Emerald Tidings

August 2010

  1. Construction to Begin For New Public Boat Launch Facility
  2. Town Considering Local Golf Cart Registration Program
  3. New Start Time for Town Board Meetings
  4. NC Coastal Resources Commission Considering Changes to Inlet Hazard Area Boundaries, Regulations
  5. Town Continues to Work on Coast Guard Road Storm Water Issues
  6. Public Meeting Scheduled - Former Cat Island (Wood Island) Bomb Target in Bogue Sound
  7. Mayor Schools, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Organize Raffle for Additional Bike Paths

Construction to Begin for New Public Boat Launch Facility

Goal is for facility to open by end of year

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) has finally received all necessary approvals to begin construction of the new public boat launch facility on Town-owned property adjacent to Chapel By The Sea.  The WRC expects to begin construction of boat ramps and docks by late August or early September, with construction of the parking area and storm water improvements planned for later in the fall.  The Town and the WRC hope to open the new facility by late 2010 or early 2011.  The WRC will fund 100% of the estimated $1 million construction cost for the new facility.   In response to concerns from residents along Sound Drive, the Town and the WRC have adjusted the official marked route for boat traffic from the site to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW).  The new route leads from the site to the west and around Archers Point into Bogue Sound as far away as possible from the Emerald Isle shoreline.  The route than enters the AIWW through the "Hermit Island" cut located approximately 1/2 mile east of Island Harbor Marina.  This route will be marked with buoys when the new facility opens.  The Town will also be exploring the potential to dredge an existing cut from Bogue Sound to the AIWW that is located further east for possible future marking as the official route for boat traffic.   The Town has now completed the acquisition of 6 of the 7 lots that comprise the property.  To date, the Town has secured more than $3 million (of the total $3.6 million purchase price to date) of outside funding for the land acquisition, and is now seeking additional grant funding to complete the final lot acquisition prior to a September 2011 contract deadline.  In the interim, the Town has executed a lease agreement to enable construction to commence.   The new facility will include 4 boat ramps, 112 vehicle - trailer parking spaces, 19 single vehicle parking spaces, a restroom facility, and other soundfront improvements.

Town Considering Local Golf Cart Registration Program

Local program would allow golf carts on Town streets   Town staff are currently drafting a new Town ordinance that would permit the use of golf carts on Town streets in the future.  The Board of Commissioners is expected to formally consider this ordinance in September or October.    Under NC law, golf carts are not permitted on public streets unless they are "street-legal" and registered with the NC Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  However, it is no longer possible to register new golf carts with NC DMV.  New legislation approved by the NC General Assembly in 2009 does, however, allow municipalities to adopt a local golf cart registration program to allow the use of golf carts on public streets.    The Town's new ordinance is expected to place a heavy emphasis on the safety of golf cart drivers and passengers, and will likely rely on most, it not all, of the NC DMV's previous requirements to make golf carts "street-legal".  A registration program and special Town plates or stickers are also likely.   For more information, please contact Town Manager Frank Rush at 252-354-3424 or frush@emeraldisle-nc.org .

New Start Time for Town Board Meetings

The Town Board of Commissioners conducts its regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month in the Town Board Meeting Room located adjacent to the Police Station at 7500 Emerald Drive.  Effective for the September 14, 2010 regular meeting, all regular Town Board meetings will now begin at 7:00 pm. 

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend all Town Board meetings.  Complete Town Board meeting agenda materials are posted online at www.emeraldisle-nc.org on the Friday evening prior to the Town Board meeting on the second Tuesday each month.

NC Coastal Resources Commission Considering Changes to Inlet Hazard Area Boundaries, Regulations

The NC Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) is currently considering potential changes to "Inlet Hazard Area" boundaries and regulations for all of NC's developed inlet shorelines.  The CRC is still relatively early in this process and has completed an initial review of proposed new boundary delineations.  Work to develop appropriate new regulations for Inlet Hazard Areas will occur later this year and next year.

In Emerald Isle, the area between the Wyndtree Drive public beach access and Bogue Court, including interior lots, is currently included in an Inlet Hazard Area, and is subject to more stringent development restrictions than other locations on the oceanfront.  The proposed new boundary delineation expands this area further east along the oceanfront to the boundary between Spinnakers Reach and Dolphin Ridge.  A map of the current and proposed new Inlet Hazard Area boundary delineations can be viewed on the NC Division of Coastal Management's website at http://www.nccoastalmanagement.net/Hazards/proposed_IHA.htm .

The Town is engaged in this issue, and will be commenting as appropriate as the new boundary delineations and associated regulations move forward in the coming months.  It is important to note that the ramifications of these changes, both positive and negative, for Emerald Isle and our property owners are not yet known, and will depend on the content of any proposed new regulations.  Interested parties should monitor this issue as it develops in the coming months.

Town Continues to Work on Coast Guard Road Storm Water Issues

Town staff continue to work on additional storm water solutions along the Coast Guard Road corridor. 

The Town is currently working with property owners near The Point to hopefully secure suitable area to discharge pumped storm water and groundwater after severe rainfall events.  Additionally, the Town is currently working with appropriate regulatory agencies to improve the storm water storage capacity in Emerald Isle Woods Park.  Initial work on both of these issues is promising, and the Town hopes to move forward with easement acquisition at The Point and construction of Emerald Isle Woods improvements later this year or early next year.

The Town's existing storm water / groundwater pumping system along Coast Guard Road, with pump locations on Deer Horn Drive, Doe Drive, Conch Court, Shipwreck Lane, and Colonel Henson Court that discharge at Emerald Isle Woods Park, continues to function well and has essentially resolved previous problems at these locations.  The Town continues to work toward the eventual installation of additional pumps at The Point and in Lands End in the future.

Public Meeting Scheduled - Former Cat Island (Wood Island) Bomb Target in Bogue Sound

The US Navy and MCAS Cherry Point have been working for the past two years to investigate the presence of unexpired munitions on and in the vicinity of Cat Island (also known as Wood Island) in Bogue Sound near 24th Street.  Cat Island (Wood Island) served as a bomb target practice range from 1943 - 1955, and has not been used since that time.

Initial investigations are now complete, and the US Navy and MCAS Cherry Point are now planning future activities to mitigate any safety concerns associated with unexpired munitions on Cat Island (Wood Island).  A public meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 1 from 4 pm - 7 pm at the Emerald Isle Community Center for the public to learn more and comment.    

Mayor Schools, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Organize Raffle for Additional Bike Paths

Win a Free 1-Week Stay in Emerald Isle!

With the assistance of Mayor Schools, the Town's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is sponsoring a raffle to raise funds for future bicycle path projects in Emerald Isle.  

Tickets are $10 each, and a total of nine (9) one-week stays at premier vacation rental properties will be raffled on September 7.  You don't need to be present to win, and tickets are on sale now through September.  Tickets can be purchased at several locations in Emerald Isle, or by mail.  Visit www.eiraffle.com for complete information!

The week-long stays at the 9 vacation rental properties were donated by vacation rental property owners whose units are managed by Emerald Isle Realty, Bluewater GMAC Real Estate, and Spinnakers Reach Realty.  The Town extends a special thanks to these property owners and local businesses!


Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Sunday, August 1, 2010 4:25:00 PM