Emerald Tidings

December 2009

  1. NC 58 Bicycle Path Construction to Begin Soon
  2. Ordinance Amendments Approved for Planned New Dry Stack Boat Storage Facility
  3. Town Finances Remain Strong Through Recession
  4. Schools, Hedreen, Wootten, and Wright Re-Elected
  5. Free Mosquito Larvacide at Public Works
  6. Staff News
  7. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
  8. PRICE REDUCED! - Old EMS Station Building

NC 58 Bicycle Path Construction To Begin Soon

At its November 10 meeting, the Board of Commissioners  approved a $415,801 contract with SunLand Builders, Inc., Cape Carteret, NC for the construction of a 2-mile extension of the NC 58 bicycle path.  The bicycle path extension will be constructed on the south side of NC 58 and will begin at the terminus of the existing path at Black Skimmer Drive and end at Hurst Drive.    Funding for the construction contract is provided by the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) through the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act approved earlier this year.  The Town is currently awaiting final approval of the contract by NCDOT, and we expect construction to begin in December.  Construction is expected to be complete by April 2010.    Completion of the new bicycle path extension will increase the Town's total bicycle path network to approximately 4.3 miles, with an additional 3 miles of concrete sidewalk.  Almost all of these bicycle paths and sidewalks have been constructed in the past 6 years, primarily with grant funding from the NCDOT.

Ordinance Amendments Approved for Planned New Dry Stack Boat Storage Facility

The owners of Island Harbor Marina are planning to redevelop  the existing marina and also construct a new dry stack boat storage facility in the near future.  The new marina facility, when complete, will be privately owned but open to the general public.  The new facility will include wet slips and dry slips, but will no longer offer a public, daily boat launching facility with parking.

After two public hearings and consideration at both the October and November Town meetings, the Board of Commissioners recently approved an ordinance amendment that allows the planned new dry stack boat storage facility to be constructed with a low-slope roof (1/2 - 12 roof pitch, as opposed to a 4 - 12 roof pitch previously required) in the Marina Village zoning district (site of the existing Island Harbor Marina).  The maximum allowable building height was not changed, and is still limited to 50 feet.  The Board of Commissioners also approved additional amendments intended to enhance the appearance of the exterior walls and the roof line of a new dry stack boat storage facility. 

The owners of Island Harbor Marina intend to submit specific development plans for formal review by Town staff, the Planning Board, and Board of Commissioners in early 2010.  These plans will be carefully reviewed for consistency with all applicable Town ordinances. 

On a related note, the Town and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission continue to work hard on design and permitting for a new public boat launching facility to be located adjacent to Chapel By The Sea on NC 58 near mile marker 18.  The tentative schedule for this project calls for the new facility to be constructed in summer 2010 and open in late 2010.  The Town is pleased that the the owners of Island Harbor Marina recently agreed to keep the existing boat launching facility and parking at Island Harbor Marina open to the general public through the end of 2010.  This time frame should ensure that the boating public will have uninterrupted access to Bogue Sound throughout 2010 and beyond. 

Town Finances Remain Strong Through Recession

The Town's independent auditors, Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams, & Co., recently completed the annual financial audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009.  The Town received a "clean" audit with no deficiencies, and remains in a very strong financial position.

As of June 30, 2009, the Town's General Fund balance is $1.95 million.  This amount is equal to approximately 29.3% of the Town's FY 09-10 General Fund budget, or the equivalent of nearly 4 months of annual operating expenses.  The Town's annual General Fund revenues declined by approximately $370,000 from the previous year due to the recession, but prudent expenditure reductions throughout the year enabled the Town to minimize the use of General Fund balance.  The Town's Beach Nourishment Debt Service / Reserve Fund balance is approximately $2.2 million, with these funds earmarked for future debt service payments on the Town's beach nourishment bonds.

The Town has total assets of approximately $17.2 million, with approximately $12.1 million of this amount in the form of capital assets (land, buildings, equipment, etc.).  The Town has outstanding debt of approximately $8.7 million (the bulk of which is in the form of General Obligation bonds for beach nourishment that will soon be retired), which is equal to approximately 0.20% of the Town's total assessed valuation of approximately $4.2 billion.  The Town is well below legal and recommended debt levels.  

The Town is pleased to maintain its strong financial position, and continually strives to provide the highest quality services at the lowest possible cost for our taxpayers.

Schools, Hedreen, Wootten, and Wright Re-Elected

Mayor Art Schools and Commissioners Nita Hedreen, John Wootten, and Maripat Wright were all re-elected on November 3.

Mayor Schools has served as Mayor since 2001, and will begin his 4th term in December.  With the initiation of his new term, Mayor Schools will become the longest serving Mayor in the history of the Town. 

Commissioner Hedreen has served as a Commissioner since 2003.  Commissioner Wootten has served as a Commissioner from 1999 to 2001, and again from 2003 until the present.  Commissioner Wright has served as a Commissioner since 2005.

Free Mosquito Larvacide at Public Works

Recent heavy rains have resulted in large areas of standing water in Emerald Isle, and mosquitoes are again a concern in these last remaining weeks prior to winter.  The coming colder temperatures will eliminate mosquito concerns for this year, but we wanted to take this opportunity to inform our residents and property owners that the Town offers free mosquito larvacide for distribution to our residents and property owners on a first-come, first-served basis.  Free larvacide is available now, if necessary, and will be available again during mosquito breeding seasons in the future. 

To pick up your free larvacide, please contact the Public Works Department at 252-354-4450 or adunn@emeraldisle-nc.org .

Staff News

Police Lieutenant Jeff Waters recently completed the Management Development Program offered for law enforcement personnel by the NC Justice Academy.  Admission into this comprehensive training program is very competitive, and is designed to enhance the management abilities of law enforcement personnel.  Program areas include employment law, communication skills, leadership, motivation, project management, and budget management.  The program inolves 11 weeks of coursework over a one-year period.  Congratulations to Lt. Waters on the completion of this course!   We hope to have additional Emerald Isle Police Department personnel complete this training in the future. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Holiday Schedule Announced   All of us at the Town of Emerald Isle wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  The Town is thankful for a great year in 2009, and looks forward to serving our residents, property owners, businesses, and visitors in 2010!     With the exception of emergency services, all Town offices will be closed on Thursday, December 24, Friday, December 25 and Friday, January 1.    Residential trash will not be collected on Thursday, December 24, Friday, December 25, and Friday, January 1.  The holidays will not affect any other residential trash or recycling collection days.  

PRICE REDUCED! - Old EMS Station Building - 218 Cedar Street

The Town is currently offering the old EMS station property for sale as a residential dwelling, and the asking price has been reduced to $397,500.  A detailed property listing, including photos, is available for viewing at http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/forsale.htm .    The Town has recently completed several interior renovations to improve the interior appearance and functionality of the building.       For more information, please contact Town Manager Frank Rush at 252-354-3424 or frush@emeraldisle-nc.org

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Tuesday, December 1, 2009 7:30:00 AM