Latest News

Proposed Carteret County 1/4% Sales Tax Increase Would Provide Navigation Dredging Funding 

Carteret County is conducting a referendum on a proposed 1/4% sales tax increase on November 8.  The new sales tax would increase the total sales tax rate in Carteret County from 6 3/4% to 7%, and would result in an additional 25 cents of sales tax paid on a $100 purchase.  If approved by the voters, proceeds from the new sales tax are expected to be more than $2.5 million annually.  

 It is anticipated that this additional funding will enable the County and the Town to better address navigation dredging needs in the future, and also remove this funding burden from property taxpayers.  Local dredging costs have historically been borne by property tax revenues, and, if approved, these costs would be covered with proceeds from the new 1/4% sales tax in the future. Near Emerald Isle, it is anticipated that Bogue Inlet and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway would receive funding from this revenue source, and that it may also be available to assist with other dredging needs in and around Emerald Isle.

 The Board of Commissioners has formally endorsed the proposed 1/4% sales tax, and encourages our residents and property owners to learn more about the proposal.  Additional information is available at http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Memo-09-13-2016-Item14 .  

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, September 30, 2016 3:02:00 PM

OPEN HOUSE - Emerald Isle Fire Department - Saturday, October 1 from 11 am - 2 pm at Fire Station 1 

Emerald Isle is fortunate to be served by a dedicated group of firefighters providing quality fire and emergency medical services for our residents, property owners, and visitors.  Come out this Saturday and meet the guys, learn more about Fire safety, tour the station, check out the trucks and equipment, let the kids enjoy activities, and grab a hot dog!

For more information please contact Chief Bill Walker at 252-354-2445.

 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Wednesday, September 28, 2016 8:18:00 AM

Message from Police Officer Tom Duty and his wife Liz 

My wife and I want to thank everyone, from our family and friends to concerned citizens, for the generous support and prayers that we have received during this difficult time.  I am working hard every day to regain strength and mobility, working with physical therapy and occupational therapy. I currently have sensation in my whole body now, but do not have mobility in the lower half of my body yet.  We have a long road ahead, but we have faith and we are determined that I will recover, walk again and have as normal a life as I possibly can.  We also want to thank Vidant Medical Center for the excellent medical care I have received during my stay here.  Everyone's continued thoughts and prayers have not gone unnoticed. Thank you all so much again.

Tom and Liz Duty

Please continue to keep Officer Duty, his wife Liz and family in your prayers for his continued improvement and full recovery.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, September 23, 2016 5:50:00 PM

IMPORTANT BEACH DRIVING NOTICE 

Due to the presence of several remaining sea turtle nests, beach driving will temporarily close at 8 pm daily, until further notice.  We expect to revert back to the daily 9 pm closing after all nests have hatched, likely by October 1.  Thank you for your understanding.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, September 16, 2016 8:15:00 AM

Police Chief Waters Announces Retirement 

After a 32-year career in the Emerald Isle Police Department, Chief Jeffrey D. Waters has announced his retirement, effective October 31.  Chief Waters has served the Emerald Isle community with dedication, professionalism, and a sincere desire to contribute to the well-being of our residents and visitors, and his leadership will be missed.  

Chief Waters began his career as a patrol officer in 1984, and served in several increasingly responsible positions until his appointment as Chief in 2013.  For the past 3 1/2 years, he has worked tirelessly with the excellent team at the EIPD to build strong community relationships that will benefit the EIPD and the community for years to come.  We thank Chief Waters for his service, and wish him a healthy and fulfilling retirement!

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Thursday, September 15, 2016 8:24:00 AM

Record Year for Sea Turtle Nests in Emerald Isle 

 

Emerald Isle is fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers monitoring sea turtle nesting activity in Emerald Isle!  

Volunteers routinely walk every section of the beach daily searching for new nests, and also care for the nest throughout the nesting period, and assist sea turtle hatchlings on their initial journey from the nest to the ocean.  

The 2016 sea turtle season has been a record year in Emerald Isle, with 51 nests along Emerald Isle's 12 miles of beach!

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Wednesday, September 14, 2016 8:21:00 AM

Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for Police Sergeant Mark Odom and Police Officer Tom Duty 

Saturday, September 17 - 7 am - 11 am - Emerald Isle EMS Station

Emerald Isle Police Sergeant Mark Odom and Police Officer Tom Duty were seriously injured in an off-duty boating accident on the White Oak River on September 7.  Both men are dedicated officers providing exceptional service to the Emerald Isle community, and there have been numerous inquiries from the community asking how people can help. 

To assist Odom and Duty, Emerald Isle EMS, Inc. is hosting a special Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser on Saturday, September 17 from 7 am - 11 am at the Emerald Isle EMS Station, 7604 Emerald Drive.  If you'd like to help, please come by and enjoy a great breakfast and fellowship with others in our community.  If you can't stay for breakfast, and are so inclined, contributions can be made at the EMS Station that day.

Special fundraising accounts have been established at Sound Bank to assist Odom and Duty.  If you would like to contribute, or know others who would like to contribute, please make checks payable to:

"Officer Tom Duty Benefit Fund"     and/or     "Sergeant Mark Odom Benefit Fund".

  Contributions can be:

  • dropped off at the EMS Station on Saturday, September 17, 
  • sent directly to Sound Bank (1150 Cedar Point Boulevard, Cedar Point, NC  28584),
  • dropped off at Sound Bank (just across the bridge from Emerald Isle on NC 24), 
  • sent directly to the Emerald Isle Police Department (7500 Emerald Drive, Emerald Isle, NC  28594), or
  • dropped off at the Emerald Isle Police Department.   

Thank you for your support and generosity!

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, September 13, 2016 9:57:00 AM

EI Beach Music Festival T-Shirts Still Available for Purchase 

The return of the Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival on August 27 was a huge success, with an estimated crowd of 9,000 people enjoying a full day of great music on the beach!  Special t-shirts commemorating the event are still available, and are on sale now for only $10 at the Town Administration Building and the Emerald Isle Community Center.  Stop by today to get your t-shirt, or contact Town staff at 252-354-3424 or 252-354-6350.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Wednesday, September 7, 2016 8:23:00 AM

Beach Driving Season Begins September 15 

The beach driving season begins on Thursday, September 15, and will continue through April 30. Beach driving permits are available now at the Town Administration Building, and more information about the program is located at  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/beach-driving . 

 

Beach driving is a longstanding tradition in Emerald Isle, and is greatly valued by surf fishermen, surfers, and elderly and handicapped individuals.  The Town wants everyone to be able to enjoy the beach environment in Emerald Isle, and urges beach drivers to respect others using the beach, respect the natural environment (dunes, sea turtle nests, bird habitat), and be safe and alert! 

 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Wednesday, September 7, 2016 8:20:00 AM

Emerald Isle's Fight to Preserve the Public's Right to Use the Beach Continues to the NC Supreme Court 

 

Please view News Articles "California Attorney Seeking to Limit Public Use of NC Beaches Misleads the Public; His Comments to the Court Reveal True Issues in Case”  and "Guest Column by Nies Attorney – August 10, 2016 Carteret County News-Times – Nies v Emerald Isle”

The case of Nies v. Emerald Isle will be considered by the NC Supreme Court later this year, and the Court's decision could have a profound impact on the public's use of beaches everywhere in North Carolina in the future. 

The ultimate question in this case is whether the public has a right to use the dry-sand beach in North Carolina.  As argued by the Town's attorneys (the Town's brief can be viewed at http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Data/Sites/1/media/pdfs/legal/town-brief---nies---nc-supreme-court.pdf ), the Plaintiffs contend the public does not have the right to use the dry-sand beach adjacent to their beach house.  Plaintiffs claim that the public is only entitled to use the wet-sand beach.  No North Carolina Court has ever held that an oceanfront property owner has the right to exclude the public from the dry sand beach. If all North Carolina oceanfront property owners took Plaintiffs' position, the dry-sand beaches of North Carolina would be effectively closed to the public.  This would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the public to enjoy the beach for traditional recreational activities that have occurred on the beach for centuries. 

The Town maintains that NC law clearly allows the public to use the entire flat, dry-sand beach area up to the base of the dunes.  The entire 300+ miles of North Carolina's beaches, in all 8 oceanfront counties and all 21 oceanfront municipalities, have been used by the public and managed with this understanding for centuries.  The NC Superior Court and the NC Court of Appeals have both already ruled in the Town's favor, upholding the long-established and universally-accepted policy and law in North Carolina that the public has the right to use the beach from the base of the dunes to the water.  The NC Supreme Court will now consider this case, and they will make the definitive ruling on this issue.

The Town of Emerald Isle is committed to the principle of public beach access, and has been fighting diligently since this case was initiated in 2011 to defend the public's right to use the entire beach --- wet-sand and dry-sand, between the base of the dunes and the water.  The Town is committed to public beach access in all forms, for enjoyment by all people, for various recreational pursuits.  The Town recognizes that different people enjoy different recreational activities on North Carolina beaches, including sunbathing, swimming, surfing, surf fishing, walking, running, driving, playing volleyball / bocce ball / cornhole / other beach games, flying kites, observing wildlife, and so on and so on.  All of these activities rely to some degree on the public's use of the flat, dry-sand beach, and simply cannot occur solely from the wet-sand beach.  If the NC Supreme Court overturns the NC Court of Appeals ruling, all of these activities are in jeopardy.  The Town also recognizes the paramount importance of unhindered beach access in order to provide critical water rescue and emergency medical assistance when called upon, and the need for reasonable regulations on the beach strand to protect the health, safety, and welfare of everyone on the beach. 

An adverse ruling in this case would have a devastating impact on all coastal communities and the State as a whole.  If the public is no longer entitled to use the dry-sand beach, how desirable is it for a vacationer to rent a 2nd row home or another interior home?  What does that do the North Carolina tourism economy?  What impact does that have on our restaurants and shops that rely on millions of annual visitors to our beaches?  What impact does that have on all NC coastal property values and the coastal real estate market?  Where will people who live in mainland Carteret County or mainland New Hanover County, etc. enjoy the beach experience --- is that not why many people on the mainland choose to live in relative close proximity to the beach?  What kind of message will it send to the rest of the country as those families are planning their future beach vacations, second home purchase, or retirement destination - will it create a perception that "North Carolina's beaches are private, so we don't want to be there"?

Beyond the drastic economic impacts, what about the ability of our dedicated volunteers to relocate sea turtle nests that require a dry-sand beach in order to hatch successfully?  What about the need for emergency services personnel to travel safely and quickly along the beach strand to rescue those in need?  What about the ability for other personnel to remove debris and keep the beach clean and beautiful for all to enjoy?  What about aging and disabled individuals who no longer have the ability to walk on the beach, and need to use a vehicle to access the beach and enjoy the amazing beach experience in the fall and winter months?  What about the thousands of surf fishermen who treasure the opportunity to "land the big one" from the beach strand?  It is human nature to focus first on our own personal form of enjoyment of the beach, but the reality is that everyone's ability to enjoy the beach is what makes the beach experience so special for North Carolinians and the millions of visitors who choose to spend their time and money in North Carolina each year.

The entire North Carolina beach experience is at stake in this case, and the NC Supreme Court's decision could impact all of us in the future.  The Town of Emerald Isle, our legal team, State government, other coastal local governments, and many other groups are fighting hard to preserve the public's right to use the beach in North Carolina for current and future generations, in the same way that prior generations have before us.

To view the NC Court of Appeals ruling, the Town's brief submitted to the NC Supreme Court earlier this week, and several amicus briefs submitted in support of the Town's position, please visit  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/legal-briefs-%E2%80%93-nies-v-emerald-isle- . 

 

 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, September 6, 2016 7:00:00 PM
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