Emerald Tidings

July 2012

  1. Enjoy July 4th Fireworks from Bogue Inlet Pier!
  2. Update - Proposed New 1% Beach Preservation Tax
  3. Progress Being Made on 50-Year Beach Nourishment EIS and Permitting Authority
  4. New Soundside Pier Complete
  5. FY 12-13 Budget Adopted
  6. Update - Island Circle Storm Water Pump Station
  7. Beach Wheelchairs Available for Free Daily Use
  8. Chief Hargett Back at Work
  9. Development Permit Applications Now Online

Enjoy July 4th Fireworks from Bogue Inlet Pier!

The Town is pleased to partner with Bogue Inlet Pier again this year for July 4th fireworks!  The show begins at 9 pm on Wednesday, July 4, and will be visible all along the beach strand.  Enjoy!

Update - Proposed New 1% Beach Preservation Tax

Due to the expected adjournment of the NC General Assembly in early July, House Bill 1181, which would have authorized a referendum on the creation of a new 1% beach preservation tax on all sales and use transactions in Emerald Isle, was converted into a "study bill" by Representative Pat McElraft.  The "study bill" was ratified by the General Assembly on June 28, and directs the Revenue Laws Study Committee to review this issue and report back at the start of the 2013 "long session" that begins in January.

The Town looks forward to presenting this issue to the Revenue Laws Study Committee over the next 6 months, and will be seeking a favorable recommendation from the committee.  The Town's goal is to have a new bill introduced, considered, and approved by the General Assembly during the 2013 "long session".  Although the Town would have preferred to have the new 1% beach preservation tax authorized this year, the Town is pleased to have initiated discussion with the General Assembly on this important Town issue.  Due to continuing State budget challenges, the issue is very timely, and the Town will continue to work hard on this issue. 

Complete background information can be found at  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/CommunityNotice/beachpreservationtax.htm.  If and when ultimately approved, the 1% beach preservation tax would be levied on all sales and use transactions in the Town, and would generate approximately $700,000 - $800,000 annually for future beach nourishment costs in the Town.  These funds would replace previously anticipated State funding, and represent 25% of the Town's future estimated costs.  The remaining 75% would be funded by previously established room occupancy tax and special district property tax proceeds.  These 3 funding sources are expected to enable the Town to meet its future beach nourishment needs for the next 50 years or more.

Progress Being Made on 50-Year Beach Nourishment EIS and Permitting Authority

The Town continues to work with the Carteret County Beach Commission / Shore Protection Office and other Bogue Banks municipalities on the development of an environmental impact statement and permitting authority for future beach nourishment projects expected to be necessary over the next 50 years.  The County and the municipalities have made significant progress to date, and expect to complete this effort within the next two years.  The end result is expected to be a blanket permit authorization that would enable the Town to nourish the beach as needed in the future, provided that it adheres to specified parameters designed to minimize environmental impacts.

This effort is being conducted by a team of engineers and environmental scientists with considerable beach nourishment experience.  The results to date indicate that there is ample, high quality beach sand available offshore and in Bogue Inlet to meet the County's and municipalities' needs over the 50-year period.  Environmental work continues, but the locations of the available sand can likely be utilized with minimal environmental impact. 

The EIS includes an analysis of Bogue Inlet, as the Town is also seeking permitting authority to periodically realign the main ebb channel in Bogue Inlet as needed in the future (as was done in 2005).  Sand dredged from Bogue Inlet would be placed on the ocean beach in western Emerald Isle, and is one of the key sand sources envisioned for future beach nourishment activities. 

The completion of the EIS and 50 year permitting authority will enable the Town to complete future beach nourishment and inlet management activities in the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly manner, and is the first locally sponsored initiative of its kind in North Carolina.  This approach represents a desirable model for beachfront communities, and is supported by the US Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Branch and the NC Division of Coastal Management. 

For more information, please contact Frank Rush, Town Manager at 252-354-3424 or frush@emeraldisle-nc.org , or Greg "Rudi" Rudolph, Carteret County Shore Protection Manager at 252-393-2663 or rudi@carteretcountygov.org .

New Soundside Pier Complete

The new soundside pier constructed by the NC Aquariums at the future site of the Aquarium (Ocean) Pier at Emerald Isle is now complete, and is a great addition to the Town's public access system. 

The new pier is located at the end of Park Drive across from the Eastern Ocean Regional Access, and extends 160 ft into Bogue Sound with a new floating dock that is especially convenient for kayak launching.  Parking is available across NC 58 in the main parking area of the Eastern Ocean Regional Access.

soundside pier


FY 12-13 Budget Adopted

The Board of Commissioners adopted the FY 12-13 budget, as recommended by the Town Manager, at its June regular meeting.  The total Town budget for FY 12-13 is $8.9 million, a 1.5% increase over the FY 11-12 adopted budget amount.

The Town's General Fund property tax rate remains at 11.5 cents per $100 of assessed value, and special district property tax rates for beach nourishment also remain the same at 4.5 cents (oceanfront and inlet-front properties) and 1.5 cents (all others).  The only cost increase for our taxpayers in FY 12-13 is a $10 increase in the annual solid waste fee.  The annual solid waste fee is now $200 per year, which equates to $16.67 per month.

The FY 12-13 budget is a responsible spending plan that will enable the Town to continue to provide quality services while respecting our taxpayers.  Town staff continue to work hard to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost.

Update - Island Circle Storm Water Pump Station

Due to unforeseen permitting issues, construction of the Island Circle storm water pump station has been on hold for the past several weeks.  These issues are now resolved, and construction will resume in late July.  The Town expects the new pump station to be complete and operational before the end of August. 

Beach Wheelchairs Available for Free Daily Use

The Fire Department maintains a total of 7 special wheelchairs designed for use on the beach strand, and these beach wheelchairs are available for free daily use all throughout the year.  The beach wheelchairs are available for pickup at Fire Station 1 at the Town Hall complex, and are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to high demand, the wheelchairs are available for daily use only, and must be returned each night.   For more information, please contact Fire Station 1 at 252-354-2445.

beach wheelchair

Chief Hargett Back at Work

hargettPolice Chief Bill Hargett, who was injured in a vehicle crash chasing burglary suspects in December, recently returned to work on a part-time basis in June.  The Town is glad to have Chief Hargett back at the helm of the Police Department, and greatly appreciates his service and dedication.  Welcome back! 

Development Permit Applications Now Online

Development permit applications and instructions are now available online for download.   Please visit http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/eipid/forms.htm .  Please contact the Planning and Inspections Department at 252-354-3338 or email Kevin Reed, Planning and Inspections Director, at kreed@emeraldisle-nc.org with questions about any development or construction issues.

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Sunday, July 1, 2012 10:14:00 AM