Emerald Tidings

July 2008

FY 08-09 Town Budget Adopted

Emerald Isle Enjoys 2nd Lowest Tax Rate Among NC Beach Towns

Unified Development Ordinance To Be Considered on August 12

Emerald Isle Woods Park Reopens

FY 08-09 Town Budget Adopted

General Fund Tax Rate is 7 Cents

After several weeks of review and discussion, the Board of Commissioners adopted the FY 08-09 Town budget at its June 10 regular meeting. The Town's total budget for the period from July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009 is slightly more than $10.62 million.

The FY 08-09 budget is a fiscally-responsible spending plan that maintains quality Town services, continues the Town's investment in beneficial capital projects that will enhance the quality of life in Emerald Isle, and respects our taxpayers in this time of overall financial uncertainty. Town staff, the Town Manager, the Mayor, and Board of Commissioners all worked hard to minimize expenditures without sacrificing quality or continued progress in the Town.

The Board established a General Fund tax rate of 7 cents per $100 of assessed value for FY 08-09, which is a slight increase (.3 cents, or 4.4%) over the FY 07-08 rate of 6.7 cents. It should be noted that this increase is slightly lower than the annual rate of inflation during the past 12 months, and that the Town enjoys the 2nd lowest General Fund tax rate of all 21 NC beach towns. The FY 08-09 budget also maintains the $180 annual solid waste fee (equal to the FY 07-08 fee). The Board had considered eliminating the annual solid waste fee and replacing the lost revenues with an increase in the General Fund tax rate, however, the adopted budget does not include this change.

The FY 08-09 General Fund budget includes funding for the replacement of a 23-year old Fire Engine and associated equipment, additional paid personnel for Emerald Isle EMS, funding for storm water initiatives in eastern Emerald Isle and along Archer's Creek, replacement of two aging beach walkways, and early retirement of the temporary debt issued to finance the new EMS Station. The FY 08-09 budget also envisions the completion of major capital projects currently in progress - the new EMS Station, the Coast Guard Road Storm Water Project, and the new Town Administration Building.

The FY 08-09 budget for the Regional Access Fund includes funding for the construction of a new soundfront park on Town-controlled land adjacent to Chapel By The Sea. Construction of a new pier and bathhouse, and potentially a new multi-purpose ball field and playground, will begin later this year. The new park will be a great addition to the Town's water access and park system.

The special district tax rates for beach nourishment will remain the same in FY 08-09 - 16.2 cents per $100 of assessed value for oceanfront and inlet-front properties, and 1.1 cent for all other properties. FY 08-09 is the 7th year of special district taxes for beach nourishment. After FY 08-09, these special district taxes will be in effect for two more years. The ocean beach continues to be in good shape, with no significant erosion issues. The Point continues to accrete, and the new channel in Bogue Inlet remains far from the Emerald Isle shoreline.

The complete FY 08-09 budget document can be viewed at the Town's website at www.emeraldisle-nc.org .

Emerald Isle Enjoys Second Lowest General Fund Tax Rate of North Carolina's 21 Beach Towns

FY 08-09 General Fund Tax Rates North Carolina Beach Towns

Rank Town Tax Rate
1 Holden Beach 6.9 cents
2 Emerald Isle 7 cents
2 Wrightsville Beach 8 cents
4 Ocean Isle Beach 9 cents
5 Sunset Beach 9.5 cents
7 Indian Beach 11 cents
8 Pine Knoll Shores 11.5 cents
8 tie Duck 11.5 cents
10 Atlantic Beach 12.5 cents
11 Kure Beach 13.5 cents
12 Oak Island 14 cents
12 tie North Topsail Beach 14 cents
14 Nags Head 14.75 cents
15 Caswell Beach 15 cents
16 Carolina Beach 17.5 cents
17 Kitty Hawk 18 cents
18 Kill Devil Hills 20.5 cents
19 Bald Head Island 26 cents
20 Surf City 31 cents
20 tie Topsail Beach 31 cents

Unified Development Ordinance To Be Considered for Adoption at August 12 Town Meeting

After more than two years of hard work, the Town is nearing formal adoption of the new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Town staff, a special ad-hoc committee, and the Planning Board have all formally reviewed the draft UDO in recent weeks, and have recommended approval. The Board of Commissioners will conduct an official public hearing and then consider formal adoption at the August 12 Town meeting.

The draft UDO represents a comprehensive update and consolidation of all of the Town's development ordinances into one document. The goals of the UDO are to eliminate any inconsistencies in the Town's ordinances, create a more user-friendly document, and insure consistency with the Town's Land Use Plan. The draft UDO also includes a few policy changes and zoning map changes that are consistent with the Town's Land Use Plan. The most notable policy and zoning map changes involve:

  1. the creation of a new Marina Village zoning district (intended to encourage the perpetual existence of a public marina in Emerald Isle),
  2. the elimination of the Residential-Motel-Hotel zoning district (to preserve the residential nature of the Town's existing subdivisions),
  3. the elimination of the Institutional zoning district (with properties rezoned to commercial),
  4. the consolidation of the Town's commercial zoning districts into one commercial zone, and
  5. the implementation of the Universal Storm Water Management Program (intended to streamline storm water permitting activities in Emerald Isle and insure consistency with State storm water regulations).

The draft UDO is available for public review on the Town's website at www.emeraldisle-nc.org/DraftUDO-May2008.htm . A PowerPoint presentation summarizing the draft UDO is also available for viewing at the same website. Questions or concerns can be addressed to Kevin Reed, Planning and Inspections Director, at kreed@emeraldisle-nc.org or 252-354-3338.

Emerald Isle Woods Park Reopens!

Effective June 27, Emerald Isle Woods Park is now re-open to the public. Park hours are sunrise to sunset.

The vast majority of construction activities associated with the Coast Guard Road Storm Water Project in the park are now complete, however, there may still be some construction equipment and construction supplies stored in the park. These items will not inhibit usage of the park by the public, however, we request that the public excuse any temporarily untidy appearances until the entire project is complete by the end of July.

Enjoy the park! Thanks for your patience!

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Tuesday, July 1, 2008 9:18:00 AM