05 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/25/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Project Grant Application Submission

Agenda Packet – pages 1– 20 which is too large to include here

Previously reported – April 2022

Public Input Meeting 04/18/22

PARTF Grant Application for the Holden Beach Pier (04/01/22)
The Town of Holden Beach will hold a public input meeting exclusively for the purpose of obtaining comments regarding a NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant project application for the pier property (441 Ocean Boulevard West). The meeting will be held Monday, April 18th at 10:00 a.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly (110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462). We look forward to seeing you at the meeting to explain this exciting grant opportunity and receiving your comments!

Public Input Meeting (04/13/22)
The Town will hold a public input meeting on Monday, April 18th at 10:00 a.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly. The sole purpose of the meeting will be to receive public comment on submitting a $500,000 grant application to the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund regarding reimbursement of pier property acquisition costs. Click here to view the application components. A slideshow presentation will explain the grant documents prior to public comment.  This is a staff run meeting and will not be an official meeting of the Board of Commissioners.  It will not be broadcast on Facebook Live. 

Description and Justification for the: Holden Beach Pier Property Project
Local Government: Town of Holden Beach

Description:
This is land acquisition only project. The property consists of 350 feet (300-foot-wide oceanfront lot and an adjacent 50-foot-wide oceanfront lot) of oceanfront property with a fishing pier. Recreational facilities include the pier, beach access, parking, a pier house, and six full-service camping sites. Additional proposed future facilities include an update to the pier house, a concession facility that will provide food for fisherman and the public, public restrooms and showers, and a deck.

Lot 1 dimensions: 2.94 acres; Lot 2: 0.49 acres.

Justification:
The Town of Holden Beach was presented with the opportunity to purchase the Holden Beach Fishing Pier which includes the ocean pier located on one 300-foot-wide oceanfront lot and an additional 50-foot­ wide oceanfront lot. Collectively, these two lots have 350 continuous feet of oceanfront real estate and total slightly over 3 acres. The property is located in the center part of the island and provides access to 400+ canal properties, as well as many day trippers, that visit the beach daily and park at the pier. The current owner of this commercial property was looking to sell and if the property went to a private buyer all the above-mentioned attributes would be lost. Many canal property owners would have to walk between ¼ mile and a mile to gain access to the beach. The town negotiated a bargain sale as the sale price came in under the appraised value of the property. The property was identified as a future community park on page 40 of the 2021 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Public surveys and focus group sessions showed that access to fishing and public water access were common high priorities. The town was just awarded a public beach and coastal waterfront access program grant for$180,460.00 toward the cost of the 50-foot lot only. Besides the benefits already mentioned, the property also affords emergency vehicular access to the beach to assist with medical emergencies, access for trash collection along the beach strand, and a means to get large equipment on the beach for periodic beach nourishment. Our moniker is, “The Family Beach”, and the acquisition of this iconic landmark for the town signifies commitment to maintain a culture that recognizes the importance of family and family­ friendly recreational pursuits. As individuals spoke in previous public hearings, they referenced learning to fish from the pier and wanting to have the ability to take their grandchildren to fish and walk on the pier. The acquisition of the property adds an iconic attraction to what can be considered the biggest playground (the beach strand) the town has for the public and visitors to enjoy.

Regular Meeting 04/19/22

Discussion and Possible Action on Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Project Grant Application Submission – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 29 – 47 which is too large to include here

Based on the BOC’s direction to pursue grant opportunities to assist with land acquisition related to the pier properties, staff has prepared a PARTF application (Attachment 1). The application is  land acquisition only in the amount of $500,000. Staff applied for a waiver in the June timeframe of last year which affords the town two application cycles for this grant. Decisions are expected to be reached by the PARTF Commission in last summer/early fall. The Basic Facts and Assurances page requires that the application be approved by the local governing board.

Suggested Motion: Motion to submit a grant application in the amount of $500,000 to the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

Christy did the slide show presentation that was presented yesterday at the Public Input Meeting for the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant project application for the pier property. The Board had concerns about an encumbrance with significant financial penalties if we ever plan to sell the property for any reason. In other words, you are basically giving up the land in perpetuity. They were informed that this restriction is attached to accepting all grants. The decision was made to wait for the report on the engineers report on the pier condition. At that time, they can decide whether to move forward with the grant application next year.

A decision was made – Not Approved (3-2)
Commissioner Brown and Dyer supported the motion

Update –
Brittany the state coordinator for the PARTF was available by phone to elaborate on questions that were previously answered by Christy, but the Board still had some concerns about. It appeared that the Board were satisfied with her responses.

Pat pointed out that this encumbrance was never mentioned before. The Board should do what they said they were going to do. There was never any discussion about turning this into park land. The public should have an opportunity to weigh in on this decision.

Brian passionately stated his position, that they never ever will sell this piece of property it is for the public to enjoy from now on. All of his questions were answered, but still would like some additional clarifications to ensure most of the proposed options are still on the table. He said that they have an obligation to make sure whatever they do doesn’t cost the taxpayers on this island anything. They made commitments and need to do what they said to make it revenue neutral. He would prefer to have more time to make major decisions like this, but unfortunately they don’t.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Kwiatkowski opposed the motion

Public Comments / Vicki Myers
I am writing about the re-vote on applying for the PARTF grant.  Please wait until you have developed a complete site plan for the property.  Here is why:

    • You unanimously adopted a plan for the pier which included a leased restaurant and retail space.  It is doubtful that these uses would be considered “recreation” and would therefore not be allowed.
    • You presented this plan to the LGC when you went for loan approval.
    • You told the LGC that if the pier was found to be “a lemon” the value of the land covered the note – implying that you could sell the property if needed.
    • The grant is for $500,000, yet you expected $50,000 annually in restaurant rental income.  The payback is 10 years.  If you plan to hold the pier forever then you would forego the rental income after 10 years.
    • The loan documents seem to imply that the restrictions required by accepting the grant are not allowed. 

You have already stated that you could apply for the same grant next year.  Please wait until then, after the pier inspection is completed and after you have developed a site plan for the property.

On the surface, a half million-dollar grant looks great.  That is a half million that taxpayers don’t have to pay.  But looking at the whole it would not be wise to apply for or accept this grant at this point. 

Please exercise your fiduciary responsibility and act accordingly!

Although the in perpetuity is a serious encumbrance, I really can’t imagine a scenario where we would need to sell the pier property. That said, it seems like a poorly thought-out policy shift. After the last brouhaha over purchasing the pier property it would seem prudent that the Board asks for public input, so it gets a better feel for what the community wants.

Mayor Pro Tem Smith keeps saying that the majority of the island residents support the pier property purchase. He then doubled down by saying only a small group objected and attempted to stir things up. HBPOA did two surveys, the first one had 768 responses with 538 residents or 70% against and the second one had 969 responses with 579 residents or 60% against. With all due respect, most property owners did not support the pier purchase, that’s just balderdash. It’s hard to imagine based on those two surveys that he thinks the majority of the island property owners supported the pier purchase, bless his heart. At best you might be able to make a case that the community was split but even that would be a dubious claim. Rick previously said that the petition originated by Keith Smith validates the position of the Board on the pier purchase. The petition is poppycock! This is a Change.org petition, in other words, anyone in the world can sign the petition.  Let me get this straight; he pooh-poohed the HBPOA property owners survey but an off-island petition with similar numbers validates their position. Are.. You.. Kidding.. Me?! Despite the public’s lack of support, this Board decided to move forward with the pier properties purchase anyway. I believe that they are trying to do the right thing and I applaud their altruistic approach, that is to do the greatest good for the greatest number. They were elected to office to make decisions for their constituents, and they get to vote as they see fit, that’s their prerogative. We are where we are, so be it. The point is that most of the residents did not support the pier purchase, so “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining”!

Sheesh!!!      


BOC’s Regular Meeting 05/17/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Agenda Packet – pages 19 -21

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

 

The police department currently has only eight (8) officers of the ten (10) they are budgeted to have

They will implement the no left turn coming off the bridge on Saturdays from 9am to 3pm

Reminded everyone its Hurricane Season – be prepared, have a plan!

National Peace Officers Memorial Week is this week


Golf carts are treated the same as any other automotive vehicle.

In the State of North Carolina, if a golf cart is to be operated on the streets, highways, or public vehicular areas, it is considered a motor vehicle and subject to all laws, rules and regulations that govern motor vehicles. In short, the golf cart must have all of the following:

 

        • The driver MUST have a current, valid Driver’s License
        • Child Restraint Laws must be followed
        • Headlights
        • Tail lights
        • Turn signals
        • Rear view mirrors
        • State Inspection Sticker
        • License Plate Issued by NCDMV
        • Liability Insurance

All of the streets in the Town (including the side streets) are considered streets or public vehicular areas according to the State Law. This means that to operate a golf cart anywhere on the island, you must meet the standards above.


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


2. Discussion and Possible Action on Canal Dredging Master Plan – Shane Lippard, Right Angle Engineering (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)

Agenda Packet – page 22, plus separate packet

The canal dredging working group agreed to pursue an updated Canal Dredging Master Plan. Right Angle Engineering (RAE), the engineer of record for the program, conducted the update. Shane Lippard is here this evening to answer any questions that you may have regarding the document. A draft was reviewed by the representatives from the working group who were able to attend the April 22, 2022 meeting and a few minor suggestions were given to RAE for follow-up. The plan has been approved by the Board of Commissioners in the past, with the last update being completed in 2016.

Canal Dredging Master Plan Packet » click here  

Update –
Plan was updated and is being submitted to the Board for approval. Motion was made to accept the updated plan.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


3. Discussion and Possible Reclassification of Code Administrator Position and Corresponding Salary Increase – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 23 – 26

In accordance with Article II, Section 6 of the Town of Holden Beach Personnel Policy, it has been brought to my attention that the Codes Administrator position needs to be reclassified.

Based on the ever-expanding scope and responsibilities of the Code Administrator position and the pay rates of nearby municipalities, I recommend a revision to the classification and pay plan. The position is currently classified as Grade 21, with a pay range of $52,944 – $79,416. I recommended that the position be moved to Grade 24, with a pay range of $61,290 – $91,935. I also recommend that the position be renamed from Codes Administrator to Building & Inspections Director.

The Town has benefited by having Tim Evans serve the town since 2010. He is an experienced inspector who holds Level 3 certifications in all building related fields. His certifications aid the town in maintaining our CRS rating. With the addition of a new employee in his department, he will now supervise three employees, in addition to performing his inspector, planning and department head roles. Based on similar roles in neighboring municipalities, Mr. Evans’ salary should be increased to $87,500, which can be accommodated within existing funds.

Suggested Board Action: Approve reclassification and corresponding salary increase.

 Update –
Item was removed from the agenda

In 2019, not that long ago, we paid a consultant Management and Personnel Services Group (MAPS) to determine pay grades and pay ranges for all our employees.

They determined the following:

      • Code Officer grade 21
      • Assistant Town Manager grade 21
      • Public Services grade 23
      • Police Chief grade 24

Town Manager Hewett uses MAPS job description as justification, yet they determined the position should be Grade 21. What’s the point in paying for expert advice if we are just going to make stuff up as we go? The request is for the position to be Grade 24 and  his salary to be increased to $87,500, this is a $16,228 increase or almost 23%. Timbo is not even at the top of his current pay range. The max is $79,416 and his current salary is $71,272 so he is only at 90% of the max. That means there still is $8,144 available within the current pay range. The Town Manager has plenty of flexibility to increase his pay and should work within the existing plan. Really this discussion can and should be held in closed executive session. I’m just saying this is completely unnecessary.


4. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 22-13, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 92: Nuisances (Outside Lights) – Mayor Pro Tem Smith

Agenda Packet – pages 27 – 29

§92.31 PURPOSE.
It is the intent of this subchapter to permit sufficient outside lighting to provide for the safetyand security of citizens while preventing undue distraction to residents or guests, and to provide a safe and welcoming environment for Nesting Sea Turtles.

§92.32 UNLAWFUL LIGHTS.
It shall be unlawful for any outside light to be installed or directed:

(A) To interfere with the vision of the operator of any motor vehicle on any street or waterway; or cast any amount of Direct light more than 15 feet from the footprint of the residence and no direct light on the south side of the ocean front homes
(B) Decorative , safety and security lights directed seaward of any ocean front home set with all night timers or day / night photo cells.

§92.33 LIGHTS PERMITTED IN R-1 AND R-2 DISTRICTS.

(A) Decorative lights except on ocean front walkways or walkway seating structures and landscape area on the south side of oceanfront homes
(F) Pool  lights within the confines of pool fencing or directed into the pool area.
(G) One yard light per living unit provided:

          1. It does not exceed ten feet in height and does exceed 900 lumens.
          2. External ocean front lights used exclusively for safety purposes shall be limited to the minimum number necessary for safety. Such lights shall be shielded as required to achieve their functional roles and shall use motion activation that keeps the lights off except when approached and turn back off within five minutes per activation as required.

Previously reported – October 2021
Commissioner Smith in conjunction with the Turtle Patrol wants to address light pollution and restrict oceanfront lighting. Decision was to have our attorney and our building inspector review the ordinances and make a recommendation for any potential changes to the existing ordinances.

Previously reported – November 2021
Turtle Patrol representative was scheduled to speak but unfortunately was unable to attend tonight’s meeting.

Previously reported – January 2022
Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 22-01, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 92: Nuisances (Outside Lights) – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 67 – 70

The Board requested that Inspections Director Evans and Attorney Green look into possible changes to the Town’s lighting ordinance that would restrict oceanfront light. Ordinance 22-01 has been prepared based on this request. Attorney Green has reviewed the proposed ordinance and is fine with the wording.

Ordinance 22-01 is before the Board for consideration.

Item was removed from the agenda

Hard to imagine our town attorney and Planning & Inspections Director approved this as written. The ordinance changes created more problems than it solved. It was removed from the agenda, needs to be revised before being put on the agenda again.

Update –
Item was removed from the agenda again

This was originally submitted in October of 2021, and we still have not been able to put together a coherent ordinance that actually addresses the issue that initiated the request to amend the ordinance.


5. Discussion and Provision of Staff Direction Concerning the Closure of a Portion of Carolina Avenue (Between Jordan Boulevard and Quinton Street) and Related Block Q Site Development Actions – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 30 – 33

North Carolina Statute §160A-299, lays out the process to permanently close a street/alley. Attached is a summary of the process (Attachment 1).

A draft resolution of intent is included for your review (Attachment 2). In order for the Board to adopt the resolution of intent to close Carolina Avenue from its intersection with Jordan Boulevard to its intersection with Quinton Street, it would require a property survey of the specific road area proposed to be closed to obtain a metes and bounds description.

Staff seeks direction on if the Board would like to move forward with the process to close a portion of Carolina Avenue and on related Block Q site development actions.

Previously reported – April 2022
Discussion and Possible Approval of Contract between the Town and Holden Beach Enterprises for the Purchase of Block Q – Attorney Green
a.
Ordinance 22-10, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (Amendment No. 15) – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 82 – 96 which is too large to include here

EXHIBIT #l
The Lots are identified as shown on Map 4, Page 2, Block Q, Brunswick County Registry, and have been assigned the following tax parcel identification numbers:

– Lot #1 (232NF004);
– Lot #2 (232NF005);
– Lot #3 (232NF003);
– Lot #4 (232NF006);
– Lot #5 (232NF002);
– Lot #6 (232NF007);
– Lot #7 (232NF001);
– Lot #8 (232NF008); and
– An unnumbered Lot (232NF029) located North of Lots 7 and 8, bounded by South Shore Drive to the East, and Jordan Boulevard to the West.

EXHIBIT #2

    1. Purchase Price is $2,200,000
    2. Seller will gift $200,000 to the Buyer, making the reduced purchase price $2,000,000.00
    3. Buyer will pay $1,000,000 to the Seller at closing.
    4. The remaining balance of $1,000,000 will be financed by the Seller for three years in equal annual payments of principal plus interest on the unpaid principal balance at the rate of 3.18%, per annum.

To provide for initial portion of funding required for purchase contract of “Block Q” [+$1,000,000]

To View Parcels » click here

Brunswick County – Basic Search
Select Parcel Number
Enter Parcel Number
Click Owner Name
Click View Map for this Parcel

The Town plans to purchase nine (9) parcels referred to as Block Q. Attorney Green briefly reviewed potential issues and made his recommendations as how to proceed. This is a step that we need to take, so contract can be presented to the seller. The Board approved moving forward with closing to be scheduled on May 2nd. We will pay $1,000,000 at closing with the remaining balance will be paid in three (3) payments do annually on the date of the closing.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Brown opposed the motion

Holden Beach to buy 1.5-acres for future paid parking lot
It’s common to see Holden Beach day trippers park along a privately owned vacant lot off N.C. 130 before launching their boats or casting their lines. Now they’ll have to pay. The town of Holden Beach purchased the 1.5-acre property between Shore Drive and Brunswick Avenue, commonly known as Block Q, for $2 million to further its paid parking plan. The property could add up to 225 spaces to the roughly 500 the town approved earlier this year, set to take effect May 1. The deal calls for Holden Beach to pay $1 million up front at closing with the seller financing the rest over three years, which will amount to equal payments just under $350,000 each. According to Holden Beach Property Owners Association President Tom Myers, over 80% of homeowners surveyed were opposed to the town buying more land for parking. “Frankly, the transaction is a little weird to me,” Myers said. The seller, Holden Beach Enterprises Inc., also “gifted” the town $200,000 off the $2.2 million asking price. According to town attorney Richard Green, there is a roughly $30,000 tax garnishment against the property, which will not come from the town. “Either way, it’s not going to affect us. We pay nothing on this garnishment,” Green said of moving forward with the purchase before the lien is paid. “That amount will be taken from the seller’s proceeds.” Myers said while the purchase will bring in more revenue, residents are concerned about the effect it will have on the town’s character and traffic. “The fundamental question is how many parking lots do we really need on the island,” he said. “Obviously, people that don’t live here want to come to the beach and they need a place to park. For the homeowners it’s like, do we really want to accommodate bringing all these people and what are the consequence?” In March, the town approved a paid parking plan during the tourist season that’s expected to generate about $200,000 each year, which it’ll use to help pay off the financing for the pier purchase. The pier property will also be used for paid parking.
Read more » click here

Update –
The intent is to close Carolina Avenue from its intersection with Jordan Boulevard to its intersection with Quinton Street. David provided a draft of a proposed Resolution that will have to be adopted by the Board in order to proceed. A Public Hearing will also be required to move forward. He outlined the steps necessary to make this happen. Motion was made to move forward with the process as outlined.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Manager Hewett also asked/recommended for a consultant engineer to work on the site plan/layout for Block Q and also for the pier property in order to get a head start on moving forward on both of those projects. Surprisingly, that opened up a can of worms.  A lot of discussion followed on what could be done as a temporary fix. It did not appear that they were able to come to a meeting of the minds today.


6. Discussion and Possible Approval of Cycle NC Beer Garden – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 34 – 36

Cycle NC is requesting a beer garden as part of the October 8, 2022 Mountains to Coast tour. Beer gardens have been allowed as part of the other races, but currently require board action for each event. I have spoken with the police chief and no issues were reported with previous beer gardens.

North Carolina Amateur Sports is seeking permission to host a beer garden during the Cycle North Carolina Mountains to Coast event on October 8, 2022. We would like to offer free beer to our participants after they cross the finish line. All participants will be wearing wristbands and will not be served unless they show a wristband. We will keep the beer confined to a specified area (see attached diagram). We will also manage all aspects of the beer garden to your standards. We will secure the alcohol permit through the NC ABC Commission.

Previously reported – April 2022
Mountain to Coast Ride
The first Cycle North Carolina Mountains to Coast Ride was held in 1999. In the twenty-one years since, the Mountains to Coast Ride has traversed the state using a different week-long route each year. The Mountains to Coast Ride is not a race, but a recreational trek across the state using scenic back roads. The ride is designed to promote physical fitness, good health, and the scenic beauty of North Carolina.

David announced the 2022 ride terminus will be Holden Beach. This is another activity that gives us exposure on a much broader scale.

Update –
Beer gardens have been allowed as part of other races held here, but we currently require Board action for each event. Motion was made to allow beer garden for this event.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Discussion and Possible Action on Responses for Food Truck Vendors at the Pier – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – 37 – 54 which is too large to include here

Per the Board’s direction, staff solicited proposals for food truck vendors to provide services at the pier property for the period between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend (Attachment 1).

Two companies submitted proposals in response to the request, Cruising Cuisine and When Pigs Fly BBQ Burgers and Wings. Their proposals are attached for the Board’s review (Attachment 2).

Staff seeks direction on how to proceed.

Previously reported – April 2022
Holden Beach requests proposals from food truck vendors for this summer at the pier property. Vendors determined to best meet the Town’s needs will be recommended for contract award consideration to the Board of Commissioners at their Regular May 17th meeting.

Update –
Only four (4) vendors submitted proposals. David stated that with just a few vendors it’s pretty manageable number. David then summarized, that he understood that the guidance from the Board is to see what we can do to maximize in terms of presence, calendar, and space. They authorized the Town Manager to move ahead with food trucks at the pier from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  


8. Discussion and Possible Action on Land & Water Trust Fund Grant – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 55 – 56, plus separate packet

As part of the discussions leading up to the pier purchase, the staff asked Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) representatives for a waiver to purchase the pier with an opportunity to apply for a grant subsequent to the purchase. The waiver was granted and is valid through September 30, 2022. The grant application is attached for your review (attachment 2) as well as correspondence from the regional consultant (attachment 1). At the last regular board meeting Town Manager Hewett noted that we would not continue with this grant unless directed to do so. The staff needs consensus  direction  to continue if the BOC would like to pursue the grant. Applications are due in July, but regional representatives are asking if local governments plan to participate. Staff needs direction by the budget meeting on May 20th if the board chooses to pursue. The staff recommendation is not to pursue this grant secondary to several stipulations outlined in the correspondence that would constrain future use.

 

 

 

 

Per our recent discussions regarding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (Federal) and Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (State) I am listing below a few of the key differences to note:

LWCF v PARTF 2022

      • Park Boundary/ LWCF Boundary – If adjacent property is acquired in the future, the property acquired would also become part of the boundary at that time
      • Indoor Facilities – LWCF does not permit indoor facilities unless they enhance public outdoor recreation. For instance, restrooms support the use of the outdoor recreation-based project elements, however a gymnasium does not
      • Public Use – LWCF restricts the park to public use forever whereas development projects for PARTF are 25-year restrictions
      • Over-matching is not beneficial with LWCF. An over match will create a percentage match. If the percent the Town puts forward is 75% of the total project cost, then the grant then becomes a 25%/75% instead of a 50%/50%
      • Matching Funds – Most federal funds cannot be used to match LWCF grants; Recreational Trails Program and Community Development Block grants are the exception
      • Contingency is not an eligible LWCF cost
      • Permits – Projects that require DOT, FERC, FEMA, Army Corps, or other state required permits such as CAMA, they are required to be in hand prior to application submission
      • Development waivers are an option with LWCF if time is of the essence and work must begin prior to contract, after award announcement
      • Any changes during the contract period or post completion require not only State/DPR approval but also Federal/NPS approval. This causes the process for changes/approval to be much longer

Please let me know if you have any questions or I can elaborate on any of the items you think would be most helpful to Holden Beach.

Brittany W. Shipp, CPRP
Eastern Region Consultant. Recreation Resources Service
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

LWCF Application Packet » click here

Update –
Well, this was confusing since I thought this was the same grant that we discussed at the last four (4) meetings. Apparently this is a different grant and staff is recommending that we do not pursue this one. Board made the motion, based on the staff recommendation, not to pursue this grant.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


9. Discussion and Possible Action on Ocean Boulevard West Right-of-Way at Harbor Acres – Mayor Holden

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

After Hurricane Hazel the state relocated the street/road, now the hard surface is not properly located.  Basically, the issue is that the width of setbacks and rights-of-way are not consistent.  He gave a brief history lesson and asked them to look to the past to help produce a solution. He suggested that they need to agree to a working line of setbacks and formalize actions to address this issue. A directive was given to Town Manager to put forth a plan of action.


10. Discussion and Possible Action on Ending State of Emergency for COVID-19 – Mayor Holden

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Currently operating under State of Emergency for COVID-19, Alan recommended lifting restrictions effective June 1st.


11. Town Manager’s Report

Roadway
Seagull Street is having grade stakes set, he expects paving to start this week or next.
David anticipates paving will be completed before Memorial Day.

Previously reported – April 2022
Contractor for Seagull paving project is currently sourcing material and is on schedule to complete paving before Memorial Day. Town Manager informed the Board that property owner assessments for the work will be sent out once the project has been completed.

Previously reported – March 2022
Paving for Seagull bid package is going out next week, plan to award the contract at the BOC’s Regular Meeting in April. David anticipates paving will be completed before Memorial Day, as it has been done in the past few years.

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

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

Budget Meetings
BOC’s budget workshop is scheduled for May 20th


  • In Case You Missed It –

Solid Waste GFL Pick-Up Schedule
Solid Waste Pick-up Schedule – starting May 29th  twice a week
Recycling – starting May 25th weekly pick-up


Decals/Hurricane Season
Vehicle decals were sent with your March water bill. Make sure your vehicle decals are properly affixed to your vehicle now. Do not wait! These decals are necessary for re-entry to the island in the event of an emergency situation that restricts access to the island.

Click here for more information on decals. 

Hurricane season is quickly approaching. 

Would your family be prepared in the event of a hurricane? Click here to visit the Emergency Information section of our website. You will find helpful tips to put in place now, before the threat of a storm. 


Pets
Effective May 20th – September 20th, pets are not allowed on the beach strand between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Please remember that any time your dog is off your premise, they must be under control of a reasonable person either by a leash, cord or chain at all times. Also, dog owners shall remove dog waste immediately after it is deposited by the dog when on public property, public park property, public right-of-way property or any private property, including vacant lots, without the permission of the private property owner. Dog waste stations are conveniently located throughout the island.


Holden Beach Pier
The Town has completed the transaction to acquire the pier properties at 441 Ocean Boulevard West. The pier and adjacent buildings are closed until further notice. The parking lot and beach access on the east side of the pier will remain open and are free for public use at this time. It is anticipated that parking fees will be charged for the pier lot starting May 1st.


  • Paid Parking on Holden Beach
    Paid parking will be implemented in the Town of Holden Beach on May 1, 2022 for all Holden Beach designated parking areas. It will be enforced from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily, with free parking before and after that time. All parking will use license plates for verification.

    Holden Beach will use the “SurfCAST by Otto” parking solution. This mobile app for Apple and Android mobile devices is NOW LIVE. You will also be able to purchase passes by scanning the QR-codes located on the parking signs for access to https://surfcast.ottoconnect.us/pay.

    Passes CANNOT be purchased by contacting Town Hall.

    Parking rates for a single vehicle in all designated areas will be:
    $3 per hour for up to four hours
    $15 per day and for any duration greater than four hours
    $60 per week (seven consecutive days)

    Annual Passes
    $125 per calendar year for a single vehicle

    Handicap parking is free in designated handicap spaces and only with a valid license plate or hangtag.

    Parking rates can be paid via credit card, debit card or PayPal.

    Visit https://hbtownhall.com/paid-parking for more information and to view a table with authorized parking areas.


Upcoming Events –

NA


BOC’s Special Meeting 05/20/22

 Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here  

Board of Commissioners’ Supplement Agenda Packet » click here  

Audio Recording » click here

1. Budget Workshop

2. Pier Property Site Visit and Discussion – Commissioners Murdock & Kwiatkowski


  • General Comments – .



    BOC’s Meeting

    The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, June 21st
    .
    .


  • .
    We should be able to get audio right on the Facebook livestream. It is unacceptable that the audio is so poor. Don’t even get me started on people speaking that are not using a microphone at all. The Town needs to hire an audio-visual person to get this corrected.
    ..

 


  • Budget Meetings
    In previous years they started the budget process in January, and they usually have four (4) meetings/workshops. Once again, the goal is to avoid the annual rush at the end to get things done. The first meeting has traditionally been to determine objectives. Ensuring that government commitments are in line with available resources is an essential element of good governance.

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


Budget Schedule
March 31st            Workshop – BOC’s Objectives

April 1st                 Department Input to Manager
April 21st               Budget Workshop
April 22nd             Canal Dredging Working Group
May 20th               Budget Workshop
May 31st                Budget Message Published
June 10th               Public Hearing
June 21st                BOC’s Regular Meeting – Ordinance Consideration
June 30th               Budget Adopted


  • .

    Hurricane Season
    For more information » click here

    Be prepared – have a plan!

     

.
Know your hurricane risk, FEMA, NOAA encourage
When it comes to hurricanes, it’s important to be prepared and know your risk. That was the message federal officials delivered Wednesday during a press conference from the annual National Hurricane Conference taking place this week in Orlando, Florida. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham encouraged the public to prepare for more intense storms. The conference is a national forum for federal, state and local officials to work together to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation in the United States and Caribbean and Pacific tropical islands. Criswell explained that while the conference is an opportunity for emergency management professionals to share lessons learned from the past. More importantly, she said, it’s time to start thinking about what is going to be experienced in the future. In recent years, hurricanes have intensified, giving emergency managers less time to warn their constituents to prepare. The storms are stronger, lasting longer at higher durations over land, impacting coastal communities and inland too. This is going to continue, she said. Residents most need to understand their risk, she added. “What is the risk in the area that you are at if you are on the coast or if you are inland? And then do you have a plan to protect your family against that risk? Do you know how you’re going to evacuate? Do you know where you’re going to go? Do you know how you’re going to communicate to your family members that live outside of the area so you can let them know that you’re safe,” Criswell said. And of course, don’t forget pets. Make sure to have the same supplies you’d have for rest of your family. Graham reiterated the need for a plan. “you can’t make your plan during the storm. You’ve got to do it early,” he said, because sometimes the timeline of a tropical storm reaching land is short. “have that plan ready to go, ready to implement.” Criswell said that if relocating to a new area, learn what the risks are, such as hurricanes or tornadoes. “Individuals need to be deliberate about that. You need to understand what your risk is and if you have not been in that situation before there are a lot of resources out there,” she said, and ready.gov has a wealth of information. Graham added that if you don’t know what to do when a hurricane comes, then ask.
“If you don’t know, ask … know that risk,” he said. “Because being prepared is everything.” Many don’t want to evacuate during a hurricane and that mentality is hard to change, Criswell said. “I think that we get the most increase in the level of preparedness and communities immediately after a disaster,” she said, but the longer between storms, the more comfortable residents get with the idea that they can withstand the storm. “It worries me because we are seeing right now these natural weather events that are getting more severe, they’re stronger, they’re lasting longer. They’re intensifying more rapidly. And so, where in the past maybe communities and individuals would wait things out,” she said. “We as an emergency management profession and a community we have to continue to help people understand what these threats are. We need to provide the resources for them to learn about their threats as well.” Graham pointed out the need to communicate. “You can have a perfect forecast, but it doesn’t do much good if it’s not understood and it’s not actionable.” His office has different professionals, such as meteorologists and social scientists, to help communicate. Criswell continued that there can’t be a one-size-fits-all type of messaging. For the first time last year, FEMA created a culturally specific preparedness campaign for preparedness month focusing on the Hispanic community. Graham said what worries him sometimes are areas that historically have a lot of strong storms and just because it didn’t happen in the last couple of years doesn’t mean it can’t happen this year. So, the complacency part of it is worries me.” Criswell echoed Graham, saying it’s the complacency that really worries her. “I worry about those communities and our ability again — because of the rapid intensification of these storms — our ability to get messaging out to those communities so they can make timely decisions to either evacuate or stay in place to protect their families,” she said. “We’ve got to be able to communicate to those individuals that aren’t necessarily taking it as serious as they could or should” because disasters don’t discriminate. “We all have to take it seriously. Storms are getting worse. They’re getting worse. They’re causing more destruction. They are intensifying more rapidly. We’re going to have less time to warn people so they can take appropriate measures. We’ll have to take it seriously,” she said.
Read more » click here


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


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


Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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

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

https://lousviews.com/

05 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / May Edition


Calendar of Events –


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

July 4th
Southport, NC

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

For more information » click here



Battleship Blast
4th of July Celebration
July 4th
Wilmington, NC

 

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


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


Calendar of Events Island –


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



Tide Dyed Program
This event is located at the Holden Beach Pavilion. Tie dye your own shirts; the cost is just $5 per shirt. It takes place at 2:00 p.m. every Tuesday during the summer.
(June 14th through August 9th)


Turtle Talk
Two programs both are held every Wednesday during the summer at Town Hall. Children’s Turtle Time is at 4:00 p.m. with crafts, stories and activities for children ages 3 – 6. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Turtle Talk is an educational program at 7:00 p.m. for everyone else. (Beginning June 29th)


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


Reminders –



Pets on the Beach Strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / 90.20
From May 20th through September 10th it is unlawful to have any pet on the beach strand during the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm.

 



Solid Waste Pick-Up Schedule

GFL Environmental change in service, trash pickup will be twice a week. Starting the Saturday before Memorial Day through the Saturday after Labor Day: Pick-up is every Tuesday and Saturday from May 29th through September 25th.

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


Solid Waste Pick-up Schedule –
starting Saturday before Memorial Day twice a week

Recycling
after Memorial Day weekly pick-up


. .

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

.


.
1) Eighteenth year of the program
. 2) Food collections have now exceeded 273,000 pounds
. 3)
Collections will begin on May 28th and run through September 10th
. 4) Food is distributed to the needy in Brunswick County
For more information » click here

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

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

Website:
http://www.secondhelping.us


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

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

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


Yard Waste Service
Yard debris pick-up will be provided twice a month on the second and fourth Fridays during the months of April, and May. Please have yard waste placed at the street for pick-up on Thursday night. The first pickup of the season was on March 11th. No pick-ups will be made on vacant lots or construction sites.

Debris must be placed in a biodegradable bag or bundled in a length not to exceed five (5) feet and fifty (50) pounds. Each residence is allowed a total of ten (10) items, which can include a combination of bundles of brush and limbs meeting the required length and weight and/ or biodegradable bags with grass clippings, leaves, etc.



Bird Nesting Area

NC Wildlife Commission has posted signs that say – Bird Nesting Area / Please don’t disturb. The signs are posted on the west end beach strand around 1307 OBW.


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

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


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

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

Spraying is complaint based, so keep the calls coming!


Curbside Recycling
GFL Environmental is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $86.37 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here

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



Trash Can Requirements – Rental Properties
GFL Environmental – trash can requirements
Ordinance 07-13, Section 50.08

Rental properties have specific number of trash cans based on number of bedrooms.

* One extra trash can per every 2 bedrooms.

.
§ 50.08 RENTAL HOMES.

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


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

§157.087 BUILDING NUMBERS.

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

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



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


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.


Waupaca Elevator Recalls to Inspect Elevators Due to Injury Hazard

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

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


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 –


  • Bike Lane
    Property owners along Ocean Boulevard were sent a CAMA notice from the DOT
    .
    Key takeaways:
      • Add 7’ asphalt to the south side of existing pavement
      • Add 3’ asphalt to the north side of existing pavement
      • Recenter the travel lanes
      • Create two (2) five (5) foot bike lanes on either side of the road

DOT informed us the cost of the has significantly increased by almost 30%
The good news is that our portion is only an additional $23,000 so far

Bike Lane Letters (04/21/22)
Town staff contacted the Department of Transportation after numerous homeowners reached out to us concerned that they had not received a letter with information on the upcoming bike lane/paving project. We were advised that only those property owners whose property is adjacent to the proposed bike lane construction where that construction intersects the Ocean Erodible Area of Environmental Concern (jurisdiction of NC Division of Coastal Management) have been sent the certified letter/attachments. This is only a small portion of the project area (approximately 150 properties) so don’t be concerned if you did not receive a letter. Those property owners that have received the certified letter/attachments can follow the instructions in the letter if they would like to contact someone about the project.

Previously reported – March 2021
David provided the Board with a memo summarizing the information that he gathered since the last meeting. That memo was not included in the agenda packet. He reviewed the process, timeline, and financing. DOT informed him that if we are interested that we need to stay engaged with them. The public has said that they are in favor of having bike lanes. The project is an improvement worth the expenditure especially if we can get help with the funding through grants. They decided to give the project a green light and have David work to keep moving the project forward.

Previously reported – February 2021
Engineer’s estimate for bike lanes are as follows:
Ocean Boulevard West / 5.00 miles / @$1,208,941
Ocean Boulevard East / 1.15 miles / @$403,972

NCDOT now has adequately funding so the resurfacing program for OBW which is scheduled for the spring of 2022. Bike lanes are being proposed on both sides of the road, which will add five feet on each side. This should be coordinated with resurfacing project that is tentatively scheduled already. Our cost would be $1,612,913 which hopefully at least a portion of would be offset by grants. DOT requested verbal feedback in the next 60 days, indicating whether we want to participate in adding bike lanes to the project.


Corrections & Amplifications –

 


Ocean Isle Beach terminal groin
Leaders in Ocean Isle Beach have been working for years to preserve the coastline and stave of beach erosion at the end of the island. They have the necessary federal and state permits to build a 1,050-foot terminal groin, 300 feet of which will be a sheet-pile, shore-anchorage section. After nearly twenty (20) years of legislative work and lawsuits, contractors have begun building a terminal groin. A terminal groin is a wall-like structure built perpendicular to shore, that traps some of the sand to better secure the beachfront. The entire project is expected to cost more than eleven (11) million dollars, which the town is paying for with accommodations tax money.

Terminal Groin Project Updates
For more information » click here

Construction of Ocean Isle Beach’s terminal groin complete
More than a decade, a lawsuit and a couple of extra million dollars later, the terminal groin on the east end of Ocean Isle Beach is complete. Construction of the 750-foot-long groin officially wrapped earlier this month. All that’s left to be done is getting equipment used during construction off the Brunswick County island. That’ll be done by week’s end if not sooner, certainly by the April 30 deadline. The beach at the east end, where the island rounds to Shallotte Inlet, has a dramatically different look than it had in years past. A robust sand beach stretches some 200 yards or so between homes the terminal groin. Those homes had been dangerously close to the ocean. A wall of massive rocks extends along shore out into the Atlantic Ocean. The beach here has been built up so that it is aligned with the top of the terminal groin. The structure has attracted curious beachgoers and fishermen, so much so that the town has posted temporary signs warning them to look, not touch. “We’ve ordered bigger, permanent signs,” Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith said after hanging up a cell phone call to a town employee. The call was made on a recent, sunny, clear-sky morning as Smith, who offered a tour of the east end and the erosion-mitigation structure designed to keep an encroaching ocean at bay. She had called to alert the employee that a couple of “Keep off rocks” signs posted along the beach behind the terminal groin were laying on the sand. Several hundred yards away, a small crew planted sea oats in uniform lines well back from the ocean tideline. Beach grass is to be planted in the fall. “We’re going to put bales of hay to encourage dune building,” Smith said. The town originally planned to install sand fencing as a way to build up dunes, but there is none for sale because of supply shortages, she said. Portions of a wall of sandbags that stretches some 1,500 feet long remain stacked on the beach near homes. The bags are owned and maintained by private property owners. They were notified by letter a few weeks ago that they will now either have to remove the bags or cover them up. Town-owned sandbags were covered once construction on the terminal groin began. The bags have been part of an ongoing, seemingly last-ditch effort to keep the ocean from overtaking more properties at the east end. The N.C. Department of Transportation abandoned the end of East Second Street years ago. “There used to be a first street out here too,” Smith said as she drove toward the island’s eastern edge. About a mile of the east end from the inlet down the ocean shoreline suffers most from erosion, Smith said, over the years claiming homes, damaging and destroying public utilities and roads. The groin, a wall-like structure built perpendicular to the ocean shoreline, is designed to stop the movement of sand. This function of terminal groins may be beneficial to the beach immediately behind it, but opponents argue the structures can create erosion problems downstream because they cut off natural longshore drift from reaching those areas. Ocean Isle Beach is the second coastal town in North Carolina to build a terminal groin since 2011, when the General Assembly repealed a law banning construction of the structures along the coast. The town’s efforts to install a groin were stalled in August 2017, when the National Audubon Society filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s approval of the proposed project. The town was later included in the lawsuit. In late March 2021, a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision that the Corps fairly considered the alternatives included in an environmental impact statement examining the proposed project. Ocean Isle Beach had the necessary state and federal permits in February 2017 to have the terminal groin built so, once the court ruling was handed down, the town put out bids to hire a company to build the groin. Construction began Nov. 16, 2021. At the same time, a joint project between the town and the Corps began to renourish about 1.5 miles of the easternmost beachfront with an estimated 700,000 cubic yards of sand. Through the town’s 50-year Federal Emergency Management Act, or FEMA, project with the Corps, sand is injected onto the ocean shoreline about every three years. “The engineering predicts (the terminal groin) will stretch that out every six or seven years,” she said. It appears that property owners overwhelmingly support the project. When asked, Smith said she could not think of a single property owner who had spoken against the terminal groin. Opponents of the project, she said, do not own property here. Despite the lawsuit, David Hill said he had a hunch the terminal groin would eventually be built so he bought a handful of properties on the east end. “I didn’t have anything down here on the east end until two years ago,” he said. “I watched every one of these rocks go in. I always supported (the terminal groin) because I wanted to keep this beach. The people who don’t think it needs to be here probably don’t know the whole story of this end of the island. This is so needed. I wish it had happened earlier for some of the people who couldn’t save their homes.” Hill said he was initially worried that sand on the east side of the terminal groin would erode, “but it’s building up.” The $11 million project was originally estimated to cost somewhere between $9 million and $9.5 million. The town paid for the project through an account designated for beach projects and funded through a portion of an accommodations tax charged to vacation renters. The groin includes a 300-foot-long anchor, a portion of which is covered by sand. “It’s anticipated that the natural flow of the sand will cover this up,” Smith said, looking at the wall of rocks that were delivered on flatbed trucks from a quarry outside of Rockingham. That’s the case for the terminal groin on Bald Head Island, she said. The Village of Bald Head Island was the first North Carolina coastal town to build a terminal groin after the state law was repealed to allow up to six groins to be built on the coast. Bald Head’s terminal groin was completed in early 2016. The latest monitoring report, which tracked the performance of the terminal groin between May 2020 and May 2021, concluded that the structure was performing “as intended – and as predicted.” The monitoring report was conducted by Jacksonville, Florida-based Olsen Associates Inc. A village spokeswoman said in an email that Erik Olsen confirmed the groin continues to perform as intended and predicted. North Topsail Beach in Onslow County is in the process of having an environmental study prepared for a proposed terminal groin at New River Inlet, a project that may be years out still in that town.
Read more » click here


Hurricane Vehicle Decals
Property owners will be provided with four (4) decals which will be included in their water bills. It is important that you place your decals on your vehicles immediately to avoid misplacing them. Decals will not be issued in the 24-hour period before an anticipated order of evacuation.

The decals are your passes to get back onto the island to check your property in the event an emergency would necessitate restricting access to the island. Decals must be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the windshield, where they are not obstructed by any other items. Officials must be able to clearly read the decal from outside the vehicle. Please note that re-entry will NOT be allowed if a current, intact decal is not affixed to the windshield as designated.

EVACUATION, CURFEW & DECALS

What is a State of Emergency?
A proclamation by the Town which enacts special ordinances and/or prohibitions during emergency situations to protect the public, public health and property. These prohibitions can include limitations on movement, curfews, directing of evacuations, controlling ingress and egress to the emergency area, alcoholic beverages, and more. State of Emergencies are issued in accordance with N.C.G.S. 166A-19.22.

What is a curfew?
A curfew is an order, typically during a State of Emergency, which requires all persons in the affected areas to remain on their own property. During a curfew, you are not free to move about public domain areas or on others’ property. Violations of a curfew could lead to arrest in certain situations.

What is a voluntary evacuation?
A voluntary evacuation creates a recommendation for all parties in the affected area to get their affairs in order hastily and evacuated.

What is a mandatory evacuation?
A mandatory evacuation means you must leave the area in which an order has been issued. With recent changes to the laws in North Carolina, you no longer have the option of staying in an area under an order of mandatory evacuation.

Why is the sewer system turned off during a storm/event?
Often the sewer system is turned off during storms which have the potential to create significant flooding on the island. The system is turned off to protect its integrity. If it were left on, it could pose a significant threat to the public health. When the system is manually shut down, it also greatly reduces the time needed to bring it back up after an event which equates to getting residents and guests back on the Island much faster.

Why is there a delay for decal holders to get back on the island once a storm ends?
After a storm, many things must occur before even limited access can be allowed. Some of those things include making sure the streets are passable; the sewer system must be restarted to comply with State laws; the utilities (water, sewer, electricity, propane supplies) must be checked to ensure no safety risk are present; and the post-storm damage assessment team needs to perform an initial assessment.

Where can I get up-to-date information during and after a storm or State of Emergency?
You can sign up for the Town email service by clicking here. The newsletter, along with the Town’s website will be the main sources of information during an emergency situation. Links to the Town’s official Facebook and Twitter pages can be found on the website. You can also download our app for Apple and Android phones by accessing the app store on your smart phone and searching Holden Beach.

Please refrain from calling Town Hall and Police Department phone lines with general information questions. These lines need to remain open for emergencies, storm management and post-storm mitigation. All updates concerning re-entry, general access, etc. may be found on the Town’s website and other media outlets.

Why do I see others moving about the island during a curfew?
If a curfew order is in place, you must stay on your own property. You may see many other vehicles moving about the Island. We often receive assistance from other local, state, federal and contract personnel during events. It is likely these are the personnel you are seeing, and they are involved in the mitigation process for the event. Please do not assume that a curfew order has been lifted and/or you are free to move about the island.

Can I check my friends’ property for them?
If a curfew order is in place, you may ONLY travel to your personally owned property. Traveling about the Island to check on others’ property is not allowed. is in place, you may ONLY travel to your personally owned property. Traveling about

Who can obtain decals?
Only property owners and businesses who service the island can obtain a decal.

How do I get decals for my vehicle…?

If I am an owner?
Decals will be mailed out in water bills to property owners before the season starts. Those owners who need additional decals can contact Town Hall. A fee may apply, please check the current fee schedule.

If I am a renter?
You must contact the owner of the property to obtain a decal.

If I am a business owner on the Island?
You must contact Town Hall to obtain a decal.

If I am a business owner off the Island that provides services on the Island?
You must contact Town Hall for eligibility and to obtain a decal.

When does my decal expire?
All decals expire on the last day of the calendar year as indicated on the decal.

Where do I put my decal on my car?
Decals must be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the windshield, where they are not obstructed by any other items to include window tinting, other decals, etc. Officials must be able to clearly read the decal from outside the vehicle. Please note that re-entry will not be allowed if a current, intact decal is not affixed to the windshield as designated.

How do I replace a decal if I get a new vehicle?
If you trade a vehicle or otherwise need a replacement decal, you may obtain them from Town Hall during normal business hours. A fee may apply, check the current fee schedule.

Can I obtain a decal right before an emergency occurs?
While most of the storms we deal with are tropical in nature with some type of advanced warning, we do experience many other types of events that could create a State of Emergency without warning. All eligible parties should obtain decals as early as possible each year to avoid being denied access to the Island. Decals shall not be issued during the 24-hour period prior to an anticipated order of evacuation so staff can concentrate on properly preparing the Town for the storm/event.

Can I use a tax bill or another document for re-entry?
No. You MUST have a decal to re-enter the Island until it is open to the general public.

How does re-entry after a storm during a State of Emergency work?
The bridge is closed to all vehicle access, except for official vehicles. Once those with proper decals are allowed access, they must conform with the current rules in place by the specific State of Emergency Order. After all hazards have been rendered safe, the bridge will be opened to the general public. A curfew could remain in effect however, to ensure the safety and security of the Island and its residents and guests. Please understand this process typically takes days to evolve and could be significantly longer, depending on the amount of damage sustained. Please refrain from calling for times for re-entry, as those are often not set on schedule. Instead, stay tunes to local media outlets and official social media accounts for accurate updates.

How can I check on my property if access is limited to the Island?
Once it is safe, property owners with valid decals will be allowed back on the Island after a storm/event. At this point, you can travel to your property, in accordance with the rules of the specific State of Emergency Order currently in place.

If you live out of the area, please do not travel to the Island until you are certain you will be allowed access. Stay tuned to those media outlets and email services that are of official nature for this information. Also, be certain you have your current, valid decal properly affixed to your vehicle.

It is a good idea to be sure your contact information is current with the Town tax office as this is the location Town officials will use in the event you need to be contacted.
For more information » click here

NC General Statute 166A-19.22
Power of municipalities and counties to enact ordinances to deal with states of emergency.

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

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


Turtle Watch Program –

Turtle Watch Program – 2022

    • The first nest of the 2021season was on May 8th
    • Average annual number of nests is 39.5

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


Holden Beach Turtle Watch meeting launches season
Members of the Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program (HBTWP) held their annual meeting recently at the Holden Beach Chapel. This meeting marked the official beginning of the turtle season for 2022. Members will begin patrolling Holden Beach early mornings in May in search of mother turtle crawls. Last year, the first mother visited Holden Beach on May 8. During the 2021 season, there were 68 turtle nests on Holden Beach with 8,191 known turtle eggs and 6,200 hatchlings went into the ocean. Special guest at this meeting was Jasmine Pier re from Fayetteville. She is this year’s recipient of The Judith C. Bryan, Holden Beach Turtle Watch Fellowship in Marine Biology. Pierre has a Bachelor of Science in marine biology and oceanography and is currently working on a master’s degree at UNCW. Her master’s thesis topic is on diamondback terrapins. This $5,000 fellowship at UNCW was created by the Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program to honor Judith Bryan, the founder of the HBTWP and is intended to assist graduate students in marine biology. Bryan, currently an honorary member of the HBTWP, lives on Holden Beach. Seven new members were welcomed at this meeting. These members completed extensive training last summer with the Turtle Patrol. They are Sharon Binis, John Cain, Kim Crooks, Terre Huffstetler, Bonita McNeil, Sharon Price, and Barb Taylor. Nineteen new trainees will begin this summer. John Cifelli was reelected president of the board and Nikki Hutchison was re-elected secretary. Other board members include Lois Palermo, member-at-large; MaryK McGinley, treasurer; and Pat Cusack, project coordinator. The HBTWP or Turtle Patrol as it is usually referred to, was founded in 1989 to monitor and protect the sea turtle population on Holden Beach. This all volunteer, nonprofit conservation organization operates under the authority of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (ES Permit 21ST11).

For more information on the HBTWP, go to http://www.hbturtlewatch.org/
Beacon

Holden Beach Turtle Watch makes a splash with new shirts
The Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program, also known as the “Turtle Patrol,” has hatched and released its new 2022 shirts now available for sale. This year’s shirt celebrates first recorded Kemp’s Ridley nest on Holden Beach. This special nest was laid on May 8, 2021. Not only was this the first Kemp’s Ridley nest on Holden Beach, but it was also the first nest to be laid in North Carolina last season. Kemp’s Ridley is the smallest of the five kinds of sea turtles that lay nests in North Carolina. This species, which usually nests further north in the Outer Banks, is the most threatened species of sea turtles that nest in North Carolina. The nest hatched on July 14, 2021, with 87 hatchlings. The art on the shir t reproduces a photo taken by turtle patrol member Corki Jar vis as these Kemp’s Ridley hatchlings scampered into the ocean. The shirt is 90% cotton and 10% polyester and gray in color. The design is on the back and the HBTWP logo on the front. Shirts are currently available for sale at the Lighthouse Gift Shop on the causeway in Holden Beach. Shirts are also available to purchase by mail through the HBTWP website at http://www.hbturtlewatch.org/. The 2022 turtle season will begin on Holden Beach on May 1 when members will begin patrolling the island each morning looking for signs of a mother turtle. Turtle season runs through October. The HBTWP will be conducting educational programs starting June 29. Children’s Turtle Time will be at 4 p.m. each Wednesday through Aug. 3. This program is designed for children 3 to 6 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Turtle Talk will also begin on June 29 at 7 p.m. and will take place each Wednesday through Aug. 17. Turtle Talk is appropriate for all ages. This program focuses on the life cycle of the sea turtle and how the HBTWP aides in the preservation of sea turtles. Several turtle artifacts will be on display for viewing and informational handouts will be available. Both programs are free of charge and will take place at Holden Beach Chapel. The 2002 HBTWP shirt will be on sale at both events. The annual shirt sale is the major fundraising activity for the turtle patrol. Each year, there is a different shirt.
Beacon


Odds & Ends –


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

At the beach? Don’t pop the ‘balloons!’
We’ve definitely had some windy weather in the past few days. And on the coast, those winds bring with it an interesting sighting! The Cape Lookout National Seashore Park posted on Facebook about some very temptingly poppable-looking things that have been washing up on their beaches. These little “balloons” are gas-filled floats that keep the Man-o-War jellyfish afloat as they drift through the ocean. The winds can pick these floats up and they can wind up on the beach, but the folks at the park caution that no matter how tempting it is, you should not pop these things! “Give them a wide berth,” the Facebook post ways. These are carnivorous jellyfish and use their dangling tentacles to kill their prey. Even washed ashore, the tentacles still pack a punch, so don’t mess with the balloons! Stepping on it will hurt!
Read more » click here

Portuguese man o’ war
The man-of-War are not usually in the area unless pushed to the coast by wind and ocean currents. It is a purple-blue color and can be up to 10 inches long. The Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis),
is not a jellyfish but related to the species and is highly venomous. It has numerous venomous microscopic nematocysts which deliver a painful sting powerful enough to kill fish. Stings can result in intense joint and muscle pain, headaches, shock, collapse, faintness, hysteria, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Severe stings can occur even when the animal is beached or dead. Although it superficially resembles a jellyfish, the Portuguese man o’ war is in fact a siphonophore. Like all siphonophores, it is a colonial organism, made up of many smaller units called zooids. All zooids in a colony are genetically identical, but fulfill specialized functions such as feeding and reproduction, and together allow the colony to operate as a single individual.

 

 

Jellyfish Guide

 

 


Staying safe at the beach: Rip currents, jellyfish, sharks, and other hazards

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

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

  • Relax. Rip currents don’t pull you under.
  • A rip current is a natural treadmill that travels an average speed of 1-2 feet per second but has been measured as fast as 8 feet per second — faster than an Olympic swimmer. Trying to swim against a rip current will only use up your energy; energy you need to survive and escape the rip current.
  • Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim along the shoreline until you escape the current’s pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • If you feel you can’t reach shore, relax, face the shore, and call or wave for help. Remember: If in doubt, don’t go out!
  • If at all possible, only swim at beaches with lifeguards.
  • If you choose to swim on beaches without a lifeguard, never swim alone. Take a friend and have that person take a cell phone so he or she can call 911 for help.Sharks
    Sharks are a fear on most every swimmer’s mind, regardless of the actual dangers posed by the large predatory fish. “NOAA states that while shark attacks are rare, they are most likely to occur near shore, typically inshore of a sandbar or between sandbars where sharks can be trapped by low tide, and near steep drop-offs where sharks’ prey gather. While the risks are small, it’s important to be aware of how to avoid an attack,” according to previous reporting.

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

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

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


This and That –


.

Beachcombing Guide

 

.
How to Collect Seashells
“It helps to have a search image in your mind,” says José H. Leal, the science director and curator at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum in Florida. Research ahead of time what kind of mollusks you might encounter so that your eyes are primed to pick out specific shapes and colors. Leal has collected seashells since he was a boy in Rio de Janeiro. On his first trip to New York, in his 20s, he was so shell-focused that he dove to the sidewalk before realizing that what he thought were small, unusual clams were actually pistachio shells. “You get fixated,” he says. Consult a tide chart; go out within an hour of low tide when the beach is most exposed. Storms tend to wash more shells ashore in the winter months. In popular shelling destinations such as Sanibel Island, near where Leal lives, collectors often search at night to avoid competition. (If turtles are nesting in the area, avoid using flashlights, which disrupt brooding females and disorient their hatchlings.) If shells are abundant, pick a spot and settle in. Rather than hoard shells, take only the most beautiful specimens of each variety. Make sure the shell is uninhabited. With the spiral-shaped gastropods, you should be able to see the creature. “A shell is usually much heavier when there’s an animal inside,” Leal says. Know the relevant regulations; many places curtail or outright ban the collection of shells, and the United States has various import restrictions, including a prohibition on queen conch shells from the Caribbean. The urge to beachcomb is natural, however. Humans have been using mollusk exoskeletons as art, adornment, currency, and tools since before we were even human beings. (Scientists recently discovered distinct hash marks on a freshwater mussel shell they believe were engraved by our extinct ancestor Homo erectus.) Still, Leal is worried about the future of marine mollusks, given how vulnerable they are to pollution and ocean acidification. Maybe your urge to collect these unoccupied calcium-carbonate dwellings can serve as a sort of gateway drug. “Once you get a love for shells,” Leal says, “I hope you learn to care about the animals that make them.”
Read more » click here


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –

State Wildlife Resources Commission: Expect coyote sightings
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission says people should expect coyote sightings the rest of the spring. The NCWRC says coyotes are common throughout the state, even in cities and suburbs, but frequently are not seen because they are adept at avoiding people. The commission says coyotes prefer to raise their young in secluded areas, but the animals must scout for food all over to feed their pups. Thus, people may find coyotes roaming around their neighborhoods looking for food. The NCWRC gave tips to people on how to keep themselves and their families and pets safe in the coming months:

    • Keep small pets indoors or supervise them outdoors, and remove dishes and spilled food outside
    • Have dog-proof fencing, which is at least six feet tall and prevents digging underneath, to keep coyotes out
    • Remove any food sources that could attract coyotes (keep fruit and birdseed off the ground)
    • Find ways to actively make the area uncomfortable for coyotes
    • Deter coyotes away from homes and businesses by waving your arms and shouting forcefully

Visit here to learn more about how to stay away from, and if needed, deal with coyotes.
Read more » click here

Expect Coyote sightings as pupping season peaks
Coyotes will roam a wide area searching for food, sometimes crossing through neighborhoods and densely populated areas looking for an easy meal.

Coyotes are common throughout North Carolina, even in cities and suburbs, but often go unnoticed because they are very good at avoiding people. However, biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission say that coyote sightings spike in the spring, so it’s imperative to know what attracts them, and what to do if you see one. Coyotes prefer to raise their young in secluded areas but keeping a litter of pups well-fed and healthy means scouting for food at all hours and covering a large territory. Coyotes will roam a wide area searching for food, sometimes crossing through neighborhoods and densely populated areas looking for an easy meal. Coyotes mostly eat rabbits, small rodents, insects, fruits and dead animals, but will also dine on outdoor pet food and food scraps left near homes. Smaller pets, such as cats and small-breed dogs, should always be closely supervised when outdoors, as they can easily be mistaken for a coyote’s natural prey.
Dog-proof fencing, which is at least 6 feet tall and prevents digging underneath, is the only guarantee of a no-coyote zone, but there are other ways to keep coyotes from hanging around. “Try to remove any food sources that could attract coyotes and find ways to actively make the area uncomfortable for them,” says Falyn Owens, extension biologist for the Wildlife Commission.

Owens offers these tips to deter coyotes:

    • Feed pets inside and keep food waste in secure containers. If you feed pets outside, set specific feeding times and remove the dishes and spilled food afterward.
    • Keep fruit and bird seed off the ground. They can attract coyotes and their rodent prey.
    • Keep cats and small dogs on a leash or harness whenever they are outside.
    • Haze coyotes away from homes and businesses. Examples include waving your arms and shouting forcefully until a coyote leaves, spraying them with a water hose or throwing small rocks in their direction.

Pup season brings an added factor to interacting with coyotes. “Coyotes typically avoid confrontations with people, but they are diligent parents. A coyote that has young pups nearby is more likely to stand its ground rather than run away. If you are passing through a brushy or wooded area and notice a coyote watching you or following you at a distance, there could be a den nearby,” said Owens. “Calmly leave and notify others to avoid the area if you are near a public trail. Coyotes will move on once their pups are old enough to survive outside of the den.” Coyotes rarely attack people, but sometimes take an interest in our pets. Keep cats indoors, and if you are walking a small dog and notice a coyote watching or following you, pick up the dog and haze the coyote until it leaves. Teaching a coyote to have a healthy fear of people is a great way to discourage unwanted behavior and foster coexistence. If you have questions about interactions with coyotes, you can click here to be directed to the N.C Wildlife Commission’s website.
Read more » click here


As snake sightings increase due to warmer weather,
NC Wildlife urges people not to kill them
The warm weather means more snakes will start to show up along trails, in the woods, crossing roads and in our yards, according to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Wildlife diversity biologists request that if you see a snake, do not be alarmed, do not kill it, give it plenty of room, and if you see a rattlesnake, report it. “Snakes are an important part of the ecosystem and help control the rodent, slug and insect populations,” reptile conservation biologist Jeff Hall said. “There are many ways we can coexist with snakes, which is important because of 38 of North Carolina’s native snake species, ten are listed endangered, threatened or of special concern.” Of the six venomous snake species native to N.C., three are rattlesnakes – the timber, the pigmy and the Eastern diamondback. Each one is in decline and protected by the North Carolina Endangered Species Act. Persecution by humans and habitat destruction are the main culprits. If anyone spots a rattler, they are urged to send an email to rattlesnake@ncwildlife.org with a photo (required), date and time the snake was observed and location (GPS coordinates preferred), or they can log their sighting on the HerpMapper mobile app. If you see a snake in your yard and would prefer it to reside elsewhere, NC Wildlife says you can safely encourage it to leave by gently spraying it with a garden hose. You can also make your yard less hospitable for snakes by cleaning up clutter such as stick and rock piles, keeping your lawn mowed, closing gaps and holes in your siding and foundation, and sealing openings under doors, windows and around waterpipes. They say most snakes will leave people alone if they aren’t bothered and are provided an escape route. Watching for snakes and giving them a wide berth are effective habits for co-existing with snakes safely.
Read more » click here

There are 6 venomous snakes in North Carolina. Know what they look like.
If it’s spring, it’s time for us to remind you about some of the slithering neighbors you might encounter when you’re outdoors over the next several months. As the weather warms up in North Carolina, snakes start moving around, doing snakey things, and we are more likely to cross paths with them. They generally aren’t cause for much concern, but encounters can be a little scary for some (for the snakes as well as the people). It’s important to know that of the 38 species of snakes in North Carolina, the majority are nonvenomous and not aggressive toward people unless threatened. Arm yourself with knowledge. Learn about the venomous (sometimes incorrectly referred to as poisonous) snakes in our area, and how to distinguish them from the harmless ones.

How to tell if a snake is venomous

What’s the head shape? A commonly shared rule of thumb is that most venomous snakes have a triangular or diamond-shaped head, while nonvenomous snakes have a tapered head.

You can’t rely on that, though. Some nonvenomous snakes (such as a rat snake) can mimic the triangular shape of venomous snakes by flattening their heads when threatened (to avoid becoming the prey of another animal), so never go by head shape alone.

Can you see its eyes? Another tricky but often shared tip is to check out the pupil shape. Venomous snakes have been said to have oblong pupils that look like a slit in the center of the eye, whereas nonvenomous snakes will have a round pupil. In fact, according to a document on the NC Wildlife website, a snake’s pupils can dilate just like a human’s, and can look round.

The best way to know if a snake is venomous is to know which venomous snakes are common in your area and know what they look like.

North Carolina’s venomous snakes

There are six venomous snakes found in North Carolina:

    • The copperhead
    • The cottonmouth (also called water moccasin)
    • The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
    • The timber rattlesnake
    • The pigmy rattlesnake
    • The Eastern coral snake

Copperhead
Copperhead snakes are the most common venomous snakes in North Carolina.

What they look like: They are brownish in color with an hourglass shaped pattern, which resembles a Hershey Kiss. Copperhead babies are born with a yellow or green tail tip, which turns brown or black after they are about a year old. Adult copperheads grow to about 3 feet long.

The bite: The Carolinas Poison Center in Charlotte says it receives about 10 times the number of calls about copperhead bites than all other snakes combined. Copperhead bites can be severe, but about half of copperhead bites result in only mild swelling and pain.

Where are they? Copperheads are found all over North Carolina.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)

 


Cottonmouth (water moccasin)

What they look like: Cottonmouth snakes have dark bands on dark or olive skin, but are most well-known for the white, cotton-like interior of their mouths.

Young cottonmouths can be lighter in color and can resemble copperheads. Juvenile cottonmouths have bright yellow or greenish tail tips, and the details of the cross-band pattern are most evident in this age group. Older cottonmouth snakes are often completely dark and with no pattern.

Adult cottonmouths grow to about 3-4 feet in length but have been known to grow to 6 feet.

The bite: The bite severity of a cottonmouth is similar to that of a copperhead.

Where are they? Cottonmouths are found mostly in the eastern part of North Carolina and prefer freshwater environments (but can also be found on land).
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)


Eastern diamondback rattlesnake

What they look like: The eastern diamondback rattlesnake has gray or yellowish skin with a dark diamond pattern outlined in black. They have large, broad heads with two light lines on the face.

The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the heaviest, though not the longest, venomous snake in the Americas, and it is the largest rattlesnake in the world. These snakes can weigh up to four or five pounds and typically grow to about 4-5 feet in length (the largest ever recorded was 8 feet long).

These snakes are known for the bone-chilling rattle sound they make.

The bite: Bites from rattlesnakes are more severe than bites from copperheads or cottonmouths, and are considered a medical emergency.

Where are they? They are found in the southeastern parts of North Carolina, preferring sandy, coastal regions.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center, Savannah River Ecology Lab)


Pigmy rattlesnake

What they look like: Pigmy rattlesnakes have gray, pinkish or red skin with a dark, spotted pattern. They grow only to about 1-2 feet in length.

Pigmy rattlesnakes do rattle, but the rattle sounds more like a buzz.

The bite: Bites from rattlesnakes are more severe than copperheads or cottonmouths and are considered a medical emergency.

Where are they? These snakes are found in the southeastern part of North Carolina, particularly in forests.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)


Timber rattlesnake

What they look like: The timber rattlesnake can vary in color but has dark bands on lighter skin with a rattle at the end of its tail. Coastal varieties have what looks like a brown or orange “racing stripe” down the middle of the back.

Timber rattlesnakes grow to about 4 feet in length.

The bite: Bites from rattlesnakes are more severe than copperheads or cottonmouths and are considered a medical emergency.

Where are they? Timber rattlesnakes can be found throughout North Carolina, preferring forests.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)


Eastern coral snake

Coral snakes are actually extremely rare in North Carolina and are considered endangered, but they are quite venomous.

What they look like: These snakes are slender with red, yellow, and black rings. The coral snake closely resembles the scarlet kingsnake (which is harmless), but there’s an easy way to tell them apart. Just remember this rhyme: “Red touches black, friend of Jack; red touches yellow, kills a fellow.”

Another way to tell a scarlet kingsnake from a coral snake is by the color of its snout. A scarlet kingsnake has a red snout, and a coral snake has a black snout.

A coral snake’s snout is also blunt shaped, especially compared to most snakes.

The bite: Coral snake venom attacks the central nervous system, and death, if it occurs, is usually the result of respiratory failure.

Where are they? Coral snakes live in sandy areas nearer the South Carolina border and stay underground most of the time.
(Source: Herps of NC)


If you have been bitten by a snake, you SHOULD:

Sit down and stay calm.

Gently wash the bite area with warm, soapy water.

Remove any jewelry or tight clothing near the bite site.

Keep the bitten area still, if possible, and raise it to heart level.

Call the Carolinas Poison Center: 1-800-222-1222.

Note: If a snakebite victim is having chest pain, difficulty breathing, face swelling or has lost consciousness, call 911 immediately.


If bitten by a snake, you SHOULD NOT:

Cut the bitten area to try to drain the venom. This can worsen the injury.

Ice the area. Icing causes additional tissue damage.

Apply a tourniquet or any tight bandage. It’s actually better for the venom to flow through the body than for it to stay in one area.

Suck on the bite or use a suction device to try to remove the venom.

Attempt to catch or kill the snake.

Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for questions about a snake bite or for more information.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)

Read more » click here


Hot Button Issues

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


Climate
For more information » click here

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


.

Flood Insurance Program
For more information » click here
.


National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On March 11, 2022, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to March 15, 2022.

Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP
by no later than 11:59 pm on September 30, 2022


 

GenX
For more information » click here

 


  •  

    Homeowners Insurance
    For more information » click here

     


  •  

  • Hurricane Season
    For more information » click here

 


 

Inlet Hazard Areas
For more information » click here

 

Update of Inlet Hazard Area Boundaries
Public Hearing Schedule Inlet Hazard Area Update

2019_Inlet_Hazard_Area_Boundary_Update_20190212

15A NCAC 07H .0304 for public hearing

15A NCAC 07H .0306 for public hearing

15A NCAC 07H .0309 for public hearing

15A NCAC 07H .0310 for public hearing

OSBM Approved Fiscal Analysis 2019 IHA Update

Details
The Coastal Resources Commission’s proposed amendments reference the proposed update of Inlet Hazard Area boundaries and associated development setback factors. The proposed amendments are in the public interest as they are intended to minimize the loss of property and human life by establishing development setbacks between structures and the Atlantic shoreline.

Comment Period: April 18, 2022 – June 17, 2022

Written Comments
Division of Coastal Management
400 Commerce Avenue
Morehead City, NC  28557

For more information » click here.


.

Lockwood Folly Inlet
For more information » click here
.


.

Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling

For more information » click here
.


.

Offshore Wind Farms

For more information » click here

 

These two companies paid $315 million to develop wind energy off the Brunswick coast
More than 110,000 acres off the Bald Head Island coast will soon be home to a wind turbine farm. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has auctioned off the two wind energy lease sites roughly 20 nautical miles from the coast of Brunswick County for a combined $315 million. Duke Energy Renewables Wind won the right to develop offshore wind on the eastern 54,154-acre site with a bid of $155 million. Total Energies Renewables USA bid $160 million to develop the 54,937-acre western site. The combined sites are expected generate 1.3 gigawatts of renewable energy if fully developed, enough to power about 500,000 homes. Last year, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced a statewide goal to produce 2.8 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 8 gigawatts by 2040.
The auction comes at a time of increased urgency, as a looming 10-year moratorium on offshore wind energy development is set to take effect in July. Over the past year, several Brunswick municipalities have come out against the offshore leases, citing affects the visual impacts would have to the tourist-dependent economy. Brunswick County, Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Caswell Beach and the Village of Bald Head Island have all passed resolutions opposing their construction. Charter fisherman have also questioned how the turbines might affect migratory fish and say the turbines are located in a popular fishing spots such as Southwest Tower Bottom and The Horseshoe. According to BOEM, they’ve responded to local concerns by reducing the wind lease area by 14%, making it less visible from the mainland, and requiring monitoring on migration patterns. The winning bidders also pledged to invest $42 million total in domestic supply chain and workforce training. A January 2022 study from the Southeastern Wind Coalition found that if the state reaches its 2.8-megawatt wind energy production goal by 2030, it will result in “a net economic benefit of up to $4.6 billion.” “Investments from two developers means increased supply chain investment and recruitment, workforce development and thousands of good-paying jobs, and infrastructure development that will support other North Carolina industries,” coalition president Katharine Kollins said in a release. An anti-competitiveness review of the auction will be conducted by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission before the leases are finalized.
Read more » click here

Duke, TotalEnergies winning bidders in wind lease auction
Federal officials Wednesday auctioned two lease areas off the North Carolina and South Carolina coast, the second major offshore wind lease sale this year. The Department of the Interior announced results late Wednesday. The provisional winner for renewable energy lease No. OCS-A 0545, the westernmost, 54,937-acre section of the Carolina Long Bay area was TotalEnergies Renewables USA, LLC, which bid $160 million. Duke Energy Renewables Wind, LLC was the provisional winner for lease No. OCS-A 0546, a 55,154-acre area, with a $155 million bid. The winning bids each dwarfed that for the Kitty Hawk offshore wind lease auction five years ago. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says OCS-A 0545 and OCS-A 0546 together, if developed, could generate 1.3 gigawatts or more, enough to power nearly 500,000 homes. Officials called the auction a significant milestone towards achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030. “The Biden-Harris administration is moving forward at the pace and scale required to help achieve the President’s goals to make offshore wind energy a reality for the United States,” said Secretary Deb Haaland in the announcement. “Together with an all-of-government approach, we can combat the effects of climate change while creating good-paying union jobs that can benefit underserved communities. Today’s lease sale is further proof that there is strong industry interest and that America’s clean energy transition is here.” The Carolina Long Bay offshore wind auction included a new 20% credit for bidders, which commits to a monetary contribution to programs or initiatives that support workforce training programs for the offshore wind industry, development of a U.S. domestic supply chain for the offshore wind energy industry, or both. The credit will result in $42 million for the programs or initiatives, officials said. “This auction puts real dollars on the table to support economic growth from offshore wind energy development – including the jobs that come with it,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “The new bidding credit in the Carolina Long Bay auction will result in tangible investments for workforce training and businesses in the United States, to ultimately create jobs in the U.S. across the industries needed to support achieving our offshore wind goals.” Periodic updates on the auction, which began at 9 a.m. and wrapped up about 5 p.m., were posted at the BOEM website. Bidders could vie for one or both of the lease areas within the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area. The two lease areas include similar acreage, distance to shore and wind resource potential. The Carolina Long Bay wind energy area’s closest distance to shore is about 15 nautical miles. Federal officials have said the location and shape of the lease areas were drawn based on considerations such as vessel traffic patterns, North Atlantic right whale habitat, Defense Department considerations and visual concerns expressed in coastal communities. The Interior Department said that to advance its environmental justice goals, leaseholders are also required to identify Tribal nations, underserved communities, agencies, ocean users and other stakeholders and to report on those communications and engagement activities. “These stipulations are intended to promote offshore wind energy development in a way that coexists with other ocean uses, addresses potential impacts and benefits, and protects the ocean environment, while also facilitating our nation’s energy future for generations to come,” according to the announcement. Before the leases are finalized, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission must conduct an anti-competitiveness review of the auction, and the provisional winners will be required to pay any balance on the winning bids and provide financial assurance to BOEM.
Read more » click here.


Things I Think I Think –

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

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// April 2022
Name:              Flamingo Grill                                                                                               Cuisine:           American
Location:        7050 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach SC
Contact:          843.449.5388 /
https://flamingogrill.com/
Food:                Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:           Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:      Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                 Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:            Two Stars
Located one mile south of Carolina Opry and the Dunes Golf Club on the corner of 71st Ave., Flamingo Grill opened in 1986 and is operated by the owners of Cagney’s Old Place. It’s a popular casual dining spot, in an art deco setting, with something for everyone. Old school, menu including specials offers almost fifty (50) entrée choices. Despite great reviews it isn’t really anything special, we found it to be pretty standard fare. There are any number of restaurants that are as good so it’s pretty hard to justify the over one-hour drive just to eat there.


Wilmington’s Indochine restaurant group expands in Brunswick
In recent years, Indochine’s Solange “Niki” Thompson has been expanding her restaurant group — first by opening Café Chinois and Indochine Express in Wilmington and then turning her eyes to Brunswick County. Now, Southport’s Indochine Express opens today at 1131 N. Atlantic Ave. in the former Siam Thai Bistro location. She also said another Express location is months away in Leland. In Southport, the space is larger than its Wilmington counterpart, but the menu is the same. It includes a selection of soups, salads, appetizers, entrees and desserts. Many of them, like the Crab Angels, Imperial Pineapple Rice and curries are favorites at the original Indochine. Also look for lunch specials and a special ramen noodle soup. The look features the bold colors that can be found in the other locations. “We wanted it to be cute and fun,” Thompson said. She once again worked with designer Dennis Castro who helped create the distinctive look at Café Chinois. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and for lunch on Sunday. They will be closed Mondays. Meanwhile, they are also getting closer to opening another Brunswick County location. Thompson said that plans are underway for an Express at the former Charlie Grainger’s restaurant at 1110 New Pointe Blvd., near the Walmart. Thompson said if all goes well, that restaurant should open in a few months.
Read more » click here


Dining Guide – Guests

Dining Guide – Local

Restaurant Reviews – North

Restaurant Reviews – South 


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 MADNESS OF CROWDS by Louise Penny
This is the seventeenth entry in the Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide of Quebec’s provincial police force, series. This time around, Gamache is ordered to provide security for a lecture by controversial statistics professor whose views are repulsive to him. Gamache realizes that “the madness of crowds” could be the most dangerous side effect of the pandemic. The plot’s relationship to current events is what makes the story work.

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


  • .That’s it for this newsletter

    See you next month


    Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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

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

    https://lousviews.com/

04 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 03/21/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here 

Audio Recording » click here


1. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(5), To Instruct the Staff or Agent Concerning the Negotiation of the Price and Terms of Contracts Concerning the Acquisition of Real Properties – Commissioner K

No decision was made – No action taken

This is the list of properties currently being considered for acquisition by the Town
Seven (7) pier properties currently under contract
Block Q
Parcels 232NH002, 232NH003, 232NB014, 232NB015, 232NB021, 232NB022

To View Parcels » click here

Brunswick County – Basic Search
Select Parcel Number
Enter Parcel Number
Click Owner Name
Click View Map for this Parcel 


BOC’s Special Meeting 03/31/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Award of Contract for Roadway Work (Seagull Drive) – (Mayor Holden) Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet Supplement » click here

The Town received only one bid which was submitted to the Town from Highland Paving who has done work for the Town before. The bid from Highland Paving in the amount of $208,150 which exceeds the programmed construction cost by $100,000. David spelled out their options and proposed splitting the additional cost between the Town and properties on Seagull. The original assessment to the property owners on the street equates to approximately $1,450 per lot. They additional cost will require an additional assessment of $1,000 for the property owners there. Award of the work by the Board will require a budget adjustment. It is anticipated  that work will occur after Easter and should be completed before Memorial Day. 

Previously reported – November 2015
Streets Condition Survey Report is a planning document. We have a total of 12.8 paved asphalt roadways with @40% of the roads in need of maintenance. Subject streets are Class A (low volume) roads the cost estimate is for pavement repair only, with the costs being variable. The total estimated costs are a whopping $1,200,000. Surface evaluation was done rating each street and prioritizing the work that needs to be done. Recommended we address it with a ten-year game plan, budgeting accordingly, tackling it on a yearly basis. Understandably we can expect our streets to continue to degrade while costs will continue to go up.

Update –
In 2015 the Board implemented a tax increase of $.010 that would generate approximately $115,000 annually for infrastructure, specifically for street paving, and maintenance. The penny worth of tax revenue earmarked for paving is money that is already in the budget. The motion was made to award the contract to Highland Paving and make necessary budget adjustment as requested.

Ordinance 22-06, (Amendment  No. 12)
BOC’s approved request to provide additional funding required by the award of the Seagull Drive contract

Moved funds of $100,000

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

2. Discussion and Possible Action on Setting 2022 Board of Commissioners’ Objectives

Agenda Packet – pages 2 – 7

The individual objectives submitted by each member have been compiled into a master list for the  Board’s review. Objectives that were similar were grouped together to streamline the list.

I would like to suggest that the meeting be used to discuss scoring and prioritization to expedite the process of establishing the Board’s direction for the upcoming year. If you are comfortable with providing your scoring in advance of the meeting, please send it to the clerk so she can begin compiling the numbers. Once we have the total tally on each objective, the Board can determine where to draw the line for this year’s objectives.

Proposed BOC Objectives for Fiscal Year 2022/2023

      • Amenities/Park and Rec
      • General
      • Infrastructure
      • Communication
      • Finance/Budget
      • Policies and Procedures
      • Evergreens

Update –
Once again Commissioner Kwiatkowski did the heavy lifting. She pulled together many of the objectives into four (4) projects that include the pier property, paid parking, infrastructure, and utilization of the 796 OBW property. The list of tasks, captured the things that need to be done, were given in some detail in order to ensure successful accomplishment of these projects.

The Town Clerk will update the list of objectives, the Commissioners will score them and submit them back to her, Heather will put it together for the next scheduled meeting.

Editor’s Note –
They usually have four (4) meetings/workshops and need to determine when they will be held. The Board agreed to send Heather a calendar of their availability so she can schedule the meetings. In previous years we started the budget process in January. Once again, the goal is to avoid the annual rush at the end to get things done. The first meeting has traditionally been to determine objectives. Meanwhile it’s April and we are just now beginning to  have any budget meetings.

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

The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st
Commissioners must adopt budget no later than June 30th for the next fiscal year
Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board.

3. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(6), To Discuss Qualifications, Competence, Performance of a Public Employee (Mayor Pro Tem Smith) and North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(5), To Instruct the Staff or Agent Concerning the Negotiation of the Price and Terms of Contracts Concerning the Acquisition of Real Properties (Mayor Holden)

No decision was made – No action taken


Public Input Meeting 04/18/22

PARTF Grant Application for the Holden Beach Pier (04/01/22)
The Town of Holden Beach will hold a public input meeting exclusively for the purpose of obtaining comments regarding a NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant project application for the pier property (441 Ocean Boulevard West). The meeting will be held Monday, April 18th at 10:00 a.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly (110 Rothschild Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462). We look forward to seeing you at the meeting to explain this exciting grant opportunity and receiving your comments!

Public Input Meeting (04/13/22)
The Town will hold a public input meeting on Monday, April 18th at 10:00 a.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly. The sole purpose of the meeting will be to receive public comment on submitting a $500,000 grant application to the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund regarding reimbursement of pier property acquisition costs. Click here to view the application components. A slideshow presentation will explain the grant documents prior to public comment.  This is a staff run meeting and will not be an official meeting of the Board of Commissioners.  It will not be broadcast on Facebook Live. 

Agenda Packet – pages 1– 20 which is too large to include here

Description and Justification for the: Holden Beach Pier Property Project

Description:
This is land acquisition only project. The property consists of 350 feet (300-foot-wide oceanfront lot and an adjacent 50-foot-wide oceanfront lot) of oceanfront property with a fishing pier. Recreational facilities include the pier, beach access, parking, a pier house, and six full-service camping sites. Additional proposed future facilities include an update to the pier house, a concession facility that will provide food for fisherman and the public, public restrooms and showers, and a deck.

Lot 1 dimensions: 2.94 acres; Lot 2: 0.49 acres.

Justification:
The Town of Holden Beach was presented with the opportunity to purchase the Holden Beach Fishing Pier which includes the ocean pier located on one 300-foot-wide oceanfront lot and an additional 50-foot­ wide oceanfront lot. Collectively, these two lots have 350 continuous feet of oceanfront real estate and total slightly over 3 acres. The property is located in the center part of the island and provides access to 400+ canal properties, as well as many day trippers, that visit the beach daily and park at the pier. The current owner of this commercial property was looking to sell and if the property went to a private buyer all the above-mentioned attributes would be lost. Many canal property owners would have to walk between ¼ mile and a mile to gain access to the beach. The town negotiated a bargain sale as the sale price came in under the appraised value of the property. The property was identified as a future community park on page 40 of the 2021 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Public surveys and focus group sessions showed that access to fishing and public water access were common high priorities. The town was just awarded a public beach and coastal waterfront access program grant for$180,460.00 toward the cost of the 50-foot lot only. Besides the benefits already mentioned, the property also affords emergency vehicular access to the beach to assist with medical emergencies, access for trash collection along the beach strand, and a means to get large equipment on the beach for periodic beach nourishment. Our moniker is, “The Family Beach”, and the acquisition of this iconic landmark for the town signifies commitment to maintain a culture that recognizes the importance of family and family­ friendly recreational pursuits. As individuals spoke in previous public hearings, they referenced learning to fish from the pier and wanting to have the ability to take their grandchildren to fish and walk on the pier. The acquisition of the property adds an iconic attraction to what can be considered the biggest playground (the beach strand) the town has for the public and visitors to enjoy.


BOC’s Regular Meeting 04/19/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Agenda Packet – pages 11 -14

Police Patch

Despite the number of people here there has not  been a lot of issues. 

 


Previously reported –
April 2019
The Town of Holden Beach made it of
cial Monday, April 1, when they swore in Jeremy Dixon as the town’s newest police chief, taking the mantle from former chief Wally Layne.



Pets on the Beach Strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / 90.20
From May 20th through September 10th it is unlawful to have any pet on the beach strand during the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm.

 


Golf carts are treated the same as any other automotive vehicle.

In the State of North Carolina, if a golf cart is to be operated on the streets, highways, or public vehicular areas, it is considered a motor vehicle and subject to all laws, rules and regulations that govern motor vehicles. In short, the golf cart must have all of the following:

 

        • The driver MUST have a current, valid Driver’s License
        • Child Restraint Laws must be followed
        • Headlights
        • Tail lights
        • Turn signals
        • Rear view mirrors
        • State Inspection Sticker
        • License Plate Issued by NCDMV
        • Liability Insurance

All of the streets in the Town (including the side streets) are considered streets or public vehicular areas according to the State Law. This means that to operate a golf cart anywhere on the island, you must meet the standards above. 


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


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


2. Agenda item Discussion and Possible Action on Items Necessary to Update the Paid Parking Program – Town Manager Hewett
a. Ordinance 22-07, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Title VII: Traffic Code
b. Ordinance 22-08, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (Amendment No. 13)

Agenda Packet – pages 15 – 26 which is too large to include here

The proposed ordinance (Attachment 1) adds the pier to the designated parking table and amends a couple of errors found while placing the signage for the program. It also adds an exemption that would authorize parking without a permit at the Holden Beach Pavilion during Town sponsored events or rentals of the facility. This exemption is necessary to allow people who are participating in programs such as Tide Dye, yoga, and Tai Chi to partake without paying the parking fee. People who pay the fee to rent the Pavilion would also be exempted from paying to park.

The budget amendment (Attachment 2) is to reduce programmed parking revenues and expenses previously approved from three months to two months since the program is starting in May instead of April. It also provides for additional program revenues and expenses expected to be generated by the acquisition of the pier parking lot.

The proposed motion is to adopt Ordinance No. 22-07 and Ordinance No. 22-08.

Mr. Varner from Otto Connect has notified me of potential impacts from people placing post and rope in areas that are designated as paid parking spaces by the Board. The estimated  decrease in total spaces is  10; with the total impact uncertain if provisions of Section 95.05 Public Rights-of-Way are further implemented by property owners.

§72.02 PARKING PROHIBITED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY.
(6) Parking is authorized without a permit at the Holden Beach Pavilion located on Jordan Boulevard when actively participating in Town sponsored recreation programs and rentals. This applies to the parking area(s) immediately adjacent to the Pavilion.

ORDINANCE NO. 22·08
Amend Ordinance No. 21-13 to reduce programmed parking revenues and expenses therein from three to two months and to provide for additional program revenues and expenses generated by acquisition of pier parking lot. [-$21,336]

Editor’s Note  –
Revised Parking Zone and Area Table, which is included in the packet, the proposal has five hundred and ninety-nine (599) designated parking spaces now.

# of Full-Size Spaces       553
# of LSV Spaces                 46
Total                                 599 

Town of Holden Beach Newsletter (04/19/22)
Paid Parking on Holden Beach
Paid parking will be implemented in the Town of Holden Beach on May 1, 2022 for all Holden Beach designated parking areas. It will be enforced from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily, with free parking before and after that time. All parking will use license plates for verification.

Holden Beach will use the “SurfCAST by Otto” parking solution. This mobile app for Apple and Android mobile devices is NOW LIVE. You will also be able to purchase passes by scanning the QR-codes located on the parking signs for access to https://surfcast.ottoconnect.us/pay.

Passes CANNOT be purchased by contacting Town Hall.

Parking rates for a single vehicle in all designated areas will be:
$3 per hour for up to four hours
$15 per day and for any duration greater than four hours
$60 per week (seven consecutive days)

Annual Passes
$125 per calendar year for a single vehicle

Handicap parking is free in designated handicap spaces and only with a valid license plate or hangtag.

Parking rates can be paid via credit card, debit card or PayPal.

Visit https://hbtownhall.com/paid-parking for more information and to view a table with authorized parking areas. 

Update –
They had a discussion as to whether to state where parking is allowed vs. to state where it isn’t. Timbo recommended one or the other but having both would create a lot of uncertainty. The Board adopted both Ordinances with some minor eleventh hour changes. This is a work in progress, safe to say we will see additional changes made once they implement the paid parking program.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Not a good sign when the Board and the Town Manager did not have the same understanding of where parking can and can’t be. 


3. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 22-09, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (Amendment No. 14) – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 27 – 28

The Resolution authorizing the pier purchase borrowing provided for up to a $3.3 million dollars in loan proceeds. The existing budget ordinance identified $3 million in loan proceeds towards the purchase. The actual amount borrowed is $3,057,150 with the increase between the original budget being attributed to costs of closing. While the authorizing resolution is probably sufficient to increase the amount of loan proceeds in the budget, staff is requesting ratification/approval of the final transactional budget actions to ensure compliance with the Fiscal Control Act. [+$57,150]

Recommendation: Approve Budget Ordinance Amendment 22-09 (Amendment No. 14); “Pier Purchase Final Financing”.

Pier Purchase and Referendum
The LGC approved the Town’s loan application at their meeting on March 1st and on March 8th the Town Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to purchase the pier property.  The transaction will close on March 28.

The HBPOA has concluded its referendum on the Town’s plan to purchase the pier property.  Out of 2309 total eligible voter households, 969 votes were cast, with 390 (40.2%) supporting the Town’s plan and 579 (59.8%) opposed The Election Runner software we used had strict controls to make sure only property owners could vote and only one vote could be cast per household.  

It is unfortunate that the results of our referendum did not have an impact on the Town or the Local Government Commission (LGC) decisions.  We were hampered by not knowing if the Town’s plan was going to change again and by the LGC’s late release of their agenda.

Click here for the information shared between the Town and the LGC to address the concerns that were raised by the LGC in January regarding public support, the financial plan and the mayor’s real estate company representing the seller.

Click here for a copy of the public comments received by the LGC.  The HBPOA’s letter was included with the public comments but we were not allowed to speak at the meeting.  A large number the comments were the result of letter-writing campaigns led by Facebook groups and a Change.org petition that was broadly distributed on social media.    

Based on these comments, the LGC concluded the pier purchase had sufficient public support and they approved the Town’s loan application at their meeting on March 1st.  You can listen to the audio recording of the meeting here: Local Government Commission Meeting 1, March 2022 – YouTube.  They pulled Holden Beach out of the overall consent agenda and discussed it separately starting at 41:20 on the audio recording.    

It is also very concerning that the opinions of people from social media sites carried more weight with the Town Commissioners and the LGC than the opinions of Holden Beach property owners and taxpayers.

Update –
Needed to increase funds [+$57,150] to cover closing costs. Board approved Budget Ordinance for pier purchase final financing to ensure compliance with the Fiscal Control Act.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


4. Discussion and Possible Action on Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Project Grant Application Submission – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 29 – 47 which is too large to include here

Based on the BOC’s direction to pursue grant opportunities to assist with land acquisition related to the pier properties, staff has prepared a PARTF application (Attachment 1). The application is  land acquisition only in the amount of $500,000. Staff applied for a waiver in the June timeframe of last year which affords the town two application cycles for this grant. Decisions are expected to be reached by the PARTF Commission in last summer/early fall. The Basic Facts and Assurances page requires that the application be approved by the local governing board.

Suggested Motion: Motion to submit a grant application in the amount of $500,000 to the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

Update –
Christy did the slide show presentation that was presented yesterday at the Public Input Meeting for the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant project application for the pier property. The Board had concerns about an encumbrance with significant financial penalties if we ever plan to sell the property for any reason. In other words, you are basically giving up the land in perpetuity. They were informed that this restriction is attached to accepting all grants. The decision was made to wait for the report on the engineers report on the pier condition. At that time, they can decide whether to move forward with the grant application next year.

A decision was made – Not Approved (3-2)
Commissioner Brown and Dyer supported the motion


5. Discussion and Possible Action on Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Grant 22-23 Preapplication Submission – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 48 – 58 which is too large to include here

Based on the BOC’s direction to pursue grant opportunities to assist with the development of the pier properties, the staff is submitting a pre-application (Attachment I) to the Division of Coastal Management (DCM) on or before April 22, 2022. The application is for the development of the SO-foot lot for beach access to include a Hatteras ramp and walkway for a total project cost of $63,535.00. If the agency approves the pre-application, the town will be asked to complete a final application that will come before the BOC in August. If awarded the grant, the BOC would still have to choose to accept or decline funds.

Suggested Motion: Motion to have the Town Manager execute the grant signature to complete required paperwork and submit the grant to DCM.

Update –
They discussed their options and agreed to start the process and prepare grant preapplication.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


6. Discussion and Possible Action on Letters of Support from Commissioners for Congressional Spending Funding Request to Congressional Delegation – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 59 – 81 which is too large to include here

What was formerly known as earmarks is now referred to as Congressionally Directed Spending. Ward and Smith, P.A. apprised the town of several available funding opportunities as part of the FY 23 appropriation requests. Attached you will find required letters of support from the town and application forms for three projects: the Coastal Storm Risk Management General Reevaluation Study (Attachment 1), Stormwater Infrastructure Improvements on Ocean Boulevard (Attachment 2), and the Sewer Lift Station 2 Upgrade (Attachment 3). Action must be taken at this meeting to be considered for funding.

Suggested Motion: Motion to send the letters of support to the Congressional Delegation for the attached projects.

Update –
We are sending letters of support from the town and application forms for three projects to our federal Congressional Delegation.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Discussion and Possible Approval of Contract between the Town and Holden Beach Enterprises for the Purchase of Block Q – Attorney Green
a.
Ordinance 22-10, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (Amendment No. 15) – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 82 – 96 which is too large to include here

EXHIBIT #l
The Lots are identified as shown on Map 4, Page 2, Block Q, Brunswick County Registry, and have been assigned the following tax parcel identification numbers:


– Lot  #1 (232NF004);
– Lot #2 (232NF005);
– Lot  #3 (232NF003);
– Lot #4 (232NF006);
– Lot  #5 (232NF002);
– Lot  #6 (232NF007);
– Lot  #7 (232NF001);
– Lot #8 (232NF008); and
– An unnumbered Lot (232NF029) located North of Lots 7 and 8, bounded by South Shore Drive to the East, and Jordan Boulevard to the West.

EXHIBIT #2

    1. Purchase Price is $2,200,000
    2. Seller will gift $200,000 to the Buyer, making the reduced purchase price $2,000,000.00
    3. Buyer will pay $1,000,000 to the  Seller at closing.
    4. The remaining balance of $1,000,000 will be financed by the Seller for three years in equal annual payments of principal plus interest on the unpaid principal balance at the rate of 3.18%, per annum.

To provide for initial portion of funding required for purchase contract of “Block Q” [+$1,000,000]

To View Parcels » click here

Brunswick County – Basic Search
Select Parcel Number
Enter Parcel Number
Click Owner Name
Click View Map for this Parcel

Update –
The Town plans to purchase nine (9) parcels referred to as Block Q. Attorney Green briefly reviewed potential issues and made his recommendations as how to proceed. This is a step that we need to take, so contract can be presented to the seller. The Board approved moving forward with closing to be scheduled on May 2nd. We will pay $1,000,000 at closing with the remaining balance will be paid in three (3) payments do annually on the date of the closing.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Brown opposed the motion


  • 8. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 22-06, A Resolution of the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach (Requesting State Assistance to Construct a New Wastewater Vacuum Pumping Station to Replace Existing Station) – Public Works DirectorClemmons
    a. Water & Sewer Capital Improvement Plan

Agenda Packet – pages 97 – 100

Green Engineering on behalf of the Town intends to apply for grant funding for the work planned on

Pump Station #2. In order to proceed with the application, the Board would need to update the Capital Improvement Plan to include 10 years of possible projects. The Board  would  also  need  to  adopt Resolution 22-06.

The recommended motion is to approve the updated Capital Improvement Plan and adopt Resolution 22-06.

Update –
Grant is basically a no interest loan from the state. This application is only if we do not obtain the federal grant we applied for. The Board approved making the application for the funding.

  • A decision was made – Approved unanimously

    9. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 22-11, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (Amendment No. 16) – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 101 – 102
.
Considering the rapid nature of new construction, the Town has experienced, revenues from system development fees have exceeded original project ions . These fees are collected and transferred to the Capital Reserve Fund (CRF) to help pay for costs incurred to increase water capacity. The staff is asking the Board to approve the amendment to be able to transfer this money from the CRF to the Water and Sewer Fund to be used for the purchase of water meters that will expand water service to new homes constructed in the Town. [+$16,775]

  • Recommendation: Approve Budget Ordinance 22-11 (Amendment No 16).

    Update –
    This is the same thing we did last month, budget amendment transfer of funds, this time it is for the water side for the expansion of the system.
    .
    A decision was made – Approved unanimously


    10. Discussion and Possible Action/Decision on the Prioritization of Board Objectives – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

  • Agenda Packet – pages 103 – 108

    As of the day I am sending the agenda, I do not have everyone’s final scoring of the objectives. I did not include what I have in the packets since it doesn’t reflect the whole Board’s scores.
      

  • Update –

    Pat reviewed process used, recommended they set objectives with everything that had a point total of fourteen (14) or above making them priorities for the upcoming fiscal year.

  • Objectives – Agenda Packet Supplement

  • A decision was made –
    Approved unanimously


    11. Town Manager’s Report


    Beach Nourishment Project
    The nourishment project has recently been completed after receiving two (2) extensions. They have placed in excess of  1.5 million cyds of sand on the beach strand. The crews are demobilizing, and pipes should be completely off the beach by the end of the month. We will be conducting required beach tilling, sand fencing, and planting vegetation in the next few weeks.

    The beaches are the economic engine of our tourism-based economy.

    Lockwood Folly Inlet Crossing Navigation Maintenance Project
    USACE sponsored project placed in excess of 200K cyds of beach compatible sand on the east end and this project has been completed too.

    Wetlands
    Draft has been prepared, USACE is here, and we are waiting their determination.

    Previously reported – March 2022
    Per the Board’s direction the wetland delineation is underway, clearing parcels as needed for the surveyors.

    Previously reported – February 2022
    They have ordered an engineer to delineate the wetland areas, work is to be completed in the next two (2) weeks

    Previously reported – January 2022
    They agreed that they will need to get our plans to the DOT for their approval. Also, it will require a civil engineer to delineate the wetland area and do any required permitting. Brian made a motion that we delineate all town property bordering marsh areas that is included in the parking plan.

    Food Truck Vendors
    Holden Beach requests proposals from food truck vendors for this summer at the pier property. Vendors determined to best meet the Town’s needs will be recommended for contract award consideration to the Board of Commissioners at their Regular May 17th meeting.

    Roadway
    Contractor for Seagull paving project is currently sourcing material and is on schedule to complete paving before Memorial Day. Town Manager informed the Board that property owner assessments for the work will be sent out once the project has been completed.

    Previously reported – March 2022
    Paving for Seagull bid package is going out next week, plan to award the contract at the BOC’s Regular Meeting in April. David anticipates paving will be completed before Memorial Day, as it has been done in the past few years.

  • Bike Lane
    Property owners along Ocean Boulevard were sent a CAMA notice from the DOT
    .
    Key takeaways:

    • Add 7’ asphalt to the south side of existing pavement
    • Add 3’ asphalt to the north side of existing pavement
    • Recenter the travel lanes
    • Create two (2) five (5) foot bike lanes on either side of the road


    DOT informed us the cost of the has significantly increased by almost 30%

    The good news is that our portion is only an additional $23,000 so far

    Bike Lane Letters (04/21/22)
    Town staff contacted the Department of Transportation after numerous homeowners reached out to us concerned that they had not received a letter with information on the upcoming bike lane/paving project. We were advised that only those property owners whose property is adjacent to the proposed bike lane construction where that construction intersects the Ocean Erodible Area of Environmental Concern (jurisdiction of NC Division of Coastal Management) have been sent the certified letter/attachments. This is only a small portion of the project area (approximately 150 properties) so don’t be concerned if you did not receive a letter. Those property owners that have received the certified letter/attachments can follow the instructions in the letter if they would like to contact someone about the project.  

    Previously reported – March 2021
    David provided the Board with a memo summarizing the information that he gathered since the last meeting. That memo was not included in the agenda packet. He reviewed the process, timeline, and financing. DOT informed him that if we are interested that we need to stay engaged with them. The public has said that they are in favor of having bike lanes. The project is an improvement worth the expenditure especially if we can get help with the funding through grants. They decided to give the  project a green light and have David work to keep moving the project forward.

    Previously reported – February 2021
    Engineer’s estimate for bike lanes are as follows:
    Ocean Boulevard West / 5.00 miles / @$1,208,941
    Ocean Boulevard East / 1.15 miles / @$403,972

    NCDOT now has adequately funding so the resurfacing program for OBW which is scheduled for the spring of 2022. Bike lanes are being proposed on both sides of the road, which will add five feet on each side. This should be coordinated with resurfacing project that is tentatively scheduled already. Our cost would be $1,612,913 which hopefully at least a portion of would be offset by grants. DOT requested verbal feedback in the next 60 days, indicating whether we want to participate in adding bike lanes to the project.

    Audit
    The annual audit process is currently underway

    Budget Meetings
    BOC’s budget workshops are scheduled for April 21st and May 20th

    In Case You Missed It –

    Add 7’ asphalt to the south side of existing pavement


  • Holden Beach Pier
    The Town has completed the transaction to acquire the pier properties at 441 Ocean Boulevard West. The pier and adjacent buildings are closed until further notice. The parking lot and beach access on the east side of the pier will remain open and are free for public use at this time. It is anticipated that parking fees will be charged for the pier lot starting May 1st.


    Paid Parking on Holden Beach
    Paid parking will be implemented in the Town of Holden Beach on May 1, 2022 for all Holden Beach designated parking areas. It will be enforced from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily, with free parking before and after that time. All parking will use license plates for verification.

    Holden Beach will use the “SurfCAST by Otto” parking solution. This mobile app for Apple and Android mobile devices is NOW LIVE. You will also be able to purchase passes by scanning the QR-codes located on the parking signs for access to https://surfcast.ottoconnect.us/pay.

    Passes CANNOT be purchased by contacting Town Hall.

    Parking rates for a single vehicle in all designated areas will be:
    $3 per hour for up to four hours
    $15 per day and for any duration greater than four hours
    $60 per week (seven consecutive days)

    Annual Passes
    $125 per calendar year for a single vehicle

    Handicap parking is free in designated handicap spaces and only with a valid license plate or hangtag.

    Parking rates can be paid via credit card, debit card or PayPal.

    Visit https://hbtownhall.com/paid-parking for more information and to view a table with authorized parking areas. 


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

They are located as follows:

    • Two are at the far east end
    • One is at sewer lift station by Greensboro
    • One is at sewer lift station just before the 800 blocka.

National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On March 11, 2022, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to September 30, 2022.


Utility Department Billing
Effective January 1, 2022, Brunswick County will increase the Town’s water wholesale rate by 82%. This increase is to cover the cost of increased plant capacity and to add a low-pressure reverse osmosis treatment system. The Town of Holden Beach will also increase their rates on January 1st to reflect the increased cost to them.


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

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

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


Upcoming Events –

NA


12. Mayor’s Comments

Lunch & Learn with Mayor Holden
Join us at Bridgeview Park (picnic shelter across from Town Hall) on Friday, April 15th at noon for a luncheon. Mayor Holden will provide an update on the exciting current events and projects happening in our town.

Town of Holden Beach From the Mayor’s Desk (04/12/22)

  • The beach nourishment program is almost finished. Sand fencing and vegetation along the shoreline will soon follow to further grow our dune line.
  • Paid parking is to begin May 1st.
  • The Town of Holden Beach now owns the Holden Beach Fishing Pier. Plans and work will follow. Parking there is available now.
  • The speed limit on Ocean Boulevard is now 35 MPH.
  • Dogs must always be on a leash. Remember that no dogs are allowed on the beach strand between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from May 10th – September 10th.
  • Property owners along Ocean Boulevard should be receiving a certified letter from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The letter will be giving notice that the resurfacing of the boulevard and the installation of the bike paths will take place this fall. All the work will be done in the right-of-way. This is a CAMA notice.
  • Due to the beach nourishment, there is an unusual number of shells on the beach. It is a shell hunter’s heaven here now.
  • Be sure to keep up with your emergency stickers. Call Town Hall at (910) 842-6488 with questions.
  • There will be a sunrise Easter service at the Holden Beach Fishing Pier Easter Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m.
  • There will be 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Easter services at the Holden Beach Chapel Sunday.
  • The Sunday concerts at the Pavilion under the Holden Beach Bridge will begin May 29th and continue through September 4, 2022. Each concert begins at 6:30 p.m. and usually lasts until 8:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. They are free to all! Enjoy the large dance floor!
  • Watch for low-speed vehicles. More are expected this year. These include licensed golf carts.
  • Buoys are in place for the no wake zone in the bridge area. The buoys for the remaining area from Roger Street to LouLou’s Restaurant have not been installed yet.

13. Executive Session Pursuant to NC General Statute 143-318.11(A)(6), To Discuss Qualifications, Competence, Performance of a Public Employee

No decision was made – No action taken


  • General Comments – .



    BOC’s Meeting

    The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, May 17th
    .
    .


  • .
    We should be able to get audio right on the Facebook livestream. It is unacceptable that the audio is so poor. Don’t even get me started on people speaking that are not using a microphone at all. The Town needs to hire an audio-visual person to get this corrected.

    ..


  • Budget Meetings
    In previous years they started the budget process in January, and they usually have four (4) meetings/workshops. Once again, the goal is to avoid the annual rush at the end to get things done. The first meeting has traditionally been to determine objectives. Meanwhile it’s the end of April and they just scheduled the workshops, which I’m sure comes as a shock to all of you. Ensuring that government commitments are in line with available resources is an essential element of good governance.

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


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/21/22

Agenda Packet » click here  

Audio Recording » click here

Budget Workshop
  a. Schedule
.   b.
Objectives for Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023
.   c.
Draft Worksheets

Budget Schedule
March 31st                 Workshop – BOC’s Objectives

April 1st                      Department Input to Manager
April 21st                    Budget Workshop
April 22nd                   Canal Dredging Working Group
May 20th                     Budget Workshop
May 31st                      Budget Message Published
June 10th                     Public Hearing
June 21st                     BOC’s Regular Meeting – Ordinance Consideration
June 30th                     Budget Adopted


  • .

    Hurricane Season
    For more information » click here

    Be prepared – have a plan!

     

 .
Know your hurricane risk, FEMA, NOAA encourage
When it comes to hurricanes, it’s important to be prepared and know your risk. That was the message federal officials delivered Wednesday during a press conference from the annual National Hurricane Conference taking place this week in Orlando, Florida. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham encouraged the public to prepare for more intense storms. The conference is a national forum for federal, state and local officials to work together to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation in the United States and Caribbean and Pacific tropical islands. Criswell explained that while the conference is an opportunity for emergency management professionals to share lessons learned from the past. More importantly, she said, it’s time to start thinking about what is going to be experienced in the future. In recent years, hurricanes have intensified, giving emergency managers less time to warn their constituents to prepare. The storms are stronger, lasting longer at higher durations over land, impacting coastal communities and inland too. This is going to continue, she said.  Residents most need to understand their risk, she added. “What is the risk in the area that you are at if you are on the coast or if you are inland? And then do you have a plan to protect your family against that risk? Do you know how you’re going to evacuate? Do you know where you’re going to go? Do you know how you’re going to communicate to your family members that live outside of the area so you can let them know that you’re safe,” Criswell said. And of course, don’t forget pets. Make sure to have the same supplies you’d have for rest of your family. Graham reiterated the need for a plan. “you can’t make your plan during the storm. You’ve got to do it early,” he said, because sometimes the timeline of a tropical storm reaching land is short. “have that plan ready to go, ready to implement.” Criswell said that if relocating to a new area, learn what the risks are, such as hurricanes or tornadoes. “Individuals need to be deliberate about that. You need to understand what your risk is and if you have not been in that situation before there are a lot of resources out there,” she said, and ready.gov has a wealth of information. Graham added that if you don’t know what to do when a hurricane comes, then ask.
“If you don’t know, ask … know that risk,” he said. “Because being prepared is everything.” Many don’t want to evacuate during a hurricane and that mentality is hard to change, Criswell said. “I think that we get the most increase in the level of preparedness and communities immediately after a disaster,” she said, but the longer between storms, the more comfortable residents get with the idea that they can withstand the storm. “It worries me because we are seeing right now these natural weather events that are getting more severe, they’re stronger, they’re lasting longer. They’re intensifying more rapidly. And so, where in the past maybe communities and individuals would wait things out,” she said. “We as an emergency management profession and a community we have to continue to help people understand what these threats are. We need to provide the resources for them to learn about their threats as well.” Graham pointed out the need to communicate. “You can have a perfect forecast, but it doesn’t do much good if it’s not understood and it’s not actionable.” His office has different professionals, such as meteorologists and social scientists, to help communicate. Criswell continued that there can’t be a one-size-fits-all type of messaging. For the first time last year, FEMA created a culturally specific preparedness campaign for preparedness month focusing on the Hispanic community. Graham said what worries him sometimes are areas that historically have a lot of strong storms and just because it didn’t happen in the last couple of years doesn’t mean it can’t happen this year. So, the complacency part of it is worries me.” Criswell echoed Graham, saying it’s the complacency that really worries her. “I worry about those communities and our ability again — because of the rapid intensification of these storms — our ability to get messaging out to those communities so they can make timely decisions to either evacuate or stay in place to protect their families,” she said. “We’ve got to be able to communicate to those individuals that aren’t necessarily taking it as serious as they could or should” because disasters don’t discriminate. “We all have to take it seriously. Storms are getting worse. They’re getting worse. They’re causing more destruction. They are intensifying more rapidly. We’re going to have less time to warn people so they can take appropriate measures. We’ll have to take it seriously,” she said.
Read more » click here 


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


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


Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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

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

https://lousviews.com/

04 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / April Edition


Calendar of Events –



Days at the Docks Festival
April 23rd & 24th
Holden Beach

.

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



Blue Crab Festival
May 14th & 15th

Little River SC

 

Little River has been celebrating the World Famous Blue Crab Festival since 1981. It is held on the waterfront in Little River and is one of the largest festivals in the Southeast. The purpose of this festival is one that supports and showcases the fabulous atmosphere of the local communities.
For more information » click here


Conway Riverfest - CR

Riverfest Celebration
June 25th

Conway SC


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


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


Calendar of Events Island –


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


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


Reminders –



Pets on the Beach Strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / 90.20
From May 20th through September 10th it is unlawful to have any pet on the beach strand during the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm.

 



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


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

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

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


Yard Waste Service
Yard debris pick-up will be provided twice a month on the second and fourth Fridays during the months of April, and May. Please have yard waste placed at the street for pick-up on Thursday night. The first pickup of the season was on March 11th. No pick-ups will be made on vacant lots or construction sites.

Debris must be placed in a biodegradable bag or bundled in a length not to exceed five (5) feet and fifty (50) pounds. Each residence is allowed a total of ten (10) items, which can include a combination of bundles of brush and limbs meeting the required length and weight and/ or biodegradable bags with grass clippings, leaves, etc.




Bird Nesting Area

NC Wildlife Commission has posted signs that say – Bird Nesting Area / Please don’t disturb. The signs are posted on the west end beach strand around 1307 OBW.


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

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


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

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

Spraying is complaint based, so keep the calls coming!



Solid Waste Pick-Up Schedule

GFL Environmental change in service, trash pickup will be once a week. Trash collection goes back to Tuesdays only.

 

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


Solid Waste Pick-up Schedule –
starting Saturday before Memorial Day twice a week

Recycling
after Memorial Day weekly


Curbside Recycling
GFL Environmental is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $86.37 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here

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



Trash Can Requirements – Rental Properties
GFL Environmental – trash can requirements
Ordinance 07-13, Section 50.08

Rental properties have specific number of trash cans based on number of bedrooms.

* One extra trash can per every 2 bedrooms.

.
§ 50.08 RENTAL HOMES.

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


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

§157.087 BUILDING NUMBERS.

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

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



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


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.


Waupaca Elevator Recalls to Inspect Elevators Due to Injury Hazard

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

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


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 –


  • Bike Lane
    Property owners along Ocean Boulevard were sent a CAMA notice from the DOT
    .
    Key takeaways:
      • Add 7’ asphalt to the south side of existing pavement
      • Add 3’ asphalt to the north side of existing pavement
      • Recenter the travel lanes
      • Create two (2) five (5) foot bike lanes on either side of the road

DOT informed us the cost of the has significantly increased by almost 30%
The good news is that our portion is only an additional $23,000 so far

Bike Lane Letters (04/21/22)
Town staff contacted the Department of Transportation after numerous homeowners reached out to us concerned that they had not received a letter with information on the upcoming bike lane/paving project. We were advised that only those property owners whose property is adjacent to the proposed bike lane construction where that construction intersects the Ocean Erodible Area of Environmental Concern (jurisdiction of NC Division of Coastal Management) have been sent the certified letter/attachments. This is only a small portion of the project area (approximately 150 properties) so don’t be concerned if you did not receive a letter. Those property owners that have received the certified letter/attachments can follow the instructions in the letter if they would like to contact someone about the project.

Previously reported – March 2021
David provided the Board with a memo summarizing the information that he gathered since the last meeting. That memo was not included in the agenda packet. He reviewed the process, timeline, and financing. DOT informed him that if we are interested that we need to stay engaged with them. The public has said that they are in favor of having bike lanes. The project is an improvement worth the expenditure especially if we can get help with the funding through grants. They decided to give the project a green light and have David work to keep moving the project forward.

Previously reported – February 2021
Engineer’s estimate for bike lanes are as follows:
Ocean Boulevard West / 5.00 miles / @$1,208,941
Ocean Boulevard East / 1.15 miles / @$403,972

NCDOT now has adequately funding so the resurfacing program for OBW which is scheduled for the spring of 2022. Bike lanes are being proposed on both sides of the road, which will add five feet on each side. This should be coordinated with resurfacing project that is tentatively scheduled already. Our cost would be $1,612,913 which hopefully at least a portion of would be offset by grants. DOT requested verbal feedback in the next 60 days, indicating whether we want to participate in adding bike lanes to the project.


Corrections & Amplifications –

 


Ocean Isle Beach terminal groin
Leaders in Ocean Isle Beach have been working for years to preserve the coastline and stave of beach erosion at the end of the island. They have the necessary federal and state permits to build a 1,050-foot terminal groin, 300 feet of which will be a sheet-pile, shore-anchorage section. After nearly twenty (20) years of legislative work and lawsuits, contractors have begun building a terminal groin. A terminal groin is a wall-like structure built perpendicular to shore, that traps some of the sand to better secure the beachfront. The entire project is expected to cost more than eleven (11) million dollars, which the town is paying for with accommodations tax money.

Terminal Groin Project Updates
Stay up-to-date with the latest progress of the long-awaited Terminal Groin Project at Ocean Isle Beach!

We aim to update this page on a weekly basis with photos and status reports.

Terminal Groin Marine Mattress and Stone Placement Progress Map (Click HERE)

Construction Phases:

PHASE 1 – Construction of the lower portion of the terminal groin, working from the landward point of the stone structure out into the water and up to elevation +2 ft NAVD88 (basically Mean High Water). During this phase, all of the marine mattress foundation will be installed as well as all of the stone for the lower portion of the structure. As the construction progresses, CDC (Coastal Design and Construction) will place large rubber mats on top of the stone so that the excavator can work from on top of the structure.

PHASE 2 – Once Phase 1 is complete, CDC will begin placing the top layer of stone at the seaward end of the structure and working back towards shore.

PHASE 3 – Prior to completing Phase 2, CDC’s subcontractor (McLean) will begin the installation of the sheet pile wall and concrete cap, working from North to South.

PROJECT STATUS REPORTS – February 23, 2022
The Marine Mattress installation of the Terminal Groin (Phase 1) was completed on February 14, 2022, two weeks ahead of project schedule. This included the installation of 516 Marine Mattresses for a total of 57,325 square feet. These marine mattresses complete the 750-foot length of the terminal groin rubble mound section. The placement of armor stone on the top of these mattresses will now begin. The contractor has advised that the subcontractor plans to mobilize to the site on February 28, 2022, to begin the sheet pile installation operations (Phase 2) of the project.

PROJECT STATUS REPORTS – March 8, 2022
The Town has made a request to the USACE for additional sand in the amount of 5,000 cy to be stockpiled at Shallotte Blvd for the purpose of filling in areas around the dune crossovers and to cover sandbags. The Town plans to install sand fencing and vegetation following the completion of the USACE CSRM project primarily along the sand bagged portion of the  shoreline.

For more information » click here



 

Hurricane Vehicle Decals
Property owners will be provided with four (4) decals which will be included in their water bills. It is important that you place your decals on your vehicles immediately to avoid misplacing them. Decals will not be issued in the 24-hour period before an anticipated order of evacuation.

The decals are your passes to get back onto the island to check your property in the event an emergency would necessitate restricting access to the island. Decals must be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the windshield, where they are not obstructed by any other items. Officials must be able to clearly read the decal from outside the vehicle. Please note that re-entry will NOT be allowed if a current, intact decal is not affixed to the windshield as designated.

EVACUATION, CURFEW & DECALS

What is a State of Emergency?
A proclamation by the Town which enacts special ordinances and/or prohibitions during emergency situations to protect the public, public health and property. These prohibitions can include limitations on movement, curfews, directing of evacuations, controlling ingress and egress to the emergency area, alcoholic beverages, and more. State of Emergencies are issued in accordance with N.C.G.S. 166A-19.22.

What is a curfew?
A curfew is an order, typically during a State of Emergency, which requires all persons in the affected areas to remain on their own property. During a curfew, you are not free to move about public domain areas or on others’ property. Violations of a curfew could lead to arrest in certain situations.

What is a voluntary evacuation?
A voluntary evacuation creates a recommendation for all parties in the affected area to get their affairs in order hastily and evacuated.

What is a mandatory evacuation?
A mandatory evacuation means you must leave the area in which an order has been issued. With recent changes to the laws in North Carolina, you no longer have the option of staying in an area under an order of mandatory evacuation.

Why is the sewer system turned off during a storm/event?
Often the sewer system is turned off during storms which have the potential to create significant flooding on the island. The system is turned off to protect its integrity. If it were left on, it could pose a significant threat to the public health. When the system is manually shut down, it also greatly reduces the time needed to bring it back up after an event which equates to getting residents and guests back on the Island much faster.

Why is there a delay for decal holders to get back on the island once a storm ends?
After a storm, many things must occur before even limited access can be allowed. Some of those things include making sure the streets are passable; the sewer system must be restarted to comply with State laws; the utilities (water, sewer, electricity, propane supplies) must be checked to ensure no safety risk are present; and the post-storm damage assessment team needs to perform an initial assessment.

Where can I get up-to-date information during and after a storm or State of Emergency?
You can sign up for the Town email service by clicking here. The newsletter, along with the Town’s website will be the main sources of information during an emergency situation. Links to the Town’s official Facebook and Twitter pages can be found on the website. You can also download our app for Apple and Android phones by accessing the app store on your smart phone and searching Holden Beach.

Please refrain from calling Town Hall and Police Department phone lines with general information questions. These lines need to remain open for emergencies, storm management and post-storm mitigation. All updates concerning re-entry, general access, etc. may be found on the Town’s website and other media outlets.

Why do I see others moving about the island during a curfew?
If a curfew order is in place, you must stay on your own property. You may see many other vehicles moving about the Island. We often receive assistance from other local, state, federal and contract personnel during events. It is likely these are the personnel you are seeing, and they are involved in the mitigation process for the event. Please do not assume that a curfew order has been lifted and/or you are free to move about the island.

Can I check my friends’ property for them?
If a curfew order is in place, you may ONLY travel to your personally owned property. Traveling about the Island to check on others’ property is not allowed. is in place, you may ONLY travel to your personally owned property. Traveling about

Who can obtain decals?
Only property owners and businesses who service the island can obtain a decal.

How do I get decals for my vehicle…?

If I am an owner?
Decals will be mailed out in water bills to property owners before the season starts. Those owners who need additional decals can contact Town Hall. A fee may apply, please check the current fee schedule.

If I am a renter?
You must contact the owner of the property to obtain a decal.

If I am a business owner on the Island?
You must contact Town Hall to obtain a decal.

If I am a business owner off the Island that provides services on the Island?
You must contact Town Hall for eligibility and to obtain a decal.

When does my decal expire?
All decals expire on the last day of the calendar year as indicated on the decal.

Where do I put my decal on my car?
Decals must be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the windshield, where they are not obstructed by any other items to include window tinting, other decals, etc. Officials must be able to clearly read the decal from outside the vehicle. Please note that re-entry will not be allowed if a current, intact decal is not affixed to the windshield as designated.

How do I replace a decal if I get a new vehicle?
If you trade a vehicle or otherwise need a replacement decal, you may obtain them from Town Hall during normal business hours. A fee may apply, check the current fee schedule.

Can I obtain a decal right before an emergency occurs?
While most of the storms we deal with are tropical in nature with some type of advanced warning, we do experience many other types of events that could create a State of Emergency without warning. All eligible parties should obtain decals as early as possible each year to avoid being denied access to the Island. Decals shall not be issued during the 24-hour period prior to an anticipated order of evacuation so staff can concentrate on properly preparing the Town for the storm/event.

Can I use a tax bill or another document for re-entry?
No. You MUST have a decal to re-enter the Island until it is open to the general public.

How does re-entry after a storm during a State of Emergency work?
The bridge is closed to all vehicle access, except for official vehicles. Once those with proper decals are allowed access, they must conform with the current rules in place by the specific State of Emergency Order. After all hazards have been rendered safe, the bridge will be opened to the general public. A curfew could remain in effect however, to ensure the safety and security of the Island and its residents and guests. Please understand this process typically takes days to evolve and could be significantly longer, depending on the amount of damage sustained. Please refrain from calling for times for re-entry, as those are often not set on schedule. Instead, stay tunes to local media outlets and official social media accounts for accurate updates.

How can I check on my property if access is limited to the Island?
Once it is safe, property owners with valid decals will be allowed back on the Island after a storm/event. At this point, you can travel to your property, in accordance with the rules of the specific State of Emergency Order currently in place.

If you live out of the area, please do not travel to the Island until you are certain you will be allowed access. Stay tuned to those media outlets and email services that are of official nature for this information. Also, be certain you have your current, valid decal properly affixed to your vehicle.

It is a good idea to be sure your contact information is current with the Town tax office as this is the location Town officials will use in the event you need to be contacted.
For more information » click here

NC General Statute 166A-19.22
Power of municipalities and counties to enact ordinances to deal with states of emergency.

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

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


Turtle Watch Program –                                                      

Turtle Watch Program – 2022

    • The first nest of the 2021season was on May 8th
    • Average annual number of nests is 39.5

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


Holden Beach Turtle Watch meeting launches season
Members of the Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program (HBTWP) held their annual meeting recently at the Holden Beach Chapel. This meeting marked the official beginning of the turtle season for 2022. Members will begin patrolling Holden Beach early mornings in May in search of mother turtle crawls. Last year, the first mother visited Holden Beach on May 8. During the 2021 season, there were 68 turtle nests on Holden Beach with 8,191 known turtle eggs and 6,200 hatchlings went into the ocean. Special guest at this meeting was Jasmine Pier re from Fayetteville. She is this year’s recipient of The Judith C. Bryan, Holden Beach Turtle Watch Fellowship in Marine Biology. Pierre has a Bachelor of Science in marine biology and oceanography and is currently working on a master’s degree at UNCW. Her master’s thesis topic is on diamondback terrapins. This $5,000 fellowship at UNCW was created by the Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program to honor Judith Bryan, the founder of the HBTWP and is intended to assist graduate students in marine biology. Bryan, currently an honorary member of the HBTWP, lives on Holden Beach. Seven new members were welcomed at this meeting. These members completed extensive training last summer with the Turtle Patrol. They are Sharon Binis, John Cain, Kim Crooks, Terre Huffstetler, Bonita McNeil, Sharon Price, and Barb Taylor. Nineteen new trainees will begin this summer. John Cifelli was  reelected president of the board and Nikki Hutchison was re-elected secretary. Other board members include Lois Palermo, member-at-large; MaryK McGinley, treasurer; and Pat Cusack, project coordinator. The HBTWP or Turtle Patrol as it is usually referred to, was founded in 1989 to monitor and protect the sea turtle population on Holden Beach. This all volunteer, nonprofit conservation organization operates under the authority of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (ES Permit 21ST11).

For more information on the HBTWP, go to http://www.hbturtlewatch.org/
Beacon

Holden Beach Turtle Watch makes a splash with new shirts
The Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program, also known as the “Turtle Patrol,” has hatched and released its new 2022 shirts now available for sale. This year’s shirt celebrates first recorded Kemp’s Ridley nest on Holden Beach. This special nest was laid on May 8, 2021. Not only was this the first Kemp’s Ridley nest on Holden Beach, but it was also the first nest to be laid in North Carolina last season. Kemp’s Ridley is the smallest of the five kinds of sea turtles that lay nests in North Carolina. This species, which usually nests further north in the Outer Banks, is the most threatened species of sea turtles that nest in North Carolina. The nest hatched on July 14, 2021, with 87 hatchlings. The art on the shir t reproduces a photo taken by turtle patrol member Corki Jar vis as these Kemp’s Ridley hatchlings scampered into the ocean. The shirt is 90% cotton and 10% polyester and gray in color. The design is on the back and the HBTWP logo on the front. Shirts are currently available for sale at the Lighthouse Gift Shop on the causeway in Holden Beach. Shirts are also available to purchase by mail through the HBTWP website at http://www.hbturtlewatch.org/. The 2022 turtle season will begin on Holden Beach on May 1 when members will begin patrolling the island each morning looking for signs of a mother turtle. Turtle season runs through October. The HBTWP will be conducting educational programs starting June 29. Children’s Turtle Time will be at 4 p.m. each Wednesday through Aug. 3. This program is designed for children 3 to 6 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Turtle Talk will also begin on June 29 at 7 p.m. and will take place each Wednesday through Aug. 17. Turtle Talk is appropriate for all ages. This program focuses on the life cycle of the sea turtle and how the HBTWP aides in the preservation of sea turtles. Several turtle artifacts will be on display for viewing and informational handouts will be available. Both programs are free of charge and will take place at Holden Beach Chapel. The 2002 HBTWP shirt will be on sale at both events. The annual shirt sale is the major fundraising activity for the turtle patrol. Each year, there is a different shirt.
Beacon


Odds & Ends –


A dozen planned developments could double the population of commercially focused Shallotte
In a growing trend of increased residential development in the town of Shallotte, a 12-building, 366-unit apartment complex will soon be coming to the banks of the Shallotte River. The 112-acre development, The Tides at Shallotte, will be built in two phases on Smith Avenue and Edgewater Drive, just south of the Coastal Walk Marketplace and Shallotte Crossing commercial centers. The area, just off the town’s main street, is dotted with chain restaurants and big box outlets anchored by national retailers like Walmart, Home Depot, and Marshalls. The first phase, expected to take three years to complete, will build out the first nine buildings with 294 units, a community clubhouse, and open space recreation like grilling gazebos and fire pits. The second phase will include the final three buildings with 102 units, and a publicly accessible,10-foot-wide multi-use path on the development’s western end, which could be connected to the Shallotte Riverwalk park project. The second phase is expected to take an additional year to complete. Originally zoned for Highway Business, the property was partially rezoned and granted a special use permit to allow multifamily housing last year. Part of the west end of the property is zoned for conservation and won’t be developed. While Shallotte has typically been a centrally located commercial hub, particularly for beach towns, planning director Robert Waring said the town has seen some major residential developments interest in recent years. The town has 12 residential projects approved or nearing approval that will add 2,200 housing units to Shallotte, doubling its housing stock and population over the next few years. Another 10 projects in the early planning stages could bring 1,300 more units. “At minimum, we’re essentially about to double the size of Shallotte,” Mayor Walt Eccard said. “It may be even two-and-a-half or three times that, depending on how many people per unit come in.”  Eccard said while all of Brunswick County is growing rapidly, the town has particularly benefited from its central location, developed business community, proximity to beaches, and abundance of available land. He said the pandemic has pushed people away from larger cities as well, making a rural town at the crossroads of two metropolitan areas an attractive location. The town was recently named one of the 50 best places to work from home thanks to its location, internet availability and housing affordability. The growth will bring an additional need for emergency responders, town staff, and infrastructure improvements, Eccard said. “In terms of other services, we’ve just completed our Riverwalk, and we’re expanding Mulberry Park, so we’re well on the way to adding recreational facilities and keeping up with these new residents,” he said. Town officials will discuss how to deal with the potential doubling of the Shallotte at their April annual retreat. One of the biggest challenges will be how to prepare for the anticipated growth before the tax base to support infrastructure improvements and staffing increases has moved in. “It’s a huge change and we’re delighted with it,” Eccard said. “But we’ve got to be careful in our community and prepare now because if we don’t provide good services for the people who come in, that’s going to kill growth.”
Read more » click here


Brunswick County approves Holden Beach mixed-use development owned by Ocean Isle Beach mayor
The Brunswick County Planning Board approved a 109-acre mixed-use planned development that will bring nearly 200 homes to mainland Holden Beach. The development, Holden Beach Landing, is owned by an LLC managed by Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Sloan Smith. Holden Beach Landing will add 186 single-family housing units to the area off Holden Beach Road and Stanbury Road, across from the Holden Beach Driving Range. According to Brunswick County Senior Planner Marc Pages, the planning board and nearby residents had concerns about the development’s stormwater system, a common complaint about planned developments in the county. The approval came with the conditions that the stormwater system will be upgraded to accommodate a 25-year storm event instead of the 10-year storm event requirement. Pages said county staff is in the process of making a 25-year storm event attenuation the new minimum standard, with a 25-year-plus designation for developments in areas prone to flooding. The developer will also reroute the pre-existing ditches and streams on the property — Stanbury Run and Bell Branch — in accordance with regulations. The development includes about 3.3 acres of commercial-zoned space on Holden Beach Road. There are no proposals for what will be done with that area, according to the planning documents. Due to residents’ concerns about increased traffic on Holden Beach Road, a traffic impact analysis will be conducted when school is in session. The analysis will take into account a proposed temporary campground adjacent to the development and could lead to adding a turn lane on Holden Beach Road if the N.C. Department of Transportation deems it necessary. According to planning documents, the development is expected to add 1,780 vehicle trips to the area per 24-hour weekday volume.
Read more » click here


Over 3,000 acres could be rezoned to higher density by Brunswick planning board
The Brunswick County planning board will consider rezoning more than 3,100 acres near Carolina Shores from rural low density residential to medium density residential, potentially paving the way for a planned development. The mostly vacant, forested land just north of Carolina Shores spans roughly from Ash-Little River Road NW east to Gwynn Road NW, and from No. 5 School Road NW north to just south of Etheridge Road NW. The rezoning was originally scheduled for last month but was pulled by the applicant. The newest iteration added 17 acres, bringing the total to 3,124 across 13 parcels. If rezoned, it would allow the developer to build up to 5.8 units per acre rather than the 2.9 units per acre allowed in its current zoning. According to county property records, the land is mostly owned by S Longwood LLC. The owners could not be reached for comment. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 11 in the David R. Sandifer Administration Building located at 30 Government Center Drive in Bolivia. If approved, the land could house the largest planned development by acreage in the county, eclipsing the 2,000-acre Compass Pointe development, which brought in nearly 6,000 housing units, and the 1,200-acre Rice Creek development, which is expected to add 3,400 housing units. According to Chad Hicks, Carolina Shores town administrator, despite more developments being proposed in the area in recent years, the town hasn’t seen any issues from them so far. “I have heard residents and even the council raise concerns about the traffic on Thomasboro Road, there’s a lot of development over there, but the issue is more the actual speed limit,” he said. “We hear more about traffic than anything, that’s safe to say.”  In the past residents have been concerned about stormwater issues within the town, Hicks said, but those have been “mostly straightened out.” Hicks said he doesn’t expect the new homes to be a problem so long as the density within the planned developments isn’t too high. However, some of the largest projects in the area have yet to begin construction. Just last year the county approved the Stone Farm planned development, which will add 1,736 single family lots, 363 townhomes and 45 acres of commercial space just east of Carolina Shores. Located off Thomasboro and Old Georgetown roads, the 1009-acre planned development is less than two miles south of the proposed rezoning site. Another three developments approved in the vicinity last year will bring nearly 500 more homes to western Brunswick County. Together the developments are expected to add more than 3,500 more vehicles trips per 24-hour weekday volume to the area.
Read more » click here


This and That –


.

Beachcombing Guide

 

.
How to Collect Seashells
“It helps to have a search image in your mind,” says José H. Leal, the science director and curator at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum in Florida. Research ahead of time what kind of mollusks you might encounter so that your eyes are primed to pick out specific shapes and colors. Leal has collected seashells since he was a boy in Rio de Janeiro. On his first trip to New York, in his 20s, he was so shell-focused that he dove to the sidewalk before realizing that what he thought were small, unusual clams were actually pistachio shells. “You get fixated,” he says. Consult a tide chart; go out within an hour of low tide when the beach is most exposed. Storms tend to wash more shells ashore in the winter months. In popular shelling destinations such as Sanibel Island, near where Leal lives, collectors often search at night to avoid competition. (If turtles are nesting in the area, avoid using flashlights, which disrupt brooding females and disorient their hatchlings.) If shells are abundant, pick a spot and settle in. Rather than hoard shells, take only the most beautiful specimens of each variety. Make sure the shell is uninhabited. With the spiral-shaped gastropods, you should be able to see the creature. “A shell is usually much heavier when there’s an animal inside,” Leal says. Know the relevant regulations; many places curtail or outright ban the collection of shells, and the United States has various import restrictions, including a prohibition on queen conch shells from the Caribbean. The urge to beachcomb is natural, however. Humans have been using mollusk exoskeletons as art, adornment, currency, and tools since before we were even human beings. (Scientists recently discovered distinct hash marks on a freshwater mussel shell they believe were engraved by our extinct ancestor Homo erectus.) Still, Leal is worried about the future of marine mollusks, given how vulnerable they are to pollution and ocean acidification. Maybe your urge to collect these unoccupied calcium-carbonate dwellings can serve as a sort of gateway drug. “Once you get a love for shells,” Leal says, “I hope you learn to care about the animals that make them.”
Read more » click here


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

At the beach? Don’t pop the ‘balloons!’
We’ve definitely had some windy weather in the past few days. And on the coast, those winds bring with it an interesting sighting! The Cape Lookout National Seashore Park posted on Facebook about some very temptingly poppable-looking things that have been washing up on their beaches. These little “balloons” are gas-filled floats that keep the Man-o-War jellyfish afloat as they drift through the ocean. The winds can pick these floats up and they can wind up on the beach, but the folks at the park caution that no matter how tempting it is, you should not pop these things! “Give them a wide berth,” the Facebook post ways. These are carnivorous jellyfish and use their dangling tentacles to kill their prey. Even washed ashore, the tentacles still pack a punch, so don’t mess with the balloons! Stepping on it will hurt!
Read more » click here

Portuguese man o’ war
The man-of-War are not usually in the area unless pushed to the coast by wind and ocean currents. It is a purple-blue color and can be up to 10 inches long. The Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis),
is not a jellyfish but related to the species and is highly venomous. It has numerous venomous microscopic nematocysts which deliver a painful sting powerful enough to kill fish. Stings can result in intense joint and muscle pain, headaches, shock, collapse, faintness, hysteria, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Severe stings can occur even when the animal is beached or dead. Although it superficially resembles a jellyfish, the Portuguese man o’ war is in fact a siphonophore. Like all siphonophores, it is a colonial organism, made up of many smaller units called zooids. All zooids in a colony are genetically identical, but fulfill specialized functions such as feeding and reproduction, and together allow the colony to operate as a single individual.

 

 

Jellyfish Guide

 

 



Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


There are 6 venomous snakes in North Carolina. Know what they look like.
If it’s spring, it’s time for us to remind you about some of the slithering neighbors you might encounter when you’re outdoors over the next several months. As the weather warms up in North Carolina, snakes start moving around, doing snakey things, and we are more likely to cross paths with them. They generally aren’t cause for much concern, but encounters can be a little scary for some (for the snakes as well as the people). It’s important to know that of the 38 species of snakes in North Carolina, the majority are nonvenomous and not aggressive toward people unless threatened. Arm yourself with knowledge. Learn about the venomous (sometimes incorrectly referred to as poisonous) snakes in our area, and how to distinguish them from the harmless ones.

How to tell if a snake is venomous

What’s the head shape? A commonly shared rule of thumb is that most venomous snakes have a triangular or diamond-shaped head, while nonvenomous snakes have a tapered head.

You can’t rely on that, though. Some nonvenomous snakes (such as a rat snake) can mimic the triangular shape of venomous snakes by flattening their heads when threatened (to avoid becoming the prey of another animal), so never go by head shape alone.

Can you see its eyes? Another tricky but often shared tip is to check out the pupil shape. Venomous snakes have been said to have oblong pupils that look like a slit in the center of the eye, whereas nonvenomous snakes will have a round pupil. In fact, according to a document on the NC Wildlife website, a snake’s pupils can dilate just like a human’s, and can look round.

The best way to know if a snake is venomous is to know which venomous snakes are common in your area and know what they look like.

North Carolina’s venomous snakes

There are six venomous snakes found in North Carolina:

    • The copperhead
    • The cottonmouth (also called water moccasin)
    • The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
    • The timber rattlesnake
    • The pigmy rattlesnake
    • The Eastern coral snake

Copperhead
Copperhead snakes are the most common venomous snakes in North Carolina.

What they look like: They are brownish in color with an hourglass shaped pattern, which resembles a Hershey Kiss. Copperhead babies are born with a yellow or green tail tip, which turns brown or black after they are about a year old. Adult copperheads grow to about 3 feet long.

The bite: The Carolinas Poison Center in Charlotte says it receives about 10 times the number of calls about copperhead bites than all other snakes combined. Copperhead bites can be severe, but about half of copperhead bites result in only mild swelling and pain.

Where are they? Copperheads are found all over North Carolina.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)

 


Cottonmouth (water moccasin)

What they look like: Cottonmouth snakes have dark bands on dark or olive skin, but are most well-known for the white, cotton-like interior of their mouths.

Young cottonmouths can be lighter in color and can resemble copperheads. Juvenile cottonmouths have bright yellow or greenish tail tips, and the details of the cross-band pattern are most evident in this age group. Older cottonmouth snakes are often completely dark and with no pattern.

Adult cottonmouths grow to about 3-4 feet in length but have been known to grow to 6 feet.

The bite: The bite severity of a cottonmouth is similar to that of a copperhead.

Where are they? Cottonmouths are found mostly in the eastern part of North Carolina and prefer freshwater environments (but can also be found on land).
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)


Eastern diamondback rattlesnake

What they look like: The eastern diamondback rattlesnake has gray or yellowish skin with a dark diamond pattern outlined in black. They have large, broad heads with two light lines on the face.

The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the heaviest, though not the longest, venomous snake in the Americas, and it is the largest rattlesnake in the world. These snakes can weigh up to four or five pounds and typically grow to about 4-5 feet in length (the largest ever recorded was 8 feet long).

These snakes are known for the bone-chilling rattle sound they make.

The bite: Bites from rattlesnakes are more severe than bites from copperheads or cottonmouths, and are considered a medical emergency.

Where are they? They are found in the southeastern parts of North Carolina, preferring sandy, coastal regions.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center, Savannah River Ecology Lab)


Pigmy rattlesnake

What they look like: Pigmy rattlesnakes have gray, pinkish or red skin with a dark, spotted pattern. They grow only to about 1-2 feet in length.

Pigmy rattlesnakes do rattle, but the rattle sounds more like a buzz.

The bite: Bites from rattlesnakes are more severe than copperheads or cottonmouths and are considered a medical emergency.

Where are they? These snakes are found in the southeastern part of North Carolina, particularly in forests.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)


Timber rattlesnake

What they look like: The timber rattlesnake can vary in color but has dark bands on lighter skin with a rattle at the end of its tail. Coastal varieties have what looks like a brown or orange “racing stripe” down the middle of the back.

Timber rattlesnakes grow to about 4 feet in length.

The bite: Bites from rattlesnakes are more severe than copperheads or cottonmouths and are considered a medical emergency.

Where are they? Timber rattlesnakes can be found throughout North Carolina, preferring forests.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)


Eastern coral snake

Coral snakes are actually extremely rare in North Carolina and are considered endangered, but they are quite venomous.

What they look like: These snakes are slender with red, yellow, and black rings. The coral snake closely resembles the scarlet kingsnake (which is harmless), but there’s an easy way to tell them apart. Just remember this rhyme: “Red touches black, friend of Jack; red touches yellow, kills a fellow.”

Another way to tell a scarlet kingsnake from a coral snake is by the color of its snout. A scarlet kingsnake has a red snout, and a coral snake has a black snout.

A coral snake’s snout is also blunt shaped, especially compared to most snakes.

The bite: Coral snake venom attacks the central nervous system, and death, if it occurs, is usually the result of respiratory failure.

Where are they? Coral snakes live in sandy areas nearer the South Carolina border and stay underground most of the time.
(Source: Herps of NC)


If you have been bitten by a snake, you SHOULD:

Sit down and stay calm.

Gently wash the bite area with warm, soapy water.

Remove any jewelry or tight clothing near the bite site.

Keep the bitten area still, if possible, and raise it to heart level.

Call the Carolinas Poison Center: 1-800-222-1222.

Note: If a snakebite victim is having chest pain, difficulty breathing, face swelling or has lost consciousness, call 911 immediately.


If bitten by a snake, you SHOULD NOT:

Cut the bitten area to try to drain the venom. This can worsen the injury.

Ice the area. Icing causes additional tissue damage.

Apply a tourniquet or any tight bandage. It’s actually better for the venom to flow through the body than for it to stay in one area.

Suck on the bite or use a suction device to try to remove the venom.

Attempt to catch or kill the snake.

Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for questions about a snake bite or for more information.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)

Read more » click here


Hot Button Issues

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


Climate
For more information » click here

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


5 Takeaways From the U.N. Report on Limiting Global Warming
Current pledges to cut emissions, even if nations follow through on them, won’t stop temperatures from rising to risky new levels.
Nations are not doing nearly enough to prevent global warming from increasing to dangerous levels within the lifetimes of most people on Earth today, according to a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of researchers convened by the United Nations. Limiting the devastation won’t be easy, but it also isn’t impossible if countries act now, the report says. The panel produces a comprehensive overview of climate science once every six to eight years. It splits its findings into three reports. The first, on what’s driving global warming, came out last August. The second, on climate change’s effects on our world and our ability to adapt to them, was released in February. This is No. 3, on how we can cut emissions and limit further warming.

Without swift action, we’re headed for trouble.
The report makes it clear: Nations’ current pledges to curb greenhouse-gas emissions most likely will not stop global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, within the next few decades. And that’s assuming countries follow through. If they don’t, even more warming is in store. That target — to prevent the average global temperature from increasing by 1.5 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels — is one many world governments have agreed to pursue. It sounds modest. But that number represents a host of sweeping changes that occur as greenhouse gases trap more heat on the planet’s surface, including deadlier storms, more intense heat waves, rising seas and extra strain on crops. Earth has already warmed about 1.1 degrees Celsius on average since the 19th century.

Emissions are tied to economic growth and income.
So far, the world isn’t becoming more energy-efficient quickly enough to balance out continued growth in global economic activity, the report says. Carbon dioxide emissions from factories, cities, buildings, farms and vehicles increased in the 2010s, outweighing the benefits from power plants’ switching to natural gas from coal and using more renewable sources such as wind and solar. On the whole, it is the richest people and wealthiest nations that are heating up the planet. Worldwide, the richest 10 percent of households are responsible for between a third to nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report. The poorest 50 percent of households contribute around 15 percent of emissions.

Clean energy has become more affordable.
The prices of solar and wind energy, and electric vehicle batteries, have dropped significantly since 2010, the report finds. The result is that it may now be “more expensive” in some cases to maintain highly polluting energy systems than to switch to clean sources, the report says. In 2020, solar and wind provided close to 10 percent of the world’s electricity. Average worldwide emissions grew much more slowly in the 2010s than they did in the 2000s, partly because of greater use of green energy. It wasn’t obvious to scientists that this would happen so swiftly. In a 2011 report on renewables, the same panel noted that technological advances would probably make green energy cheaper, though it said it was hard to predict how much.

Still, altering the climate path won’t be easy or cheap.
The world needs to invest three to six times what it’s currently spending on mitigating climate change if it wants to limit global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius, the report says. Money is particularly short in poorer countries, which need trillions of dollars of investment each year this decade. As nations drop fossil fuels, some economic disruption is inevitable, the report notes. Resources will be left in the ground unburned; mines and power plants will become financially unviable. The economic impact could be in the trillions of dollars, the report says. Even so, simply keeping planned and existing fossil-fuel infrastructure up and running will pump enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to make it impossible to keep warming below 1.5 degrees, the report says.

There are other steps that could help and wouldn’t break the bank.
The report looks at a host of other changes to societies that could reduce emissions, including more energy-efficient buildings, more recycling and more white-collar work going remote and virtual. These changes do not have to be economy-dampening chores, the report emphasizes. Some, like better public transit and more walkable urban areas, have benefits for air pollution and overall well-being, said Joyashree Roy, an economist at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok who contributed to the report. “People are demanding more healthy cities and greener cities,” she said. In all, steps that would cost less than $100 per ton of carbon dioxide saved could lower global emissions to about half the 2019 level by 2030, the report says. Other steps remain pricier, such as capturing more of the carbon dioxide from the gases that pour from smokestacks at power plants, the report says. The world also needs to remove carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere. Planting more trees is pretty much the only way this is being done at large scale right now, the report says. Other methods, like using chemicals to extract atmospheric carbon or adding nutrients to the oceans to stimulate photosynthesis in tiny marine plants, are still in early development. “We cannot ignore how much technology can help,” said Joni Jupesta, an author of the report with the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth in Kyoto, Japan. “Not every country has a lot of natural resources.”
Read more » click here 


.

Flood Insurance Program
For more information » click here
.


National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On March 11, 2022, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to March 15, 2022.

Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP
by no later than 11:59 pm on September 30, 2022


The NFIP: Solving Congress’s Samaritan’s Dilemma
Lawmakers’ commitment to a subsidy‐​free system has been imperfect from the beginning, and they have backslid in recent years.

Conclusion
Federal flood insurance arose as a policy device with two purposes: to reduce the use of post‐​disaster congressional appropriations for disaster relief and to impose the cost of rebuilding on the owners through premiums. This has been partially successful. The percentage of pre‐​FIRM structures receiving subsidized coverage has fallen from 75 percent in 1978 to 13 percent in 2018. But some degree of taxpayer subsidy remains and has recently grown. After Hurricane Sandy and subsequent FEMA flood map updating, Congress protected owners from rate increases by grandfathering structures so that they now pay rates that are below actuarially fair levels in relation to the specifics of their flood zones and the degree to which they are elevated above the floodplain. Moreover, enforcement of the elevation requirement is spotty at best. The appearance in recent years of private flood insurance may seem to be a hopeful sign that federal flood policy is moving toward something more consistent with the nation’s ethos. However, these insurers’ entry into the market appears to be the product of cross subsidies within the federal program, not an overall move to replace government protection with private insurance coverage. Once the overcharged properties have largely been moved out of the NFIP and in to private coverage, the remaining policies will likely be explicitly subsidized—either with direct aid following a disaster or with government subsidies to purchase private insurance. It is unclear whether that would be better than the current system. The existence of private flood reinsurance suggests that claims about the impossibility of private provision of flood insurance are incorrect. But even if that’s true, there is still the question of whether property owners who currently receive cross subsidies for their waterfront properties are willing to pay actuarially fair rates—and what happens if they do not and then are struck by floodwaters. The NFIP raises other important policy questions. Is the 50 percent “substantially damaged and substantially improved” trigger the right threshold to require property owners to elevate their buildings above BFE? What should be done about the poor enforcement of the BFE requirement? There is also the question of what—if anything—to do about structures that predate federal flood insurance, do not have mortgages, and do not purchase federal flood insurance. Ideally, these structures should present no policy problems at all: their owners are neither asking for nor receiving subsidy and are bearing the cost of their risk taking; moreover, the emergence of a private flood insurance market may provide them with products that they do find attractive. If neither they nor policymakers are time‐​inconsistent on this arrangement, these property owners should be allowed to continue to choose and bear flood risks. But even they receive indirect subsidy through federal grants for local infrastructure following disasters. In short, the NFIP was an important decision by Congress to move away from providing ad hoc disaster aid to flood victims at taxpayer expense. But lawmakers’ commitment to a subsidy‐​free system has been imperfect from the beginning, and they have backslid further from that in recent years. The NFIP needs to reembrace the goal of insureds paying actuarially fair premiums. Hopefully, the recent appearance of private flood insurers in the marketplace will help with this and not merely cherry‐​pick cross subsidies in the current system. More hopefully, these private insurers will not suffer the financial wipeout that felled their predecessors a century ago.
Read more » click here


 

GenX
For more information » click here

..

.Chemours to further limit GenX emissions, add more testing
Chemours has agreed to further limit GenX emissions, conduct additional testing and pay the six-figure penalty assessed last year by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality. The Division of Air Quality and Chemours signed a settlement agreement Tuesday requiring Chemours to reduce GenX emissions from the carbon adsorber unit, an emissions control device, in the vinyl ethers north manufacturing area to no more than an average of 1 pound per month between May and September of this year. Fugitive emissions from the vinyl ethers north area are primarily controlled by the carbon adsorber unit, which is a separate system from the onsite thermal oxidizer.  Chemours’ facility-wide emissions are limited to 23.027 pounds per year under the current air permit. Chemours also is required to take additional actions this year to reduce emissions, including installing new process and emission control equipment. The company must follow a rigorous schedule of stack tests to measure how well the carbon adsorber unit at vinyl ethers north is controlling emissions. Chemours will also pay in full the $305,000 penalty, which the Division of Air Quality assessed last year after finding Chemours was in violation of the stringent GenX emission requirements of its air permit, which requires Chemours to limit its total GenX emissions to 23.027 pounds per year, using a rolling 12-month calculation. This limit equates to a 99% reduction from GenX emissions in 2017. Excess GenX emissions in March 2021 resulted in noncompliance with the rolling 12-month limits from March through September of last year. In October 2021, the division issued a written Notice of Violation and Notice of Recommendation for Enforcement to Chemours. DAQ noted the Carbon Adsorber Unit was not properly operated or maintained for 26 days following its March 9, 2021, stack test. Chemours filed a Petition for a Contested Case Hearing in response to DAQ’s civil assessment. Today’s settlement resolves DAQ’s civil penalty and Chemours’ petition. Lisa Randall, regional communications lead for Chemours provided Coastal Review with the following statement: “Chemours has reached an agreement with NCDEQ regarding the agency’s 2021 notice of violation (NOV) for exceeding the 12-month rolling average for Fayetteville Works’ site HFPO-DA air emissions. Chemours has agreed to pay the $305,000 civil penalty assessed by the agency and will also dismiss its administrative appeal of the NOV. Chemours has also agreed to take additional steps toward reducing air emissions. NCDEQ has agreed to not issue additional NOVs related to the rolling calculation for the remainder of the 12-month period as long as agreed-to-emission limits are met. Chemours continues to make progress on all requirements of the Consent Order agreement with NCDEQ and Cape Fear River Watch and remains committed to being a leader in reducing PFAS emissions.”
Read more » click here 


  •  

    Homeowners Insurance
    For more information » click here

     


  •  

  • Hurricane Season
    For more information » click here
    ..

Scientists predict seventh straight above-average hurricane season
Researchers at Colorado State University are calling for 19 named Atlantic storms, including nine hurricanes
Researchers at Colorado State University are calling for the seventh consecutive above-average Atlantic hurricane season. The scientists, who study large-scale features of the atmosphere and the ocean, are already spotting signs that point to a season even busier than that of 2021. It’s their 39th year issuing preseason forecasts. Their outlook, published Thursday morning, calls for 19 named storms, compared with a recent average of 14.4. The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season produced 21 named storms, third most on record, exhausting all of the names of the National Hurricane Center’s conventional naming list. Although Colorado State is predicting two fewer storms this year, it is calling for a more active season in terms of metrics that take into account storm intensity and duration. “The team predicts that 2022 hurricane activity will be about 130% of the average season from 1991-2020,” the outlook states. “By comparison, 2021’s hurricane activity was about 120% of the average season.” The outlook also calls for a 71 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall somewhere on U.S. soil. Major hurricanes are those that reach Category 3 strength or greater, containing maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or more. The risk of a major hurricane along the East and Gulf coasts and in the Caribbean is substantially elevated, compared with the 1990 to 2020 average, the outlook said. Unusually warm sea surface temperatures and the lack of an El Niño pattern are among the factors influencing the university’s outlook. The team uses a statistical model based on 25 to 40 years’ worth of data.

What to expect
The past five years have featured a slew of landfalling major hurricanes — eight to be exact. Harvey, Irma, and Maria terrorized the United States in 2017, Florence and Category 5 Michael lashed the nation in 2018, Laura and Zeta in 2020 and Ida in 2021. Since 2016, a half-dozen Category 5 hurricanes have roamed the Atlantic. Every year since 2016 has fallen into the anomalously active or hyperactive categories from a standpoint of ACE, or Accumulated Cyclone Energy — a measure of how much energy storms expend on their winds. By the books, hurricane season starts on June 1, but NOAA has considered shifting the advertised start date to May 15 in the face of recent trends and early season tempests.

The Colorado State outlook, headed by researcher Philip Klotzbach, calls for the following:

    • 19 named storms, including tropical storms and hurricanes. The average for a season is 14.4. It’s worth noting that named storms can occur anywhere in the Atlantic basin, and the number has no bearing on how many make landfall — or where.
    • 9 hurricanes, more than the seasonal average of 7.2. Hurricanes have winds of 74 mph or greater.
    • 4 major hurricanes, or those whose winds reach Category 3 strength or greater. That’s more than the average of 3.2 major Atlantic hurricanes per season.
    • A 47 percent chance that the East Coast gets hit by a major hurricane, with a 46 percent chance for the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, Tex. That’s more than 1.5 times the average likelihood.

The average ACE for a season is also 132, but this year Klotzbach and his team are predicting hurricanes will rack up 160 units of ACE. That’s 21 percent more than a typical season.

Why an active season?
No matter how you slice it, Atlantic hurricane season 2022 is looking to be extra busy. Why? The Colorado State researchers cite a lack of El Niño. Currently, a La Niña is dominating weather patterns across the Western Hemisphere. Characterized by a cooling of water temperatures in the east tropical Pacific, La Niña weakens high-altitude winds from the east in the tropical Atlantic. That reduces wind shear, or a change of wind speed and/or direction with height. Wind shear has a tendency to tear apart fledgling tropical systems, so a lack of wind shear can encourage nascent storms to blossom. A dearth of wind shear is integral in supporting the rapid intensification of tropical systems. Hurricane researcher Kim Wood, an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University, was not surprised by the forecast. In a recent paper, she, Klotzbach and colleagues analyzed hurricane activity over the past 32 years and found conditions have leaned more toward a La Niña state, which has aided active hurricane seasons in recent years in the North Atlantic. La Niña conditions were present in 2020 and 2021, bolstering very active seasons with destructive Category 4 hurricanes such as Iota, which slammed Central America, and Ida, which caused massive destruction along the Gulf Coast of the United States. However, the fact that La Niña could persist for a third year in a row is very rare. In fact, a La Niña three-peat has occurred only twice before in record-keeping back to 1950. Projections call for La Niña to weaken and relax to “ENSO-neutral” conditions during the summertime — but, so long as El Niño doesn’t materialize to kick up wind shear, an average or above-average season should prevail. Sea surface temperatures across the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean are running a general 1 to 5 degrees above average, too, which translates to considerably more “ocean heat content” to fuel tropical systems. Of course, it remains to be seen whether waters remain that unusually warm in the months ahead. Low wind shear and unusually warm waters could later prove a recipe for rapidly intensifying storms. Wood and her colleagues found high-end rapid intensification events, during which tropical cyclones increased by at least 57 mph (50 knots) in 24 hours, have increased significantly in frequency over the past three decades — probably caused in large part by human-induced climate change. Researchers also previously found climate change has caused hurricanes to move slower and drop more rain in a concentrated area, such as the case with Hurricane Florence in North Carolina in 2018 or Harvey in Texas in 2017. Rising sea levels also worsen storm surges, which can cause more flooding and infrastructure damage. “More and more people are living close to the coast, and thus we’re just increasing our vulnerability to these storms,” Wood said. “Even if there’s just one [storm] that makes landfall this year, that’s going to be a big one for whoever lives there.” AccuWeather, the State College, Pa.-based private forecasting company, has also issued an Atlantic hurricane season outlook and is calling for 16 to 20 named storms and six to eight hurricanes, very much in line with Colorado State. 2022s first storm, once its named, will be called Alex. Should all of the 21 names on the National Hurricane Center’s list be used, forecasters will turn to a supplemental list set of names. The supplemental list was developed after the record-setting 2020 hurricane season, in which 30 named storms formed, forcing forecasters to use Greek letters after 21 storms had earned names. Colorado State has evaluated the accuracy of its seasonal hurricane forecasts, made in April, since it began issuing them in 1984. Through 2013, the forecasts did not offer much predictive skill. However, it says its forecasts “have shown considerable improvement in recent years.”
Read more » click here


Know your hurricane risk, FEMA, NOAA encourage
When it comes to hurricanes, it’s important to be prepared and know your risk. That was the message federal officials delivered Wednesday during a press conference from the annual National Hurricane Conference taking place this week in Orlando, Florida. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham encouraged the public to prepare for more intense storms. The conference is a national forum for federal, state and local officials to work together to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation in the United States and Caribbean and Pacific tropical islands. Criswell explained that while the conference is an opportunity for emergency management professionals to share lessons learned from the past. More importantly, she said, it’s time to start thinking about what is going to be experienced in the future. In recent years, hurricanes have intensified, giving emergency managers less time to warn their constituents to prepare. The storms are stronger, lasting longer at higher durations over land, impacting coastal communities and inland too. This is going to continue, she said. Residents most need to understand their risk, she added. “What is the risk in the area that you are at if you are on the coast or if you are inland? And then do you have a plan to protect your family against that risk? Do you know how you’re going to evacuate? Do you know where you’re going to go? Do you know how you’re going to communicate to your family members that live outside of the area so you can let them know that you’re safe,” Criswell said. And of course, don’t forget pets. Make sure to have the same supplies you’d have for rest of your family. Graham reiterated the need for a plan. “you can’t make your plan during the storm. You’ve got to do it early,” he said, because sometimes the timeline of a tropical storm reaching land is short. “have that plan ready to go, ready to implement.” Criswell said that if relocating to a new area, learn what the risks are, such as hurricanes or tornadoes. “Individuals need to be deliberate about that. You need to understand what your risk is and if you have not been in that situation before there are a lot of resources out there,” she said, and ready.gov has a wealth of information. Graham added that if you don’t know what to do when a hurricane comes, then ask. “If you don’t know, ask … know that risk,” he said. “Because being prepared is everything.” Many don’t want to evacuate during a hurricane and that mentality is hard to change, Criswell said. “I think that we get the most increase in the level of preparedness and communities immediately after a disaster,” she said, but the longer between storms, the more comfortable residents get with the idea that they can withstand the storm. “It worries me because we are seeing right now these natural weather events that are getting more severe, they’re stronger, they’re lasting longer. They’re intensifying more rapidly. And so, where in the past maybe communities and individuals would wait things out,” she said. “We as an emergency management profession and a community we have to continue to help people understand what these threats are. We need to provide the resources for them to learn about their threats as well.” Graham pointed out the need to communicate. “You can have a perfect forecast, but it doesn’t do much good if it’s not understood and it’s not actionable.” His office has different professionals, such as meteorologists and social scientists, to help communicate. Criswell continued that there can’t be a one-size-fits-all type of messaging. For the first time last year, FEMA created a culturally specific preparedness campaign for preparedness month focusing on the Hispanic community. Graham said what worries him sometimes are areas that historically have a lot of strong storms and just because it didn’t happen in the last couple of years doesn’t mean it can’t happen this year. So, the complacency part of it is worries me.” Criswell echoed Graham, saying it’s the complacency that really worries her. “I worry about those communities and our ability again — because of the rapid intensification of these storms — our ability to get messaging out to those communities so they can make timely decisions to either evacuate or stay in place to protect their families,” she said. “We’ve got to be able to communicate to those individuals that aren’t necessarily taking it as serious as they could or should” because disasters don’t discriminate. “We all have to take it seriously. Storms are getting worse. They’re getting worse. They’re causing more destruction. They are intensifying more rapidly. We’re going to have less time to warn people so they can take appropriate measures. We’ll have to take it seriously,” she said.
Read more » click here 


 

Inlet Hazard Areas
For more information » click here.
.


.

Lockwood Folly Inlet
For more information » click here
.


.

Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling

For more information » click here
.


.

Offshore Wind Farms

For more information » click here
.


Coalition answers wind turbine questions
For more information » click here


Biden-Harris Administration Announces Wind Energy Lease Sale Offshore the Carolinas
The Department of the Interior announced today that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review and will hold a wind energy auction for two lease areas offshore the Carolinas on May 11. The lease areas cover 110,091 acres in the Carolina Long Bay area that, if developed, could result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 500,000 homes. The announcement is part of President Biden’s agenda to grow a clean energy economy that harnesses offshore wind projects to strengthen U.S. energy independence, create good-paying jobs, and lower energy bills for consumers. “The Biden-Harris administration is committed to supporting a robust clean energy economy, and the upcoming Carolina Long Bay offshore wind energy auction provides yet another excellent opportunity to strengthen the clean energy industry while creating good-paying union jobs,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “This is an historic time for domestic offshore wind energy development. We will continue using every tool in our toolbox to tackle the climate crisis, reduce our emissions to reach the President’s bold goals, and advance environmental justice.” President Biden catalyzed the offshore wind energy industry by announcing the first-ever national offshore wind energy goal, creating a clear vision for the future of this innovative industry. This goal is reinforced by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will make historic investments to build a better America with clean energy, resilient infrastructure, and strong domestic manufacturing and supply chains. The Carolina Long Bay offshore wind energy auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on one or both of the lease areas within the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area (WEA), as described in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice (FSN), which is available today in the Federal Register Reading Room. The two lease areas include similar acreage, distance to shore, and wind resource potential. The FSN includes several lease stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain, advance flexibility in transmission planning, and encourage project labor agreements. Among the stipulations announced today, BOEM will offer a 20 percent credit to bidders if they commit to invest in programs that will advance U.S. offshore wind energy workforce training or supply chain development. To advance BOEM’s communication and environmental justice goals, the leases will also require lessees to identify Tribal Nations, underserved communities, agencies, ocean users and other interested stakeholders, and report on their communication and engagement activities with these parties. These stipulations are intended to promote offshore wind energy development in a way that coexists with other ocean uses and protects the ocean environment, while also facilitating our nation’s energy future for generations to come. These innovative stipulations were embraced in the Department’s recent lease sale for the New York Bight, which set a record as the nation’s highest-grossing competitive offshore energy lease sale in history, including oil and gas lease sales. “BOEM is focused on ensuring that any development offshore North Carolina is done responsibly, in a way that avoids or minimizes potential impacts to the ocean and ocean users in the region,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “The milestones announced today mark significant progress in achieving this Administration’s goal for deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, while creating jobs and strengthening a sustainable domestic supply chain.” In November 2021, BOEM published a Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) and requested public comments on the proposed leasing of nearly 128,000 acres in the Wilmington East WEA. Based on the bureau’s review of scientific data and extensive input from the commercial fishing industry, Tribes, partnering agencies, key stakeholders, and the public, BOEM reduced the acreage available for leasing in the FSN by 14 percent from the areas proposed in the PSN to avoid conflicts with ocean users and minimize environmental impacts. BOEM will continue to engage with its partners and stakeholders as the process unfolds. In addition, this past fall the Administration announced a new leasing path forward, which identified up to seven potential lease sales by 2025, including the upcoming Carolina Long Bay lease sale and last month’s New York Bight lease sale. Lease sales offshore California and Oregon, as well as in the Central Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, and the Gulf of Mexico are expected to follow. A recent report indicates that the United States’ growing offshore wind energy industry presents a $109 billion revenue opportunity to businesses in the supply chain over the next decade. More information about the FSN, lease stipulations, the list of qualified bidders for the auction, and auction procedures can be found on BOEM’s Carolina Long Bay website.
Read more » click here


Things I Think I Think –

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

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// March 2022
Name:             Brent’s Bistro            
Cuisine:
         American Grille
Location:       7110 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington NC
Contact:         910.839.3131 /
 http://brentsbistro.com/
Food:              Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:          Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:     Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:           Three Stars
Brent’s is a small restaurant that is very unassuming from the street, the exterior store front look gives no indication of the type of restaurant inside. They have a limited menu that only offers about a dozen entrée choices. The menu changes weekly and is posted on their Facebook page. It’s a little pricey, but the food was excellent and well worth the price, so not your any-night-of-the-week restaurant. This is one of the better restaurant offerings in the area. I’d recommend that you put it on your list of places to try.


7 seasonal Brunswick County restaurants to check out as warmer weather returns
Warmer weather brings many things to our coastal community, from tourists to beach days. But a local favorite, undoubtedly, is the return of seasonal restaurants.

Here are a few such places in Brunswick County.

Provision Company, Southport
This iconic seaside seafood restaurant in Southport may be the first one that comes to mind when places start opening for the season. As of March 17, they’ve started serving peel-and-eat shrimp and cheeseburgers for the 2022 season at 130 Yacht Basin Drive.

The Boat Landing, Sunset Beach
StarNews readers can’t be wrong. Last year, this restaurant was named a favorite new addition to the food scene. Now, they’ve reopened for dinner for the 2022 season, and lunch service will resume in April at 102 Sunset Boulevard North. Have some fish tacos or fried tomatoes while taking in views of the Intracoastal waterway.

Waterfront Seafood Shack, Calabash
This is a seafood market, but also an eatery at the right time of the year — with local, wild-caught seafood that comes from their boats to your plate. They resumed their dine-in and carry-out service on March 15. Stop by for fresh fish plates and sandwiches and a serving of grilled pound cake at 9945 Nance St.

Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille, Ocean Isle Beach
Upper deck with sunset views? Waterfront gazebo? Indoor dining? You have a choice at this restaurant at 14 Causeway Dr. They started their pre-season on March 16, and will be open Wednesday through Sundays for dinner, adding more opening hours as the season progresses.

KoKo Cabana, Oak Island
Beginning in February, this restaurant has been serving up ahi nachos, bowls, burgers, cocktails, wine, and beer. It’s on the beach at 705 Ocean Drive, by the Oak Island pier.

Dock House Seafood & More, Holden Beach
The eateries on this list do boast great views, like this one on the Intracoastal where you can watch the boats come and go, but this restaurant also likes to say it has a unique menu with a little something for everyone. They re-opened for limited dinner service on March 16 and will be adding more hours soon.

Inlet View, Shallotte
At Hughes Marina, 1800 Village Point Road SW you can find this tiki bar and restaurant. They reopened for 2022 in February where you can take in the view from the top deck while you enjoy some crab cakes or fried seafood. 

Read more » click here


Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
/////
THE MAID by Nita Prose
A charmingly eccentric hotel maid in a five-star boutique hotel discovers a guest murdered in his bed. She becomes the prime murder suspect, turning her once orderly world upside down and inspiring a motley crew of unexpected allies to band together to solve the mystery. A twist-and-turn atypical whodunit, told from the perspective of the maid, an unusual protagonist. Florence Pugh is set to star in Universal’s screen adaptation of the book. This book will appeal to fans of Eleanor Oliphant and other sympathetic heroines.


Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant has built an utterly solitary life that almost works. No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. This is a story of a 30-year-old office-worker with a scarred face and a troubled history who learns to overcome her habitually solitary lifestyle. It’s a story about the importance of friendship and human connection. The novel charts Eleanor’s journey from her traumatized past to a future where she might “have a life, not just an existence”. Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon.


  • .That’s it for this newsletter

    See you next month


    Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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

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

    https://lousviews.com/

03 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Regular Meeting 03/08/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Presentation of Plaque from FEMA to the Holden Beach Planning Department for the Town’s Successful Participation in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System – Mayor Holden

Agenda Packet – background information was not provided

Community Rating System (CRS)
The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.

As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:

      • Reduce flood damage to insurable property;
      • Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and
      • Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

For CRS participating communities, flood insurance premium rates are discounted in increments of 5% (i.e., a Class 1 community would receive a 45% premium discount, while a Class 9 community would receive a 5% discount (a Class 10 is not participating in the CRS and receives no discount)). The CRS classes for local communities are based on 18 creditable activities, organized under four categories:

      • Public Information,
      • Mapping and Regulations,
      • Flood Damage Reduction, and
      • Flood Preparedness.

National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System
For more information » click here

Update –
Mayor Holden thanked Tim Evans, Planning & Inspections Director, for his efforts that improved our rating, which translates into lower insurance premiums for all of us. The plaque was presented to him and followed by a photo-op.


2. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon
Agenda Packet – pages 20 – 23

Police Patch
The Police report is now generated from Central Square program. A number of  cases are not able to be investigated due to not having a detective as part of the Police Department. Manpower needs will be discussed during the budget process.

 

Previously reported – February 2022
The Police Department has completed the integration of Central Square, a computer aided automated dispatch system, with the County’s 911 system. The expense was approved by the Board in the last budget cycle, but they waited to the winter to implement the transition.


Speed limit will change on OBW west of the general store to 35mph on April 1st.


Golf carts are treated the same as any other automotive vehicle.

In the State of North Carolina, if a golf cart is to be operated on the streets, highways, or public vehicular areas, it is considered a motor vehicle and subject to all laws, rules and regulations that govern motor vehicles. In short, the golf cart must have all of the following: 

 

        • The driver MUST have a current, valid Driver’s License
        • Child Restraint Laws must be followed
        • Headlights
        • Tail lights
        • Turn signals
        • Rear view mirrors
        • State Inspection Sticker
        • License Plate Issued by NCDMV
        • Liability Insurance

All of the streets in the Town (including the side streets) are considered streets or public vehicular areas according to the State Law. This means that to operate a golf cart anywhere on the island, you must meet the standards above.


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


3. Discussion and Possible Action on Items Necessary to Proceed with Paid Parking – Town Manager Hewett Ordinance 22-02, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Title VII: Traffic Code
.   a)
Ordinance 22-02, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of           .           Ordinances, Title VII: Traffic Code
.   b)
Services Agreement between the Town and Otto Connect
.   c)
Signage
.   d)
Ordinance 22-04, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21-13, The                     .          Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022               .            (Amendment 10)
  e)
Seeking Local Legislation from the General Assembly Pertaining to            .          NCGS 160A- 301(a)

Agenda Packet – pages 24 – 62 which is too large to include here

There are several items on the 8 March agenda associated with parking. The following attempts to address some of them specifically and additional practical implementation matters as well.

1. Delineation and deconfliction of parking spaces:
  A.
Assuming the draft ordinance is sufficiently refined to consider for adoption I would like to have the Police Department and Public Works ground truth it by marking all locations where parking is proposed to occur; for both on street and off-street categories.
.   B
Marking the spaces will allow public safety officials to realistically test and evaluate whether the distances from intersections and parking locations provide sufficient turning access in addition to allowing other large public services and recreational vehicle towing combinations to gauge the effect of the new reduced intersection

2. Signage:
  A.
Templates and content examples are included for Board review and approval if
.   B.
A budget amendment is included to accommodate the funding streams for both on and off-street parking in accordance with the Fiscal Control Act and GS lG0A-301 (a) and (b) regarding use of same. The budget amendment represents estimates for the last 90 days of the current fiscal year and funds generated will primarily be used for signage and any site work required for implementation. The General Fund will house the program with expenses being made from the Streets

Both the sign templates and budget amendment will require Board approval before signs can be ordered.

3. Implementation date; advertising and consideration of “no pay” days
.     a)
Recommend Board consider “soft start” of paid parking 1 May 2022 for several
.         •
Uncertain delivery times for signage and delivery.
.         •
Uncertainty on prep work for Davis Street property; minimal but required.
.         •
Easter week begins 10 April (Palm Sunday) thru the 17th. Large influx of visitors .           –  not the best time to test a new  system.   Believe the extra month would be     .           better utilized to advertise the beginning of  the paid parking program via large .           digital sign at foot of bridge. It will be critically important to be able to                           standardize and communicate the program’s specifics through various Town     .           media/message platforms.

4. Days at the Docks is 23/24 Apr and will locate vendors in paid parking spaces; there is enough activity associated with this event that it would be cleaner to not complicate the paid parking program issue further until the Board decides on a protocol and schedule of “no pay/reduced pay” days and schedule which can be determined at a later date .Follow on action regarding ask of the General Assembly

It is suggested that the Town of Holden Beach seek local legislation from the General Assembly essentially waiving the constraints imposed by GS 160A-301 (a) relating to the use of on street parking revenues; similar to the flexibility afforded to several towns in New Hanover County via HB 212 Session Law 2001-9 that allows for the use of all paid parking revenues for any public purpose.

Feedback from the NC league of Municipalities indicates that bill filing deadlines for local bills have not yet been announced but the best guess is mid-April or mid-May.  The League suggests that now is the appropriate time to reach out to the town’s local delegation to educate them on the need and request they have legislative staff draft a bill if the Town is ready to proceed in that direction.

RECOMMENDATION:
If the Board is satisfied that the ordinance as drafted is sufficient to implement a paid parking program a motion as follows would provide for sufficient staff direction to move the program forward:

“Motion to approve the paid parking ordinance, the services agreement with Otto Connect, sign templates and budget amendment 22-04 and direct the Town Manager (or other designee as determined by the Board) to seek enabling legislation from the General Assembly through its local delegation.”

Previously reported – February 2022

Finalization of Parking Places
Revised Parking Zone and Area Table, which is included in the packet, the proposal has five hundred and six (506) designated parking spaces now.

# of Lot Spaces 134
# of ROW Spaces 372
Total 506 (458 Full Size / 48 LSV)
Ordinance 22-02, Title VII: Traffic Code

Resolution 22-01, Fee Schedule
Last meeting the motion was to reduce the fee schedule, plus they added a single vehicle option. Lower rates were included in the new fee schedule. Motion was made to accept the fee schedule as written.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Otto Connect Services Agreement
The Board decided that Otto will monitor all streets not just the designated parking areas as originally proposed. After discussion, several changes were made, and the agreement will be adjusted accordingly. It will still need to be submitted to the BOC’s for approval.
No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
David read the agenda packet memo that is posted above.

They discussed the following parking plan changes:

      • The fire department had safety concerns and requested that setbacks be moved back from 25’ to 40’
      • NC Wildlife area boat ramp area parking was eliminated from the plan
      • Considering additional handicap accessible parking spots

Board approved the paid parking ordinance, the services agreement with Otto Connect, sign templates and budget amendment 22-04 and to seek enabling legislation from the General Assembly through its local delegation.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Moved funds of $92,204
ORDINANCE 22-04
Provide budgetary program to account for paid parking Revenues & Expenses
On street parking        $9,868
Off street parking        $82,336
Total                               $92,204

Holden Beach commissioners pass paid parking ordinance
Leaders of the Town of Holden Beach voted unanimously at a meeting Tuesday evening to implement paid parking in Holden Beach beginning May 1, 2022.

The Town will enter into a two-year service agreement with Otto Connect to administer the app-based parking program which applies to 445 regular size parking spaces and 61 low speed vehicle (like golf carts) spaces.

Parking fees will apply from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. until October 31. Usually, the season will begin April 1; however, this year the town is aiming for a soft start to give time to get everything situated.

Parking rates in all designated parking areas will be as follows:

      • $3 per hour for up to 4 hours
      • $15 per day for any duration loner than 4 hours
      • $60 per week for 7 consecutive days

Hourly, daily, weekly, and annual permits will be available at the office of the Town Clerk.
Read more » click here


4. Discussion and Possible Action on Town Communication Plan and Items To Be Produced For Paid Parking Rollout Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Item was added to the agenda

Update –
Otto appeared to have their act together and was ready with a comprehensive plan of action. The Town plans to communicate with the public via all means available including a press release to the local newspapers.


5. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 22-05, Resolution of the Town of Holden Beach, Approving an Installment Financing Contract and Delivery Thereof and Providing for Certain Other Related Matters – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
pages 63 – 121 which is too large to include here

Pier Property Financing Contract and Resolution
Attached are the installment financing contract with Truist (attachment 1), the deed of trust (attachment 2), the required approval resolution (attachment 3), and the wire transfer agreement (the instal1ment financing contract and deed of trust are redlined to reflect revisions negotiated with Truist from the drafts that were available at the public hearing). The wire transfer agreement sets forth certain security and verification procedures to prevent unauthorized or fraudulent wire transfers through cyber fraud and other means. The required public hearing on the installment financing contract was held at the January meeting. The Local Government Commission approved the financing on March 1, 2022. Approval of Resolution #22-05 regarding the installment financing contract and other related matters as outlined in the resolution is needed to move forward with installment financing to purchase the property at 441 Ocean Boulevard West.

Attachment 1: Installment Financing Contract
Attachment 2: Deed of Trust
Attachment 3: Resolution #22-05
Attachment 4: Wire Transfer Agreement

RESOLUTION 22-05
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the Town (the “Board”) has determined that it is in the best interest of the Town to enter into an installment financing contract (the “Contract”) with Truist Bank (the “Bank”) in an aggregate amount not to exceed $3,300,000, pursuant to which the Town will receive an advance of funds under which the Town will make certain installment payments, in order to (a) pay the costs of, or reimburse itself for paying the costs of, acquiring property in the Town located at 441 Ocean Boulevard W., including the pier (the “Property”), and (b) pay the costs associated with entering into the Contract;


Pier Property Purchase

Fate of Holden Beach Pier purchase could be decided March 1
After several concerns delayed its funding last month, the town of Holden Beach is now one step closer to buying the Holden Beach Fishing Pier. The deal to purchase the pier was set to close at the end of February, but the Local Government Commission held off on deciding whether to finance the town’s $3.3 million purchase, citing questions around the public’s support, the pier’s structure, the town’s financing assumptions, and the involvement of Mayor Alan Holden’s real estate company. Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden said since his real estate company listed the property, he’s been advised to not vote on the purchase, take no commission, and not to take part in any discussions. “We’re trying to make sure my hands are clean of the deal,” Holden said. “I can’t really do anything other than acknowledge what public record is.” Now the financing application will go before the Local Government Commission March 1, which if approved, would allow the town to buy the 1.9-acre property including the pier, parking lot and adjacent building. “There’s no reason at this point why they shouldn’t vote in favor,” Holden said. “If the LGC gives its blessing, which I expect it will, things should move right along. Right now, everything appears to be on schedule.” But according to State Auditor Beth Wood, who sits on the commission, there are still concerns about the pier’s structure and what all the needed repairs could cost. The town’s pier inspection report found the structure “likely surpassed its remaining service life” and is in need of immediate maintenance costing at least $500,000. However, the scope of the assessment was limited due to bad weather and did not include an underwater assessment, meaning the full extent of its condition and the maintenance it needs is still unknown. “It gets back to loaning the right amount of money for the right cost of the asset,” Wood said. “If there are structural problems and that’s not factored into the pricing that they’re trying to borrow money for, that’s a problem.” Unknowns about the pier structure and concerns over the plan to pay back the financing with parking revenue have been the main drivers of public opposition to the purchase. According to Holden Beach Property Owners Association President Tom Myers, about 60% of members polled are still against the purchase. Myers said requiring a full pier inspection was one request residents were hoping to have delivered before moving forward. “It’s really hard to represent both sides equally,” Myers said of Holden handling the deal. “One tends to end up getting a better deal.” While the deal has garnered mixed reactions throughout, Holden said in recent weeks the public supporting the purchase has become more vocal. “I think as time has gone on, people have begun to understand the true facts versus the fears,” he said. “Especially as the value of the lots continue to appreciate. Every day it seems like it’s a better deal for the town.” Some locals have even taken to emailing their support to the commission directly, and Holden Beach resident Keith Smith created a petition that amassed over 600 signatures. Smith said on top of the necessary beach access and parking the property would provide the pier is an iconic point of interest for the town. “When you think of a coastal beach town and a pier, they’re synonymous,” Smith sad. “It’s more of a cultural and social center.”
Read more » click here

Burgaw, Holden Beach, Columbus County await decisions by LGC
Leaders in Holden Beach, Burgaw and Columbus County will await word Tuesday from the Local Government Commission whether to move forward with projects involving more than $19 million dollars in financing. The commission is scheduled to meet remotely starting at 1:30 pm on Tuesday. State Treasurer Dale Folwell chairs the commission, which has a statutory duty to monitor the finances of more than 1,100 local government units. The LGC also examines whether the amount of money a local government borrows is adequate and reasonable for its’ proposed projects, and it also confirms if the government can reasonably afford to repay the debt. According to the agenda, the town of Holden Beach is LGC approval on a $3.3 million contract to buy pier property and an adjacent lot. Town leaders say the purchase is necessary to provide regional public beach access, public parking and access for beach nourishment and public safety.
Read more » click here

LGC greenlights town’s purchase of Holden Beach Fishing Pier
The Local Government Commission formally approved the financing for the town of Holden Beach to buy the Holden Beach Fishing pier on Tuesday afternoon. The $3.3 million financing agreement unanimously passed, and the pier sale may now officially close on March 28. Included in the purchase is the fishing pier itself, the pier house which contains a café and a store, and an 80-car parking lot. Town leaders say the purchase provides another public beach access, as well as emergency vehicle access. The matter was initially on the LGC’s consent agenda, but commission members moved it off and discussed it as a separate item for 45 minutes before they held the vote. The purchase has been a contentious issue for some time, with the town first entering into a contract to buy the pier in 2021. There’s been several road blocks in completing the purchase, including the LGC putting a stop to the sale last month to gather more information, pushing back the contracted February closing date. The plan to buy and revitalize the pier is a divisive issue among local residents, too. Online petitions have garnered hundreds of signatures hoping to buy the pier so future generations could enjoy the nostalgic reminder of the town’s past. Some taxpayers on the island were worried about whether or not property owners were going to have to foot the bill “Nobody wants to lose it, but at the same time there’s financial realities of what this thing is gonna cost. How much is nostalgia worth it to us in terms of what has to be paid? You look at the numbers in the LGC agenda and it’s basically doubling our debt ratio, it’s doubling the debt per capita, so we’re taking on a lot of debt,” said Tom Myers, president of the Holden Beach Property Owner’s Association. The latest poll from the Holden Beach Property Owners Association shows 60 percent of respondents were not in favor of the town’s plan to buy the pier. In a letter to the LCG, Myers also cited the groups concern about errors in the paid parking revenue projections, no underwater pier inspection, risks associated with insurance coverage, environmental concerns, and the town’s “very weak negotiating position when dealing with the seller.”
LGC Talks Through Several Concerns
Tuesday afternoon, the Town Manager, the Mayor, and the Mayor Pro Tem sat before the commission in Raleigh ready to answer questions about the sale. The state auditor and the state treasurer asked the town leaders several hard questions Tuesday, starting with concerns about the inspection. When the property inspectors were doing their assessment on the pier, the weather was too dangerous for divers to check the underwater portion of the pier. Aside from the portion below the water level, the inspection of the pier house showed the structure had likely surpassed its useful life, having been built in 1957. There were several safety concerns, and code issues related to the building’s plumbing and electric. On Tuesday, the mayor explained that many of the repairs needed were cosmetic, and the large repairs will be made overtime as budget permits. The town’s paid parking proposal was also brought up in the discussion portion Tuesday. The way the motions are currently written, the town manager confirms the paid parking proceeds for 80 parking spaces at the pier are the only spaces where revenue would be used to fund the pier project. When LGC members asked if the paid parking was brought up after they decided to move forward with the pier purchase, town leaders clarified that paid parking had been an effort they’ve talked about prior to the pier project, and it was even part of the town’s strategic plan. State Auditor Beth Wood had several pointed questions about the mayor’s realty company representing the pier’s seller. The mayor explained his company had been representing the pier far before the town became interested in the sale. As the process began picking up speed, mayor Alan Holden says he gave up the six-figure commission on the property and excused himself from the negotiations. Mayor Holden told the LGC on the record that no one affiliated with his company will get a benefit from the pier transaction. A commission member also announced they had a signed affidavit from the mayor certifying the claims that there wasn’t a conflict of interest, and the sale didn’t violate any ethics laws. Friday morning the commission also received a letter from the town attorney explaining his opinion that it didn’t violate any ethics laws.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach moves forward with $3.3 million pier purchase
The town of Holden Beach has secured financing to purchase the Holden Beach Fishing Pier, after several concerns delayed its funding last month. The N.C. Local Government Commission questioned town officials about the pier’s structure and Mayor Alan Holden’s involvement in the deal, but ultimately approved the $3.3 million needed to buy the pier, adjacent building, and parking lot. The deal was set to close at the end of February, but the Local Government Commission kept the town’s application off the agenda to address the issues. The sale will now close March 28. According to Holden, whose real estate company listed the pier property, he gave up a six-figure commission on the sale and took no part in discussions. “We’re trying to make sure my hands are clean of the deal,” he said before the financing was approved. The commission was also concerned about the state of the pier, which due to bad weather wasn’t able to get a full underwater inspection when the town assessed its structure. State Auditor Beth Wood, who sits on the commission, said the unknown costs could have the town coming back asking for more funding. The town’s pier inspection report found the structure “likely surpassed its remaining service life” and is in need of immediate maintenance costing at least $500,000. Holden said the town would be able to pay for any additional repairs over time and wouldn’t have to raise taxes for more funding. Unknowns about the pier structure and concerns over the plan to pay back the financing with parking revenue have been the main drivers of public opposition to the purchase. According to Holden Beach Property Owners Association President Tom Myers, about 60% of members polled are still against the purchase. Myers said requiring a full pier inspection was one request residents were hoping to have delivered before moving forward. “It’s really hard to represent both sides equally,” Myers said of Holden handling the deal. “One tends to end up getting a better deal.” While the deal has garnered mixed reactions throughout, Holden said in recent weeks the public supporting the purchase has become more vocal. “I think as time has gone on, people have begun to understand the true facts versus the fears,” he said. “Especially as the value of the lots continue to appreciate. Every day it seems like it’s a better deal for the town.” Some locals have even taken to emailing their support to the commission directly, and Holden Beach resident Keith Smith created a petition that amassed over 600 signatures. Smith said on top of the necessary beach access and parking the property would provide the pier is an iconic point of interest for the town. “When you think of a coastal beach town and a pier, they’re synonymous,” Smith sad. “It’s more of a cultural and social center.”
Read more » click here

LGC approves Holden Beach loan request
The North Carolina Local Government Commission has approved the town of Holden Beach’s request for a loan to pay for the Holden Beach Fishing Pier. Holden Beach asked the commission, which is staffed by the N.C. Department of Treasurer to monitor local government finances, to have a $3.3 million loan through Truist Bank with a 3.18% annual percentage rate for 15 years. According to the Local Government Commission’s documents in the agenda, there will also be a $50,650 cash contribution in addition to the loan. The insurance cost was documented at $54,650. Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden, town commissioner Rick Smith and town manager David Hewett attended the March 1 meeting in person. LGC staff recommended approving the loan. Staff also said most of the emails received on the pier purchase were supportive, with a small amount that weren’t. N.C. Treasurer Dale Folwell said, “My knowledge about this is that I have seen this pier on proper ty on Holden Beach – fantastic place.” He asked whether town representatives can state the town’s intention in keeping the pier, maintaining it or what the capital expenditures may be. Hewett said there are 350 feet of oceanfront property and its public beach access, adding the lot can provide access for emergency vehicles and to residents nearby who can’t access the beach from another access point. He also called the pier and the pier house an “iconic representation for North Carolinians” of the oceanfront coast. The plan to fix the pier, if required, has in-house building inspectors who can do some fixes. Hewett said any significant repairs would be made “incrementally over time” and stretched out to fit the budget. He said about four years ago, a hurricane come through, causing 25-foot seas that pounded the bottom of the pier for about six hours. “If those 25-foot seas didn’t take it then, it’s going to be there for a while,” he said. Hewett said a portion of the pier was inspected, but bad weather stopped under water inspection, which is scheduled soon. He said there is an undetermined life expectancy for the pilings. “If you go look at them, they look really green, which is an indicator of good health,” he said. The beach nourishment project that’s currently under way is expected to bury the pilings at the high tide or lower area. Folwell asked what
would happen if the pier isn’t inspected and town officials were to find they purchased a “lemon.” Hewett said the ocean portion of the pier may be a lemon, but the dry land portion of it is still viable. He said he had his granddaughter out on it about seven weeks ago on a “heavy sea day” and it didn’t move too much. Folwell asked what’s the contingency plan if it is a lemon. “The real estate itself stands for the note,” Hewett said, adding the appraisal is higher than the asking amount and the real estate is “worth the problem.” Hewett said the town’s building inspector will most likely ask for an outside engineer. In response to what would be the liability, Hewett said it will be the same as the town’s other public beach accesses. In response to why the pier is for sale. Holden
said Gil Bass, who is the principal in the corporation, is “old and tired” like the rest of them. Smith said Bass lost his wife a few years ago, which caused Bass to step back. Smith said when the town made a plan to repay the pier money, they only included the building. He said there are several grants available, but the town can’t apply for the grants until the pier purchase is official. The LGC said there were comments the town might be paying too much. Hewett said town commissioners voted unanimously to pursue financing. He said the feedback the town has received includes concerns on the pier’s condition and whether access is needed. In response to questions about on-site parking, Hewett said there are about 80 parking spots on asphalt there now that qualify for the town’s paid parking program. The town did not include pier parking in the program because it doesn’t yet own the property. He added the paid parking program will be a town-wide program. Spaces at the pier site will be used to help pay for the property if it is purchased. N.C. state auditor Beth Wood asked if paid parking was a serious conversation before the town began to talk about the pier. Hewett said the parking program was identified in the commissioners’ strategic goals a year ago. Hewett said commissioners also created an advisory committee to look into it. Wood said if the pier has huge structural issues, will the town return to ask for more money or raise parking fees? Hewett said commissioners are on record they won’t raise taxes to pay for the pier. He said between beach nourishment and migration because of COVID, more people are coming. He said the occupancy tax is strong and will be the primary source for financing. Wood also asked why this deal is going through Holden’s real estate company. Holden is a dual agent for the purchase. He said his company had the proper ty listed before the town expressed interest. When the town showed interest, Holden said he gave up a six-figure commission. He also pulled himself out of the town’s discussions on the pier. Secretary Ronald Penny asked if Holden’s company will receive anything because of the transaction. “No one affiliated with me in any way, past, present, or future, will receive any benefit from this transaction,” Holden said. Holden said the pier has been there since 1959 and he has represented the Holden Beach Fishing Pier properties exclusively that they rented on the canal. He said another company had the pier listed before he did. He said he also had two of the company’s proper ties oceanfront lots for just under $600,000 each. He said the town is getting this for a substantial discount. Holden said the town was also asked if it has experience maintaining other piers, which it does on the Intracoastal Waterway. “We are on top of things in regards of that,” he said. Before the LGC voted, Folwell advised Holden Beach to split the loan out to “tax-free and taxed” to reduce the interest cost. He also suggested when the town
starts charging for parking, to start with the 80 spots in front of the pier. “It just may be a way, no pun intended, to kind of stick your toe in the water and to see how your visitors and your residents really feel about your paid parking,” Folwell said. He said the residents just want to know if the town has sharpened its pencils as much as possible. The LGC then voted in favor of the loan. Folwell said the LGC voted “yes” because the application was “properly before them and many board members had lots of questions. “At the end of the day it’s not only about the need for the adequacy of the financing, it’s about the plan that brings some level of certainty that Holden Beach can remain one of the No. 1 voted beaches on the East Coast,” he said. Folwell added he hopes the town takes their advice because it will help lower the cost.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – February 2022
Update of the Local Government Commission (LGC) Review of Financial Package for the Pier Property Purchase – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Item was added to the agenda

In January, the Town received official notification from the LGC that consideration of the financial package would not be on their February agenda. Pat stressed that this was neither an acceptance nor a refusal, the proposed financial package is still in the works and should be on the LGC March agenda.

Pier Purchase Update
The Local Government Commission (LGC) did not include the Town’s loan application on the agenda for their February 1st meeting.

Click here to view the email the LGC sent to the Town notifying them about this decision.

Click here to view the Town’s loan application.

The LGC has serious concerns about:

      • The amount of public opposition to the pier purchase
      • The amount of public opposition to the paid parking plan that was listed as a source of funding for the pier purchase
      • The underwater inspection not being done
      • The payback assumptions in the Town’s financial plan for the pier
      • The Mayor’s real estate company representing the seller

As a result, the Town will not be able to close on the property on February 28th as required in the purchase contract.

Click here to view the contract
* clause 8a addresses the situation if the Town is denied approval by the LGC


Concerns over public support, mayor involvement could put Holden Beach pier purchase on hold
The town of Holden Beach’s plan to purchase a pier and adjacent building could be put on hold after the N.C. Local Government Commission raised concerns about its financing application. The town was set to close on the two-parcel, 1.9-acre property, which includes the pier, parking lot and adjacent building for just around $3.3 million at the end of February. The deal, which has garnered mixed reactions from residents, was contingent on the town receiving financing from the Local Government Commission during its Feb. 1 meeting. But Holden Beach’s financing application was not on the February agenda. According to an email the commission sent the town in January, Holden Beach’s financing application will be kept off the agenda until several concerns can be addressed by the town. Concerns include public opposition to the purchase, even greater opposition to the parking plan meant to pay for the pier, the pier structure’s evaluation, and the involvement of Mayor Alan Holden’s real estate company, according to commission financial analyst Joe Futima, “These concerns are taken seriously by the Commission and there needs to be more time for the Town to better address them,” Futima states in the email. “We will reevaluate the application for a March placement.” According to Holden Beach Property Owners Association President Tom Myers, the concerns brought by the commission are the same ones property owners have been expressing for months. Myers said while some residents are glad the commission stepped in, others say the opportunity for the town to purchase the land is too good to pass up, despite any setbacks. “At this point, everybody’s entrenched, and it’s been going on since June,” he said. “It’s still the same arguments that we’ve been hearing from each side.” The commission noted the assumptions made in the town’s plan to pay back the financing were “less than certain.” Town officials have maintained they would not increase property taxes for the purchase and would instead use parking revenue and could potentially lease the pier and building. The commission also flagged the pier’s evaluation as a concern. According to the town’s pier inspection report, the structure has “likely surpassed its remaining service life” and is in need of immediate maintenance. “The hardware throughout the structure is heavily corroded, with greater than 50% section loss,” the report stated. Immediate repairs needed would cost at least $500,000 and would extend its service life by 10 to 15 years, according to the report. Due to bad weather, however, the scope of the pier assessment was limited and did not include an underwater assessment, meaning the full extent of its condition and the maintenance it needs is still unknown. Holden Beach officials did not respond to requests Monday for comment from the StarNews.
Read more » click here

LGC: Holden Beach application ‘unfinished’
The town of Holden Beach’s loan application to buy the Holden Beach Pier did not make it into the Local Government Commission’s Feb. 1 agenda because it wasn’t finished, according to North Carolina Treasurer Dale R. Folwell. He said that was the main reason why it wasn’t put on the agenda. Folwell said the commission also had several questions that needed to be answered as the commission continues analyzing it. “There are a lot of legal requirements that have to be vetted in order to make sure that … what is before us is adequate,” he said. He said the questions are to make sure all legal and ethical questions are met.

The commission had other questions.

• What is the town’s intended use of the pier in the future?
• Is the public aware that this purchase may have different scenarios for the future of the pier?
• If initial repairs are being considered to allow for the use of the building on the pier for lease revenue purposes, what is the long-term plan for the pier operations?
• What is the estimated cost of future expenditures for repairs/upkeep for the pier?
• This would need to be referenced in a detailed evaluation of the structure, including underwater features. Specifically, which funds will support debt service?
• Are any of these funds contingent on other actions the town would need to take before receipt?
• “We’re keepers of the public purse, the job of the LGC is to be confident and transparent,” he said, adding they do that on every transaction.

He said unfinished applications happen “more often than not.” He said the applications must be 100% completed and vetted. Folwell said he personally was not aware of the town’s plans to buy the pier. “As far as the LGC, our job … is to do our job, to make sure that transactions that are presented to us have the right amount of information,” he said. He said the commission also makes sure the price paid for the item, such as the pier, in this case, is adequate and not excessive. He said if the purchase was only a raw piece of land, it is easy to figure out the adequate price. However, when the purchase is a structure that may need more money to maintain it for future use, which is a whole different question. Folwell said the main value of the pier is under water and can’t be seen. He said the underwater inspection in this purchase is a unique but important part of the town’s application. He said the application must reflect the purchase and that all factors have been accounted for. He said anyone saying the commission is for or against anything is dealing with information he isn’t aware of and doesn’t believe exists. Folwell said there are concerns with Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden being a dual agent on this purchase. “This is not about how anybody fees about anybody personally, but this is about issues related to whether all the boxes have been checked as far as the transparency on the transaction,” he said. He said the commission is also dealing with this another local event in Ocean Isle Beach. In January, the state audit department reviewed and then faulted the way Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith’s real estate company purchased her town’s former police station, along with the way the transaction was handled by the town of Ocean Isle Beach. The audit department said Smith made an offer on the land before it was made available to the public, along with a few
other issues. The state recommended officials involved receive training and passed the information along to the district attorney to investigate. “It’s not about (Holden) and it’s not about Holden Beach,” Folwell said. Rather, Folwell said this is about anyone at any one time in the state who is involved in a transaction that isn’t completely
transparent. He said the commission applies the same standards statewide. Folwell couldn’t comment on whether the town will finish the application in time for the next meeting. He said the commission doesn’t know how long it will take to do an application. “If this is a great deal today, it’ll be a great deal next week and next month,” he said.
Folwell said just because an item isn’t on a particular agenda doesn’t mean it has anything to do with the “virtue of the deal.” He said the commission is in the business of checking hundreds of applications a year. They come from 1,300 entities encompassing 100 counties and more than 548 municipalities. There are also 30 staffers to sort through the applications. Folwell said the commission doesn’t pick and choose what rules apply to a particular applicant. He said because of the sheer number of applications the commission sees, the limited staff applies the same rules to everyone. He said he was not in a position to answer whether the Holden Beach application not making it onto the LGC’s February agenda will impact the closing date at the end of this month. Folwell said it comes down to the transparency of taxpayer money. “When it comes to the transparency of local government and taxpayer money, it’s never a bad idea to measure five times and cut once,” he said.
Beacon

Update –
Approval of Resolution #22-05 regarding the installment financing contract and other related matters as outlined in the resolution is needed to move forward with installment financing to purchase the property at 441 Ocean Boulevard West. BOC’s approved the resolution and will close on the pier property before the end of the month.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


6. Discussion and Possible Approval of Contract with the Division of Coastal Management for a Grant (50-Foot Lot Portion of the Holden Beach Pier Property) – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
pages 122 – 147 which is too large to include here

In August 2021, the Town submitted a final grant application for the 50-foot lot portion of the Holden Beach Pier Property located at 441 OBW (parcel ID#246DB002). The purpose was primarily identified as providing pedestrian access to canal property owners, as well as day trippers, while also providing emergency vehicle access and an entry point for large equipment during beach nourishment projects. The Town was approved for funding by the Division of Coastal Management (DCM) as part of the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program. The amount awarded to the Town as outlined in the attached grant contract (attachment 1) is $180,460. The Town did provide a match as referenced in the application because match contributions make the application more competitive.

If the BOC’s would like to accept the grant for use toward the purchase of the 50-foot lot, the suggested motion would be: Motion to enter into a contract with DCM, as outlined in attachment 1, and authorize the Town Manager to execute the contract and provisions therein.

Grant Assistance Requested:              $180,460.00
Local Cash Contribution:                    $361,206.67
Total:                                                      $541,666.67

Update –
BOC’s approved accepting the grant and enter into a contract with Division of Coastal Management.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Feedback from the Town Attorney Regarding the Possible Use of 796 Ocean Boulevard West as a Community Center in Light of Mayor’s Question Whether a Town Ordinance Related to Clubhouses on Holden Beach is Applicable – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – background information was not provided

Previously reported – February 2022
Discussion and Possible Action on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board’s Recommendations for 796 Ocean Boulevard West – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson
Agenda Packet – pages 55 – 79 which is too large to include here
The BOC tasked the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) with compiling recommendations for the use of 796 Ocean Boulevard West. The PRAB held regular meetings, and one special meeting with town staff, with its recommendations included in your agenda packet. Chair John McEntire is in attendance to go over the board’s report with you this evening.

Possible Actions and Recommendation
Option 1: Use of the facility as is with minimal renovation
Option 2: A renovated facility like the Ocean Isle Community Center
Option 3: A completely new structure
Option 4: Remove structure and create parking spaces.
Option 5: Sell The Property

Summary
The PRAB has determined that The Property at 796 OBW is optimally located to serve as a community center recreational facility as envisioned in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

The various options were evaluated and ranked as to which best addressed the expressed goals of the BOC and the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Preferences were as follows:

Option 4: Demo and restrooms, parking
Option 2: Renovation
Option 3: Completely new structure
Option 5: Sell
Option 1: Use as is

THB Parks & Recreation Master Plan / 796 Ocean Boulevard

      • Consider reuse of this structure as a community recreation resource
      • Bathhouse (restrooms/showers)
      • Classroom or exhibit space
      • Rentable meeting space (with kitchen)
      • Improve parking layout
      • Improve accessibility ADA

Board agreed to terminating lease agreement so they can move forward with plans for the community to utilize the property.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – January 2021
This memo proposes the BOC’s terminate the lease with 796 Ocean Boulevard West tenant effective 28 February 2022 and to direct the Town Manager to officially notify the tenant accordingly.

The term for the lease agreement between the tenant and Town for the residence at 796 Ocean Boulevard West was for six months, with an automatic month-to-month renewal option after completion of the initial term. The initial term ended on 1 May 2021.

With numerous conversations, planning and pending decisions/activities associated with 796 Ocean Boulevard West, it is recommended that the Town give the tenant notice of termination in order to facilitate an orderly progression of outcomes for the property.

PRAB Chair John McEntire made the presentation. He addressed the issues as the tasker required them to do. He went through the process that they took and briefly reviewed all considerations. They focused on the potential intended use of the property. They identified and explored several options. The PRAB determined that the property is optimally located to serve as a community center recreational facility as envisioned in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
No decision was made – No action taken


I would be concerned with the following:

 

      • another project that would be at a considerable cost to the community
      • renovations far exceed the allowed amount, noncompliance with 50% rule
      • commercial use in residential area
        * same issue as the Beach Club Houses
      • not having adequate parking there
        * that includes what is in the current proposed parking plan

Update –
Mayor Holden voiced his concerns that the Rules & Regulations that were put in place to prevent Beach Club Houses would apply to this building too. Town attorney explained that the difference is private use by off-island subdivision vs. public use by the community. He did not see any issues with the planned use as a community center.


8. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 22-05, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 21 13, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 (Amendment  No. 11), Appropriating Funds for Sewer Capital Outlay – Budget & Fiscal Operations Analyst McRainey

Agenda Packet – pages 148 – 149

Considering the rapid nature of new construction that the Town has experienced, revenues from system development fees have exceeded original projections. These fees are collected and transferred to the capital reserve fund to help pay for costs incurred to increase sewer capacity. The staff is asking the Board to approve the amendment to be able to transfer this money from the Capital Reserve Fund to the Water and Sewer fund to be used for the purchase of valve pits that will expand sewer service to new homes constructed in the town.
Staff recommends approval of Ordinance 22-05.

Update –
BOC’s approved request to transfer funds in order to purchase valve pits, a proactive approach to address future growth.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Moved funds of $43,000


9. Town Manager’s Report


Click here to view footage of the project.

Beach Nourishment Project
The nourishment project, initiated January 7th,  is about a two-thirds of the way complete. They have placed 1.1 million cyds of sand on the beach strand so far and we anticipate an on-time completion of the project.

Previously reported – December 2021
We were able to mate two (2) projects, Central Reach and Eastern Reach areas. This is a continuous project of over five (5) miles, from 262 OBE through 871 OBW. It will cover an area that is over five (5) miles long, eight (8) feet high, and one hundred (100) feet wide.

Lockwood Folly Inlet Crossing Navigation Maintenance Project
USACE sponsored project due to place 210K cyds of beach compatible sand on the east end started last week. Southwind is going to dredge the inlet crossing section of the intracoastal waterway, including bend wideners where the inlet and waterway meet.  The dredge pipeline and equipment needs to be removed by April 14th. The window is tight, but Southwind believes they can complete the project by then.

Wetlands
Per the Board’s direction the wetland delineation is underway, clearing parcels as needed for the surveyors.

Previously reported – February 2022
They have ordered an engineer to delineate the wetland areas, work is to be completed in the next two (2) weeks

Previously reported – January 2022
They agreed that they will need to get our plans to the DOT for their approval. Also, it will require a civil engineer to delineate the wetland area and do any required permitting. Brian made a motion that we delineate all town property bordering marsh areas that is included in the parking plan.

Roadway
Paving for Seagull bid package is going out next week, plan to award the contract at the BOC’s Regular Meeting in April. David anticipates paving will be completed before Memorial Day, as it has been done in the past few years.

 

In Case You Missed It –.


National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On March 11, 2022, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to September 30, 2022.


Utility Department Billing
Effective January 1, 2022, Brunswick County will increase the Town’s water wholesale rate by 82%. This increase is to cover the cost of increased plant capacity and to add a low-pressure reverse osmosis treatment system. The Town of Holden Beach will also increase their rates on January 1st to reflect the increased cost to them.


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

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

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


Upcoming Events –

Family Nighttime Easter Egg Hunt
The Town will hold its nighttime Easter Egg Hunt on Friday, April 15thbeginning at 7:00 pm. Teams of four will compete against each other. Participants will need to bring their own flashlights to the event. Participants MUST register by March 18th, call (910) 842-6488 to register. Registrations will not be accepted by email.


10. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(6), To Discuss Qualifications, Competence, Performance of a Public Employee Mayor Pro Tem Smith

They began the Town Manager performance appraisal process in a closed session.

11. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(5), To Instruct the Staff or Agent Concerning the Negotiation of the Price and Terms of Contracts Concerning the Acquisition of Real Properties – Mayor Pro Tem Smith

No decision was made – No action taken

This is the list of properties currently being considered for acquisition by the Town
Seven (7) pier properties currently under contract
Block Q
Parcels 232NH002, 232NH003, 232NB014, 232NB015, 232NB021, 232NB022          

To View Parcels » click here

Brunswick County – Basic Search
Select Parcel Number
Enter Parcel Number
Click Owner Name
Click View Map for this Parcel


General Comments – .



BOC’s Meeting

The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, April 19th
.



.
A little surprised that

they still have not scheduled any
Budget Meetings

 


.

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. 


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


Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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

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

https://lousviews.com/