminant spikes in the Cape Fear River source water. Brunswick County has been transparent with DEQ and the public regarding the advanced low-pressure reverse osmosis system NPDES permit, the contents of the discharge, and the fact that the process will remove almost all PFAS from customer’s drinking water; the County has also been transparent to DEQ that no additional PFAS will be added to the discharge through the treatment process before being returned to the original water source from which it was taken. Throughout the many meetings and telephone conversations regarding the project’s NPDES permit, DEQ staff have been made fully aware that the key water quality goal of this project is to remove PFAS contaminants from the County’s drinking water that cannot be removed through conventional treatment methods. We appreciate DEQ’s consideration in issuing an NPDES permit for the proposed advanced low-pressure reverse osmosis system and will continue to work with the department and other interested parties throughout the process. The conditions of the permit will require the County to continue monitoring for PFAS and other contaminants, and it includes a means to implement discharge limits in the future if necessary.”

Read SELC’s full comments on the NPDES permit below:
2019-12-05 SELC Comments  by Johanna Ferebee Still on Scribd

Read more » click here 


15. Town Manager’s Report

FEMA / Storm Events
The Town is currently working reimbursements from five (5) federally declared storms simultaneously. Each of the five (5) projects are treated separately, we may be able to achieve economies of scale if we can combine them. We will be going through the bid process for the estimated $25 million in sand reimbursements.  The Dorian declaration raises the total up to $30 million if it is added into the mix. Because of our experience working with FEMA we are serving as a guinea pig; reimbursement will be through new digital FEMA Grants Portal.

Florence / Michael
FloMike hurricane project funds have been awarded
Florence – federal and state $15,861,220
Michael – federal and state $8,547,505
FloMike total Cat G beach nourishment funding is $24,408,725

Dorian
Federal declaration was made for Hurricane Dorian that includes coastal communities in Brunswick County. Town has estimated approximately $4.5 million for Cat G FEMA reimbursements. 

Matthew / Irene
Revisions made and submitted, still have @$300,000 on the table

Grants OK’d for Emerald Isle, Holden Beach
North Carolina and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials announced Thursday more than $54.9 million in hurricane- and tropical storm-related public assistance grants have been approved for Emerald Isle and Holden Beach. The grants are to reimburse expenses to renourish public beaches in the coastal towns which were damaged by storm surges during Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael in 2018. Emerald Isle is to replenish with more than 2 million cubic yards of sand and more than 377,000 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence. The sand equals more than 20 times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium and the volume of plants covers 78 acres, according to the announcement. Holden Beach will replenish more than 389,000 cubic yards of sand damaged during Tropical Storm Michael. FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75% of eligible costs, and the remaining 25% is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs. FEMA’s combined share for the Emerald Isle and Holden Beach projects is more than $41.2 million and the state’s share is more than $13.7 million.

The state and FEMA have approved more than $72 million to restore North Carolina beaches since the 2018 storms.
Read more » click here

FEMA announces reimbursements for Holden Beach, Wilmington
FEMA and the State of North Carolina announced the reimbursement of millions of dollars Wednesday for Holden Beach and Wilmington. According to a news release, more than $15.8 million will go toward reimbursing expenses spent to restore storm-related beach damage. Those funds include the reimbursement of beach sand in Holden Beach. “Holden Beach will replenish with more than 722,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 2,500 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence,” FEMA said in the release. “The sand equals more than seven times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.” Earlier this month, Holden Beach was approved for a reimbursement of $8.5 million for Tropical-Storm Michael-related beach damage. FEMA and state officials also approved an additional $3 million to reimburse the City of Wilmington for debris removal following Hurricane Florence.This latest amount brings the total to more than $20.5 million to reimburse the city’s debris removal expenses. “More than 1.3 million cubic yards of hurricane-related vegetation — enough to fill more than 6,700 train boxcars — was collected in Wilmington,” FEMA stated in a news release. “Funds for this project cover work completed from Sept. 20, 2018, through Feb. 23, 2019.”
Read more » click here

Topsail Beach, Holden Beach receive more storm restoration funding
The State of North Carolina and FEMA on Wednesday announced more than $30 million total headed to Southeastern North Carolina beach towns from hurricane- and storm-related damage. In all, beaches in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties suffered more than $119 million in damage from Florence, and that doesn’t include previous issues, or problems that surfaced during Hurricane Dorian in September 2019. The town of Holden Beach is receiving $15.8 million, and that money is expected to be used to help replenish more than 722,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 2,500 square yards of plants damaged during Florence, according to a press release. The recent funding is in addition to $8.5 million approved earlier this month for Tropical Storm Michael-related beach damage. In addition, $18.8 million will be given to the Town of Topsail Beach for its damages from Florence. It is expected to replenish more than 939,000 cubic yards of sand damaged or lost during that storm. The town recently started a $24.6 million project for dredging and beach renourishment. These funding packages are part of FEMA’s Public Assistance program, which provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs, and the remaining 25 percent is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs. In all, more than $107 million has been approved to restore North Carolina Beaches since the 2018 storms.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach gets more than $15.8M to restore coastline
The State of North Carolina and FEMA have approved more than $15.8 million to reimburse expenses to restore hurricane and tropical storm related beach damage. The funds include reimbursing the replacement of beach sand in the Town of Holden Beach. Storm surges from Hurricane Florence damaged the coastal community’s beach. Holden Beach will replenish with more than 722,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 2,500 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence. The sand equals more than seven times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. The recent funding for Holden Beach is in addition to $8.5 million approved earlier this month for Tropical Storm Michael-related beach damage. FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs, and the remaining 25 percent is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs. FEMA’s share for the latest Holden Beach project is more than $11.8 million and the state’s share is more than $3.9 million. More than $107 million has been approved to restore North Carolina beaches since the 2018 storms. In addition to Holden Beach, the towns of Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Topsail Beach have been approved for beach restoration funding.
Read more » click here


LWF Bend Widener Navigation Maintenance Project
The LWF inlet crossing maintenance project is underway with dredging operations by Goodloe Marine. Shore pipe is in place on the beach near tip of the island. Expect operations through early January; nighttime operations are probable. Production estimates for beach fill are 7000 yds per day but dredge has never done this job. Goodloe has only had it 4-5 months.  Total quantity estimated at over 200,000 cy. With placement volumes being significantly less.

Beach Nourishment
The sand search continues.  The hydrography survey and vibracores have been completed. However, we were told that an archeological side beam scan is required, which will be done over the next few weeks, before we can submit for permit modification.  Offshore investigation is moving forward and is on schedule.

Budget Ordinance 19-18
Last month BOC’s approved $30,000

  • $4,600 for the LWF maintenance dredging project
  • $25,400 for surveying and engineering services

Administrative error required him to move funds to proper account

Previously reported – November 2019
The County is asking us to pay $37,476, the local portion for the dredging project
Ordinance 19-18 is transferring just $4,600, that leaves a $32,876 shortfall
We previously budgeted $33,000 for one dredge event for this year
There just isn’t enough money in the budget to cover the entire request from the county
They are transferring $4,600 which increases the dredging line item to $37,600  

Amendment was made based on FEMA requirement change that they were informed about this morning. Apparently, FEMA is requiring additional surveys for Dorian to go to depth of closure. This will require not only the survey work but additional analysis from ATM. The staff therefore recommends amending budget ordinance from $4,600 to a total of $30,000. This budgets $4,600 for the LWF maintenance dredging project and $25,400 for surveying and engineering services.

Depth of closure (DOC) is an important concept used in coastal engineering. The DOC is a theoretical depth along a beach profile where sediment transport is very small or non-existent, dependent on wave height and period, and occasionally, sediment grain size.

Moved funds of $30,000
From Revenue account #50.0398.0300 to Expense account#50.0710.7200

Audit
Received and approved by LGC

BEMC
They notified us of a rate hike, scheduled with effective date of April 2020
This is
the first-rate hike in ten (10) years
It will impact our budget, primarily sewer utility bills
This will need to be addressed during the budget process

Lift Station #3
Lift Station #3 is progressing as follows:
Advertise for Bids          10/24/19          done
Mandatory Pre-Bids      12/10/19          done
Receive Bids                    12/19/19
Contract Award             01/21/20
Construction Start        03/23/20
Closeout                          12/31/20

Walkway
Public beach access at 289.5 OBW is under construction

Previously reported – February 2019
Governor Roy Cooper announced that Holden Beach was awarded a public access grant for $16,335 for the construction of a beach access walkway at 289.5 OBW 

Holden Beach Bridge Repairs
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 October1, 2019

16. Mayor’s Comments

From the Mayor’s Desk
Inlet Hazard Area Changes
The Coastal Resources Commission is in the process of developing new rules that have the potential to greatly impact several hundred lots at Holden Beach. Please review the information below for an executive summary prepared by the Business Alliance for a Sound Economy (NCBASE) complete with details of the rules, dates/times of public hearings, maps of properties affected and contact information for those needing to receive feedback on the proposed changes.

Please take the time to review, attend the hearings if possible and provide your comments/concerns.

Information from NCBASE:
The NC Division of Coastal Management is holding public hearings and accepting feedback regarding the proposed changes to the Inlet Hazard Areas (IHA). The proposal put forth will 1) greatly expand inlet hazard areas as well as 2) significantly change in the way that setbacks are measured in these areas. If approved by the Coastal Resources Commission, this proposal will impact thousands of acres of coastal land and thousands of parcels and structures in our region.

The proposed rules can be found in the attached document (click here) on pages 16. On pages 6 – 7, you can see the breakdown (structure, acres) by community.

Here are some additional links to resources related to the IHA update:

Please review the new maps and new rules. Then make plans to attend the public hearings and make your voice heard.

Public Hearings and Comment Period:
Public hearings start on December 17, 2019 in Brunswick County and will be held in a number of coastal locations through mid-January. The full schedule is at the end of this document. Written comments, questions and feedback will also be accepted. Provide written comments, questions and feedback via email to DCM Director Braxton Davis (braxton.davis@ncdenr.gov) and/or Ken Richardson (ken.richardson@ncdenr.gov).

Comments will be accepted through January 31, 2020. Depending on breadth of comments, the issue could go to the Coastal Resources Commission at the February 2020 meeting and have an implementation date of April or May 2020.

Over the same period, the state of North Carolina and individual communities have continued to proactively advance coastal management strategies including the creation of a shallow draft inlet fund, the permitting of terminal groins and investment in continued coastal storm damage reduction projects to enhance our coastal infrastructure.

Concerns:

  • The impacts of the expanded Inlet Hazard Areas and revised setback calculations will be widespread and significant.
    • Has DCM notified property owners that will be in the expanded Inlet Hazard Area?
    • Has DCM notified property owners in the current Inlet Hazard Area that the setback factors are changing?
  • The Proposed IHA Rule Changes and new setback calculations could result in a taking of private property if they completely prevent development of a parcel. For example, if a lot is 150′ deep and its setback goes from 60′ to 240′-it is unbuildable.

The Proposed IHA Rule Changes may increase the CRC’s exposure to takings claims. Such claims may arise because the Proposed IHA Rule Changes and setbacks would prohibit development within areas in which development is not currently prohibited. They may also arise where property owners who acquired or held their property with the expectation of being able to develop at a certain intensity are not satisfied with the limited development potential that the Proposed IHA Rule Changes would permit in protected IHAs

  • The grandfathering provisions need to be expanded. The grandfathering protection the CRC Memo says would apply to all lots under 15,000 sq.ft. is not actually included in the Proposed IHA Rule Changes.

The CRC Memo states that the Proposed IHA Rule Changes include provisions to grandfather all existing structures within the new IHAs as well as all lots under 15,000 square feet, platted after July 23, 1984 or before the effective date of the Proposed IHA Rule Changes, with respect to density restrictions. However, there is no language in the Proposed IHA Rule Changes that expressly grandfathers such lots.

  • The cumulative effect of the Proposed IHA Rule Changes is to make an additional 1,819.7 acres of coastal land subject to development restrictions-in addition to expanding restrictions on existing parcels in the IHA. This will impact property values in a range of affected communities.
  • The Proposed IHA Rule Changes imply a causal connection between the size of a structure, the number of units in a structure, and the size of a lot and the risk of erosion, flooding, and other adverse effects of sand, wind and water associated with dynamic ocean inlets. It is unclear, however, how the size of a home, the number of units, or size of a lot has any causal relationship to the risk of realizing hazards associated with dynamic ocean inlets.
  • The revised rules will negatively impact property values and complicate potential sales and financing as a result of the “new” nonconforming status of the structures and parcels identified in the CRC Memo. To help alleviate the concern about making existing structures nonconforming, CRC could include a provision in the Proposed IHA Rule Changes that would allow for reconstruction of nonconforming structures and structures on nonconforming lots without the need to come into compliance with current rules.
    • Table 3 of the CRC Memo shows that, under the Proposed IHA Rule Changes, the number of lots within IHAs that do not meet the 15,000 square feet minimum lot size requirement more than doubles, from 894 lots to 1,805 lots.
    • Similarly, Table 2 of the CRC Memo shows that, overall, the Proposed IHA Rule Changes would increase the number of structures with heated area greater than 5,000 square feet within or intersecting IHA boundaries from 24 to 41. Under the Proposed IHA Rule Changes, all such structures would be non-conforming with respect to the proposed maximum floor area allowance.

Public Hearing Schedule / Inlet Hazard Area Update

Brunswick County December 17, 2019 10:00 a.m.
Brunswick County Government Complex
30 Government Center Drive, NE
Bolivia, NC 28422

New Hanover County December 17, 2019 3:00 p.m.
New Hanover County Government Center
230 Government Center Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403

Onslow County December 18, 2019 10:00 a.m.
Sneads Ferry Library
1330 Highway 210
Sneads Ferry, NC 28460

Pender County December 18, 2019 3:00 p.m.
Assembly Building
720 Channel Blvd.
Topsail Beach, NC 28445

Carteret County January 7, 2020 3:00 p.m.
NCDCM
400 Commerce Avenue
Morehead City, NC 28557

Hyde County January 8, 2020 10:00 a.m.
Community Center – Multipurpose Room
30 Oyster Creek Road
Swan Quarter, NC 27885
*broadcast simultaneously to Ocracoke Island:

Ocracoke Community Center
999 Irvin Garrish Highway
Ocracoke, NC 27960

Dare County January 14, 2020 11:00 a.m.
Town of Nags Head
Board of Commissioners Room
5401 S. Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959


Receipt of Inlet and Beach Protection Board Report

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

Agenda Packet –
November IBPB Meeting Update

The Inlet and Beach Protection Board (IBPB) met November 21and the following issues and topics were discussed and addressed:

Status of the Beach and Inlets:  Staff provided an overview of current and future projects, efforts and conditions, and issues relative to the beach strand and inlets. Highlights include:

    • CRR FEMA Reimbursement: The status of the $25,000,000 FEMA Florence and Michael remediation project, now known as the Central Reach Reimbursement Project, (CRR Project) was discussed. The approved project worksheets needed before work can start have cleared Environmental review and are now in the Office of Legislative Affairs, pending release.
    • Sand Search: The sand sourcing needed for the FEMA/CRR project is moving forward. All borings have been taken and are being analyzed. Next up is an archeological assessment and a check for hard bottom. The area targeted is SSE of the Lockwood Folly Inlet.
    • Hurricane Dorian: The Scoping meeting with the state has been completed and these numbers have been transmitted to FEMA. We have been notified that additional survey information to depth of closure will be needed. The Town has been complimented on their efforts to get numbers in to FEMA in a timely fashion and the staff’s ability to engage with expertise in navigating the portal.
    • LWFIX and Bend Widener: The pending projects were detailed and discussed. The Corps had previously confirmed that a dredging project would occur this winter and place approximately 135,000cy of material from the bend widener and80,000cy from the LWFIX on the East End and funds were secured from the Town, County and the State which were forwarded to the Corps. The proposed schedule for work will be late November to late December. While we are excited about sand being added to the system, the downside is possible sand loss due to winter storms. Sand fence will be placed after the project completes. Sand fence is critical with this project due to the quantity of fines.
    • Lockwood Folly Dredging: The inlet is experiencing shoaling from Hurricane Dorian. The Town will be participating in a County/State partnership initiated by the Corps to dredge the outer bar using the Merritt side-caster dredge to clear the inlet. The Town will be contributing 25% of the local share. The Merritt is expected to begin work November 22. The budget amendment to fund the work was approved on November 19.
    • Corps Engagement: The GRR/50 Year Plan/15 Year Plan Study and the separate 1966 Dune and Berm Construction Projects precipitated from the Wilmington District of the Corps of Engineers and the lobbyist’s efforts were touched on. A decision from the Corps was anticipated by the end of August, but the decision is still pending.
    • UNCW Collaboration: Representatives from UNCW have presented a contract and scope of work to begin working on the vegetation study and the inlet changes document. Town Staff is ready to move ahead.
    • Annual Beach Monitoring Report: The annual Beach Monitoring Report was presented at the October BOC meeting. It is being reviewed by Town staff.
    • Other Updates: “Keep Off the Dunes” signs, which were approved in the adopted budget have been ordered. Mats will be ordered this winter. Steve Mercer, of Coastal Transplants, has been harvesting Sea Oat seeds. The IBPB received a hardcopy of the Oceanfront and Inlet Management Plan dated October 2019.

Meeting Updates:

    • Brunswick County Shoreline Protection: The IBPB was represented at the meetingOctober 2,2019. The next scheduled meeting will be in January.
    • ASBPA: Members, Commissioners and Staff attended the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) National Meeting October 22-25 in Myrtle Beach. Town Manager Hewett, Assistant Town Manager Ferguson and the Town’s engineer, Fran Way of ATM presented on the Central Reach Project at the conference. The presentation was well received.
    • Quarterly MOA: IBPB members, Staff and a Commissioner attended or dialed in to the quarterly MOA meeting in New Bern. The bid for this winter’s dredging of the Lockwood Folly Crossing and Bend Widener has been awarded. This project would place “‘215Kcy of material on the east end of the beach. The side-caster dredge Merritt will be in the inlet this month to alleviate shoaling from Hurricane Dorian. The local portion of the cost will be split SO% County, 25% Oak Island and 25% Holden Beach.
    • NCBIWA: IBPB members, the Mayor and Staff also attended the NC Beach, Inlets and Waterway Association’s Annual Meeting in Wrightsville Beach November 12, 13.

The Board’s next meeting will be December 19, a week earlier due to the Christmas holiday.


General Comments –

Commissioner Fletcher – was not in attendance
Commissioner-Elect Murdockwas not in attendance

Light refreshments were provided at the conclusion of the meeting.

There were forty-seven (47) members of the community in attendance
Average attendance at meetings for 2019 was twenty-four (24)
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Maybe we should serve refreshments at all the meetings

The BOC’s January Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, January 21st


Loose Ends –

      • Development Fees                                                             June 2018      
      • Poyner Spruill Consulting Services Contract               December 2018
      • Commercial District                                                         February 2019
      • Vacuum Sewer System Station #3                                  June 2019
      • MAPS / Pay Study                                                             September 2019         
      • Land Use Plan                                                                   October 2019             
      • Parking                                                                               October 2019             
      • Mega-Houses                                                                     October 2019 
      • Audit Remedial Policies & Procedures                          November 2019         

Budget Season –
Every year we talk about starting the budget process earlier.
Every year it wasn’t moved up in any meaningful way.
Every year the Board is still not really working on the budget until the eleventh hour.
I am disappointed that we have not even established the budget meeting schedule yet.

Budget Calendar –
Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:
.     1.
Raising taxes
.     2.
Cutting spending
.     3.
Operating more efficiently

The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st
Commissioners must adopt budget no later than June 30th for the next fiscal year

Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board.

This is what I’d like to see the budget process look like starting in January –
.     1.
Monthly Meetings / Workshops
.     2.
Board Goals
.     3.
Review Capital Improvement Plan
.     4.
Staff presentations – wants / needs / revenue streams / cost cutting measures
.     5.
Review Towns current level of services provided – change /add / delete
.     6.
Review staffing and compensation package
.     7.
Line by line review of the budget
.     8.
Appropriate funds for the following:
.        
Beach Nourishment
.        • Dredging
.        
Infrastructure Reserves – Water System / Sewer System / Roads & Sidewalks



I respectfully submit My Xmas List

These are the items I would most like to see addressed this year.
    1.
Beach – Strand / Inlet / Groin
.       a)
Select an East End nourishment project strategy
.       b)
Support LWF Inlet waterway maintenance projects, keeping inlet navigable
.       c)
Work together on beach protection issues with surrounding communities
      d)
Increase Beach Strand Ordinance Compliance & Enforcement
.       e)
Expand Beach Ranger Program by having it cover shoulder tourist season too
.    2.
Parking
.       a)
Develop plans for a promenade on Jordan Boulevard
      b)
Utilize acquired properties for additional parking
.       c)
Prohibit right-of-way parking
.   3.
Trash Services
.       a)
Offer a suite of services
      b)
Charge a user fee for those that want the service
.       c)
Make policies both fair and consistent
.   4)
Community Rating System
      a) I
mprove rating so flood insurance rates are discounted


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


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


Request – 
We encourage you to pass along this newsletter to anyone else you think would enjoy it. We would like to include other members of the community and are asking for your help in making that happen. To be added to our distribution list send an e-mail to hbpoin@ec.rr.com or subscribe on our website https://lousviews.com.

Thank you for subscribing!

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


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


Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday!


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

https://lousviews.com/

12 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / December Edition


Calendar of Events –


Las Vegas Night
The Rotary Club of Shallotte will host its fifteenth annual Las Vegas Night on Saturday, January 25that 349 Whiteville Road, the Planet Fun building in Shallotte.


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 –


Run Holden Beach – 2020
The sixth annual “Run Holden Beach” event is scheduled on Saturday, January 18th. Coastal Race Productions is planning a 1 mile “turtle trot”, 5K walk / run and a half marathon with all of these races starting and finishing under the bridge. This will all be followed by live music, games and an after party at the Holden Beach Pavilion.
This annual event includes three races –
Half Marathon – 7:00 AM
5K – 7:15 AM
1 Mile Turtle Trot – 8:30 AM
For more information » click here
Register » click here


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


Reminders


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



BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, January 21st


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


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


Recycling-Bin
Curbside Recycling

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


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

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

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


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



Neighborhood Watch –

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


Upon Further Review –


Annual Beach Monitoring Report
Previously reported – October 2019
Agenda Packet –
The Town participates in annual beach monitoring in an effort to maintain a healthy beach and dune system and to keep our engineered beach status.  These reports are also instrumental   in serving as a baseline account of sand volume as compared to post-storm surveys.  Mr. Fran Way with ATM is here to present data from the annual report and highlight changes since last year.

Applied Technology Management
ATM is a coastal engineering firm hired by the town to do the following:
.     1.
Annual monitoring, data collection and reporting
.     2.
Assess sand erosion
    3.
Evaluate nourishment
.     4.
FEMA projects cost reimbursement support
.     5.
Meet government regulatory permitting conditions

Annual monitoring has occurred since 2001. We have an engineered beach – which means it has been nourished and is being monitored.

Fran Way presented the annual beach monitoring report. They have completed the annual survey of the beach strand. Primarily they make sure the beach is healthy. Most sections of the beach strand are stable and had accretion. Beach equilibration has occurred, projects are designed to include a volume of sand that the waves and currents will transport offshore to fill in the lower parts of the beach profile. Some of the sand lost off shore has been come back in to the system. The beach strand is recovering nicely from the recent storm events. Ongoing beach management activity has made the beach strand wider than it was twenty years ago. We have used a significant amount of material from the borrow area and will need to identify new areas to take sand from for future large-scale projects.

Update –
Annual Beach Monitoring Report
For more information »
click here


Corrections & Amplifications –


Gerrymandering
Previously reported – January 2018
Federal court voids North Carolina’s GOP-drawn congressional map for partisan gerrymandering
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Previously reported – September 2018
NC Congressional Districts Unconstitutionally Gerrymandered
A panel of three federal judges ruled for the second time this year that the state’s congressional map was drawn to so egregiously benefit Republicans that it violates the Constitution.

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

Gerrymandering is the process by which legislators draw voting districts that give their own party a political advantage. The North Carolina map, for instance, allowed Republicans to take 10 out of the state’s 13 House seats in 2016 despite winning 53 percent of the statewide popular vote.
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Previously reported – September 2018
North Carolina court strikes down state legislative map as unconstitutional gerrymander
A North Carolina court on Tuesday struck down the Republican-drawn state legislative map as an illegal partisan gerrymander and gave lawmakers two weeks to enact new district lines for next year’s elections.
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Three North Carolina Judges Step in Where the Supreme Court Refuses
The Supreme Court’s conservatives said gerrymandering was not a matter for courts, leaving the job of protecting democratic self-rule to state judges.
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Previously reported – October 2019
Suit Takes Aim at North Carolina’s Congressional District Lines
Group backed by Eric Holder says 2016 plan violated state Constitution and created a partisan advantage for GOP
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Previously reported – November 2019
North Carolina’s congressional map is illegal Republican gerrymander
A North Carolina court on Monday temporarily blocked the state from using its congressional map in next year’s elections and strongly suggested it would eventually rule the districts were illegally gerrymandered to favor Republicans.
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NC judges approve legislative maps,
rule against congressional maps in 2020 elections

North Carolina judges on Monday ruled against the state’s congressional map being used in the 2020 elections, and approved state legislative maps that were redrawn and passed in September. The court rulings came in two cases challenging state legislative and federal congressional maps. In one case, a three-judge panel ruled that new maps drawn in September in state legislative races can be used starting in 2020. In September, the three-judge panel issued a ruling ordering the North Carolina General Assembly to redraw the districts. In a separate ruling, the three-judge panel entered an injunction preventing 2020 Congressional races from using 2016 maps. The order suggests that the date of the 2020 primary election may be moved for the congressional races or even all races on the ballot if necessary. In an opinion from the preliminary injunction, the court referenced recently re-drawn North Carolina General Assembly maps as proof the legislature can draw new maps quickly.
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Democrats vow court fight to block new N.C. congressional map
North Carolina Republicans approved a new congressional map Friday that would cost the party at least two House seats and potentially roil the state’s delegation — but Democrats immediately objected, saying it’s still a GOP gerrymander.
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Update –
Judges: New North Carolina Congress map will be used in 2020
North Carolina judges ordered a new U.S. House district map that Republican state legislators drew last month be used in the 2020 elections, deciding on Monday there wasn’t time to scrutinize the boundaries further for any left-over extreme partisan bias. The three-judge panel agreed it was too late in the election cycle to receive evidence and testimony that would be necessary to consider detailed redistricting arguments from the lawmakers and from Democratic and independent voters who challenged the latest congressional maps.
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Odds & Ends


Christmas Trees Recycling
Christmas trees can be recycled to help build sand dunes on the beach. It is a way to build more protection on the shore by using them as a natural and biodegradable sand fencing. The trees are positioned facing downward at a 45-degree angle. Once the trees are laid down, they are left completely exposed except for the tips, which are covered in sand. The needles of the branches catch the sand and it starts to accumulate until gradually the sand will bury the tree and build up the dunes around them. As the tree biodegrades, it provides nutrients to the other plants and organisms around it.


Oak Island inches closer to major sand projects
Oak Island is likely close to receiving permission from environmental regulators for a major sand project this winter, a consulting engineer told Town Council Tuesday. The town is also expected to soon receive standing permission to dredge Lockwood Folly Inlet to its federally authorized depth, said Johnny Martin of the Moffatt & Nichol firm.
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Hopes for adding sand at Oak Island are dashed
Barring a last-minute, dramatic change, hopes for adding sand to parts of Oak Island’s beach are dashed for this winter season. The first round of soliciting bids brought no responses in late November. After waiting the required 10 days, the town again sought bids and the single response was more than twice what engineers and town officials planned for. The idea was to put sand from Jay Bird Shoals along the east and central portions of the beach, starting at about SE 63rd Street, roughly where sand from last year’s harbor deepening project stopped. Crews would build a base and dune capable of withstanding a once-in-25-year storm, roughly seven feet tall, extending to 22nd Place East. Two alternative add-on projects could have placed sand as far as 10th Place East. The town’s contract engineers, Moffatt & Nichol, told Town Council in November they expected the cost to be about $8-million, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency picking up 75-percent of the bill, roughly $6.02-million. State disaster aid and town funds would cover the remaining $2-million. The lone bid submitted on December 5 was from Weeks Marine Inc.’s Louisiana division. Including both alternatives, it was for $16,078,500. Town manager David Kelly said it appears the town can still do the work but will have to wait another year. In general, beach renourishment is allowed only from October to April, so that work won’t disturb nesting sea turtles. “It’s just not economically feasible for the town to pay $30 per cubic yard of sand,” Kelly said. Kelly added that the town expects to receive environmental permits for the job by later this month. Representatives from Moffatt & Nichol plan to attend the special council meeting on Tuesday, December 17 at 6 p.m.Oak Island. Sand project dead for this winter.
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This & That


Public meeting tonight regarding Carolina Bays Pkwy extension into NC
The NCDOT and SCDOT will hold a public meeting Tuesday in Sunset Beach regarding the proposal to extend the Carolina Bays Parkway. The goal is to extend the parkway (S.C. 31) from S.C. 9 in Horry County, South Carolina into North Carolina to U.S. 17 in Brunswick County. The project calls for a multi-lane freeway. The freeway would be on some existing roadways and some in new locations. The project would increase connectivity for Brunswick County and surrounding residents who frequently travel into South Carolina, as well as enhance mobility for the traffic in the area. Some of the current roadways and intersections are set to exceed the roadway capacity limits by 2040. Nine concepts have been developed for this project. Those maps can be found on the NCDOT Public Meetings website.
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S.C. 31 extension concepts mapped at public meetings
Nine corridor concepts for extension of the Carolina Bays Parkway, aka S.C. 31, into Brunswick County were under scrutiny at two public meetings last week. The drop-in public information meetings were orchestrated by the North Carolina and South Carolina departments of transportation last Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Sea Trail in Sunset Beach and Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Little River to give residents opportunity to review maps and ask highway officials and consultants questions. The meetings were in “open house” format with no formal presentations. The project would extend the parkway from its current terminus at S.C. 9 in Horry County, S.C., to the U.S. 17 Shallotte Bypass in Brunswick County. The purpose of the project is to “improve the transportation network by enhancing mobility and connectivity for traffic moving in and through the project area,” according to highway officials. The nine concepts were presented on aerial photographs mapping each possibility, which would begin at the existing parkway/S.C. 9 interchange in South Carolina and end at the U.S. 17 Shallotte Bypass in North Carolina. The concepts reflected tie-in variations between those two points, five of which would go through Indigo Farms, the Bellamy family’s historic six-generation Century Farm straddling the state line. “All concepts would use existing U.S. 17 for approximately 6.3 miles between N.C. 904 between N.C. 904 (Longwood / Seaside roads) and N.C. 130 in Brunswick County,” reads information about the project at publicinput.com/carolina-bays-pkwy, where comments can be submitted, and maps of each concept viewed. In addition, the proposal calls for converting three existing intersections along this section of U.S. 17, including N.C. 904, Ocean Isle Beach Road and U.S. 17 Business/Main Street in Shallotte. The concepts were developed to “minimize impacts to natural and human environment features such as homes, businesses, wetlands and streams,” according to posted information. The concepts are also wider than the area needed for a future road. “The study corridors shown are generally 1,000 feet wide, but the recommended right-of-way width will be much narrower, in general approximately 400 feet,” reads information on the site. The public is invited to submit comments to NCDOT’s public engagement platform, which can be reached from its aforementioned project web page. In addition to maps and project details, contact information is available on the website. Questions can be directed to project manager Krista Kimmel at NCDOT, 5501 Barbados Blvd., Castle Hayne, NC 28429 or by calling 341-2000 or khkimmel@ncdot.gov. The contact person for South Carolina is Leah Quattlebaum, Pee Dee regional production engineer, SCDOT, P.O. Box 191, Columbia, SC 29202; phone 803-737-1751 or quattleblb@scdot.org.
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From Ocean Ridge Master association (ORMA)
Impact of Carolina Bays Parkway (SC 31) Extension

Background:
The North Carolina and the South Carolina Departments of Transportation are planning to extend Carolina Bays Parkway (SC 31) from SC 9 in Horry County, SC, across the North Carolina state line to US 17 in Brunswick County. The project is not yet funded but under study. The latest summary concept map shows the 9 possible routes all ultimately converging at the US 17 and NC 904 intersection before traveling along US 17 in front of the Ocean Ridge front gate. The highway will be limited access with several interchanges.

Click here for the NCDOT site to view the summary and 9 individual concept maps with the right of way “shading” along the route.

Click here for more details on project timeline and cost.

Likely Impact:

(1) Limited access means no direct entrance from the highway into communities. There may be a “service” road parallel to US 17 and/or Ocean Ridge may lose its “premier entrance.”

(2) Plans show the OR front gate, several Lions golf holes, and parts of Windsor Circle in the “right of way” for the routes which the state may take for highway expansion and construction.

(3) The highway route cuts elementary and middle school districts in two, as well as, the local fire district. Bus routes for school children will be longer and response time for first responders will change

Public Comments Due:
You have until January 10,2020 to make comments directly to the NCDOT via https://www.publicinput.com/Carolina-bays-pkwy or by phone or email. You may also contact your State Representatives, NCDOT Project Manager, and County Commissioners with your comments and concerns.  

State Representative Frank Iler:  Frank.Iler@ncleg.net
State Senator Bill Rabon:  Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net
NCDOT Project Manager Krista Kimmel: khkimmel@ncdot.gov
County Commissioners: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/board-commissioners/contact/

County board concerned about S.C. 31 extension
The Brunswick County Commissioners expressed opposition to proposed plans for the extension of S.C. 31,  also known as the Carolina Bays Parkway Extension, during their regular meeting Monday, Dec. 16. Ocean Isle Beach resident Eric Edgerton spoke first regarding  the proposed highway plan during the public comment segment of the meeting. He told commissioners that the project will “make a monster of our county; it’s the right road, in the wrong place,”.
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Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


Holden Beach events help ‘pay it forward’
From one hand to another, Holden Beach merchants have initiated a chain reaction as donations to one charity “pay it forward” to other charitable organizations in Brunswick County. The Holden Beach Merchant’s Association recently selected A Second Helping as its designated charity following Days at the Docks and Festival by the Sea In turn, A Second Helping selected three county agencies, enabling these charities to further extend their efforts to help needy families in Brunswick County. Following the Holden Beach events Days at the Docks and Festival by the Sea, the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association determined all expenses incurred during the annual festivities were paid and money was available for next year’s events. With the remaining proceeds, the organization sat down to select a deserving charity.  In years past, the association had donated funds and supplies to Fix a Friend Spay Neuter Clinic and Brunswick Senior Resources Inc. This year, the association selected a charity closer to home. The Holden Beach merchants wrote a $1,000 check to A Second Helping, according to Dee Carlisle, president of the Holden Beach association.

A Second Helping is a local organization that collects unused items from departing vacationers as they travel from the island along the causeway. The organization sets up a collection center in the Beach Mart parking lot courtesy of owner Lyn Holden. This past summer, A Second Helping collected 14,330 pounds of food, paper products, unused toiletries, garbage bags and sometimes cash, according to Doug Cottrell, operations director for A Second Helping. The items are distributed throughout the county wherever they can be best used. A Second Helping added the Holden Beach Merchant’s Association’s gift to donations previously collected from generous tourists.  A Second Helping then distributed three $1,000 donations to the Brunswick Christian Recovery Center, the One Can Ministry emergency pantry and the Loaves and Fishes Pantry. “It is … interesting how others support what we do,” Cottrell stated in an email.  “Lyn Holden gladly welcomed us to use the front of his parking lot when I approached him about how poorly located the (Holden Beach) Chapel parking lot was to get donors from both sides of the bridge plus the traffic safety issue.  Mitch Young of Island Time Rentals provides our pop-up canopy each week.  All of the on-beach realtors put our information in their info packets or do it digitally in the case of Hobbs Realty.  We get surplus food from Archibald’s Deli. Bible Baptist Church has connections for relief food, and we have been the recipients of over-stock of that. I guess I could go on and on. “Needless to say, I try to run as crisp a volunteer group as I can and make sure everything, we get is re-distributed. ‘One-stop giving’…  so to speak. “My greatest joy is the smiles on donors faces that they can help, and they don’t throw anything away after having a great week at our wonderful family-oriented beach.”

“A Second Helping helps provide a very important service for BCRC (Brunswick Christian Recovery Center),” said Josh Torbich, director of BCRC. “Often times the common cost end up being the most extensive when you have residential care facilities. “The amount of everyday use items we consume as an organization is a heavy burden on our finances each month. “Of course, it is also one of the most important. With the services of A Second Helping we are able to majorly reduce the cost of these items by the kind and generous contributions of this awesome organization. It allows us to continue to focus on other areas while we know this particular need will continue to be filled.” Donations such as those made by A Second Helping allow Brunswick Christian Recovery Center to provide 16 weeks of free residential recovery for individuals seeking substance abuse assistance. The center, located in Ash, first opened its doors in 2011. Its director, Torbich, knows first-hand how debilitating and destructive addiction can be. A former heroin addict, Torbich draws on his personal struggle to help other men whose lives have become “very dark.”

The Sharon United Methodist Church also runs a thrift store, the Rose of Sharon Thrift Store located at 2060 Holden Beach Road. The pantry has fed more than 565 families, or 1,596 individuals, between January and October. In addition to the offerings of A Second Helping, church parishioners and the town of Holden Beach help keep the pantry shelves well stocked. According to Teeple, A Second Helping is very important as it “provides a variety of foods because the vacationers are from all over the place. They are very important. It’s a lot of work.”

A Second Helping also donated $1,000 to the Loaves and Fishes Pantry at the Brunswick Islands Baptist Church in Supply. The Beacon was unable to contact the Rev. Rudy Ramphal or any members of the Brunswick Islands Baptist Church for comment.
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A Second Helping
They just completed the fifteenth year of the program. For the last thirteen weeks they have collected food on Saturday mornings in front of Beach Mart; the food is distributed to the needy in Brunswick County. During this summer season, they collected 14,330 pounds of food and $2,780 in monetary donations. Their food collections have now exceeded two hundred and forty-three thousand (243,000) pounds of food since this program began in June of 2005. Hunger exists everywhere in this country.  Thanks to the Holden Beach vacationers for donating again this year!  Cash donations are gratefully accepted. One hundred percent (100%) of these cash donations are used to buy more food. You can be assured that the money will be very well spent.

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


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


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


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Climate
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The biggest climate stories you might have missed — but still have time to read.
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Development Fees
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Flood Insurance Program
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FEMA postpones flood insurance rate revamp amid backlash
FEMA is delaying a sweeping overhaul of flood insurance rates by one year, after the planned changes sparked concerns in Congress about premium hikes. The agency said its Risk Rating 2.0 initiative will be implemented on Oct. 1, 2021, rather than Oct. 1, 2020 — a move that takes off the table a potential spike in rates for homeowners in the run-up to next November’s elections. Under the initiative, which FEMA announced in March, the Trump administration is seeking to modernize the system by which the National Flood Insurance Program assesses risks and sets insurance rates for millions of homeowners across the country. The revamp is intended to provide a more accurate picture of perils facing individual properties, meaning it would likely lead to higher flood insurance rates for some homeowners and lower rates for others. The potential for rising flood insurance costs has spurred coastal lawmakers over the last several months to push back on FEMA’s efforts. For them, the delay was a welcome development. “This should have been announced long ago,” Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) said in an interview. “FEMA has been as clear as mud about what Risk Rating 2.0 actually is.” The delay underscored the struggle in modernizing the program, which is in debt to the Treasury after years of devastating hurricanes. Its approach to assessing risk has largely gone unchanged since the 1970s. “It’s complicated,” said Laura Lightbody, who directs the flood-prepared communities initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “But the purpose of doing it is to make sure that rates better reflect today’s risk. Changing the date, I don’t think should be the focus.”

FEMA said it was postponing the changeover because more time was needed for a comprehensive analysis of the proposed rating structure. FEMA’s goal as it conducts further review is “to protect policyholders and minimize any unintentional negative effects of the transition.” The extension, FEMA said, would also allow for all NFIP policies to change over to the new rating system at one time, rather than a phased approach as originally proposed. “Over the course of the next year, FEMA will continue to actively engage with Congress and other key stakeholders to ensure transparency and visibility as we work to transform the NFIP,” the agency said. The problem for many coastal lawmakers ahead of Thursday’s announcement was that FEMA had not conveyed what the potential impacts of Risk Rating 2.0 would be. That concern prompted 64 House members to demand last week that new caps on premium increases be included in a long-term flood insurance program reauthorization bill that is awaiting a vote on the House floor, as well as a delay of Risk Rating 2.0. “Republicans, Democrats, House, Senate, all of us have been pushing FEMA to provide some transparency, to open up the black box, to help us understand what they’re doing and how our reauthorization should take that into consideration,” Graves said. “It has been impossible to do so.” In the House and Senate, members on Thursday signaled they were undeterred in pushing for new affordability protections in upcoming flood insurance reauthorization bills. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement Thursday that a “strong premium cap” was needed in the flood insurance legislation to protect homeowners. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who has been leading the charge in the Senate, also viewed the delay as only a temporary fix. He planned to push for a “single-digit cap” on annual rate increases and a strong affordability program, a Menendez aide said. “A one-year delay does not alleviate the concern and likely pain for policyholders during a five-year reauthorization without meaningful caps and affordability built into the NFIP program,” he said.
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Congress extends flood insurance program for 13th time since 2017
Congress granted another short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on Thursday, marking the 13th temporary renewal since June 2017. The NFIP, which provides flood insurance to more than 5 million households, was extended through Dec. 20 as part of a continuing resolution passed by the Senate. The extension gives lawmakers more time to decide which of the multiple bills in Congress they want to reform NFIP and reauthorize the federal program through September 2024.
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National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On November 21, 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 December 20, 2019.

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

NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance. The level of damage from recent catastrophic storms makes it clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.

Flood insurance – whether purchased from the NFIP or through private carriers – is the best way for homeowners, renters, business, and communities to financially protect themselves from losses caused by floods.
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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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EPA moves forward with plan to address PFAS in drinking water
The EPA is inching forward with their plan to address forever chemicals in our water. The agency announced forward momentum this week on efforts to eventually put a legal limit on how much PFOA and PFOS is allowed in drinking water, give the government authority to investigate spills and make companies pay if the chemicals are discharged into the environment. All of this comes months after the EPA announced a historic plan to regulate the chemicals in February of this year. When the plan was announced last winter, leaders said they expected a “regulatory determination” to come down by the end of the year. On Wednesday, the agency delivered on that promise. PFOA and PFOS are man-made substances often released through industrial manufacturing that do not degrade in the environment. Those chemicals are part of a larger set of chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS have been linked to developmental issues, cancer and problems with the thyroid and liver.
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Homeowners Insurance
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Hurricane Season

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Grants OK’d for Emerald Isle, Holden Beach
North Carolina and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials announced Thursday more than $54.9 million in hurricane- and tropical storm-related public assistance grants have been approved for Emerald Isle and Holden Beach. The grants are to reimburse expenses to renourish public beaches in the coastal towns which were damaged by storm surges during Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael in 2018. Emerald Isle is to replenish with more than 2 million cubic yards of sand and more than 377,000 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence. The sand equals more than 20 times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium and the volume of plants covers 78 acres, according to the announcement. Holden Beach will replenish more than 389,000 cubic yards of sand damaged during Tropical Storm Michael. FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75% of eligible costs, and the remaining 25% is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs. FEMA’s combined share for the Emerald Isle and Holden Beach projects is more than $41.2 million and the state’s share is more than $13.7 million.

The state and FEMA have approved more than $72 million to restore North Carolina beaches since the 2018 storms.
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FEMA announces reimbursements for Holden Beach, Wilmington
FEMA and the State of North Carolina announced the reimbursement of millions of dollars Wednesday for Holden Beach and Wilmington. According to a news release, more than $15.8 million will go toward reimbursing expenses spent to restore storm-related beach damage. Those funds include the reimbursement of beach sand in Holden Beach. “Holden Beach will replenish with more than 722,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 2,500 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence,” FEMA said in the release. “The sand equals more than seven times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.” Earlier this month, Holden Beach was approved for a reimbursement of $8.5 million for Tropical-Storm Michael-related beach damage. FEMA and state officials also approved an additional $3 million to reimburse the City of Wilmington for debris removal following Hurricane Florence.This latest amount brings the total to more than $20.5 million to reimburse the city’s debris removal expenses. “More than 1.3 million cubic yards of hurricane-related vegetation — enough to fill more than 6,700 train boxcars — was collected in Wilmington,” FEMA stated in a news release. “Funds for this project cover work completed from Sept. 20, 2018, through Feb. 23, 2019.”
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Topsail Beach, Holden Beach receive more storm restoration funding
The State of North Carolina and FEMA on Wednesday announced more than $30 million total headed to Southeastern North Carolina beach towns from hurricane- and storm-related damage. In all, beaches in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties suffered more than $119 million in damage from Florence, and that doesn’t include previous issues, or problems that surfaced during Hurricane Dorian in September 2019. The town of Holden Beach is receiving $15.8 million, and that money is expected to be used to help replenish more than 722,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 2,500 square yards of plants damaged during Florence, according to a press release. The recent funding is in addition to $8.5 million approved earlier this month for Tropical Storm Michael-related beach damage. In addition, $18.8 million will be given to the Town of Topsail Beach for its damages from Florence. It is expected to replenish more than 939,000 cubic yards of sand damaged or lost during that storm. The town recently started a $24.6 million project for dredging and beach renourishment. These funding packages are part of FEMA’s Public Assistance program, which provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs, and the remaining 25 percent is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs. In all, more than $107 million has been approved to restore North Carolina Beaches since the 2018 storms.
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Holden Beach gets more than $15.8M to restore coastline
The State of North Carolina and FEMA have approved more than $15.8 million to reimburse expenses to restore hurricane and tropical storm related beach damage. The funds include reimbursing the replacement of beach sand in the Town of Holden Beach. Storm surges from Hurricane Florence damaged the coastal community’s beach. Holden Beach will replenish with more than 722,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 2,500 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence. The sand equals more than seven times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. The recent funding for Holden Beach is in addition to $8.5 million approved earlier this month for Tropical Storm Michael-related beach damage. FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs, and the remaining 25 percent is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs. FEMA’s share for the latest Holden Beach project is more than $11.8 million and the state’s share is more than $3.9 million. More than $107 million has been approved to restore North Carolina beaches since the 2018 storms. In addition to Holden Beach, the towns of Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Topsail Beach have been approved for beach restoration funding.
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Inlet Hazard Areas
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The Holden Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) has been monitoring the proposed changes to the Inlet Hazard Area (IHA) boundaries on the east and west ends of our island. The proposed IHA will impact more than 200 property owners on the west end of our island by placing new restrictions on what they can build (or rebuild) on their property.

This is the highest number of structures in any IHA in the state and adding this many properties to an IHA on our island will have a significant impact not just to the impacted property owners, but to our overall tax base as well. We don’t understand the rationale behind this change, since the west end of Holden Beach has been continuously accreting for decades, as documented in surveys by the Town’s engineer. The Inlet Hazard Area Method (IHAM) does not take any of this into account.

Ken Richardson reported at the NCBIWA conference that public hearings on the IHA changes will begin next month and comments will be closing at the end of January. We are trying to notify our impacted property owners so they can provide input, but there is no notice of the hearing on the Division of Coastal Management website, only scientific documents.

We need your help with informing our property owners. Given the significance of the changes to the IHA and the short timeframe for input occurring over the holidays, the HBPOA would like to conduct a public hearing or information session to inform our members about this significant potential impact to their property. Your assistance with conducting this session would be greatly appreciated.


Soon to be Commissioner Brian Murdock sent e-mail, this was the response from Braxton C. Davis, Director – NC Division of Coastal Management / Department of Environmental Quality

I understand your concerns and agree that the timing of the hearing is probably not good for many who are planning to travel for the holidays. I also appreciated the comments made by Tim Evans on behalf of the Town at our meeting this week. Our December hearing has already been advertised in the newspaper, so we will need to move forward with it, but we are absolutely willing to come back in January to hold a “workshop” so that we can try and clarify the overall process and background on the proposed changes, and to make sure we get additional public comments to take back to the Commission at their meeting in February. We will also begin a 60-day public comment period on Dec. 2 (ending late January) – it will be announced in the NC Register, and written comments can be sent to me at the office address below or via email.

Inlet Hazard Area Changes
If your property is west of Sailfish or East of Blockade Runner, you should be aware of the proposed changes. For more information and the maps, check out the Hot Topics page on the HBPOA website.
For more information » click here

From the Mayor’s Desk
Inlet Hazard Area Changes
The Coastal Resources Commission is in the process of developing new rules that have the potential to greatly impact several hundred lots at Holden Beach. Please review the information below for an executive summary prepared by the Business Alliance for a Sound Economy (NCBASE) complete with details of the rules, dates/times of public hearings, maps of properties affected  and contact information for those needing to receive feedback on the proposed changes. 

Please take the time to review, attend the hearings if possible and provide your comments/concerns.

Information from NCBASE:
The NC Division of Coastal Management is holding public hearings and accepting feedback regarding the proposed changes to the Inlet Hazard Areas (IHA). The proposal put forth will 1) greatly expand inlet hazard areas as well as 2) significantly change in the way that setbacks are measured in these areas. If approved by the Coastal Resources Commission, this proposal will impact thousands of acres of coastal land and thousands of parcels and structures in our region.

The proposed rules can be found in the attached document (click here) on pages 16. On pages 6 – 7, you can see the breakdown (structure, acres) by community.

Here are some additional links to resources related to the IHA update:

Please review the new maps and new rules. Then make plans to attend the public hearings and make your voice heard.

Public Hearings and Comment Period:
Public hearings start on December 17, 2019 in Brunswick County and will be held in a number of coastal locations through mid-January. The full schedule is at the end of this document. Written comments, questions and feedback will also be accepted. Provide written comments, questions and feedback via  email to DCM Director Braxton Davis (braxton.davis@ncdenr.gov) and/or Ken Richardson (ken.richardson@ncdenr.gov).

Comments will be accepted through January 31, 2020. Depending on breadth of comments, the issue could go to the Coastal Resources Commission at the February 2020 meeting and have an implementation date of April or May 2020.

Over the same period, the state of North Carolina and individual communities have continued to proactively advance coastal management strategies including the creation of a shallow draft inlet fund, the permitting of terminal groins and investment in continued coastal storm damage reduction projects to enhance our coastal infrastructure.

Concerns:

  • The impacts of the expanded Inlet Hazard Areas and revised setback calculations will be widespread and significant.
    • Has DCM notified property owners that will be in the expanded Inlet Hazard Area?
    • Has DCM notified property owners in the current Inlet Hazard Area that the setback factors are changing?
  • The Proposed IHA Rule Changes and new setback calculations could result in a taking of private property if they completely prevent development of a parcel. For example, if a lot is 150′ deep and its setback goes from 60′ to 240′-it is unbuildable.

The Proposed IHA Rule Changes may increase the CRC’s exposure to takings claims. Such claims may arise because the Proposed IHA Rule Changes and setbacks would prohibit development within areas in which development is not currently prohibited.  They may also arise where property owners who acquired or held their property with the expectation of being able to develop at a certain intensity are not satisfied with the limited development potential that the Proposed IHA Rule Changes would permit in protected IHAs

  • The grandfathering provisions need to be expanded. The grandfathering protection the CRC Memo says would apply to all lots under 15,000 sq.ft. is not actually included in the Proposed IHA Rule Changes.   

The CRC Memo states that the Proposed IHA Rule Changes include provisions to grandfather all existing structures within the new IHAs as well as all lots under 15,000 square feet, platted after July 23, 1984 or before the effective date of the Proposed IHA Rule Changes, with respect to density restrictions.  However, there is no language in the Proposed IHA Rule Changes that expressly grandfathers such lots.

  • The cumulative effect of the Proposed IHA Rule Changes is to make an additional 1,819.7 acres of coastal land subject to development restrictions-in addition to expanding restrictions on existing parcels in the IHA. This will impact property values in a range of affected communities.
  • The Proposed IHA Rule Changes imply a causal connection between the size of a structure, the number of units in a structure, and the size of a lot and the risk of erosion, flooding, and other adverse effects of sand, wind and water associated with dynamic ocean inlets.  It is unclear, however, how the size of a home, the number of units, or size of a lot has any causal relationship to the risk of realizing hazards associated with dynamic ocean inlets.  
  • The revised rules will negatively impact property values and complicate potential sales and financing as a result of the “new” nonconforming status of the structures and parcels identified in the CRC Memo. To help alleviate the concern about making existing structures nonconforming, CRC could include a provision in the Proposed IHA Rule Changes that would allow for reconstruction of nonconforming structures and structures on nonconforming lots without the need to come into compliance with current rules.  
    • Table 3 of the CRC Memo shows that, under the Proposed IHA Rule Changes, the number of lots within IHAs that do not meet the 15,000 square feet minimum lot size requirement more than doubles, from 894 lots to 1,805 lots.
    • Similarly, Table 2 of the CRC Memo shows that, overall, the Proposed IHA Rule Changes would increase the number of structures with heated area greater than 5,000 square feet within or intersecting IHA boundaries  from 24 to 41.  Under the Proposed IHA Rule Changes, all such structures would be non-conforming with respect to the proposed maximum floor area allowance.

Public Hearing Schedule / Inlet Hazard Area Update 

Brunswick County December 17, 2019 10:00 a.m.  
Brunswick County Government Complex
30 Government Center Drive, NE
Bolivia, NC 28422 

New Hanover County December 17, 2019 3:00 p.m.  
New Hanover County Government Center
230 Government Center Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403 

Onslow County December 18, 2019 10:00 a.m. 
Sneads Ferry Library
1330 Highway 210
Sneads Ferry, NC 28460 

Pender County December 18, 2019 3:00 p.m. 
Assembly Building
720 Channel Blvd.
Topsail Beach, NC 28445 

Carteret County January 7, 2020 3:00 p.m.
NCDCM
400 Commerce Avenue
Morehead City, NC 28557 

Hyde County January 8, 2020 10:00 a.m. 
Community Center – Multipurpose Room
30 Oyster Creek Road
Swan Quarter, NC 27885
*broadcast simultaneously to Ocracoke Island: 

Ocracoke Community Center
999 Irvin Garrish Highway
Ocracoke, NC 27960 

Dare County January 14, 2020 11:00 a.m.
Town of Nags Head
Board of Commissioners Room
5401 S. Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959


State’s Inlet Hazard Plan Criticized at Hearing
Holden Beach is taking the state Division of Coastal Management to task for its proposal to expand the western end of the island’s inlet hazard area. During the first in a series of public meetings the division is hosting through January, a small group of Holden Beach residents and the town’s planning director on Tuesday morning questioned a state official as to why the preliminary boundary at Shallotte Inlet stretches eastward for about 2 miles from the end of the island that is accreting. “I really have concerns just about how you came up with these boundaries,” said Vicki Myers, resident and chair of the town’s Inlet and Beach Protection Board. “I think your math is wrong.” The preliminary boundary encompasses a little more than 200 structures, nearly four times the 51 structures in the current inlet hazard area. “This is a huge issue,” said Holden Beach Property Owners Association President Tom Myers. “To look at these numbers it makes it look like it’s the most dangerous place in the state. Just looking at it makes no sense that our west end of the island has the most houses in an inlet hazard area in the state.” The Myerses, who are married, do not live in the current or proposed inlet hazard area, or IHA, but said expanding the area at the western end, which has been accreting since the 1970s, does not make sense.

Developed inlets
IHAs are defined as shorelines especially vulnerable to erosion and flooding where inlets can shift suddenly and dramatically
. Shallotte Inlet is one of 19 active inlets in the state. Ten of those are called developed inlets. A little more than 2,900 acres at the 10 developed inlets are designated as IHAs. Those inlets include Tubbs, Shallotte and Lockwood Folly in Brunswick County; Carolina Beach, Masonboro, Mason and Rich in New Hanover County; New Topsail and New River in Pender County; and Bogue Inlet in Carteret County. Discussions and attempts to update IHA boundaries, which were first drawn in the late 1970s, go to back to 1998-99, when members of the first-appointed science panel suggested to the commission that the boundaries were outdated. Current IHAs were drawn based on the historic migration of the inlet shoreline. To establish the proposed updated IHAs, the science panel is using the hybrid vegetation line, or landwardmost position of the historic vegetation line, to determine boundaries. The proposed maps expand current IHAs collectively by a little more than 1,359 acres while removing about 470 acres from existing boundaries at the 10 developed inlets. Inlets typically move over time in one of two ways: An inlet migrates, meaning it moves in one general direction, or it oscillates, wagging back and forth. A majority of the state’s inlets, including Shallotte Inlet, oscillate. In its recommendations released to the Coastal Resources Commission earlier this year, the commission’s science panel explained that the historic repositioning of the outer bar channel from the southwest to the southeast reshaped the ebb-tide delta and its effect on the adjacent oceanfront shorelines on Holden and Ocean Isle beaches. The ebb channel has generally aligned in a southeast/east-southeast direction since the late 1960s, which has allowed sand to accrete at the western end of Holden Beach. During this same time, Ocean Isle’s oceanfront shoreline at the inlet has experienced chronic, long-term erosion. If the ebb channel were to re-orient itself again toward Ocean Isle, then Holden Beach would erode, according to the science panel. Holden Beach Planning and Inspections Director Tim Evans said the data indicate the inlet essentially stabilized in the 1970s. “Our vegetation line is constantly growing,” he said. “I think that Holden Beach really needs to be looked at again, especially where the original inlet hazard area was. I just don’t see how we can believe in the science.” The new proposed boundaries come with updated rules, which include the current limit that structures within an IHA can be built no larger than 5,000 square feet of heated space and no more than one unit per 15,000 square feet of land area. Homes and businesses that exceed the size limit within the new boundaries would be grandfathered under the new rules. Existing structures destroyed or damaged, requiring more than 50% repair, can be rebuilt regardless of size or density as long as the structure meets the setback requirements within the IHA. Setbacks vary in each area. If a structure does not meet the setback requirements, a structure that meets current grandfathering rules may apply. Those rules include being built before Aug. 11, 2009, meeting minimum setbacks, staying within the original footprint and rebuilt as far landward on a lot as possible. The current preliminary boundary at the west end of Holden Beach stretches about 2 miles, Evans said. He argued that a major storm, not inlet erosion, could damage and destroy the more than 200 homes within the proposed IHA. If those homes cannot be rebuilt because they do not meet setback conditions, that would have a significant economic impact to the town, Evans said.

More hearings scheduled
Public hearings are being hosted in counties where there are developed IHAs.

Hearings were held in New Hanover, Pender and Onslow counties Tuesday and Wednesday.

The remaining hearings are as follows:

  • Jan. 7 – N.C. Division of Coastal Management office, 400 Commerce Ave., Morehead City.
  • Jan. 8 – Community Center, Multipurpose Room, 30 Oyster Creek Road, Swan Quarter, and broadcast simultaneously to Ocracoke Island at the Ocracoke Community Center, 999 Irvin Garrish Highway.
  • Jan. 14 –Nags Head Board of Commissioners room, 5401 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head.

Public comments may be submitted to the Division of Coastal Management through Jan. 31, 2020.

Public comments will likely be presented to the Coastal Resources Commission at its February meeting next year. If the commission adopts the new boundaries, those may go into effect between April and May.

Read more » click here 


 

Lockwood Folly Inlet
For more information » click here
.


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

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

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

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// July 2019
Name:            The Basics
Cuisine:         Southern Comfort
Location:      319 N Front St, Wilmington, NC
Contact:        910.343.1050 /
http://www.thebasicswilmington.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:          Two Stars
The Basics is located in downtown Wilmington at the Cotton Exchange. This casual all-day spot takes staples of Southern comfort food and keeps it simple. They offer a very limited seasonal menu served in a homey, brick-walled bistro setting. Certainly not fine dining and while it was good, it wasn’t worth returning for.


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

THE NEVER GAME by Jeffery Deaver
After fourteen books centered around Lincoln Rhyme, Deaver kicks off a new series following “reward seeker” Colter Shaw. Raised in the wilderness by survivalist parents, he is an expert tracker with a forensic mind trained to solve the most challenging cases. He is a civilian who travels around the country aiding police and other investigators solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. A wanderer in the vein of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Nick Petrie’s Peter Ash.


Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday!


.That’s it for this newsletter

See you next month


HBPOIN / Lou’s Views

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

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

https://lousviews.com/

11 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 10/29/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Supplemental Information:
Rives & Associates Response Letter
Jay Sharpe, Rives & Associates Response Email
Transcript of the Town Attorney’s Oral Report

Audio Recording » click here


1. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3)
. a)
Town Attorney Report with Respect to Allegations of Fraud and Professional Misconduct by the Town’s Auditor, Rives and Associates, LLP, Raised by Mayor Holden at October 15, 2019 Regular Meeting of the BOC and in Subsequent Public Statements (the “Fraud Allegations”) – Commissioners Butler & Freer
. b)
Discussion and Possible Action with Respect to Public Release of Town Attorney Report and Related Materials – Commissioners Butler and Freer

2. Public Comment with Respect to Special Meeting Agenda Items

3. Discussion and Determination with Respect to the Creditability of and / or Possible Further Action Required with Respect to the Fraud Allegations – Commissioner Butler

4. Discussion and Possible Action Directing the Audit Committee (or a subcommittee of the Audit Committee) to: (i) Review the Sources of the Fraud Allegations and Report to the BOC; (ii) Recommend Any Appropriate Sanctions; and (iii) Recommend Remedial Policies or Procedures with Respect to Obstruction, Interference or Non-Cooperation in Connection with Audits, Investigations or Reviews of the Town’s Financial Affairs – Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet –

Anonymous Letter

September 26,2019

Town of Holden Beach
110 Rothschild Street
Holden Beach, NC 28462
Attn: Mayor J. Alan Holden

Dear Mayor Holden,

After reading Lou’s Views, regarding the selection of an External Audit Firm, I am writing as a concerned citizen. If you conduct an Internet search for “Rives & Associates, LLC Law suits”, here are a few examples of what was revealed: their firm was found guilty of fraud by PCTEL, sued by former partners, and scheduled to go to trial in December 2019 for dishonest business practices.

An external audit conducted by Rives & Associates would not be viewed with credibility, due to the number of law suits and dishonest business practices listed.

According to Lou’s Views the vote was: A decision was made- Approved (3- 2)
Commissioners Kwiatkowski and Sullivan both voted against retaining Rives as our auditor.

I’m certain the Commissioners that approved retaining Rives & Associates LLC as the External Audit Firm are apparently unaware. Please share the information with the Commissioners and reconsider.


Peter Freer / Joe Butler
Town of Holden Beach Commissioners

October 22, 2019

Subject:  Special Meeting of the Board of Commissioners – Request for You to Attend

Dear Mr. Richardson:

As you are aware, last Tuesday evening, October 15, 2019, at the end of the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners Meeting, Mayor Alan Holden read an anonymous letter that he received by mail in his capacity as Mayor. Although he proposed to introduce the letter into the minutes of the meeting, he did not provide a copy to you or any of the Commissioners. We requested a copy from the Town Clerk and received it today.

The anonymous letter states that the accounting firm of Rives & Associates, the Town’s Auditor has “been found guilty of fraud by PCTEL [SIC], sued by former partners, and scheduled to go to trial in December 2019 for dishonest business practices.”

The subject matter was introduced under the Mayor’s Comments at the end of the meeting and was therefore not subject to debate. The Mayor did not provide copies in advance, even though  the  letter is dated September  26,     It  seems apparent that the purpose of the Mayor’s statement and the introduction of his “anonymous  poison pen letter” was to  discredit  the  reputation  of  the Town’s auditor and three of the Commissioners currently standing for re-election, Butler, Fletcher  and  Freer.   It is expected that the audit will again find a Material Weakness and a Significant Deficiency.

Inappropriate conduct and political considerations aside, we believe that the Mayor’s accusations must be taken very seriously and must be fully investigated as expeditiously as possible. When he read from this letter, he was clearly doing so in his official capacity as Mayor during the conduct of a Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners. The allegations read by the Mayor are on their face libelous and defamatory of a professional firm whose business depends largely upon its reputation for professional and fiduciary propriety.  Since the Mayor claims the letter is anonymous and he does not know the author or source he endorsed its contents with the full weight of his office, as Mayor.

While the underlying facts are still not completely known, it appears that the allegations were false.

We propose to schedule a Special Meeting of the BOC for the earliest feasible date and time to review and, if appropriate, take action with respect to this matter.

Your presence as Town Attorney at this meeting is, of course, essential. We are writing to determine your availability before we call for the Special Meeting. Given the time sensitivity, and the fact that the Mayor continues to repeat these allegations in public, this is a matter of urgency. Please let us know by reply email your earliest availability.

So that you may be more fully prepared for the meeting, we are attaching a copy of the letter read by the Mayor. We think it would be very helpful if you could review the Mayor’s statements and be prepared to advise the BOC as to the status of any claims made or criminal or civil cases pending against our auditor. At a minimum please check with the LGC as they approve our Audit contract as well as the final audit. Please also be prepared to advise the BOC with  respect to appropriate   actions  to   protect   the  Town,  both   in  the  event  that  Rives & Associates is, in fact, guilty of fraud and professional misconduct as the Mayor has claimed, or in the event that the Mayor’s claims are unfounded and/or  libelous.

Finally, we believe it is important that as Town Attorney  you contact the Mayor immediately  and take custody of the  original letter  and any related  emails or other  documents; these are, of  course, public  records  delivered  to  him  in his official capacity — not correspondence of  Mr. Holden’s in his private capacity. Given questions that have already been raised about this letter, its authenticity and the Town’s potential liability, it is critical that we preserve all relevant evidence.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please advise us of the dates and times you would be available by reply email. If you should have any questions or require additional information, please feel free to call either of us.

Respectfully,
Commissioner Peter Freer, Executive Secretary
Commissioner Joe Butler


CPA Verify Firm Report Results

 NAME:
RIVES & ASSOCIATES, LLP

STATE OF LICENSE:
NC

LAST UPDATED:
2019·10·16

Business:
RIVES & ASSOCIATES, LLP

Address:
4515 FALLS OF NEUSE ROAD STE 450

RALEIGH, NC, USA 27609

License/Permit/Certificate Number:
31579

Registration Number:

License/Permit/Certificate Status:
ACTIVE

License/Certificate Status Details:
A person who possesses a North Carolina certificate of qualification and who has not otherwise been granted Retired, Inactive, or Conditional status.

License Type:
CPA FIRM CERTIFICATE

License Type details:

Basis for License:
Entity created by CPA’s for the practice of public accounting.

Issue Date:
2008 11-19

Expiration Date:
2019 12·31

Enforcement, Non-Compliance or Disciplinary Actions:
None Reported To This Site By The Board


Mayor’s Comments

Previously reported – October 2019
Mayor Holden received and read an anonymous letter about the Town’s auditor Rives & Associates alleging fraud and pending lawsuits which he asked to be entered into the minutes and also asked that the BOC’s members be provided a copy.  The bombshell letter references Lou’s Views as the source of information that the firm was selected, and which Commissioners voted for that auditor.  This is another election campaign false narrative. What they neglected to say is that this did not come up during the selection process, the audit committee recommended that firm and the Commissioners that voted no did so based on past performance and cost. In general, Rives & Associates is a well-known and respected firm. It appears that they have their firm set up with what looks like separate “franchises” and the one from Raleigh that we are using is not involved in any litigation – other than being a “franchise” of the firm.  In other words, it has nothing to do with them.

A Special Meeting has been scheduled to address the issue

Let’s be clear about this, the lawsuits are not against the firm we hired but rather other franchises. This is a red herring designed to make some of the Commissioners look bad. Let’s put this in perspective, it’s like saying that if a Re/Max anywhere in the state is involved in litigation then we shouldn’t do business with the Re/Max at the beach.

Sheesh!

Update
Mayor Holden disclosed the anonymous letter concerning the town auditor without confirming the veracity of the allegations made in the letter. The Mayor really should have contacted the Town attorney before reading the anonymous letter at a public meeting, for the attorney to determine if the allegations were true, but he did not do so. The Town attorney undertook a review of the allegation made against Rives in the letter. Our attorney researched the issue and reported no finding of any wrongdoing. All three lawsuits were civil not criminal. In addition, none of them involved J Sharpe the auditor in charge of the town audit. There are no disciplinary actions taken against the firm or any of the partners by the NC CPA Board.  In other words, our attorney completely refuted what was said in the letter. The Town attorneys summary supported the written denials submitted by Rive’s lawyer and from Jay Sharpe too.

I don’t think the Mayor should have read the letter, it was inappropriate and should not have happened. Letter was simply part of a disinformation campaign. In today’s vernacular it was a big nothing burger.


BOC’s Regular Meeting 11/19/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Presentation of a Smart Rural Community Award to the Town of Holden Beach – Victoria Bellamy, ATMC Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator (Town Manager Hewett)

Agenda Packet –
Smart Rural Community Award
Lat year, ATMC received a national award as a Smart Rural Community provider by the NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association. With this recognition. they get to recognize town’ across their service area that benefit from their high-speed internet.

Now that ATMC has finished the fiber optic construction on Holden Beach, Victoria Bellamy, ATMC Marketing & Public RelationC6ordinator has contacted the Town and would like to present the Town with a Smart Rural Community award.

Promoting Rural Broadband Networks and Applications
Smart Rural Communities Are Building a Brighter Future for Small Town America
From the Pacific Ocean to Georgia’s coastal plains, a nationwide effort is underway to bring high-speed internet to small-town America. Rural broadband providers are taking lead to bring advanced digital infrastructure to the regions and the people they serve. Their goal? To enhance quality of life by creating Smart Rural Communities, which utilize a robust fiber network to jumpstart economic growth and improve access to first-rate education, healthcare, and government services.
For more information » click here

ATMC completes fiber optic upgrade on Holden Beach
ATMC has announced that it has completed a $5.5 million-dollar project to replace the copper network serving Holden Beach with FOCUS fiber optics. Residents and bus-nesses on the island, as well as many located on the causeway, now have access to fiber optic-delivered phone, digital cable and high-speed Internet with speeds of up to 1Gig.“We are excited to announce the completion of the FOCUS fiber optic upgrade on Holden Beach,” said Keith Holden, ATMC CEO. “Prolonged exposure to the harsh marine elements on the island made our current copper facilities susceptible to corrosion, requiring more upkeep. By replacing these facilities with a new fiber optic network, we are able to provide much faster Internet speeds, greater reliability, and a better user experience for more than 2,500 residents and businesses on Holden Beach.” Fiber optic technology is extremely reliable and capable of delivering voice, video and un-shared bandwidth all through one connection. Businesses who take advantage of FOCUS fiber optics will have greater opportunities for cloud-based applications and will benefit from symmetrical upload and download speeds. In addition, a recent study conducted by the national Fiber to the Home Council reported that access to fiber optics has be shown to increase a home’s value by as much as 3.1 percent. “We are grateful that ATMC has made this investment in our town by installing fiber op-tics,” said Mayor Alan Holden. “We know this technology will greatly enrich the lives of our residents and businesses and allow us to provide those who vacation here with the same quality Internet access that’s found in larger cities.” ATMC crews have also begun work on a $9 million project that will replace the copper network currently used to serve Boiling Spring Lakes residents and businesses with FOCUS fiber optic service. Once the two-year project is complete, residents and businesses there will have access to a full line of services including digital cable TV and symmetrical Internet with speeds of up to 1 Gig. ATMC has also begun construction to expand fiber optics to the town of Caswell Beach and residents there will have access to the new fiber optic network in the coming weeks. Holden Beach residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up for FOCUS fiber optics by calling 754-4311. ATMC is in the process of moving all services on Holden Beach from the old copper network to new fiber optic network. Customers with ATMC services are encouraged to contact ATMC to schedule their conversion appointment. For more information on ATMC FOCUS fiber optics, go to iwantATMC.com.
Beacon 11/14/19

Update –
Keith Holden ATMC CEO made a brief presentation, which was followed by photo-op.


3. Presentation of Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 Audit Results – Jay Sharpe, Rives and Associates (Town Manager Hewett)

Agenda Packet –

Supplemental Information: Draft audit

Previously reported – July 2019
Fiscal Year 2017 – 2018 Audit Results
Auditor’s report for fiscal year 2017 – 2018 audit was presented. Normally the audit report which is due by November 1st and is given at the November meeting. The audit report presentation was the most thorough that I’ve experienced. Jay said a that they use a risk-based approach. He explained everything utilizing visuals in a clear, concise, easily understandable format. The auditor Rives & Associates was able to render a clean opinion.

Report –
Finding 2018-001 / Significant Deficiency
A significant deficiency is a deficiency in internal control that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance.
Criteria: The Town should have someone who is familiar with governmental accounting principles that can review its financial statements each year and determine if they have been prepared accurately.

Finding 2018-002 / Material Weakness
A material weakness is a deficiency in internal control such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the entity’s financial statements will not be prevented or detected and corrected on a timely basis.
Criteria: The Town is not accounting for its finances on a full accrual basis.

Material Weakness deficiency makes it a higher risk audit and puts us on Local Government Commission “watch list”. What that means is it probably going to cost us more to have audit done this year.

Update –

Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 Audit Results
Auditor’s report for fiscal year 2018 – 2019 audit was presented. Jay said that they use a risk-based approach. Audit was submitted to LGC timely and approved with no changes. Same findings a repeat of 2018, no surprise there. Revenues outpaced expenses the last three years. Congratulated them for a really healthy balance sheet. Jay explained everything utilizing visuals in a clear, concise, easily understandable format; really good audit report presentation. The auditor Rives & Associates was able to render an unmodified opinion (Which is the best possible opinion that you can receive).

Report –
Repeated findings: 2018-001 & 2018-002

Finding 2019-001 / Significant Deficiency
A significant deficiency is a deficiency in internal control that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance.
Criteria: The Town should have someone who is familiar with governmental accounting principles that can review its financial statements each year and determine if they have been prepared accurately.

Finding 2019-002 / Material Weakness
A material weakness is a deficiency in internal control such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the entity’s financial statements will not be prevented or detected and corrected on a timely basis.
Criteria: The Town is not accounting for its finances on a full accrual basis.

Important takeaway is that there has been a change in the standards regarding creating the financial statement. Auditor must ask – does the Town have the skills, knowledge and education for the preparation of the financial statement. If not, we will probably have to pay a third party to create the document.

Audit Committee met earlier today and in a unanimous decision recommended to approve the audit as submitted.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

3. Discussion and Possible Action to Permit a Request for a Banner, to Allow Vendors and for One Free Beer Ticket at Run Holden Beach, David Hutnik (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)

Agenda Packet –
Coastal Race Production Requests
Coastal Race Productions is requesting a banner, vendors, and a beer garden in the same manner they did last year as part of the January 18, 2020 race. I have spoken with the police chief and to our knowledge there were no issues with the proposed items at last year’s event.

Previously reported – July 2017
Run HB Requests – Coastal Race Productions                                                                         . a) Banner Approval
. b) Beer Garden Request

Agenda Packet –
Coastal Race Productions will be conducting Run HB on Saturday, September 9, 2017. The Town of Holden Beach will be a sponsor for the event.  Coastal Race Productions is here this evening to speak to you about both the possibility of a beer garden and to get permission to hang their signs and banners for the event.

Sales and Consumption of alcoholic beverages in the Town of Holden Beach is covered in the Code of Ordinances,130.03. It states Board of Commissioner approval is required as an exception to the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages being prohibited. Coastal Race Productions brought it to the Town’s attention that they are allowed to have a beer garden in neighboring municipal venues where races like this are held.  They would like to offer that to the runners of legal age here as well. The access to the area would be controlled by Coastal Race Productions. They have additional information regarding how the system has worked at other beach communities and why they think it would add to the event.

Coastal Race Productions had a scheduling conflict, so Shoreline Protection & Recreation Programs Manager Christy Ferguson made the presentation. Discussion was over allowing the beer garden. The other three communities that sponsor the race – Oak Island, Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach already gave their blessings.

Banner Request / A decision was made – Approved unanimously
Beer Garden Request / No decision was made – No action taken

Are you kidding me? The Board really made a big to do over nothing when they discussed the beer garden request. All we are talking about is each runner that is over 21 years old gets a free beer at the end of the race. Singular, UNO, ONE stinking beer.  They went with the combo platter of we are a family friendly beach and it would set a precedent rap. Apparently, some of them must not go on the beach strand where beer is consumed all day long on our family friendly beach.

Previously reported – July 2018
David Hutnik, Guest Speaker – Discussion and Possible Action to Allow Vendors and One Free Beer using Ticket at Run Holden Beach on 9/15/2018 – Commissioner Fletcher and Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet –
David Hutnik is one of the owners of Coastal Race Productions. They are a local Brunswick County company that manages all of the larger marathons and 5K’s in the area.  This will be the 5th year for Run Holden Beach event coming up on 9/15 and they already had over 1,000 runners pre-register from 24 different states.  They are expecting a record crowd again with over 1500 runners that bring a total of around 4,000 people here including family and friends of runners.

Coastal Race Productions are requesting:

– Permission allowing them to have vendors sell during the Run Holden Beach event from 7am- I 2am on 9/15/2018.  Most larger races sell sponsorships and these sponsors like to sell their race related shirts/nutrition after the event to participants.  Much like a festival but geared toward runners. This would take place and be contained to the area surrounding the amphitheater and Jordan Blvd only.

– Permission to host a contained area where runners only (over the age of 21) will be given a beer ticket and will not be selling or giving out additional beer.

Plans for the contained beer garden:

-Coastal Race Productions check ID’s at packet pickup when runners receive their shirt, bib and beer wristband with over 21 ID.

-Coastal Race Productions will contain the beer garden to a limited area, proposed next to amphitheater ­ see diagram below.

-Coastal Race Productions will have volunteers serving this from a trailer with beer taps provided from our vendor RA Jeffries that they use at all of our other events.

– Coastal Race Productions obtain a special event permit through the ABC commission, hold the required insurance and are happy to list the town as additionally insured.

* It’s important to note that this is a family friendly event and they take pride in offering the best runner experience possible. They keep this controlled and contained and monitor it very closely.

Other notes about the race this year:

1) Coastal Race Productions have been working closely with town officials, DOT, & sanctioning to make major changes to our route with increased traffic control and coning with less impact on roads for

2) Coastal Race Productions work closely with the town businesses to make this great for them. The local merchants association is a sponsor of the event and we look forward to bringing a large economic impact to the area.

3) Coastal Race Productions partner with several local Holden Beach area non-profits to raise money for their organizations in fundraisers, donations and utilizing over 100 local volunteers to put on this event.

This is the fifth annual fun family race day on Holden Beach. They had @1,300 participants last year and expect over @1,500 participants this year. All the other towns that the race is held allow both activities. They expect to have only five (5) to ten (10) vendors in a contained area. They don’t sell beer, they give one (1) free beer to runners over twenty-one (21) years old at the end of the race. In addition, donations are made to a local non-profit which in our case is to the Turtle Patrol. We are the only beach that has not given them permission.

Police Chief – no problem with it
Town Manager – need to establish protocols anticipating similar requests in the future

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?


Update –
Coastal Race Productions requested approval for a banner, vendors, and a beer garden. These are the same three items that were approved last year. Permit request has been submitted for the January 18, 2020 race.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Run Holden Beach – 2020
The sixth annual “Run Holden Beach” event is scheduled on Saturday, January 18th. Coastal Race Productions is planning a 1 mile “turtle trot”, 5K walk / run and a half marathon with all of these races starting and finishing under the bridge. This will all be followed by live music, games and an after party at the Holden Beach Pavilion.
This annual event includes three races –
Half Marathon         – 7:00 AM
5K                                  – 7:15 AM
1 Mile Turtle Trot    – 8:30 AM

For more information » click here
Register » click here


4. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
So far so good, not a lot going on. We are not experiencing any major crime wave at the moment. The Police Department will be participating in the Booze It and Lose It safety campaign.

.

Recognized as one of the nation’s most effective anti-drunk-driving campaigns, Booze It & Lose It has created increased awareness of the dangers and the consequences of drinking and driving through innovative education campaigns and extensive enforcement of impaired-driving laws. During each campaign, law enforcement agencies increase the number of patrols and officers in an area, set up checking stations and use local news media to reach out to drivers. Motorists caught driving while impaired could face jail time, lose their driving privileges and pay an average of $10,000 in fines, towing fees and other expenses associated with a DWI. That’s not a small price, and it doesn’t even count the heftier price: the potential cost of a lost life. Even with the success of Booze It & Lose It, more than 9,000 people have lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes in North Carolina since the program’s introduction in 1994. During enforcement campaigns, law enforcement agencies increase the number of saturation patrols, set up checking stations and use local news media to reach out to all drivers.
For more information » click here


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

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


Neighborhood Watch

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

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

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


5. Discussion and Possible Direction on a Proposed Policy Regarding Board of Commissioners’ Requests for Opinion and/ or Recommendations to Advisory Boards or Committees – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
Draft: Directive for Town of Holden Beach (THB) Board of Commissioner
Requests for Opinion/Recommendation to Advisory Boards or Committees

The Board of Commissioners (BOC) is responsible for policy making as well as decisions on administrative matters (School of Government publication “County and Municipal Government in North Carolina”, Chapter 3, County and City Governing Boards). The BOC performs its duties when convened in legal meetings, addressing items contained in the meeting agenda. There are occasions when the BOC may determine that a recommendation or opinion from a THB Advisory Board or Committee on an item related to the Town’s current operations or future development would assist the BOC in making the best possible decision for the Town. When seeking Advisory Board (AB) or Committee (AC) recommendation/opinion, the following steps shall be followed:

.   1) The directive for a recommendation/opinion from a specific Board or Committee shall be made by vote at a Board of Commissioners regular meeting;

.   2) Specific charge questions for the opinion will be finalized and agreed by vote at a Board of Commissioners meeting;

.   3) A proposed deadline for receiving the recommendation/opinion will be included in the directive.

For recommendations/opinions having potential implications on Town finance, Town capital projects, Town contracts or Town departmental processes, the AB/AC shall provide its recommendation/opinion in a report to the BOC, such report to contain:

      1.  The original BOC directive and charge;
      2. The AB/AC recommendation/opinion;
      3. The AB/AC vote tally;
      4. A synopsis of the discussions leading to the recommendation/opinion of the AB/AC, said synopsis to be discussed and approved at an Advisory Board/Committee public meeting;
      5. Copies of presentations or written positions given by staff or external experts during the evaluation process;
      6. References to supporting documents or publications used in the decision­ making process;
      7. Copies of minutes of public meetings at which the directive for opinion was discussed.
    1. In order to normalize the process and improve the quality of public records of recommendations/opinions, a form entitled “Town of Holden Beach Advisory Board/Committee Recommendation/Opinion” will be used. A suggested format is provided below.

Town of Holden Beach Board Advisory Board/Committee

Recommendation/Opinion


From the BOC to the Board/Committee

Date of BOC Meeting When Directive was Made:

Agenda Item #:

Directive to:(specify AB/AC)

Issue and Action Requested:

Background and Potential Implications:

Charge Questions:

Proposed Deadline:


To the BOC from the Board/ Committee

AB/AC Recommendation/Opinion:


Completed by Town clerk after BOC takes action

Date of BOC Meeting When Decision was Made

BOC Decision:

BOC Vote Tally:

ATTACHMENTS:

Update –
Pat explained that this was simply a proposal. She said that it was being put out there for review and feedback. To codify this directive, it will be issued as an administrative document adopted by resolution, not an ordinance.

No decision was made – No action taken


6. Discussion and Possible Direction on a More Formal Procedure for the Board of Commissioners’ Requests for Actions to the Town Manager or Town Attorney– Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
BOC Meetings often result in requests for Town Manager or Attorney action. There are times when the full ask is not clearly expressed by the Board, leading to confusion and time loss by Staff as they try to get clarity from meeting tapes or follow-up discussion with Commissioners.

A written form for BOC requests made to the Town Manager or Town Attorney that result from discussion and agreement at BOC Meetings could reduce the level of uncertainty that sometimes results, particularly after a lengthy debate.

Below is a draft of what a form might look like.


THB Board of Commissioner Requests for Town Manager/Attorney Action

      1. Date of BOC Meeting
      2. Agenda Item #
      3. Issue:
      4. Request to:
      5. 5. Motion:
      6. Action Requested:
      7. Vote Tally:
      8. Proposed Deadline:

If an agenda item owner anticipates a BOC decision could lead to a work request (e.g., ordinance  or policy change, plan of action presentation, request for an outside study, etc.), the agenda item owner would submit a form for the meeting packet with items 1 and 3 already completed and possibly  a proposal for what they think the action could be and who the request will be made to (to be finalized after discussion and vote);Items 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 can be completed by the town clerk or BOC executive  secretary following discussion and vote. The form would become part of the meeting minutes.

Update –
Pat explained again that this was simply a proposal. She said that it was being put out there for review and feedback. The gist of her position is for them to clarify: What exactly are we asking for? The action is to develop a specific ask so it can be properly actioned.

No decision was made – No action taken


7. Discussion and Possible Action on Cost Sharing Request Made by Brunswick County for the Dredging of the Lockwood Folly Inlet – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson
. a)
Ordinance 19-18, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 19-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 (Amendment No. 6)

Agenda Packet –
Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging – County Reimbursement
The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners voted on October 21 , 2019 to contribute $149,903.00 as the entire local share of the total project cost of $440,890.00 for the pending maintenance dredging of the Lockwood Folly Inlet with the USACE Dredge Merritt  The county is asking Holden Beach and Oak Island to each reimburse $37,476.00 as a fair share for the activity. Two-thirds of the project cost will be funded by the NC Shallow Draft Inlet Fund.


Letter from Chairman Frank Williams to Mayor Holden

October 24, 2019

The Honorable Alan Holden
Mayor Town of Holden Beach
110 Rothschild Street
Holden Beach, NC 28462

Dear Mayor Holden:

I know you are aware that subsequent to Hurricane Dorian the Lockwood Folly Inlet has again been experiencing significant shoaling. This clearly is a hazard both for commercial and recreational boaters and is a significant public safety issue for our residents and visitors.

Though there are no federal funds available to dredge the inlet at this time, the NC Division of Water Resources does have funding available in the Shallow Draft Inlet Fund to pay 2/3 of the estimated total cost of $440,890.00 for a dredge operation of the inlet.  To facilitate the prompt dredging of the channel, the County has made available the $149,903.00 local match needed for the USACE to schedule the operation. While the County would prefer an opportunity for beneficial sand placement, the only dredge available at this time is the Merritt, and, given the urgency of the need, we believe that we should proceed with the project as soon as possible. The USACE plans to begin the operation as soon as possible but does not have a precise start date.  USACE staff anticipate an approximate 15-day operation.

As the County has done on some prior Lockwood projects, we are asking that the Towns of Holden Beach and Oak Island share the local portion of the project cost with us. The County asks that each town consider reimbursing us for $37,476.00, or one-quarter of the local cost.

Thank you for your consideration of our request. Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Update –
The County is asking us to pay $37,476, the local portion for the dredging project
Ordinance 19-18 is transferring just $4,600, that leaves a $32,876 shortfall
We previously budgeted $33,000 for one dredge event for this year
There just isn’t enough money in the budget to cover the entire request from the county
They are transferring $4,600 which increases the dredging line item to $37,600
We have spent $56 already, leaving a balance of just $68

Amendment was made based on FEMA requirement change that they were informed about this morning. Apparently, FEMA is requiring additional surveys for Dorian to go to depth of closure. This will require not only the survey work but additional analysis from ATM. The staff therefore recommends amending budget ordinance from $4,600 to a total of $30,000. This budgets $4,600 for the LWF maintenance dredging project and $25,400 for surveying and engineering services.

Depth of closure (DOC) is an important concept used in coastal engineering. The DOC is a theoretical depth along a beach profile where sediment transport is very small or non-existent, dependent on wave height and period, and occasionally, sediment grain size.

Moved funds of $30,000
From Revenue account #50.0398.0300 to Expense account#50.0710.7200

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8. Discussion and Possible Action to Recommend Remedial Policies or Procedures with Respect to Obstruction, Interference or Non-Cooperation in Connection with Audits, Investigations or Reviews of the Town’s Affairs – Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Plan was to ask Town attorney for some direction. Since the attorney was not in attendance, they delayed discussion until the attorney is present at the next meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken


10. Town Manager’s Report

LWF Bend Widener Navigation Maintenance Project
The Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging low bid contractor has been cleared by the Small Business Association and the contract should was awarded the week of October 25th.  That will include the Bend Widener option. No date yet for starting the project. 

Beach Nourishment
The sand search continues.  The hydrography survey and vibracores have been completed. However, we were told that an archeological side beam scan is required, which will be done over the next few weeks, before we can submit for permit modification. 

FEMA / Storm Events
The Town is currently working reimbursements from five (5) federally declared storms simultaneously. Each of the five (5) projects are treated separately, we may be able to achieve economies of scale if we can combine them. We will be going through the bid process for the estimated $25 million in sand reimbursements. The Dorian declaration raises the total up to $30 million if it is added into the mix. Because of our experience working with FEMA we are serving as a guinea pig; reimbursement will be through new digital FEMA Grants Portal.

Matthew / Irene
Revisions made and submitted, still have @$300,000 on the table

Florence / Michael
FloMike hurricane projects both cleared the EHP.
They are now in the Office of Legislative Affairs queue.

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

Dorian
Federal declaration was made for Hurricane Dorian that includes coastal communities in Brunswick County.
Town has estimated approximately $4.6mm for Cat G FEMA reimbursements.

Holden Beach Bridge Repairs
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 October1, 2019.

Lift Station #3
Lift Station #3 is progressing as follows:
Advertise for Bids         10/24/19
Contract Award            01/21/20
Construction Start       03/23/20
Closeout                         12/31/20

Upcoming Town Sponsored Events
Turkey Trot                     November 28th at 8;00 am
Tree Lighting                  December 6th at 6:00 pm
Sandy Paws Parade,      December 7th at 10:00 am
Holiday Social                December 20th at 12:00 pm

Registration is required for all of these events


General Comments –

There were thirty-five (35) members of the community in attendance

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


Municipal Elections –

Congratulations and thanks

to our elected officials for their service to the community.

Election Results

Candidate                              Position                      Term              Votes

Alan Holden                            Mayor                          Sixth                241      (unopposed)

Gerald Brown                         Commissioner             Second            246

Woody Tyner                          Commissioner             First                230

Brian Murdock                       Commissioner             First                225

Mike Sullivan                          Commissioner             Second            182

Patricia Kwiatkowski            Commissioner            Second             168

John Fletcher                           Commissioner            Third               155

Peter Freer                              Commissioner             Third               144

Joseph Butler                          Commissioner             Second            138

Gina Martin                            Commissioner             Second            127

As approved by a referendum in 2017, the three candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to serve four-year terms and the two candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected to serve two-year terms. Mayor Pro Tem is elected by the Board, not necessarily the person with the most votes. 

To see Holden Beach election results through the years, go to –
Town Department / Election Results

Reflections on Elections
Elected officials have significant impact on our daily lives. For democracy to work, people have to vote. Going to the polls on Election Day is one of our core responsibilities in a democratic nation. Voter turnout has been a big problem for decades. Increased voter turnout can dramatically alter election outcomes and resulting public policies. Holden Beach has approximately 746 registered voters, 374 voters participated in this election. So, the voter turnout was 50.1%, which is significantly higher than usual.

This was the most acrimonious election that I can recall. The takeaway here is that voters sent a pretty clear message that they are unhappy with the status quo.   


Loose Ends –

  • Development Fees                            June 2018                   
  • Commercial District                       February 2019            
  • MAPS / Pay Study                            September 2019         
  • Land Use Plan                                 October 2019             
  • Parking                                             October 2019             
  • Mega-Houses                                   October 2019             

Budget Calendar –
Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:
.     1.
Raising taxes
    2.
Cutting spending
.     3.
Operating more efficiently

The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st
Commissioners must adopt budget no later than June 30th for the next fiscal year

Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board.

This is what I’d like to see the budget process look like starting in January –
.     1.
Monthly Meetings / Workshops
.     2.
Board Goals
    3.
Review Capital Improvement Plan
    4.
Staff presentations – wants / needs / revenue streams / cost cutting measures
.     5.
Review Towns current level of services provided – change /add / delete
.     6.
Review staffing and compensation package
.     7.
Line by line review of the budget
.     8.
Appropriate funds for the following:
.         •
Beach Nourishment
.        • Dredging
        •
Infrastructure Reserves – Water System / Sewer System / Roads & Sidewalks


I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with family, friends

and all of the memories that make you thankful!

November 28, 2019


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


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

https://lousviews.com/


11 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / November Edition

Calendar of Events –


Run Holden Beach – 2020
The sixth annual “Run Holden Beach” event is scheduled on Saturday, January 18th. Coastal Race Productions is planning a 1 mile “turtle trot”, 5K walk / run and a half marathon with all of these races starting and finishing under the bridge. This will all be followed by live music, games and an after party at the Holden Beach Pavilion.
This annual event includes three races –
Half Marathon         – 7:00 AM
5K                                  – 7:15 AM
1 Mile Turtle Trot    – 8:30 AM
For more information » click here
Register » click here


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


Calendar of Events Island –



Thanksgiving Turkey Trot
On Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 28th at 8:00 a.m., the Town will sponsor the sixth annual Turkey Trot.  This family friendly run / walk will cover an approximate two-mile course. Registration by calling (910) 842-6488 is required. There is no registration fee, the Town asks that each participant bring canned food items to be distributed at a local food pantry. This is the perfect event for the entire family to jump start the day!


Tree Lighting

Come one, Come all!

The Town will hold its eleventh annual Tree Lighting on Friday, December 6th at 6:00 p.m. at the Holden Beach Pavilion.

The event will begin with entertainment at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lighting at 6:00 p.m. There will be games, refreshments and a visit by a special guest. Prior to the event there will be a Chili Cook-off, to be judged at noon at Town Hall. Winners will be announced at the Tree Lighting. If you are interested in the Chili Cook-off, please call (910) 842-6488 to register by December 2nd.



Sandy Paws Parade and Pictures

Join us on Saturday, December 7th at 10:00 a.m. outside the Town Hall Public Assembly for our fifth annual Sandy Paws Dog Parade. This will be a short walk to the Pavilion where you can have you dog’s picture taken with a special guest. Register by calling (910) 842-6488 by December 3rd.

 



Holiday Social

Join us on Friday, December 20th at 12 p.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly for our third annual holiday luncheon. The Town will provide the meat. We ask that participants bring a side dish to share. Register by calling (910) 842-6488 by December 16th.



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


Reminders


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



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


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


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


Recycling-Bin
Curbside Recycling

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


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

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

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


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



Neighborhood Watch –

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


Upon Further Review –


HBPOA Online Survey Results – 2019
Twenty-one (21) questions
They got 406 responses
Found it interesting to see what the public feels are the pressing issues
For more information » click here


Corrections & Amplifications –


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

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

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

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

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

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

Previously reported – October 2019
Suit Takes Aim at North Carolina’s Congressional District Lines
Group backed by Eric Holder says 2016 plan violated state Constitution and created a partisan advantage for GOP
North Carolina Democrats, after successfully challenging the makeup of districts in the state Legislature, are now taking aim at the drawing of congressional districts. A new state lawsuit, backed by former Attorney General Eric Holder, claims North Carolina’s 2016 congressional redistricting plan violated the state Constitution and created a partisan advantage for Republicans. Filed Friday, it targets the state’s 13 congressional districts, represented by 10 Republicans and three Democrats in Washington, D.C. The new legal challenge could set the stage for more state lawsuits against partisan gerrymandering months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled federal judges have no authority to correct the practice. Earlier this month, a three-judge panel in state court struck down North Carolina’s GOP-drawn map of legislative districts, finding the Republican majority improperly gerrymandered state voting lines in 2017. Now, Democrats are shifting their attention to the state lines that determine its representatives in Congress. The lawsuit alleges the current map, drawn in 2016, “may be the most extreme and brazen partisan gerrymander in American history.” “For nearly a decade, the people of North Carolina have been forced to vote on manipulated electoral maps that were drawn by Republicans in the legislature to create a partisan outcome,” Mr. Holder said. “It’s time for this era of gerrymandering in North Carolina to come to an end.” The National Redistricting Foundation, part of Mr. Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee, is behind the lawsuit, which cites voters from the 13 congressional districts as plaintiffs. Law firm Arnold & Porter, one of two firms representing plaintiffs, has been involved in other state gerrymandering challenges, including a case last year in Pennsylvania. Republican state lawmakers, named as defendants along with the State Board of Elections, said they would return a strong delegation to Congress no matter the outcome of the lawsuit. “Conservatives will have no problem returning a powerful group of representatives to the U.S. House under any election lines that Eric Holder’s phony Sue ’til Blue ‘fair maps’ group can obtain, whose tax filing literally states its mission is to ‘favorably position Democrats for the redistricting process,’ ” said Rep. David Lewis and Rep. Destin Hall, the Republicans who co-chair the state House redistricting committee. Following the ruling over state legislative districts in early September, Republicans complied with the creation of a new map. This week, lawmakers asked the North Carolina Superior Court to approve new 2020 election districts drawn from a computer generated map, according to North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore’s office.
Read more » click here

Update –
North Carolina’s congressional map is illegal Republican gerrymander
A North Carolina court on Monday temporarily blocked the state from using its congressional map in next year’s elections and strongly suggested it would eventually rule the districts were illegally gerrymandered to favor Republicans.
Read more » click here

NC judges approve legislative maps,
rule against congressional maps in 2020 elections

North Carolina judges on Monday ruled against the state’s congressional map being used in the 2020 elections, and approved state legislative maps that were redrawn and passed in September. The court rulings came in two cases challenging state legislative and federal congressional maps. In one case, a three-judge panel ruled that new maps drawn in September in state legislative races can be used starting in 2020. In September, the three-judge panel issued a ruling ordering the North Carolina General Assembly to redraw the districts. In a separate ruling, the three-judge panel entered an injunction preventing 2020 Congressional races from using 2016 maps. The order suggests that the date of the 2020 primary election may be moved for the congressional races or even all races on the ballot if necessary. In an opinion from the preliminary injunction, the court referenced recently re-drawn North Carolina General Assembly maps as proof the legislature can draw new maps quickly.
Read more » click here

Democrats vow court fight to block new N.C. congressional map
North Carolina Republicans approved a new congressional map Friday that would cost the party at least two House seats and potentially roil the state’s delegation — but Democrats immediately objected, saying it’s still a GOP gerrymander.
Read more » click here


Odds & Ends


Oak Island inches closer to major sand projects
Oak Island is likely close to receiving permission from environmental regulators for a major sand project this winter, a consulting engineer told Town Council Tuesday. The town is also expected to soon receive standing permission to dredge Lockwood Folly Inlet to its federally authorized depth, said Johnny Martin of the Moffatt & Nichol firm.
Read more » click here


Holden Beach restaurant features authentic Buffalo wings
A newly opened Holden Beach eatery features warming chicken wings and refreshing beverages. If the winter chill has you seeking something to put a fire in your belly, don’t worry. It’s right here. The Hot Buffalo, located at 3446 Holden Beach Road, offers an ample variety of both “piping hot, delicious wings” and “refreshing brew.” The restaurant is owned and operated by brothers Matt and Kevin Shannon who relocated to Supply from Buffalo, N.Y. this summer. The brothers had traveled to Holden Beach for family gatherings for nearly 24 years, “since we were babies.” They enjoyed the Holden Beach ambience enough to invest in their own small business. Their restaurant anchors a new building complex housing a scuba shop and realty office. The response to their tasty offerings has been simply “awesome.”  The restaurant features six televisions for sports fans and eight beers on tap. If business continues to go well, the pair hopes to remain open during the winter. The brothers say they “are learning as they go,” receiving “lots of good feedback and mentoring from their clientele.” Wing aficionados will find sauces ranging from mild to habanero hot.  The menu also includes pizza logs, a Buffalo original consisting of “gooey mozzarella cheese and crispy pepperoni stuffed inside a golden-brown crust.” Fried avocados? Yes, these are available too, in addition to fried pickles and a house-specialty — deep-fried potato chips. For larger and more adventurous groups, the brothers will compile a beach party platter loaded with 100 traditional wings, 50 boneless wings, 12 pizza logs and a choice of mozzarella sticks, French fries or onion rings. The restaurant is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11:30 to 10 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. For more information, call (910) 846-2525 or visit www.theHotBuffalo.com

Read more » click here


This & That



Contractors Information Seminar

The Planning & Inspections Department, supported by the town staff, hosted the eighth annual Contractors Information Seminar.


Veterans Day
The Town hosted a Veterans Appreciation Luncheon on Friday, November 8th

Honoring All Who Serve or Have Served

Thank you for serving our country!


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

 

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Municipal Elections –

Congratulations and thanks

to our elected officials for their service to the community.

Election Results

Candidate                            Position                         Term                   Votes

Alan Holden                          Mayor                              Sixth                    241 (unopposed)

Gerald Brown                       Commissioner                Second                 246

Woody Tyner                        Commissioner                First                     230

Brian Murdock                     Commissioner               First                      225

Mike Sullivan                        Commissioner                Second                182

Patricia Kwiatkowski          Commissioner               Second                  168

John Fletcher                        Commissioner                Third                    155

Peter Freer                            Commissioner                Third                    144

Joseph Butler                        Commissioner                Second                 138

Gina Martin                          Commissioner                Second                 127

As approved by a referendum in 2017, the three candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to serve four-year terms and the two candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected to serve two-year terms. Mayor Pro Tem is elected by the Board, not necessarily the person with the most votes.

To see Holden Beach election results through the years, go to –
Town Department / Election Results

Reflections on Elections
Elected officials have significant impact on our daily lives. For democracy to work, people have to vote. Going to the polls on Election Day is one of our core responsibilities in a democratic nation. Voter turnout has been a big problem for decades. Increased voter turnout can dramatically alter election outcomes and resulting public policies. Holden Beach has approximately 746 registered voters, 374 voters participated in this election. So, the voter turnout was 50.1%, which is significantly higher than usual.

This was the most acrimonious election that I can recall. The takeaway here is that voters sent a pretty clear message that they are unhappy with the status quo.


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


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

AAA Carolinas warns of heavier deer presence on the roads
With more deer active around roads this time of year, AAA Carolinas is urging motorists to take pre-caution to avoid collisions. The mating season of a deer typically runs from mid-October through mid-November. This, coupled with the loss of daylight during most motorists’ commutes, makes October, November and December the worst months of the year for motor vehicle collisions with animals. In North Carolina in 2018, there were 17,895 crashes reported from collisions with an animal (of which, 90 percent are assumed to be deer) – with the months of October-December accounting for 49.5 percent of those crashes, according to the NCDOT. In the most recent data provided by the SCDPS, South Carolina reported 2,460 crashes with animals in 2017. “A collision with a deer can be devastating, endangering the passengers, the vehicle and the deer,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “This fall, we urge motorists to always scan the sides of roads for animals, including deer and to be extra vigilant during this time.” In addition to being a danger, hitting a deer can be quite expensive for motorists. Last year, the average deer-related claim in the Carolinas totaled $2,500 in damages. AAA Carolinas encourages motorists to adhere to the following tips this deer season: Be especially attentive in the early morning and evening hours as many animals (especially deer) are most active from 5 to 8 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. – prime commuting times for most drivers. Use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. Your lights will often reflect off the animal’s eyes and reveal their location. Watch for water on the side of the road as it often attracts deer. If you spot a deer, slow down and watch for other deer to appear, as they rarely travel alone. As you slow down, blast your horn to frighten the animal away from the road. Brake firmly. Do not swerve or leave your lane, as many crashes from deer are a result of hitting other cars. Check with your insurance agent to make sure you have comprehensive coverage that includes animal collision. In the event of a collision with a deer: Avoid making contact with the deer as a frightened or wounded animal can hurt you or further injure itself. Put your vehicle’s hazard lights on whether it is light or dark out. If possible, move the vehicle to a safe location, out of the road, as you wait for help to arrive. For insurance purposes, call your local law enforcement or highway patrol. To report an injured deer in North Carolina, call the NCDNR’s Wildlife Enforcement Division at (800)-662-7137. To report an injured deer in South Carolina, call the SCDNR office at (803) 734-3886 to locate a rehabilitator near you. When in North Carolina, vehicle-deer crashes should be reported to the NC Department of Transportation. When in South Carolina, vehicle-deer crashes should be reported to the SC Department of Transportation.
Beacon Article dated 10/24


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


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Climate
For more information » click here

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

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FEMA postpones flood insurance rate revamp amid backlash
FEMA is delaying a sweeping overhaul of flood insurance rates by one year, after the planned changes sparked concerns in Congress about premium hikes. The agency said its Risk Rating 2.0 initiative will be implemented on Oct. 1, 2021, rather than Oct. 1, 2020 — a move that takes off the table a potential spike in rates for homeowners in the run-up to next November’s elections. Under the initiative, which FEMA announced in March, the Trump administration is seeking to modernize the system by which the National Flood Insurance Program assesses risks and sets insurance rates for millions of homeowners across the country. The revamp is intended to provide a more accurate picture of perils facing individual properties, meaning it would likely lead to higher flood insurance rates for some homeowners and lower rates for others. The potential for rising flood insurance costs has spurred coastal lawmakers over the last several months to push back on FEMA’s efforts. For them, the delay was a welcome development. “This should have been announced long ago,” Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) said in an interview. “FEMA has been as clear as mud about what Risk Rating 2.0 actually is.” The delay underscored the struggle in modernizing the program, which is in debt to the Treasury after years of devastating hurricanes. Its approach to assessing risk has largely gone unchanged since the 1970s. “It’s complicated,” said Laura Lightbody, who directs the flood-prepared communities initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “But the purpose of doing it is to make sure that rates better reflect today’s risk. Changing the date I don’t think should be the focus.”

FEMA said it was postponing the changeover because more time was needed for a comprehensive analysis of the proposed rating structure. FEMA’s goal as it conducts further review is “to protect policyholders and minimize any unintentional negative effects of the transition.” The extension, FEMA said, would also allow for all NFIP policies to change over to the new rating system at one time, rather than a phased approach as originally proposed. “Over the course of the next year, FEMA will continue to actively engage with Congress and other key stakeholders to ensure transparency and visibility as we work to transform the NFIP,” the agency said. The problem for many coastal lawmakers ahead of Thursday’s announcement was that FEMA had not conveyed what the potential impacts of Risk Rating 2.0 would be. That concern prompted 64 House members to demand last week that new caps on premium increases be included in a long-term flood insurance program reauthorization bill that is awaiting a vote on the House floor, as well as a delay of Risk Rating 2.0. “Republicans, Democrats, House, Senate, all of us have been pushing FEMA to provide some transparency, to open up the black box, to help us understand what they’re doing and how our reauthorization should take that into consideration,” Graves said. “It has been impossible to do so.” In the House and Senate, members on Thursday signaled they were undeterred in pushing for new affordability protections in upcoming flood insurance reauthorization bills. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement Thursday that a “strong premium cap” was needed in the flood insurance legislation to protect homeowners. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who has been leading the charge in the Senate, also viewed the delay as only a temporary fix. He planned to push for a “single-digit cap” on annual rate increases and a strong affordability program, a Menendez aide said. “A one-year delay does not alleviate the concern and likely pain for policyholders during a five-year reauthorization without meaningful caps and affordability built into the NFIP program,” he said.
Read more » click here.

Congress extends flood insurance program for 13th time since 2017
Congress granted another short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on Thursday, marking the 13th temporary renewal since June 2017. The NFIP, which provides flood insurance to more than 5 million households, was extended through Dec. 20 as part of a continuing resolution passed by the Senate. The extension gives lawmakers more time to decide which of the multiple bills in Congress they want to reform NFIP and reauthorize the federal program through September 2024.
Read more » click here

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

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

NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance. The level of damage from recent catastrophic storms makes it clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.

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


 

GenX
For more information » click here

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EPA moves forward with plan to address PFAS in drinking water
The EPA is inching forward with their plan to address forever chemicals in our water. The agency announced forward momentum this week on efforts to eventually put a legal limit on how much PFOA and PFOS is allowed in drinking water, give the government authority to investigate spills and make companies pay if the chemicals are discharged into the environment. All of this comes months after the EPA announced a historic plan to regulate the chemicals in February of this year. When the plan was announced last winter, leaders said they expected a “regulatory determination” to come down by the end of the year. On Wednesday, the agency delivered on that promise. PFOA and PFOS are man-made substances often released through industrial manufacturing that do not degrade in the environment. Those chemicals are part of a larger set of chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS have been linked to developmental issues, cancer and problems with the thyroid and liver.
Read more » click here


 

Homeowners Insurance
For more information » click here
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Hurricane Season

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

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The Holden Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) has been monitoring the proposed changes to the Inlet Hazard Area (IHA) boundaries on the east and west ends of our island.  The proposed IHA will impact more than 200 property owners on the west end of our island by placing new restrictions on what they can build (or rebuild) on their property. 

This is the highest number of structures in any IHA in the state and adding this many properties to an IHA on our island will have a significant impact not just to the impacted property owners, but to our overall tax base as well.  We don’t understand the rationale behind this change, since the west end of Holden Beach has been continuously accreting for decades, as documented in surveys by the Town’s engineer.  The Inlet Hazard Area Method (IHAM) does not take any of this into account.

Ken Richardson reported at the NCBIWA conference that public hearings on the IHA changes will begin next month and comments will be closing at the end of January.  We are trying to notify our impacted property owners so they can provide input, but there is no notice of the hearing on the Division of Coastal Management website, only scientific documents. 

We need your help with informing our property owners.  Given the significance of the changes to the IHA and the short timeframe for input occurring over the holidays, the HBPOA would like to conduct a public hearing or information session to inform our members about this significant potential impact to their property.  Your assistance with conducting this session would be greatly appreciated.


Soon to be Commissioner Brian Murdock sent e-mail, this was the response from Braxton C. Davis, Director – NC Division of Coastal Management / Department of Environmental Quality

I understand your concerns and agree that the timing of the hearing is probably not good for many who are planning to travel for the holidays. I also appreciated the comments made by Tim Evans on behalf of the Town at our meeting this week. Our December hearing has already been advertised in the newspaper, so we will need to move forward with it, but we are absolutely willing to come back in January to hold a “workshop” so that we can try and clarify the overall process and background on the proposed changes, and to make sure we get additional public comments to take back to the Commission at their meeting in February. We will also begin a 60-day public comment period on Dec. 2 (ending late January) – it will be announced in the NC Register, and written comments can be sent to me at the office address below or via email.


 

Lockwood Folly Inlet
For more information » click here

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Trump Admin. Makes It Easier to Dredge Protected Areas to Restore Beaches
The Trump administration changed a 25-year-old policy to make it easier for coastal communities to take sand from protected ecosystems to improve their beaches. The shift makes it cheaper for some of the wealthiest communities in the country to replenish their beachfronts, which are increasingly under threat from more frequent and intense storms, rising seas and other effects of climate change. Critics say that comes at the expense of vulnerable coastal ecosystems. “Undeveloped coastal islands and beaches will now be opened up to sand mining that will imperil birds and other wildlife, destroy important habitat and reduce the protections these places provide against impacts of storms and erosion,” said Karen Hyun, vice president for coastal conservation at the National Audubon Society, in a statement. In 1982, Congress established the Coastal Barrier Resources System, which protects 1.4 million acres of land around the country from development. The Interior Department has long said that the law prohibited using federal money to remove sand from those zones to replenish beaches elsewhere.
Read more » click here


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

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

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

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// June 2019
Name:            Port City Chop House
Cuisine:         Steakhouse
Location:      1981 Eastwood Road, Wilmington NC
Contact:        910.256.4955 / https://chophousesofnc.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:          Two Stars
Port City Chop House is a high-end steakhouse and a franchisee of a successful restaurant chain. They primarily serve steaks at an exorbitant price to people willing to pay it. I don’t object to that if I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. Unfortunately, that was not the case. If you’re looking for a great steak in a high-end steakhouse, I’d recommend Ruth’s Chris a
s a much better choice.


Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
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KNIFE by Jo Nesbo
This is the twelfth entry in the bestselling crime novel series featuring Harry Hole a damaged alcoholic Norwegian detective. The troubled rogue police officer is back to solve the murder of Rakel the only woman he has ever loved. Harry’s colleagues want him to stay out of investigating the case, first because he’s the victim’s husband, then because they can’t rule him out as her killer. A series of painstaking investigations identifies first one plausible suspect, then another. The plot contains several twists and turns that play out brilliantly in this whodunit with plenty of very convincing red herrings that ends in a shocking climax.


.That’s it for this newsletter

See you next month


HBPOIN / Lou’s Views

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

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

https://lousviews.com/

10 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 10/11/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here NA


1. Discussion and Possible Selection of Town Attorney (Commissioners Butler & Freer)

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

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

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

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

Richard Green Proposal
Matthew Nichols Proposal
Brough Proposal
Grady Richardson Proposal

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

Previously reported Special Meeting 08/30/19
They were able to reach consensus on two issues. Decision was made that all of them should be there to interview each firm individually. They also eliminated Brough simply based on they are geographically undesirable, too far away.

Previously reported Special Meeting 09/18/19
The Board interviewed four (4) firms but did not make a selection yet.

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
The Grady Richardson firm was selected as our new town attorney


BOC’s Regular Meeting 10/15/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and possible action to hire the new Town Attorney
Item was added to the agenda, background information was not provided

The Board hired the Grady Richardson firm as our new town attorney

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


2. Discussion and possible action on the information flow to the Audit Committee.
Item was added to the agenda, background information was not provided

Directed the Town Manager / Financial Officer to provide the Audit Committee all information requested to evaluate internal control and performance of external auditor.

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


3. Discussion and Possible Approval of Proposed Land Use Plan for Submission to the Division of Coastal Management – Wes McLeod, Cape Fear Council of Governments (Planning Director Tim Evans)
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 Statues.

Land Use Plan
For more information » click here

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

View draft of the plan » click here

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.”

Update –
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


4. Annual Beach Monitoring Report – Fran Way, Applied Technology & Management (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)
Agenda Packet –
The Town participates in annual beach monitoring in an effort to maintain a healthy beach and dune system and to keep our engineered beach status.  These reports are also instrumental   in serving as a baseline account of sand volume as compared to post-storm surveys.  Mr. Fran Way with ATM is here to present data from the annual report and highlight changes since last year.

Applied Technology Management
ATM is a coastal engineering firm hired by the town to do the following:

  • Annual monitoring, data collection and reporting
  • Assess sand erosion
  • Evaluate nourishment
  • FEMA projects cost reimbursement support
  • Meet government regulatory permitting conditions

Annual monitoring has occurred since 2001. We have an engineered beach – which means it has been nourished and is being monitored.

Beach nourishment profile equilibration:
What to expect after sand is placed on a beach
Read more » click here

Update –
Fran Way presented the annual beach monitoring report. They have completed the annual survey of the beach strand. Primarily they make sure the beach is healthy. Most sections of the beach strand are stable and had accretion. Beach equilibration has occurred, projects are designed to include a volume of sand that the waves and currents will transport offshore to fill in the lower parts of the beach profile. Some of the sand lost off shore has been come back in to the system. The beach strand is recovering nicely from the recent storm events. Ongoing beach management activity has made the beach strand wider than it was twenty years ago. We have used a significant amount of material from the borrow area and will need to identify new areas to take sand from for future large-scale projects.


5. Discussion and Possible Action on the Oceanfront and Inlets Management Plan – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson
Agenda Packet –
At the September BOC meeting, ATM presented an update to the long-term beach and inlet management plan.  This document is to serve as a 10-year plan for the Town, with both long and short-term goals.  The BOC first tasked the Inlet and Beach Protection   Board (IBPB) to prepare and recommend   a plan in Ordinance 18-02.  The IBPB has been working with ATM to accomplish this task since February.   They have completed their tasker and the document is before you for consideration of adoption.

Oceanfront and Inlets Management Plan
For more information » click here

Previously reported September 2019
Agenda Packet –
Long-term Beach and Inlet Management Plan
As part of the powers and duties assigned to the Inlet and Beach Protection Board in Ordinance No. 18-02, the board is to prepare and recommend a comprehensive long-term plan for the management, dredging, and protection of the inlets and management, protection and nourishment of the ocean beaches and protective dune systems. This document is to serve as a 10-year plan for the Town. ATM facilitated the development of the plan in working with the IBPB since February. Cathy Foerster and Fran Way will present the plan for possible adoption by the BOC.

Presentation Outline
Planning Process

Focus Areas
Goals
Projects/Actions
Adaptive Management

Planning Process
Kickoff Meeting and Data Collection in February 2019

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

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

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

Goals
15 Goals
that Acknowledge and Address

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

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

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

Focus on Short-Term (within 5 years)

Adaptive Management
IBPB and ATM will review plan annually

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

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

Update –
The IBPB, the staff, and the town’s beach engineering consultant ATM have been working since July of 2018 on this plan, it was approved as submitted.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Sullivan voted against the motion


IBPB September Meeting Update
The Inlet and Beach Protection Board (IBPB) met September 26 and the following issues and topics were discussed and addressed:

Comprehensive Long-Term Plan:
The Long-Term Plan is pending before the BOC. Approval or action was postponed at the September meeting and is expected to be on the BOC’s October agenda. The IBPB will recommend adoption of the plan.

Status of the Beach and Inlets:
Staff provided an overview of current and future projects, efforts and conditions, and issues relative to the beach strand and inlets. Highlights include:

  • SACS Study: An update on the South Atlantic Coastal Study (SACS) was presented along with documentation.
  • CRR FEMA Reimbursement: The status of the $25,000,000 FEMA Florence and Michael remediation project, now known as the Central Reach Reimbursement Project, (CRR Project) was discussed. The approved project worksheets needed before work can start are still being held up in Environmental review.
  • Sand Search: The sand sourcing needed for the FEMA/CRR project is moving forward. Acoustic testing has been completed and additional borings are now being taken.
  • Hurricane Dorian: Staff met with the County and FEMA to discuss damages. Total damages for the County and/or State must meet certain thresholds to be reimbursed. East Coast Engineering has done an initial survey to be analyzed by ATM. Steve Mercer has estimated that 5000 plants were lost. Total rough estimates are 339,575cy of sand were lost from the strand. Sand fences damaged in the storm were included in the damage report.  The total for plants lost and sand fencing is included in the estimated $4,700,000 loss total.  Trash cans will be returned to the strand after storm season.
  • LWFIX and Bend Widener:  The pending projects were detailed and discussed. The Corps had previously confirmed that a dredging project would occur this winter and place approximately 135,000cy of material from the bend widener and 80,000cy from the LWFIX on the East End and funds were secured from the Town, County and the State which were forwarded to the Corps. The Corps subsequently determined that a Biologic Opinion (BO) would be required before the contract for the Bend Widener could be approved.  The project was put out to bid with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and two bids were received.  One was too high and the other was deemed non-responsive and disallowed by the Corps and is receiving further evaluation from the SBA. The Board is concerned about the viability of the projects based on timelines and delays. Town management has stressed that everything that can be done has been done.
  • Corps Engagement: The GRR/50 Year Plan/15 Year Plan Study and the separate 1966 Dune and Berm Construction Projects precipitated from the lobbyist’s efforts and the Wilmington District of the Corps of Engineers were touched on. At the August IBPB meeting, the Board was asked to review Poyner Spruill’s August report.  A decision from the Corps was anticipated by the end of August, but the decision is still pending.
  • UNCW Collaboration: Representatives from UNCW have presented a proposal and scope of work to begin working on the vegetation study and the inlet changes document. Town Staff are reviewing the documents.
  • Other Updates: “Keep Off the Dunes” signs, which were approved in the adopted budget have been ordered. The annual Beach Monitoring Report will be presented at the October BOC meeting. Mats will be ordered this winter. Town management has had engagement with Steve Mercer on vegetation post-Dorian and he recommends repairs and upgrades to sand fencing and planting of American Beach Grass.

Meetings:     
The IBPB will be represented at the Brunswick County Shoreline Protection meeting October 2 and will be attending the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) National Meeting October 22-25 in Myrtle Beach. The Town of Holden Beach is presenting on the Central Reach Project at the conference.

The Board’s meeting schedule for the remainder of the year has been tentatively changed to cancel the October 24 meeting and advance the November and December meetings by a week.


6. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 19-16, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 19-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 (Amendment No. 4) – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson
Agenda Packet –
The Town of   Holden Beach is currently participating   in a sand search for our Central   Reach Reimbursement (Florence/Michael) project.  Mr. Fran Way with ATM contacted the staff to recommend additional vibracores be collected after seismic data collection was complete.  These additional vibracores are recommended in order for the Town to have two usable borrow areas (assuming favorable results). One borrow area will have 21 vibracores and another will have 9.  Fewer than 9 borings would be helpful for long-term research, but 9 is the practical minimum for a useable borrow area as it needs to be of sufficient length for a hopper dredge.  Nine also gets us to a useable borrow area (approximately I million cy available).  Future data collection cannot be ruled out, especially considering offshore Holden Beach is considered sand starved.   For comparison, the Central Reach borrow area included 32 borings.  The cost for the additional borings is S17,565.   A decision was needed so that timelines could remain on target. Currently the $17,565 was sourced from the Professional Services line in the BPART budget.  A budget amendment is attached that appropriates (reimburses) funds that have been expensed in this effort.

Moved funds of $17,565
From Revenue account #50.0399.0000 to Expense account#50.0710.0400

The Town is doing a sand search for beach nourishment.
This is the cost of nine (9) additional vibracores needed for the search. 

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 19-05, Designation of Applicant’s Agent (Hurricane Dorian) – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson Agenda Packet –
Through   recent communication, the NC Department   of Public Safety informed   the Town of Holden Beach that an applicant designee would need to be appointed for Hurricane Dorian.  The resolution form from the state is attached.  The applicant   designee   will be responsible as signatory   for the FEMA application process and formation of project worksheets.  A primary and secondary designee is required. This memo   requests   the BOC designate Town   Manager   David Hewett as the primary   contact   and Assistant Town Manager Ferguson as the secondary contact on the FEMA Resolution.

Suggested motion: The BOC hereby designates Town Manager David Hewett as the primary applicant agent and Assistant Town Manager Ferguson as secondary agent on the FEMA Resolution.

Update –
Resolution 19-05 authorizes Town Manager Hewett and assistant Town manager Ferguson to execute and file applications for assistance on behalf of the Town. Approval of this resolution is necessary to move forward with requesting assistance relating to Hurricane Dorian. Simply part of the process that we establish an official point of contact to process FEMA reimbursement requests

A decision was made – Approved unanimously
Recommended motion was approved as submitted.


8. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police PatchWe will be having a number of upcoming events, expect traffic and plan accordingly. The Police Department will be participating in the Booze It and Lose It safety campaign. Town Ordinance hunting is not permitted on the island, enforcement is problematic if they come by boat.

 

Recognized as one of the nation’s most effective anti-drunk-driving campaigns, Booze It & Lose It has created increased awareness of the dangers and the consequences of drinking and driving through innovative education campaigns and extensive enforcement of impaired-driving laws. During each campaign, law enforcement agencies increase the number of patrols and officers in an area, set up checking stations and use local news media to reach out to drivers. Motorists caught driving while impaired could face jail time, lose their driving privileges and pay an average of $10,000 in fines, towing fees and other expenses associated with a DWI. That’s not a small price, and it doesn’t even count the heftier price: the potential cost of a lost life. Even with the success of Booze It & Lose It, more than 9,000 people have lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes in North Carolina since the program’s introduction in 1994. During enforcement campaigns, law enforcement agencies increase the number of saturation patrols, set up checking stations and use local news media to reach out to all drivers.
For more information » click here


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

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


Neighborhood Watch

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

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

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


9. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 19-06, Resolution in Honor of Veterans Day – Town Manager Hewett
Agenda Packet –
RESOLUTION 19-06
RESOLUTION IN HONOR OF VETERANS DAY

WHEREAS, individuals from all walks of life have taken up arms and have sworn to support and defend the principles upon which our country was founded; and

WHEREAS, throughout our history, courageous men and women have donned the uniform of Armed Forces and built a noble tradition of faithful and dedicated service to our country; and

WHEREAS, the military men and women who serve and protect our country come from all walks of life; they are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors and coworkers and are an important part of our communities: and

WHEREAS, Veterans Day has been set aside to honor those American patriots who answered the call of duty, preserving our freedoms d often making the ultimate sacrifice; and

WHEREAS, we can never fully repay our debt of gratitude to those heroic men and women who served, were wounded or even died in battle; and

WHEREAS, we continue to draw inspiration from the heroism and dedication of those who serve and sacrifice for the cause of liberty and justice; and

WHEREAS, on November 11th we are reminded of our solemn obligation: to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina that all citizens join together to observe Veterans Day on November 11th and to honor the special men and women who have served our country.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


10. Discussion and Possible Action on Classification and Pay Study and the Updated Personnel Policy Created by the Management & Personnel Services Group – Town Manager Hewett

    1. Class Specifications
    2. Pay Plan
    3. Implementation of Option I, Effective January 1, 2020
    4. Ordinance 19-17, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 19-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 (Amendment No.5)
    5. Personnel Policy

Agenda Packet –
There are several items that need to be approved in order to implement the recommendations made by the MAPS Group. The Classification and Pay Plan and corresponding budget amendment (separate memo) need to be adopted. The Board should also vote to implement Option I. the implementation strategy approved at the September 17th meeting. effective January 1, 2020. The last item the Board needs to consider is approval of the updated Personnel Policy.

Suggested motions:

    • Approve the proposed Classification and Pay Study.
    • Approve Ordinance 19-15, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 19-10. The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 (Amendment No. 5) and implement Option I effective January 1, 2020.
    • Approve the proposed Personnel Policy.

Budget Amendment for Implementation of Classification and Pay Plan
The attached Budget Amendment is necessary to implement the Classification and Pay Plan per BOC direction. It has been developed in accordance with BOC direction for implementing Option 1 previously briefed to the BOC at the Special Meeting of September 17, 2019. The budget amendment totals $51k and provides implementation funding for the new pay plan to be effective for the second half of the 2019/2020 fiscal year.

Management and Personnel Services Group
For more information » click here
For more information » click here

Previously reported – February 2019
Commissioner Freer asked that the Town initiate a request for proposal (RFP) to do the following:

    1. Establish set job descriptions for each position, and a compensation pay range
    2. Conduct a total compensation study

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previously reported – September 2019
The study updates the classification and pay plan for THB as well as making recommendations concerning personnel policies and fringe benefits. Recommendations are being made for salary schedule, position classification plan, and costs for implementing the salary plan. Salary data determined by prevailing rate in geographic area as well as with employers who directly compete for the same pool of workers with those job skills. The salaries represent the local market which provides a reflection of the actual cost of living in the geographic area. Implementation strategy offered three options; the recommended option had an additional annual price tag of $80,327 in just salary cost. An additional cost of roughly 20% for benefits brings the total cost to implement at almost $100,000 annually. Interestingly, we offer significantly higher family health insurance coverage than the rest of the local market, yet we didn’t seem to get any credit for that in a total compensation package. Recommendations for THB are based on meeting the market, not leading the market. Takeaway was that we were in pretty good shape considering we hadn’t done a study in a very long time, but adjustments need to be made to stay competitive in the local market. Staying competitive in our total compensation package will allow us to recruit and retain employees. Presentation was a very pragmatic approach to the subject and clearly directs us on how to proceed.

Previously reported September 2019
The recommended option being considered had an additional annual price tag of $80,327 in just salary cost. An additional cost of roughly 20% for benefits brings the total cost to implement at almost $100,000 annually. The Board is considering adopting this option with the new personnel policy and classification and pay plan potentially beginning January 1, 2020. They have requested that the Town Manager look at how we would pay for it.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Freer voted against the motion

Update –
Three of the Commissioners took a position that this should be addressed in the next budget cycle. They also stressed that we need to address all the components of the total compensation package not just implementing the pay plan.

A decision was made – Not Approved 
Commissioners Fletcher, Freer, and Butler all voted against the motion


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No decision was made – No action taken

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

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

No decision was made – No action taken

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previously reported – September 2019
The proposal allows owners to park four (4) additional vehicles in the right-of way on their property. The storm vehicle decals issued to each property owner is what will be used for identification. The Board asked the Town attorney to prepare a revised Ordinance.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


This is a solution in search of a problem!


Update –
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.


12. Discussion and Possible Action on Proposed Ordinance for Maximum House Size Construction –  Inspections Director Tim Evans
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.

§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.

Previously reported – December 2018
Agenda Packet –
I would like to have the Planning and Zoning Board revisit the issue, by investigating and reporting to the Board of Commissioners on the feasibility and applicability of the measures proposed by Dare County, as follows:

. 1. At last week’s Duck Town Council meeting, members considered a recommendation by the Duck Planning Board to regulate occupancy by establishing town standards for the capacity of septic systems based on lot sizes.
.   2.
They also scheduled for Dec. 5 a public hearing on a draft ordinance that would set a tiered approach to regulating house size based on lot size.

Dare Towns Look to Manage ‘Mega-Houses’
As Dare County municipalities try to address concerns about the proliferation of “mega-houses” and their impact on the character and environment of beach communities, the town councils in both Southern Shores and Duck met last week to explore new approaches to the issue.
Read more » click here

Update –
Planning & Inspections Director Evans poured some cold water on the discussion, by reminding them that you cannot legally regulate the number of bedrooms. That said, they would like to investigate if it is feasible to obtain the same outcome but approach it from a different way.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – June 2019
Discussion and Possible Action on Proposed Ordinance for Maximum House Size Construction – Planning Director Evans
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

Update –
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


13. Discussion and Possible Nomination of Members to Serve on the Board of Adjustment– Town Clerk Finnell
Agenda Packet –
There are two Alternate Member positions that are vacant on the Board of Adjustment.  I   have not received any applications for the positions.  I will let the Board know if any are submitted prior to the Special Meeting scheduled for October 15th at 6:45 p.m.

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

There were no applications, and no one was interviewed at the 6:45pm Special Meeting.
Mary Lou Lahren and Phillip Caldwell both have offered to serve as alternates.

The Board voted by consensus and selected them both to serve as alternates.

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.


14. Town Manager’s Report

Audits
They have received the Annual Audit Draft which is due by the end of the month.  He acknowledged that he owes the Board a plan to address issues identified by internal control report. The Town is not on the latest Unit Assistance List at this time. 

Finance Department Staff
Mandy Lockner (Fiscal Operations 2) has resigned.   

LWF Bend Widener Navigation Maintenance Project
The Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging low bid contractor has been cleared by the Small Business Association and the contract should be awarded the week of October 25th.  That will include the Bend Widener option, but he is unsure what the impact will be from the delay of starting the project. 

Beach Nourishment
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 submit for permit modification.

FEMA / Storm Events
The Town is currently working reimbursements from five (5) federally declared storms simultaneously. Each of the five (5) projects are treated separately, we may be able to achieve economies of scale if we can combine them. We will be going through the bid process for the estimated $25 million in sand reimbursements.  The Dorian declaration raises the total up to $30 million if it is added into the mix. Because of our experience working with FEMA we are serving as a guinea pig; reimbursement will be through new digital FEMA Grants Portal.

Matthew / Irene
Revisions made and submitted, still have @$300,000 on the table

Florence / Michael
FloMike hurricane projects remain stuck in EHP queue

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

Dorian
Federal declaration was made for Hurricane Dorian that includes coastal communities in Brunswick County.
Town has estimated approximately $4.6mm for Cat G FEMA reimbursements. 

Engineered Beach
Holden Beach designation as an engineered beach means if there is a named storm event then we qualify for Category G FEMA reimbursements for replacing all the material that were lost during that event.

Good News – we have an engineered beach in the Central Reach Project area
Bad News – the rest of the beach strand is not part of the engineered beach

What that means to us –
We are only eligible for reimbursement for the sand lost in the CRP area

Ocean Boulevard Crosswalks
Public works has been investigating crosswalks and it appears they are not allowed on streets where the speed limit is greater than 35MPH without signals. 

Holden Beach Bridge Repairs
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 October1, 2019.

Brunswick Avenue West Paving
Paving should be completed before Memorial Day. 

Previously reported – October 2018
Project is for Brunswick Avenue West only. You read that right, from Rothschild to High Point is all we are talking about. If you have ever driven down the street, you know that settlement has occurred, and the pavement is wavy making for a roller coaster type ride. The game plan is to utilize wedging for the low areas and then a layer of asphalt over the top of the entire road. Discussion was whether to go all in or do a test segment. The approach they agreed to is to do the worst areas only in the first year. Engineers Preliminary Construction Cost Estimate $255,194. In 2015 the Board implemented a tax increase of $.010 that would generate approximately $115,000 annually for infrastructure, specifically street paving and maintenance. With no additional funds being allocated they could do a little less than half of the project in 2020.

WEDGE AND LEVEL
When the surface of a pavement is irregular, the surface is required to be brought to a uniform grade and cross section. A leveling course is used when the road surface is so irregular that the surface cannot be corrected with the normal leveling capabilities of the paver. Wedges of hot mix asphalt are used to level sags and depressions in an old pavement prior to the paving operation.

Lift Station #3
Lift Station #3 is progressing, and completion is expected in late fall of 2020. 

Upcoming Town Sponsored Events
SEARCH 5K –                October 19th
Boo at the Beach –       October 19th
Festival by the Se –      October 26th & 27th
Veteran’s Luncheon – November 8th

New Town Attorney
Town staff meeting with him this week


15. Mayor’s Comments
Alan reminded everyone that Hurricane Hazel hit us on this date in 1954.
He was thankful that we made it through another hurricane season. 

Mayor Holden received and read an anonymous letter about the Town’s auditor Rives & Associates alleging fraud and pending lawsuits which he asked to be entered into the minutes and also asked that the BOC’s members be provided a copy.  The bombshell letter references Lou’s Views as the source of information that the firm was selected, and which Commissioners voted for that auditor.  This is another election campaign false narrative. What they neglected to say is that this did not come up during the selection process, the audit committee recommended that firm and the Commissioners that voted no did so based on past performance and cost. In general, Rives & Associates is a well-known and respected firm. It appears that they have their firm set up with what looks like separate “franchises” and the one from Raleigh that we are using is not involved in any litigation – other than being a “franchise” of the firm.  In other words, it has nothing to do with them.

A Special Meeting has been scheduled to address the issue

Let’s be clear about this, the lawsuits are not against the firm we hired but rather other franchises. This is a red herring designed to make some of the Commissioners look bad. Let’s put this in perspective, it’s like saying that if a Re/Max anywhere in the state is involved in litigation then we shouldn’t do business with the Re/Max at the beach.

Sheesh!


BOC’s Special Meeting 10/29/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here NA

1. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3)

2. Town Attorney Report with Respect to Allegations of Fraud and Professional Misconduct by the Town’s Auditor, Rives and Associates, LLP, Raised by Mayor Holden at October 15, 2019 Regular Meeting of the BOC and in Subsequent Public Statements (the “Fraud Allegations”) – Commissioners Butler & Freer

3. Discussion and Possible Action with Respect to Public Release of Town Attorney Report and Related Materials – Commissioners Butler and Freer

4. Public Comment with Respect to Special Meeting Agenda Items

5. Discussion and Determination with Respect to the Creditability of and/ or Possible Further Action Required with Respect to the Fraud Allegations – Commissioner Butler

6. Discussion and Possible Action Directing the Audit Committee (or a subcommittee of the Audit Committee) to: (i) Review the Sources of the Fraud Allegations and Report to the BOC; (ii) Recommend Any Appropriate Sanctions; and (iii) Recommend Remedial Policies or Procedures with Respect to Obstruction, Interference or Non-Cooperation in Connection with Audits, Investigations or Reviews of the Town’s Financial Affairs – Commissioner Freer


Agenda Packet –

September 26,2019

Town of Holden Beach
110 Rothschild Street
Holden Beach, NC 28462
Attn: Mayor J. Alan Holden

Dear Mayor Holden,

After reading Lou’s Views, regarding the selection of an External Audit Firm, I am writing as a concerned citizen. If you conduct an Internet search for “Rives & Associates, LLC Law suits”, here are a few examples of what was revealed: their firm was found guilty of fraud by PCTEL, sued by former partners, and scheduled to go to trial in December 2019 for dishonest business practices.

An external audit conducted by Rives & Associates would not be viewed with credibility, due to the number of law suits and dishonest business practices listed.  

According to Lou’s Views the vote was: A decision was made- Approved (3 – 2)

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

I’m certain the Commissioners that approved retaining Rives & Associates LLC as the External Audit Firm are apparently unaware. Please share the information with the Commissioners and reconsider.

Thank you very much,


Peter Freer /  Joe Butler
Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners

October 22, 2019

Subject:  Special Meeting of the Board of Commissioners – Request for You to Attend

Dear Mr. Richardson:

As you are aware, last Tuesday evening, October 15, 2019, at the end of the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners Meeting, Mayor Alan Holden read an anonymous letter that he received by mail in his capacity as Mayor. Although he proposed to introduce the letter into the minutes of the meeting, he did not provide a copy to you or any of the Commissioners. We requested a copy from the Town Clerk and received it today.

The anonymous letter states that the accounting firm of Rives & Associates, the Town’s Auditor has “been found guilty of fraud by PCTEL [SIC], sued by former partners, and scheduled to go to trial in December 2019 for dishonest business practices.”

The subject matter was introduced under the Mayor’s Comments at the end of the meeting and was therefore not subject to debate. The Mayor did not provide copies in advance, even though  the  letter is dated September  26,     It  seems apparent that the purpose of the Mayor’s statement and the introduction of his “anonymous  poison pen letter” was to  discredit  the  reputation  of  the Town’s auditor and three of the Commissioners currently standing for re-election, Butler, Fletcher  and  Freer.   It is expected that the audit will again find a Material Weakness and a Significant Deficiency.

Inappropriate conduct and political considerations aside, we believe that the Mayor’s accusations must be taken very seriously and must be fully investigated as expeditiously as possible. When he read from this letter, he was clearly doing so in his official capacity as Mayor during the conduct of a Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners. The allegations read by the Mayor are on their face libelous and defamatory of a professional firm whose business depends largely upon its reputation for professional and fiduciary propriety.  Since the Mayor claims the letter is anonymous and he does not know the author or source he endorsed its contents with the full weight of his office, as Mayor.

While the underlying facts are still not completely known, it appears that the allegations were false.

We propose to schedule a Special Meeting of the BOC for the earliest feasible date and time to review and, if appropriate, take action with respect to this matter.

Your presence as Town Attorney at this meeting is, of course, essential. We are writing to determine your availability before we call for the Special Meeting. Given the time sensitivity, and the fact that the Mayor continues to repeat these allegations in public, this is a matter of urgency. Please let us know by reply email your earliest availability.

So that you may be more fully prepared for the meeting, we are attaching a copy of the letter read by the Mayor. We think it would be very helpful if you could review the Mayor’s statements and be prepared to advise the BOC as to the status of any claims made or criminal or civil cases pending against our auditor. At a minimum please check with the LGC as they approve our Audit contract as well as the final audit. Please also be prepared to advise the BOC with  respect to appropriate   actions  to   protect   the  Town,  both   in  the  event  that  Rives & Associates is, in fact, guilty of fraud and professional misconduct as the Mayor has claimed, or in the event that the Mayor’s claims are unfounded and/or  libelous.

Finally, we believe it is important that as Town Attorney  you contact the Mayor immediately  and take custody of the  original letter  and any related  emails or other  documents; these are, of  course, public  records  delivered  to  him  in his official capacity — not correspondence of  Mr. Holden’s in his private capacity. Given questions that have already been raised about this letter, its authenticity and the Town’s potential liability, it is critical that we preserve all relevant evidence.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please advise us of the dates and times you would be available by reply email. If you should have any questions or require additional information, please feel free to call either of us.

Respectfully,

Commissioner Peter Freer, Executive Secretary
Commissioner Joe Butler


10/16/19

CPA Verify Firm Report Results

NAME:
RIVES & ASSOCIATES, LLP

STATE OF LICENSE:
NC

LAST UPDATED:
2019·10·16

Business:
RIVES & ASSOCIATES, LLP

Address:
4515 FALLS OF NEUSE ROAD STE 450

RALEIGH, NC, USA 27609

License/Permit/Certificate Number:
31579

Registration Number:

License/Permit/Certificate Status:
ACTIVE

License/Certificate Status Details:
A person who possesses a North Carolina certificate of qualification and who has not otherwise been granted Retired, Inactive, or Conditional status.

License Type:
CPA FIRM CERTIFICATE

License Type details:

Basis for License:
Entity created by CPA’s for the practice of public accounting.

Issue Date:
2008 11-19

Expiration Date:
2019 12·31

Enforcement, Non-Compliance or Disciplinary Actions:
None Reported To This Site By The Board


General Comments –

Disappointed with some of the Commissioners verbal attacks.
Not very civil, ugly from start to finish.
Apparently, the gloves are off …


The BOC’s Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, November 19th

General Election 2019 – Tuesday, November 5th

  • Encourage everyone to vote
  • Remember it’s a right and a privilege to be able to do so
  • Polling place location is at the HB EOC Building, 1044 Sabbath Home Rd., SupplyFor more information visit The North Carolina State Board of Elections web site
    Read more » click here   

Elected officials have significant impact on our daily lives. As a matter of principle, we would want everyone to vote, and to do so in an informed and reasoned way. Remember it’s a right and a privilege to be able to do so.

            Be a Voter – Your Vote Matters!


Hurricane #1 - CR

 

Hurricane Season
For more information » click here

Be prepared – have a plan!

.


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


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