- Town Purchases Land Adjacent to Town Hall Complex
- "Gateway" Conservation Easement Agreement Cancelled
- NCDOT To Extend Right Turn Lane from NC 58 Eastbound onto Coast Guard Road
- Youth Recreational Opportunities Committee Continues Efforts
- FOR SALE - Existing EMS Station Building
- Town Contact Information
Emerald Tidings, composed monthly by Town Manager Frank Rush, is the official newsletter of the Town of Emerald Isle.
Town Purchases Land Adjacent to Town Hall Complex
Will Be Site of New Town Administration Building and Reserved For Future Needs
The Board of Commissioners has approved a purchase contract for 1.2 acres of vacant land located across NC 58 from the Town Hall complex. The vacant land consists of 4 residential-size lots located side by side with 320 feet of frontage on NC 58. The land is located between Seagull Road and Black Skimmer Drive, just west of Emerald Isle Realty. The total purchase price is $162,500 per lot, for a total of $650,000. The land purchase will be financed over a 10-year period at an annual interest rate of 3.6%.
The land purchase enables the Town to meet two important goals. First, approximately 1/3 of the new land will be used for the new Town Administration Building to be constructed in 2008. The new building was originally planned for a vacant tract between the existing Town Hall / Police Station building and the tennis courts, but the new site provides a more visible and convenient location for the new building, and remains in close proximity to other Town buildings. Second, because this property is strategically located adjacent to the Town Hall complex, because the Town has limited options for additional land, and because land prices will continue to increase in the future, the Town is pleased to secure the land for future community needs. There are no immediate plans for the development of the remaining 2/3 of the new land, and the Town's intention is reserve this land for future, long-term needs. The Town previously solicited construction bids for the new Town Administration Building on the previously identified site, but rejected all bids due to the change in the building location and due to unacceptable bid prices. The Town is currently working on a new site plan and design changes, and will re-solicit construction bids in the coming months.
"Gateway" Conservation Easement Agreement Cancelled
Town Remains Committed to Preserving Natural "Gateway" Entrance Despite good faith efforts by both parties, the Town's June 2006 agreement to acquire a 30 ft. wide conservation easement along the east side of NC 58 between the B. Cameron Langston Bridge and Coast Guard Road has been cancelled. The Town had entered into an agreement with the private property owner to secure the conservation easement to insure that no land clearing, grading, or tree removal could occur in this area. In exchange for the conservation easement, the Town was required to construct a new segment of Crew Drive on the opposite side of the property on which the conservation easement would have been located. Topographical challenges, regulatory challenges, and concerns about the design of the new road could not be resolved in a mutually satisfactory manner, and it was ultimately determined to be in both parties' best interest to terminate the agreement. The preservation of the natural "Gateway" entrance into Emerald Isle remains a high priority for the Town. The Town's Land Use Plan incorporates this important preservation goal, and the Town will continue to seek to preserve the "Gateway" area in the future. The property on which the conservation easement would have been located is zoned commercial, and the Town will attempt to work cooperatively with the current land owners and/or future land owners to achieve the preservation goal. There are no known development plans for this area at this time.
NCDOT To Extend Right Turn Lane from NC 58 Eastbound onto Coast Guard Road
The NC Department of Transportation is scheduled to extend the existing right turn lane from NC 58 eastbound onto Coast Guard Road by an additional 300 ft. +/- in the coming weeks. The existing right turn lane is approximately 150 ft. +/- long, and will be extended to a length of approximately 450 ft. +/-. The longer turn lane is expected to make it easier for vehicles coming onto the island to make the right turn onto Coast Guard Road and also allow traffic to flow more smoothly along NC 58. Work is expected to begin in January or February, and be complete within a matter of weeks. The Town routinely requests that NCDOT attempt to schedule any highway work in the "off-season" to avoid traffic impacts during tourism season. The extension of the turn lane will result in the removal of several crape myrtle trees in the landscaped area adjacent to NC 58 between the "Welcome to Emerald Isle" sign and Coast Guard Road. Town staff will plant new trees along the right of way after NCDOT completes work on the turn lane. On a related note, the Town continues to work with NCDOT to achieve the resurfacing of NC 58 in Emerald Isle. NC 58 has not had a comprehensive resurfacing since 1978, and several segments of the road are in need of resurfacing. The majority of concerns about NC 58 are related to the "ride quality", with many areas of the road affected by a series of dips in the asphalt. NCDOT would like to resurface the road, however, funding constraints and other roads with worse conditions make it unlikely that NC 58 will be resurfaced in the near future. The Town continues to work with NCDOT to attempt to secure funding for limited resurfacing of the worst segments.
Youth Recreational Opportunities Committee Continues Efforts
The Board of Commissioners created the Youth Recreational Opportunities Committee (YROC) in August 2007. The YROC is charged with reviewing the range of youth recreational opportunities available in Emerald Isle, the need for additional opportunities, and the relationship between the availability of and/or lack of opportunities on youth safety, loitering, and vandalism issues in Emerald Isle. The YROC has been tasked with reporting to the Board of Commissioners on these issues and presenting appropriate recommendations for the Board's consideration.
The YROC consists of 17 volunteers, including parents, teens, business owners, Town officials, and others. Commissioner Nita Hedreen serves as the Chairperson, and Parks and Recreation Director Alesia Sanderson is the key staff person assigned to the YROC. The YROC has met 3 times over the past 3 months, and expects to continue its work into the spring. The YROC's goal is to present a set of recommendations to the Board of Commissioners in late spring 2008.
Much discussion to date has centered on the demand and benefits associated with a skateboard park, along with the potential for expanded teen activities in Emerald Isle. The YROC sponsored a pilot "Surf and Skate Night" in November that was well-attended. The event included a temporary skate park facility at the Town Hall basketball court and movies in the Community Center. Additional pilot activities are planned for the spring.
YROC meetings are open to the public, and are held on the first Monday of each month at 6 pm in the Community Center. The public is encouraged to attend and share any thoughts or suggestions with the group.
FOR SALE - Existing EMS Station Building - 218 Cedar Street
The Town is currently partnering with Emerald Isle EMS, Inc. to construct a new EMS station on Town-owned land adjacent to Fire Station 1 on NC 58. The new building is expected to be complete by late summer 2008, at which time Emerald Isle EMS, Inc. will occupy the new building. The Town will take possession of the existing EMS Station at 218 Cedar Street at that time, and is currently offering the property for sale. The existing EMS Station is a converted beach house. The existing station is in very good condition for use as a permanent home, beach house, or a commercial use. The building consists of a 1200 sq. ft., 3 bedroom, 2 bath living area on the top floor, and also includes a large garage and additional heated space on the ground floor. The building is located on the ocean side, and a beach access is just a short walk away. The building could also potentially be converted to commercial use, located near the corner of NC 58 and Cedar Street. The sale price is $450,000, and the Town will consider all offers. For more information, please contact Town Hall at 252-354-3424.
Contact Information for Your Town Government
The Town of Emerald Isle welcomes your input, suggestions, and criticisms as we strive to provide the highest quality municipal services in the most cost-effective manner. All of us are truly committed to "making Emerald Isle an even better place than it already is!" To contact Town staff, please visit the link below for phone numbers and email addresses: http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/contact_staff.htm . To contact the Mayor and Board of Commissioners, please visit the link below for phone numbers and email addresses: http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/contact_mayorandcommissioners.htm . Thank you for the opportunity to serve you!