Emerald Tidings

July 2010

  1. FY 10-11 Budget Adopted
  2. Emerald Isle Continues to Enjoy 2nd Lowest General Fund Tax Rate Among NC Beach Towns
  3. Carteret County Comprehensive Transportation Plan Underway
  4. Recent Drownings in Emerald Isle
  5. Town Monitors Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
  6. Draft EIS Issued for F-35 B Joint Strike Fighters
  7. Town Developing Optimized Website for Mobile Devices
  8. Unattended Beach Equipment Must Be Removed Nightly
  9. Mayor Schools, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Organize Raffle for Additional Bike Paths

FY 10-11 Budget Adopted

After several months of hard work, the Board of Commissioners adopted the Town's FY 10-11 budget at its meeting on June 8.  Town staff and the Board worked hard to minimize expenditures in our continuing efforts to provide high quality services at the lowest possible cost to our taxpayers.     The total adopted budget across all funds is $9.43 million.  The General Fund budget is the largest component of the Town budget, and is $7.02 million for FY 10-11, approximately $378,000 more than FY 09-10.  Nearly all of this increase, a total of $375,000, is earmarked specifically for additional storm water improvements along the Coast Guard Road corridor.  The remainder of the General Fund budget is similar to FY 09-10, with no significant budget changes.  The FY 10-11 budget includes sufficient funding to maintain current service levels, replace necessary capital equipment, and provide modest salary increases for Town employees.   The FY 10-11 budget includes a 1-cent tax rate increase, from 7 cents per $100 of assessed value to 8 cents.  The average value property in Emerald Isle is approximately $571,000, thus the average value property owner will pay an additional $57 in FY 10-11.  The vast majority of the tax rate increase is associated with the Coast Guard Road storm water improvements, and the 1-cent increase will also help to stabilize future years' tax rates.  The annual solid waste fee remains unchanged at $180 per developed property.   The FY 10-11 special district tax rates for beach nourishment are again 16.2 cents for oceanfront properties and 1.1 cent for all others.  FY 10-11 is the final year of these special district taxes necessary to retire the Town's beach nourishment bonds issued in 2002 and 2004.  The Town intends to implement new special district tax rates of 3 cents for oceanfront properties and 1 cent for all others in FY 11-12 to fund future beach nourishment efforts.   Visit  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/townbudget.htm  to view the entire FY 10-11 Town budget.

Emerald Isle Continues to Enjoy 2nd Lowest General Fund Tax Rate Among NC Beach Towns

Carteret County Comprehensive Transportation Plan Underway

Participate in the Online Survey!

The NC Department of Transportation and the Carteret County Transportation Committee are currently developing a new Comprehensive Transportation Plan for Carteret County, and the Town is participating in the development of the new plan. 

The new plan is a long-range transportation plan, and will include various modes of transportation, including highways, bridges, rail, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  The new plan places a greater emphasis on local input than in the past, and the public is asked to participate in an online survey to help planners develop the best possible plan for our area. 

Please take a few minutes and complete the survey, which can be accessed at  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/CommunityNotice4.htm .

Recent Drownings in Emerald Isle

Town Provides Mobile Water Rescue Personnel Through The Beach Patrol

Unfortunately, two men drowned in separate incidents in the Atlantic Ocean in Emerald Isle in late May and early June.  The first incident occurred in the area west of Islander Drive and the second incident occurred in the vicinity of 14th Street.  The Town extends its deepest sympathies to the families of both men.

Both of these incidents serve as a somber reminder that although the ocean beach is one of the best places to have fun, it is also an inherently dangerous place, and everyone should exercise caution while enjoying the ocean beach.  Please make sure you remain alert about surf conditions, your surroundings, and keep a close eye on your children.  Learn how to recognize a rip current, and if you find yourself caught in one, don't panic and swim parallel to the shoreline until you can safely move toward the shoreline.  More information about rip currents is posted on signage at all public beach access locations in Emerald Isle.

Because the Town has approximately 12 miles of beach to cover, we rely on our Beach Patrol, a mobile unit that provides a variety of services on the beach strand, including water rescues.  The Beach Patrol receives intense water rescue training, and participates in numerous rescues each year.  The Town has 3 mobile Beach Patrol units on the beach each day assigned to different zones.  The Fire Department is also trained for water rescues, and responds very quickly from one of two fire stations in Emerald Isle.

Enjoy the ocean beach, but please stay safe.

Town Monitors Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

The Town, along with other State and County officials, continues to monitor the movement of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.  To date, no oil is believed to have entered the Gulf Stream, which would potentially carry oil to the US East Coast, due to the presence of a significant eddy in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Recent information from scientists suggests that the chances are very slim that Emerald Isle will be impacted by the oil spill in any significant way.  Any impacts, if they are felt at all, are likely several weeks and months away, and will be much less severe than experienced in Louisiana as the oil becomes more and more degraded, weathered, and diluted over time.  The current thinking for NC beaches involves small tar balls better classified as nuisances, if any arrive at all.

The Town posts any relevant information about the Gulf oil spill on our website at  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/CommunityNotice5.htm .

Draft EIS Issued for F-35 B Joint Strike Fighters

Next Generation of Military Aircraft Will Use Bogue Field

The Department of the Navy has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the basing of F-35 B Joint Strike Fighters at MCAS Cherry Point (NC) and MCAS Beaufort (SC) in the future.  A copy of the DEIS can be viewed at  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/CommunityNotice6.htm .

The Navy will transition to the F-35 B Joint Strike Fighter between 2014 and 2023.  The F-35 B will replace the AV-8B Harrier and the F/A-18 Hornet, and is the next generation of military aircraft.  According to the DEIS, the Navy's Preferred Alternative involves the basing of 8 squadrons of the F-35 B Joint Strike Fighters at MCAS Cherry Point (located in Havelock). 

The F-35 B Joint Strike Fighters will utilize Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field (MCALF) Bogue for training activities.  According to the DEIS, the number of authorized flight operations at MCALF Bogue will decrease significantly from that currently authorized, but it is believed that the number of authorized flights will be similar to the actual number of AV-8B Harrier flights that the Town has experienced in recent years.  (The actual number of flight operations has been significantly less than authorized due to military deployments overseas.)  The DEIS indicates that the cumulative noise impacts (based on # of authorized flights, time of day, flight patterns, etc.) will be similar to that currently experienced in Emerald Isle, however, the F-35 B Joint Strike Fighter is generally believed to be a louder aircraft.

The public is invited to comment on the DEIS, and can access the public comment section via the link above.  Public comments are being accepted through July 12. 

Town Developing Optimized Website for Mobile Devices

The Town makes the best possible effort to keep our residents, property owners, and visitors informed about Town government, and the Town's website ( http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ ) is the most comprehensive source of information available.  

With more and more people relying on mobile devices these days, the Town is gradually implementing a new website optimized for mobile devices.  The web address is the same, but the new mobile device site is intended to be more user-friendly for mobile devices.  Town staff will continue to add more and more information to the mobile device site in the coming weeks.   

Unattended Beach Equipment Must Be Removed Nightly

In an effort to improve public safety and aesthetics, and due to sea turtle nesting concerns, the Board of Commissioners recently adopted a new ordinance that requires all unattended beach equipment (including shade tents, canopies, volleyball nets, and other equipment) to be removed from the beach strand each night.  All unattended items left on the beach between 7 pm and 8 am are now illegal, and will be confiscated and removed by Town staff.  (Oceanfront property owners may qualify for a special exception, and should contact Town staff at 252-354-3424.)    Town staff have begun enforcing these new rules, and your cooperation and compliance is greatly appreciated!

Mayor Schools, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Organize Raffle for Additional Bike Paths

Win a Free 1-Week Stay in Emerald Isle!

With the assistance of Mayor Schools, the Town's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is sponsoring a raffle to raise funds for future bicycle path projects in Emerald Isle.  

Tickets are $10 each, and a total of nine (9) one-week stays at premier vacation rental properties will be raffled on September 7.  You don't need to be present to win, and tickets are on sale now through September.  Tickets can be purchased at several locations in Emerald Isle, or by mail.  Visit www.eiraffle.com for complete information!

The week-long stays at the 9 vacation rental properties were donated by Emerald Isle Realty, Bluewater GMAC Real Estate, and Spinnakers Reach Realty.  The Town extends a special thanks to these local businesses!

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Thursday, July 1, 2010 4:25:00 PM