01 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments.


BOC’s Public Hearing / Regular Meeting 01/19/21

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here

Mayor Holden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is at home isolating.
Mayor Pro Tem Brown assumed the duties of the Mayor


BOC’s Public Hearing

PUBLIC HEARING:
Ordinance 21-01 (formerly Ordinance 201-17), An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of  Ordinances, Section 94.03: Frontal Dune Policy and Regulations

Inspections Director Tim Evans briefly explained how this ordinance gives us the flexibility to close any gaps between our rules and CAMA’s.

Public Comments –
There were no comments


BOC’s Regular Meeting


1. UNCW Presentations – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson
. a)
Inlet Induced Shoreline Changes and Dune Vegetation Characteristics –                   Dr. Sheri Shiflett
. b)
Baseline Monitoring – Dr. Joni Backstrom

Agenda Packet –
At the December 20,2018 meeting of the IBPB, Member Dean Thomas told the board that he and then Commissioner Freer had visited with Dr. Joni Backstrom of UNCW after meeting him at the North Carolina Beach, Inlet and Waterway Association Conference. Member Thomas went on to explain the professor had a list of things he might be able to assist the Town with and asked that Dr. Backstrom be able to present at an upcoming IBPB meeting. In February 2019, Dr, Backstrom and his colleague Dr. Sheri Shiflett presented several options for Holden Beach studies to the IBPB. The recommendation was made to fund two studies as part of the 2019-2020 budget and passed as part of the budget process. The first was to establish a baseline of dune vegetation types and coverage. The second involved focusing on the historical evolution of the Lockwood Folly Inlet and Shallotte Inlet based on aerial and/or satellite imagery. The timeline was delayed based on COVID-19 and the university received no-cost extensions for a deliverable to the BOC. The studies have been finalized and will be presented this evening.

IBPB / Inlet and Beach Protection Board

Update –
Dr. Shiflett made presentation looking at the dune vegetation and coverage on the beach strand. They broke up the island into sections/zones and briefly reviewed what was occurring there. Recommended that we consider planting some additional species besides sea oats to help stabilize the dunes. Also recommended that we should focus primarily on the east end and some bare areas on other parts of the island.

Dr. Backstrom presentation was on the inlets, they utilized  aerial and satellite and imagery, focusing on what has changed. He reviewed how the change in channel orientation has a significant impact on our shore line.

The Board questioned him on whether anything that he presented would support the significant increase in the proposed Inlet Hazard Areas. He hedged a bit seeming to question designating that large an area and then responded that more data would be required in order for him to properly answer.

I found it difficult to follow along without the visuals that they presented to the Board


2. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police PatchSo far so good, it’s been fairly quiet
We are not experiencing any major crime wave at the moment

Recently hired another police officer, he is onboard and will be in field training for next few months.
.


Chief Dixon graduates from Leadership Certificate Program
After over 500 hours of training, Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon received two certificates from the NC Criminal Justice Leadership Academy (NCJA). Dixon attended both the Leadership Certificate Program and NCJA Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute is a 120-hour program, one week a month for three months. This program is newly developed, with Dixon’s class as Session 1. Fifteen officers from agencies around the state graduated the inaugural session, with five from Brunswick County. “All of the ladies and gentlemen involved in this class are exemplary professionals who demonstrate the highest standards of law enforcement,” Dixon said. “It was an honor to share and grow in our agencies through the varying insight of officers from around the state.” The Leadership Certificate Program requires 400 hours of training specifically in the area of Law Enforcement Leadership. One of the core classes required for the Leadership Certificate is graduation from the Leadership Institute. The remaining 280 hours are accumulated from a variety of elective classes. Upon graduating from the Leadership Institute, Dixon along with three other individuals were the first four officers in the state to receive the Leadership Certificate from the NCJA. “For me this was a very rewarding experience,” Dixon said. “I had the rare opportunity to study leadership with some of the greatest law enforcement leaders and instructors from around the state. The men and women involved with the Leadership Institute are a testament to the future of law enforcement in North Carolina. The professional relationships and networking developed through this program will prove to be valuable for years to come.”

COVID-19 created some hardships along the way as the Leadership Institute was originally scheduled for the spring of 2020 but was canceled out of safety precautions. The NCJA worked diligently to make necessary adjustments and rescheduled for the fall. Along with the rescheduling, two weeks of training were converted from in-person to online via Zoom. The last week of training was permitted to be hosted at the training facility in Salemburg with strict precautions followed. Dixon said he wants to lead and inspire officers to continue to provide professional police service and public safety to their community. “Holden Beach is such an amazing place to live, work and vacation,” he said.  “With the often-negative portrait of law enforcement in today’s mainstream media, I think it’s important for officers to remain vigilant in our study of law enforcement to provide the utmost professional service to our communities.” Dixon completed his basic law enforcement training at Brunswick Community College in 2005. He began working with Holden Beach law enforcement in 2007 and became a detective in 2011, eventually swearing in as chief of police in 2019.
Read more » click here


Holden Beach committee opts against hiring seasonal officers
After meeting for half a year, the town of Holden Beach’s seasonal law enforcement officers committee disbanded last week with members feeling confident they’re ready to draft a report to the town board.  During the meeting last Thursday, Jan. 7, town commissioner Mike Sullivan shared his findings after speaking with Emerald Isle Police Chief Tony Reese and Sunset Beach Police Chief Ken Klamar. “Last time we met we spoke about the efficiency and the utility of using seasonal police officers, and I’d say that since that meeting I had an opportunity to speak to two of the chiefs of police in the area to get their thoughts on the utilization of temporary police officers and how they go about it,” Sullivan said. “Neither of those jurisdictions use seasonal police officers as I was hoping we could use them, which was to have them do patrol during the heavy season and that way we wouldn’t have to have full-time police officers year-round,” Sullivan said. “In addition to the fact that they don’t use police officers for patrol on a regular basis, they expressed the same concerns that we have spoken about here: the retention, the training, the cost of equipping and transportation issues that arise when you have part-time or seasonal police officers.” Commissioner Pat Kwiatkowski agreed with Sullivan that seasonal police is off the table. “However, I go back to where some of this started which was about having a more perceived, serious presence on the beach and after hearing from other beach communities that they do use retired or active officers who want extra hours for beach patrol, I believe it is something we should consider doing. Ocean Isle does it; clearly they think it’s successful,” said Kwiatkowski, noting that she thinks retired police officers doing beach patrol could be more reliable. “The second thing that came out to me form several discussions is would the town benefit from having somebody taking calls for a longer period of time and seven days a week during season?” Kwiatkowski asked. Kwiatkowski noted that a lot of people tend to call the police department, rather than 911, for minor matters. She wanted there to be a way that citizens and visitors can call and get a voice or answer immediately during tourist season. Sullivan asked if they have capability to record a call and have an officer check in twice an hour to follow up on call since it is not an emergency, which Chief of Police Jeremy Dixon said he could look into. When Sullivan spoke to other chiefs of police about enforcement, they said during a full season they may issue one to two summons. “I guess it’s more the appearance of authority than it is the actual use of authority when you have police officers on the beach,” Sullivan said. Dixon agreed and did not think it was feasible to spend the money on officers to handle a small amount of issues. Kwiatkowski concluded that using police instead of the ranger program would not be much of a benefit and would be more costly. Town Manager David Hewett said that regarding budgetary impacts and comparison on how they do things verses other beach towns, he thinks consideration should be made on how other beaches are funded. For instance, Ocean Isle funds their beach through their occupancy tax. The meeting concluded with Sullivan saying he felt they discussed all the issues and got as much information as possible to draft a report to the whole board, suggesting no further committee meetings. Sullivan volunteered drafting the final report but asked members of the committee and those present at the meeting to contact him by the second week of February with specific items they felt should be included in the report. The committee will present their findings to the board of commissioners during their March regular meeting on March 16.
Read more » click here


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

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


Neighborhood Watch

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

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

Keep Check Request Form
. a) Complete the form and return it to the Police Department
. b)
Officers check your property in your absence

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


3. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 21-01 (Formerly Ordinance 20-17), An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 94.03: Frontal Dune Policy and Regulations(cannot be adopted until 24 hours from time of the public hearing) – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
The above-mentioned amendment was presented at the last meeting for consideration, the Board of Commissioners set the public hearing. Once the matter meets the statuary requirements for proper notification it may be considered for approval,

Note: approval must be delayed a minimum of 24 hours.

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH ORDINANCE 21-01
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 94.03: FRONTAL DUNE POLICY AND REGULATIONS

Proposed Change »
Exception: Swimming Pools maybe located south of the town’s designated  frontal dune, placement of pools and decking shall not extend more than 50 feet from the established seaward toe of designated frontal dune. This exception only applies when the CAMA dune is more seaward than the town’s frontal dune.

Previously reported – December 2020
Agenda Packet –
Staff Initiated Text Amendments
The Planning staff are asking the Board to consider the provided changes to the Town’s Code of Ordinances. Over the course of the last 11 years, we have at the request of the Town Board and citizens made changes to numerous sections within the code. These two current changes are needed corrections that will help to ensure maximum use of individuals’ property, while maintaining consistency with the original intent.

These staff-initiated changes are to correct discrepancies brought to fruition from questions and consultation posed by both the public and Town officials.

These changes will provide for better use of properties.

Benefits are:

        1. An increase in property tax values, better marketability
        2. Increase in parking area
        3. Fair use of property across flood zones
        4. Structure flexibility
        5. Aesthetics
        6. Safety

Timbo explained his rationale for requested zoning change that addresses only oceanfront pools. Motion was made to have Public Hearing for requested zoning change at the next scheduled Board meeting.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Timbo explained that we have met all the requirements, it’s been on the agenda twice and the public hearing was held tonight. Approval must be delayed a minimum of 24 hours. It will be put on next month’s meeting agenda for approval.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


4. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date to Hold a Public Hearing on Ordinance 21-02 (Formerly Ordinance 20-18), An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 157.006: Definitions (Height Measuring Point) – Inspections Director Evans
. a)
Consideration of Consistency Statement

Agenda Packet –
The above-mentioned amendment was presented at the last meeting for consideration, the Board of Commissioners sent the request to the Planning Board for consideration of the consistency statement, the planning board was granted a waiver from the COVID-19 rules to take up the action for consistency with the Land Use Plan. The Planning Board could not make a quorum, as allowed by statute the Planning Director with assistance from staff and the Planning Board provides a consistency statement to address the current Land Use Plan.

Consistency Statement
The Town of Holden Beach Planning Staff has reviewed and recommends approval of Ordinance 21-02 regarding structure height for structures located in a X Zones.

After review, the Planning Staff has found that the amendment is consistent with the current 2009 CAMA Land Use Plan and is considered reasonable and in the public interest for the following reasons.

The amendment provides for the fair use of property across flood zones while conforming to the goal of maintaining height control of structures. See Policy 9.1.A.2 and Tables 2.1 Existing and Emerging Conditions and 2.2 Planning Issues, 9.4, 9.4.A.6 Water Quality.

Staff finds the amendment is reasonable and in the public interest for it brings about consistency within the ordinance for maximum use of properties.

Promote public health, safety, and general welfare within our community by potentially providing increased aesthetic values and better marketability resulting in an increased tax base and by increasing the maximum use of an individual’(s) property.

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH ORDINANCE 21-02
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE  HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 157.006: DEFINITIONS (HEIGHT MEASURING POINT)

Proposed Change »
Exception: structure located in X zones may be measured as written in (1) (a) with a maximum height of 31feet from the established Height Measuring Point.

Previously reported – December 2020
All proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance must go through Planning & Zoning Board for review, comments, and a consistency statement. In other words, this is not kosher. Town Manager said this issue needs to be addressed, his recommendation is that it be sent to P&Z Board. Commissioner Sullivan requested that the previous agenda item also be sent to P&Z too since it is also is a zoning change that would require a consistency statement. Directive will be sent to P&Z with required thirty-day response, turnaround. This is contingent upon Mayor Holden amending the State of Emergency order  to allow the meeting.

Update –
Timbo explained we have consistency statement and now need to schedule a public hearing. The proposed change is an exception for properties in X zones. He briefly explained the rationale and its implications. Public Hearing will be put on next month’s meeting agenda.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


5. Discussion and Possible Action on Land Use Plan – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
Before the BOC’s is the final and last stage of the Town of Holden Beach Land Use Plan.

This plan meets 7b requirements under the North Carolina CAMA act, and the new standards for consideration under the current 160d statutes, (requiring all government entities to have in place a Comprehensive Development Plan).

This will replace the current LUP plan once approved.

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

Editor’s Note –
The plan merely sets guidelines which can be changed as the situation requires. What’s more it is nonbinding. Every land use or zoning decision needs a consistency statement that says whether the recommendation conforms to the LUP or not. We can recommend something that does not conform if we state why it is in the best interest to do that.  

Previously reported – December 2020
Agenda Packet –
Land Use Plan Draft » click here  

Wes spoke again stating that they have been working on the LUP for the last four (4) years and that has been approved by all the parties involved. The next step in the process is for the BOC’s to formally adopt the plan. Since the Ordinance cannot be adopted until after 24 hours  from the time of the Public Hearing the plan is for them to include it on the agenda for the next scheduled Board meeting.

 Update –
Timbo stated it took a long time to get to this point, requested they adopt the Land Use Plan as submitted. The Board adopted the Land Use Plan as submitted.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


6. Discussion and Possible Action on Parks & Recreation Master Plan Responses – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
The current Parks and Recreation Master Plan for the Town of Holden Beach was completed in May of 2012. Our current plan is dated and will need an update, especially if there is interest in competing for Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grants. As part of the budget process this fiscal year, the Town included funds to update the plan. On November 3, 2020, an RFQ was placed on our website and eight agencies were directly solicited for participation. We received six proposals from highly recognized and valued firms in the profession by the due date of December 7,2020.

Town staff reviewed and scored proposals during the December and early January timeframe and narrowed the search to three firms: McAdams, Benesch and McGill. Staff then conducted follow-up interviews with the three firms on Monday, January 11,2021 to allow staff to better understand the process each firm plans to take during the COVID-19 pandemic to engage the public and better understand a timeline for deliverable.

All the firms who presented proposals are highly qualified to meet the Town’s needs and we appreciate the quantity and quality of submissions we received. Based on proposals from each finalist and the responses to interview questions, Town staff recommends the award of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan update to McGill. The group is well versed in parks and recreation master plans with multiple PARTF grants awarded from their work products.

Suggested Motion:
Award of the Town of Holden Beach Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update to McGill and authorize the Town Manager to negotiate with the firm regarding the cost of the contract and execute accordingly within the existing budgeted resources.

Parks & Rec Master Plan Update  Proposals

McAdams proposal » click here

Benesch proposal
» click here

McGill proposal » click here

Update –
Christy stated that the last plan was dated 2012 and that we should be updating the plan every five years. She then reviewed the process and made the recommendation to award the contract to McGill with an explanation of why they were selected. The Board awarded the contract to McGill as recommended.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Discussion and Possible Action on Legal Services Proposals – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
As directed at the November 17, 2020, staff readvertised the Town’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for Legal services. In response to the Request for Proposals (RFP), the Town received four proposals.

The firms who are interested in providing legal services to the Town are The Law Firm of Richard F. Green, The Brough Law Firm, Coble Law Firm, and Moore Law. The Board will need to decide how you wish to proceed in selecting an attorney.

The proposals are included in the Board’s meeting information for review.

Legal Services Proposals

Green proposal » click here

Brough proposal
» click here

Coble proposal » click here

Moore proposal » click here

Replacement of Town Attorney
As provided for at North Carolina General Statute §160A-173.
§160A-173.  City attorney; appointment and duties.
The council shall appoint a city attorney to serve at its pleasure and to be its legal adviser.

Previously reported – October 2020
One-year anniversary of our relationship with the Law Office of G. Grady Richardson firm that was selected by the previous Board. Apparently, they have some concerns about the amount of money we are spending for legal services. Woody suggested that now would be a good time to decide whether to stay the course or make a change. Surprisingly, he then proposed terminating our relationship with them. The Board tasked the Town Manager with doing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Legal Services.

Previously reported – November 2020
Agenda Packet –
A Request for Proposals (RFP) for Legal Services was advertised in the local paper and was placed on the North Carolina League of Municipalities’ website. In response to the RFP, the Town received two proposals.

The firms who are interested in providing legal services to the Town are the Law Firm of Richard F. Green and the Brough Law Firm.

Mayor Holden and Commissioner Kwiatkowski both stated that they were disappointed that we did not get a better response to the RFP. The Board has the responsibility to make sure that they have the appropriate person in this position. Mayor Holden asked them to consider approaching Noel Fox to represent us on an interim basis as needed. Noel Fox of Craige & Fox was our new town attorney, has municipal law experience, currently is working on beach nourishment easements and is familiar with the issues. Two motions were made.

The first motion was to do another Request for Proposals (RFP) for Legal Services.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

The second motion was to offer the interim town attorney position to Noel Fox.
A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Brown objected. Gerald felt that the position should be offered to Richard Green since his firm responded to the RFP and that he had previously served as the attorney for the Town, albeit not recently.

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski recommended we use the same process that they used last time. That is for the entire Board interviews the potential candidates. Heather will handle scheduling interviews and coordinate their schedules to set meeting date.

Previously reported – August 2019
Commissioner Sullivan indicated that it was not prudent to hire an attorney without conducting interviews. His recommendation was to interview the firms at a Special Meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken


8. Discussion and Election of Chairman to the Audit Committee – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Per Section 30.26 of the Code of Ordinances, the chairman of the Audit Committee shall be elected by the Board at their first regular meeting in January. The current chairman is Commissioner Tyner. The Board may choose to extend Commissioner Tyner’s term or select a different commissioner to serve as the chairman.

In the same section, it states the chairman of the Audit Committee shall make a recommendation to the Board on who shall serve as public members. Based on the recommendation, the Board needs to select two – four public members, whose normal term is one year.

Tony Chavonne, Mark Fleischhauer, Jeannine Richman and Jeff Tansill, the members who served during the 2020 term, are all interested in serving another term.

The Board can vote by ballot or verbally to fill the positions. If ballots are used, please make sure to sign your name on the ballot.

§30.26 AUDIT COMMITTEE OF THE BOC
There is hereby established an Audit Committee of the BOC, which shall be comprised of: A Chairman of the BOC Audit Committee, who shall be a member of the Board of Commissioners; and not fewer than two nor more than four Public Members, as determined by the BOC at the first regular meeting in January. The Chairman of the BOC Audit Committee and each of the Public Members shall have a normal term of one year, and all shall serve at the pleasure of the BOC. The Chairman of the BOC Audit Committee shall be elected by the BOC at the first regular meeting in January.

Previously reported – January 2018
The Board of Commissioners has found that establishment of an Audit Committee would improve the ability of the Board of Commissioners to perform its fiscal oversight function.

 Previously reported – January 2019
The Board voted by ballot and selected Woody Tyner for Chairman
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Commissioner Sullivan made a motion to nominate Woody Tyner for Chairman
Woody was elected to serve as Audit Committee Chairman for another year

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


  • 9. Discussion and Selection of Audit Committee Members – Town Clerk Finnell

    Agenda Packet –
    Per Section 30.26 of the Code of Ordinances, the chairman of the Audit Committee shall be elected by the Board at their first regular meeting in January. The current chairman is Commissioner Tyner. The Board may choose to extend Commissioner Tyner’s term or select a different commissioner to serve as the chairman. In the same section, it states the chairman of the Audit Committee shall make a recommendation to the Board on who shall serve as public members. Based on the recommendation, the Board needs to select two – four public members, whose normal term is one year.Tony Chavonne, Mark Fleischhauer, Jeannine Richman and Jeff Tansill, the members who served during the 2020 term, are all interested in serving another term.The Board can vote by ballot or verbally to fill the positions. If ballots are used, please make sure to sign your name on the ballot.

  • §30.26 AUDIT COMMITTEE OF THE BOC

    There is hereby established an Audit Committee of the BOC, which shall be comprised of: A Chairman of the BOC Audit Committee, who shall be a member of the Board of Commissioners; and not fewer than two nor more than four Public Members, as determined by the BOC at the first regular meeting in January. The Chairman of the BOC Audit Committee and each of the Public Members shall have a normal term of one year, and all shall serve at the pleasure of the BOC. The Chairman of the BOC Audit Committee shall be elected by the BOC at the first regular meeting in January.

Previously reported – January 2020
Agenda Packet –
Tony Chavonne, Mark Fleischhauer and Tom Myers; the members who served during the 2019 term are all  interested in serving  another  term.  Their applications are included in the packet, but they are  not scheduled for interviews since they have been interviewed and served on the committee in the past. Jeff Tansill is interested in serving but is out of town and unable to interview for the position. His application is included in your packets. Jeannine Richman and Tom Inzerillo are also interested and are scheduled to be interviewed at the special meeting.

The Board voted by ballot and selected the following four (4) people to be members of the Audit Committee. Mark Fleischhauer and Anthony Chavonne , current members of the Audit Committee, will be joined by the two new applicants Jeff Tansil and Jeannine Richman.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
The Board reappointed everyone that was eligible.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


10. Discussion and Possible Action on Revisiting the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 50: Solid Waste – Commissioners Sullivan and Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski memo
In 2018 a series of special meetings were held by the Commissioners to address issues with waste bins, often overflowing, sitting at roadside for days at a time (see P. Kwiatkowski Issue memo dated 26 July 2018, included in the packet). A revised ordinance was agreed and passed by the BOC in December 2018 but then was significantly altered at a subsequent BOCM in a manner that continues to allow bins containing trash to sit at roadside at any time and precludes town paid rollback of any bins that are not empty. This has resulted in not only a health issue but is also a safety hazard, particularly on Saturdays during summer season when over 200 bins are left roadside on OB on a typical rental changeover day ( personal observation by Commissioner Kwiatkowski).

The BOC should evaluate the overall the 2018 Waste Disposal issue effort and revised ordinance that was overturned with the objective of identifying and implementing changes that can help reduce roadside trash containing bins, particularly during periods of high rental activity.

Also included in the package is an example of trash bin management as it appears on the website of Emerald Isle, a beach community in Carteret County, as well as copies of the current Holden Beach trash ordinance and the previous version that had been approved but was changed at a subsequent BOCM .


  • Emerald Isle/ Garbage & Recycling
    For more information » click here

    Garbage and/or recyclable containers may be placed adjacent to the street no earlier than 12:00 p.m. the day before collection is scheduled and must be  returned to an acceptable  location by 9:00 a.m. on the day after collection.


Memo / July 2018
Issue:
Waste Disposal, including Recyclables

Needed:
A waste disposal program that encompasses both perishable waste and recyclables, and a solution to the unsightly roadside full and empty bins that linger after scheduled collection, particularly on Saturdays during season.

Background:
Overflowing waste bins on both Tuesdays and Saturdays are a too common site on Holden Beach. Although rental properties are required to have one waste bin per two bedrooms, not all rental properties are in compliance; it may also be that for some properties the standard 1 for 2 is inadequate. To further exacerbate the situation, in the absence of a mandatory recycling program, a significant amount of recyclable material goes into the garbage bins, not only taking space needed for garbage but also unnecessarily adding to our local landfill burden.

Uncollected waste in or around bins prematurely pushed to roadside or that do not make it to curbside in time for Waste Industry pickup, particularly on Saturday during season, is both a health and island image issue for residents and renters (plus an inconvenience to incoming renters faced with 2 1/2 days without enough garbage space). Additionally, a significant portion of HB does not have waste bin rollback service, resulting in a large number of empty bins being very near or even partly in the road (and subject to blowing over). On Saturdays during season, roadside bins pose increased risk to drivers who are already distracted with locating their rental.

Activities to Date:
After the closure of the Holden Beach recycle center in September 2016, the Town Manager (TM) committed to collect data on waste collection, including recycle, and to analyze the data in order to bring recommendations to the Board of Commissioners. The data has been collected, a report issued and SOC discussions have occurred.

Next Steps:
The SOC must decide which of the possible solutions for several problems is the preferred solution (the report and previous discussions form the basis for August 6 discussions and decisions). Once accomplished, the preferred solutions can be reviewed and commented on by the Town Attorney, following which a final set of directions can be produced for actions and where necessary budget consideration for the 2019 calendar year.

Decisions needed:
Recycling policy for the island

Recycle pick up schedule that best fits island’s needs

Audit (and enforcement policy) of 1 can per 2-bedroom (or more for high occupancy houses?) requirement for rentals

Rollback service improvements

Rental agency/owner responsibilities for renter education and “out of compliance” trash (and enforcement policy).

What constitutes citable violations and fines with respect to
. 1. waste bins kept at homes and
. 2. waste bins at street side

What action to take on corrals?

Town of Holden Beach educational material for property owners and rental agents

Possible Outputs:
Recycling policy for the island

Opt out (problem with opt out can return-city capital tied up?) Voluntary

Recycle- pick up schedule that best fits island’s needs during season

Stay as is (every other Tuesday) – renter confusion

Every other Tuesday October 1 thru May 15, either every Tuesday or every

Saturday (preferred) from May 15 to September 30.

Ordinance rewrites to better define waste types, waste policies (legal containers, number of containers, time to and from curb, where containers are to be stored), what constitutes citable violations, enforcement policy and fines.

Audit procedure and audit of 1 can per 2-bedroom requirement (or more for high occupancy houses?) for rentals (with enforcement policy)

Rollback service possibilities-preference not to increase budget

Stay as is (all Tuesdays plus Saturdays during season, OB only) Whole island all Tuesdays plus Saturdays during season-higher cost Whole island or OB only, only Tuesdays and Saturdays during season

Whole island or OB only, Tuesdays off season and Saturdays during season

Whole island or OB only, only Saturdays during season

No service-some residents have expressed their preference for no roll back

Rental agency/owner responsibilities for renter education and “out of compliance” waste (with enforcement policy)-should rental management companies be responsible for hauling cans (full or empty) back from the curb after the established deadline

Town of Holden Beach educational material for property owners and rental agents

Draft timeline/proposed key decision dates

Recycle policy and pickup schedule and the waste can audit procedure finalized by October 1, to be reported no later than the October 2018 BOC (enable acceptance by EOY)

Ordinance amendments completed and signed off by November 2018 BOC

Enforcement policies completed by November 2018 BOC (enables acceptance by EOY)

Town of Holden Beach educational material for property owners and rental agents by March 1.

Waste bin number audit completed by January 15 and communication to out of compliance owners by March 1 (to allow time for them to have the right number before May 1). Enforcement after May 1.

Push back changes (if any) by March 1 for budget consideration (both 18 and 19)


Previously reported – March 2019
Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 19-03, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 50: Solid Waste – Town Clerk Finnell

 Solid Waste Report

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

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

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

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

§50.99 PENALTY.
(A)     Criminal. Violators of Chapter 50 will not be subject to a criminal penalty.
(B)      Civil. In accordance with § 10.99(B) of this code of ordinances, the civil fine for violation of any provision of this chapter shall be $50 per day per offense. Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the penalty provided in § 10.99(B) of this code of ordinances.


Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy
Previously reported – January 2019
Defining the Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy
Discussion was about how to combine education with enforcement and how do we effectively communicate the rule change to the public. Pat plans to meet with Town staff and put something together for the next BOC’s meeting. David reminded the Board that they need to keep in mind that there is a cost associated with the enforcement phase. At least three (3) of the Board members want to hold off issuing any civil fines until we are able to offer a fee-based rollout service. 

Chapter 50: Solid Waste
Rental properties have specific number of trash cans based on number of bedrooms.

Enforcement fines to those not following the yard waste requirements

Enforcement fines for those placing trash on the ground or on top of trash containers

Enforcement and communication reside with the town staff to determine

Examine the possibility of providing a rollout program in addition to rollback.

We were told protocols would be established, communication to the public would be made, followed by enforcement. When are we planning to do these tasks?


Fee Based Rollout
Previously reported – January 2019
Discussion and Possible Action to Include Fee Based Rollout of Waste and Recycle Containers in Ordinance 18-16, Chapter 50: Solid Waste – Commissioner Freer
The saga continues. Apparently, some of the Board members feel that we have only addressed half of the problem. Therefore, we should hold off until we are able to implement a fee-based rollout service. David pointed out that implementing a rollout service was not as simple as it would seem, a number of variables make it much more complex than the rollback program. Peter volunteered to take the point on this issue.

The question that needs to be asked is: Why didn’t we have this conversation before adopting the ordinance? The process started in August and Ordinance 18-16 was adopted in December of 2018.


Chapter 50: Solid Waste
Previously reported – February 2019

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

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

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

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

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

They also agreed that they need to do the following:

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

Just two weeks ago they unanimously agreed to take a TIMEOUT and not make any additional changes

They all agreed that the only exception would be for the enforcement component date

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

The coalition of three that voted for this change didn’t do what they said they would, which was to take a timeout.

In other words, they reneged on the agreement they made only two weeks ago.

Previously reported – March 2019
Approval of Ordinance 19-03, Chapter 50: Solid Waste
Unbelievably at the eleventh hour they changed the language for §50.99 PENALTY yet again. Commissioner Sullivan made a valiant last-ditch effort to convince the Board to not make changes to the Ordinance. He gave a brief timeline overview of the work that had been done to develop a comprehensive plan to address the issues that had been identified as problems. His position simply stated is that only one component, the rollout portion, needs to be worked on and he was confident they would be able to work it out. The proposed ordinance does not solve the problem and makes the situation worse than when they started working on these issues. His plea to give it a chance to work seems to fall on deaf ears. Commissioner Kwiatkowski who spearheaded the development of the ordinance reiterated that the biggest piece was requirements of getting the cans back off curbside which they just eliminated.

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

Update –
Commissioner Sullivan gave a brief timeline overview of the work that had been done to develop a comprehensive plan to address the issues. His position is  that it is a reasonable expectation to establish rules and for people to comply. Commissioner Kwiatkowski also felt that the ordinance needs to be revisited and the first step would be to get the trash cans off the street, particularly OBW. Patty said that we could benchmark Emerald Isle since it seems that they are already doing what we are talking about doing. Although they plan to revisit a number of issues, at this time they are proposing changing our policy of leaving full containers roadside and would like to see them be included in rollback just like we do for all empty containers. They asked the public for comments prior to changing the ordinance. This is all for naught if requirements do not include a clear enforcement mechanism. The plan is to bring the proposed ordinance to the next meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken


.

To be continued …

 

 



How many times
have we plowed this field?!

 

 


11. Update on Parking Committee Meeting of January 8, 2021 – Commissioner Tyner

Agenda Packet –
Parking Committee Meeting Minutes
For more information » click here


Holden Beach parking committee scopes out options at first meeting
Following discussion of property development leading to lack of parking, at the town of Holden Beach’s regular board meeting in November, the town formed a parking committee, which met for its first regular meeting on Friday, Jan. 8. The committee met to discuss a paid parking evaluation, partnership with Holden Beach Pier on paid parking, boat trailer parking concerns if Block Q is sold, Jordan Boulevard redesign to provide more parking spaces, review of Avenue A potential traffic pattern change with East End parking and maximization of existing property. A parking committee has convened in the past to discuss similar ideas. At the November 2018 Holden Beach Board of Commissioners meeting, the Planning & Zoning Board was tasked with forming a Community Advisory Committee to study and make recommendations regarding Jordan Boulevard, visitor parking, town owned properties and paid parking. The Community Advisory Committee recommended investigating completing a similar project to the one proposed by NC State many years ago for Jordan Boulevard. Visitor parking was determined to be unneeded at the time. However, the Community Advisory Committee felt paid parking should be investigated further due to surrounding towns already utilizing it and because it could be used as a source of funding for the town, to help cover expenses incurred from visitors and enhance visitor experience. An informal poll of East End residents also showed that they were in favor of paid parking.   

Commissioner Woody Tyner reported that since the Community Advisory Committee delivered their report, Holden Beach has faced several events, prompting reconsideration. The first being that two large RV parks are being developed off-island and expected to significantly increase the demand for visitor parking. Tyner said more daily visitors are expected to come to Holden Beach due to travel limitations imposed by the pandemic. Additionally, the owner of Block Q has expressed desire in selling properties for future housing development, leading to elimination of boat trailer parking. “I don’t think that the town should rely on the good will of a property owner, which is what has been occurring over the years, to provide for an amenity that is used at such a great degree,” said Town Manager David Hewett. “We need to quit relying on the crumbs that’s left out of the good will from somebody else’s table.” Commissioner Brian Murdock had similar concerns, stating that 100-plus cars are parked where they will not be able to in years to come due to development. He said places where they used to park just 18 months ago have four houses there now. Currently the Town of Holden Beach has 226 total parking spots and approximately six lots of land to develop into additional parking. “It’s a matter of what can you accomplish within your existing resources,” Hewett said. “If you want something tangible, I’d say that, without going through the buffet line with a bus tray, that’s more a manageable portion for us to bring back with something,” the portion being issues the committee outlined to look into. As the large RV campground is close to being finished, with an estimated opening in summer, the Town is preparing for an influx in visitors. “I’m not realistically trying to accommodate more people. I just think to even accommodate what we’re accustomed to, I don’t see how we can’t do something,” Murdock said. Going forward the committee wants to estimate bulkheads on the 800 block and determine how many parking spaces they can get from it, look at the cross through streets between Ocean Boulevard and Brunswick Avenue to see what it would cost and how many spots to get there, look into angler parking on Avenue A, look at land around old Hillside Drive to see what opportunities are there and identify areas that need trimming up to make parking more visible. The parking committee decided to meet the first Friday of every month, with the next meeting scheduled Feb. 5.
Read more » click here

Update –
Woody gave an update and summarized what was done so far.

Main takeaway is that they developed four tasks as follows:

      • Develop the cost and work estimates and estimate the number of potential parking spots that would result from building a knee-high bulkhead across the town owned properties in the 800 block of Ocean Boulevard West (OBW) to create new parking l
      • Develop the cost and work estimates and estimate the number of potential parking spots utilizing the two cross-through streets between OBW and Brunswick Avenue West .
      • Develop the cost and work estimates and estimate the number of potential parking spots by creating angled parking spots on Avenue
      • Investigate the potential of using the space previously known as Hillside Drive where Ocean Boulevard East ends and McCray Street begins on the ocean side for potential parking If the use of this space is feasible, develop the cost and work estimates and estimate the number of potential parking spots.

He also said that they are looking for input from the public.


12. Town Manager’s Report

Financial Report
Budget slide presentation of the quarterly budget report as of end of December with a brief explanation of each fund balance. Budget is posted on Town website.

Previously reported – January 2020
Woody discussed this with David, and they have agreed that the Town Manager would on a quarterly basis give the Board a summarized view of the budget. Brilliant!  Just so you know, that’s what we used to do.  The quarterly budget report presented a snapshot of where we stood at the end of each quarter.  David gave a simple explanation of each fund balance, comparing the budget numbers to the actual numbers. The numbers were presented in context, since we have huge seasonal fluctuations in both income and expenses.


Budget Season
Need to setup calendar for upcoming year


NC League of Municipalities Legislative Agenda
Town participated on panel developing goals for legislative advocacy
Resulted in seventeen draft municipal goals to be considered by membership
Town voted for the ten-best suited to Holden Beach
Particularly pointed to one –
Creating a permanent and adequate funding for local infrastructure needs (beaches & parks)


LWF Inlet dredging
Sidecaster Dredge Merritt has been on site since Christmas at a cost of approximately $18,000 per day. That’s all the time that they are scheduled to be here.

Previously reported – December 2020
LWF Maintenance Project
USACE plan is in place for the LWF inlet maintenance project. Five events per year, at a cost of approximately one million dollars just for side-caster dredger. Funding commitments are not in place yet, THB cost share would be roughly $60,000. That’s as close as we have been to having an annual maintenance program for the inlet.

The Merritt is scheduled to begin dredging December 27th for twenty-one days, USACE has funding in place.

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


Sand Fence Project installation
Well underway – approximately 4,000 feet beachfront installed so far; they are working from west to east on the east end of the island.


Federal Work Plan
Last week they held a “what’s next”  call with Ward & Smith regarding Federal Coastal Storm Damage Study.

Holden Beach is competing for a new study as part of USACE 2021Work Plan authorized by the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. Wilmington District USACE has affirmed Holden Beach is at the top of their priority list. Town staff is working with Ward & Smith to maintain formal contact with Office of Management and Budget and Corps to ensure that the continuity of the Town’s position is maintained through changes in the federal administration. Ward & Smith has reiterated that if included in the work plan, the Town would need to sign an agreement with the Corps committing the Town to participate in a study effort at a cost of $1.5mm spread over course of three years; $500k of which would need to be included in fiscal year 21/22. David received a call today informing him that Holden Beach has been selected, which means we have been made a priority.

It appears that we have also been funded.

ARMY CIVIL WORKS PROGRAM / FY 2021 WORK PLAN – INVESTIGATIONS
Study: BRUNSWICK COUNTY BEACHES (HOLDEN BEACH), NC
Allocation: $500,000
Summary of Work: Initiate a General Reevaluation Report for Holden Beach

Previously reported – July 2020
Congressman Mike McIntyre of Poyner Spruill made presentation to the Board with an update on Poyner Spruill and The Ferguson Group’s most recent advocacy efforts.

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

  • Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study Authorization Section 7001 program – three / three / three. Three years / three million dollars / reviewed at all three levels – District / Division/ Washington. Deadline to file a Letter of Intent application, is the end of next month, this just gets us in line to be included for consideration. If we are selected and we have made the cut, we would then have to sign a contract probably sometime around 2024 making a commitment to pay our share. That would be half the cost, so our portion would be $1.5 million. At best this is a long shot and years down the road. That said, we would still be committing to pay $1.5 million for the study with no assurances  that we will actually have the project constructed.
  • Congressional authority to do study was approved in 1966 but was never completed. We could pursue this option simultaneously with the 7001 process. However, as it stands now, we would be obligated to pay the costs that were incurred during the original study request. This is like a Hail Mary pass. We would attempt to run the 1966 Brunswick County Beaches Project up the flag pole.  USACE spent $8.5 million and the beaches are obligated to pay half of that.  We could ask for forgiveness, where we would not agree to pay for our share which is $1.1 million and do a new study. Uncertain whether USACE would go for this.   

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

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


Editor’s Note
Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (S. 1811)

Backlog of Authorized Projects
S. 1811 (§301) addresses the authorization of various types of projects in the backlog.
deauthorize projects authorized prior to November 17, 1986, that had not been started or were unfunded for 10 years;


Just to be clear I’m for beach nourishment, but I am generally opposed to moving forward with the federal project due to the uncertainty of the funding.  We will be paying a huge amount of money for something that doesn’t make any sense to do. Our portion of $1.5 million for a study seems ridiculous to me; the output is a project that we probably won’t want to pay for anyway. Currently we are paying for a lobbyist to pursue this without even being able to crunch the numbers. The expression don’t buy a pig in a poke comes to mind. A number of towns have already decided to pass and stay with FEMA; so I question, Why are we still even considering this? More importantly if we are selected, How do we plan to pay for it? I really think we need to have some serious discussions prior to spending that kind of money.


Street Paving
Streets paving petition status, affirmative responses to date

  • Seagull 23 of 44 owners responded positively
  • Deal & Canal have been non-responsive

Clerk working certifications, half dozen of affirms require additional signatures
Need 23 for majority status which we now have
Continuing outreach efforts on non-responses
Streets maintenance not cost effective without paving

Previously reported – December 2020
Intent to complete petition responses and report back to the Board next month
Reiterated Town’s position again, that now is the time to do it

Previously reported – November 2020
Minimum number(20) of affirmative responses received so far
Town’s position now is the time to do it –

1. Opportunity to take advantage of low fuel prices
2. NCDOT paving projects on pause
3. Street maintenance is not cost effective without paving, particularly on Seagull

Previously reported – October 2020
Letters were sent out mid-September distributing info and petition for paving. So far, there has been an extremely limited number of responses. They have till December 5th to respond.


Sewer Lift Station #3
Station has been in service for over a month
Final inspection has been performed; we are just about wrapped up

Previously reported – December 2020
Winding down, pending final inspection

Previously reported – November 2020
Now in operational test mode subject to final completion and inspection
Contractor remains on schedule and within budget
Sewer Lift Station #2 upgrade process will begin in January

Previously reported – October 2020
So far so good, no issues at this point in time. Project is ahead of schedule with a tentative startup date at the end of October.

Advertise for Bids                 10/24/19
Mandatory Pre-Bids             12/10/19
Receive Bids                           12/19/19
Contract Award                    01/21/20
Construction Start                03/23/20
Contract Completion            12/18/20
Closeout                                  12/31/20

                                          

 


Sewer System No.4

 

 

 

 

Sewer System No.3

 

 


System Development Fees
Staff/Raftelis draft development review/discussion completed last week
On schedule to present to BOC’s at the  February Regular Meeting

Previously reported – December 2020
Preliminary fees have been calculated on schedule to present to BOC’s at the  January Regular Meeting


Canal Subdivision
Continuing with maintenance of the Scotch Bonnet Site
They are working to getting it back to where it needs to be

Previously reported – December 2020
Scotch Bonnet site has become dry enough for them to plant grass there

Previously reported – January 2020
The previous space used for the dog park was converted to a canal dredging spoil site


FEMA
We are in the public notification phase for hurricane Dorian that is required by FEMA before they issue Project Worksheets(PW). If and when Dorian PW is approved, they would like to include it with FloMike efforts. David questioned whether if it is possible that we might have a three-storm beach project.


Parks & Rec programs
Anecdotal observation is that people are engaging in Bridgeview Park activities/facilities more during COVID

Concert schedules complete for the 2021 summer season in the hope that the shows can go on


In Case You Missed It –

Town of Holden Beach officially established on February 14, 1969

Celebrating our 52nd Anniversary!


13. Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Alan Holden – was not in attendance

Town Newsletter
Mayor Holden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is at home isolating. While he recovers, please contact Town Hall with any questions or concerns regarding town business in order to allow him proper time to rest and recuperate.


14. Board of Commissioners’ Comments

Request that the public participate more in the process, they can’t represent you without your input. Please send comments to Heather at  heather@hbtownhall.com

Folks speaking up would be helpful!


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

No decision was made – No action taken


  • Loose Ends (6)

        • Commercial District / Zoning                                 February 2019
        • Dog Park                                                                     July 2020
        • Development Fees                                                     September 2020
        • 796 OBW                                                                    October 2020
        • Parking                                                                      December 2020
        • Solid Waste Ordinances                                          December 2020

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


.
A little surprised that there was NO discussion on the following:
1) Board Objectives
2) Budget Meeting Schedule
3) Sewer System #2 upgrade


.
BOC’s Meeting

The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, February 16th
.


...News & Views –

Newsletter post keeps the community informed on what’s happening on Holden Beach and in the surrounding area with items of interest

Post contains the following:

    • Calendar of Events
    • Calendar of Events – Island
    • Reminders
    • Upon Further Review
    • Corrections & Amplifications
    • Odds and Ends
    • This and That
    • Factoid That May Interest Only Me
    • Hot Button Issues
      1. Climate
      2. Development Fees
      3. Flood Insurance Program
      4. GenX
      5. Homeowners Insurance
      6. Hurricane Season
      7. Inlet Hazard Areas
      8. Lockwood Folly Inlet
      9. Offshore Drilling
      10. Solid Waste Program
    • Things I Think I Think
        a) Restaurant Review
        b) Book Review

Board of Commissioners’ – Scorecard

 NYC Mayor Koch used to ask – How am I doing?

 Imagine if the BOC’s asked you – How’d they do?

 The goal of government is to make citizens better off.

Action Taken – 2020

January
Ordinance 20-01, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#7)
. • Approval of Contract for Sewer Pump Station Number 3 for $1,622,500
. • Budget appropriation of $407,088
Adoption Resolution 20-01, Process and Format Advisory Boards / Committees Recommendations
Ordinance 20-02, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#8)
. • Provides $51,351 of funding for the new pay plan
Ordinance 20-03, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#9)
. • Poyner Spruill Consulting Service contract for $4,500

February
NA

March
Ordinance 20-05, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#10)
. • Reimbursement funds allocated for expenses $296,264
Approval of Contract for Roadway Work
. • Highland Paving was awarded the $111,250 contract
Ordinance 20-06, Amending the Code of Ordinances
. • Eliminates the Executive Secretary position
Approval of Contract to Conduct Town’s Audit
. • Martin Starnes was awarded the $17,250 contract
. • First year
Ordinance 20-08, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#11)
. • Required to budget each storm event separately
. •Moved funds of $15,861,220 and $8,547,506
Adoption Resolution 20-02,  Amending the Fee Schedule
. • Amend the fee schedule to reflect the new recycling fee of $93.29

April
Ordinance 20-09, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#12)
. • FEMA – Required to budget each storm event separately
. • Florence and Michael Project Cat Z-Management Costs
. • Dorian Cat B
Adoption Resolution 20-03,  Designation of Applicant’s Agent

May
NA

June
Ordinance 20-07, Amending the Code of Ordinances
. • Terms of Office; Filling of Vacancies
Ordinance 20-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance / Budget Ordinance
. • Approved the town’s $42.1 million-dollar Budget Ordinance

 July
Adoption Resolution 20-04,  Amending the Fee Schedule
. • Fees for facility rentals and programs
Adoption Resolution 20-05,  Criteria for Engineering Firm Selection
. • FEMA projects

August
Ordinance 20-12, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#1)
Activate contract for removal of disaster debris allocated $267,000 for the projected expenses
Ordinance 20-13, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#2)
Debris removal tip to tip on the beach strand at a cost of $42,000
Ordinance 20-14, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#3)
Restore the dunes with sand fencing and vegetation to damaged areas island wide at a cost of $629,000
Adoption Resolution 20-06,  Recognition of Woman Winning the Right to Vote
Adoption Resolution 20-07,  BB&T Signature Card

September
Ordinance 20-11, Amending the Code of Ordinances
. • Land Usage Pertaining to Construction and Flood Management
Ordinance 20-04, Chapter 157: Zoning Code
. • Residential Dwellings
Adoption Resolution 20-08,  Selection of ATM as our Coastal Engineering Firm
Ordinance 20-15, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#4)
. • Landscaping Maintenance Contract, additional cost of $26,680
Financial firm Raftelis selected to complete a System Development Fee Study, awarded $23,858 contract

October
Resolution 20-09,  Policy for Disaster Debris
Adoption Resolution 20-10,  Opposition to FEMA’s Policies for Disaster Debris in Gated Communities
Adoption Resolution 20-11,  Capital Improvement Plan, Fire Hydrant Replacement Policy
Adoption Resolution 20-12,  Reimburse Ourselves for Capital Expenditures Once We Obtain Financing

November
Adoption Resolution 20-13, Designation of Applicant’s Agent

December
Ordinance 20-16, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#5)
. • Adjustment to the BPART Fund $633,868
Adoption Resolution 20-14, Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Grant


Lord knows, we all deserve it!


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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/

01 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / January Edition


Calendar of Events –

Most events have either been postponed or cancelled


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


Calendar of Events Island –

Most events have either been postponed or cancelled


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


Reminders –



Trash Can Requirements – Rental Properties
GFL Environmental – trash can requirements
Ordinance 07-13, Section 50.10


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

.

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


Solid Waste Pick-Up Schedule
GFL Environmental change in service, trash pickup will be once a week. This year September 26th will be the the last Saturday trash pick-up until June. Trash collection will go back to Tuesdays only.

 

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


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, February 16th
.


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.


Curbside Recycling
GFL environmental is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $93.29 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here

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


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


Waupaca Elevator Recalls to Inspect Elevators Due to Injury Hazard

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

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

Recall Details

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

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

For more information » click here

There is an issue with the gearboxes on select Waupaca Elevators that may cause the elevator to suddenly drop. In December on the island, despite having recommended gearbox inspection, the Waupaca elevator cab fell to the bottom of the elevator shaft causing serious injuries to my friends that were in the elevator cab. Affected elevators need to be checked and the installation of overspeed braking devices completed before being put back into service. Even then I still would be concerned, due to the severity of gear boxes failure the safety features are not responding as they should. I’d strongly recommend that you immediately stop using these Waupaca elevators.


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



Neighborhood Watch –

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


Coronavirus –
Brunswick County COVID-19 Snapshot: as of January 22nd


NC’s updated vaccine rollout –  Brunswick County has moved to Group 2 of the state’s revised COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Phase 1a
– Health care staff working directly with COVID-19 patients and those administering COVID-19 vaccines.

– Long-term care facility residents and staff (administered through federal program).

Phase 1b
– Group 1: Anyone 75 years or older

Group 2: Health care and frontline essential workers 50 years or older. Frontline essential workers include firefighters, police officers, teachers, and those working in corrections, postal services, groceries, and public transit.

– Group 3: Health care and frontline workers of any age, no matter their working conditions.

Phase 2
– Group 1: Anyone 65-74 years old.

– Group 2: Anyone 16-64 years old who has an underlying condition that increases their risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19.  

– Group 3: Individuals who are incarcerated or living in another congregate living setting that hasn’t been vaccinated.  

– Group 4: Other essential workers, as defined by the CDC. This group includes those in food service, construction, public health, engineering, and media.  

Phase 3
– Students in college, university or high school who are 16 or older (Vaccines have not yet be recommended for those under 16).

Phase 4
– Anyone 16 years or older 


Novant Health announces new website for vaccine sign-ups in Brunswick County
Novant Health on Tuesday announced a new website where people who 65 years and older in Brunswick County can sign-up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The new website is NovantHealth.org/BrunswickVaccine. Novant officials are still encouraging people to sign up for a MyChart account to provide all necessary information, including date of birth to confirm eligibility, prior to their vaccination appointment. Recipients do not need to be affiliated with a specific healthcare system to sign up for MyChart, officials say. A spokesperson for Novant said the change was made in an effort to streamline the sign-up process for community members. “Our main priority is to provide the vaccine as quickly as possible to those who are eligible and want the vaccine. We are committed to ensuring all vaccine distribution is equitable, effective and in the best interest of public health despite unprecedented supply challenges,” the spokesperson said. Novant officials offered a reminder that appointments are available based on the limited supply of vaccine provided by the state health department and will be updated weekly. New appointments are added every Friday evening.


COVID/State of Emergency – Timeline

01/06/21
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 188 which extends the modified stay-at-home order with a curfew that requires people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

12/08/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 181 which is a modified stay-at-home order with a curfew that requires people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

11/23/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 180 which expands current mask requirements, extending the rule to essentially any time an individual is outside of their home and in the presence of a non-household contact. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

11/10/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 176 which lowers the indoor gathering limit from 25 to 10 people. The state will remain paused in Phase 3 of its reopening plan. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

10/28/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 171 which assists all residential tenants in North Carolina who qualify for protection from eviction under the terms of the CDC Order. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

10/21/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 170 which is an extension of the Phase 3 order. We will remain paused for another three weeks in Phase 3 of the pandemic recovery. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

09/30/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 169 which lifted certain restrictions and will allow additional openings and capacity for certain businesses. The state’s phased reopening process continues our state’s dimmer switch approach to easing restrictions and is moving from Phase 2.5 to Phase 3 of the pandemic recovery. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The situation is serious; take it seriously!

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


Upon Further Review –


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Top 3 Community Dog Park Benefits:

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

    For more information » click here

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


    Corrections & Amplifications –


Replacement plan for NC license plates begins with new year

Previously reported – October 2019
Drivers must replace license plate every 7 years under new NC law
 North Carolina drivers will have to get new plates every seven years under new DMV laws signed by the governor Friday.

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

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

Update –
Replacement plan for NC license plates begins with new year
Millions of North Carolina motor vehicles will soon be getting a freshen-up when it comes to their license plates. Starting in 2021, any regular plate that’s at least seven years old on the vehicle’s registration renewal date will be replaced. Similarly, aged specialty and vanity plates will be changed out starting in 2022. The schedule is designed to carry out a law creating a replacement mandate.

Plates faded by time and the elements are difficult for police and machines to read. The replacement won’t cost car and truck owners anything, and there’s a method to let them keep their current plate number.
Read more » click here 


 

Ocean Isle Beach’s terminal groin lawsuit will be heard by Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals next month
It’s a lawsuit four years in the making, and one the Town of Ocean Isle Beach hopes is resolved soon so constriction of a terminal groin (a type of jetty) can move forward, conservationists hope that does not happen. The town hopes to protect its beaches and properties along the ocean while conservation groups have argued plans for a terminal groin would be detrimental to the environment and filed suit to stop the project. In August of 2017, the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Audubon North Carolina bringing a halt to a proposed terminal groin project. Now, after being dismissed by a federal judge in September of 2019, the lawsuit is ready to be heard by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

So what exactly is a terminal groin, and what is the concern? In the most basic sense, a terminal groin is a type of rock wall built on the shoreline, extending into the water that are used to help grow beaches and slow erosion. “A groin is built perpendicular to the coast and works similar to the way a jetty works. But groins are usually smaller than jetties and built on straight stretches of beach, not near inlets or channels. They are often built in a series of parallel structures on one section of beach and can be made of wood, concrete, steel or stone. Terminal groins are relatively new concoctions. They are the name proponents have given to small jetties built at inlets — the terminus of islands,” according to the N.C. Coastal Federation.

Proponents of these projects say groins help stem erosion from the beaches and help project properties, however, there are environmental concerns when it comes to installing hard structures. “While they can protect roads, beach homes and other buildings threatened by erosion, hard structures usually cause increased erosion further down the beach. Both jetties and groins, for example, act like dams to physically stop the movement of sand. They work by preventing longshore drift from washing sediment down the coast. As a result, they cause a buildup of sand on the side protected by the structure — which is precisely what they’re intended to do,” according to the N.C. Coastal Federation.

However, the buildup of sand comes at a cost for other properties. “…Areas further “downstream” on the coast are cut off from natural longshore drift by these barrier-like structures. No longer replenished by the sand that usually feeds them, these areas experience worsened erosion,” according to the group.

North Carolina has a history of avoiding the problems brought to other communities through the use of hardened structures and a ban on them was in place for years, since 1985 — until it was repealed in 2011. Senate Bill 110 authorized the construction of terminal groins and repealed the efforts of conservationists.

When the Town of Ocean Isle Beach decided it wanted its own terminal groin in 2017, the lawsuit was filed. The conservationist group claimed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the town’s plan for a terminal groin would be detrimental to the environment. “We’re in court because the Corps failed to fairly consider alternatives that would cost Ocean Isle less, manage erosion, and protect the natural beach on the east end of the island when it approved this destructive project,” said Geoff Gisler, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center at the time the lawsuit was filed. “Federal law requires the Corps to choose the least destructive alternative; with the terminal groin, it approved the most destructive.”

Even U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed that the project would be detrimental to the ecosystem. “A project of this nature will destroy the ecological functioning of this inlet and the surrounding areas. The science is unequivocal. I see no unique issues or areas of significant uncertainty in need of further evaluation. We oppose this project. There is nothing more to discuss,” Pete Benjamin, an employee of the federal agency wrote about the project in 2011, according to emails obtained by Coastal Review Online.

However, proponents of the groin want to move forward. After the decision was entered by the federal judge to dismiss the case, the National Audubon Society filed an appeal with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. According to the town, they are scheduled to have their arguments heard next month. “The Town has been informed by our attorney that the oral argument before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has been scheduled for December 8, 2020. We are hopeful that a final decision on this matter will be rendered by the judge shortly after the oral argument is completed. We will post additional updates as they are made available to the Town,” according to a Facebook Post from the town.
Read more » click here


Odds & Ends –



Seasonal Police Officers

 

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

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

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

Previously reported – September 2020
Holden Beach officials contemplate efforts to extend police force on island
The Town of Holden Beach held a special meeting Thursday, Sept. 3, to continue discussion on the feasibility of hiring seasonal law enforcement officers for the 2021 season. Following their last meeting on July 2, Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon contacted other police chiefs in similarly situated municipalities to discuss their handlings of the beach strand. Dixon reported diverse policing across the towns but found a common problem is retention. In the future he wanted to hold a conference call with Ocean Isle Beach Police Chief Ken Bellamy because their town is similar.
The group decided to hold one more meeting before contacting Bellamy so they could clarify the roles of the part-time officer and ask more specific questions. Kwiatkowski said for the next meeting they needed to be clear about what is getting investigated for the blended program of the land and seaside. She also requested Dixon look into the frequency of parking and speeding violations. The next meeting is on Oct. 1.
Read more » click here

Previously reported October 2020
Holden Beach chief opts for hiring clerk over more police officers
“That is going to help serve this community 10 times better than trying to figure out how to hire four, six part-time officers,” Dixon said during a town seasonal law enforcement officers committee meeting Oct. 1. Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon believes hiring a new office clerk would be more beneficial for his department rather than hiring seasonal officers. Though the meeting was set to discuss hiring seasonal law enforcement, Dixon felt an office clerk would be more helpful for the department in addressing the high volume of phone calls and better serving the community.
Read more » click here

Update –
Holden Beach committee talks with Ocean Isle Beach Chief
The town of Holden Beach Seasonal Law Enforcement Committee held a meeting om Ocean Isle Beach Police Chief Ken Bellamy. “After our discussion at the last meeting, we were hoping to be able to discuss how Ocean Isle Beach utilizes their seasonal police officers and to have the chief of police present here to discuss the issues he found in utilizing seasonal police officers,” commissioner Mike Sullivan said. During the gathering Sullivan asked Bellamy how many seasonal police officers Ocean Isle Beach currently has. “At Ocean Isle we actually have two classifications of folks that work what we call beach patrol and beach patrol consists of officers or personnel on an ATV on the beach strand,” Bellamy said. “The two classifications as far as beach control, we have non-sworn and we have sworn.” Non-sworn officers tend to be retired police officers. Their main task is to look for ordinance violations on the beach strand and inform the public what the ordinances are, but when it comes to enforcement actions, they notify a sworn officer or call a uniformed officer off the road. Typically, Ocean Isle Beach hires ten (10) non-sworn officers and eight (8) sworn officers for the summer season, Bellamy reported. He said training can be between eight to 12 hours for non-sworn officers, showing the lay of the land and covering administrative issues. Sworn officers go through a training program, depending on their experience level and training can be completed 24 hours. In an average week, Bellamy said Ocean Isle Beach part-time officers work a total of 120 hours a week all together. They try to use two officers at a minimum, with each working an eight-hour shift. On holidays and weekends, they have more officers working. When asked about the retention rate, Bellamy said it is pretty good. Since the non-sworn side is mostly retired folks, they tend to stick around but sworn officers can be a little harder to keep around if they find a full-time position elsewhere. Bellamy said the seasonal officers are only used for the beach strand and not as supplement patrol. Ocean Isle’s beach patrol program has been in existence since the early 1990s. Contrary to Ocean Isle’s operations, Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon expressed interest in using the seasonal officers for patrol use, rather than limiting them to the beach strand. “As far as how we would utilize them, if we had seasonal officers, they would be to assist call volume and to assist with parking and other traffic issues,” Dixon said. Dixon said he felt it would be difficult to have the part-time officers play double duty working on law enforcement and beach patrol. Despite needing a little extra help, Dixon was happy with the department. “We’re very fortunate here,” Dixon said. “Our officers do an excellent job at preventing crime, and the fact that we don’t have a lot of reports and a lot of crime to me speaks volumes about the job that they do preventively.” Due to the town of Holden Beach’s State of Emergency restrictions, in-person public attendance was prohibited at the meeting. The meeting was livestreamed on the town’s Facebook page. The next seasonal law enforcement officers committee meeting is scheduled for Dec. 3.
Read more » click here

Update –
Holden Beach committee opts against hiring seasonal officers
After meeting for half a year, the town of Holden Beach’s seasonal law enforcement officers committee disbanded last week with members feeling confident they’re ready to draft a report to the town board.  During the meeting last Thursday, Jan. 7, town commissioner Mike Sullivan shared his findings after speaking with Emerald Isle Police Chief Tony Reese and Sunset Beach Police Chief Ken Klamar. “Last time we met we spoke about the efficiency and the utility of using seasonal police officers, and I’d say that since that meeting I had an opportunity to speak to two of the chiefs of police in the area to get their thoughts on the utilization of temporary police officers and how they go about it,” Sullivan said. “Neither of those jurisdictions use seasonal police officers as I was hoping we could use them, which was to have them do patrol during the heavy season and that way we wouldn’t have to have full-time police officers year-round,” Sullivan said. “In addition to the fact that they don’t use police officers for patrol on a regular basis, they expressed the same concerns that we have spoken about here: the retention, the training, the cost of equipping and transportation issues that arise when you have part-time or seasonal police officers.” Commissioner Pat Kwiatkowski agreed with Sullivan that seasonal police is off the table. “However, I go back to where some of this started which was about having a more perceived, serious presence on the beach and after hearing from other beach communities that they do use retired or active officers who want extra hours for beach patrol, I believe it is something we should consider doing. Ocean Isle does it; clearly they think it’s successful,” said Kwiatkowski, noting that she thinks retired police officers doing beach patrol could be more reliable. “The second thing that came out to me form several discussions is would the town benefit from having somebody taking calls for a longer period of time and seven days a week during season?” Kwiatkowski asked. Kwiatkowski noted that a lot of people tend to call the police department, rather than 911, for minor matters. She wanted there to be a way that citizens and visitors can call and get a voice or answer immediately during tourist season. Sullivan asked if they have capability to record a call and have an officer check in twice an hour to follow up on call since it is not an emergency, which Chief of Police Jeremy Dixon said he could look into. When Sullivan spoke to other chiefs of police about enforcement, they said during a full season they may issue one to two summonses. “I guess it’s more the appearance of authority than it is the actual use of authority when you have police officers on the beach,” Sullivan said. Dixon agreed and did not think it was feasible to spend the money on officers to handle a small amount of issues. Kwiatkowski concluded that using police instead of the ranger program would not be much of a benefit and would be more costly. Town Manager David Hewett said that regarding budgetary impacts and comparison on how they do things verses other beach towns, he thinks consideration should be made on how other beaches are funded. For instance, Ocean Isle funds their beach through their occupancy tax. The meeting concluded with Sullivan saying he felt they discussed all the issues and got as much information as possible to draft a report to the whole board, suggesting no further committee meetings. Sullivan volunteered drafting the final report but asked members of the committee and those present at the meeting to contact him by the second week of February with specific items they felt should be included in the report. The committee will present their findings to the board of commissioners during their March regular meeting on March 16.
Read more » click here


This and That –

North Carolina Coastal Federation earned a seventh consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator, a level of consistent financial excellence that only 7% of charities achieve.

Mission:
Since its founding in 1982, the North Carolina Coastal Federation has worked with citizens to safeguard the coastal rivers, creeks, sounds and beaches of North Carolina. Headquartered in Newport, North Carolina with offices in Wanchese and Wrightsville Beach, the Coastal Federation works in three key program areas: environmental advocacy; restoring and protecting habitat and water quality; and educating citizens and community leaders. Our vision is for a natural, beautiful, and productive coast that is a great place to live, work and visit. Today the Coastal Federation consists of more than 11,000 supporters, 200 partner organizations, thousands of active volunteers and a 30-member professional staff and is considered one of the most effective coastal conservation groups in the state. The Coastal Federation remains a collaborative, grassroots organization, bringing together traditional and nontraditional organizations, government agencies and businesses to leave a legacy of a healthy coast for future generations.

Previously reported – January 2020
North Carolina Coastal Federation earns a sixth consecutive 4-star rating
For the sixth year in a row, the North Carolina Coastal Federation has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the highest possible rating from the nonprofit evaluator. According to Charity Navigator, only nine percent of charities receive a 4-star rating for six consecutive years. In addition to the highest rating, this year the federation actually earned the highest-ranking score of 100.“We’re proud to be one of the top environmental non-profits,” said Todd Miller, executive director of the federation. “This is a real tribute to our staff and sup-porters who work tirelessly for the coast.” Charity Navigator lists exceptional charities that execute their missions in a fiscally responsible way while adhering to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities. According to Charity Navigator, the federation earned a perfect score for financial health, accountability and transparency totaling a perfect 100-point overall score. Less than one percent of the thousands of charities rated by Charity Navigator have earned perfect scores. In a recent letter to the federation, Michael Thatcher, president, and CEO of Charity Navigator, explained: “This is our highest possible rating and indicates that your organization adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way,” he said. “This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets North Carolina Coastal Federation apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.” Charity Navigator is the largest independent evaluator of nonprofits in the Unit-ed States. It annually rates nonprofits for their financial health and transparency and accountability. “Based on our 4-star rating, donors can trust their contributions will be put to good use by a financially responsible and ethical charity,” said Sarah King, the federation’s development director. She notes that to celebrate this rating, donors are invited to contribute to the federation’s efforts to clean up marine debris from our coast. For every dollar donated to the marine debris campaign between now and Dec. 31, the federation will clean up one pound of trash in 2020. To donate, go to nccoast.org/cleanourcoast. For the latest news about the federation’s accomplishments addressing marine debris, go to nccoast.org/marinedebris.
Beacon Article


North Carolina/South Carolina (NC/SC) Adult Baseball is open for registration for the 2021 season. The NC/SC Adult baseball league was formed in 2012. It is an all wood bat league with 3 age divisions for the upcoming 2021 calendar year. The age divisions are 35+, 45+, and 55+. The league is affiliated with the Roy Hobbs Baseball Organization which provides both liability and medical insurance to our players. Teams are generally from the Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC areas. However, players come from both states and several beaches, including Holden Beach. The league accepts individual players, groups of players, or entire teams.

This is an age-specific league. There are players at a variety of skills and experience levels. Most players had some high school experience and maybe college. This league may not be for you if you have never played at a competitive level. But many players have not played in 10, 20 or 30 years. After a few practice sessions and a few games most, players find the game comes back to them and they can compete at their age level. It’s a great opportunity to get regular exercise and make new friends in the area.

To register go to:
Either
https://www.hometeamsonline.com/teams/?u=NCSC&s=baseball
Or
https://www.hometeamsonline.com/teams/default.asp?u=NCSC&s=baseball&p=registration&formID=187172

For more information »
Contact Walt Kozak: waltkozak@gmail.com

NC/SC Adult Baseball website: www.ncscbaseball.com


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


U.S. Existing-Home Sales Reach Highest Level in 14 Years
Sales of previously owned homes rose in 2020 to the highest level since 2006, as ultra-low interest rates and remote work during the pandemic increased home-buying demand.


Brunswick County real estate market sets record sales in 2020
Brunswick County has been a hot spot in recent years for businesses and the real estate market has been no exception. Realtors say the county set a new sales record in 2020. Brunswick County’s residential real estate market racked up $2,157,449,018 in total sales volume, up 51.3% compared to 2019. That’s according to Brunswick County Association of Realtors. The group also says monthly numbers hit record highs in December, with increases in homes sold and total sales volume. “2020 was full of unknowns and uncertainty, but Brunswick County’s real estate market did more than merely stay consistent – it smashed all expectations,” said BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh. “Total sales for the year topped $2 billion for the first time ever, and we saw record sales in December compared to last year. These numbers are nothing short of amazing, and I’m excited to see what 2021 holds for our market.” In addition to the increase in sales volume, Brunswick County saw a 6.5% increase in new listings in 2020, going from 6,603 to 7,032. The number of units sold increased by 28.8% from 4,916 to 6,331, and the average sale price increased by 17.5%, rising from $290,077 to $340,741. The largest sale of the year was over $3,000,000, 16 sales were $2,000,000 or greater and 248 sales were between $800,000 to $1,000,000. In addition to the year-end numbers, the market also saw increased sales volume, higher prices, and a tightening inventory in December. Total sales volume spiked 65.7% compared to last year, rising from $129,440,000 to $214,510,000. Average sale prices increased 13.7%, from $326,857 to $371,768. The number of new listings increased by 13.6%, rising from 339 to 385, while the number of units sold increased by 45.7%, from 396 to 577. The inventory of available homes continued to drop, closing out at nearly 1,200 available homes with an absorption rate and days on the market of just over two months.

Brunswick County 2020 Year-End Numbers

New Listings

  • 2020 Total: 7,032
  • 2019 Total: 6,603
  • Increase/Decrease: +6.5%

Units Sold

  • 2020 Total: 6,331
  • 2019 Total: 4,916
  • Increase/Decrease: +28.8%

Average Sale Price

  • 2020 Total: $340,741
  • 2019 Total: $290,077
  • Increase/Decrease: +17.5%

Total Sales Volume

  • 2020 Total: $2,157,449,018
  • 2019 Total: $1,426,020,708
  • Increase/Decrease: +51.3%

Read more » click here


 

Island Homes Sold – 2020 * Lou’s Views
A complete list of homes sold in 2020

 



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Island Land Sold – 2020 * Lou’s Views

A complete list of land sold in 2020

 



Island Properties Sold – Comparison * Lou’s Views

A comparison of Holden Beach properties sold through the last three (3) years
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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

NASA says 2020 tied for the hottest year on record.
In a new study, NASA found that 2020 ranked right alongside 2016 as the warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880. Scientists said rising levels of carbon dioxide and methane, which trap heat in the atmosphere, contributed to the rise. At times last year, parts of the Arctic hit temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels dropped 7% in 2020, according to the Global Carbon project, a research consortium, largely because pandemic lockdowns reduced car and air travel. Still, the U.K.’s Met Office, which tracks climate change, has found the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is now higher than at any time in the past 800,000 years.

2020 Ties 2016 as Hottest Yet, European Analysis Shows
The global average temperature in 2020 was about 2.25 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average from 1850 to 1900, data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service indicates
Last year effectively tied 2016 as the hottest year on record, European climate researchers announced Friday, as global temperatures continued their relentless rise brought on by the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The record warmth — which fueled deadly heat waves, droughts, intense wildfires, and other environmental disasters around the world in 2020 — occurred despite the development in the second half of the year of La Niña, a global climate phenomenon marked by surface cooling across much of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. And while 2020 may tie the record, all of the last six years are among the hottest ever, said Freja Vamborg, a senior scientist with the Copernicus Climate Change Service. “It’s a reminder that temperatures are changing and will continue to change if we don’t cut greenhouse gas emissions,” Dr. Vamborg said.
Read more » click here

2020 rivals hottest year on record, pushing Earth closer to a critical climate threshold
The year 2020, which witnessed terrifying blazes from California to Siberia and a record number of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, rivaled and possibly even equaled the hottest year on record, according to multiple scientific announcements Thursday. Only the “super” El Niño year of 2016 appears to have been slightly hotter in the era of reliable measurements dating to the late 1800s, according to the results from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United Kingdom’s Met Office, and Berkeley Earth. NASA finds that 2020 edged out 2016 by less than a hundredth of a degree Celsius, while the other three groups say it fell shy by a mere .01 to .02 degrees Celsius (.02 to .04 degrees Fahrenheit). “The last seven years have been the seven warmest on record,” said Ahira Sánchez-Lugo, a climate expert with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. “And the 10 warmest years have now occurred since 2005.” Experts said that another year as hot as 2016 coming so soon suggests a swift step up the climate escalator. And it implies that a momentous new temperature record — breaching the critical 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warming threshold for the first time — could occur as soon as later this decade.
Read more » click here


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Development Fees
For more information » click here
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Flood Insurance Program
For more information » click here
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National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On October 1, 2020, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to September 30, 2021.

Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP
by no later than 11:59 pm on September 30, 2021.


 

GenX
For more information » click here
..
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  •  

    Homeowners Insurance
    For more information » click here
    .

    .
    Insurance companies request rate increase for homeowners
    The North Carolina Rate Bureau (NCRB) has requested a 24.5 percent statewide average increase in homeowners’ insurance rates to take effect August 2021, according to a news release issued Nov. 10 by state insurance commissioner Mike Causey. The NCRB is not part of the N.C. Department of Insurance but represents companies that write insurance policies in the state. The department can either agree with the rates as filed or negotiate a settlement with the NCRB on a lower rate. If a settlement cannot be reached within 50 days, Causey will call for a hearing. Two years ago, in December 2018, the NCRB requested a statewide average increase of 17.4 percent. Causey negotiated a rate 13.4 percentage points lower and settled with a statewide aver-age rate increase of 4 percent. One of the drivers behind this requested increase is that North Carolina has experienced increased wind and hail losses stemming from damaging storms. A public comment period is required by law to give the public time to address the NCRB’s proposed rate increase.
    For more information » click here

  • To see a table of proposed homeowners’ rate increases go to: click here
  • Territory 120 / Beach areas in Brunswick County / NCRB proposed increase 25%


    .
    Hurricane Season

    For more information » click here
    .


  •  

    Inlet Hazard Areas
    For more information » click here
    .

  • NC COASTAL RESOURCES ADVISORY COUNCIL
    Agenda: NC DEQ: November 2020 Meeting Agenda
    Science Panel’s Comments
    : CRC-20-33-Inlet-Hazard-Area-Public-Comments.pdf

    Shallotte Inlet Animation:
    ShallotteInlet_1938-2019_v3.mp4 – Google Drive

    Public Comments:
    IHA_Public_Comments_ALL_20200302.pdf

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

    For more information » click here
    .

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.
/////


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

ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE by Louise Penny
This is the sixteenth entry in the Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide of Quebec’s provincial police force, series. This time around, the Canadian detective is investigating a sinister plot in Paris. This is a departure from Three Pines village where most of the other books in the series take place. The death of Armand Gamache’s billionaire godfather, who made a career of exposing corporate wrongdoing, is made to look like an accident, but Gamache and his family suspect it is a deliberate murder. Soon the entire family is involved in the investigation, and everyone has a part to play.

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/

12 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Public Hearing / Regular Meeting 12/15/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


BOC’s Public Hearing


PUBLIC HEARING: Town of Holden Beach Land Use Plan

Wes MacLeod Local Government Services Director with  the Cape Fear Council of Governments, and our Planning & Inspections Director Tim Evans briefly reviewed the process and recognized the contributions made by the Land Use Plan Steering Committee.

Public Comments –
They read the letter submitted from Vicki Myers, Chairman of the Land Use Plan Steering Committee. Her letter thanked the members of the committee and recognized them for the time, effort, and commitment to produce the Land Use Plan.

The Land Use Plan Steering Committee members consisted of the 2018 Planning and Zoning Board:  

Chair:                           Vicki Myers
Vice Chair:                   Mark Fleischhauer,
Secretary:                    Tracey Thomas,
Regular Members:      Bob Hunter & Greg Shue
Alternates:                   Woody Tyner & Pete Pallas
Public:                           Anne Arnold, Kathy Gaines, and Dwight Willis


BOC’s Regular Meeting


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Land Use Plan – Wes MacLeod, Cape Fear Council of Governments (Inspections Director Evans)

Agenda Packet –
Land Use Plan Draft » click here  


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

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

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

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

The P&Z Board provided three recommendations:
. 1. Accept the Document and send it forward to DEQ for staff review.
. 2. Send the Document Back to the LUP Committee with changes.
. 3. Amend the document.
* If the document is amended any amendments will need to be reviewed by Wes McLeod and staff for compliance with the 7B statutory requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

Previously reported January 2020
Agenda Packet –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski has prepared the changes discussed by the Board at the January 17th Special Meeting (Attachment 1 ). Wes Macleod has reviewed them and asked that staff communicate to the Board that Goal 4.2 on page 4-16 comes from the state’s 7B planning guidelines (Attachment 2). He encourages the Board to consider leaving the goal as originally written.

The proposed plan was approved by the Department of Coastal Management. The next step in the adoption process would be to schedule a public hearing on the plan. Staff recommends the Board set the public hearing for April 21st at 7:00p.m.

Special Meeting held
Audio Recording » click here

No decision was made – No action taken

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

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – July 2020
Agenda Packet –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski has prepared the changes discussed by the Board at the January 17th Special Meeting (Attachment 1 ). Wes Macleod has reviewed them and asked that staff communicate to the Board that Goal 4.2 on page 4-16 comes from the state’s 7B planning guidelines (Attachment 2). He encourages the Board to consider leaving the goal as originally written.

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

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

Previously reported – October 2020
Agenda Packet –
Notice for the required public hearing on the proposed Land Use Plan needs to run 30 days prior to the hearing. in order to meet the advertising deadline, staff recommends the Board set the public hearing on the regular meeting date of December 15th at 5:00 p.m. The plan has been reviewed by the DCM District Planner. Once adopted by the Board, it will then be considered for certification by the CRC.

Timbo stated that we have been working on this for a long time, we are in the home stretch, and we need to get this done. If they want to approve the document the Board is required to schedule a Public Hearing before they can enact the Land Use Plan. By consensus they agreed to schedule a Public Hearing. Based on regulatory requirements the Public Hearing has been scheduled for the BOC’s Regular December meeting.

Update –
Wes spoke again stating that they have been working on the LUP for the last four (4) years and that has been approved by all the parties involved. The next step in the process is for the BOC’s to formally adopt the plan. Since the Ordinance cannot be adopted until after 24 hours  from the time of the Public Hearing the plan is for them to include it on the agenda for the next scheduled Board meeting.


2. Police Report –Chief Dixon

Police Patch.
Jeremy requested that we all use caution if driving during the holiday season. There is lots of traffic during the holiday and statistically the country has an average 119 fatalities a day. Please drive safely!

.

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

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


Murder Investigation

Previously reported – May 2019
Modern technology meets old school: How law enforcement investigated the suspected Holden Beach murderer
The tiny beach town of Holden was rocked when 71-year-old Judy Brock was murdered, allegedly by her husband. Find out how authorities made their case using data stored by cell phone and internet companies.

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

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

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

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

Previously reported – May 2020
Holden Beach man accused of killing wife to stand trial Nov. 16
The husband of Judy Brown Brock, who was murdered more than a year ago, is set to go to trial on a first-degree murder charge Monday, Nov. 16. Phillip Harry Brock, 72, was charged with murder in March 2019 and has been incarcerated at the Brunswick County Detention Facility since his arrest. Brock was indicted on a first-degree murder charge April 15, 2019, said assistant district attorney Glenn Emery, the lead prosecutor on the case. If Phillip Brock is convicted of first-degree murder, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, Emery said. Brunswick County Detention Facility records show Phillip Brock was booked into the jail at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2019, on a first-degree murder charge on no bail. The Holden Beach Police Department was the arresting agency. According to a Holden Beach Police Department news release, law enforcement agencies found Judy Brown Brock’s body in a wooded area in Sampson County on March 20, 2019.A Silver Alert was issued for her the previous Saturday by the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons. The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Ocean Isle Beach police, the North Carolina DMV License and Theft Bureau, Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Brunswick County Search and Rescue, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, Garland Fire Department and District Attorney Jon David assisted in the investigation, which is ongoing. Brock made his first court appearance at the Brunswick County Courthouse the morning after his arrest. District Court Judge Scott Ussery assigned Brock attorney Teresa Gibson of Shallotte as Brock’s provisional lawyer and denied Brock bail at the request of Assistant District Attorney Glenn Emery. Oak Island-based lawyer Ed Geddings is now representing Phillip Brock on the first-degree murder charge. Emery told Ussery in court in March 2019 that it appears Brock put out the Silver Alert for his wife to cover up his tracks, and law enforcement learned she had no cognitive impairments. Emery said Brock then turned off the GPS in his phone and attempted to turn off the GPS in his 2018 Ford F-150 but was unsuccessful, leading law enforcement to track his vehicle to Sampson County where his wife’s body was discovered.
Read more » click here

Update –
Holden Beach man sentenced to 20-25 years for 2019 murder of wife
A Holden Beach man charged with killing his wife last year will serve the next two decades in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. Phillip Brock, 73, was sentenced Wednesday in Brunswick County Superior Court for the March 15, 2019, murder of Judy Patricia Brock. Initially reported by her husband as a missing person, Judy Brock was found dead in a wooded area in Sampson County. During an investigation, Phillip Brock became a suspect after detectives found he had disabled the GPS system on his mobile phone and attempted unsuccessfully to disable the GPS device on his 2018 Ford F-150 truck. Detectives tied several pieces of evidence found at the Sampson County burial site to Phillip Brock’s home and truck. Brock, who has been incarcerated at the Brunswick County Detention Center following his arrest last year, will serve an active sentence of 240 to 300 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections. The investigation was a collaborative effort of the Holden Beach Police Department, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, State Bureau of Investigation, and a number of other local law enforcement agencies, according to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon by District Attorney Jon David’s office.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach man pleads guilty to murdering his wife

Brunswick County man pleads guilty to murdering his wife

Holden Beach man sentenced to 20 years in prison for murdering wife


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 Approval of 2021 Board of Commissioners’ Meeting Schedule – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Enclosed is the proposed 202 l Board of Commissioners’ Regular Meeting Schedule. All dates reflect the third Tuesday of the month. Staff recommends approval.

2021 BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS’ MEETING SCHEDULE
Regular Meetings are held at 5:00pm on the third Tuesday of each month

JANUARY 19th 
FEBRUARY 16th
MARCH 16th
APRIL 20th 

MAY 18th
JUNE 15th
JULY 20th 
AUGUST 17th
SEPTEMBER 21st
OCTOBER 19th
NOVEMBER 16th
DECEMBER 21st

Update –
Meeting schedule was adopted with no changes.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


4. Discussion and Possible Action on Mayor Pro Tem Position – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
The Code of Ordinances reads that the Board shall elect a mayor pro tern from one of its members. The normal term of office of the mayor pro tern shall be one year, commencing at the first regular meeting in December: provide, however that the member shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.

Per the ordinance, the Board may choose to extend the current term of Mayor Pro Tem Brown or select another member to serve as the mayor pro tern.

Previously reported – December 2019
Per Town Ordinance §30.05 and North Carolina General Statute §160A-70
§30.05 MAYOR PRO TEMPORE AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
The BOC shall elect from one of its members: (1) a Mayor Pro Tempore, and (2) an Executive Secretary, who shall not be the same member. The normal term of office of both the Mayor Pro Tempore and the Executive Secretary shall be one year, commencing at the first regular meeting in December; provide, however that each shall serve at the pleasure of the BOC.

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

The selection of Mayor Pro Tem is at the discretion of the other elected commissioners.

Update –
Discussion and Nomination of Board Member to the Mayor Pro Tem Position
Commissioner Sullivan made a motion to nominate Gerald Brown for
Mayor Pro Tem
Commissioner Brown was elected to serve as Mayor Pro Tem for another year

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


5. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 20-16, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 20-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2020 – 2021 (Amendment No. 5) – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet –
Occupancy Tax and Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Dune Building Grant Budget Amendment
The attached budget amendment provides for a midyear adjustment to the BPART Fund based on the performance of accommodations tax collections to date and the successful procurement of a NC DWR grant. The proposed budget adjustment replaces previously appropriated fund balance ($671,400) in the current year operations budget with occupancy tax collections and revenues from a NC Division of Water Resources Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation grant while providing for the required transfer of occupancy taxes to Brunswick County ($196,880) in addition to appropriating funds for a year’s worth of federal advocacy ($119,700), anticipated parks and recreation master plan update expenses ($12,288) and offshore sand search funding ($305,000).

Approval of the attached Budget Amendment is required before consideration and approval can be given to the acceptance of the grant and/or the Ward & Smith agreement subsequently in your agenda.

Moved funds of $633,868
From Revenue account
Accommodations Tax               #50.0302.0000            $1,199,268      Increase
Miscellaneous BPART               #50.0336.0000            $106,000         Increase
Fund Balance Appropriated    #50.0399.0000            $671,400         Decrease

To Expense account
Transfer County  Tax                #50.0401.0000            $196,880         Increase
Professional services                #50.0710.0400            $436,988         Increase

Update –
David stated that the abridged version is that we collected twice as much occupancy tax that we budgeted for. This Ordinance adjusts our budget so that revenues equals expenses as required by the fiscal control act.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


6. Consideration and Possible Action to Approve NC Division of Water Resources Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation $106,000 Grant – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson
.       a) Resolution 20-14, Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Grant
.       b) Conflict of Interest Policy

Agenda Packet –
Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation (Dune Building) Grant
The Town has been awarded a $106,000 Dune Building Grant from the NC Division of Water Resources (Atch 1) subject to the successful execution of a grant contract.

Recommend Board approve the grant by adopting Resolution 20-14 “Coastal Storm Damage Grant” at Atch 2; in addition to adopting the grant’s required Conflict of Interest Policy at Atch 3 and authorize the Town Manager to execute all administrative tasks.

Three Attachments:

      1. DWR Grant notification letter 2 October
      2. Resolution 20-14; “Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Grant “
      3. Conflict of Interest Policy

Update –
Adopted resolution as submitted

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


7. Discussion and Possible Action on Engagement Letter Between the Town and Ward and Smith, P.A. – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
Engagement of Ward and Smith Governmental Matters
The Town has utilized the services of Congressman Mike McIntyre et al to aid with various governmental matters related to beach nourishment and inlet maintenance via its agreement initially with Poyner Spruill and subsequently with his move to Ward and Smith.

Results of these efforts have led to the Town currently being positioned to receive consideration for a US Army Corps of Engineers study to evaluate the potential of federal funding for beach nourishment at Holden Beach and that the Town’s position regarding Lockwood Folly Inlet maintenance dredging with concurrent placement of beach compatible sand on Holden Beach continue to be articulated at the federal level.

The existing engagement term ends 31 December 2020. The services retainer for a new agreement proposed by Ward and Smith is $7,975 per month with an annual total estimated advocacy cost of $119,700.

If the Board wishes to continue with federal advocacy for the upcoming calendar year it  must approve the attached engagement letter with Ward and Smith.

Previously reported – October 2020
Federal Advocacy
Mike McIntyre has changed law firms from Poyner Spruill to Ward and Smith. The change of agent forms were executed accordingly. All terms and conditions including those with Ferguson Group remain the same. Virtual meetings scheduled for November to conduct Capitol Hill advocacy briefings with Congressional delegation and Federal agencies.

Update –
Motion was made to engage Ward & Smith for the coming year

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 20-17, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 94.03: Frontal Dune Policy and Regulations – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
Staff Initiated Text Amendments
The Planning staff are asking the Board to consider the provided changes to the Town’s Code of Ordinances. Over the course of the last 11 years, we have at the request of the Town Board and citizens made changes to numerous sections within the code. These two current changes are needed corrections that will help to ensure maximum use of individuals’ property, while maintaining consistency with the original intent.

These staff-initiated changes are to correct discrepancies brought to fruition from questions and consultation posed by both the public and Town officials.

These changes will provide for better use of properties.

Benefits are:

      1. An increase in property tax values, better marketability
      2. Increase in parking area
      3. Fair use of property across flood zones
      4. Structure flexibility
      5. Aesthetics
      6. Safety

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH ORDINANCE 20-17
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 94.03: FRONTAL DUNE POLICY AND REGULATIONS

Proposed Change »
Exception: Swimming Pools maybe located south of the town’s designated  frontal dune, placement of pools and decking shall not extend more than 50 feet from the established seaward toe of designated frontal dune. This exception only applies when the CAMA dune is more seaward than the town’s frontal dune.

Update –
Timbo explained his rationale for requested zoning change that addresses only oceanfront pools. Motion was made to have Public Hearing for requested zoning change at the next scheduled Board meeting.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


  • 9. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 20-18, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 157.006: Definitions (Height Measuring Point) –Inspections Director Evans


    Agenda Packet –

    TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH ORDINANCE 20-18

    AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE  HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 157.006: DEFINITIONS (HEIGHT MEASURING POINT)

    Proposed Change »
    Exception: structure located in X zones may be measured as written in (1) (a) with a maximum height of 31feet from the established Height Measuring Point.

    Update –
    All proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance must go through Planning & Zoning Board for review, comments, and a consistency statement. In other words, this is not kosher. Town Manager said this issue needs to be addressed, his recommendation is that it be sent to P&Z Board. Commissioner Sullivan requested that the previous agenda item also be sent to P&Z too since it is also is a zoning change that would require a consistency statement. Directive will be sent to P&Z with required thirty-day response, turnaround.
    This is contingent upon Mayor Holden amending the State of Emergency order  to allow the meeting.

    §160A-383. (Repealed effective January 1, 2021) Purposes in view.
    (a) Zoning regulations shall be made in accordance with a comprehensive plan.
    (b) Prior to adopting or rejecting any zoning amendment, the governing board shall adopt one of the following statements which shall not be subject to judicial review:

        • (1) A statement approving the zoning amendment and describing its consistency with an adopted comprehensive plan and explaining why the action taken is reasonable and in the public interest.
          (2) A statement rejecting the zoning amendment and describing its inconsistency with an adopted comprehensive plan and explaining why the action taken is reasonable and in the public interest.
          (3) A statement approving the zoning amendment and containing at least all of the following:

          • A declaration that the approval is also deemed an amendment to the

          comprehensive plan. The governing board shall not require any additional request or application for amendment to the comprehensive plan.

          • An explanation of the change in conditions the governing board took

          into account in amending the zoning ordinance to meet the development needs of the community.

            Why the action was reasonable and in the public interest.

(c) Prior to consideration by the governing board of the proposed zoning amendment, the planning board shall advise and comment on whether the proposed amendment is consistent with any comprehensive plan. The planning board shall provide a written recommendation to the governing board that addresses plan consistency and other matters as deemed appropriate by the planning board, but a comment by the planning board that a proposed amendment is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan shall not preclude consideration or approval of the proposed amendment by the governing board.

§160A-387. (Repealed effective January 1, 2021) Planning board; zoning plan; certification to city council.In order to initially exercise the powers conferred by this Part, a city council shall create or designate a planning board under the provisions of this Article or of a special act of the General Assembly. The planning board shall prepare or shall review and comment upon a proposed zoning ordinance, including both the full text of such ordinance and maps showing proposed district boundaries. The planning board may hold public hearings in the course of preparing the ordinance. Upon completion, the planning board shall make a written recommendation regarding adoption of the ordinance to the city council. The city council shall not hold its required public hearing or take action until it has received a recommendation regarding ordinance from the planning board. Following its required public hearing, the city council may refer the ordinance back to the planning board for any further recommendations that the board may wish to make prior to final action by the city council in adopting, modifying, and adopting, or rejecting the ordinance.

Subsequent to initial adoption of a zoning ordinance, all proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance or zoning map shall be submitted to the planning board for review and comment. If no written report is received from the planning board within 30 days of referral of the amendment to that board, the governing board may proceed in its consideration of the amendment without the planning board report. The governing board is not bound by the recommendations, if any, of the planning board. 


10. Town Manager’s Report

LWF  Maintenance Project
USACE plan is in place for the LWF inlet maintenance project. Five events per year, at a cost of  approximately one million dollars just for side-caster dredger. Funding commitments are not in place yet, THB cost share would be roughly $60,000. That’s as close as we have been to having an annual maintenance program for the inlet.

The Merritt is scheduled to begin dredging December 27th for twenty-one days, USACE has funding in place.

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

Hurricane Isaias
All categories have been submitted to FEMA for reimbursement and are under review by the federal program manager

RSM Internal Control Report
They have implemented changes to current practices for the four (4) elements that needed to be addressed
Previously reported – June 2018  
The Audit Committee selected the firm RSM from Morehead City for the internal control Review.
Recommendation is to obtain firm with a not to exceed price of $20,000. Scope of work subject to approval from The North Carolina Local Government Commission.

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

Street Paving
Intent to complete petition responses and report back to the Board next month
Reiterated Town’s position again, that now is the time to do it

Previously reported – November 2020
Minimum number(20) of affirmative responses received so far
Town’s position now is the time to do it –

1. Opportunity to take advantage of low fuel prices
2. NCDOT paving projects on pause
3. Street maintenance is not cost effective without paving, particularly on Seagull

Previously reported – October 2020
Letters were sent out mid-September distributing info and petition for paving. So far, there has been an extremely limited number of responses. They have till December 5th to respond.

Sewer Lift Station #3
Winding down, pending final inspection

Previously reported – November 2020
Now in operational test mode subject to final completion and inspection
Contractor remains on schedule and within budget
Sewer Lift Station #2 upgrade process will begin in January

Previously reported – October 2020
So far so good, no issues at this point in time. Project is ahead of schedule with a tentative startup date at the end of October.

Advertise for Bids                  10/24/19
Contract Award                     01/21/20
Construction Start                03/23/20
Contract Completion            12/18/20
Closeout                                  12/31/20

System Development Fees
Preliminary fees have been calculated, on schedule to present to BOC’s at the  January Regular Meeting

Award
NC Recreation and Parks Association has selected THB for Arts and Humanities Award for our Race for the Arts Mural Project in Bridgeview Park

Parks & Rec Master Plan
Christy is reviewing the six (6) submissions and will have recommendation for Board at the  January Regular Meeting

Previously reported – November 2020
Requests for Proposal, advertised and out on the street for solicitation

Canal Grant
Canal subdivisions dredging grant was reopened and allowed us to recoup an additional $12,000 dollars

Scotch Bonnet site has become dry enough for them to plant grass there
Previously reported – January 2020
The previous space used for the dog park was converted to a canal dredging spoil site

Personnel
Chief Dixon graduated from NC Criminal Justice Leadership Academy. Only four (4) law enforcement personnel in NC  have obtained this leadership certificate

Town Hall Closed
Town Hall will be closed December 24th, 25th and 28th and January 1st for the holidays.


In Case You Missed It –

Rollout Service
Waste Industries offers rollout service, by request basis, to infirm resident homeowners


  • Loose Ends (8)

        • Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy                        January 2019
        • Fee Based Rollout of Containers                                  January 2019
        • Commercial District / Zoning                                      February 2019
        • Dog Park                                                                          July 2020
        • Development Fees                                                          September 2020
        • 96 OBW                                                                           October 2020
        • Parking                                                                            November 2020
        • Land Use Plan                                                                December 2020         

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


.
BOC’s Meeting

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


Hurricane #1 - CR

 

Hurricane Season
For more information » click here

Be prepared – have a plan!

.v.
...

  • A hurricane season for the record books
    Starting with the first storm, which struck two weeks before the official start of the Atlantic season on June 1, this year has now seen 30 named storms — 13 of them hurricanes — breaking a record set in 2005, when 28 storms grew strong enough to be named. This is only the second time — after 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast — that meteorologists have exhausted the list of storm names in alphabetical order and moved on to the 24-letter Greek alphabet.

This relentless Atlantic hurricane season has put nearly every mile of coastline from Texas to Maine on alert
People along nearly every mile of coastline from Texas to Maine have been put on alert this Atlantic hurricane season, as 12 of 29 storms made landfall in the United States in this record-setting year.
Read more » click here


Hurricane season ends after record 30 named storms, 12 U.S. landfalls
Over six long months, 30 named storms – from Arthur to Iota – spun around somewhere in the Atlantic, with the 2020 hurricane season breaking records left and right. That all ends Monday. Officially, anyway. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season – which ran from June 1 to Nov. 30 – produced 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall in the United States, shattering the record of nine, set over a century ago. This year was also the fifth year in a row with above-normal activity, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While the official end of the hurricane season is Monday, storms have been known to crop up all the way into December. Meteorologists are monitoring an area of disturbed weather several hundred miles southeast of Bermuda for possible development. If the disturbance becomes a tropical storm, it would be named Kappa. 


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



I respectfully submit My Xmas List

These are the items I would most like to see addressed this year.
. 1.
Beach – Strand / Inlet / Groin
.   a)
Select an East End nourishment project strategy
.   b)
Support LWF Inlet waterway maintenance projects, keeping inlet navigable
.   c)
Work together on beach protection issues with surrounding communities
.   d)
Increase Beach Strand Ordinance Compliance & Enforcement
.

. 2.
Parking
.   a)
Develop plans for a promenade on Jordan Boulevard
.   b)
Utilize acquired properties for additional parking
.   c)
Prohibit right-of-way parking

. 3. Trash Services
.   a)
Offer a suite of services
.   b)
Charge a user fee for those that want the service
.   c)
Make policies both fair and consistent
.   d) Town should address noncompliance issues


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


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


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

Thank you for subscribing!


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


Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday!


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/

12 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / December Edition


Calendar of Events –

Most events have either been postponed or cancelled


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


Calendar of Events Island –

Most events have either been postponed or cancelled


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


Reminders –


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

.


Golf carts are not allowed to be operated on streets with speed limits greater than 35 MPH.

 



Trash Can Requirements – Rental Properties

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


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

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


Solid Waste Pick-Up Schedule
Waste Industries change in service, trash pickup will be once a week. This year September 26th will be the the last Saturday trash pick-up until June. Trash collection will go back to Tuesdays only.

 

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


Solid Waste Pick-up Schedule – starting October once a week

Recyclingstarting October every other week


Yard Waste Service – Yard debris pick-up is provided twice a month on the 2ndand 4th Fridays during the months of October, November, and December. Additional dates will be announced for yard waste service in November and December. Yard debris needs to be secured in a biodegradable bag or bundled in a maximum length of five (5) feet and fifty (50) pounds in weight. A total of ten (10) items will be picked up by Waste Industries. Yard waste must be placed at the street for pick-up.

No pick-ups will be made on vacant lots or construction sites.


The fourth Friday in December is on Christmas Day

Yard debris will be collected on Saturday, December 26th


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, January 19th
.


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


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


Recycling-Bin
Curbside Recycling

Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $93.29 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here

 

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


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


Waupaca Elevator Recalls to Inspect Elevators Due to Injury Hazard

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

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

 Recall Details

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

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

For more information » click here

There is an issue with the gearboxes on select Waupaca Elevators that may cause the elevator to suddenly drop. This month on the island, despite having recommended gearbox inspection, the Waupaca elevator cab fell to the bottom of the elevator shaft causing serious injuries to my friends that were in the elevator cab. Affected elevators need to be checked and the installation of overspeed braking devices completed before being put back into service. Even then I still would be concerned, due to the severity of gear boxes failure the safety features are not responding as they should.  I’d strongly recommend that you immediately stop using these Waupaca elevators.


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



Neighborhood Watch –

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


Coronavirus –

Brunswick County COVID-19 Snapshot: as of December 11th


Brunswick County enters into substantial tier level for COVID-19 spread
With just a few weeks away from the one-year anniversary of the first reported case of COVID-19, North Carolina is experiencing record highs in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. “We are experiencing a staggering increase in our pandemic trends and I am particularly worried about our hospital capacity,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen in a press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 15. “Just one month ago we had 1,395 people in the hospital with COVID-19. Today we have 2,735 people in the hospital right now. That’s twice as many people hospitalized than we had on Nov. 15. One month ago, we had 350 people in the intensive care unit with COVID-19, today we have 643 people in the ICU.” Cohen said she is not worried about space capacity but is concerned about stretching the medical staff too thin. As of Tuesday, there are 3,711 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Brunswick County. Of those cases, 2,820 are considered recovered, 808 are isolating, 16 are hospitalized and 67 have died. The contract tracing team has noticed exposures tend to be due to local family gatherings, out-of-state travel, workplace settings and religious or faith-based gatherings. In the past week, North Carolina’s case count broke single-day records on three separate days, including crossing more than 6,000 cases per day on two of those days. To put into perspective, just a month ago cases were under 3,000 a day. “Having more than 7,500 cases is staggering and alarming,” Cohen said. “We are now seeing the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings. Do not wait until it is you or your loved one sick or alone in the hospital or you are facing the loss of a loved one to wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart and wash your hands often. Act now. Please ask yourself what you can do to help slow the spread of this virus and save lives.” Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a modified stay-at-home order, Executive Order 181, requiring people to stay at home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Businesses such as restaurants and retail stores will be required to close at 10 p.m. and all on-site alcohol consumption sales must end by 9 p.m. Activities exempted from the order include travel for work, obtaining food or medical care or fuel or social services and taking care of a family member. This order is effective Dec. 11 through Jan. 8 at 5 p.m. unless otherwise modified or extended. “We already have strong safety protocols and capacity limitations in place — including a statewide mask requirement,” Cooper said. “With this additional action beginning Friday, we hope to get these numbers down. Our new modified Stay At Home order aims to limit gatherings and get people home where they are safer, especially during the holidays.” More than 80 percent of North Carolina’s 100 counties are now in the red or orange categories. NCDHHS said that to be assigned in the red or orange tier, a county must meet the threshold for case rate and the threshold for either percent positive or hospital impact. Brunswick County is in the orange tier, with positive tests close to 10 percent, much higher than Cohen’s recommendation of 5 percent. On Monday, Wake Forest Baptist, Atrium and Duke hospitals received vaccine shipments. The state expects to get shipments for eight hospitals on Tuesday and 42 on Thursday. “There’s real hope that we can stop those painful losses,” Cooper said during Tuesday’s briefing. “Vaccinations are under way in North Carolina. The first COVID-19 vaccine shipment arrived at 7:20 a.m. yesterday morning at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital.” Vaccines will first be administered to health care workers and long-term care facility patients. Once more supply is available, shots will be given to adults at high risk for severe illness or high risk for exposure, followed by students and critical workers and eventually anyone remaining. Both doses for the vaccine must be from the same company, as each brand has varying time gaps between the first and second doses.  North Carolina still does not know how many supplies of vaccines they will get. Each Friday they will get information about the following week’s shipment, sent on Monday. Cohen shared that although the vaccines were developed quickly, they were built on years of scientific work in developing vaccines for similar viruses. Side effects reported include temporary reactions such as swelling and tiredness. “As a reminder, more than 40,000 people participated in Pfizer’s clinical trials,” Cohen said. “The data showed that the vaccine is nearly 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. And, remember, you can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccine itself. The vaccine imitates the infection so that our body thinks a germ like the virus is attacking. This creates the antibody defense we need to fight off COVID, if and when the real germ attacks.”

Novel coronavirus test reports in Brunswick County
Presumptive positive test results reported — 3,711
Number of recovered — 2,820
Number of isolations — 808
Number of hospitalizations — 16
Number of deaths related to coronavirus — 67

Brunswick age demographics
0-17 years old: 370
18-24 years old: 366
25-49 years old: 1,142
50-64 years old: 840
65+years old: 993

Novel coronavirus test reports in North Carolina
Presumptive positive test results reported — 446,601
Number of hospitalizations — 2,735
Number of deaths related to coronavirus — 5,881

Brunswick County/NC Public Health Contact Information

Brunswick County community assistance:
 
brunswickcountync.gov/emergency/covid-19-community-assistance/

Brunswick County business resources:
brunswickcountync.gov/coronavirus/businessresources/

NC Public Health call line (open 24/7):
866-462-3821

NC 211 program:
Dial 211 or 888-892-1162, or text COVIDNC to 898211 for updates

NC COVID-19 info:
https://www.nc.gov/covid19

Read more » click here


COVID/State of Emergency – Timeline

12/08/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 181 which is a modified stay-at-home order with a curfew that requires people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

11/23/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 180 which expands current mask requirements, extending the rule to essentially any time an individual is outside of their home and in the presence of a non-household contact. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

11/10/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 176 which lowers the indoor gathering limit from 25 to 10 people. The state will remain paused in Phase 3 of its reopening plan. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

10/28/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 171 which assists all residential tenants in North Carolina who qualify for protection from eviction under the terms of the CDC Order. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

10/21/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 170 which is an extension of the Phase 3 order. We will remain paused for another three weeks in Phase 3 of the pandemic recovery. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

09/30/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 169 which lifted certain restrictions and will allow additional openings and capacity for certain businesses. The state’s phased reopening process continues our state’s dimmer switch approach to easing restrictions and is moving from Phase 2.5 to Phase 3 of the pandemic recovery. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The situation is serious; take it seriously!

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


Upon Further Review –


 

Murder Investigation

 

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Previously reported –
May 2019
Modern technology meets old school: How law enforcement investigated the suspected Holden Beach murderer
The tiny beach town of Holden was rocked when 71-year-old Judy Brock was murdered, allegedly by her husband. Find out how authorities made their case using data stored by cell phone and internet companies.

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

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

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

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

Previously reported – May 2020
Holden Beach man accused of killing wife to stand trial Nov. 16
The husband of Judy Brown Brock, who was murdered more than a year ago, is set to go to trial on a first-degree murder charge Monday, Nov. 16. Phillip Harry Brock, 72, was charged with murder in March 2019 and has been incarcerated at the Brunswick County Detention Facility since his arrest. Brock was indicted on a first-degree murder charge April 15, 2019, said assistant district attorney Glenn Emery, the lead prosecutor on the case. If Phillip Brock is convicted of first-degree murder, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, Emery said. Brunswick County Detention Facility records show Phillip Brock was booked into the jail at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2019, on a first-degree murder charge on no bail. The Holden Beach Police Department was the arresting agency. According to a Holden Beach Police Department news release, law enforcement agencies found Judy Brown Brock’s body in a wooded area in Sampson County on March 20, 2019.A Silver Alert was issued for her the previous Saturday by the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons. The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Ocean Isle Beach police, the North Carolina DMV License and Theft Bureau, Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Brunswick County Search and Rescue, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, Garland Fire Department and District Attorney Jon David assisted in the investigation, which is ongoing. Brock made his first court appearance at the Brunswick County Courthouse the morning after his arrest. District Court Judge Scott Ussery assigned Brock attorney Teresa Gibson of Shallotte as Brock’s provisional lawyer and denied Brock bail at the request of Assistant District Attorney Glenn Emery. Oak Island-based lawyer Ed Geddings is now representing Phillip Brock on the first-degree murder charge. Emery told Ussery in court in March 2019 that it appears Brock put out the Silver Alert for his wife to cover up his tracks, and law enforcement learned she had no cognitive impairments. Emery said Brock then turned off the GPS in his phone and attempted to turn off the GPS in his 2018 Ford F-150 but was unsuccessful, leading law enforcement to track his vehicle to Sampson County where his wife’s body was discovered.
Read more » click here

Update –
Holden Beach man sentenced to 20-25 years for 2019 murder of wife
A Holden Beach man charged with killing his wife last year will serve the next two decades in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. Phillip Brock, 73, was sentenced Wednesday in Brunswick County Superior Court for the March 15, 2019, murder of Judy Patricia Brock. Initially reported by her husband as a missing person, Judy Brock was found dead in a wooded area in Sampson County. During an investigation, Phillip Brock became a suspect after detectives found he had disabled the GPS system on his mobile phone and attempted unsuccessfully to disable the GPS device on his 2018 Ford F-150 truck. Detectives tied several pieces of evidence found at the Sampson County burial site to Phillip Brock’s home and truck. Brock, who has been incarcerated at the Brunswick County Detention Center following his arrest last year, will serve an active sentence of 240 to 300 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections. The investigation was a collaborative effort of the Holden Beach Police Department, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, State Bureau of Investigation, and a number of other local law enforcement agencies, according to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon by District Attorney Jon David’s office.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach man pleads guilty to murdering his wife

Brunswick County man pleads guilty to murdering his wife

Holden Beach man sentenced to 20 years in prison for murdering wife


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Top 3 Community Dog Park Benefits:

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

    For more information » click here

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


    Corrections & Amplifications –


What’s your vision for our county?
Brunswick County launches new Blueprint Brunswick 2040 project to find out.

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County encourages residents to share their ideas online or at in-person and virtual meetings this fall as it develops new comprehensive plans

Brunswick County’s Planning and Parks and Recreation departments have teamed up for a 12-month initiative called Blueprint Brunswick 2040 to craft two new plans: a Comprehensive Land Use Plan and a Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Together, these two new plans will guide future growth, decisions and investments in infrastructure and serves withing the county.
For more information » click here

Take the Online Survey
The Blueprint Brunswick 2040 Public Input Survey is now online and open for submissions. The survey consists of 28 questions and takes about 20 minutes to complete. Access the survey at BlueprintBrunswick2040.com

Participants are asked to complete their online surveys no later than January 1st, 2021.

Brunswick creates ‘Blueprint’ for expected massive growth
Brunswick officials and community members are working to map out the county’s future in a new long-term plan. The Blueprint Brunswick 2040 plan will prepare for the county’s population growth and will guide the development of the community in the future. Officials are currently collecting input from the community about what should be addressed in the blueprint. The blueprint looks to accommodate a growing community. Since 2000, the population of Brunswick County has increased by 94% from 73,717 in 2000 to 142,820. The county’s population is projected to increase another 44% over the next 20 years, according to data from the N.C. Office of State Budget and Management. The project is a partnership between the county’s planning and parks and recreation departments. The last master plans adopted by both departments were compiled more than a decade ago. So, it was time to outline a new long-range plan for the county’s planning, said Kirstie Dixon, the Brunswick County planning director. It made sense for the planning and parks and recreation departments to partner because often their work is intertwined, she said. This fall, county officials have hosted focus groups and community meetings to allow community members to provide feedback on what needs to be addressed in the county’s future. They also have also used a survey
 to collect feedback. The public comment period lasts until Jan.1. So far, a few broad themes have emerged. On the planning side, traffic and roads are a “hot topic,” Dixon said. Other areas of concern include the need for more affordable housing in the county, utilities like water and sewer and the encroachment of developments on the county’s natural resources. For parks and recreation planning, community members want to see more indoor recreation space, more walking and biking trails and added waterway access points for launching kayaks and canoes, said Aaron Perkins, the county’s parks, and recreation director. The planning process will allow officials to accommodate the community’s changing interests. For example, when the parks and recreation department adopted its last master plan in 2009, no one was talking about pickleball, Perkins said. Now, it’s everywhere. “Pickleball is a growing sport,” he said, “especially for our area since we’re a retirement county.” Those changing interests will be reflected in the blueprint, he added. It’s important to hear from a diverse group of Brunswick County residents because the impact blueprint will have a significant impact on communities in the county. “It will guide Brunswick County into the future,” Dixon said.
Read more » click here


Ocean Isle Beach’s terminal groin lawsuit will be heard by Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals next month
It’s a lawsuit four years in the making, and one the Town of Ocean Isle Beach hopes is resolved soon so constriction of a terminal groin (a type of jetty) can move forward, conservationists hope that does not happen. The town hopes to protect its beaches and properties along the ocean while conservation groups have argued plans for a terminal groin would be detrimental to the environment and filed suit to stop the project. In August of 2017, the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Audubon North Carolina bringing a halt to a proposed terminal groin project. Now, after being dismissed by a federal judge in September of 2019, the lawsuit is ready to be heard by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

So what exactly is a terminal groin, and what is the concern? In the most basic sense, a terminal groin is a type of rock wall built on the shoreline, extending into the water that are used to help grow beaches and slow erosion. “A groin is built perpendicular to the coast and works similar to the way a jetty works. But groins are usually smaller than jetties and built on straight stretches of beach, not near inlets or channels. They are often built in a series of parallel structures on one section of beach and can be made of wood, concrete, steel or stone. Terminal groins are relatively new concoctions. They are the name proponents have given to small jetties built at inlets — the terminus of islands,” according to the N.C. Coastal Federation.

Proponents of these projects say groins help stem erosion from the beaches and help project properties, however, there are environmental concerns when it comes to installing hard structures. “While they can protect roads, beach homes and other buildings threatened by erosion, hard structures usually cause increased erosion further down the beach. Both jetties and groins, for example, act like dams to physically stop the movement of sand. They work by preventing longshore drift from washing sediment down the coast. As a result, they cause a buildup of sand on the side protected by the structure — which is precisely what they’re intended to do,” according to the N.C. Coastal Federation.

However, the buildup of sand comes at a cost for other properties. “…Areas further “downstream” on the coast are cut off from natural longshore drift by these barrier-like structures. No longer replenished by the sand that usually feeds them, these areas experience worsened erosion,” according to the group.

North Carolina has a history of avoiding the problems brought to other communities through the use of hardened structures and a ban on them was in place for years, since 1985 — until it was repealed in 2011. Senate Bill 110 authorized the construction of terminal groins and repealed the efforts of conservationists.

When the Town of Ocean Isle Beach decided it wanted its own terminal groin in 2017, the lawsuit was filed. The conservationist group claimed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the town’s plan for a terminal groin would be detrimental to the environment. “We’re in court because the Corps failed to fairly consider alternatives that would cost Ocean Isle less, manage erosion, and protect the natural beach on the east end of the island when it approved this destructive project,” said Geoff Gisler, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center at the time the lawsuit was filed. “Federal law requires the Corps to choose the least destructive alternative; with the terminal groin, it approved the most destructive.”

Even U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed that the project would be detrimental to the ecosystem. “A project of this nature will destroy the ecological functioning of this inlet and the surrounding areas. The science is unequivocal. I see no unique issues or areas of significant uncertainty in need of further evaluation. We oppose this project. There is nothing more to discuss,” Pete Benjamin, an employee of the federal agency wrote about the project in 2011, according to emails obtained by Coastal Review Online.

However, proponents of the groin want to move forward. After the decision was entered by the federal judge to dismiss the case, the National Audubon Society filed an appeal with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. According to the town, they are scheduled to have their arguments heard next month. “The Town has been informed by our attorney that the oral argument before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has been scheduled for December 8, 2020. We are hopeful that a final decision on this matter will be rendered by the judge shortly after the oral argument is completed. We will post additional updates as they are made available to the Town,” according to a Facebook Post from the town.
Read more » click here


Odds & Ends –


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

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



Seasonal Police Officers

 

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

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

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

Previously reported – September 2020
Holden Beach officials contemplate efforts to extend police force on island
The Town of Holden Beach held a special meeting Thursday, Sept. 3, to continue discussion on the feasibility of hiring seasonal law enforcement officers for the 2021 season. Following their last meeting on July 2, Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon contacted other police chiefs in similarly situated municipalities to discuss their handlings of the beach strand. Dixon reported diverse policing across the towns but found a common problem is retention. In the future he wanted to hold a conference call with Ocean Isle Beach Police Chief Ken Bellamy because their town is similar.
The group decided to hold one more meeting before contacting Bellamy so they could clarify the roles of the part-time officer and ask more specific questions. Kwiatkowski said for the next meeting they needed to be clear about what is getting investigated for the blended program of the land and seaside. She also requested Dixon look into the frequency of parking and speeding violations. The next meeting is on Oct. 1.
Read more » click here

Previously reported October 2020
Holden Beach chief opts for hiring clerk over more police officers
“That is going to help serve this community 10 times better than trying to figure out how to hire four, six part-time officers,” Dixon said during a town seasonal law enforcement officers committee meeting Oct. 1. Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon believes hiring a new office clerk would be more beneficial for his department rather than hiring seasonal officers. Though the meeting was set to discuss hiring seasonal law enforcement, Dixon felt an office clerk would be more helpful for the department in addressing the high volume of phone calls and better serving the community.
Read more » click here

Update –
Holden Beach committee talks with Ocean Isle Beach Chief
The town of Holden Beach Seasonal Law Enforcement Committee held a meeting om Ocean Isle Beach Police Chief Ken Bellamy. “After our discussion at the last meeting, we were hoping to be able to discuss how Ocean Isle Beach utilizes their seasonal police officers and to have the chief of police present here to discuss the issues he found in utilizing seasonal police officers,” commissioner Mike Sullivan said. During the gathering Sullivan asked Bellamy how many seasonal police officers Ocean Isle Beach currently has. “At Ocean Isle we actually have two classifications of folks that work what we call beach patrol and beach patrol consists of officers or personnel on an ATV on the beach strand,” Bellamy said. “The two classifications as far as beach control, we have non-sworn and we have sworn.” Non-sworn officers tend to be retired police officers. Their main task is to look for ordinance violations on the beach strand and inform the public what the ordinances are, but when it comes to enforcement actions, they notify a sworn officer or call a uniformed officer off the road. Typically, Ocean Isle Beach hires ten (10) non-sworn officers and eight (8) sworn officers for the summer season, Bellamy reported. He said training can be between eight to 12 hours for non-sworn officers, showing the lay of the land and covering administrative issues. Sworn officers go through a training program, depending on their experience level and training can be completed 24 hours. In an average week, Bellamy said Ocean Isle Beach part-time officers work a total of 120 hours a week all together. They try to use two officers at a minimum, with each working an eight-hour shift. On holidays and weekends, they have more officers working. When asked about the retention rate, Bellamy said it is pretty good. Since the non-sworn side is mostly retired folks, they tend to stick around but sworn officers can be a little harder to keep around if they find a full-time position elsewhere. Bellamy said the seasonal officers are only used for the beach strand and not as supplement patrol. Ocean Isle’s beach patrol program has been in existence since the early 1990s. Contrary to Ocean Isle’s operations, Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon expressed interest in using the seasonal officers for patrol use, rather than limiting them to the beach strand. “As far as how we would utilize them, if we had seasonal officers, they would be to assist call volume and to assist with parking and other traffic issues,” Dixon said. Dixon said he felt it would be difficult to have the part-time officers play double duty working on law enforcement and beach patrol. Despite needing a little extra help, Dixon was happy with the department. “We’re very fortunate here,” Dixon said. “Our officers do an excellent job at preventing crime, and the fact that we don’t have a lot of reports and a lot of crime to me speaks volumes about the job that they do preventively.” Due to the town of Holden Beach’s State of Emergency restrictions, in-person public attendance was prohibited at the meeting. The meeting was livestreamed on the town’s Facebook page. The next seasonal law enforcement officers committee meeting is scheduled for Dec. 3.
Read more » click here


This and That –


North Carolina/South Carolina (NC/SC) Adult Baseball is open for registration for the 2021 season. The NC/SC Adult baseball league was formed in 2012. It is an all wood bat league with 3 age divisions for the upcoming 2021 calendar year. The age divisions are 35+, 45+, and 55+. The league is affiliated with the Roy Hobbs Baseball Organization which provides both liability and medical insurance to our players. Teams are generally from the Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC areas. However, players come from both states and several beaches, including Holden Beach. The league accepts individual players, groups of players, or entire teams.

This is an age-specific league. There are players at a variety of skills and experience levels. Most players had some high school experience and maybe college. This league may not be for you if you have never played at a competitive level. But many players have not played in 10, 20 or 30 years. After a few practice sessions and a few games most, players find the game comes back to them and they can compete at their age level. It’s a great opportunity to get regular exercise and make new friends in the area.

To register go to:
Either
https://www.hometeamsonline.com/teams/?u=NCSC&s=baseball
Or
https://www.hometeamsonline.com/teams/default.asp?u=NCSC&s=baseball&p=registration&formID=187172

For more information »
Contact Walt Kozak: waltkozak@gmail.com

NC/SC Adult Baseball website:  www.ncscbaseball.com


The best fall we’ve ever had’: Coastal vacation rentals in high demand
This year has been a rollercoaster for many of those who manage rental properties in the beach towns that dot the coastline of Southeastern North Carolina. COVID-19 hit the United States in mid-March, just when rental properties tend to see an uptick in spring break bookings. Instead, many saw cancellation after cancellation. Temporary state and local bans on short-term rentals appeared to doom the rental season before it began. But when bans lifted, people rushed to reserve vacation rentals. Reservations have remained steady for local rental companies throughout the summer and into the fall.

Watching the vacation rental season ‘fall apart’
For Ian Kraus, a property and reservations manager at Intracoastal Vacation Rentals in Wrightsville Beach, the cancellations began streaming in mid-March. Kraus estimates he handled 450 cancellations this spring. That’s unheard of. “I’ve never been anywhere close to that,” Kraus said. The initial uncertainty surrounding the pandemic led to the flood of cancellations that seemed to threaten the rental season. “People were cancelling, not coming, trying to reschedule,” said Jessica Elliott, the marketing director at Sea Scape Properties in Wrightsville Beach. “This whole time, we’re just seeing our whole season fall apart.” Early in the pandemic, short-term rentals were banned by state and local restrictions. For more than a month, vacationers could not rent apartments or houses in several coastal towns near Wilmington. But when those restrictions lifted in mid-May on Topsail Island, bookings flooded in, said Chris Rackley, the president and broker-in-charge at Lewis Realty Associates. “We ran around 100% occupied from late May on into mid-September,” Rackley said. In a typical year, rentals run 100% occupied during peak summer months. This is the first time that the company has been 100% occupied that far into the fall, Rackley said.

‘We’re working at home anyway, why not come to the beach?’
The demand for rental properties was not unique to Topsail Island. In coastal towns throughout Southeastern North Carolina, short-term rentals have been booming this year despite the pandemic. Demand, which typically begins to fall off when school begins in mid-August or early September, has continued through October at some rental agencies. Why? Some property managers believe the shift to working from home and virtual learning have something to do with it. Kraus said visitors are looking to rent larger spaces, which means they might be vacationing with their families. “The two and three bedrooms are always going to be a lock-in. That’s the perfect size for a smaller group,” he said. “But this year we’re getting a lot more looking for three, four, five bedrooms.” Many renters have told the property managers that at-home work and school played a role in their decision to come to the coast. An internet connection has also become increasingly important for this year’s renters. “If the Internet went out in the home, it was a dire emergency,” Rackley said. “That kind of tells the story.” The first question prospective clients often ask Kraus when calling to book a rental is how fast the internet is. “I would say close to half of our off-season rentals this time around are just like: we’re working at home anyway, why not come to the beach?” he said.

The ‘best’ rental season ever
This might be the best fall rental season Alan Holden has ever seen. Holden, a veteran of the real estate and vacation rental industry, owns Alan Holden Vacations and is the Mayor of Holden Beach. “This is probably going to be the best fall we’ve ever had, and I’ve been doing this for 40-some years,” he said. Holden credits virtual work and schooling along with this fall’s warm and mild weather for drawing visitors. When Bethany Guthrie, the owner of TI Rentals in Surf City, compares this year with 2019, she has seen a 35% increase in rentals between June 1 and Oct. 31. Rental agencies have received a mix of bookings from both North Carolinians and those coming from outside of the state. This summer when COVID-19 restrictions shut down some cities and suburban areas in the Northeast, some families booked a vacation rental and drove down to coastal North Carolina. “This summer there was an eagerness … to get out of the city and get here to the coast,” said Chris Spellman, the broker-in-charge and property manager at Sea Scape Properties. Rental properties allow families to social distance and keep to themselves, making them ideal places for families to stay during the pandemic, said Rackley. “They stay within their own family environment in a vacation rental,” he said.

Rentals fuel the occupancy tax
For many coastal towns in Southeastern North Carolina, tourism drives the economy. Beachgoers buy souvenirs at local shops, eat in local restaurants, and stay in local hotels and rental properties. “In a coastal town, this is an extremely important industry,” Spellman said. When visitors book a rental or hotel, they pay into the town’s occupancy taxes. These taxes are reinvested into the community in ways that aim to attract tourists, like nourishing area beaches. Because tourism is a significant economic driver in beach towns, Spellman said local government leaders should give property and hotel managers a seat at the table when it comes to economic discussions. The occupancy tax has rebounded this year in Wrightsville Beach, said the town’s mayor, Darryl Mills. “The occupancy tax was way down for several months but it is coming back,” he said.

Mills said that rental property and hotel managers in the area have told him that demand from visitors is steady. He said that coastal towns in the Wilmington area will continue to draw in tourists as long as rentals, hotels and other businesses can remain open. “If we can stay open and the weather holds, we’ll survive,” he said.

Will COVID-19 have a lasting impact on the vacation rental season?
The success of vacation rentals this summer and fall has left property managers wondering what next season will look like. Will things be back to normal by next summer? Elliott said she believes changes caused by COVID-19 might have a lasting impact on vacationers and rental companies alike. “I honestly think that it’s going to change the way our rental season runs,” she said. As more companies adapt to working from home, people may have more freedom in deciding where they work from, she said. A shift in demand could affect rental prices. Traditionally, the summer months are peak rental season. Demand for vacation rentals and the rates for renting them are highest during this time. Higher demand in the fall could mean a rate increase, said Spellman. “Any time we’re looking at pricing, we’re looking at supply and demand,” he said. Having the option of virtual work or school could give families the flexibility they need take a vacation later into the fall than they could in a more traditional work environment. “I’m interested to see what happens as we move into winter and next season,” she said. Regardless of the changes ahead, this summer and fall has turned out much better than many property managers expected. “We figured that this summer was not going to be that great,” Rackley said. “But it turned out to be a tremendously successful year.”
Read more » click here


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


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

Report: Animal-related crashes on the rise in North Carolina
The frequency of animal-vehicle crashes has increased considerably from the year before, according to a report. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) said there was a total of 20,331 animal-involved crashes in 2019, an increase of more than 2,300 from 2018. Officials said deer account for about 90% of all animal-related crashes. The increase in incidents could be attributed to growth in the state, with more drivers on the road and more development. State officials warn that North Carolina is entering the three worst months of the year for animal-related crashes, with October, November, and December accounting for half of the annual total over the past three years. The NCDOT Transportation Mobility and Safety Division study shows animal-related crashes have killed five people, injured more than 2,800 others, and caused nearly $156.9 million in property damage over those three years. For the 17th year in a row, Wake County leads the rest of the state for animal collisions with 1,023 in 2019. The NCDOT says far western counties have the lowest numbers because they have the fewest drivers and roads. Graham County recorded just five animal collisions and has the bottom spot for the fifth year in a row.

NCDOT has some helpful tips for motorists in regard to deer-vehicle crashes:

  • Although it does not decrease the risk of being in a crash, wearing a seat belt gives you a better chance of avoiding or minimizing injuries if you hit a deer or other animal.
  • Always maintain a safe amount of distance between your vehicle and others, especially at night. If the vehicle ahead of you hits a deer, you could also become involved in the crash.
  • Slowdown in areas posted with deer crossing signs and in heavily wooded areas, especially during the late afternoon and evening.
  • Most deer-vehicle crashes occur where deer are more likely to travel, near bridges or overpasses, railroad tracks, streams, and ditches. Be vigilant when passing through potentially risky landscapes.
  • Drive with high beams on when possible and watch for eyes reflecting in the headlights.
  • Deer often travel in groups, so if you see one deer near a road, be alert that others may be around.
  • If you see deer near a road, slow down and blow your horn with one long blast.
  • Do not swerve to avoid a collision with deer. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, increasing the risk of it flipping over, veering into oncoming traffic, or overcorrecting and running off the road and causing a more serious crash.

Officials say the most crashes occur between 6 p.m. and midnight, accounting for about 45% of the overall total. With the end of daylight savings time at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, the time shift increases the chance of deer being by roadways when drivers are traveling in the dark, especially for their evening commute. If your vehicle does strike a deer, officials say do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can be dangerous or further injure itself. Get your vehicle off the road if possible and call 911.
Read more » click here

NCDOT: Vehicle-animal crashes on the rise statewide, Brunswick in top 10
Animal-vehicle collisions have increased across North Carolina, according to a new report released by the N.C. Department of Transportation Monday. Brunswick County is ranked sixth out of the state’s 100 counties for animal-vehicle collisions between 2017 and 2019. These types of collisions have increased in the county by 27% since 2012, with 480 crashes last year, according to the report.

Animal collisions are up statewide due to increased development, which pushes animals out of their habitats, according to NCDOT. Deer make up the majority (90%) of animal-vehicle collisions. Statewide, these crashes have killed five people, injured more than 2,800, and caused more than $156 million in property damage between 2017 and 2019. Collisions are known to increase during the last three months of the year, according to NCDOT, because crashes in this timeframe tend to make up half the annual total. Pender County ranks 16th with 331 animal crashes last year, and New Hanover County ranks 69th with 85 crashes on the state’s list. The state’s westernmost counties tend to have the least amount of animal crashes due to sparser populations and roads. Almost a majority of crashes occur between 6 p.m. and midnight. The end of Daylight Savings on Nov. 1 increases the chance of deer being hit on the roadways as more drivers travel in the dark, according to NCDOT.

Below are tips NCDOT provided drivers to protect themselves from animal collisions:

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Keep a safe distance between vehicles
  • Drive slow in areas with posted deer crossing signs and in heavily wooded areas near dusk and night.
  • Be mindful while driving near areas where deer are more likely to travel, including near bridges, overpasses, railroad tracks, streams, and ditches.
  • When possible, drive with high beams on and look out for eyes reflected in the headlights
  • Look out for other deer when one is spotted; deer often travel in groups
  • Blow the horn with a long blast if you spot a deer near the road.
  • Do not swerve your vehicle to avoid colliding with a deer.
  • If you do strike a deer with your vehicle, try to get your vehicle off the road, call 911, and don’t touch the animal. Injured or wounded deer can further injure itself or others.
    Read more » click here

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


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Climate
For more information » click here

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


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Development Fees
For more information » click here
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Flood Insurance Program
For more information » click here
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National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On October 1, 2020, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to September 30, 2021.

Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP
by no later than 11:59 pm on September 30, 2021.


 

GenX
For more information » click here
..
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  •  

    Homeowners Insurance
    For more information » click here
    .

    .
    Insurance companies request rate increase for homeowners
    The North Carolina Rate Bureau (NCRB) has requested a 24.5 percent statewide average increase in homeowners’ insurance rates to take effect August 2021, according to a news release issued Nov. 10 by state insurance commissioner Mike Causey. The NCRB is not part of the N.C. Department of Insurance but represents companies that write insurance policies in the state. The department can either agree with the rates as filed or negotiate a settlement with the NCRB on a lower rate. If a settlement cannot be reached within 50 days, Causey will call for a hearing. Two years ago, in December 2018, the NCRB requested a statewide average increase of 17.4 percent. Causey negotiated a rate 13.4 percentage points lower and settled with a statewide aver-age rate increase of 4 percent. One of the drivers behind this requested increase is that North Carolina has experienced increased wind and hail losses stemming from damaging storms. A public comment period is required by law to give the public time to address the NCRB’s proposed rate increase.
    For more information » click here

  • To see a table of proposed homeowners’ rate increases go to: click here
  • Territory 120 / Beach areas in Brunswick County / NCRB proposed increase 25%


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    Hurricane Season

    For more information » click here

    .


  • A hurricane season for the record books
    Starting with the first storm, which struck two weeks before the official start of the Atlantic season on June 1, this year has now seen 30 named storms — 13 of them hurricanes — breaking a record set in 2005, when 28 storms grew strong enough to be named. This is only the second time — after 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast — that meteorologists have exhausted the list of storm names in alphabetical order and moved on to the 24-letter Greek alphabet.


This relentless Atlantic hurricane season has put nearly every mile of coastline from Texas to Maine on alert
People along nearly every mile of coastline from Texas to Maine have been put on alert this Atlantic hurricane season, as 12 of 29 storms made landfall in the United States in this record-setting year.
Read more » click here


Hurricane season ends after record 30 named storms, 12 U.S. landfalls
Over six long months, 30 named storms – from Arthur to Iota – spun around somewhere in the Atlantic, with the 2020 hurricane season breaking records left and right. That all ends Monday. Officially, anyway. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season – which ran from June 1 to Nov. 30 – produced 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall in the United States, shattering the record of nine, set over a century ago. This year was also the fifth year in a row with above-normal activity, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While the official end of the hurricane season is Monday, storms have been known to crop up all the way into December. Meteorologists are monitoring an area of disturbed weather several hundred miles southeast of Bermuda for possible development. If the disturbance becomes a tropical storm, it would be named Kappa.


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Lockwood Folly Inlet
For more information » click here
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Removal of Lockwood Folly Inlet markers raises concerns
Advocates for the boating community and Lockwood Folly Inlet in Brunswick County hope they won’t see a repeat of the tragedy that struck at Carolina Beach Inlet on November 7. What they would like to see is the navigational buoys put back. Put simply, the U.S. Coast Guard’s new policy is to remove aids to navigation that are significantly off-site in shallow-draft inlets. The rationale is that buoys, or “cans,” as most boaters call them, should not be in place if they are not accurately depicting the channel. Giving boaters a false sense of security, Coast Guard officials have said, may be worse than having no cans at all. The Coast Guard removed Carolina Beach Inlet’s cans after giving notice in early October. On November 7, four men in a fishing boat attempted to turn around in the inlet and capsized. One of the men, from Garner, drown. No one directly linked the incident to the buoys, but it was a point of concern at the Brunswick Shoreline Protection’s regular November 18 meeting. The question was why aids to navigation, including cans, could not be left in place when a dredging project was scheduled. Layton Bedsole, shoreline manager for New Hanover County, said the Carolina Beach Inlet dredging project was finished on November 12 and the cans were back in place. The issue applies to Lockwood Folly Inlet, where the Coast Guard has removed cans, although a maintenance dredging project is set for December. “Pulling the cans is not the answer,” said Ryan Williams of the Lockwood Folly Association, a coalition of boaters. He said that having some guides for boaters, especially those unfamiliar with the area, was better than nothing. Steve Stone, assistant Brunswick County manager, said officials responded to the concerns of the Coast Guard but did not persuade them to leave the cans in place at Lockwood Folly Inlet. The latest survey shows serious shoaling at the entrance. Stone said the Coast Guard wanted a plan to keep the inlet open: he responded that there is a plan, and that county and local governments have utilized the state’s Shallow Draft Inlet fund to maintain the inlet for years. The issue was the availability of dredges and a commitment by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who set the schedule, he explained. Stone said the county could not commit to funding the project annually without a specific number, but it had regularly participated in the ongoing project along with Oak Island and Holden Beach. Dredging in the Lockwood Folly Inlet is expected in December.
Read more » click here


USACE plan is in place for the LWF inlet maintenance project. Five events per year, at a cost of  approximately one million dollars just for side-caster dredger. Funding commitments are not in place yet, THB cost share would be roughly $60,000. That’s as close as we have been to having an annual maintenance program for the inlet.

The Merritt is scheduled to begin dredging December 27th for twenty-one days, USACE has funding in place

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


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

    For more information » click here
    .


    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.
    /////


    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 DARKEST EVENING
by Ann Cleeves
This is the ninth entry in the Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope novel series. A murder investigation in the north of England with an extensive list of suspects and motives that are hidden in plain sight. It’s a whodunnit where the reader has all of the clues necessary to solve the mystery. Skillful misdirection masks the killer’s identity which will keep you guessing until the end.
.


  • .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/

11 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Regular Meeting 11/17/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Presentation of Fiscal Year 2019 –2020 Audit Results–Elsa Watts, Martin Starnes, and Associates (Town Manager Hewett)


Audit Results

For more information » click here

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Agenda Packet –
Financial Highlights

  • The assets and deferred outflows of resources of the Town of Holden Beach exceeded its liabilities and deferred inflows of resources at the close of the fiscal year by $30,693,619 (net position).
  • The government’s total net position increased by $3,274,077, primarily due to an increase in the governmental activities of $2,694,520 and increases in the business-type activities of $579,557.
  • As of the close of the current fiscal year, the Town of Holden Beach’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $12,908,385, an increase of $1,440,892 in comparison with the prior year. Of this amount, $2,849,394, is available for spending at the government’s discretion.
  • At the end of the current fiscal year, unassigned fund balance for the General Fund was $2,849,394, or 112%, of total General Fund expenditures for the fiscal year.

Auditor’s report for fiscal year 2019 – 2020 audit was presented by Elsa the project manager. Audit was submitted to Local Government Commission timely and approved with no changes. The auditor Martin Starnes was able to render an unmodified/clean opinion; which is the best possible opinion that you can receive.


2. Police Report –Chief Dixon

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

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


Neighborhood Watch

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

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

Keep Check Request Form
. a) Complete the form and return it to the Police Department
. b)
Officers check your property in your absence

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


3. Discussion and Possible Action on Employee Health Benefits -Commissioner Sullivan

Agenda Packet –

DependentDependentDependentDependent
Rate Town Pays80%
(Current)
60%40%20%
Family Coverage$31,004.52$23,253.34$15,502.22 $7,751.11
Employee & Spouse Coverage$31,351 .92$23,513.98 $15,675.98 $7,837.99
Employee & Child Coverage$26,248.68$19,686.53 $13,124.35$6,562.18
Total$88,605.12$66,453.84$44,302.56 $22,151.28

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

Previously reported September 2020
Commissioner Sullivan said that the study was done and that the Board adopted the monetary part of the report, but never addressed health care coverage. Mike proposed that consideration be given for modifications of our family health insurance coverage. He requested that staff prepare a table showing the cost of family coverage at five (5) percentage levels for them to consider.

Previously reported – October 2020
THB employee coverage is comparable to benefits provided by the surrounding municipalities. The family coverage is more than being provided by those same municipalities. The question Mike posed is this: Do we want to continue to provide superior coverage or make an adjustment? There was no discussion, consensus was to put it on the agenda next month after they had time to consider how they want to proceed.

Update –
Commissioner Sullivan did a brief overview and once again asked the Board: whether they want to continue to provide superior coverage or make an adjustment? Mike made a motion to discuss the issue, once again there was no discussion. That means we will continue to provide health care coverage with no cost changes to our employees.

No decision was made – No action taken

It was the right thing to do. Given that we are in the midst of a pandemic, now would not be a good time to change employee health care coverage.


4. Discussion and Possible Action on Legal Services Proposals–Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
A Request for Proposals (RFP) for Legal Services was advertised in the local paper and was placed on the North Carolina League of Municipalities’ website. In response to the RFP, the Town received two proposals.

The firms who are interested in providing legal services to the Town are the Law Firm of Richard F. Green and the Brough Law Firm.

Law Firm Proposals
For more information » click here

Replacement of Town Attorney
As provided for at North Carolina General Statute §160A-173.
§160A-173.  City attorney; appointment and duties.
The council shall appoint a city attorney to serve at its pleasure and to be its legal adviser.

Previously reported – October 2020
One-year anniversary of our relationship with this firm that was selected by the previous Board. Apparently, they have some concerns about the amount of money we are spending for legal services. Woody suggested that now would be a good time to decide whether to stay the course or make a change. Surprisingly, he then proposed terminating our relationship with them. The Board tasked the Town Manager with doing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Legal Services.

Update –
Mayor Holden and Commissioner Kwiatkowski both stated that they were disappointed that we did not get a better response to the RFP. The Board has the responsibility to make sure that they have the appropriate person in this position. Mayor Holden asked them to consider approaching Noel Fox to represent us on an interim basis as needed. Noel Fox of Craige & Fox was our new town attorney, has municipal law experience, currently is working on beach nourishment easements and is familiar with the issues. Two motions were made.

The first motion was to do another Request for Proposals (RFP) for Legal Services.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

The second motion was to offer the interim town attorney position to Noel Fox.
A decision was made – Approved (4-1)

Commissioner Brown objected. Gerald felt that the position should be offered to Richard Green since his firm responded to the RFP and that he had previously served as the attorney for the Town, albeit not recently.


5. Discussion and Possible Action on Resolution 20-13, Designation of Applicant Agent for Isaias –Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
Through   recent communication, the NC Department   of Public Safety informed   the Town of Holden Beach that an applicant designee would need to be appointed for Hurricane Isaias (DR-4568-NC). The resolution form from the state is attached.  The applicant   designee   will be responsible as signatory   for the FEMA application process and formation of project worksheets.  A primary and secondary designee is required. This memo   requests   the BOC designate Town   Manager   David Hewett as the primary   contact   and Assistant Town Manager Ferguson as the secondary contact on the FEMA Resolution.

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

Update –
Resolution 20-13 authorizes Town Manager Hewett and Assistant Town Manager Ferguson to execute and file applications for assistance on behalf of the Town. Approval of this resolution is necessary to move forward with requesting assistance relating to Hurricane Isaias. Simply part of the process that we establish an official point of contact to process FEMA reimbursement requests. Recommended motion was approved as submitted.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


6. Discussion and Possible Action on a Request for a New Audit on Trash Can Numbers at Rental Properties –Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
Rental properties must have at least a specified number of waste bins depending on bedroom count. Two years ago, an audit of rental property compliance was conducted, finding a significant number of properties with too few waste bins. Letters were sent to out of compliance properties and the situation improved.

This past summer there were properties observed with too few and frequently overflowing trash bins. There has been a relatively high rate of home sales over the past year, and new property owners may not be aware of the town ordinance. In addition, bins have been reported lost in the August hurricane and may not have been replaced.

In order to start next season with adequate waste bins ta all rental properties, a new audit should be conducted, and letters sent to out of compliance properties by the end of February 2021 so there are adequate bins at rental properties before May 1.

Trash Can Requirements – Rental Properties
Waste Industries – trash can requirements / Ordinance 07-13, Section 50.10
Rental properties have specific number of trash cans based on number of bedrooms.
.     a)
One extra trash can per every two bedrooms

§50.08 RENTAL HOMES.

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

Update –
It would seem that the Town staff does not think that it’s really a problem. Timbo responded that this is a difficult task, and they don’t get a lot of complaints. In addition, they got a considerable amount of negative feedback the last time they sent out letters for noncompliance. Currently they monitor the situation, call if they see noncompliance and take action as needed. David committed to include a friendly reminder with the water bill.

No decision was made – No action taken

The Town should address noncompliance with our ordinances regardless of whether complaints are made or not. As far as it not being a problem, all you have to do is drive down OBW on any trash pickup day to see how many properties are not in compliance.

Spoiler alert – it’s a lot of rental properties.


7. Discussion and Possible Action to Approve the Formation of Parking Work Group –Commissioners Tyner and Murdock

Agenda Packet –
Commissioners Murdock and Tyner are requesting approval by the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners to form a working group composed of two Commissioners (Murdock and Tyner) and the appropriate Town staff members to evaluate the below parking-related items:

    • Paid parking opportunities: investigate paid parking including the use of new technology used by other communities.
    • Jordan Boulevard: investigate organizing Jordan Boulevard to improve aesthetics and allow more parking
    • Boat trailer parking: investigate opportunities to provide parking for boat trailers utilizing the NC Wildlife boat ramp in anticipation Block Q may be sold and developed for housing.
    • Avenue A: investigate alternatives to make Avenue A a one-way street with angled parking spaces

At the November 2018 meeting of the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners, the Planning & Zoning Board was tasked with forming a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to study and make recommendations on the following parking items:

    • Jordan Boulevard: investigate organizing Jordan Boulevard to improve aesthetics and allow more parking
    • Visitor Parking: If additional parking is needed, investigate property the Town does not own which could be utilized
    • Town Owned Properties: If additional parking is needed, develop a list of properties owned by the Town that could be used and the cost to develop
    • Paid Parking: investigate paid parking including the use of new technology used by other communities.

The recommendations from the CAC and approved by P&Z included:

  1. Jordan Boulevard: Investigate completing a similar project to the one proposed by NC State many years ago.
  2. Visitor Parking: It was felt that at the time that there was adequate parking except on a few days each year, and even on busy days parking spots were still avail Several suggestions were made to improve parking that included increased police enforcement of parking rules, better signage and maps, and implementation of bumpers. It was further suggested that parking continued to be monitored and the issue revisited in the fall (2019). It was also recommended there was no reason to look for Town owned or other sites for increased parking because it was determined that more parking was not needed at the time.
  3. Paid Parking: The CAC felt that paid parking should be investigated further and recommended that the Town issue an RFP for vendors. Reasons for this recommendation included:
    .     a. Surrounding towns already have or are moving to paid parking
    .     b. Paid parking has been identified as a source of funding for the Town and could be used to help cover expenses incurred as a result of visitors such as portable toilets and extra trash pickups.
    .     c. Extra funds could be used to enhance the visitor experience with improved amenities
        d. An informal poll of East End residents showed they were in favor of paid parking.

The CAC & P&Z felt it would be impossible to get a true sense of the potential revenue or potential issues without proposals from vendors and felt that an RFP should come from the Town at the direction of the BOC.

Since the P&Z/CAC report in early 2019, several events have occurred which have prompted the need to revisit these parking issues:
    • Two large RV parks are being developed off-island that may significantly increase the demand for more visitor parking.
    • More daily visitors are coming to Holden Beach due to travel limitations imposed by the current COVID-19 virus.
    • The owner of Block Q has communicated his desire to sell these properties for future housing development thereby negatively impacting boat trailer parking using these properties. Boat trailer parking may negatively impact visitor parking near the bridge if the current parking options are eli
    • The owner of the Holden Beach Pier has communicated his desire to be included in a public-private venture for paid parking if the Town decides to evaluate and implement paid parking.
    • There is a recognition that seasonal police officers are potentially needed to handle visitor Paid parking could help offset these costs and other daily visitor-related costs.
    • Other surrounding beach communities continue to implement paid parking as an option to offset costs associated with daily visitors. Please see attached article about Kure Beach.

Commissioners Murdock and Tyner believe it is in the best interest of Holden Beach for the Board of Commissioners to urgently move forward with investigating these parking challenges and opportunities before the Town is faced with significant negative impacts.

Update –
After a considerable amount of discussion, the motion was made for them to form a working group to evaluate several parking related issues.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Color me surprised, that this was the agenda item that generated the most discussion.


8. Town Manager’s Report

Central Reach
CAMA Scoping meeting was held
Regrading analysis of sand samples is underway
Discussion with attorney regarding obtaining additional easements 

Previously reported – October 2020
Permit application has been made. CAMA has notified us that they wish to schedule a scoping meeting in response to our September permit modification submission. Meeting is scheduled later this week.

Editor’s Note –
What is a ‘Scoping Session‘? The first step in ensuring a successful engagement with a prospect is to conduct ‘Scoping Sessions‘. In these sessions, you have the opportunity to formally capture the prospect’s expectations, success factors, and high-level business requirements for a fruitful project.

Federal Advocacy
Monday held virtual meetings to conduct advocacy briefings with Congressional delegation and Federal agencies

Previously reported – October 2020
Mike McIntyre has changed law firms from Poyner Spruill to Ward and Smith. The change of agent forms were executed accordingly. All terms and conditions including those with Ferguson Group remain the same. Virtual Capitol Hill advocacy visits are being scheduled for November ; the date is to be determined.

Street Paving
Minimum number(20) of affirmative responses received so far
Town’s position now is the time to do it –

    • Opportunity to take advantage of low fuel prices
    • NCDOT paving projects on pause
    • Street maintenance is not cost effective without paving, particularly on Seagull

Previously reported – October 2020
Letters were sent out mid-September distributing info and petition for paving. So far, there has been an extremely limited number of responses. They have till December 5th to respond.

Parks & Rec Master Plan
Requests for Proposal, advertised and out on the street for solicitation

Sewer Lift Station #3
Now in operational test mode subject to final completion and inspection
Contractor remains on schedule and within budget
Sewer Lift Station #2 upgrade process will begin in January

Previously reported – October 2020
So far so good, no issues at this point in time. Project is ahead of schedule with a tentative startup date at the end of October.

Advertise for Bids                  10/24/19
Contract Award                     01/21/20
Construction Start                 03/23/20
Contract Completion             12/18/20
Closeout                                  12/31/20

796 OBW
The property has been rented to a Public Works employee and he has moved in.   

Previously reported – October 2020
Concerns were expressed about maintenance issues and our insurance liability. Timbo offered to do inspection to confirm that it is habitable and reasonably safe. Approved contingent upon Town Inspector favorable report at which time  the Town Manager can lease the property to Town employee for $700 per month.

Canal Surveying
Canal subdivisions canal surveying is being done and they should have completed report by the end of the year.


In Case You Missed It –


Community Rating System (CRS)
The Town’s CRS rating is being lowered from eight (8) to seven (7) which will result in an additional downward adjustment to all property owners flood insurance premiums. That would be the third favorable adjustment, each with a 5% reduction of your flood insurance premiums. To be clear, we will now enjoy a 15% reduction in flood insurance premiums due to the new lower CRS rating. Timbo has been the driving force in getting us to qualify for the lower rating allowing us to enjoy significant savings and is very much appreciated. KUDOS!

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

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

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

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

      1. Public Information,
      2. Mapping and Regulations,
      3. Flood Damage Reduction, and
      4. Flood Preparedness.

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

NFIP Community Rating System Coordinator’s Manual
For more information » click here


    • Loose Ends (8)

        • Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy             January 2019
        • Fee Based Rollout of Containers                       January 2019
        • Commercial District / Zoning                           February 2019
        • Dog Park                                                              July 2020                    
        • Development Fees                                              September 2020
        • Land Use Plan                                                    October 2020             
        • 796 OBW                                                             October  2020            
        • Parking                                                                November 2020

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


    .
    BOC’s Meeting

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


     

    I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with family, friends

    and all of the memories that make you thankful!

    November 26, 2020


    Hurricane #1 - CR


    Hurricane Season

    For more information » click here

    Be prepared – have a plan!

    .

    .
    .
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read more » click here

    THB EMERGENCY INFORMATION

    EVACUATION, CURFEW & DECALS

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


Subtropical Storm Theta Makes 2020 Busiest Hurricane Season On Record
A history-making storm is gaining momentum over the middle of the Atlantic. Monday, Subtropical Storm Theta became the 29th named storm of the year, surpassing the 28 storms of 2005 and making the 2020 hurricane season the busiest on record. The system is not expected to make landfall in the U.S.
Read more » click here

Theta Forms as Season’s 29th Named Storm, Breaking a Record
The arrival of Theta broke the annual record for the number of storms strong enough to be given names. That benchmark was set in 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.
Subtropical Storm Theta became the 29th named storm of the tumultuous 2020 hurricane season on Monday night, breaking a record set in 2005. Government scientists had predicted an unusually busy hurricane season this year. But the number of named storms exceeded even the initial forecasts issued by the National Hurricane Center and forced the National Weather Service to resort to using the Greek alphabet after Tropical Storm Wilfred formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean in September. The Weather Service had not done that since 2005, when 28 storms grew strong enough to have names. (The National Hurricane Center named 27 storms that year and later identified a 28th qualifying storm: a subtropical storm that formed briefly in October 2005 near the Azores, a remote archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.)
Read more » click here

Tropical Storm Iota forms in Caribbean and will likely become a major hurricane
Iota is the 30th named storm of 2020, a new record
Tropical Storm Iota formed in the eastern Caribbean on Friday afternoon, set to become a powerful major hurricane and threaten areas of the western Caribbean still reeling from Hurricane Eta that hit just last week. Iota is the season’s 30th named storm, an unprecedented milestone that brings us deeper into uncharted territory. It comes days after Tropical Storm Theta formed and broke the record for the most named storms ever observed in a single Atlantic hurricane season.
Read more » click here

A hurricane season for the record books
Starting with the first storm, which struck two weeks before the official start of the Atlantic season on June 1, this year has now seen 30 named storms — 13 of them hurricanes — breaking a record set in 2005, when 28 storms grew strong enough to be named. This is only the second time — after 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast — that meteorologists have exhausted the list of storm names in alphabetical order and moved on to the 24-letter Greek alphabet.


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