Emerald Tidings

May 2012

  1. Tax Rates Remain the Same in Recommended Budget for FY 12-13
  2. New Coast Guard Road Bike Path Segment Under Construction
  3. Soundside Pier Being Constructed at Eastern Ocean Regional Access / Future Site of "The Aquarium Pier at Emerald Isle"
  4. Veterans Memorial Dedication Set for May 25
  5. New Picnic Shelter to Be Dedicated in Memory of Former Town Commissioner Gordon McAdams
  6. EmeraldFest Concert Series Begins June 7
  7. Overnight Beach Equipment Exception Permits Available
  8. Taxpayer Beach Access Parking Permits Available

Tax Rates Remain the Same in Recommended Budget for FY 12-13

The Town Manager's FY 12-13 Recommended Budget will be reviewed by the Board of Commissioners in May, and will be formally considered for adoption in June. 

The Recommended Budget maintains current service levels and service quality, and does not include any changes to the Town's tax rates.  The recommended General Fund property tax rate is 11.5 cents per $100 of assessed value, and is identical to the current rate.  The special district tax rates for beach nourishment are also recommended to remain the same as the current rates:  4.5 cents for all oceanfront and inlet-front properties and 1.5 cents for all others.  The Recommended Budget does include a a $10 annual increase (from $190 per year to $200 per year) in the solid waste fee collected from all developed residential properties in the Town. 

A public hearing on the FY 12-13 budget will be held at a special Board meeting on Tuesday, June 5, and if the Board is comfortable, the FY 12-13 budget will be formally considered for adoption at the June 12 regular meeting.  State law requires the Board to adopt a balanced budget no later than June 30 each year.

Town staff, the Town Manager, and the Mayor and Board continue to work hard to provide the highest quality services and beneficial Town projects at the lowest possible cost to our taxpayers.  The Town's General Fund tax rate has been either the 2nd or 3rd lowest of all 21 NC beach towns for several years in a row.

New Coast Guard Road Bike Path Segment Under Construction

A new 0.2 mile segment of the Coast Guard Road bicycle path is currently under construction between Emerald Isle Woods Park and Ocean Oaks Drive.  The Town's contractor expects to complete construction prior to Memorial Day weekend, at which time it will be open for public use.

The new segment was made possible through the hard work of the Town's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, generous donations from businesses and individuals in Emerald Isle, and strong support from Town staff and the Mayor and Board of Commissioners.  The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee recently raised a total of $33,500 for the construction of the new segment, and the Town provided an additional $33,500 to fully fund the $67,000 construction cost. 

The completion of the new segment will bring 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 .

Soundside Pier Being Constructed at Eastern Ocean Regional Access / Future Site of "The Aquarium Pier at Emerald Isle"

The NC Aquariums recently awarded a contract for the construction of a new soundside pier at the Town's Eastern Ocean Regional Access, the future site of "The Aquarium Pier at Emerald Isle".  Construction is expected to occur in May and be complete by June. 

The new soundside pier will extend approximately 160 ft. into Bogue Sound, and will also include a gangway and floating dock designed for easier kayak launching.  The soundside pier will eventually complement the planned 1,000 ft. long concrete ocean fishing pier currently being designed for the oceanside portion of the site.  

The NC Aquariums' design team continues to work on the design of the new ocean fishing pier and pier house, and should complete its work later this year.  The exact timetable for construction remains uncertain due to the State's continuing budget challenges, but the Town and the NC Aquariums remain committed to the project and will continue to seek a workable financing plan.  Construction is not likely to begin any time soon, but we hope to develop a financing plan that will enable construction to begin within the next 3 years.   

Veterans Memorial Dedication Set for May 25

The Town's new Veterans Memorial will be complete later in May, and a formal dedication ceremony has been scheduled for Friday, May 25 at 10 am.  The ceremony will be located near the boat launching ramps at the new Emerald Isle Boating Access Area.  Please join us!

The new memorial will honor veterans of all branches of our armed forces, and will serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made to preserve the freedoms that we all enjoy.  Emerald Isle is home to many former and current service members, and we are proud of our military men and women. 

New Picnic Shelter To Be Dedicated in Memory of Former Town Commissioner Gordon McAdams

A new picnic shelter has been constructed at the Emerald Isle Public Boating Access, and will be dedicated in memory of former Town Commissioner Gordon McAdams on Sunday, June 3 at 2 pm.  The public is invited to attend.

Commissioner McAdams served on the Board of Commissioners from 1989 to 1999, including 3 terms as Mayor Pro-Tem.  Commissioner McAdams was an avid fisherman, and would be proud of the new public boating access area.  Commissioner McAdams passed away suddenly in 2003 at the age of 42.

Contributions made in Commissioner McAdams' honor funded the materials for the new picnic shelter, and volunteer labor was provided by the Crystal Coast Woodworkers under the direction of Emerald Isle resident Howard Pinner.  

EmeraldFest Concert Series Begins June 7

The Town's new summer concert series, EmeraldFest, begins on Thursday, June 7.  Outdoor concerts will be held on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of June, July, August, and September from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Western Ocean Regional Access.  Bring your lawn chair and come out and enjoy the great music!

The first act is "Jimmy and Neal" from Pure T Mommicked on June 7.  Other great acts are lined up all summer long, including "Conch Stew" on June 21. 

EmeraldFest is part of a partnership with SwanFest, the summer concert series held each Sunday evening at 6:30 pm in downtown Swansboro.  For a complete listing of performers at both EmeraldFest and SwanFest, visit  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/upcomingevents.htm .

Overnight Beach Equipment Exception Permits Available

Town ordinances require that all unattended beach equipment (tents, canopies, chairs, volleyball nets, etc.) be removed from the beach between 7 pm and 8 am daily, and Town staff regularly enforce this ordinance.  The penalty for leaving unattended beach equipment out overnight is confiscation, so please make sure you remove all unattended beach equipment at the end of the day.

Oceanfront property owners ONLY are eligible for 2 exception permits, and these exception permits can be obtained by visiting (7509 Emerald Drive) or calling (252-354-3424) the Town Administration Building during normal business hours.  Exception permits are available now, and are valid for the entire 2012 season.  Please note that the 2011 exception permits are still valid, and can be used again in 2012.   

Taxpayer Beach Access Parking Permits Available

Parking fees are collected at the Town's Eastern Ocean Regional Access and Western Ocean Regional Access each weekend through September 16th.  A $10 per vehicle parking fee is charged from 7 am - 4 pm on weekends and holidays only, and all other times and locations offer free parking.  

Emerald Isle taxpayers are eligible for 2 free annual parking permits for the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and Western Ocean Regional Access.  The parking permits are granted only for vehicles registered in the name of the taxpayer, and are not transferable.  Previously issued 2011 parking permits are no longer valid, and a new 2012 parking permit is required.  Emerald Isle taxpayers must display the appropriate permit sticker on their windshield in order to avoid the parking fee. 

The permit sticker can not be obtained at the regional beach access facilities, and must be obtained prior to visiting the regional beach access facilities.  To obtain your free parking permit, please visit (7509 Emerald Drive) or call (252-354-3424) the Town Administration Building during normal business hours. 

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
252-354-3424
frush@emeraldisle-nc.org
Posted by Frank Rush Tuesday, May 1, 2012 10:19:00 AM

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