Emerald Tidings

May 2015

  1. Town Working Hard to Meet Yard Debris Collection Demands
  2. Board of Commissioners to Consider FY 15-16 Recommended Budget
  3. Beach Patrol and Lifeguard Services Begin May 18
  4. Planning and Inspections Services Now Based in Town Administration Building
  5. Board of Commissioners Opposes Offshore Seismic Testing
  6. Eastern Ocean Regional Access Improvements Completed
  7. Transportation Impact Building Approved
  8. Driveway Restrictions on Bell Cove Village Shopping Center Eliminated
  9. EmeraldFest Concert Series Begins June 18
  10. Town Extends Solid Waste Collection Contract
  11. Emerald Isle Residents Launch "Save The Dunes" Initiative
  12. Discard Old Medications at EI Police Station
  13. EI Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Events Raise $50,000
  14. Taxpayer Parking Permits Available Now!
  15. Beach Equipment Exception Stickers Available Now for Oceanfront Property Owners
  16. Did You Know?

Town Working Hard to Meet Yard Debris Collection Demands

Town staff continue to work hard to meet the large increase in yard debris collection demands, and your patience is greatly appreciated!  Town staff have been running the Town's yard debris collection truck 7 days per week, often late into the evening hours. The Town has also secured a rental collection truck to help with collections, and has contracted with Simmons & Simmons, the Town's solid waste contractor, for additional yard debris collections two days per week.  We are hopeful that these efforts will enable us to eliminate the current backlog and return to our goal of collecting all yard debris in the Town within one week. 

The FY 15-16 Recommended Budget includes funding for the purchase of a new (second) yard debris collection truck and a new employee to operate the truck.  These improvements are proposed to be funded by an $18 increase in the annual solid waste collection fee, and the Board of Commissioners will consider this strategy in May and June during FY 15-16 budget deliberations.  The total number of annual yard debris collection points in Emerald Isle has increased from nearly 8,000 in FY 12-13 to nearly 18,000 in FY 14-15.  

Board of Commissioners To Consider FY 15-16 Recommended Budget

The Board of Commissioners will consider the FY 15-16 Recommended Budget during May and June, and is expected to adopt the new annual budget at its June 9 meeting. The total Recommended Budget is approximately $9.27 million.

The FY 15-16 budget is the first budget to use the new 2015 tax values assigned by Carteret County earlier this year.  The FY 15-16 Recommended Budget includes tax rates that are "revenue-neutral", generating the same amount of property tax revenue for the Town in FY 15-16 as FY 14-15 (approximately $4.4 million in each year).  The recommended General Fund property tax rate is 15.5 cents (14 cents for general services and 1.5 cents earmarked for beach nourishment), and the recommended Primary Benefit special district tax rate (for oceanfront and inlet-front properties only) is 4 cents.  As noted above, an $18 increase in the annual solid waste fee is proposed to fund improvements to the Town's yard debris collection program.  The increase, if approved by the Board, would result in a total annual fee of $228, or $19 per month, for all solid waste services (trash, recycling, yard debris, beach strand collection, and more) provided by the Town.

Beach Patrol and Lifeguard Services Begin May 18

The Emerald Isle Police and Fire Department have been working hard to be ready for the summer season, and have added new Police Officers, Beach Patrol members, and lifeguards to provide the best possible public safety services this summer.   

The Town provides fixed lifeguards at the Western Ocean Regional Access and Eastern Ocean Regional Access every day throughout the summer, and also assigns two roving lifeguards on ATVs to patrol the rest of the Town's 11+ miles of ocean beach.  Beach Patrol and lifeguard services begin Monday, May 18 and will continue through September.  EIPD will also have officers on ATVs and in 4 wheel drive vehicles on the beach strand and assigned to high volume beach areas on a regular basis throughout the summer months.  

We all look forward to a great 2015 season in Emerald Isle!

Planning and Inspections Services Now Based in Town Administration Building

The Town's planning and inspections services relocated from their old office space adjacent to the Emerald Isle Police Station / Town Board Meeting Room in late April, and these services are now based in the Town Administration Building directly across NC 58 at 7509 Emerald Drive.  Residents and contractors should direct all questions to the new Town Planner, Josh Edmondson (jedmondson@emeraldisle-nc.org), in the Town Administration Building.  The phone number has not changed, and is 252-354-3338.

The Town continues its contractual relationship with Carteret County for building inspections services.  Residents and contractors will continue to submit plans, remit fees to, and request permits from the Town, and Town staff will review new applications for compliance with applicable Town development ordinances.  Town staff will then coordinate with Carteret County for building code compliance, with Carteret County scheduling and performing inspections for the Town.   

This new service model is more cost-effective for the Town and the County, and is intended to improve customer service and maintain the timeliness of inspections.  There may be some minor "growing pains" during this initial transition, and Town staff will be working hard to resolve any issues.  Thank you for your patience during this transition.

Board of Commissioners Opposes Offshore Seismic Testing

The Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners went on record at its April 14 meeting with formal opposition to offshore seismic testing planned for later this year and beyond. Despite the Town's (and others') formal opposition, several oil and/or gas companies are expected to conduct tests searching for oil and gas deposits off the coast of North Carolina.  

This work is an initial step in a long process before any oil and gas production could potentially occur off North Carolina.  Under current Federal leasing program requirements, the earliest lease sale would occur in 2021 in an area at least 50 miles offshore.  Although timelines are likely variable and uncertain, it appears that the earliest possible oil and gas production off the North Carolina coast is at least 10 - 15 years in the future. 

The Board has not yet taken a position on any aspects other than the planned seismic testing.  The Town will continue to monitor this issue in the coming months and years, and will take additional action as desired at the appropriate time.

Eastern Ocean Regional Access Improvements Completed

Significant parking lot, storm water, bathhouse, and walkway improvements at the Town's Eastern Ocean Regional Access are now complete, and the facility is open to the public. The new improvements turned out great, and represent the first phase of a future new ocean fishing pier project being pursued by the Town.  Enjoy!


 

Transportation Impact Building Approved

The Board of Commissioners approved the plans for a new mixed-use building that will house the corporate offices of Transportation Impact at its April 14 meeting.  The new building will be located between NC 58 and Crew Drive, just east of Islander Drive, and will include office space, two residential units, and a new restaurant.  A rooftop seating / lounge area is also included.  Construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks.  


 

Driveway Restrictions on Bell Cove Village Shopping Center Eliminated

The Town has eliminated driveway restrictions on the right turn-in-only driveway entrance into Bell Cove Village Shopping Center on Coast Guard Road across from the terminus of Reed Drive.  The driveway is now open to traffic entering and exiting Bell Cove Village from all directions, and is intended to eliminate confusion and improve convenience for patrons of the shopping center.  

EmeraldFest Concert Series Begins June 18

The Town's popular EmeraldFest outdoor concert series is back again this summer, with concerts every Thursday evening at 6:30 pm on the oceanfront at the Western Ocean Regional Access (located off Islander Drive).  Pure T Mommicked kicks off the 2015 season on Thursday, June 18.  Please bring your friends, lawn chairs or a blanket, and enjoy some great music from several different genres! 

EmeraldFest is offered in partnership with SwanFest, a weekly Sunday evening concert series in downtown Swansboro.  SwanFest kicks off on Sunday, May 17 at 6:30 pm, with concerts each Sunday evening throughout the summer.  For a complete lineup for both series, please visit  http://www.seasideartscouncil.com/ . 

Town Extends Solid Waste Collection Contract

The Town has contracted with Simmons & Simmons Management, Inc. for trash and recycling collection services since 2007, and they have continued to provide excellent service to the Town since that time.  In recognition of this excellent service, the Board of Commissioners recently approved a contract extension with Simmons & Simmons, at the same terms as the current contract, through 2021.  The Town looks forward to continuing this productive relationship, and also looks forward to the upcoming deployment of Simmons' new trucks. 

Emerald Isle Residents Launch "Save The Dunes" Initiative

A new initiative led by two Emerald Isle residents called "Save The Dunes" has two key objectives: rebuilding our dune structure where needed, and raising community awareness of the importance of our dunes in protecting our beaches.  

To accomplish these objectives, this new volunteer group will be planting sea oats in various areas along the oceanfront in Emerald Isle.  The volunteers will provide the labor if HOAs and property owners will fund the cost of the plants ($0.55 each; minimum order of 300 plants).  The group's first project is to plant sea oats in the area west of the vehicle access ramp at The Point.  Other locations will be added to the work program as participants and volunteers are added. 

If you would like to help or if you have questions please contact Carla Stevens at 252-764-2160  or  cstevens@nc.rr.com  (please indicate "Dunes" in subject line) or Kevin Geraghty at 919- 697-7636 or  kevin.e.geraghty@gmail.com  (please indicate "Dunes" in the subject line).

The Town appreciates the "Save the Dunes" group's efforts, and looks forward to their work!


 

Discard Old Medications at EI Police Station

Prescription and over the counter drug abuse remains a significant problem, and the Emerald Isle Police Department offers a drop box for the safe disposal of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications.  EIPD personnel then dispose of these controlled substances in a safe and non-hazardous manner. The program aims to prevent prescription medication from falling into the hands of our youth, and also to prevent medication from being stolen and abused by individuals.

The drop box is located in the lobby of the Emerald Isle Police Station at 7500 Emerald Drive. and can be accessed every day between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm, and sometimes earlier and later.  If you are unable to visit the Police Station, please call 252-354-2021, and an EI Police Officer can visit your home to dispose of the old medications. 

EI Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Events Raise $50,000

The Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K events held on March 28 included more than 1500 runners, and raised more than $50,000 for future bike path amenities and charitable causes.  Special thanks to all of the participants, sponsors, volunteers, and the Race Committee members!

Taxpayer Parking Permits Available Now!

Due to the significant Town investment to acquire the land and construct the two regional beach access facilities, Town property taxpayers are eligible for 2 free annual parking permits for the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and Western Ocean Regional Access.  The parking permits will be granted only for vehicles registered in the name of the taxpayer, and are not transferable. 

Town taxpayers must display the appropriate permit sticker on their windshield in order to avoid the parking fee.  The permit sticker can not be obtained at the regional beach access facilities, and must be obtained prior to visiting the regional beach access facilities. To obtain your free parking permit, please visit (7509 Emerald Drive) or call (252-354-3424) the Town Administration Building during normal business hours.

Please note that you will need to bring your vehicle registration(s) with you when applying for your permit.  To access a copy of the application, please visit 

http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/pdfs/parking%20permit%20application.pdf . 

Beach Equipment Exception Stickers Available Now for Oceanfront Property Owners

Town ordinances prohibit unattended beach equipment from being left on the public trust beach area overnight between 8 pm and 8 am.  

Due to NC property ownership laws, oceanfront property owners between the Ocean Drive "Dog-Leg" ramp (3000 block) and The Pointe are eligible for up to 2 special exception stickers to enable them to leave equipment out overnight if desired. The stickers are for oceanfront owners only and will not be issued to guests.  Oceanfront property owners should contact Town Administration Building staff at 252-354-3424 for details.  To access a copy of the application, please visit 

http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/pdfs/beachequipmentexceptionapplication.pdf  . 

The Town has previously issued special exception stickers to many oceanfront property owners, and previously issued stickers will be honored by Town staff enforcing this ordinance during summer 2015.

Did You Know?

The total assessed value of Emerald Isle (based on new 2015 Carteret County tax values) is approximately $2.7 billion.  The average tax value of a property in Emerald Isle is approximately $358,000.  The average property taxpayers's annual bill from the Town of Emerald Isle is approximately $783, or $65 per month for all Town services, including police, fire, beach nourishment, beach strand access, park facilities, recreation programs, trash collection, recycling collection, yard debris collection, street maintenance, planning and zoning, storm water management, bicycle paths, boating access, and more!

 

Posted by Admin Friday, May 1, 2015 10:54:00 AM

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