Emerald Tidings

February 2009

  1. Town Joins Other Towns and Counties on Insurance Premium Appeals
  2. Town's Bond Rating Upgraded
  3. Aquarium Pier at Emerald Isle Advisory Committee Members Appointed
  4. Bogue Banks Water Corporation Unveils New Website
  5. All Grant Applications Submitted for Acquisition of Land for New Public Boat Launch Facility
  6. FOR SALE - Old EMS Station Building

Town Joins Other Towns and Counties on Coastal Insurance Premium Appeals

Property owners in Emerald Isle and all of coastal North Carolina will soon be facing significant insurance premium increases for homeowners and wind & hail policies.  Two recent decisions by the NC Insurance Underwriting Association (offers the "Beach Plan") and one recent decision by the NC Rate Bureau and Commissioner of Insurance will begin to impact Emerald Isle policies in the next few months.    One of the changes to the Beach Plan is an increase in the surcharge over private market rates for full peril policies - from 15% to 25%.  The surcharge for wind-only policies would increase from 5% to 15%.  The other change is a mandatory switch from a fixed deductible amount (for example, $500 or $1000) to a 2% (of the insured value of the structure) deductible.  For a $175,000 policy, this deductible would increase to $3,500.  This deductible change will likely result in a slight savings on insurance premiums, and will somewhat offset the surcharge increases.  The third change, which affects all private market policies and the Beach Plan, is a 17.5% increase in insurance premiums that was approved by the Commissioner of Insurance after receiving a larger request from the NC Rate Bureau.    The actual impact of these changes on an individual policy will vary somewhat depending on various discounts in place for a particular policy holder, however, a detailed example calculation completed for a $175,000 policy suggests that the combined impact will be a 20% - 25% increase in premiums for next year.  The various changes are scheduled to take effect at different times over the next few months.   A group led by Dare County and the Town of Nags Head has filed several appeals of the changes to the Beach Plan and the rate increase.  Several coastal towns and counties have signed on to this effort and have made contributions to support the effort.  At its January meeting, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to support this effort and approved a $5,000 contribution.  The appeals will be considered over the next several weeks.  Additionally, the NC General Assembly is considering this issue and their involvement may lead to different changes.

Town's Bond Rating Upgraded

Standard & Poor's, one of the largest bond rating agencies, annually reviews the Town's financial condition and re-assigns the Town's bond rating.  The Town previously issued $17 million of general obligation bonds in 2002 and 2004, and some of these bonds remain available on the secondary market. 

The Town has maintained an "A+" rating for the past several years, which is an excellent rating for a town of Emerald Isle's size.  After completing a review of the Town's June 30, 2008 financial statements and interviewing Town staff, Standard & Poor's has upgraded the Town's rating by two steps to a "AA" rating.  The Town is pleased with this ratings upgrade, and the outside, third-party confirmation of the Town's strong financial management.   

Aquarium Pier at Emerald Isle Advisory Committee Members Appointed

The Town and the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores have appointed 8 well-qualified individuals to serve on the new Aquarium Pier at Emerald Isle Advisory Committee.  The appointments were very competitive, with a total of 31 applicants for the 8 slots on the new committee.

The Board of Commissioners appointed the following individuals to serve:  Richard (Dr. Bogus) Ehrenkaufer - avid fisherman, Don Eglinton - nearby property owner, Mal Boyette - at large, and Jim Woolard - at large.  Because of the strong interest from the public, the Board decided to replace the slot originally designated for a Town Commissioner with an additional at-large slot.

The NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores appointed the following individuals to serve:  Rick Leuttich - research community, Greg "Rudi" Rudolph - surfing community, Randy Mason - Aquarium advisory board, and Alex McFadyen - at large. 

The Advisory Committee will work closely with Town and Aquarium leaders on the development of the project over the next several years.  The committee's initial meeting is planned for March.

Bogue Banks Water Corporation Unveils New Website

Bogue Banks Water Corporation, the separate, non-profit corporation that provides potable water for Emerald Isle and Indian Beach, recently unveiled a new website to help keep their water customers informed about their efforts.  You can visit their website at  http://boguebankswater.intuitwebsites.com/

All Grant Applications Submitted for Acquisition of Land for New Public Boat Launch Facility

The Town continues to work hard to secure necessary grant funds to purchase a 16-acre tract of land near Emerald Isle Chapel By The Sea for a new public boat launching facility.  All grant applications have been submitted to potential Federal, State, and local funding partners, and funding decisions should be forthcoming between February and May.

The conceptual plan for the new facility includes a total of 125 vehicle / trailer parking spaces and 19 single-vehicle spaces, which would make the facility the largest on the NC coast.  There is already great demand for public boating access in our area, and the planned redevelopment of Island Harbor Marina will exacerbate this problem in the future. The Town continues to work hard on this issue to insure that the general public will have somewhere to launch a boat in Emerald Isle.

FOR SALE - Old EMS Station Building - 218 Cedar Street

The Town is currently offering the old EMS station property for sale as a residential dwelling.  The asking price is $450,000, and the Town will consider all offers.  A detailed property listing, including photos, is available for viewing at http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/forsale.htm .    The Town has recently completed several interior renovations to improve the interior appearance and functionality of the building.       For more information, please contact Town Manager Frank Rush at 252-354-3424 or frush@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 Sunday, February 1, 2009 7:46:00 AM