Emerald Tidings

June 2017

  1. Town Completes Purchase of Islander Drive Property, Clean-Up to Occur in June
  2. Hurricane Season is Here - Be Prepared!
  3. See For Yourself Why Nice Matters in Emerald Isle - Watch The Video
  4. Relocation of Bogue Inlet Navigation Aids Delayed Until June
  5. Emerald Isle Businesses Continue to Make Improvements
  6. Emerald Isle Lifeguards, Police Beach Patrol Ready to Help on the Beach Strand
  7. Important Beach Regulations
  8. Kayak Storage Racks Added at Public Boating Access Area, Emerald Isle Woods Park
  9. EIPD Participates in Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Campaign
  10. Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program Volunteers Hard at Work
  11. 2017 Bike The Banks Event Raises Approximately $5,500 for Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
  12. Beach Bike Poker Run Raises Approximately $11,600 for Semper Fi Odyssey Children's Adventure Camp
  13. Beach Wheelchair Program Stocked With New Chairs Thanks to Generous Donations
  14. Save The Dunes Initiative Installs New Dune Plantings at Western Ocean Regional Access
  15. EmeraldFest Concerts Begin June 15
  16. Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival Set for September 30!
  17. Town Clerk's Certified Municipal Clerk Status Renewed
  18. Did You Know?

Town Completes Purchase of Islander Drive Property, Clean-Up to Occur in June

The Town has completed the purchase of the abandoned go-kart track and bumper boat facility on Islander Drive (adjacent to the Western Ocean Regional Access facility), and has retained a local contractor to remove all remaining concrete and debris. The entire site will be restored to a vacant, grassy field in June, and will then be reserved for future development.  The Town is pleased to acquire this land, and is anxious to immediately improve the aesthetics along Islander Drive. 

The Town purchased the 1.8 acre tract for nearly $630,000, and will invest up to an additional $70,000 in clean-up and other associated expenses.  The Town was fortunate to receive $450,000 from Carteret County to assist with this land acquisition, and greatly appreciates the County's support for the Town's efforts.  Following the clean-up, the Town will pursue the development of a "meeting and events center" in this area, and will be working to combine the new tract with the Western Ocean Regional Access and potentially other tracts in this area for the new facility.  The Town will soon begin a (likely) year-long process to refine the project goals, determine the appropriate design criteria and other project parameters, solicit a private partner, and reach an agreement for future development that enhances the Emerald Isle economy, improves aesthetics in this underutilized area, and hopefully promotes additional quality development in this area in the future. 

The potential development of a "meeting and events center" will be thoroughly considered by the Board of Commissioners over the next year, and will include multiple opportunities for public input. The Town is firmly committed to maintaining public access and parking at the Western Ocean Regional Access.  That facility currently includes 165 parking spaces for beach access, and any future development plans will retain at least that many parking spaces for public use (and ideally increase that number).  There is absolutely no potential scenario whereby beach access parking will be reduced or eliminated.  Equally important, the Town is firmly committed to its "family beach image" and "small town atmosphere", and any new "meeting and events center" will be constructed with a style and scale that is consistent with current development patterns and community values in Emerald Isle, as outlined in the Town's Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Project specifics will be determined over the next year, but any new structure(s) will comply with the Town's current building height limits and aesthetic requirements.  Essentially, the Town will be seeking a private partner that embraces the Town's overall vision that has been carefully implemented over the past several decades and that is consistent with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the future. 

As noted, the project specifics will be determined over the next year.  If the Town can devise a plan that achieves its goals as outlined in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and can attract a quality private partner, the project will proceed in the coming years.  If not, the Town will either use the 1.8 acre tract for other beneficial purposes or will market this desirable property for sale to a private entity.  In the short-term, the acquisition and clean-up of the 1.8 acre tract will significantly enhance this area of Emerald Isle, and the Town is pleased to proceed.  In the long-term, there is great potential for even greater benefits for the entire Emerald Isle community, with virtually no or very minimal risk to the Town.

Additional information about the Town's progress will be included in future editions of the Emerald Tidings newsletter, and also posted at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ .  For more information, please contact Town Manager Frank Rush at 252-354-3424 or frush@emeraldisle-nc.org .  The Town looks forward to significant positive improvements along Islander Drive in the future! 

Hurricane Season is Here - Be Prepared!

The 2017 hurricane season is upon us, and the Town urges all residents and property owners to be prepared!  If the Town is threatened by a tropical storm or hurricane, regular updates will be provided via the Town's email list (sign up at  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/join-email-list ), the Town's website ( https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ ), the Emerald Isle App (download it now at The App Store or Google Play), and via Facebook (Town of Emerald Isle, NC is the official Town page) and Twitter (@townemeraldisle).  

If you are an EI property owner, and don't already have your hurricane re-entry pass, please visit the Town Administration Building soon to secure your pass.  PLEASE don't wait until a storm is threatening EI, as the lines will be longer and Town staff must focus on immediate hurricane preparations at that time.  For more information about hurricane re-entry passes, and for other helpful hurricane information, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/hurricane-information-1 .

"When does the Emerald Isle bridge close?" is always the most common question when a storm is threatening Emerald Isle.  Please note that the bridge does not close at any pre-determined wind speed. The bridge is only closed if / when the Mayor declares a State of Emergency in Emerald Isle, enacts a mandatory evacuation order, and enacts a curfew in Emerald Isle, in which case no one should be moving around outside in Emerald Isle.  Any such actions will be communicated via the Town's various digital platforms noted above.  

Hopefully Emerald Isle will be spared this hurricane season, but, just in case, please be prepared and keep your family and property safe!

See For Yourself Why Nice Matters in Emerald Isle - Watch The Video

Check out the new Emerald Isle video at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/see-for-yourself-why-nice-matters-in-emerald-isle- !  The Town is pleased to debut its new promotional video to illustrate everything that is great about Emerald Isle! If you've never been here, it will make you want to come.......if you've already been, it will have you dreaming of your next visit......and if you are fortunate enough to call Emerald Isle your home or your second home, you'll be reminded how incredibly blessed we all are to be here!  ENJOY!  Special thanks to Brad Styron, Playa Graphics, for his great work on the video.   

Relocation of Bogue Inlet Navigation Aids Delayed Until June 

The US Army Corps of Engineers recently completed navigation dredging to better establish a new, more central route for the Bogue Inlet connecting channel between the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.  The new route is generally indicated in red below. 

Unfortunately, the US Coast Guard has delayed the relocation of navigation aids to the new channel until later in June, and has requested that the US Army Corps of Engineers complete additional touch-up dredging across the ocean bar portion of the navigation channel.  This additional dredging work is expected to occur in June, after which the US Coast Guard is expected to fully re-establish reliable navigation aids.  In the meantime, boaters should transit the inlet with caution and at their own risk, and should not rely on any navigation aids that may still be present.

Emerald Isle Businesses Continue to Make Improvements

The entire Emerald Isle community, including the Town, the business community, and many dedicated citizens, works very hard to insure that Emerald Isle is an attractive and welcoming community. There are many great improvements recently completed or still underway in Emerald Isle: 

  • the new pier house at Bogue Inlet Pier is nearing completion, 
  • Rucker Johns recently completed an extensive interior redesign, 
  • the expansion and renovation of The Islander is nearing completion, 
  • Jordan's House of Seafood has been sold to Emerald Isle residents, and has been renamed Fishbar 58, with significant renovations, 
  • Everything But Water (formerly Fran's Beachwear) has completed a significant renovation, 
  • the OceanView Inn (on Bogue Inlet Drive) has completed significant exterior and interior improvements, 
  • Remax Ocean Properties has renovated the exterior of their building behind BB&T, 
  • the Emerald Isle Post Office is undergoing a significant exterior renovation to provide a more coastal look, with improved landscaping, 
  • the commercial building housing Circle Pizza and Day 5 art gallery recently completed parking lot improvements, 
  • the exterior of the Wings store has been repainted,  
  • the Salty Pirate Water Park (formerly named the Water Boggan) is sprucing up and getting ready to open for the season, and 
  • many more!

All of these improvements add up to a better community over time, and the Town is pleased to see so many great things happening in Emerald Isle!  We are blessed to have a quality group of local business owners who care about our community!

Emerald Isle Lifeguards, Police Beach Patrol Ready to Help on the Beach Strand

The Emerald Isle Police Department has implemented additional patrols on the beach strand and at key access locations in order to promote a safe and enjoyable beach experience and assist those in need.  EIPD is staffed with quality officers who are eager to help our residents and visitors in any way.

The Emerald Isle Fire Department manages the Town's lifeguard program, with fixed lifeguards on duty each day at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and Western Ocean Regional Access, and with roving lifeguards covering the Town's 11+ miles of beach on ATVs. Additional Fire Department personnel are trained for water rescue, and the Town is fortunate to have an excellent team of safety personnel on the beach. 

Additionally, each beach access location is outfitted with a "rescue tube" flotation device that can be used by good samaritans to assist those in need in the water.  Please make sure you are fit enough to assist others, and always call or have another individual call 911 before responding to a person in distress in the water. Town personnel can usually respond in a matter of minutes to any location on the beach strand.

Important Beach Regulations

The Town has enacted various beach regulations over the years to promote safety and enjoyment by all on the beach strand.  A complete list of regulations is located at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Data/Sites/1/media/pdfs/emeraldislebeachregulations.pdf .  A few of the key regulations are as follows:

  • no fires are permitted on the beach strand, 
  • unattended beach equipment must be removed from the beach strand each night, 
  • littering on the beach is illegal, and will not be tolerated, 
  • please fill in all holes on the beach strand before you leave the beach, 
  • dogs are permitted on the beach, but must be on a leash at all times and feces must be removed, 
  • tampering with endangered sea turtle nests is a Federal offense, with steep penalties, and 
  • camping is not permitted on the beach strand.

Kayak Storage Racks Added at Public Boating Access Area, Emerald Isle Woods Park

The Parks and Recreation Department has installed new public kayak storage racks at Emerald Isle Woods Park and the Emerald Isle Public Boating Access Area, and the new racks are available for public use on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more information, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 252-354-6350.  Enjoy the great kayaking and paddleboard opportunities in Bogue Sound! 

EIPD Participates in Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Campaign

The Emerald Isle Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies in Carteret County, is participating in the "Watch for Me NC" campaign ( http://www.watchformenc.org/ )

to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety.  The "Watch for Me NC" program aims to reduce pedestrian and bicycle injuries and deaths through a comprehensive, targeted approach of public education and police enforcement.  If you are driving in Emerald Isle, be alert for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially those crossing NC 58 and Coast Guard Road.  If you are on a bike or walking, use caution and adhere to signs and markings.  BE SAFE! 

Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program Volunteers Hard at Work

The sea turtle nesting season in Emerald Isle runs from May 1 - October 31, and the Town is fortunate to have a great group of volunteers tracking and protecting sea turtle nests and assisting the hatchlings.  For more information, or to volunteer, please visit https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/sea-turtle-program-1 .

2017 Bike The Banks Event Raises Approximately $5,500 for Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements  

The 3rd annual Bike the Banks event, organized by the Emerald Isle Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, was held on May 6.  This was the biggest year yet, with a total of 140 people turning out for three different bike rides.  Despite a stiff headwind for the riders, it was a great day and raised approximately $5,500 for future bicycle and pedestrian projects in Emerald Isle!

Beach Bike Poker Run Raises Approximately $11,600 for Semper Fi Odyssey Children's Adventure Camp

The Emerald Isle Parrot Head Club, a local group that likes to "party with a purpose", held its annual Beach Bike Poker Run on May 20, and raised a total of approximately $11,600 for Semper Fi Odyssey Children's Adventure Camp that serves children of injured and wounded service members. This year's event was the biggest yet, with more than 250 riders!  

Beach Wheelchair Program Stocked With New Chairs Thanks to Generous Donations

Thanks to the generosity of several local individuals in recent months (with approximately $20,000 worth of beach wheelchair equipment and cash donated), the EI Fire Department's popular beach wheelchair program is now stocked with a total of 12 specially-designed wheelchairs that enable disabled individuals to enjoy the beach and surf.  The wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis each day at Fire Station 1, and are offered free of charge on a daily basis.  For more information, please contact Fire Station 1 at 252-354-2445.  

Save The Dunes Initiative Installs New Dune Plantings at Western Ocean Regional Access

A group of local volunteers committed to dune preservation and enhancement recently installed new dune plantings at the Western Ocean Regional Access to restore and bolster the dunes near the beach stage.  The Town greatly appreciates the efforts of the Save The Dunes Initiative volunteers! 

EmeraldFest Concerts Begin June 15

The popular EmeraldFest concert series is back for 2017, with the first concert scheduled for Thursday, June 15 from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm at the Western Ocean Regional Access.  Weekly outdoor concerts will be held each Thursday evening through August 17.  For a full lineup, please visit https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/emeraldfest-1 .  Also, check out SwanFest every Sunday night in downtown Swansboro, beginning on May 21 - http://www.seasideartscouncil.com/ !

Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival Set for September 30!

Make plans now to be in Emerald Isle on September 30 for the renewed Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival!  Another great lineup will perform all day long on the beach at the Western Ocean Regional Access!   

Town Clerk's Certified Municipal Clerk Status Renewed  

The Town is fortunate to have the excellent services of Town Clerk Rhonda Ferebee, a long-time Town employee who has served in this role since 2003. Rhonda was recently recertified as a Certified Municipal Clerk by the NC Association of Municipal Clerks and the UNC School of Government, and this designation honors her expertise and commitment to the municipal clerk profession and the Town of Emerald Isle.  In addition to the duties of Town Clerk, Rhonda also serves as the Town's human resources specialist and manages the Town's social media platforms. Most importantly, she provides excellent service to our customers and other Town employees with an always-helpful approach - she is the epitome of "Nice Matters"!

Did You Know?

Emerald Isle property owners live all over North Carolina and the United States.  More than 2,300 property owners call Carteret County their permanent home, while nearly 4,200 others come from other North Carolina counties.  Other than Carteret, Wake County is home to the most Emerald Isle property owners, with nearly 1,300 calling Wake their permanent home. Nearly 1,600 EI property owners reside permanently in other US states.  

 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, June 2, 2017 2:56:00 PM

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