January 8, 2019

MEMO TO:        Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:             Randy Martin, Interim Town Manager

SUBJECT:       Comments from Interim Town Manager - (Monthly Statistical Report)

It is my pleasure to offer this report on activities and updates for the past month as we closed out calendar year 2018.  Enclosed for your review are the monthly departmental reports and supporting statistical information. 

Overall, Town government came through the holiday season without any shortcomings from my perspective.  Services have basically returned to more normal schedules than what was experienced in the period since the hurricane event.  Although there remains much to do in terms of ongoing recovery efforts, the staff has continued to perform admirably and citizen feedback also continues to be quite positive. 

These things said, the New Year brings the opportunity for us to continue and hopefully identify potential opportunities to enhance on the delivery of the highest caliber public services to our constituent groups and that is my mission and resolve during my remaining tenure.  I continue to be very optimistic on Emerald Isle and its future.  I have no doubt that the members of the Town Board of Commissioners share my optimistic view, and I look forward to working with Board members in updating the Town’s planning efforts beginning with a budget/goal setting workshop session in February.  I look forward to facilitating a healthy discussion on current and long term priority needs and initiatives for the Town.  I know each of you takes very seriously your key role in helping to shape the future of Emerald Isle, so I encourage Board members to spend some additional thoughtful time in preparation for the upcoming budget development process focusing on what you consider achievable priorities.  I welcome your input as the staff and I prepare for the effort.

In terms of specific updates, I offer the following:

  1. I continued to attend a number of meetings to represent Emerald Isle’s interest locally and regionally during the past month.  The Mayor and I attended the Crystal Coast Mayors holiday meeting in Pine Knoll Shores and the Emerald Isle Business Association monthly meeting.  I also attended the following:  Indian Beach Board of Commissioners called meeting regarding the beach nourishment project; the Emerald Isle Planning Board monthly meeting; with Commissioners Messer, Normile and Taylor, I visited Town contractor Simmons & Simmons  for lunch and a facility tour;  and, participated in a regional State DEQ & Army Corps of Engineers regulatory stakeholders meeting in New Bern that focused on coastal community items of interest.   I also had media interactions with local television, cable and print reporters to promote Emerald Isle in general, provide beach nourishment updates and more recently to market our efforts to solicit bids for the hurricane related fire station repairs.
  2. Regarding the beach nourishment phase 1 project for eastern Emerald Isle, Indian Beach and Salter Path, contractor notice of award was executed and delivered after Indian Beach approval of their share.  The Town Attorney has completed review of contract documents prepared by the consulting engineer.  Subject to the scheduled action of the County Commissioners on January 14th to authorize their funding participation for the balance of the project, we will be prepared to execute the contracts and issue the notice to proceed to the contractor.  A pre-construction meeting has been scheduled for January 30th with the contractor and other interested parties.  After that meeting, more information on the anticipated start date for project construction activities will be determined and announced.  The project completion contractual deadline remains April 30th.
  3. In areas outside the nourishment project impacted beach, beach and sound access repairs to Town facilities will be a priority focus for staff.  The goal is complete these areas as soon as possible but hopefully before the tourism season starts to crank up.  Accesses in the beach project affected areas will need to be coordinated and timed as the project progresses, but every effort will be made to complete as many of these as possible also before the tourism season approaches.
  4. Another priority for staff is to address other public facility needs impacted or damaged by the storm.  At the top of the list currently is evaluating and preparing to address the roof on the Police Department and Board meeting room building.  We are currently engaged with getting professionals to evaluate options.  We plan to make this a focus capital project at the budget workshop for discussion and action consideration as soon as possible thereafter.   Public works has taken steps to repair and hopefully control any additional leaking in the meantime, but we remain vulnerable particularly considering the abundance of rain we have had to endure of late.
  5. Citizens are encouraged to participate in their early opportunity to contribute their ideas to the budget process for FY 2019-2020 by coming to the planned public hearing recommended for the February 12th regular Board meeting.  If the Board adopts the tentative budget calendar, this opportunity will be published through the website and other available options.