Latest News

NCDOT NEWS UPDATE: Lane Closures on Emerald Isle Bridge Delayed 

News Release

For Immediate Release

date: Sept. 14, 2020

contact: Lauren Haviland

Lbhaviland@ncdot.gov

(919) 707-2677

Lane Closures on Emerald Isle Bridge Delayed

EMERALD ISLE – After conversations with town leaders and residents, the N.C. Department of Transportation contractors working on the Emerald Isle Bridge will not close lanes until Nov. 1.

NCDOT decided to delay planned lane closures on the bridge so the improvements could be completed when fewer motorists would be affected. The lane closures were originally scheduled to begin this week. Specifics on the schedule of lane closures will be provided closer to Nov. 1.  

The lane closures on the Atlantic Beach Bridge will remain the same. Contractors may close one of two lanes of the Atlantic Beach Bridge Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. Contractors will use flaggers at the ends of the work zone to direct traffic.

 

For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.

 

Posted by Sarah Williams Monday, September 14, 2020 3:00:00 PM Categories: News

NCDOT NEWS: Two Carteret County Bridges to Have Lane Closures 

The Town of Emerald Isle was notified by DOT today about upcoming lane closures to the bridge. Please see below for details from NCDOT.

News Release                                                                                               For Immediate Release

Date:     Sept. 11, 2020

Contact: Lauren Haviland (Lbhaviland@ncdot.gov)

(919) 707-2677

Two Carteret County Bridges to Have Lane Closures

Closures will occur during off-season

MOREHEAD CITY – N.C. Department of Transportation contractors plan to close lanes on two Carteret County bridges throughout most of the off-season.

Beginning Monday, the outer two lanes of the Atlantic Beach Bridge, connecting Morehead City and Atlantic Beach over the Bogue Sound, will close.

Also in Carteret County, lane closures on the Emerald Isle Bridge can begin Wednesday. Contractors may close one of two lanes Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 7a.m.-6p.m. Contractors will use flaggers at the ends of the work zone to direct traffic.

The lane closures in both Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle will allow contractors to continue rehab work, which extends the life of the bridge. Drivers should expect lane closures on both bridges to last through March 2021.

Motorists should use caution while crews are working and allow themselves more time than normal to reach their destinations.

For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.

 

***NCDOT***

Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, September 11, 2020 2:33:00 PM Categories: News

Bogue Banks Water Update 

Bogue Banks Water Update

Greetings from Bogue Banks Water Corporation!

I hope everyone is enjoying their time at the beach as much as we enjoy working here. It truly is an amazing area to live, work, and play. I wanted to let you know what is happening here at BBWC, why we are making the changes we are, and what to expect in the future. This is going to be a long one, so please bear with me.

We essentially have 2 ‘zones’ of water here in our service area that are produced by 7 treatment plants. The Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant located on Coast Guard Rd produces an extremely high-quality water, but only serves about 30% of the west end customers during the summer season. All other customers receive a blend of RO water and the treated water from our other plants. The farther east, the less RO water. While the other 6 treatment plants produce perfectly safe drinking water, it is a harder water with more character, commonly called as “Beach Water”.

Over the last couple of years, we (BBWC) have been working towards increasing the amount of RO treated water for all our customers. We are in the planning phase of building a second RO treatment plant that will provide 80-90% of the customer base with RO water during the summer at our current average demand rates. This is not a quick process. We are currently looking for new well sites and applying for a new discharge permit. After this process we can begin the piloting stage, followed by plant permitting and design, and finally construction!

During this planning phase we have 1 other major project happening, replacing and upgrading our aging meters. Water meters have a 15-20 year life cycle. Do they stop working suddenly? No, but from the day they are installed they start losing efficiency as the internals wear out. After 15-20 years a meter is typically only 80-90% efficient. Our costs to produce water keep going up, but our income gradually goes down for the same production rates. Our distribution crews have replaced roughly 65% of the meters over the past 2 years and will likely finish by sometime next spring depending on the weather. A new meter can be expected to show an increase in average usage as it is 100% efficient at the time of install. Our new meters also store the previous 90 days of hourly usage on them. We can pull a usage report showing how much water you used during 1-hour blocks for the previous 90 days! Finally, the meter will flag itself for a leak if during a 24hour period it goes without reading 0 usage for at least 1 hour. When we read the meter at the end of the billing cycle, we get a report on flagged meters. We then notify customers as a courtesy of the potential leak, saving wasted water and helping to keep the customer bill lower.

Early this year we had a rate increase and rate structure change. The timing of the rate change was just before the COVID restrictions started. None of us could have predicted the initial 2-week social distancing that happened or that it would have lasted for the next 6 months. We waived all late fees and suspended any disconnections during this time and offered hardship payment plans if needed. In the past BBWC has always tried to provide safe water as cost effectively as possible. While we still wish to provide cost effective water for our customers, our expenses have increased, and we have not kept up. It has been 10 years since our last base rate increase, and our usage rate has not changed since the 90s. The water quality has not changed much since then either, still safe, still mostly “Beach Water”. The decision to switch to a tiered structure was not made lightly. Many water utilities [including most of our neighboring ones] across the nation have already made the switch. With summertime demand increasing to almost 400% of the offseason demand we sent out newsletters in the spring of the last 2 years asking customers to help by lowering their usage, specifically irrigation, during the summer season. The demand has not subsided any over the past 2 years. Statistically speaking, homes that irrigate use 70-80% of their water on the lawn. While we understand the desire for a plush green lawn, especially in a community that contains significantly more rentals than fulltime residents, it is ultimately a luxury item that is doing more

harm to the aquifer than good to the surface. We cannot continue to blindly abuse the groundwater aquifer with such a high demand without consequences to future generations. We’ve already starting to see those repercussions in the form of saltwater intrusion in the western end of the aquifer. As alternatives we highly encourage landscaping with natural flora that does not need as much water as grasses and non-native species do. If irrigation is a must for you, then shallow wells, low flow irrigation heads, working rain sensors, and no more than 3 days per week irrigation will also help reduce your usage.

We are aware of the high bills some have received. While a portion of that is from the rate change, there are other factors as well. These are some of the reasons bills can and do vary on occasion.

  • We bill a month in arrears. The current bill is for July usage. Meters were read at the beginning of August and then mailed out at the beginning of September.
  • Demand is higher in the summer. Showers are longer and more frequent, gardens are watered, pools are filled and kept topped off. Irrigation systems account for 90% of our high usage inquires.
  • Some billing cycles are longer than others. While we try to read meter at the beginning of each month, sometimes due to uncontrollable circumstances we are unable to read for an extra week resulting in a longer billing period. 6 weeks vs 4 weeks is roughly 50% more usage.
  • New meters! As I spoke about earlier, the new meters are 100% efficient whereas the 20-year-old meters were likely only 80-90% efficient, sometimes even less.
  • Leaks and wasted water. We can detect leaks with the new meters, but it is still up to a month before we find out and can notify you.
  • Irrigation is by far the number one reason usage is high resulting in higher bills under the tiered system. Check your settings and reduce them as much as possible or find alternatives.
  • Recently our billing vendor’s system did not process the auto-pay options for some of our customers leaving them with an unpaid balance. These customers are showing a balance for 2 months. No late fees of any type were assessed to these accounts for the error, but the balance is still due. We can setup payment plans to help if needed.

We are currently testing an add-on feature that would allow the homeowner to see water usage daily via an app, but it is still in a testing phase. It will require a different endpoint (antenna) than is currently installed. Pricing and features will be made public as soon as we have everything sorted out. This could be a powerful tool for those that do not live here fulltime, have rental homes, or just want to keep an eye on your everyday usage! Please give us a call at the office (252-354-3307) if you feel your bill is in error or you have any questions about your account. Please be patient with us as there at over 6,000 of you and very few of us. If you cannot get a hold of a representative immediately, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. There is also a lot of useful information at Boguebankswater.com.

Lastly, we are a Non-Profit Water Utility. While we work closely with the towns of Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, and community of Salter Path, we are not affiliated with any government entity. We operate solely on the sale of water we treat and deliver to your homes and businesses so that everyone can enjoy this community without having to think about whether there will be safe water available. Our crews work incredibly hard through ice storms, hurricanes, floods, heat waves, you name it, to ensure the system stays intact, pressurized, and safe to consume every day of the year. My primary goal is to maintain a water system that is not only functionally healthy, but one that is prepared for the future with a healthy aquifer to provide safe water for future generations.

Sincerely,

Seola Hill

Executive Director

Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, September 11, 2020 2:05:00 PM Categories: News

Second Annual Fall Fishing Tournament: LIVE Facebook Auction  

The Second Annual Fall Fishing Tournament has a new event on their page. We will be auctioning off some exciting prizes to raise money for the scholarship fund! We have lot of fishing gear and memorabilia, plus we have hotel and house rentals and everything in between! The auction will be held on Facebook Live on Wednesday, September 16th starting at 7PM. You do not need to take part in our tournament to bid - this is open to everyone! So please share and join in so that we can offer our local students a great start in a career in the marine sciences!

One objective of the Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament is to raise money to fund scholarships for local area high school seniors who intend to pursue a college degree in some aspect of marine science. We wish to encourage our local students who wish to study the Marine Sciences to come home after school and help the community in furthering our education on the oceans, sounds, and the incredible variety of wildlife inhabiting our area.

Click here for information 

Posted by Sarah Williams Thursday, September 10, 2020 3:23:00 PM Categories: News

Ferebee retires, Williams sworn in as Town Clerk 

Press Release

September 4, 2020

Ferebee retires, Williams sworn in as Town Clerk

EMERALD ISLE, N.C.-   After 20-years of service with the Town of Emerald Isle, Town Clerk Rhonda Ferebee will officially retire on September 8, 2020. 

“We are so appreciative of the dedication, hard work and steadfast leadership that Rhonda has provided to the Town of Emerald,” said Mayor Eddie Barber.  “Rhonda has served the staff and the community with such professionalism.  Her retirement is truly bittersweet. We will miss her dearly and wish her the very best in retirement. ” 

In anticipation of the Town Clerk’s pending retirement, Sarah Williams joined the Town of Emerald Isle on July 20, 2020.  The early onboarding allowed Williams the courtesy to shadow her predecessor for a period of 7-weeks. 

“The Board and staff welcome Sarah to the team.  She brings a wealth of experience and exceptional references from Pine Knoll Shores,” said Matt Zapp, Town Manager. “We are thrilled for her future in Emerald Isle.”

Mrs. Ferebee’s final official act in office included the swearing in of Williams, on Tuesday September 1, 2020.  Ms. Williams will now serve as the Town Clerk/ Human Resources Specialist for Emerald Isle.

At the next Board of Commissioners meeting on September 8, Ferebee will be recognized by the elected officials for her two-decades of unwavering service.  Those interested in participating can view the meeting online or dial-in by phone.  For more information, go to www.emeraldisle-nc.org and click on Meeting & Agendas.

Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, September 4, 2020 4:58:00 PM Categories: News

Public Comment Information - September 8, 2020 Board of Commissioners Meeting 

The September 8, 2020 Regular Monthly Meeting of the Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners will take place at the Town Board Meeting Room.  Due to COVID-19 the public may attend the meeting but space will be limited to ensure social distancing.  

The meeting will be available for viewing or audio only by registering at the following link for attendees  - https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/3112718926907250957

 

PUBLIC COMMENT DURING COVID-19

 

Submitting General Public Comments and Public Hearing Comments To The Town Board of Commissioner During COVID19 Meeting Restrictions:

At the Town of Emerald Isle Board of Commissioner’s regular monthly meetings, citizens are provided with an opportunity to make general public comments to the Town Board as well as comments during any public hearings.  It is important for the Town’s citizens to continue to have this opportunity despite the COVID-19 public health emergency, but public safety considerations are also important.

Until it is deemed safe for everyone to gather as a community again, public comments may be submitted in advance of Town Board meetings subject to the following guidance:

  1. Public comments should be limited to three minutes in length (approximately 450 words).
  2. Public Comments timely received will be read into the record of the meeting during the general public comment period or the applicable public hearing period.  Please specify whether your comment is general or pertains to a specific public hearing on the agenda.
  3. Public comments may be submitted as follows:
  • By emailing the Town Clerk Sarah Williams at swilliams@emeraldisle-nc.org
  • By putting your written comments in a drop box at the Town Administration Building (located in front entrance foyer) 
  • By calling Town Clerk Sarah Williams at 252-354-3424 for alternative phone method.

(Public comments will be accepted through 10:00 am on Tuesday, September 8, 2020)

Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation as the Town’s elected officials and staff work to continue to provide governmental services to the best of our ability during this time.

Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, September 4, 2020 3:50:00 PM Categories: News

Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K Canceled 

PRESS RELEASE

September 3, 2020

Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K Canceled

EMERALD ISLE, N.C.-   In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 7th Annual Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K is officially canceled.

Originally slated for March 2020, the race was postponed until October 31, 2020 due to complications caused by COVID-19.   To protect all race participants, volunteers, spectators and the Emerald Isle community, the Emerald Isle Marathon committee has made the difficult decision to forego the rescheduled race in its entirety.

“As we approach autumn, it is clear that COVID-19 continues to impact all aspects of our lives,” stated Candace Dooley, Emerald Isle Race Director.  “Our goal was to hold a wonderful race in late October.  Yet, we cannot place our competitors or community at risk.”

Participant Options: We understand that this announcement is challenging, so we will offer the following options:

1- Automatic deferment to March 27, 2021

2- Full refund

Current registrations will automatically be deferred to March 27, 2021. If you prefer a full race refund, please email emeraldislerun@gmail.com.  Due to a high volume of email traffic, please allow 7-10 days for a response.

You have trained hard, made travel arrangements, dreamt of the finish line and put blood, sweat and tears into your preparation for race day.  Your hard work and dedication are admirable. Don’t slow down.  Keep pushing ahead.

Please join us March 2021 and make your dream a reality! 

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For press inquiries, contact:

Candace Dooley, EI Race Director

emeraldislerun@gmail.com

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Thursday, September 3, 2020 10:07:00 AM Categories: News

Emerald Isle Christmas Parade Canceled 

Press Release

August 28, 2020

Emerald Isle Christmas Parade Canceled

 

The Town of Emerald Isle desires to protect the safety of its citizens and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We believe it is best to cancel certain town sponsored events that assemble large groups of people.

In cooperation with the Emerald Isle Business Association, a very tough decision was made to forego the 2020 Emerald Isle Christmas Parade. 

The timing of this decision may appear premature, however the coming months are an integral time to secure volunteers, plan and organize event participants that travel from all over our state.  We recognize that individuals, families and businesses are faced with monumental challenges.  Cancelation of the parade (now) will help many groups plan ahead and avoid unnecessary costs.

The ongoing pandemic has taken a toll on each and every one of us. These are challenging and unprecedented times.

The health and safety of our residents, guests, employees and volunteers remains the highest priority for Emerald Isle.   Due to current and anticipated COVID-19 guidelines, operational recommendations cannot be met to safely hold mass gatherings.

We sincerely apologize for cancelation of the 2020 Emerald Isle Christmas Parade and look forward to future opportunities to celebrate together in Emerald Isle.

 

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For press inquiries, contact:

Matt Zapp, Town Manager

mzapp@emeraldisle-nc.org

252-354-3424

 

Heidi Barlow, EIBA President

eibusinessassociation@gmail.com

 

Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, August 28, 2020 4:50:00 PM Categories: News

Register Now for the Annual Emerald Isle Fall Fishing Tournament! 

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The Emerald Isle Annual Fall Fishing Tournament at the NC Wildlife Public Boat Ramp in Emerald Isle, NC includes three separate divisions: King and Spanish Mackerel, and Surf. There will also be contests for the kids, a silent auction and other activities so that this event will be fun for the whole family! 

Visit the official tournament website for all of the exciting details! 

https://emeraldislefishingtournament.com/

Follow the Tournament on Facebook as well for opportunities to win cool prizes leading up to the big day!

 

Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, August 28, 2020 4:26:00 PM Categories: News

Carteret County Economic Development Foundation Receives Broadband Grant 

Media Contact:                                                                                  For Immediate Release

Don Kirkman                                                                                       

(252) 222-6121

Don.Kirkman@carteretcountync.gov

 

Carteret County Economic Development Foundation Receives Broadband Grant

CARTERET COUNTY—The Carteret County Economic Development Foundation (“Foundation”) Board of Directors announced today that the Foundation has been awarded a $5,000 Building a New Digital Economy in NC (BAND-NC) grant from the Institute for Emerging Issues (“IEI”) at NC State University.  The grant funds will be used to develop a Carteret County digital inclusion plan.

“This grant from the Institute for Emerging Issues comes at a very opportune time for Carteret County,” said Ed Stack, Foundation Chair.  “Our Foundation Board of Directors has identified addressing the county’s broadband challenges as our highest programmatic priority this year, and the grant will allow us to jumpstart the development of a countywide plan to address the broadband needs of all Carteret County residents,” he added.

The goal of the Foundation Board of Directors is for Carteret County to become the first rural county in North Carolina to have a comprehensive, countywide digital inclusion plan.  Currently, Mecklenburg County is the only North Carolina county with such a plan.

The Foundation has engaged Deborah Watts, principal with Broadband Catalysts, as a consultant and project manager to facilitate the development of the Carteret County plan, which is anticipated to be completed in early 2021. “There is no question that broadband is essential infrastructure in the 21st century.  The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of high-speed internet to education at every level, health care and remote working,” according to Watts.  “Many North Carolinians, including those in Carteret County, face significant barriers to affordable internet services, and the plan is intended to identify those hurdles and describe a range of solutions,” added Watts.

“We are delighted that Carteret County was included in the first round of BAND-NC grant recipients,” said Maggie Woods, IEI Program and Policy Manager and BAND-NC program lead.  “Our review committee thought the Foundation had a very compelling application, and we believe that what Carteret County is doing can be a model for rural North Carolina.”

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Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, August 28, 2020 11:55:00 AM Categories: News
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