Emerald Tidings

July 2007

  1. Board of Commissioners Adopts FY 07-08 Budget
  2. THANK YOU to 50th Birthday Sponsors
  3. Town Now Accepts Credit Card / Debit Card Payments
  4. PLEASE Fill in Holes on the Beach Strand!
  5. Tips for Safe Ocean Swimming
  6. Soundside Pier and Access Repairs Complete
  7. 4th of July Fireworks

Board of Commissioners Adopts FY 07-08 Budget

Responsible Spending Plan Balances Low Tax Rate With Quality Services and Important Capital Projects

The Board of Commissioners adopted the Town's FY 07-08 budget at its June 12 regular meeting after several weeks of review and deliberation. The new budget takes effect on July 1, 2007. The total FY 07-08 budget is $10.26 million, with the General Fund making up the largest portion of this amount - $7.38 million.

The FY 07-08 budget includes funding to continue the Town's quality services and proceed with important capital projects that will serve our customers well in future years. The Board placed a priority on maintaining a low property tax rate, investing in important public safety building projects, continuing efforts to resolve storm water issues in the Coast Guard Road area, and maintaining adequate financial reserves.

The FY 07-08 General Fund tax rate is 6.7 cents per $100 of assessed value. The new rate is a decrease from the current tax rate of 15.5 cents, and is due to the recent revaluation of property by the Carteret County Tax Office. The 6.7 cent rate does, however, represent a 1-cent tax rate increase over the revenue-neutral rate of 5.7 cents. The tax rate increase represents an additional annual tax bill of $58 for the average taxpayer in Emerald Isle. The Town's total assessed valuation, after the recent revaluation, is now in excess of $4.25 billion. The 1-cent increase on the Town's tax rate will generate approximately an additional $425,000.

Town staff and the Board of Commissioners worked hard to limit the tax rate to the lowest rate possible without impeding progress on important items for our customers. Although we are not pleased to have even a minimal tax rate increase, we are proud that the FY 07-08 General Fund tax rate is still lower than the adjusted tax rate in FY 02-03. Although revaluation will impact individual tax bills in different ways, the average taxpayer in Emerald Isle will still be paying less Town property taxes in FY 07-08 than they did 5 years ago! Additionally, Emerald Isle's tax rate is among the lowest of all beach towns in North Carolina.

The special district tax rates for the Town's beach nourishment projects were established at the revenue-neutral tax rates, as promised to the voters prior to the bond referendum for these projects. The oceanfront district tax rate is 16.2 cents per $100 of assessed value (down from 48 cents), and the non-oceanfront rate is 1.1 cent (down from 3 cents). FY 07-08 is the 6th year of these special district taxes. FY 10-11 is the final year of special district taxes associated with the Town's beach nourishment bond referendum held in 2002.

The Town's annual solid waste fee was established at $180 per year, a $10 increase over the current fee. This fee equates to $15 per month for the Town's solid waste services. Although the monthly cost for these services is comparable to other area towns, Emerald Isle offers the highest service levels by any municipality in our area.

As noted above, the FY 07-08 budget invests in several beneficial capital projects, including the following:

  • $240,000 for the renovation and expansion of the Emerald Isle Police Department,
  • $350,000 (to be added to other project funds) for the construction of a new EMS Station adjacent to Fire Station 1,
  • $250,000 for design and permitting activities to construct two additional storm water pumps in Spinnakers Reach,
  • $145,000 (primarily anticipated grant funds) for the construction of a soundside pier and bathhouse at the new McLean Park located next to Chapel By The Sea,
  • $75,000 to replace aging and deteriorating walkways at Cedar Tree Lane and Santa Maria Drive.

The budget also includes funding for several other smaller projects designed to enhance Town services and improve the quality of life for our customers.

Town staff and the Board of Commissioners look forward to a productive new fiscal year, and are eager to serve you!

A HUGE THANK YOU to the Sponsors of the 50th Birthday Celebration!

Celebration Would Not Be Possible Without Their Generous Support and Commitment to the Town of Emerald Isle

The Town extends its sincere appreciation to the sponsors of the 50th Birthday Celebration.

Their support will enable the Main Event Celebration on Saturday, September 22 to be a fitting tribute to Emerald Isle's glorious past, fortunate present, and promising future! We are all so fortunate to enjoy this special place!

Emerald Sponsors - $5,000 Contribution

  • Bluewater GMAC Real Estate
  • BOB 93.3 FM / Party 92.3 FM & 101.1 FM
  • Emerald Isle Business Association
  • Emerald Isle Realty
  • Holiday Trav-L-Park / Watson-Matthews Real Estate
  • Time Warner Cable / Road Runner Speed Zone
  • WITN 7 - NBC Affiliate

Frazier's Creek Sponsors - $2,500 Contribution

  • Bogue Inlet Pier
  • Carteret County Board of Commissioners
  • Roy's Automotive

Rhoad's Pass Sponsors - $1,000 Contribution

  • Bogue Banks Beach Gear
  • Coastal Planning & Engineering
  • Coastal Science & Engineering
  • Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival
  • First Citizens Bank
  • Island Essentials
  • Moffatt & Nichol Engineers
  • North Carolina's Eastern Region
  • Pat Patteson General Contractor / Island Homes Realty
  • Spinnakers Reach Real Estate

Archie's Point Sponsors - $500 Contribution

  • NC Coast Communications
  • Once Blind Creative
  • Prudential Sun-Surf Real Estate
  • Shorewood Real Estate

Please extend your thanks and patronize these wonderful sponsors!

Town Now Accepts Credit Card / Debit Card Payments

Effective July 11, our customers can now use credit cards and debit cards when conducting business with the Town of Emerald Isle. Card payments will now be accepted for transactions at Town Hall (including tax payments), Planning and Inspections (permit fees, etc), and Parks and Recreation (memberships, activity fees, etc.)

The Town continually strives to improve our customer service, and we hope this new feature will be helpful.

PLEASE Fill in Holes on the Beach Strand!

Fun Digging in the Sand Can be Dangerous for Others

Everyone loves playing in the sand at the beach, and the Town wants everyone to enjoy our beautiful beaches! Many people often dig large holes on the beach to play with kids, and this can be great family fun. The Town allows this activity, and asks everyone to closely monitor kids around these features. Unfortunately, there have been incidents on other beaches involving collapsed sand resulting in injuries and death. Please be careful out there!

Equally as important, PLEASE take the time to fill in the holes you make on the beach strand. These holes make it difficult and dangerous for Town vehicles to patrol the beach, respond to emergency calls, and keep it clean. The holes are also hazards for people walking on the beach, especially after dark. Finally, the holes can impede sea turtle nesting and hatching success, and our community strives to protect these beautiful and threatened creatures.

Tips for Safe Ocean Swimming

Advice from the Emerald Isle Beach Patrol - Your Beach Safety is Their Top Priority!

There's no better way to spend a summer day than at the beach in Emerald Isle! Although it's great fun, the ocean is also a potentially dangerous place. The Town of Emerald Isle wants everyone to be safe out there, and the Beach Patrol offers the following tips:

  • Know the weather and surf conditions for the day. Storm conditions, even though far offshore, can cause heavy, rough surf.
  • Know the high and low tide times. Tides tell you when the surf is shallow and deep.
  • Know your own and your family's swimming skill level. Even excellent swimmers can exhaust themselves in the current. Make sure you can always touch the bottom!
  • Know the direction the wind is blowing. The wind signals the direction that the current is moving. If caught in deeper water, swim diagonally with the current and likely return to shallow water.
  • Know where other family members and friends are in the water at all times. Currents can sweep them away rapidly. Never swim alone.
  • Know the effects medications taken, coupled with sun exposure, can have on your ability to swim effectively.
  • Know how to handle a rip current! Rip currents are not always easy to spot. If caught, do not panic - instead, swim to either side of the rip current, parallel to shore. Most rip currents are not very wide. When you no longer feel the pulling, swim to shore.

Soundside Pier and Access Repairs Complete

Hurricane Ophelia caused major damage to several Town-owned piers and accesses on the Bogue soundfront in September 2005. With more than $150,000 of financial assistance from FEMA, the Town has finally completed all repairs to these neighborhood assets.

New piers have been constructed at Cedar Street, Bluewater Drive, and Cape Emerald. Significant repairs to access walkways have been completed at Lee Avenue, Ridge Road, and Piney Street, and at 24th St.

The Town is pleased to have all of these repairs completed, and appreciates the patience of our property owners in these areas.

4th of July Fireworks!

The Town's annual fireworks display over the ocean from Bogue Inlet Pier will occur on Wednesday, July 4 at 9:30 pm. Enjoy the show!

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Sunday, July 1, 2007 11:36:00 AM