04 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 03/28/19

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

Audio Recording » click here

1. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/03/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
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»
click here NA

Audio Recording » click here

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


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/12/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
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Audio Recording » click here

1. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Special Meeting 04/19/19

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

Audio Recording » click here NA

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

Previously reported –      March 2019
Sewer Lift Station Engineering Responses

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

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

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

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

No decision was made – No action taken

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

2. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Regular Meeting 04/16/19

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

Audio Recording » click here NA


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

There were no comments


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

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

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

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

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

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


3. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

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

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

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

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


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


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

Neighborhood Watch

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update –
No issues, accepted report

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mini-Me

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

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


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


7. Planning Inspections Report – Planning Director Evans

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

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

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

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

As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:
    1) Reduce flood damage to insurable property;
.     2)
Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and
.     3) Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

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


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

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

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

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

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

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


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

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

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

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

The original motion was to allocate funds to obtain bids for the development of a cost justified water and wastewater system Development Fees Report by a financial firm rather than an engineering firm like the first time. After a bit of finger pointing as to why we need to have another report they were able to find some common ground. Town Attorney Noel Fox stated that the fact of the matter is that it was not just one thing but many things that requires us to redo the report. They will pursue bids from all qualified vendors whether they are an engineering or financial firm. Commissioner Sullivan pointed out that by rescinding the adopted development fees cost the town $157,000, which is the difference in the revenue stream from adopted to rescinded fees.

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

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

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

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

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

Review of Development Fees Timeline

Previously reported – February 2018

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

Holden Beach Sewer Treatment Fee
For more information » click here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fee Schedule / Water and Sewer System Development Fees

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

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

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

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

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

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

Town of Holden Beach pursuant to said Act; and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previously reported – February 2019

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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


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

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

The Town Manager/Finance Officer needs to be given an opportunity to address the issues identified as deficiencies in the internal control report. Action plans need to be established and monitored. All options should be explored before we add the additional expense of hiring a separate Finance Officer. David should be given the chance to take whatever corrective action necessary to fix this. I personally believe it would be premature to take any more aggressive action then that at this time.

It will be interesting to see how this soap opera unfolds, a few possible scenarios:
    1) Town outsources some of the financial work
    2) Town Manager takes a pay cut and we hire a separate Finance Officer
   3) Town Manager either resigns or gets terminated and we hire new Town Manager           and a separate Finance Officer

 Stay tuned …

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


15. Town Manager’s Report

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

Dog Park
The dog park will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The Town needed to use the land at the dog park to place material from the canal dredging project as the dredge spoils area. It is unknown when it will be returned to a useable state as a dog park again. They are currently looking at other options for a dog park on the island. Meanwhile, David has asked the County to consider including a dog park in the 35-acre nature park being planned for on the mainland just across the ICW from us.



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

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

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

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

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

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


General Comments –

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

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

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

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


Budget

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

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

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

Budget Meeting Schedule / 2019

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

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Hurricane Season –

Hurricane #1 - CR

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

Be prepared – have a plan!

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

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

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

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

vigilance and preparedness is urged.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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04 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / April Edition

Calendar of Events –



Days at the Docks Festival

April 27th – 28th
Holden Beach

.

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



Blue Crab Festival

May 18th – 19th
Little River SC

.

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


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


Calendar of Events – Island


HBBC

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



Days at the Docks Festival

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

 



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

 

What is Pickleball you ask?

Pickleball: growing sport for seniors
Pickleball originated in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The ball used is a perforated plastic ball similar to a Whiffle ball. The game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. The net is a couple inches lower than a tennis court net and the court is smaller too (20 feet by 44 feet vs. 36 by 78), and the paddles are oversized ping pong paddles made of plywood, aluminum or graphite. The game can be played with two or four players. Experience in tennis, badminton and ping pong is helpful, as there are similarities with those sports. There already are over 100,000 players in the United States alone. When tennis and badminton players find it difficult to navigate the larger courts, the next step is Pickleball, where there is not as much running required.
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Pickleball: The fastest growing sport you’ve never heard of
Looking for a new warm-weather sport? Try pickleball. And, no, it’s not just for seniors.
Read more » click here
 


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


Concerts on the Coast Series / 2019
The Town’s summer concert series calendar has been released! Live performances featuring local musical groups are held at the pavilion on Sunday evenings from late May to early September. The concerts are free of charge.
For more information » click here


 

Summer Day Camp Program  

 

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


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


Reminders –


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


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

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


 

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

 


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



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

 

Yard debris needs to be secured in a biodegradable bag or bundled in a maximum length of five (5) feet and fifty (50) pounds in weight. A total of ten (10) items (bundles of brush/ limbs, bags) will be picked up by Waste Industries. Yard waste must be placed at the street for pick-up. No pick-ups will be made on vacant lots or construction sites.


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

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

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

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


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



Bird Nesting Area

NC Wildlife Commission has posted signs that say – Bird Nesting Area / Please don’t disturb. The signs are posted on the west end beach strand around 1339 OBW.


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

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



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

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

Spraying is complaint based, so keep the calls coming!


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

The dredge spoils area has turned the dog park into a pond for the time being.



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

 



News from Town of Holden Beach

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



Canal Dredging

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


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


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


Recycling-Bin
Curbside Recycling

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


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

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


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



Neighborhood Watch –

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


Upon Further Review –


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

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

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

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

Update –
NA


Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Previously reported –

Holden Beach Newsletter

 


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging


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

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

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

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


Corrections & Amplifications –


The National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
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Previously reported – December 2018
National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On July 31, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to November 30, 2018. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on May 31, 2019.

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

NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance. The level of damage from the 2017 hurricanes makes it abundantly clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.
Read more » click here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Velazq_035 is a bill that would make numerous improvements to the claims process drawing on the lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy. The bill would ensure that policyholders better understand the terms of their flood insurance policies and improve the appeals and litigation process for consumers
Read more » click here

Climate Advocates Cheer Trump Policy Shift on Flood Insurance

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

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

The changes being announced Monday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency represent one of the most significant reforms in the history of the National Flood Insurance Program. It will tie premiums to the actual flood risk facing individual homes nationwide starting in October 2020. The current system sets prices based largely on whether a home is inside or outside of the 100-year flood plain.
Read more » click here

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

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

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


Inlet Hazard Areas

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

Panel Proposes Redrawn Inlet Hazard Areas
Read more » click here

Coastal Resources Commission
CRC Science Panel / Inlet Hazard Area (IHA) Delineation Update
Read more » click here

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

North Carolina Division of Coastal Management Director Braxton Davis told members of the commission at the quarterly meeting Thursday that the regulatory agency understands the revised maps are going to be a topic of controversy in the coastal towns at inlets. “These maps were done in 1981,” he said. “We have IHAs that don’t even capture some of these areas.” A little more than 2,900 acres of land is designated as IHA at 10 of the 19 active inlets in the state. The 10 are: Tubbs, Shallotte and Lockwood Folly inlets in Brunswick County; Carolina Beach, Masonboro, Mason and Rich inlets in New Hanover County; New Topsail Inlet in Pender County; New River Inlet in Onslow County; and Bogue Inlet in Carteret County. The CRC approved removing IHA designations at inlets where the adjacent land is undeveloped and owned either by the state or federal government.

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

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

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

Holden Beach Property Owners Association / Inlet Hazard Areas
The Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) has established new boundaries for Inlet Hazard Areas on each end of the island, greatly increasing the number of properties that fall within this designation.  The CRC determined the new IHA boundaries based on historic vegetation line data.  The CRC sent the rules to the State for review.  After review there will be public comment before the rule are put in place.

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

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

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

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

What Does It Mean?

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

2) Insurance is impacted for homes in an IHA.

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

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

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


Odds & Ends


HOLDEN BEACH LAND USE PLAN / PUBLIC INPUT MEETING
A public input meeting will be held on Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly. This meeting is held as part of the land use planning process for the Town of Holden Beach. Holden Beach’s Land Use Plan provides guidance to local decision-makers to achieve the long-term vision for the community. This allows local decision makers to be proactive rather than reactive and helps maintain Holden Beach as one of the finest family-oriented beaches on the East Coast of the United States. The meeting is structured to be engaging and informative.

Town’s Land Use Plan

Holden Beach residents give input for updated land use plan
Holden Beach residents at a Feb. 7 meeting with the Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) were able to give input on the town’s developing land use plan. Town commissioners voted in July to approve an agreement between the town and the CFCOG for a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) land use plan update. A land use plan is an official document containing goals, policies, analyses and maps that serves as a community’s blueprint for growth, Wes MacLeod, senior regional planner with CFCOG, told attendees at the special meeting, providing them with some of the data about the town already collected for the land use plan.

MacLeod provided history on the town’s population growth, which shows a decrease of more than 200 residents from the year 2000, with 787 permanent town residents, to 575 permanent residents in 2010. As of 2016 the number of permanent Holden Beach residents was 633. It’s estimated that the population will grow to 708 in 2020, 783 in 2025, 859 in 2030, 935 in 2035, 1,016 in 2040 and 1,095 by 2046. The median age for the town is 61.4, compared to the county’s median age of 50.9, and the state’s median age of 38.3. The majority of those living in Holden Beach are considered Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 74), making up 56.35 percent of the town. For the seasonal population, the most recent data from 2016 showed the peak seasonal overnight population estimate for Holden Beach at 16,811 people. The median value of owner-occupied housing in Holden Beach as of 2016 was $406,000.

MacLeod also showed information from the community survey update. He said CFCOG received 891 responses, including 810 property owner responses and 81 non-resident responses, including visitors and off-island residents. The survey showed Holden Beach residents when it comes to new private development desires, would most like to see more entertainment on the island like restaurants and theaters, low-density single-family residences and small businesses that serve the needs of residents. Survey takers said they consider the most important roles for the town to play in influencing the character of development on Holden Beach to be managing the density and intensity of new development by regulating the size and layout of buildings, protecting the beach and encouraging continued coastal storm damage reduction and beach protection and retaining and enhancing the community’s appearance through landscaping, signs, lighting and architectural standards. They also said coastal storm damage reduction, density development and environmental protections are the most important growth and development issues facing Holden Beach. When it comes to transportation issues, survey takers said the most important ones are maintenance of the town’s existing roadways, parking availability/public access congestion and roadway drainage. When asked to share their favorite things about Holden Beach, the most common responses from survey takers were its lack of commercial development, its uncrowded and clean beaches, its family-friendly atmosphere, its natural resources including the beaches and marshes, it’s quiet, off-season “solitude’ and the fact that the town is mostly made up of single-family houses.

Attendees were then given a brainstorming exercise. MacLeod wrote down on large pieces of paper what those at the meeting thought were the town’s most important assets, important issues and their desires for the future in Holden Beach. Attendees were then given dots to place next to the two of those they considered the most important. Preliminary results showed attendees saw the most important assets as the beach, the lack of commercial development, Lockwood Folly and the marshes and wetlands. The most important issues appeared to be rising sea levels, offshore drilling and stormwater. As for desires for the town, the most popular answers were sustainable growth, improving the causeway’s appearance and a fully maintained and marked inlet. MacLeod said the answers would be tallied by CFCOG to be used in the land use plan.
Read more » click here

Update –
NA


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


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –

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


Things I Think I Think –

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

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// February 2019
Name:             Flying Fish Public Market & Grill
Cuisine:          Seafood
Location:       4744 Highway 17 S,
Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach, SC
Contact:         843.663.3474 /
www.flyingfishmarket.com
Food:               Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:          Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:     Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:            Two Stars
Flying Fish is one of ten restaurants in the Homegrown Hospitality Group, this one is primarily a seafood restaurant and a fish market. They are located in Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach next to the Alabama Theatre, overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway they have indoor and outdoor dining options. It is a unique casual waterfront dining experience, featuring local seafood and a raw bar with a variety of shellfish and sushi. Would recommend a visit to the bar to take advantage of the great deals at Happy Hour. We were pleasantly surprised, a great value. 


Dining Guide – Local

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

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

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

How about the largest in Brunswick County?
No

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

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

Dining Guide – Local » click here 


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


HBPOIN / Lou’s Views

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

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

https://lousviews.com/

03 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 03/07/19

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

Audio Recording » click here


1. Budget Workshop – Rough Draft Revenues and Expenses

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

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

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

Mandy Lockner with fiscal operations for the town gave a budget presentation and said the numbers included in her PowerPoint were not finalized by any means. With property taxes, Lockner said the estimated tax base for the town as of February 2019 was $1,336,411,67, with estimated revenue for the 2019-2020 fiscal year at $2,897,180. The occupancy tax estimated revenue as of March was $1,854,223. Under expenses, Lockner said the police department had requested an additional officer, two new police vehicles and new uniforms for nine officers and for the governing body/administration, budgeted salaries include a 3 percent increase either by merit or cost of living adjustment.
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BOC’s Special Meeting 03/21/19

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

Audio Recording » click here

1. Budget Workshop


BOC’s Regular Meeting 03/19/19

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

Audio Recording » click here


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items
There were no comments


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

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

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

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

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

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


3. Police Report – Detective Jeremy Dixon

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

 

Holden Beach woman reported missing
A Silver Alert has been issued for a Holden Beach woman who was last seen Friday morning. According to the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons, a Silver Alert was issued Saturday for 71-year-old Judy Brown Brock of Greensboro Street. Brock is described as a white female standing 5-feet 2-inches tall and weighing 155 pounds. She has blue eyes and short brown hair. She is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment. Jeremy Dixon with the Holden Beach Police Department said Monday morning that Brock was last at her home on Greensboro Street Friday morning and that no one had had any contact with her since then. “We have been working diligently to locate Mrs. Brock since she was reported missing on Friday evening,” Dixon said. He said Holden Beach police with assistance from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Brunswick County Search and Rescue and North Carolina Marine Patrol have been searching Holden Beach by land, water and air in an attempt to find Brock.
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Missing Brunswick woman found dead, husband charged with murder
The body of a missing Holden Beach woman has been found and her husband has been charged with murder, police say. On Wednesday, officers located the body of Judy Brown Brock, 71, in a wooded area of Sampson County, according to a news release from the Holden Beach Police Department. Brown had been reported missing Friday, and a Silver Alert was issued for her by the N.C. Center for Missing Persons. Phillip Harry Brock, 71, Brown’s husband, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death, according to the release. Brock will make his first appearance in Brunswick County court Thursday. Brock was booked into the Brunswick County jail without bail. “This remains an ongoing investigation,” the release stated. “More details will be released at a later time.” Judy Brock had been reported last seen on Greensboro Street in Holden Beach. According to Brunswick County property records, she and her husband had owned a home on that street since 1999. According to the news release, nine law enforcement agencies have assisted with the investigation so far, including the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. State Bureau of Investigations, Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office.
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Investigators: Husband claimed wife had impairment to cover tracks
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Personnel Announcements
Chief Layne retirement is effective 1 April 2019. Retirement Celebration (Hail & Farewell) honoring Police Chief Wally Layne was held on Thursday, March 21st. Detective Jeremy Dixon swearing in as Chief is scheduled on April 1st at 10am.


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


Neighborhood Watch

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mini-Me


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

Sewer Lift Station Engineering Responses

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

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

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

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

No decision was made – No action taken


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

Solid Waste Report

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

BE IT ORDAINED BY the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina that the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 50: Solid Waste be amended as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

§50.02 CONTAINER SPECIFICATIONS.

(A) Residential requirements.

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

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

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

(B) Commercial requirements.

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

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

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

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

§50.03 BURNING OR BURYING OF GARBAGE REGULATED.

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

§50.04 ACCUMULATION AND COLLECTION.

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

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

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

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

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

§50.05 COLLECTIONS PROHIBITED.

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

§50.06 YARD WASTE

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

§50.07 TRANSPORTING WASTE MATERIALS; COVERING DURING TRANSPORT.

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

§50.08 RENTAL HOMES.

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

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

§50.99 PENALTY.

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

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


Previously reported – February 2019

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Previously reported – February 2019

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

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

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

§ 157.062 COMMERCIAL DISTRICT (C-1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


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

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

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

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

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


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

Retention Schedule

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

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

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


 12. Town Manager’s Report


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Upcoming Events

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

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

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

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

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


13. Public Comments on General Items

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


General Comments –

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

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


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

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



Budget

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

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

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

Budget Meeting Schedule / 2019

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

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

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


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


Hurricane Season –

Hurricane #1 - CR

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

Be prepared – have a plan!

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

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

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

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

vigilance and preparedness is urged.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


HBPOIN – Lou’s Views

 

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


https://lousviews.com/

03 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / March Edition

Calendar of Events –


Azalea Festival Logo
N.C. Azalea Festival
April 3rd – 7th
Wilmington


Wilmington has been celebrating Spring Southern Style since 1948. There’s something for everyone among their community’s rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture. This will be the 72nd annual festival and is considered one of the top events in the Southeast.
For more information » click here


Southport Spring Festival LogoSouthport Spring Festival
April 19
th – 20th
Southport


Welcome Spring Easter weekend in style at the Southport Spring Festival, a tradition for more than 25 years. This festival features a wide variety of activities.
For more information » click here



Days at the Docks Festival

April 27th – 28th
Holden Beach

.

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



Blue Crab Festival

May 18th – 19th
Little River SC

.

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


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


Calendar of Events – Island


Easter Egg Hunt - CR

Family Nighttime Easter Egg Hunt
The Town will hold its fifth annual nighttime Easter Egg Hunt on Friday, April 19th beginning at 7:00 pm. Teams of four will compete against each other. This event is designed for youth and adults and will be held at Bridgeview Park. Participants will need to bring their own flashlights to the event. Registration is required and will only be taken by phone, call (910) 842-6488 to pre-register.


HB Pier - CR

Easter Sunrise Church Service
Brunswick Islands Baptist Church and Holden Beach Chapel are sponsoring an Easter sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. Sunday April 21st at the Holden Beach Pier.


HBBC

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



Days at the Docks Festival

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

 



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

 

What is Pickleball you ask?

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


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


Concerts on the Coast Series / 2019
The Town’s summer concert series calendar has been released! Live performances featuring local musical groups are held at the pavilion on Sunday evenings from late May to early September. The concerts are free of charge.
For more information » click here


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


Reminders –

Free Dump Week
Brunswick County will be hosting its spring free dump week at the Brunswick County Landfill April 15th – April 20th. Brunswick County residents and/or property owners may dispose of all materials, except for regular household trash or new construction debris, free of charge. Proof of Brunswick County residency or property ownership is required and will be checked at the landfill entrance.

Brunswick County Landfill
172 Landfill Rd NE, Bolivia, NC 28422
Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 8am until 4pm.


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

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


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



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

 

Yard debris needs to be secured in a biodegradable bag or bundled in a maximum length of five (5) feet and fifty (50) pounds in weight. A total of ten (10) items (bundles of brush/ limbs, bags) will be picked up by Waste Industries. Yard waste must be placed at the street for pick-up. No pick-ups will be made on vacant lots or construction sites.


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

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

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

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


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



Bird Nesting Area

NC Wildlife Commission has posted signs that say – Bird Nesting Area / Please don’t disturb. The signs are posted on the west end beach strand around 1339 OBW.


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

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



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

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

Spraying is complaint based, so keep the calls coming!


Dog Park Closed
The Dog Park is closed due to the canal dredging project. As it stands now, the USACE will not allow the Town to place material from the canal dredging in their spoil area. Pending CAMA approval, the Town plans on using land at the dog park as its spoils area. The dog park will remain closed until after the dredging project is complete. They anticipate the park will be closed until at least Memorial Day.



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


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

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

Note: This schedule may be affected by inclement weather.

King Dredging is partially mobilized on site and is prepping containment area by dog park. Dredging scheduled to commence in the middle of November working the canals from east to west.

Dredging ProjectNovember
King Dredging is fully mobilized on site with dredge in canals. Scotch Bonnet dredge spoil area work is just about completed. Dredging operations are scheduled to commence the first day of December working the canals from east to west. Work is starting with Holden Beach Harbor, which includes canals between High Point and Greensboro. Property owners should have made dock and boat arrangements already, but if you haven’t there’s still a little time left.

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

Dredging ProjectDecember
Canal Dredging operations are underway. The dredge “Patricia Sanderson” started work in the Holden Beach Harbor feeder canal late last week. Currently, the dredge is working near the northern end of Durham Street heading west in the feeder canal. If you haven’t taken care of making arrangements to move your in water boats you need to do so as soon as possible.

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

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

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

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


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


Recycling-Bin
Curbside Recycling

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


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

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


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



Neighborhood Watch –

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


Upon Further Review –


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

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

Update –
NC Rate Bureau seeks rate hike
Barely four months after one insurance rate hike, the Rate Bureau is back in front of the North Carolina Department of Insurance with its hand out for more money. To counter that move, the The League of Women Voters® of Dare County and Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® CEO Willo Kelly hosted a room full of people at the Kill Devil Hills Town Hall to provide details behind a December 20 request to raise North Carolina homeowners insurance rates an average of 17.4 percent. Kelly then pointed out that there really has not been enough time to thoroughly evaluate the adequacy of the new rates that went into effect just four and a half month ago. “

North Carolina law (G.S. 58-36-10) sets out a process for setting rates:
Rates or loss costs shall not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.
Consideration may be given to the experience of property insurance business during the most recent five-year period for which that experience is available.
Modeled hurricane losses from more than one hurricane model is required.
Due consideration shall be given to a reasonable margin for underwriting profit and to contingencies.

In North Carolina, the Rate Bureau acts as one insurance company representing all insurance companies in the state. The NC Department of Insurance makes the final decision on the maximum rate that can be used. After the public comment period, North Carolina Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey can do nothing and the proposed rates will become effective October 1, 2019 or deny the filing and call for a hearing. Causey could also negotiate a settlement with Rate Bureau to come up with a different rate. A Public Comment Forum will be held to listen to public input on the rate increase request by the Rate Bureau from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on February 26 in the Second Floor Hearing Room of the N.C. Department of Insurance in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St. in Raleigh.

E-mailed public comments should be sent to: 2018Homeowners@ncdoi.gov.

Written public comments should be mailed to:
Tricia Ford, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1201

The filing request can be found in its entirety by going to:
http://www.ncdoi.com/PC/Filing_Search.aspx

  1. Search by SERFF number
  2. Begin Search
  3. Accept terms
  4. Enter the SERFF tracking number NCRI-131761557 in the appropriate field.
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Causey disagrees with proposed homeowners rate increase, sets hearing date
North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has set Sept. 4, 2019, as the hearing date for the North Carolina Rate Bureau’s proposed statewide average 17.4 percent homeowners insurance rate increase. “There is a pervasive lack of documentation, explanation and justification of both the data used, as well as the procedures and methodologies utilized in the filing,” Commissioner Causey said in his hearing notice to the NCRB. “The proposed rates appear to be excessive and unfairly discriminatory.” The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in the Second Floor Hearing Room in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St. Raleigh. The hearing will be held unless the N.C. Department of Insurance and NCRB are able to negotiate a settlement before that date. State law gives the Insurance Commissioner 45 days to issue an order once the hearing concludes. Once the order is issued, the NCRB has the right to appeal the decision to the N.C. Court of Appeals. A Court of Appeals order could then be appealed to the N.C. Supreme Court. The Department of Insurance and NCRB can settle the proposed rate increase at any time during litigation.

The NCRB filed the average statewide 17.4 percent increase on Dec. 20, 2018. The filing covers insurance for residential property, tenants and condominiums at varying rates around the state. Under the NCRB proposal, the biggest increases would be felt along the coast. The NCRB has requested certain areas in western North Carolina receive small rate decreases. These areas include Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson and Macon counties. Rates for tenants and condominium insurance would see proposed decreases in other counties. The NCRB represents insurance companies that write the state’s homeowners, auto and workers compensation policies. It is a separate entity from the Department of Insurance. The public comment period for the proposed rate hike remains open until February 26th.

There are three ways to comment:

  1. A public comment forum will be held to listen to public input on the Rate Bureau’s rate increase request at the N.C. Department of Insurance’s Second Floor Hearing Room on Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Department of Insurance is in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, N.C.
  2. Emailed public comments should be sent by Feb. 26 to 2018Homeowners@ncdoi.gov.
  3. Written public comments should be mailed to Tricia Ford, Paralegal Administrator, to be received by Feb. 26 and addressed to 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1201.

All public comments will be shared with the N.C. Rate Bureau. The last Rate Bureau homeowners rate filing was in 2017. That year, the NCRB requested an average 18.9 percent statewide increase in homeowners insurance rates, but Insurance Commissioner Causey settled, instead, on an average 4.8 percent increase.
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Sounding an Alarm on Homeowner’s Insurance
Homeowners on the barrier island portions of Dare, Currituck and Hyde Counties could face as much as a 30% hike in their insurance rates under a North Carolina Rate Bureau filing, Outer Banks Association of Realtors Chief Executive Officer Willo Kelly warned an audience of about 30 people at a League of Women Voters-sponsored forum on February 13th. Kelly, a longtime watchdog and advocate for the region when it comes to property insurance concerns, said that the N.C. Department of Insurance (DOI) will consider the Rate Bureau’s requested increase following the close of the public comment period on Feb. 26. Rates would go into effect October 1st. At the conclusion of the public comment period, DOI Commissioner Mike Causey can approve the rate filing, do nothing – which, in essence puts the proposed rate into effect — or deny the filing all together. Often, as was the case last year, a settlement agreement is reached between Causey and the Rate Bureau. North Carolina is one of the few states that has an elected insurance commissioner and is the only state that has a Rate Bureau, which is made up of all the companies in the state that are collecting insurance.
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N.C. Rate Bureau asks for 17.4 percent rate increase for homeowners’ insurance
The North Carolina Rate Bureau has requested the N.C. Department of Insurance increase homeowners’ insurance rates 17.4 percent effective Oct. 1, 2019. The N.C. Rate Bureau represents the state’s insurance companies and is a separate entity from the N.C. Department of Insurance. The Rate Bureau attests the increase is needed to cover increased losses, hurricane losses and the net cost of reinsurance. Last year, the Rate Bureau requested an 18.9 percent increase in homeowners’ insurance rates, but Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey settled, instead, on an average 4.8 percent rate increase.
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Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling

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

Previously reported – December 2018
Trump admin. approves seismic tests for Atlantic offshore oil drilling
The approval moves forward a policy that many affected states don’t want.
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Previously reported – February 2019
Bill introduced to prevent seismic air gun testing in Atlantic Ocean
Rep. John Rutherford, R-Florida, and Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-New Jersey, have introduced a bill to prohibit permit applications for seismic air gun testing in the Atlantic Ocean. A release from Rutherford’s office said the bill was introduced in response to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issuing five Incidental Harassment Authorizations that would advance permit applications for seismic air gun blasting off the Atlantic coast. Seismic air gun testing is a step toward offshore oil and gas development and, according to the release, “a direct threat to the coastal fishing and tourism economies dependent on healthy ocean ecosystems.” “The waters off the east coast are home to vulnerable mammal populations, military operations, tourist destinations and a vibrant maritime economy,” Rutherford said. “Allowing seismic testing in the Atlantic is unnecessary and potentially hazardous to the coastal communities that rely on a healthy ecosystem. The U.S. should not jeopardize our coastal economy by expanding seismic testing and offshore drilling, particularly when our energy needs continue to be met.” “Our local economy is dependent on fishing, tourism and wildlife watching — the bottom line is offshore oil and gas drilling isn’t worth the risk,” Van Drew said. The bill is called the Atlantic Coastal Economies Protection Act, according to the release.
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Update –
Bipartisan opposition is clear against Trump’s offshore drilling
In today’s fraught political climate, it is almost impossible to find a truly bipartisan issue. But offshore oil and gas drilling is one. Overwhelmingly, both Democrats and Republicans oppose offshore drilling off America’s coasts. Offshore oil drilling is wildly unpopular across party lines. Governors from both parties in 17 coastal states have announced their opposition to drilling for oil off their shores. More than 330 municipalities on the East and West coasts have passed resolutions against offshore oil drilling and seismic airgun blasting. A group of 37 senators sent a letter to the secretary of Interior expressing strong opposition to the department’s plans to expand offshore drilling to new areas. Florida’s entire federal delegation of 29 lawmakers sent a letter to the Defense secretary, expressing concerns over expanded offshore drilling.

Coastal communities, businesses and elected officials understand that offshore oil drilling threatens existing jobs, economies, the environment and livelihoods. It also puts ocean recreation and tourism at risk, which provides 2.2 million jobs and contributes more than $115 billion annually to our nation’s economy. Even in the best-case scenario, offshore oil in the Atlantic and Pacific would provide only about 758 days’ worth, or about 25 months, worth of oil at current rates of consumption. So offshore drilling will threaten the long-term health of our precious coastlines and increase the risks of another devastating oil spill without benefiting anyone but Big Oil.

In the next few weeks, the Trump administration is expected to release an updated proposal to expand offshore oil drilling in U.S. waters. That’s why more than a thousand coastal businesses and elected officials have spoken out to Department of Interior in opposition to new offshore oil drilling in U.S. waters. In total, over 48,000 businesses on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts have now opposed new offshore drilling. Our nation’s coastal tourism, recreation and fishing industries rely on clean water and healthy beaches. They provide 12 times the amount of jobs in comparison to offshore oil production. New offshore drilling is a lose-lose, short-sighted approach that ignores massive bipartisan opposition and threatens the drivers of our nation’s coastal economies, businesses and communities for this and future generations.
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Coastal states mount bipartisan resistance as Trump forges ahead with offshore drilling plans
Republican-led Southern coastal states are among a large coalition opposing the president’s plans.
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U.S. Interior official suggests Trump drilling proposal will include Atlantic: recording
The Trump administration is likely to open up portions of the Atlantic to oil and gas drilling despite opposition from East Coast states, a U.S. Interior Department official suggested in remarks at a recent energy industry conference, a recording of which was reviewed by Reuters.
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The objections to offshore drilling are economic, environmental and bipartisan
Offshore drilling in the Atlantic and the related seismic airgun blasting used to identify oil and gas deposits pose unacceptable risks to East Coast economies, marine life and our environment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holden Beach Newsletter

 


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

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


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

10.31.2017
Statement from Brunswick County
The filing of formal legal action against Chemours and DuPont represents another crucial step in protecting our public drinking water supply. It sends a clear message that Brunswick County will simply not stand for the discharge of emerging or unregulated chemicals into our public drinking water supply. Let us be clear…we will ensure that any company that threatens this vital resource is held responsible. Furthermore, our litigation team is consulting the nation’s leading experts to determine the best long-term water testing and treatment methods for the entire county. As part of that, we will ensure that the costs for doing so do not fall upon the rate payers, but upon those dumping the unregulated chemicals in the water.
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Previously reported – February 2019
Updated consent order requires Chemours to consider GenX in river
Chemours would have to analyze GenX and other chemicals in the Cape Fear River sediment and measure chemicals’ levels at raw water intakes, according to a revised consent order between the chemical giant, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Cape Fear River Watch. In Wilmington, officials and utilities expressed concerns that the original agreement — released Thanksgiving eve — required Chemours to provide water treatment technology to homes around the Fayetteville Works plant while leaving downstream utilities to foot the bill for ongoing contamination. Both the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) and New Hanover County passed resolutions calling for the order to provide additional protections for downstream residents. According to a document prepared by DEQ, changes to the order include requiring Chemours to provide an “accelerated” plan reducing per- and polyfluoroalykl sbustances (PFAS) contamination in the Cape Fear River, to submit monthly reports to regulators about PFAS emissions at the plant, and to update the corrective plan as new technology becomes available.
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Update –
Judge signs GenX consent order
Agreement with DEQ, Cape Fear River Watch means Chemours will need to meet PFAS emissions and water contamination benchmarks
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Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging


Previously reported – December 2018
Holden Beach inlet board recommends pursuing sand project
Holden Beach’s inlet and beach protection board recommended town commissioners pursue a project that could mean sand being placed on the east end of Holden Beach. In an email sent to Town Manager David Hewett, Oak Island Town Manager David Kelly and Brunswick County Manager Ann Hardy, Deputy County Manager Steve Stone said the county received a grant award contract from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Resources for the Lockwood Folly Navigation Project submitted last summer. The application indicated the county would work to place the resultant beach-quality material, estimated to be in the range of 250,000 cubic yards, on one of the two beaches. The county is seeking feedback from Holden Beach and Oak Island before it pursues the project. Stone said county originally proposed paying 25 percent of the required local share, or $344,338, with the remaining 75 percent, or $1,033,013, to be paid by the town receiving the sand. Stone said DWR staff members are aware the project is unlikely to happen before fall 2019 but extending the period of performance could be granted. He said the county hopes to hear back from both municipalities by early January. In its recommendation, the inlet board raised concerns such as what type of impact the removal of 250,000 cubic yards of sand for the project will have on both Holden Beach’s east end and Oak Island.
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Corps Puts Limits On Dredged Sand Disposal
Getting permission to dump sand in federally maintained dredged material disposal areas may not be entirely impossible, but a nationwide policy heavily restricts access for North Carolina coastal municipalities and businesses that have long relied on the sites. If the Army Corps of Engineers’ Wilmington District office, along with local and state officials, can come up with ways to work around the policy, all indications are that it could come at a hefty price for non-federal users, including beach towns and private marina owners. The policy indicates that while non-federal projects may apply to dispose of material on a Corps-maintained site if the project meets specific requirements, most federal projects are perpetual, and therefore “few” sites will have extra space. Though the Corps’ nationwide guideline is more than a year old – it became effective Feb. 3, 2017 – word of it has gradually spread along the North Carolina coast.
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Previously reported – February 2019
USACE dredge boat Murden replaced the Merritt and will be here until February 25th as long as conditions remain favorable. Murden deposits sand nearshore which is more beneficial than the side-caster Merritt, but not as good as putting it on the beach with a pipeline project. The good news is it is placing the sand off our beach, not Oak Island’s. That sand is then in “the system” and will eventually append to our beach – not just fall back in the inlet.

Group Seeks Corps’ OK on Dredge Spoil Plan
The North Carolina Beach, Inlet and Waterway Association is rolling out a plan that, if approved, would allow municipalities and private businesses to once again unload sand in federally maintained dredged material disposal areas in the state. Members of the nonprofit, also referred to as NCBIWA and pronounced “N.C. byway,” met recently with officials from the Army Corps of Engineers’ Wilmington district and staff from U.S. House and Senate offices to kick off a campaign that would scale back the nationwide ban on the use of the Corps-maintained disposal sites. The initial move in what is being described as a two-pronged approach is to get the Corps to narrow the ban to deep-draft navigation projects, which are those where a channel is maintained deeper than 16 feet.

The Corps’ February 2017 guidance was made to conserve space within its disposal sites after millions of cubic yards of material dredged from non-federal projects were placed in a single dredged material placement facility, or DMPF, in Galveston, Texas. Limiting the rule to deep-draft navigation projects would offer North Carolina municipalities and small businesses the opportunity to dump dredge spoil pumped from shallow-draft projects onto federally managed disposal areas. “In our minds, that would allow Wilmington district to evaluate on a case-by-case (basis), ‘will this project impact future capacity?’” said Robert Neal, NCBIWA treasurer.

A majority of North Carolina’s inlets are shallow-draft navigation channels, meaning they are no more than 15 feet deep. The shipping lane of the Cape Fear River and Beaufort Inlet are the only deep-draft channels in the state. Seventeen of North Carolina’s 19 navigable inlets are shallow-draft inlets, which tend to shoal more rapidly than deep-draft inlets and therefore require more frequent dredging to keep them unclogged and navigable. “They need to hear from us how this is affecting us,” said Kathleen Riely, NCBIWA executive director, referring to officials in the Corps’ office in Washington, D.C. “I think they need to hear from us directly, ‘look, this is what it’s done.’” So far, Wilmington district officials have declined requests from two small businesses and three towns in the state to use Corps DMPFs. Those projects included maintenance dredging at Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach and Sunset Beach in Brunswick County and Bradley Creek Marina and Masonboro Yacht Club in New Hanover County. They included more than 100,000 cubic yards of sand and “potentially” more than $1 million, according to information provided by NCBIWA. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, NCBIWA officials said. Marinas and other small businesses, and several beach towns, including Southport and Oak Island in Brunswick County, Topsail Beach in Pender County and other communities will experience hardships as a result of the policy. Without access to federally maintained disposal areas, non-federal entities are limited to hauling dredged material by truck to upland areas. Neal referred to such operations as “bucket and barge.” “We’re talking about small businesses so the additional cost of that is a significant cost on them,” he said.

The Corps manages about 218 DMPFs totaling more than 5,000 acres in North Carolina. Some of those sites have not been used. “We’ve got a couple we’re worried about,” said Justin McCorcle, an attorney with the Corps’ Wilmington district. One facility near Masonboro Inlet in New Hanover County is full, he said. The Coast Guard gave the Corps $1 million to raise the dikes at a facility near the Southport Marina in Brunswick County. “Utilization of that capacity that the U.S. Coast Guard paid for is difficult,” McCorcle said. “Obviously in the Wilmington district we’re not in the position to advocate a change to our policy or particularly talk about how it is likely to be changed. We were not closely involved in the drafting of it. What we can express is what our concerns are and what we would be looking for moving forward. How do we make sure we have those available? I think we would want some sort of plan for what to do when an area became full. I think that would be the basic issue.” A majority of the federally maintained dredge disposal areas in North Carolina are state owned, but the easements to the Corps are in perpetuity. Neal said North Carolina is behind other coastal states like Florida and New Jersey, which have historic dredge disposal site management plans. The idea, though, is for North Carolina to eventually have its own dredge management plan.

“We have short-term issues that need to be resolved and then we’re working on a long-term plan down the road,” Riely said. NCBIWA is requesting a five-year grace period for the Corps’ Wilmington district and the state to work together to create such a plan. “What we would like to do is propose something in unison with the district and the state,” Neal said. Part of the work will be getting a handle on how often the sites will be used and how much material is expected to be disposed of within the sites. “It’s a risk calculation,” McCorcle said. “Are there critical dredging issues at these facilities? What kinds of quantities? Are there adequate facilities nearby and do those appear to have adequate capacity? How can we identify the risk and make sure the (Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway) stays navigable?”
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Update –
NA


Corrections & Amplifications –


The National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
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Previously reported – December 2018
National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On July 31, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to November 30, 2018. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on May 31, 2019.

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

NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance. The level of damage from the 2017 hurricanes makes it abundantly clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.
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Private Flood Insurance Gets Boost from Regulators
Flood insurance policies not backed by the government currently represent less than 5% of the residential market
The number of flood insurance policies underwritten by private companies could triple under a new federal rule that would require mortgage lenders to accept both private and government-backed policies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

North Carolina Division of Coastal Management Director Braxton Davis told members of the commission at the quarterly meeting Thursday that the regulatory agency understands the revised maps are going to be a topic of controversy in the coastal towns at inlets. “These maps were done in 1981,” he said. “We have IHAs that don’t even capture some of these areas.” A little more than 2,900 acres of land is designated as IHA at 10 of the 19 active inlets in the state. The 10 are: Tubbs, Shallotte and Lockwood Folly inlets in Brunswick County; Carolina Beach, Masonboro, Mason and Rich inlets in New Hanover County; New Topsail Inlet in Pender County; New River Inlet in Onslow County; and Bogue Inlet in Carteret County. The CRC approved removing IHA designations at inlets where the adjacent land is undeveloped and owned either by the state or federal government.

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

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

North Topsail Beach Alderman Mike Benson expressed his concerns about condominiums at the north end of town that would be grandfathered in under the new maps. Benson told the commission during a public hearing on the proposed IHA map changes that the revised boundary at New River Inlet would include 11 buildings that are all larger than 5,000 square feet. If any of those buildings were to be destroyed in a hurricane or fire, Benson wanted to know if they could be rebuilt. DCM shoreline management specialist Ken Richardson clarified that structures between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet could be rebuilt to the same footprint. The owners of a structure greater than 10,000 square feet, such as Shell Island Resort in Wrightsville Beach, could request a variance from the CRC to rebuild. Richardson said he will turn over DCM’s recommended changes to the state Office of State Budget and Management for review. Once that office confirms its findings, a series of public meetings will be held where the public will get an opportunity to comment on the maps and rules. Richardson said he hopes those meetings will kick off some time in the spring and that revised maps are adopted by year’s end. If adopted, the new IHA boundaries would be updated every five years.
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Odds & Ends

Frontal Dune Policies
Previously reported – March 2017
Ordinance 17-04, Beach Regulations / Amendment to § 94.03 / Frontal Dune Policies

Ordinance gives some property owners options, that is they may install a walkway past the frontal dune to the last stable line of vegetation. This really is only applicable to the west end properties beyond the 1200 block. It addresses their concerns and recognizes the circumstances that dunes are being traversed to the detriment of the environment. Operative word here is MAY, property owner makes the call.

Update –
Two years later and there are nine (9) walkways and several more are scheduled to be built before the tourist season begins. Who would have thought it?


HOLDEN BEACH LAND USE PLAN / PUBLIC INPUT MEETING
A public input meeting will be held on Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly. This meeting is held as part of the land use planning process for the Town of Holden Beach. Holden Beach’s Land Use Plan provides guidance to local decision-makers to achieve the long-term vision for the community. This allows local decision makers to be proactive rather than reactive and helps maintain Holden Beach as one of the finest family-oriented beaches on the East Coast of the United States. The meeting is structured to be engaging and informative.

Town’s Land Use Plan

Holden Beach residents give input for updated land use plan
Holden Beach residents at a Feb. 7 meeting with the Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) were able to give input on the town’s developing land use plan. Town commissioners voted in July to approve an agreement between the town and the CFCOG for a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) land use plan update. A land use plan is an official document containing goals, policies, analyses and maps that serves as a community’s blueprint for growth, Wes MacLeod, senior regional planner with CFCOG, told attendees at the special meeting, providing them with some of the data about the town already collected for the land use plan.

MacLeod provided history on the town’s population growth, which shows a decrease of more than 200 residents from the year 2000, with 787 permanent town residents, to 575 permanent residents in 2010. As of 2016 the number of permanent Holden Beach residents was 633. It’s estimated that the population will grow to 708 in 2020, 783 in 2025, 859 in 2030, 935 in 2035, 1,016 in 2040 and 1,095 by 2046. The median age for the town is 61.4, compared to the county’s median age of 50.9, and the state’s median age of 38.3. The majority of those living in Holden Beach are considered Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 74), making up 56.35 percent of the town. For the seasonal population, the most recent data from 2016 showed the peak seasonal overnight population estimate for Holden Beach at 16,811 people. The median value of owner-occupied housing in Holden Beach as of 2016 was $406,000.

MacLeod also showed information from the community survey update. He said CFCOG received 891 responses, including 810 property owner responses and 81 non-resident responses, including visitors and off-island residents. The survey showed Holden Beach residents when it comes to new private development desires, would most like to see more entertainment on the island like restaurants and theaters, low-density single-family residences and small businesses that serve the needs of residents. Survey takers said they consider the most important roles for the town to play in influencing the character of development on Holden Beach to be managing the density and intensity of new development by regulating the size and layout of buildings, protecting the beach and encouraging continued coastal storm damage reduction and beach protection and retaining and enhancing the community’s appearance through landscaping, signs, lighting and architectural standards. They also said coastal storm damage reduction, density development and environmental protections are the most important growth and development issues facing Holden Beach. When it comes to transportation issues, survey takers said the most important ones are maintenance of the town’s existing roadways, parking availability/public access congestion and roadway drainage. When asked to share their favorite things about Holden Beach, the most common responses from survey takers were its lack of commercial development, its uncrowded and clean beaches, its family-friendly atmosphere, its natural resources including the beaches and marshes, it’s quiet, off-season “solitude’ and the fact that the town is mostly made up of single-family houses.

Attendees were then given a brainstorming exercise. MacLeod wrote down on large pieces of paper what those at the meeting thought were the town’s most important assets, important issues and their desires for the future in Holden Beach. Attendees were then given dots to place next to the two of those they considered the most important. Preliminary results showed attendees saw the most important assets as the beach, the lack of commercial development, Lockwood Folly and the marshes and wetlands. The most important issues appeared to be rising sea levels, offshore drilling and stormwater. As for desires for the town, the most popular answers were sustainable growth, improving the causeway’s appearance and a fully maintained and marked inlet. MacLeod said the answers would be tallied by CFCOG to be used in the land use plan.
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This & That

Local leaders give loggerheads some love
A bill in the N.C. House would make the turtles a state animal
Their buggy black eyes, wiggly flippers and fierce determination to reach the sea have charmed Cape Fear locals for generations. Now, the loggerhead turtle could soon become an official state symbol.

House Bill 169, sponsored by Rep. Frank Iler, R-Brunswick, and Rep. Carson Smith, R-Pender, would make loggerheads the official saltwater reptile of North Carolina. Filed on Monday, the bill has a way to go before reaching the governor, but it’s already attracted a slew of co-sponsors, including Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover. Named for their large, log-resembling heads, loggerheads live around the globe but are the most abundant turtles in North Carolina waters, according to the bill. Mother turtles come ashore to bury their eggs, and the nests hatch in a “boil” in which baby turtles scurry to the ocean. They’re also a fragile species. Depending on their location, the turtles are listed as endangered and threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
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Factoid That May Interest Only Me –
Ruined crops, salty soil:
How rising seas are poisoning North Carolina’s farmland
The salty patches were small, at first — scattered spots where soybeans wouldn’t grow, where grass withered and died, exposing expanses of bare, brown earth. But lately those barren patches have grown. On dry days, the salt precipitates out of the mud and the crystals make the soil sparkle in the sunlight. And on a damp and chilly afternoon in January, the salt makes Dawson Pugh furrow his brow in dismay. “It’s been getting worse,” the farmer tells East Carolina University hydrologist Alex Manda, who drove out to this corner of coastal North Carolina with a group of graduate students to figure out what’s poisoning Pugh’s land — and whether anything can be done to stop it. Of climate change’s many plagues — drought, insects, fires, floods — saltwater intrusion in particular sounds almost like a biblical curse. Rising seas, sinking earth and extreme weather are conspiring to cause salt from the ocean to contaminate aquifers and turn formerly fertile fields barren. A 2016 study in the journal Science predicted that 9 percent of the U.S. coastline is vulnerable to saltwater intrusion — a percentage likely to grow as the world continues to warm. Scientists are just beginning to assess the potential effect on agriculture, Manda said, and it’s not yet clear how much can be mitigated. “We spend a lot of time and money to try to prevent salt,” Pugh says. “I worry what the future is. If it keeps getting worse, will it be worth farming?” If farmers in coastal areas have any hope of protecting their land — and their livelihoods — the first step is to disentangle the complex web of causes that can send ocean water seeping into the ground beneath their feet. Though it’s known that saltwater intrusion is linked to sea-level rise caused by climate change, scientists aren’t certain exactly how salt winds up in farmers’ fields. One hypothesis is that strong winds may blow salt water from the sound into the canals and ditches that crisscross the county, which then leak into the soil. Another possibility is that the salt was left behind by storm-surge events and simply takes a long time to wash away. Or maybe the problem goes even deeper. Scientists are increasingly concerned that rising sea levels are shifting the “zone of transition” — the underground gradient where fresh groundwater meets salty seawater. This issue may be compounded by the slow sinking of North Carolina’s coastal plain since the end of the last ice age about 12,000 years ago.
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As Costs Skyrocket, More U.S. Cities Stop Recycling
With China no longer accepting used plastic and paper, communities are facing steep collection bills, forcing them to end their programs or burn or bury more waste.
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Things I Think I Think –

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

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// January 2019
Name:               Moore Street Oyster Bar
Cuisine:            American
Location:         110 E. Moore Street, Southport, NC 28461
Contact:           910.363.5115 / https://www.msob.org
Food:                 Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:            Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:       Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                  Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:             Two Stars
The owners of Oliver’s have totally remodeled the historic building that most recently was The Pharmacy restaurant. MSOB is a casual, seafood establishment featuring coastal classics primarily serving an upscale bar food menu.  The menu is the same for lunch and dinner, with the stars of the show consisting of oysters and steamer pots. It’s a cool little place that is billed as an Oyster pub, with a huge bar and lots of TV’s they also have an extensive bourbon and craft beer selection. Although it just recently opened it’s already a very busy place. It’s a relatively small place with very limited seating; it was jammed on a Tuesday night in January. So, be cautious about making dining plans there during prime tourist season. It’s totally worth a visit.
///// June 2018
Name:               The Oyster Rock
Cuisine:
            Seafood
Location:         9931 Nance Street, Calabash NC
Contact:           910.579.6875 /
https://theoysterrock.com/
Food:                 Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:            Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:       Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                  Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:             One Star
The Oyster Rock is a family-owned and operated waterfront Calabash seafood restaurant. The owners of the Boundary House and Clark’s have totally remodeled the restaurant location at what was Colemans. The décor is understated, overlooking the Calabash River, featuring indoor and outdoor dining options. All in all, we had a nice meal there, but it is really nothing special. The prices are those of an upscale restaurant and they just aren’t one.


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 OTHER WOMAN
by Daniel Silva
This is the eighteenth entry in the bestselling Gabriel Allon series, which chronicles the adventures of an art restorer, assassin and master spy for the Israeli secret service. Gabriel, now the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service, is lured into the field for one final operation. He and his team are on a secret hunt for a Russian mole inside of British secret intelligence service M16.

 


HBPOIN / Lou’s Views

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

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

https://lousviews.com/

02 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 02/05/19

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


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Setting 2019 Board of Commissioners’ Objectives with Town Management

Town Manager Hewett discussed Capital Programs

These are the top critical issues that need to be addressed:
. 1)
Eastern Reach Deeper Wider Project
. 2)
President Trump approved disaster declaration that provides FEMA funds for Hurricane Michael
   • Florence & Michael storm damage mitigation repair will be approximately twenty    .     (20) million dollars
. 3)
Lift Station #3 Upgrade
. 4) Land Use Plan
. 5)
Beach & Inlet Management Plan
. 6)
Solid Waste Service – implementation & enforcement
. 7)
Lobbying – advocacy engagement at legislative level

David reminded them of the dichotomy between what the Board is asking for and for it to be addressed in a meaningful way without additional tax revenue.

 2. Discussion and Possible Action on Solid Waste Program

 TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH / ORDINANCE 18-16

There was a significant amount of discussion on the issue if somewhat contentious
If I understood their positions it boils down to these issues and concerns –
Non-residents can’t comply with the Ordinance
The rollout requirements are the major stumbling block

They should not have adopted the Ordinance
. a)
without a complete solution in hand
. b)
without knowing the cost

They need to do the following:
. a)
get it right, not continue to make piecemeal changes
. b)
defer the date of the enforcement piece
. c)
to have plan for a fee-based rollout solution
. d)
develop education and enforcement plan
. e)
establish protocols to communicate change before they codify

Agreed unanimously to take a TIMEOUT. They decided not to make any changes now except for the enforcement component date.

The question that needs to be asked is: Why didn’t we have any of these conversations before adopting the ordinance? The process started in August of 2017 and Ordinance 18-16 was adopted in December of 2018. This is yet another major misstep by this Board. Trying to make things work better is not a waste of time, doing it more than once is. That said, they need to start doing it right the first time.


Commissioner Sullivan e-mail
There was a good deal of discussion on the issue. It was decided that no action be taken at this time to amend the ordinance. There are a number of issues that are under consideration, not the least of which is the roll out section of the ordinance. Since the ordinance is not now being enforced, it was thought best that, rather than making hasty multiple incremental amendments, the ordinance should remain as is until decisions are made on all items of concern.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out three facts that seem to be causing a good deal of concern:
. 1)
The current ordinance is less restrictive or punitive than the previous ordinance.
.     • That statement is questionable
. 2)
Roll back will be provided Town wide, so concern about penalties is unwarranted.
. 3) There is nothing in the ordinance that mandates the removal of corrals.


Ocean Isle Beach
Just like the noise ordinance we are not inventing the wheel here but they both got unreasonable push back. Change is still possible; property owner’s rollout requirements are not onerous. OIB ordinance has time restrictions for both rollout and rollback.

Ordinance / Sec. 46-4. –
(c)
All mobile polycarts shall be placed within seven feet of the paved road no earlier than 6:00 p.m. on the evening before the trash collection. Polycarts shall be moved from the roadway by 7:00 p.m. on the day of service and placed adjacent to the dwelling house or place of business, except in multifamily developments.
(d)
All waste matter must be contained in the polycart receptacle. Placement of loose or bagged waste items outside of the polycart receptacle will not be picked up by waste collection services and will be considered a littering offense as outlined in article II, section 46-41.
(f)
Upon a violation of this section, the offender shall be issued a written warning by the town requiring the offender to comply with the terms set forth herein within seven days from the mailing of said warning. Any further violation of any provision of this section shall be a misdemeanor pursuant to G.S. 14-4, punishable by a maximum fine of not more than $100.00. In addition, any violation of any provision of this section after written warning shall subject the offender to a civil penalty in the amount of $100.00 to be paid within 72 hours after having been cited for violation of this section.


HBPOA’s Position –
They have made their members aware of the trash and recycling issues
They have been communicating with members for months
There is a Hot Topics page for Trash and Solid Waste on their website
They have summarized the members concerns and shared them with the BOC’s
There has been no communication from the Town about the Ordinance changes
The Board did not arrive at a workable solution for non-residents

HBPOA recognizes that cans should not be on the edge of the road for long periods of time.  It is unsightly for owners and visitors and blocks the line of sight for drivers. We also recognize the vast majority of property owners will not be able to meet the timing requirements of the new ordinance (i.e., 89% of property owners don’t live on the island).  Non-resident property owners pay the same taxes (some also help contribute to rental taxes) and are entitled to basic Town services, such as trash pickup.  The Town should not shirk its responsibility to meet the needs of its taxpayers.


HBPOA URGENT UPDATE: New Trash Ordinance

Holden Beach Trash and Solid Waste

There is a new Holden Beach town ordinance for trash pick-up that went into effect December 19, 2018!

Holden Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) strongly recommends that you read the ordinance and consider how it will impact your situation. A summary of the changes is listed below.

Click to read the ordinance: http://www.hbtownhall.com/files/130333423.pdf

It isn’t often that a new ordinance will touch every property owner, but this one does and brings many changes and questions.

HBPOA has heard a lot of concerns about the new ordinance and we have shared these concerns with the Commissioners in writing, at the Board of Commissioners meeting and in person.

HBPOA recognizes that trash containers should not be on the edge of the road for long periods of time. It is unsightly for owners and visitors and blocks the line of sight for drivers.

We also recognize the vast majority of property owners may not be able to meet the timing requirements of the new ordinance (i.e., 89% of property owners don’t live on the island).

Trash Ordinance Highlights

  1. All trash containers should be secured in such a manner either next to non-elevated or underneath elevated houses, except on 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.
  2. Containers will be located at street side no earlier than 6:00 p.m. the evening before designated collection days during the summer rental season.
  3. For the rest of the year containers will be located at street side no more than 48 hours before the designated collection.
  4. All containers should be returned to the normal house-side storage location by 6:00 p.m. the day after collection.
  5. Any property found in violation shall be subject to a civil fine of $50 per offense.
    Fines will start May 1, 2019.

Commissioners have decided that a trash container roll-back service will be provided to all homes, not just Ocean Blvd.

Commissioners are giving consideration to a trash container roll-out service. No decision has yet been made.

Commissioners are now looking at forcing property owners to remove their existing trash container racks or corrals.

As always, you can send us an email at hbpoa@hotmail.com if you would like for us to ask a question or follow up on an issue.

We also suggest you share any concerns or support with your Holden Beach Board of Commissioners.

** J. Alan Holden, Mayor                        holden@atthebeachnc.com            910-842-6061

John Fletcher, Mayor Pro Tem              fletcherlux@gmail.com                   910-508-6849

Joe Butler, Commissioner                       joseph.butler38@yahoo.com         910-846-2185

Peter Freer, Commissioner                    pfreer4@gmail.com                         704-905-4429

Pat Kwiatkowski, Commissioner          pattykwi@gmail.com                       910-846-4040

Mike Sullivan, Commissioner               sullivm4@gmail.com                       614-961-7056

** Mayor Holden does not vote on matters before the Board of Commissioners unless there is a tie vote due to the absence of a Commissioner at a meeting.

Where Your Trash Bin Can Be Kept

The “intent” is for trash containers to be under the house or alongside houses that have the ground floor enclosed. This is the reason the Board of Commissioners is now looking at forcing property owners to remove their corrals. The stated reasons for this are that the garbage smells and walkers/bikers can smell it in the corrals and that the cans are more secure from wind under/beside the house.

Concerns:

  1. Trash does smell, which is why some owners want the containers in a corral away from their house.
  2. The containers in the corrals are more secure from storms than when unsecured under a house. This is especially true for oceanfront homes.
  3. Many owners do not want the trash near their house because renters/guests occasionally dump hot ashes from grills or live cigarette butts in the trash. They are concerned about the fire hazard with the containers under the house and feel it is safer away from the structure.
  4. Trash near the home can attract pests such as insects and wildlife.
  5. Some homes use all the space under the homes for parking, taking a spot for trash containers violates the parking plan submitted when the home was built.
  6. Some owners feel the racks or corrals work for them and their guests, they have used them for a long time and are happy with the arrangement.
  7. It is unclear that the Town can tell an owner where to keep their cans unless it in the right-of-way, it is unclear that the Town can insist you remove your trash corral because it is not a structure, no permit was required to build it. Ironically, in the late 1990’s the Town encouraged owners to build corrals as a solution to the trash problems at that time.

Fines

Violators will be fined $50 per day and each day constitutes a separate offense. Fines will be the responsibility of the property owner. Fines will not start until May 1, 2019.

Concerns:

  1. Owners with rental properties cannot control when cans are rolled out.
  2. Non-resident owners typically roll their trash to the curb before returning home to their primary residence. The suggestion that they take their garbage home with them is not sanitary or practical.
  3. Service providers and contractors often roll trash containers out if they have filled them while working.
  4. Owners have returned from being away and found that their trash containers were used by others and were rolled out.
  5. The ordinance was approved without a solution in place. The Commissioners are addressing roll-back, but not roll-out. They are placing the burden on the property owners to find a way to comply with the ordinance, or be fined. They believe strong enforcement and penalties will make the property owners come up with a solution.

Other Concerns

  • Rolling back full trash containers: the Town is planning to change the roll-back service to roll back full trash containers that were not placed at the curb in time for pickup. As a result, the full trash container might sit under the house for an extended period of time (i.e., until the next time someone occupies the house).
  • Lack of notification and lack of communication: the Town has not let people know about the ordinance change. Property owners need time to address these changes.
  • Expense to the Town and impact on taxes: Besides covering the expense of roll-back, additional funds will need to be spent on enforcement prior to and after each trash pick-up.
  • Lack of other attempts to correct: A better method might have been education first instead of an ordinance that some cannot follow and will incur fines.


Solid Waste Management
.

The BOC’s identified that Solid Waste Management issues needed to be addressed and began the process
beginning in August of 2017. At that time, the Board agreed to review and update the Town’s Code of Ordinances, Section 50: Solid Waste. Town Manager Hewett took the position that we shouldn’t jump to a solution before we completely understand the problem. Hewett wants them to view all the issues together and feels we shouldn’t address them in a piecemeal approach. The Town Manager assembled a stakeholder group (Solid Waste Working Group – SWWG) that reviewed the entire solid waste suite of services to identify issues, benchmark against other islands’ policies, propose solutions and finally compile a report, which was presented in February 2018. Commissioner Kwiatkowski took the point and became the unofficial steward, she kept them organized and moving forward, but this was not any one individual’s decision. Commissioner Kwiatkowski worked with both the town staff and the town attorney to put together a final draft version of the amended Ordinance. There were lots of variables to be considered and they tried to address all the issues and concerns that were identified. Issues were discussed in at least nine (9) public meetings where all stakeholders had an opportunity to actively participate in the process by reviewing the information and giving the Board constructive input. Despite the significant time and effort put into this project there seems to be a rather widespread misconception that the Board has made a snap decision on this issue, which clearly is not the case. The adopted Ordinance is the result of well over a year’s efforts, starting with the SWWG efforts. This was approached in a pragmatic manner, taking into consideration the needs of full-time residents, rental property owners and second home owners. In other words, the greatest good for the greatest number. So, I really don’t understand the brouhaha. I’m a little surprised that the HBPOA took such a strong position when they sent out the Urgent Update e-mail; essentially the e-mail was a call to arms. As a result, I understand that the Board has received a significant number of complaints about their decisions. I’m really disappointed that some of the Commissioners have begun to waffle about implementing the enforcement piece. The rollout issue probably should have been addressed prior to them adopting the Ordinance but certainly can be addressed in a timely manner before implementing civil fines. Most of the objections should be put to rest when we have a rollout option available. I think we should consider this a work in progress that still can be modified if need be. I really don’t see that we will get the desired change in behavior happening without having consequences for non-compliance and that requires enforcement. Feel strongly that the Commissioners shouldn’t fold because they got some push back. The Commissioners should have the courage of their convictions and stick with what they agreed to.

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

Editor’s Note –
Rather than wait for members of the HBPOA to protest about my comment that their e-mail was a call to arms I thought I’d be proactive. A Call to Arms is something that makes people want to take action and get involved in an attempt to deal with a bad situation. It is my humble opinion that that HBPOA in their Urgent Update e-mail qualifies when they said It isn’t often that a new ordinance will touch every property owner, but this one does and brings many changes and questions. HBPOA has heard a lot of concerns about the new ordinance and we have shared these concerns with the Commissioners in writing, at the Board of Commissioners meeting and in person. We also suggest you share any concerns or support with your Holden Beach Board of Commissioners.”

Timeline

Previously reported – August 2017
Town Manager Hewett took the position that we shouldn’t jump to a solution before we completely understand the problem. Hewett wants them to view all the issues together and feels we shouldn’t address these issues in a piecemeal approach. Staff has already identified seventy (70) elements that need to be considered. He also would like to meet with the various stakeholders. That said, he should be able to get back to the Board in November with a suite of options, from soup to nuts.

Previously reported – January 2018
Solid Waste functional review focus group plus the town staff have completed the data collection. David plans to make a full-blown report at the February meeting.

Previously reported – February 2018
The Town’s total budget for solid waste services is approximately $210,000. Town Manager Hewett assembled a stakeholder group (Solid Waste Working Group – SWWG) that reviewed the entire solid waste suite of services.

Solid Waste Report

Conclusions, Options & Recommendations
The Board will need to decide how they want to proceed. Next step is to determine what services they want to provide. Board asked Town staff to formalize compliance protocols for garbage pail requirements at rental properties.

Previously reported – August 2018
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. The Board agreed to update the Town’s Code of Ordinances, Section 50: Solid Waste.

Previously reported – October 2018
First Draft of Town of Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 50: Solid Waste
. 1) Approved a weekly recycling program during the summer rental season
. 2) Changed current Curbside Recycling fee

Previously reported – November 2018
Commissioner Kwiatkowski worked with both the town staff and the town attorney to put together a final draft version of the amended Ordinance. They attempted to be clear, concise, and have an enforceable ordinance. Final version will be presented at the next meeting. If adopted, enforcement will begin on May of 2019. The Board agreed to have a Solid Waste Workshop before the next BOC’s Regular Meeting in December. The Board is asking that all stakeholders actively participate in the process by reviewing the information and giving them constructive input.

Previously reported – December 2018

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH / ORDINANCE 18-16

Special Meeting –
The proposed changes attempt to address some of these issues. It will have significant repercussions for many property owners. The goal is to service the most people in the best way possible. It was not the intent of the Board to create a revenue stream from fines but rather to address these issues. The good news is the Board received a significant amount of correspondence and feedback. Unfortunately, none of the rental / property management companies participated in the process. Education is the initial phase, attempting to modify behavior, where they will strive to improve compliance. Letters will be sent to property owners for noncompliance issues. Second round of letters will be a warning that fines will eventually be imposed, the penalties will not be enforced until May of 2019. Thereafter the formal process begins, and fines will be initiated. Well this was supposed to be the final version of the proposed amended ordinance; but apparently, it is still a work in progress. The actual vote to adopt Ordinance will take place at the Regular Meeting tonight.

Regular Meeting –
Additional changes were made tonight as follows:
. 1)
Added language giving property owner some flexibility
. 2)
Changed language that decriminalized noncompliance

Commissioner Kwiatkowski worked with both the town staff and the town attorney to put together a final draft version of the amended Ordinance. There were lots of variables to be considered and they tried to address all the issues and concerns that were identified. Kudos to Pat for taking the bull by the horns, at times it seemed like she was herding cats, but due to her perseverance she managed to drag this Ordinance across the finish line.

In order to be familiar with all of the changes that were made I strongly recommend that you read Ordinance 18-16. Any changes are bound to have ramifications; therefore, you need to know what that means to you. I encourage you to go to the Town website to see the final version that they adopted.

Previously reported – January 2019
Removal of Existing Waste Bin Corrals that Were Built Forward of Houses
Commissioner Kwiatkowski position is that the waste bin corrals no longer serve a purpose. Current ordinance requires them to be either next to non-elevated or underneath elevated houses. Waste Industries has not, for some time now, been rolling pails to curb from corrals. In addition, the Town recently approved whole island rollback of pails to house starting sometime this year. The Board is encouraging owners to remove the corrals or relocate them nearer to the house. They would like to see them taken out of the right-of-way and put further away from the street. Although they are not mandating this now, they may have to in order to get the desired action.

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.


 BOC’s Special Meeting 02/15/19

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


1. Discussion and Possible Action – Internal Control Report and Proposal Presented by RSM

Agenda Packet –
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
We were engaged to assist the Town in developing an internal control risk matrix over its main transaction cycles. In developing a risk matrix for the Town, we considered internal controls 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 were 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 below noted transaction cycles. Gaining an understanding of the internal controls assisted 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 drew on this understanding to provide feedback in internal control risk matrix about opportunities you may have to strengthen controls or streamline processes.

RECOMMENDATIONS

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

Segregation of Duties
Transaction cycles have a number of objectives or tasks to move a transaction from start to finish. Having these objectives split between multiple individuals is the best way for entities to mitigate the risk of material misstatement due to fraud or error. Segregation of duties is not an absolute fix for any transaction cycle however splitting the duties is a productive way to reduce possible risk of error or fraud. Entities with limited staff makes segregating duties very difficult however it is important to cross-train individuals across all cycles so that transactions can be processed and reviewed by a number of individuals prior to its completion. Cross-training personnel is also helpful if a member of finance is out for a long period of time. This enables someone to come in and complete the assigned tasks seamlessly with little downtime. The addition of a separate Finance Officer, as noted in recommendation #1 would help alleviate most of the segregation of duties issues noted in the Internal Control Matrix.

Vendor Listing
Currently vendor setup in the financial accounting system is limited to appropriate personnel, Fiscal Operations II and Fiscal Operations Ill. Vendor set ups are reviewed by the Town Manager, however this process is informal and can be verbal in nature or with an email approval. While the subsequent payment to the vendor is then signed by the Town Manager, which constitutes a review, it does not mitigate all risks that an invalid vendor is entered into the system. A potential fraud perpetrator could easily set up fake vendors by slightly changing the name of one of the Town’s common vendors, setting up a P.0. Box and sending a fake invoice. Lack of strong controls over the vendor approval and maintenance process, can lead to falsified invoices being paid without detection. We recommend setting up a formal review process of vendors whereby the vendor information is accumulated and provided to management who then initials approving the vendor to be set up in the system. The vendor approval information should be maintained as long as the Town is utilizing the vendor. The financial accounting system is currently set up to print a report of all vendors. Currently the report lists over 2,700 vendors. Management has not reviewed the list of vendors for potential errors, potential conflicts of interest or obsolescence. We recommend the Town examine their vendor list to reduce the list to only current, active vendors. We also recommend the vendor list be examined for potential conflicts of interest and/or potential debarment by federal or State authorities for previous improprieties. Once a current list is established, we recommend annual reviews of the vendor listing performed by appropriate personnel to mitigate the potential for payments to unauthorized persons.

 Payroll
The payroll transaction cycle is very important to the overall business of the Town and carries an inherent risk of overpayment of wages or payments to an unknown or “ghost” employee. Currently, one individual conducts the processing of payroll. Noted above, we believe it relatively prudent to involve more than one individual in the processing of payroll with a level of detail review to verify accuracy of payments. The payroll system is also set up, that when entering payroll, the rate of pay can by manually updated without a system generated approval or lock function. Rates of pay that can be updated or changed at any point increases the risk that an individual could be paid an incorrect amount and an overpayment of wages could occur. We recommend the Town contact their payroll software provider and inquire of the possibility of adding a system control whereby all pay rate changes require a secondary review.

Currently, Town staff pay increases are at the discretion of the Town Manager. This practice can lead to the overpayment and/or underpayment of employees at their respective positions based on their job function. While the Town Manager should approve all pay raises, we recommend the Town establish set job descriptions for each position, by function and establish a compensation range for the position based on the position’s responsibilities and current market conditions. To establish the scales, we recommend hiring a third-party consultant to conduct a total compensation study, to compare compensation rates of personnel relative to other government units of comparable size, functionality, and general economic conditions. We recommend these rate studies be performed periodically after the ranges are initially established at least every five years.

Capital Assets
Capital assets are essential to government units for the overall support of the public whether through police vehicles, signage, or heavy equipment. Capital assets are tracked on an Excel spreadsheet, which is a common practice as many units see the purchase of capital asset tracking software to be impractical when the number of overall assets is limited. We noted that the information on the listing to track the assets was limited to the asset’s tag number, service date of the asset, description, and cost. Since the listing omits information about the depreciation of the assets, the omission increases the risk that depreciation at year-end is calculated incorrectly, potentially overstating assets and understating expenses. We recommend expanding on this listing to add information on the depreciation of each of the assets, which would include the annual depreciation expense, the accumulated depreciation total, and the calculated net book value. This list should be reviewed at least annually to determine the proper useful lives have been assigned to assets and that depreciation is being properly calculated.

Additionally, the Town issues asset tags for each of its capital asset purchases in order to properly track the asset on a periodic basis. Currently the Town does not perform an inventory count of tangible property using the asset tags. We recommend the Town develop a written policy and procedure over the physical inventory of capital assets on an at least a biannual basis with a reconciliation to the capital asset listing. This will ensure all capital assets owned by the town are accounted for appropriately and assets that have been disposed are property removed from the fixed assets ledger.

Previously reported – February 2018
Status of the Internal Control Audit
Finding: 17-1 / SIGNIFICANT DEFICIENCY
Inadequate Design of Internal Controls over the Preparation of the Financial Statements
Finding: 17-2 / SIGNIFICANT DEFICIENCY
Prior Period Adjustment ($479,789)

Previously reported – April 2018
Direct Solicitation to Conduct Comprehensive Financial and Accounting Internal Control Review
Agenda Packet –
The Audit Report with respect to the Town’s Annual Financial Statements for the year ended June 30, 2017 raised two “significant deficiencies” with respect to the Town’s financial controls and procedures for financial statement preparation. The Audit Report also concluded that any financial reports provided to the Commissioners cannot be relied on, as the ledger does not reflect adjustments made in previous years. The Audit Committee has had preliminary discussions with the Auditor about these matters and the audit process, and as part of that discussion the Auditor recommended that the Town engage a consultant to perform a comprehensive review of its internal financial controls. The Audit report approved and signed by the Town’s Finance Director included a corrective response stating, “The Town of Holden Beach’s governing body feels that there are limited financial resources at this time for training the finance department staff in GAAP and that it is not cost beneficial to obtain additional assistance in this area.” This statement was false. Accordingly, I move that:

The Audit Committee is authorized and directed to review, investigate, report and make recommendations to the BOC on

(i)            the Town’s accounting and financial control systems including “significant deficiencies” related to internal controls;

(ii)           appropriate training of financial and accounting staff;

(iii)          policies and procedures relating to financial statement preparation, preventive and detective internal controls, and the audit process, including engaging such consultants to perform such internal controls review as the Audit Committee deems necessary or appropriate.

Handout –
Statement of Work
“The Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, via their Audit Committee, is soliciting proposals to perform a review of the Town’s internal controls.

The scope of this work will include a review and assessment of current practices in the operations of the finance department, including the preparation of financial statements that are compliant with generally accepted accounting principles, and the development of financial reports provided to the Board of Commissioners.  In addition, the work should include a focus on the controls designed to prevent or detect misappropriations, embezzlement, and any other potentially fraudulent activities.  

The deliverables from the work should include an assessment of the effectiveness of existing controls as well as their implementation, recommended changes to work practices, policies and procedures to ensure accurate financial reporting, and to prevent certain events from occurring, as well as backup procedures to ensure the proposed internal controls function as intended.

The work should comply with the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act and align with the principles in the COSO Internal Control Integrated Framework. ”

Previously reported – June 2018
Discussion and Possible Action on the Audit Committee Recommendation of the Firm to Conduct an Internal Control Evaluation
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 – October 2018
RSM has completed the field work and has submitted a skeleton draft. Anticipate having a final draft next month, will make presentation to the Board at that time.

Update –
Two representatives of the RSM firm made the presentation. They made it clear that they did not perform an audit it was a consulting engagement only. Recommendations were made based on observations, inquiries, industry standards, and similar size government best practices. In the current environment they look for internal controls to prevent fraud in order to take away any opportunities to commit fraud. After some discussion about the benefits of having a separate Finance Officer they stated that segregation of duties is the overriding consideration in their recommendation for adding the position. No Cost/Benefit analysis was done for hiring an additional person with an estimated cost of $65,000 per year.  The question that needs to be asked is: does the person handling the financial reports have the skills, knowledge and experience to take ownership. Based on their recommendation the answer to that question is they do not.

Public Comments –
Mark Fleischhauer a member of the Audit Committee spoke. The report is the basis for moving forward. Our next step is to remediate. In the cost/benefit equation needs to carefully be considered. They should process the information constructively and should not act hastily.

The Town Manager/Finance Officer needs to be given an opportunity to address the issues identified as deficiencies in the internal control report. Action plans need to be established and monitored. All options should be explored before we add the additional expense of hiring a separate Finance Officer. David should be given the chance to take whatever corrective action necessary to fix this. I personally believe it would be premature to take any more aggressive action then that at this time.

 It will be interesting to see how this soap opera unfolds, a few possible scenarios:
.    1) Town outsources some of the financial work
.    2) Town Manager takes a pay cut and we hire a separate Finance Officer
.    3) Town Manager either resigns or gets terminated
.        • We hire new Town Manager  and a separate Finance Officer

 Stay tuned …

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

No decision was made – No action taken


BOC’s Regular Meeting 02/19/19

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


1. Public Comments on Agenda Items
There were no comments


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

Agenda Packet –
January Meeting Update

The Inlet and Beach Protection Board (IBPB) met January 24 and the following issues and topics were addressed:

Status of the Beach and Inlets: Staff provided an overview of conditions and issues relative to the beach strand and inlets. The Board was updated on the new Proposed Inlet Hazard Area modifications and will monitor the situation.  Fran Way of ATM gave a status update on the storm damage and the modeling work on the Lockwood Folly Inlet. A letter was sent to the County expressing our interest in the Wider and Deeper project. It was noted that the project was not on the County Commissioners’ January agenda.

Comprehensive Long-Term Plan: A working framework for the long-term plan was discussed and details were added to last month’s outline. The plan will address each unique section of the beach:

  • Lockwood Folly Inlet
  • Eastern Reach
  • Central Reach
  • Western Reach
  • Shallotte Inlet

ATM will be working with us to help facilitate the report. We plan to complete the deliverable within six months.

Budget Items for FY 19-20:  Board Members discussed projects and items they would like to see included in the upcoming budget.  Plantings and Fertilization options were discussed. Mats will be covered next month.  Replacement of signs, collaboration with UNCW and other items are still under discussion as recommendations.

Meetings:  Members of the Board plan to attend the Brunswick County Shoreline Protection meeting January 30.

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

Update –
No issues, accepted report


3. Receipt of Water Tower Memo from Planning & Zoning Board –
Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet –
At the October 23, 2018 BOC meeting the Planning and Zoning Board was asked to further analyze the potential need for a second water tower.

The preliminary report prepared by Right Angle Engineering was reviewed and further research was done with input from staff, Tri-Beach Fire Department Chief and Right-Angle Engineering.

The Planning and Zoning Board voted to recommend a phased approach to the issue. The first phase would consist of a study to be done by an engineering   firm which specializes in water systems and has experience performing water supply studies to determine at what point a second water tower may be needed.

We also recommend that if it is determined that a second tower is needed in the near future that the County be contacted about potential cost sharing.


 4. Lockwood Folly Inlet Navigation Project Updates –
Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
As discussed in previous meetings of both the Inlet and Beach Protection Board and the Board of Commissioners, Brunswick County received a grant from NCDEQ/DWR for a Lockwood Folly navigation Project that would involve dredging the inlet deeper and wider The Town of Holden Beach provided feedback as well as concerns in a letter to the County dated January 4, 2019. The letter addressed possible accelerated erosion, feasibility and cost of the project, permitting and long-term maintenance concerns, how the project will be evaluated for effectiveness, and cost sharing of the project. At the county’s request Town staff attended a meeting   on January 30th at the Brunswick County Complex where Deputy County Manager Steve Stone and the county’s engineer Ken Wilson addressed some of the Town’s comments.  The county agreed to draft an interlocal agreement for the Town to consider and that could potentially be reviewed at the March County Commissioners Meeting. The following information was supplied to the Town:

  • Modeling will likely not be provided. The county views this pilot project as a test and source of data for later large-scale projects that may be proposed for permitting.
  • The project will require a major modification to the Town’s SDI-5 permit.
  • The county views this as a one-time test and is not looking into the future at this time in regard to alternating between communities. A major objective is to see if the number of required dredging cycles is reduced by the effort.
  • While the county wants to implement/achieve a fiscal policy regarding projects at a 75/25 split, they are open to having the BOC make a separate request to the county for partial financial reimbursement toward the project at an undetermined amount.
  • The project as proposed in the county’s grant application will depend on dredge plant availability.
  • The Town made a request, if the project is voted to move forward, that the county engineer and the Town’s engineer work together to create a design template that could potentially qualify the Town for FEMA funds in the future as an engineered beach.
  • Staff is of the opinion, based on existing knowledge, that Oak Island is not interested in being the recipient of the sand for this cycle of the project.

According to an email from Deputy County Manager Steve Stone, this project is projected to cost a total of $4,132,000 with $2,754,650 being supplied through State funding and $1,377,350 being supplied locally ($344,338 Brunswick County/ $1,033,013 Town).

The Town made several attempts to find out the feasibility of piggybacking on the LWF Inlet Crossing Project for the bend widener sand.  On February 6, 2019 the Town received a call from Brennan Dooley with the Corps to say that the Corps does not have the ability to modify their authorization for this project and any additional work to place sand from the bend widener would require the Town to contract independently with Southwind.  The following is the information we have regarding that project:

  • Survey information shows approximately 200,000 cy (with the north widener) of material available in the widener.
  • The Town’s SDI-5 permit would have to be used and it is a one-time permit, complicating having a permit available for use with deeper-wider.
  • The contractor confirmed to our engineer that based on environmental windows, he would be completing the bend widener in April or possibly May and would require a separate mobilization/demobilization.
  • The timeframe of April or May would require the Town to seek a permit modification because of environmental windows.
  • Town staff assumes the Town would seek grant funding through the state and the process is a minimum of a five-week review process in a best-case scenario per conversation with the state.
  • The Town Attorney would need to certify that easements would be in place to proceed with contract documents.
  • Oak Island is interested in the bend widener but permitting may be an issue.

Total cost for the project is estimated at $3,840,000.  The project would provide approximately 200,000 cy of material (with north widener) this year for placement on the east end but would require mobilization and demobilization, as well as, cubic yardage price to fall to the Town unless the project meets grant eligibility and receives funding.  In that scenario, the cost would be approximately $2,560,000 state and $1,280,000 local.  Timing is an issue.

The Merritt is currently here through February 25, 2019 doing a test run after the recent repair. Unless staff receives a different directive from the Board of Commissioners, we will pursue working with the county to draft the interlocal agreement for the deeper/wider project.

Since the Board did not give her any directive it would appear that the Town staff will move forward with pursuing us participating in this dredging project. Christy will bring an interlocal agreement with the County for Wider-Deeper project back to the Board for their approval.  

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

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

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


5. Discussion and Possible Action on RSM Report and Proposals –
Commissioner Freer
Agenda Packet –
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
We were engaged to assist the Town in developing an internal control risk matrix over its main transaction cycles. In developing a risk matrix for the Town, we considered internal controls 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 were 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 below noted transaction cycles. Gaining an understanding of the internal controls assisted 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 drew on this understanding to provide feedback in internal control risk matrix about opportunities you may have to strengthen controls or streamline processes.

For more information go to the top –
Special Meeting 02/15/19

Commissioner Freer did a brief overview

Peter expected RSM to make a number of proposals to address issues that were identified as deficiencies

Since they didn’t, he asked that the Town initiate a request for proposal (RfP) to:

  1. Establish set job descriptions for each position,
  2. Conduct a total compensation study
  3. Setup a formal review process of vendors

Commissioner Kwiatkowski reminded them that the report did not include information that would have eliminated some of the deficiencies. They requested that the Town Manager forward the information to RSM so that they could modify their report. In addition, she asked that the Finance Officer develop action plans to address all of the items that were identified as deficiencies. It was decided that the vendor list should be at the top of the queue. David indicated he would need some time, they have limited resources, but he would tease out the vendor list first.


6. Police Report – Detective Jeremy Dixon

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

They have obtained an automated external defibrillator (AED) and have scheduled officer training

Personnel Announcements
Chief Layne has officially announced his retirement effective 1 April 2019
Detective Dixon is formally designated “Chief in Waiting”


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


Neighborhood Watch

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


8. Discussion and Possible Nomination of Member to Serve on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Dr. Candace Vick and Stu Atwell are interested in filling the vacancy on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. They are both scheduled to be interviewed at the February 12th special meeting and their information is in the meeting packet. No other applications have been submitted.

Apparently, they had two highly qualified candidates. They discussed adding both but were informed that the Board size is restricted, and they could only add one person. They filled the Board vacancy by adding a new member Dr. Candace Vick.


9. Discussion and Possible Action to Have the Town Incorporate the Recommended Changes to Chapter 50: Solid Waste – Commissioner Butler

Agenda Packet –
Summary regarding the highlights of the recommended changes outlined in the statement letter read by Commissioner Butler during the February 5th Special Meeting:

  1. Island wide rollback. Empty Trash and Recycling Containers will be rolled back to the street side of the home, under the home or to a corral if available.
  2. Trash corrals are allowed.
  3. Full containers would stay at the curb until emptied.
  4. Containers can be rolled to the curb early. Eliminate the 48-hour street side requirement before the designated collection day.
  5. Enforcement fines would still apply to those not following the yard waste requirements and those placing trash on the ground or on top of trash containers.
  6. Examine the possibility of providing a rollout program in addition to rollback.
  7. Enforcement and communication reside with the town staff to determine

Commissioner Sullivan thought that at the Special Meeting we had come to an understanding, that we would not make any piecemeal changes, that we would only address the enforcement component, and that we have time to make any other adjustments as necessary. It was a mistake to adopt the Ordinance without addressing the rollout portion, but it would be another mistake to change it again. He emphatically stated that this is not what we agreed to nor should it be done.

 Commissioner Butler submitted his changes and directed the town staff to incorporate them when they amend the Ordinance which is to be presented at the next BOC’s Regular Meeting

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

They also agreed that they need to do the following:

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

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

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

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


10. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 19-02, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 50: Solid Waste –
Town Clerk Finnell

TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH ORDINANCE 19-02

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH CODE OF ORDINANCES,
CHAPTER 50: SOLID WASTE, § 50.99 PENALTY

BE IT ORDAINED BY the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the Town of Holden Beach, North Carolina that the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 50: Solid Waste be amended as follows:

Section One: Amend § 50.99 PENALTY to read as follows (Changes in italics):

§50.99 PENALTY.

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

(B)    In accordance with § l0.99(B) of this code of ordinances, the civil fine for violation of any provision of this chapter shall be $50 per offense.

(C)       Penalties for violations of Chapter 50 will not be assessed till May 1, 2020.

Item was removed from the agenda due to the changes made to the Solid Waste Ordinance tonight


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

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

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

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

Previously reported – December 2018
Town Manager – David Hewett
I have been able to develop a budget estimate of $85,000 to provide Town-wide rollback service.

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

Item was removed from the agenda

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


12. Staff Report on Golf Cart Specific Parking Spaces – Planning Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
At the Boards request staff has looked into the feasibility of (Low Speed Vehicle), Golf Carts having exclusive parking along Marsh Streets.

The staff has come to the following conclusions:
.   1)
LSV’s are legal modes of transportation and already have access for parking anywhere regular cars can park.
.   2)
Currently the parking along those marsh streets is allowed for LSV that are registered for road use, as those are available
.   3)
All parking restrictions both state and local would still apply. (100 feet from intersections no parking).
.   4) It would appear that there are three access points near Marsh streets.
.   5)
Swordfish would have a travel distance of 350′ to access at 915 OBW, Sailfish would have a travel distance of 900′ to Access at 915 OBW, Scotch Bonnet would have a travel distance of 800’to access at 567 OBW.
  6)
There would need to be a Text amendment in the current parking ordinances designating Low Speed Vehicles only (Golf Cart) for those streets.
.   7)
There will also need to be signage for clarity.
  8)
This would be available only in the summer months as LSV’s are not allowed when the speed limit is increased. (Per Acting Police Chief)

 

Previously reported – June 2018
Golf carts are treated the same as other automotive vehicles
Town ordinances state no parking anytime on OBW
Therefore golf carts are illegally parked when left by any beach access points

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

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

Since most Golf carts are purchased and a bill of sale is given to the buyer, the owner must apply for a title through the NC License Plate Office. In order to receive a title through this agency, you must have a notarized bill of sale and proof of liability insurance. If the golf cart is purchased from a dealer, you must also have the certificate of origin for the vehicle.

All of the streets in the Town (including the side streets) are considered streets or public vehicular areas according to the State Law. This means that to operate a golf cart anywhere on the island, you must meet the standards above. Also, golf carts may not be operated on streets with posted speed limit greater than 35 mph. 

 Previously reported – November 2018
Discussion and Possible Action for Creating Golf Cart Specific Parking Places in the Vicinity of Some of the Public Beach Accesses – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
It was Commissioner Kwiatkowski that originally requested, we publicize golf cart requirements. Briefly what that means is that golf carts are considered a motor vehicle and subject to all laws, rules and regulations that govern motor vehicles. The only exception to our parking ordinance now is that all parking on the stub streets Ranger and Elizabeth have designated parking areas for vehicles, golf carts, bikes and beach equipment. Unlike the stub streets, allowing golf carts to park in designated parking areas on the rest of the island is problematic. Pat asked that the town staff assess the situation and see if there are any areas near a beach access that could have designated parking for golf carts. That pretty much narrows it down to a few canal streets that on one side of the street have marsh side parking.

No decision was made – No action taken


13. Discussion and Possible Action on Text Amendment for Commercial Setbacks and Buffering Requirements – Planning Director Evans

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

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

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

§ 157.062 COMMERCIAL DISTRICT (C-1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


14. Discussion and Possible Action on AT&T Cell Site Lease Proposal –
Fiscal Operations Clerk Lockner

Agenda Packet –
By now you may have heard news regarding AT&T’s efforts to amend its leases, reduce its rents, and improve its business terms. Over the past three years, the growth of AT&T’s total annual cell-site rent has outpaced the growth of its sales revenue.  Senior executives have made addressing this issue a priority and as our strategic partner, it is important we notify you that your site is one of many under review.

During our review, we’ve evaluated the costs of operating the site (i.e. Rent), proximity to other sites, and the ability to modify and/or expand the site. It has been determined that AT&T must take immediate steps to reduce expenses and improve operational flexibility by amending our current agreement. Without your participation, AT&T may consider alternative site solutions that help accomplish the same objectives.

Black Dot Wireless, LLC (“Black Dot”), a national lease management firm, has been directed to discuss your lease options and help you through the process. Depending on those discussions, your site may qualify for a long-term rental guarantee. Such a rent guarantee would create a secure financial instrument while safeguarding the long-term future of your site.

AT&T values its association with you and looks forward to continuing this partnership for years to come.


Mandy Lockner –
AT&T (Black Dot Wireless) has put forth an effort to amend its cell tower lease agreement citing that tower rents are significantly higher than the AT&T Cluster/Target Rent. They have proposed two different lease agreements for the Board’s consideration (see attached). The Town’s current yearly revenue from AT&T is $29,208/ $2,419.

Option A: Rent is $2,022 per month with a 10% increase every five years with a total term of 360 months (30 years) and a rent guarantee of 84 months (7 years). Rent guarantee value for 7 years is $174,700.80 and total 30-year lease value is $936,057.

Option B: Rent is $2,207 per month with a 10% increase every five years with a total term of 360 month (30 years) and a rent guarantee of 60 months (5 years). Rent guarantee value for 5 years is $132,420 and total 30-year lease value is $1,021,70 l.

Previously reported – October 2017
Discussion and Possible Action on Proposed Changes to the Lease Agreement between the Town and AT&T for Cellular Antenna Equipment Located on the Water Tower – Fiscal Operations Clerk Lockner
 

Previously reported – March 2015
Discussion and Possible Approval of the First Amendment to Water Tower Option and Lease Agreement with New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC (AT&T) –
Fiscal Operations Clerk Mandy Lockner
This is a modification to our current agreement. We are giving our consent to allow Tenant to install and operate additional equipment on the water tower. The recently completed structural analysis indicates that the tower can handle the additional equipment. In addition, we agree to add four (4) additional Extension Terms of five (5) years each. The Tenant is responsible to make the modifications and to do any maintenance that is necessary.
A decision was made – Approved

Previously reported – March 2017
Discussion and Possible Action on Lease Extension Proposal for T-Mobile –
T-Mobile has attempted to renegotiate the contract before. No action was taken, and the rate remained the same. This time they are looking to get a longer period with lower monthly payment. The concern is if they cut their rate other carriers will want their rate reduced too.
No decision was made – No action taken

Agenda Packet –
AT&T (Black Dot Wireless) has put forth an effort to amend its cell tower lease agreements citing that tower rents are outpacing regular sales. They have proposed three different lease agreements for the Board’s consideration (see attached).   The Town’s current yearly revenue from AT&T is $29,208 with the contract ending in 2020.

COMPANYYEARLY RENT
AT&T$29,028
VERIZON$36,572
US CELLULAR$18,889
TMOBILE$18,062

Black Dot Wireless, LLC (“Black Dot”), a national lease management firm, has been directed to discuss your lease options and help you through the process.  Depending on those discussions, your site may qualify for a long-term rental guarantee. Such a rent guarantee would create a secure financial instrument while safeguarding the long-term future of your site.

Option#1 15-year rental Guarantee Value     $199,670.40 /   84 months / 7 years

Option#2 15-year rental Guarantee Value     $270,144.00 / 120 months / 10 years

Option#3 15-year rental Guarantee Value     $378,730.20 / 180 months / 15 years

The three proposals are for different guarantee periods.  All three options have a 5-year term with 10% increases for each 5-year term.  Our current contract with AT&T is till 2020. All the carriers are looking to get a longer period with a lower monthly payment. The concern is if they cut their rate other carriers will want their rate reduced too. Our Town Manager recommended that we stay with the current contract.

 No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
Verizon is paying us $3,048 month while AT&T is paying us only $2,419 month. The AT&T proposal is for $2,022 month, approximately a 16.4% rate reduction.
It has been our policy not to respond to these rate reduction requests.

 No decision was made – No action taken


15. Addition to Classification and Pay Plan: Water Distribution/ Wastewater Collection System Technician and Equipment Operator Positions –
Town Manager Hewett 

Agenda Packet –
This memo requests the position classifications of Water Distribution/Wastewater Collection System Technician and Equipment Operator be added to the existing Classification & Pay Plan.

The existing Classification & Pay Plan (Atch1) doesn’t include specific provisions for Equipment Operators or Water Distribution/Wastewater Collection System Technicians as individuals performing these duties are currently classified as General Laborers. The nature of Town Utilities work; specifically, vacuum sewer and heavy equipment operations to include those requiring Commercial Drivers’ Licensure (CDL) in the Public Works department has evolved far beyond the skills, knowledge and   abilities of individuals performing General Labor type work.

The proposed additions to the Classification Pay Plan follow:

                                                                                                                     Min        Mid      Max
Water Distribution/Wastewater Collection System Technician       31821    38137   44453
Equipment Operator                                                                                 33158    39474   45790

Addition of these two classes of employee will provide for existing employee growth, recognize actual work being accomplished and can be accomplished from within existing manpower budgets. Two General Laborers will be reclassified as a result of the proposed action and will receive modest market pay increases of 5% (approximately $1700 apiece annually).

RECOMMENDATION:
Board of Commissioners approve proposed additions to the Classification & Pay Plan.

Update –
Town Manager explained this was not a promotion for these employees. We are basically recognizing the job duties and responsibilities that they are currently performing. It could be considered a promotion in the arrears.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


16. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 19-02, Resolution Authorizing Advertisement by Electronic Means for Formal Bidding – Town Manager Hewett 

Agenda Packet –
North Carolina General Statute §143-129(b) authorizes the governing board to allow the use of electronic advertisement as an alternative to advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation.  In some cases, advertisement by electronic means may be a more effective and efficient method of reaching prospective bidders.

Resolution 19-02 authorizes the town manager or his designee to advertise using electronic means whenever it is determined to be the most effective and efficient method of obtaining competition for a contract. Staff recommends approval of the resolution.

RESOLUTION  19-02
ALLOWING ADVERTISEMENT BY ELECTRONIC MEANS FOR FORMAL BIDDING

WHEREAS, contracts for construction or repair work, and for the purchase of apparatus, supplies, materials, and equipment that meet the monetary threshold established in North Carolina General Statute §143-129 must be publicly advertised; and

WHEREAS, North Carolina General Statute §143-129(b) authorizes the governing board to allow the use of electronic advertisement as an alternative to advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation; and

WHEREAS, in some cases, advertisement in the newspaper may be the most efficient method of obtaining competition, but in other cases, advertisement by electronic means may be a more effective and efficient method of reaching prospective bidders; and

WHEREAS, it Is Jn all cases Important to provide citizens an opportunity to obtain Information about major contracts to be awarded by the Town of Holden Beach;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that:
The Town Manager or his or her designee Is authorized to advertise using electronic means as an alternative to placing an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation whenever he or she determines It to be the most effective and efficient method of obtaining competition for a contract.

Advertisement by newspaper and electronic means may be used together or in the alternative, and the requirements of G.S. 143-129 (b) shall be met as long as one of the methods used meets the minimum time for advertisement.

When electronic advertisement is used, information about the bid solicitation shall be made available to the public either by published notice, posting in a place in which similar notices are placed, or electronically on the official website of the Town of Holden Beach.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


17. Discussion and Possible Action on Resolution 19-03, Designation of Applicant’s Agent (Hurricane Michael Resolution) – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
In attending the Hurricane Michael FEMA Public Assistance Applicant Briefing, the Town was advised that a resolution would need to be passed to appoint an applicant designee from the Town. 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 Fiscal Operations Clerk Lockner as the secondary contact on the FEMA Resolution.

Suggested motion: The BOC hereby designates Town Manager David Hewett as the primary applicant designee and Fiscal Operations Clerk Lockner as the secondary contact on the FEMA Resolution.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


18. Town Manager’s Report


50th Anniversary Events
Time to Celebrate gala and Community Social, both events were big hits. Thanks to everyone that made it happen. They are collecting memorabilia to be placed in Time Capsule which will be sealed on our 51st birthday.


Public Access Grant
Governor Roy Cooper announced that Holden Beach was awarded a grant for $16,335 for the construction of a beach access walkway at 289.5 OBW


Beach Strand
The Holden Beach Renourishment Association is donating approximately $40,000 for the planting/fertilization project primarily in the Central Reach Project area. This augments the towns resources and efforts there.


Storm Events
Three FEMA hurricane damage reimbursement programs being worked simultaneously
. 1)
Matthew $335,000 reimbursement still outstanding, final report was sent
. 2)
Florence @$8,000,000 submitted everything we could
.   • Engineering report is not finalized yet
.  Federal Beach Technical Advisor needs to complete required Cat G Project Worksheet
. 3) Michael submitted our estimated losses
.  
President Trump has issued federal declaration
.   •
Applicant briefing was done
.   • Federal Beach Technical Advisor will write submittal
.  
Additional surveying of beach strand losses underway to meet federal guidelines

Florence 990k cubic yards; 560k cubic yds from CRP
Michael 533k cubic yards; 303k cubic yds from CRP
We are talking about an amount in the $20 million-dollar range
We will need to identify locations where we can get more sand from


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Engineering services
A request for quotation (RfQ) for sewer system lift station #3 upgrade is on the street


Upcoming Events

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

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


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

 No decision was made – No action taken


General Comments –

There were twenty-eight (28) members of the community in attendance

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


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

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


Development Fees

BOC’s Regular Meeting 06/19/18
Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 18-04, Resolution Adopting System Development Fees Report – Public Works Director Clemmons

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners that the Town hereby adopts and approves the Cost-Justified Water and Wastewater System Development Fees Report created by McGill Associates, dated March 2018.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

BOC’s Special Meeting 08/30/18
Discussion and Possible Action: Repeal the Board’s Previous Vote on Implementation of the Water and Sewer Development Fees as Required by House Bill 436 and to Replace that Decision with an Alternative Fee Schedule – Commissioners Fletcher & Freer

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

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

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

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

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

BOC’s Special Meeting 10/05/18
Discussion of Activities and Timelines to Re-conduct the Determination of Maximum Sewer and Water System Development Fees and Subsequently Set “Permanent Fees Before the End of 2018″ – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

All Pat said is that the interim rates would remain in effect for the next ninety (90) days which takes us into 2019. No discussion of activities, timelines, or variables being considered were shared with the public.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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

Commissioners Fletcher & Freer were the ones who initiated repealing the implementation. Far be it for me to presume to tell them what to do but I’m thinking that one of them should volunteer to lead the work on establishing a permanent fee schedule.


Budget

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

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

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

 Budget Meeting Schedule / 2019

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

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

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


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Hurricane Season –

Hurricane #1 - CR

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

Be prepared – have a plan!

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

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

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

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

vigilance and preparedness is urged.


BEACH & INLET NEWSLETTERDecember 2018
This storm season proved to be active for the Town of Holden Beach. We were visited by both Hurricane Florence and Michael, as well as additional recent astrological tide events that produced flooding. The Town lost approximately 257,707 cubic yards of sand in Hurricane Florence in September, with 201,564 cubic yards occurring in the engineered beach area. Post Michael storm analysis shows that we lost approximately 136,087 cubic yards along the shoreline with 90,927 cubic yards occurring in the engineered beach area. Although the beach took a hit with estimated damages for the beach strand currently totaling $7,797,917 for Florence and $5,623,046 for Michael, the Central Reach Project proved invaluable as a storm damage reduction project. It was instrumental in the protection of the dune system and homes along the beachfront. We are working with FEMA on a weekly basis to finalize damage reports in order to qualify for federal and state funding of repairs to the beach strand. As an engineered beach, approval of project damage assessments by FEMA should result in reimbursements of storm damage repairs.

Trump issues disaster declaration for North Carolina
President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for North Carolina to provide for federal assistance to areas impacted by Tropical Storm Michael last fall. The declaration was announced in a news release issued Thursday (01/31/19) and covers 21 counties statewide. It provides federal funding for state and local government and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged Oct. 10 to 12 by the tropical storm. Counties affected by the declaration are Alamance, Brunswick, Caswell, Chatham, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Granville, Hyde, Iredell, McDowell, Montgomery, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Vance and Yadkin. Hurricane Michael slammed into Florida’s Panhandle with 155 mph (250 kph) winds on Oct. 10 and also blew through Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.
Read more » click here


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