- Don't Miss the 2015 Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival
- New Lights Added Along Coast Guard Road, New Bike Path
- Carteret County Releases New Tax Values
- Insurance Companies File Appeal, Again Seek Higher Premiums
- 2015 Controlled Deer Hunt Now Complete
- Construction of New Welcome Center Underway
- Parking Lot Improvements Continue
- Jean Preston Memorial Playground Fundraising Continues
- Crystal Coast Lighthouse Challenge Bike Rides - May 2, 2015
- Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, & 5K Races - March 28, 2015
- Carteret Arts Forum Offers Great Local Programming!
- Did You Know?
Don't Miss the 2015 Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival - March 14, 2015
Please join us for Emerald Isle's signature event on Saturday, March 14 from 9 am - 6 pm at Emerald Plantation Shopping Center! Live music, kids rides, arts and crafts vendors, specialty foods, a beer tent, and much more! For complete information, please visit http://emeraldislestpatricksfestival.com/ .
Special thanks to Transportation Impact and all of our great local sponsors for helping to make this event better than ever! We are expecting crowds in excess of 20,000 people in Emerald Isle for the 24th annual event!
Please note that, despite earlier reports to the contrary, strollers ARE permitted at the St. Patrick's Festival!
New Lights Added Along Coast Guard Road, New Bike Path
A total of 18 new street lights have been added along Coast Guard Road and the new bike path in this area. The new lights create a safer night-time environment for motor vehicles, bicyclists, walkers, and runners. This effort was led by the Town's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and the new lights were made possible by their diligent fundraising efforts and the generosity of many in our community. Thank you!
Carteret County Releases New Tax Values
The Carteret County Tax Office recently released the new 2015 tax values for all of Carteret County, including Emerald Isle. Overall, the total tax value in Emerald Isle decreased by approximately 9.6% - from approximately $3 billion to a little more than $2.7 billion. Approximately 56% of the properties in Emerald Isle decreased by more than 9.6%, while approximately 44% decreased by less than 9.6% or experienced an increase in tax value.
The Board of Commissioners will be working diligently over the next few months on the Town's FY 15-16 budget, and will establish a new tax rate in June 2015. In FY 14-15 (the current year), the Town's 14 cent General Fund tax rate yields total property tax revenues of approximately $4.2 million. In order to generate the same $4.2 million in FY 15-16 (next year), the Town's General Fund tax rate would need to be somewhere between 15.5 cents and 16 cents (the "revenue-neutral" tax rate). IF the Board establishes a "revenue-neutral" tax rate, every property owner whose tax value decreased by more than 9.6% would actually see a slight decrease in their annual Town tax bill. Every property owner whose tax value decreased by less than 9.6% or increased would see a slight increase in their annual Town tax bill. In the vast majority of cases, the amount of any increase or decrease in the annual Town tax bill is likely to be relatively minor if a "revenue-neutral" tax rate is adopted.
If you disagree with your new tax value, please contact the Carteret County Tax Office at 252-728-8494. County staff will be happy to answer your questions and/or assist you with the informal or formal appeals process.
Insurance Companies File Appeal, Again Seek Higher Premiums
In December, the NC Commissioner of Insurance announced that a requested homeowners insurance rate increase had been denied, and he actually ordered a slight decrease in rates for coastal areas, including Emerald Isle. The Town was very pleased with the Commissioner's decision, as the Town and others have been working hard in recent years to advocate for a fairer rate structure for homeowners insurance premiums.
Unfortunately, the NC Rate Bureau, the entity that represents the insurance companies, has now filed an appeal of the Commissioner's decision, claiming that current premiums are inadequate. Homeowners in Emerald Isle and other coastal areas already pay homeowners insurance premiums that are as much as 5 times higher than other parts of NC! The NC Court of Appeals is expected to hear this case later in 2015 or 2016.
2015 Controlled Deer Hunt Now Complete
The Emerald Isle Police Department has completed the Town's 2015 controlled deer hunt. A total of 50 deer were removed, as recommended and permitted by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to control the overall deer population in Emerald Isle. A total of nearly 800 lbs. of deer meat has been donated to the Hope Mission in Morehead City, where it will help feed the poor in our area.
The 2015 controlled deer hunt was conducted during overnight hours (generally between 11 pm and 5 am on weeknights only) during January. All hunting was completed with bow and arrow. Hunting occurred on Town street right of ways, on Town-owned property, and on private property that specifically granted permission. Public safety is the Town's highest priority, and all hunting was completed under the close supervision of the Police Chief and Police Major.
Construction of New Welcome Center Underway
Construction of the new Welcome Center in Emerald Isle began in mid-January, and is progressing nicely thus far. The new Welcome Center is the result of a partnership between the Town, the Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority, and NCDOT, and is located on NC 58 right of way at the site of the former Merchants Park (a few blocks west of the traffic signal in the middle of Emerald Isle).
The new Welcome Center replaces the modular units near the intersection of NC 58 and NC 24, and is conveniently located along the Town's bicycle path. The new building has an attractive coastal design, and is similar in appearance to the Town Administration Building and EMS Station. We hope to help many more visitors and potential visitors learn more about all of the great recreational opportunities in Emerald Isle and Carteret County!
The new Welcome Center is expected to open later this summer.
Parking Lot Improvements Continue
The Town's contractor continues to make good progress on parking lot improvements at the Town's Eastern Ocean Regional Access, the planned site for a future new ocean fishing pier. Significant subsurface storm water management features have been installed, and the attractive paver block parking area is currently under construction. A new wooden walkway to the beach is also planned, along with restroom improvements. All work is expected to be complete by April 1, in time for the 2015 beach season!
Jean Preston Memorial Playground Fundraising Continues
Fundraising efforts continue for the new Senator Jean Preston Memorial Playground, with nearly $7,000 in hand thus far! The volunteer committee is targeting a total of $75,000 to construct the new playground on Town-owned land just west of the public boat ramp facility. The location includes a beautiful view of Bogue Sound, and will include new playground equipment, a picnic shelter, an open grassy area, and additional parking.
To contribute to this effort, please visit http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Playground/default.htm . Additionally, local artist Barry Knauff has donated 3 original paintings to this effort, with proceeds donated to the Jean Preston Memorial Playground. To view and bid on the paintings, please visit http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/CommunityNotice/CommunityNotice%20-%20auction-jeanprestonplayground.htm .
Crystal Coast Lighthouse Challenge Bike Rides - May 2, 2015
Get your bike ready, and join us for the inaugural Crystal Coast Lighthouse Challenge bike rides on Saturday, May 2!
The inaugural Crystal Coast Lighthouse Challenge includes three rides to challenge bikers of all levels. The premier ride of the day is an 85 mile roundtrip ride down Bogue Banks, through Morehead City, Beaufort and Down East Carteret County to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse (at least as close as you can get on a bicycle). For those seeking less challenging bike outings, there are out and back rides to the Civil War site at Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach (41 miles) and to the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores (25 miles).
All three rides will begin at 8 AM at the Emerald Isle Community Center! To learn more and to register, please visit http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/CommunityNotice/CommunityNotice%20-%202015BiketheBanks.htm . Proceeds benefit bicycle and pedestrian projects in Emerald Isle!
Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, & 5K Races - March 28, 2015
The inaugural Emerald Isle Marathon (26.2 miles), and the 2nd annual Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) and 5K (3.1 miles) races will be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015! Learn more and sign up today at http://www.emeraldislerun.com/ , and start your training program now!
Last year's event (Half-Marathon and 5K only) raised a total of $42,000 for bicycle path improvements in Emerald Isle, and this year's event is expected to surpass that total with the addition of a full marathon. Proceeds from the 2015 event will be shared equally between the American Heart Association and the Town's bicycle path network.
The Marathon and Half-Marathon are each limited to 1,000 runners, and the 5K is capped at 500 runners. The earlier you sign up, the better your chances of getting in, and the lower the registration fee! We hope to see you on March 28 on what we hope will be a beautiful spring day in Emerald Isle. Bring your family and friends along for a great early beach weekend!
Carteret Arts Forum Offers Great Local Programming!
Carteret Arts Forum continues to offer great local programming in its 16th season! Their next performance features Hank Fincken, a living history performer who is well-known for his humorous and entertaining one-man plays. He incorporates the audience in every performance to create unique experiences that are insightful, provocative, and relevant. Hank Fincken's performance on Thursday, February 26 at The History Place in Morehead City will transport the audience to the days before the California gold rush, the turn of the century, and the early years of The Great Depression by depicting the life of Thomas Alva Edison.
For more information about Carteret Arts Forum, please visit http://www.carteretartsforum.com/ .
Did You Know?
The land that became known as Emerald Isle was purchased by a group of 7 investors in 1954 for $350,000! The total taxable value of the Town is now more than $2.7 billion!