Emerald Tidings

July 2014

  1. FY 14-15 Budget Adopted - No Tax Increase
  2. Hurricane Arthur Spares Emerald Isle
  3. Rezoning Request Denied
  4. Important Reminder - Golf Carts Not Permitted on NC 58, Coast Guard Road, or the Emerald Path
  5. Please Lock Your Vehicle!
  6. Emerald Isle's "Second Helping" to Collect Leftover Food from Departing Visitors This Summer
  7. Emerald Isle Half-Marathon to Be Held Again in 2015; Full Marathon Added!
  8. Did You Know?

FY 14-15 Budget Adopted - No Tax Increase

The FY 14-15 Town budget was adopted by the Board of Commissioners in June.  The budget includes funding for the continued provision of high quality Town services, appropriate capital investment, and maintains the current tax rate for all Town taxpayers. The total Town budget is nearly $8.7 million for FY 14-15.  

The FY 14-15 General Fund tax rate is 14 cents per $100 of assessed value, a 1.5 cent increase in the General Fund tax rate.  This increase is completely offset, however, by a 1.5 cent decrease in the Town's beach nourishment special district tax rates.  Oceanfront and inlet-front property owners (Primary Benefit District) will pay an additional 3 cents per $100 of assessed value in FY 14-15 (a decrease from 4.5 cents in FY 13-14).  The special district property tax rate for all other property owners (Secondary Benefit District) has been eliminated, and property owners will no longer be charged the additional 1.5 cent rate that was in effect for the past few years.  These changes are primarily administrative, and the Town will continue to reserve more than $680,000 annually for future beach nourishment projects (the same amount annually as the past few years).

The FY 14-15 budget includes a $5 increase in the annual solid waste fee for the owners of developed residential properties, and a few other fee increases for beach driving permits and short-term Community Center usage.  

The FY 14-15 budget also incorporates grant funding for planned parking and storm water improvements at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access (future site of planned ocean fishing pier) that will be constructed later this fall / winter, and also includes funding for the construction of a new Welcome Center in Emerald Isle (pending a proposed lease agreement with the Tourism Development Authority). 

To view the entire FY 14-15 budget, please visit http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/townbudget.htm .

Hurricane Arthur Spares Emerald Isle

Hurricane Arthur made landfall at Shackleford Banks, approximately 20 miles east of Emerald Isle, around midnight July 3-4.  Emerald Isle experienced maximum gusts in the 60 mph range, and Arthur did not cause any significant damage in Emerald Isle, thankfully!  Rainfall totals were approximately 2.5 inches, and no significant street flooding occurred.  The entire July 4th weekend actually wound up with gorgeous weather, and Emerald Isle was full of visitors enjoying the beach!

Town staff worked hard before, during, and after Arthur to have the Town prepared and to clean up quickly after Arthur passed early on the morning of July 4.  Their dedication is greatly appreciated.  The Town extends its special thanks to Simmons & Simmons (the Town's solid waste contractor), the Emerald Isle vacation rental companies, and Richie Creech & crew (trash can roll-out contractor for vacation rental properties) for their great cooperation before the storm that enabled all trash to be picked up one day early before Arthur's winds hit Emerald Isle.  The Town also extends its thanks to Bogue Inlet Pier for partnering with the Town on the July 4th fireworks (what a difference one day made!), and for the close cooperation and coordination required as a result of Arthur's track.

Let's all hope Hurricane Arthur is the only one Emerald Isle has to deal with in 2014!


Rezoning Request Denied

At its July 8 meeting, the Board of Commissioners denied a request to rezone a portion of the Island Harbor Marina property from the Mobile Home zoning district to the Marina Village zoning district.  The Board of Commissioners then directed the Planning Board to reassess the future land use goals for this area of Emerald Isle, and report back with recommended changes to the Town's Land Use Plan and zoning districts.  The Planning Board will consider this issue in the next few months, and their recommendation will be presented to the Board of Commissioners soon thereafter. 

IMPORTANT REMINDER - Golf Carts Not Permitted on NC 58, Coast Guard Road, or the Emerald Path

The Town is pleased to administer its golf cart program that allows registered golf carts to operate on most Town streets in Emerald Isle, and the program continues to grow in popularity. There are now more than 425 golf carts registered in the Town's program. 

It is important that golf cart operators obey the Town's regulations, particularly the following:

  • due to the fact that golf carts in the Town's program have a maximum speed of only 20 mph and because of greater vehicle traffic, golf carts are not permitted to travel on Coast Guard Road or Emerald Drive / NC 58 (it is legal to cross these streets to reach the oceanside or soundside only), and
  • due to heavy pedestrian and bicycle use, golf carts are not permitted on the Emerald Path (the Coast Guard Road and NC 58 bicycle path).

These regulations are in place for safety reasons, and it is simply not safe for the golf cart and/or others to operate golf carts in these areas. Violators will receive a citation from the Emerald Isle Police Department, and the golf cart registration may be revoked entirely. 

It is important to note that golf carts that are specially outfitted to meet NC DMV requirements and that have been issued a NC license plate are authorized to operate on Coast Guard Road and limited areas of NC 58. It is also important to note that, under NC law, an individual with a handicapped placard that uses the golf cart as a bona-fide mobility device (i.e., that person is the driver and is not ambulatory) is allowed to travel anywhere that a pedestrian is authorized to travel.  

Thank you for your adherence to the Town's golf cart regulations.  The Town offers this program as an additional amenity for our residents and property owners, and the Town's regulations are intended to promote safety first and foremost. 

Please Lock Your Vehicle!

Please make it a habit to always lock your vehicle, even when parked in your driveway!  Nearly all vehicle break-ins in Emerald Isle occur to vehicles that were left unlocked.  Don't let yourself be a victim!

"Second Helping" to Collect Leftover Food from Departing Visitors This Summer

Visitors:  Please don't throw your remaining food away at the end of your vacation!  Instead, please donate your leftover food to help those less fortunate!

Volunteers will collect canned goods, foodstuffs, perishables & non-perishables (even open containers) at two convenient locations on your way out of Emerald Isle.  Drop-off sites are near Bert's Surf Shop (corner of Islander Drive and NC 58) and near Holiday TravLPark (corner of Coast Guard Road and Reed Drive).  Volunteers will collect food each Saturday morning from 7 am - 12 noon from June 14 - September 1.

The "Second Helping" crew will distribute all food to local food banks and soup kitchens in our surrounding area.  For more information, visit www.asecondhelping-emeraldisle.com .

Emerald Isle Half-Marathon to Be Held Again 2015; Full Marathon Added!

The inaugural Emerald Isle Half-Marathon and 5K Race was a big success, and the 2015 race is scheduled for March 28, 2015.  The Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) and 5K (3.1 miles) races will be back, and a full Marathon (26.2 miles) has been added!  

Registration will open in August at www.active.com  and at www.emeraldislerun.com .  Start your training program! 

Did You Know?

It's hard to believe, but it's now been more than 9 years since the Town realigned the main ebb channel in Bogue Inlet!  The main channel was once directly adjacent to homes on Bogue Court, and was moved approximately 3,500 ft west in April 2005. The main ebb channel has migrated slowly to the east since 2005, and is now approximately 1,800 ft. west of the homes on Bogue Court.   

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Tuesday, July 1, 2014 10:55:00 AM