Emerald Tidings

January 2011

  1. New Beach Nourishment Municipal Service Districts Being Considered
  2. Town Set to Transition to Carteret County Consolidated E911 Center
  3. The Point Continues to Grow
  4. Town Working To Identify Budget Reductions
  5. Construction Continues on New Public Boat Launch Facility
  6. Update - NC 58 Turn Lane and Resurfacing Work
  7. New Golf Cart Program Now in Effect
  8. Please Join Our Email List!

New Beach Nourishment Municipal Service Districts Being Considered

Public Hearing at February 8 Regular Meeting

The current municipal service districts established to retire the Town's beach nourishment bonds will expire on June 30, 2011, and these special district taxes (16.2 cents on oceanfront and inlet-front properties, and 1.1 cents on all others) will no longer be collected after this year.  The Town's previous beach nourishment projects, funded by these special district taxes, have held up well over the past 8 years, and a wide beach and protective dune remains in place along the vast majority of Emerald Isle's ocean shoreline today.

The Town continues to plan for future beach nourishment activities in order to maintain the maximum storm protection, recreational, environmental, and aesthetic value of the beach.  The Town is actively working with nearby towns and the Carteret County Beach Commission on future beach nourishment planning and permitting activities so that the Town will be prepared to renourish the beach as needed in the future.  In order to fund the Town's long-term beach nourishment activities, the Board of Commissioners is considering the establishment of two new municipal service districts that would take effect on July 1, 2011.  The boundaries of the new municipal service districts are nearly identical to the boundaries of the current districts.  The Board has preliminarily endorsed new special district tax rates of 3 cents for oceanfront and inlet-front properties and 1 cent for all others (based on the 2007 tax values), and the annual revenues generated by these special district taxes, when combined with County room occupancy tax funds and State funding, are expected to be sufficient to fund the Town's long-term beach nourishment program.

The Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the establishment of the new municipal service districts on February 8, 2011 at 7 pm in the Town Board Meeting Room.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend.  After the public hearing, the Board will consider the formal establishment of the new municipal service districts.  The actual special district tax rates would not be established until June 2011 when the FY 11-12 Town budget is adopted,  however, the Board has preliminarily endorsed the proposed 3 cent / 1 cent special district tax rates (that are based on the 2007 tax values). 

Town Set to Transition to Carteret County Consolidated E911 Center

The new Carteret County E911 Center opens in January, and will consolidate E911 communications previously provided by the Carteret County Sheriff, Town of Morehead City, Town of Atlantic Beach, and Town of Emerald Isle into one new County department and facility.  The new consolidated E911 center is expected to improve services, allow for the more efficient use of staff resources and communications, and reduce costs over the long-term. 

The Town of Emerald Isle previously provided E911 communications at the Emerald Isle Police Station.  The Town's E911 center will no longer operate after January 18, 2011, and all E911 calls will automatically be routed to the Carteret County E911 Center in Morehead City.  County personnel will now answer calls and dispatch the appropriate emergency responders to the scene.  County and Town staff have been working hard to insure a seamless transition, and Emerald Isle residents and visitors calling 911 should continue to receive high quality emergency services.  A key service enhancement planned for the consolidated County E911 center is the implementation of "emergency medical dispatch", with trained personnel providing medical advice to the caller while emergency personnel are en route to the emergency scene.
The Town will continue to provide staffing at the Police Station during regular business hours, evenings, and weekends to provide non-emergency customer service for Town residents and visitors for all Town services.  These non-emergency calls for service should be directed to the Emerald Isle Police Station at 354-2021.  Non-emergency calls that require Police assistance can be directed either to the Emerald Isle Police Station at 354-2021 or to the non-emergency number at the Carteret County E911 center at 726-1911.

The Point Continues to Grow

It has now been nearly 6 years since the Town relocated the main ebb channel in Bogue Inlet to a central location between Emerald Isle and Bear Island.  The channel remains in a stable position away from Emerald Isle, and The Point continues to accrete - now resembling its configuration in the late 1980s, with nearly 2000 feet of beach between the homes in Emerald Isle and the main ebb channel. 

The Town continues to monitor the conditions in the Bogue Inlet navigation channel, the larger inlet complex, and on land at The Point as we seek to maintain a stable long-term configuration in this area.  Future Bogue Inlet channel stabilization activities are included in the Town's long-term beach nourishment plans, as the Town will be seeking a long-term permit authorization to periodically dredge the main ebb channel in Bogue Inlet to both stabilize the position of the channel and to secure high quality sand for future beach nourishment efforts in western Emerald Isle. 

The Point - Looking East from Western Tip

Town Working to Identify Budget and Service Reductions

Suggestions Welcome!

The FY 11-12 budget begins on July 1, 2011, and the Board of Commissioners will adopt the new budget in June 2011.  Town staff and the Board are already hard at work on next year's budget in an attempt to balance the budget with minimal impacts on the General Fund property tax rate and on Town services. 

If you have ideas on how the Town should adjust, reduce, or eliminate services and spending, we want to hear them.  Please send any suggestions to Town Manager Frank Rush at frush@emeraldisle-nc.org .  The Town welcomes all suggestions, and they will be thoroughly considered over the coming months. 

Please note that the Town has already delayed new capital projects, and is currently only pursuing capital projects that are primarily funded by outside grants, contributions, and donations.  Examples of projects funded primarily by outside funds include the new public boat launching facility, multi-use (bicycle) path improvements, and park improvements.   

Construction Continues on New Public Boat Launch Facility

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission and its contractor, SunLand Development and Construction, continue to make good progress on the construction of the new public boat launch facility. 

Both double launch ramps are now in place, and work continues on the construction of the parking area and storm water management features.  A separate contractor for the NC Department of Transportation has completed initial site preparation work for a new turn lane on NC 58 in this area, and the turn lane will be paved later this spring as part of the NC 58 resurfacing project.

The project is expected to be complete by April, with a public opening date planned for soon thereafter. 

Construction Activity at New Public Boat Launch

Update - NC 58 Turn Lane and Resurfacing Work

Onslow Grading and Paving, under contract to the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT), has completed initial site preparation work for the new turn lane to serve the new public boat launching facility, and is making plans for the full resurfacing of NC 58 through Emerald Isle this winter and spring.  The contract calls for all work to be complete by April 30, 2011.

Actual paving will occur at random periods of time over the next few months, and is dependent on the air temperatures.  Paving can only be completed during periods of time with air temperatures greater than 50 - 60 degrees.  Onslow Grading and Paving and NCDOT will be monitoring air temperature forecasts and scheduling the paving of various segments of NC 58 as air temperatures permit.  The entire 9+ mile length of NC 58 through Emerald Isle will be paved in various phases over the next few months.   
NCDOT, Onslow Grading and Paving, and the Town will be working hard to minimize community disruption as much as practical, however, motorists and residents should expect some minor inconveniences.  

The Town is grateful to NCDOT for funding and arranging this work, which will be a great improvement for Emerald Isle. 

New Golf Cart Program Now in Effect

The Town's new golf cart program is now in effect, and the use of golf carts is allowed on most public streets in Emerald Isle if they are registered with the Town and meet certain safety standards.

The Town's new golf cart program allows the operation of golf carts on all public streets in Emerald Isle, with the exception of NC 58 and Coast Guard Road.  Golf carts will be allowed to cross directly over NC 58 and Coast Guard Road, but golf carts will not be allowed to travel on these two busy roads. 

In order to register a golf cart in the Town's program, the golf cart must include certain required safety equipment, including headlights, tail lights, blinkers, brake lights, windshields, seatbelts, and others.  The golf cart must be registered to an Emerald Isle address, and the operator must be a licensed driver AND at least 18 years of age.  The Emerald Isle Police Department will vigorously enforce the prohibition on underage golf cart drivers, and will also pursue charges against any adult who allows an underage golf cart driver.  Golf carts will be subject to all other NC motor vehicle laws and regulations, and will be subject to the same parking regulations as traditional motor vehicles.  The Town will, however, be creating special "golf-cart only" parking spaces at select public beach access locations in the future on a case-by-case basis.

The new ordinance does not apply to "street-legal" golf carts registered with the NC Division of Motor Vehicles, as these vehicles are treated in the same manner as a traditional motor vehicle.  The new ordinance also does not apply to golf carts used by handicapped individuals as a mobility device, provided the operator has a valid handicapped placard and card in his / her possession.

Please visit the Town Administration Building during normal business hours to register your golf cart with the Town.  A golf cart application and a complete explanation of the rules and regulations is available at http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/golfcarts.htm .

Please Join our Email List!

The Town strives to provide the most timely and thorough information about Town issues, services, and projects to our residents, property owners, and visitors, and email is a very cost-effective way to disseminate information.  The Town publishes monthly email newsletters, sends out other special announcements throughout the month as needed, and also distributes important emergency and hurricane information via email to everyone who subscribes to our email list.  Please visit www.emeraldisle-nc.org and click on the "Join Our Email List" button in the top right corner!

There is also comprehensive information about nearly all Town services, programs, and projects, along with the Board of Commissioners' meeting agenda packets, on the Town's website at www.emeraldisle-nc.org

Frank A. Rush, Jr. Town Manager Town of Emerald Isle 7500 Emerald Drive Emerald Isle, NC 28594 252-354-3424 frush@emeraldisle-nc.org

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Saturday, January 1, 2011 4:23:00 PM