Emerald Tidings

June 2012

  1. Emerald Isle Requests Authority to Conduct Referendum on Proposed New 1% Beach Preservation Tax
  2. Don't Wait Until the Storm Approaches to Get Your Hurricane Re-Entry Permit
  3. Registered Golf Carts May Now Be Driven at Night
  4. Fire Chief Bill Walker Celebrates 25 Years with Town
  5. New Coast Guard Road Bike Path Segment Completed
  6. New BB&T Bank Branch Open in Emerald Isle
  7. Emerald Isle's Transportation Impact is NASCAR Sponsor

Emerald Isle Requests Authority To Conduct Referendum on Proposed New 1% Beach Preservation Tax

Upon the Town's request, NC Representative Pat McElraft has introduced House Bill 1181 - Emerald Isle Local Option Sales Tax - that would authorize the Town to conduct a Town referendum on a new 1% sales tax, with proceeds statutorily earmarked specifically for beach preservation efforts.  H1181 can be viewed at   http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/ BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2011&BillID=H1181 .  NC Senator Jean Preston has been involved in the development of this bill with the Town, and also supports the bill.

beach nourishmentThe Town is pursuing this authority to insure that adequate funding is available in the future to meet the Town's long-term beach nourishment needs.  The Town's long-term beach nourishment plan relies on State contributions for 25% of projected future costs, County room occupancy tax revenues for 50% of projected future costs, and Town special district property tax revenues for 25% of projected future costs.  Due to ongoing State budget challenges, there are concerns about the State's ability to provide the required future contributions, and the proposed Emerald Isle 1% beach preservation tax is intended to replace the required State funding.  If ultimately approved by the NC General Assembly and the Town's voters, the new tax would be levied on all sales and use transactions (except for groceries and non-prepared food items) in the Town of Emerald Isle only.  This new tax is expected to generate approximately $700,000 - $800,000 annually for the Town's future beach nourishment needs. 

Taxes are never popular, especially new taxes, however, the Town believes that the proposed new 1% beach preservation tax represents the most equitable and reliable funding source to replace the required State funding.  Essentially, the voters of Emerald Isle will have 3 choices if the General Assembly authorizes a referendum for Emerald Isle voters:  1) the Town could simply not replace the State funding, and have less funding available for future beach nourishment, thereby resulting in less frequent projects and/or less sand placed and greater erosion risks,  2) the Town could double the existing 4.5 cent (oceanfront and inlet-front) and 1.5 cent (all other properties) special district property taxes, or  3) implement the proposed new 1% beach preservation (sales) tax.  If the NC General Assembly approves H1181 in the 2012 session, a Town referendum could occur in November 2012 or spring 2013.

For a more detailed explanation of this issue, please visit http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/CommunityNotice/beachpreservationtax.htm . 

Don't Wait Until the Storm Approaches to Get Your Hurricane Re-Entry Permit!

The Town utilizes a hurricane re-entry permit system to control access to the Town after a severe hurricane event.  Each property previously received permanent re-entry permits, and these permits are intended to be transferred with the property.  If you are a property owner, and do not have your permit or need an additional permit, please visit the Town Administration Building or call 252-354-3424 to secure a re-entry permit.  The cost for a replacement or additional permit is $25. 

Please check to make sure you have your permit now.  Please don't wait until the storm is approaching to secure a new re-entry permit, as the lines are often long and Town staff is also busy preparing the Town for potential hurricane impacts.  Thanks for your cooperation and patience! 

Registered Golf Carts May Now Be Driven at Night

The Town implemented a new local golf cart program in 2011 that allows registered golf carts to be driven on all Town streets in Emerald Isle (except for NC 58 and Coast Guard Road).  The new program has been very popular over the past year and a half, and the Board of Commissioners recently approved an ordinance amendment to allow registered golf carts to be driven at night. 

For more information about the Town's golf cart program, please visit   http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/golfcarts.htm .

Fire Chief Bill Walker Celebrates 25 Years with Town

Fire Chief Bill Walker recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with the Town of Emerald Isle.  He began his career with the Fire Department in 1987, and was appointed Fire Chief in 1989.  Chief Walker is the third-longest serving employee with the Town.

Chief Walker has led the Fire Department in providing first-class fire services for our community for many years. He has implemented numerous improvements and helped guide the Town through several hurricanes and tropical storms.  Emerald Isle maintains a class 4 ISO rating, which is an outstanding achievement for a town like Emerald Isle, and also helps to save money for our property owners on fire insurance premiums.  The Town is thankful for Chief Walker's service!

New Coast Guard Road Bike Path Segment Completed

A new 0.2 mile segment of the Coast Guard Road bicycle path has been completed between Emerald Isle Woods Park and Ocean Oaks Drive, and is open for public use.

The completion of the new segment brings the total length of the Coast Guard Road bicycle path to 0.7 miles.  The Town's goal is to extend the bicycle path another 1.45 miles along Coast Guard Road to Ring Street.  The total cost of the remaining segments is approximately $500,000, and the Town's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee continues to solicit donations to make the full length a reality in the future.  For information about how you can help, please visit the "Friends of the Path" website at  www.eipath.com

New BB&T Bank Branch Open in Emerald Isle

Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T) has opened a new branch and ATM in Emerald Isle at the corner of Emerald Drive and Fairview Drive, in the building formerly occupied by Bank of America. 

The Town is pleased to have BB&T as a member of the Emerald Isle community, and pleased to again have a bank branch located in the Town.  Stop by and check out the new BB&T branch!

Emerald Isle's Transportation Impact is NASCAR Sponsor

Transportation Impact is a fast-growing Emerald Isle company that provides parcel shipping cost reduction services for clients all over the United States.  Transportation Impact is located in the Sea Oats Village complex at the corner of Emerald Drive and Holly Street, and has been very active in community events and projects in recent years. 

The company recently announced their sponsorship of the #43 car owned by Richard Petty Motorsports and driven by Aric Almirola for the June 10 race at Pocono Raceway.  Congratulations to Transportation Impact on their success, and thanks for your support for Emerald Isle! 

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Friday, June 1, 2012 10:17:00 AM