Emerald Tidings

March 2010

  1. Unattended Beach Equipment Must Be Removed from the Beach Each Night
  2. Eastern Emerald Isle Storm Water and Public Access Improvements
  3. Town Supports 2011 Tax Revaluation
  4. Census 2010 - Make Sure You're Counted!
  5. EIPD Solves Recent Break-Ins; New Info on Town Website
  6. Ocean View Drive Beach Access Walkways are Public
  7. New Ambulance for Emerald Isle EMS
  8. FY 10-11 Budget Process Underway

Unattended Beach Equipment Must Be Removed From the Beach Each Night

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 are subject to being confiscated and removed by Town staff.   The new ordinance includes a special exception for oceanfront property owners whose land extends to the high water mark, and these property owners should contact Town staff at 252-354-3424 to make special arrangements.

Eastern Emerald Isle Storm Water and Public Access Improvements

The Town was awarded a $97,000 grant from the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund in 2008 for storm water and public access improvements along Bogue Sound between 1st Street and Park Street in eastern Emerald Isle.  The Town will match the grant with $36,000 of in-kind labor provided by Town staff.    This grant was awarded in 2008, but these funds had previously been held back by the State due to budget challenges at the State level.  The Town recently received notification that these funds will now be released to the Town, and we expect to begin work later this summer and fall.  The Town will use these funds to remove existing storm water outfalls, create new storm water infiltration systems, and install bulkheads and walkways to Bogue Sound in 17 different locations in this area over the next 3 years.    This project will help to protect water quality in Bogue Sound, improve aesthetics, and make it easier for the public to access Bogue Sound in this area of town.  We look forward to getting started!

Town Supports 2011 Tax Revaluation

With the full support of the Board of Commissioners, Mayor Art Schools recently sent a letter to the Carteret County Board of Commissioners urging them to proceed with the previously scheduled 2011 tax revaluation.    The last tax revaluation occurred in 2007 near the end of a period of significant increases in property values in Emerald Isle and Carteret County.  Since that time, property values have decreased and these new values should be reflected in the tax values assigned by Carteret County.  There has been some discussion by the County Commissioners about delaying the scheduled 2011 tax revaluation, and the Town (and other municipalities on Bogue Banks) has gone on record in support of the 2011 revaluation in the interest of tax equity and fairness.      To contact your County Commissioners, visit  http://www.carteretcountygov.org/comm_roster.asp .

Census 2010 - Make Sure You're Counted!

Census 2010 is nearly upon us, and it's extremely important that everyone in Emerald Isle participate!  Census questionnaires will be distributed in mid-March, and should be returned by mid-April. 

PLEASE make sure you complete the questionnaire and return it in a timely manner.  The 2010 Census questionnaire should only take approximately 10 minutes to complete.  An accurate count for Emerald Isle is essential, and helps to insure that Emerald Isle receives its fair share of Federal and State funding, and provides businesses and government with reliable data on which to make important decisions. 

For more information about the 2010 Census, visit www.2010census.nc.gov !

EIPD Solves Recent Break-Ins; New Info on Town Website

The Emerald Isle Police Department recently arrested 3 area teens in connection with several home and vehicle break-ins in Emerald Isle in recent months.  The Police Department continues to work hard to prevent these types of crimes and solve those that do occur. 

In an effort to keep our residents, property owners, and visitors better informed, the Town's website now includes a new page dedicated to crime-related information.  Visit www.emeraldisle-nc.org and click on "Emerald Isle Crime Info" on the left side of the page in the main menu. 

Ocean View Drive Beach Access Walkways are Public

Emerald Isle is fortunate to have plentiful public access to the beach, with more than 70 access points along our 12+ miles of Atlantic Ocean beach.  The Town remains committed to expanding and improving public access to both the ocean and Bogue Sound. 

Historically, it was believed that the beach access locations along Ocean View Drive between East Seaview Drive and the new Sea Oats Subdivision were privately owned by the residents in this area.  Recent research by the Town Attorney resulted in the discovery that these beach access walkways are actually dedicated to the Town and therefore should be open to the general public.  As such, the Town has begun the process of incorporating these beach access walkways into the Town system.  Minor repairs are underway, and Town signage and trash receptacles have been added at each location in this area.

Town staff are hard at work preparing for the 2010 tourism season, and will have these walkways and all others ready for another great season in Emerald Isle!

New Ambulance for Emerald Isle EMS

Emerald Isle EMS, Inc., the non-profit emergency medical services provider under contract to the Town, takes delivery of a new 2010 ambulance in March.  The new ambulance replaces a 10-year old ambulance, and was purchased at a cost of approximately $140,000.  Proceeds from EMS call fees and EMS reserve funds were used to fund the purchase of the new ambulance.

The Town and Emerald Isle EMS, Inc. have a great partnership for the provision of emergency medical services, and continue to strive to provide the best possible care for our residents, property owners, and visitors.

FY 10-11 Budget Process Underway

The Board of Commissioners recently held their annual budget planning workshop for FY 10-11, and received updates on the Town's financial condition, preliminary budget projections, and updates on various Town issues and projects.  This workshop meeting is the first of many meetings on the FY 10-11 budget, and Town staff and the Board will be working hard to develop a fiscally responsible Town budget over the next 4 months (the new fiscal year begins on July 1).

Like most private businesses and all levels of government, the Town has also been impacted by the recession and is forced to operate with declining revenues.  The Town has been fortunate to maintain a very low General Fund tax rate (7 cents; second lowest of all 21 NC beach towns), and Town staff and the Board will all be working hard to avoid or minimize the amount of any tax rate increase this year.  

The Town Manager's Recommended Budget will be presented to the Board at their May 11 regular meeting, and the Board will hold additional budget workshop meetings in May and June before adopting the FY 10-11 budget in June.

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Monday, March 1, 2010 4:27:00 PM