Emerald Tidings

July 2018

  1. Join Us for July 4 Fireworks in Emerald Isle!
  2. NCDOT State Transportation Improvement Program Currently Being Developed; Town Seeks NC 58 Improvements to Promote More Efficient Traffic Flow
  3. NCDOT Evaluating Traffic Improvement Options for NC 58 / Bogue Inlet Drive Intersection
  4. New NC 58 Crosswalks Added, Flashing Beacons To Be Installed Soon
  5. 3rd Annual Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival - Saturday, September 29! Sponsorship Opportunities Available
  6. Peak Hurricane Season Approaching - Be Prepared!
  7. Town Considering Fire Station 1 Expansion and Renovation
  8. Help us Keep Emerald Isle Clean - Adopt a Street and/or Adopt a Beach!
  9. New Street Lights Added at NC 58 Roundabout, Coast Guard Road Bicycle Path
  10. Planning Underway for Islander Drive Streetscape Improvements, Western Ocean Regional Access Improvements
  11. Golf Cart Advisory Committee Working to Expand Golf Cart Access, Seeking Donations for New Dedicated Golf Cart Paths
  12. Dog Park Development Committee Hard at Work, Seeking Donations for Emerald Isle Dog Park
  13. Please Respect Emerald Isle Businesses; Use Public Parking Areas for Beach Access
  14. Regional Beach Access Parking Fees Now Collected on Fridays
  15. Town Exploring Ways to Promote Better Internet Service in Emerald Isle
  16. Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program Update
  17. Vacationers - Don't Throw Out Your Leftover Food! Donate to "A Second Helping"
  18. Emerald Isle Lifeguard Team Offers "Water Safety Splash" Classes Every Saturday
  19. Did You Know?

 

Join Us for July 4 Fireworks in Emerald Isle! 

 

The Town, in partnership with Bogue Inlet Pier, is pleased to present the annual July 4 fireworks show over the ocean!  Please join us this coming Wednesday, July 4 at 9 pm on the beach!  

 

 

NCDOT State Transportation Improvement Program Currently Being Developed; Town Seeks NC 58 Improvements to Promote More Efficient Traffic Flow

 

The Board of Commissioners recently approved a resolution requesting that NCDOT include beneficial traffic improvements at the 4 signalized intersections on NC 58 in the new 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).  The resolution seeks NCDOT funding and construction of beneficial improvements that will improve traffic flow at the Coast Guard Road, Loon Drive (Emerald Plantation), Mangrove Drive (CVS), and Bogue Inlet Drive intersections. If these projects are included in the new STIP, NCDOT will conduct further analysis and solicit public input before determining the specific improvements at each location in the coming years. Potential improvements may ultimately include traffic signal improvements, additional turn lanes, additional through lanes, roundabout(s), and/or other beneficial improvements.  The Town's resolution also requests that NCDOT consider an elevated interchange at the NC 58 / NC 24 intersection on the mainland.

The Town occasionally receives concerns about peak season traffic congestion along NC 58, and has worked cooperatively with NCDOT over the years to make incremental improvements in the traffic flow.  It is important to note that the majority of people in Emerald Isle are opposed to the widening of NC 58 and the bridge because they believe it would dramatically change the character and small-town atmosphere that is so valued in Emerald Isle, and that it would also create a barrier between the oceanside and the soundside.  The Town's official policies reflect this concern, and therefore it is only possible to pursue smaller, incremental improvements (such as those described above) to improve traffic flow in Emerald Isle during peak periods.  It is also important to note that inclusion in the STIP is critical, as this is the vital first step in addressing traffic concerns at these locations.  If these projects are not included in the STIP for further analysis and evaluation, it is likely that no improvements would ever occur at these locations.

For a full discussion of this issue and the Town's formal request, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Memo-06-12-2018-Item-13 .  

NCDOT Evaluating Traffic Improvement Options for NC 58 / Bogue Inlet Drive Intersection 

The current 2018-2027 STIP did include funding for incremental improvements to the NC 58 / Bogue Inlet Drive intersection, and NCDOT has been soliciting input and evaluating different options for the past several months. Options currently under consideration include traffic signal improvements, additional turn lanes and through lanes, driveway adjustments, and a roundabout, and NCDOT expects to refine the potential options in the next few months and then schedule public input sessions later this year. 

After receiving public input and additional input from the Board of Commissioners, NCDOT will then consider the best course forward at that time.  (A similar process will be used for other NC 58 intersections in Emerald Isle if they are ultimately included in the new 2020-2029 STIP discussed above.)  Any new improvements at the NC 58 / Bogue Inlet Drive intersection could potentially be constructed in the next 2 - 4 years, depending on State funding availability.    

New NC 58 Crosswalks Added, Flashing Beacons To Be Installed Soon

 

With State funding secured by NC Representative Pat McElraft, NCDOT recently installed 3 new pedestrian crosswalks in Emerald Isle at Islander Drive, the Town Government Complex, and at the Ocean Drive "dog-leg". New pavement markings and sidewalk segments have been added, and new flashing pedestrian beacons will soon be installed.  The Town greatly appreciates Representative McElraft's and NCDOT's assistance with these helpful pedestrian safety improvements.  

3rd Annual Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival - Saturday, September 29! Sponsorship Opportunities Available  

The Town is excited for the 3rd installment of the new Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival on September 29, and has booked another great lineup for this year's event on the beach strand at the Western Ocean Regional Access.  Performers include Sammy O'Banion, the Band of Oz, Fantastic Shakers, Chairmen of the Board, the Embers, and the Tams.  Come on out and enjoy a beautiful weekend in Emerald Isle!

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2018 Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival.  Please contact Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation Director, at asanderson@emeraldisle-nc.org or 252-354-6350 if your business is interested in sponsoring this great annual event.  Multiple sponsorship levels are available.

Peak Hurricane Season Approaching - Be Prepared! 

August and September are the most active hurricane months for Emerald Isle, and Town staff will be closely monitoring potential threats to Emerald Isle as they develop.  The Town works hard to keep our residents and property owners well-informed, and offers several digital platforms.  

To receive the most current and accurate information about potential storm threats and actual impacts in Emerald Isle, please look for the appropriate guidance at:

- the Town's website ( https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ ),

- the Town's email newsletter (sign up at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/email-text-notifications),

- the Town's text message alert system ( sign up at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/email-text-notifications),

- the Town's Facebook page (Town of Emerald Isle, NC),

- the Town's Twitter account (@townemeraldisle), and 

- on the Emerald Isle APP, including Push notifications (search for "emerald isle nc" on Google Play and the APP Store).

For general hurricane preparedness information, please visit https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/hurricane-information-1 .  

If you don't have your Town-issued hurricane re-entry permit, please don't wait until the storm is threatening Emerald Isle, as the lines are often long and Town staff are focused on essential storm preparations at that time.  Please visit the Town Administration Building during normal business hours to secure your re-entry permit, or visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/hurricane-information-1 to complete the online application.

Be prepared, and be safe!

Town Considering Fire Station 1 Expansion and Renovation 

Town officials will be considering the scope, timing, and cost of a planned expansion and renovation of Fire Station 1 in the coming months, with a goal to construct improvements in the next 1 - 3 years.  Fire Station 1 was constructed in 1992, is increasingly more crowded and outdated, and the exterior building appearance is not consistent with the Town's updated quality standards.  

Potential improvements to be considered include additional bunk, training, and office facilities, additional storage, larger bays for Fire apparatus, and a new exterior facade (with a similar look as the EMS station, Town Administration Building, and Welcome Center).  An older Town debt will be fully retired during FY 18-19, and the Town will be seeking to allocate this budget capacity toward the planned Fire Station improvements in an effort to minimize any impact on the Town's property tax rate in the future.  

Help us Keep Emerald Isle Clean - Adopt a Street and/or Adopt a Beach! 

 

The Board of Commissioners recently approved new Adopt a Street and Adopt a Beach programs, and the Town is currently accepting applications for these new programs.  The new programs, modeled after similar successful programs managed by NCDOT and other municipalities, allow interested Emerald Isle businesses, individuals, and community groups to volunteer to clean a Town street segment or beach access and adjacent beach strand segment. The selected areas must be cleaned 4 times per year, and the Town will provide all necessary support and supplies to the volunteers.  Participating businesses, individuals, and community groups will be publicly recognized with signs in the selected areas.  

For more information, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Memo-05-08-2018-Item-12  and/or contact Josh Edmondson, Town Planner, at  jedmondson@emeraldisle-nc.org  or 252-354-3424. 

New Street Lights Added at NC 58 Roundabout, Coast Guard Road Bicycle Path

 

At the Town's request, Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative recently installed new decorative street lights around the perimeter of the NC 58 roundabout, and also added several new lights along the Coast Guard Road bicycle path.  The new lighting improves visibility and safety for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians in these areas.

Planning Underway for Islander Drive Streetscape Improvements, Western Ocean Regional Access Improvements

Town officials are currently working with adjacent property owners on Islander Drive, Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative, and others to identify potential streetscape improvements along Islander Drive and potential improvements to the Western Ocean Regional Access.  These improvements will primarily be funded with proceeds from the sale of Town-owned land on Islander Drive and State grant funds.  

Potential improvements under consideration include the conversion of above-ground utilities to underground, additional on-street public parking, new street lighting, landscaping improvements, improved pedestrian access to the beach strand, bath house improvements, and other functional and attractive improvements.  The Town hopes to finalize the planned improvements later this summer, and construct the improvements this coming winter and spring, with completion prior to the 2019 tourism season. 

Golf Cart Advisory Committee Working to Expand Golf Cart Access, Seeking Donations for New Dedicated Golf Cart Paths

 

The Town's golf cart program continues to grow in popularity, with approximately 900 golf carts now registered in the program.  The new Golf Cart Advisory Committee is actively working to expand golf cart access to areas that are geographically isolated from other areas of Emerald Isle, with its primary focus on the construction of new dedicated golf cart paths to allow for safe golf cart access to the commercial area in Emerald Isle.  

The Golf Cart Advisory Committee is currently evaluating a proposed new golf cart path to link certain Coast Guard Road neighborhoods with Reed Drive and the main commercial area, and will be reviewing other potential links in the future.  The committee will soon begin significant fundraising efforts, and individuals interested in donating toward the construction of new dedicated golf cart paths can do so at  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/golf-cart-access-donations .  All donations are tax-deductible.

Dog Park Development Committee Hard at Work, Seeking Donations for Emerald Isle Dog Park

 

The Town's new Dog Park Development Committee is hard at work on its goal to construct a new dog park in Emerald Isle, and has reviewed 5 different Town-owned locations for the new facility. The committee recommends a location in the new McLean-Spell Park for a new dog park, and will soon begin significant fundraising efforts to make an Emerald Isle dog park a reality in the coming months.  Individuals interested in donating toward the construction of a new dog park can do so at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/dog-park-development-donations .  All donations are tax-deductible.  

Please Respect Emerald Isle Businesses; Use Public Parking Areas for Beach Access

 

The Town offers more than 350 public parking spaces at 4 facilities along its 12 miles of ocean beaches, and additional weekend parking is available at the Town Government Complex located approximately 1/4 mile from the beach.  Day visitors should use these public facilities, and should not park in Emerald Isle businesses' parking lots.  Business parking lots are reserved for customers of these private businesses, and unauthorized beach parking is prohibited.  Violators are subject to towing by the Emerald Isle businesses, with significant fees for recovery of the vehicle.  The Town wants as many people as possible to enjoy its beautiful beaches, and encourages day visitors to use of the Town's public parking facilities.  Thanks for your cooperation!  

Regional Beach Access Parking Fees Now Collected on Fridays

For several years, the Town has collected a $10 per vehicle per day parking fee at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and the Western Ocean Regional Access facilities.  Parking fees are collected on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays between 7 am and 4 pm, between mid-April and mid-September.

Beginning Friday, July 6, the Town will now begin charging the parking fees on Fridays also.  Free parking will continue to be available on Monday - Thursday at the two regional access facilities, and every day at the 3rd Street Park and Station Street Park.  Free parking is also available at the Town Government Complex on weekends.  

The Town expects to collect approximately $185,000 in regional access parking fees each year, and 100% of these funds are invested in these facilities and the public services provided at these facilities.  The parking fees enable the Town to provide a strong Police presence, provide lifeguard services, keep the facilities clean, and promote a family-friendly and quality beach visit experience for visitors to these facilities. 

Town Exploring Ways to Promote Better Internet Service in Emerald Isle

 

Led by Commissioner Jim Normile ( jnormile@emeraldisle-nc.org ), Town officials are currently exploring ways to promote better internet connectivity in Emerald Isle in the future.  Although much of the NC 58 corridor is served by a fiber optic connection, service to individual homes in Emerald Isle is primarily via standard cable that can sometimes result in reduced speeds and less reliable connections, particularly during periods of peak visitation.  

As the global economy continues to rely on high speed, reliable internet connections, the Town seeks to position Emerald Isle for the highest quality service in the future - for both quality of life and economic development reasons.  Reliable, high speed internet service will enhance the high quality of life enjoyed by our residents, help support and attract additional technology-reliant business activities, and promote remote work opportunities by our residents and visitors. Town officials are currently researching various strategies to promote healthy competition in the internet service provider market in Emerald Isle, and will continue working with industry and government partners on this important issue.    

Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program Update

 

As of June 23, the Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program has identified 4 sea turtle nests in Emerald Isle.  Nest #4 included 101 loggerhead sea turtle eggs that were deposited near the tide line, and this nest was relocated near the dunes by Sea Turtle Program volunteers.  The volunteers believe this may have been this turtle's first nest due to the short crawl length.  To stay informed about the Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/sea-turtle-program  or  http://www.eiseaturtlepatrol.org/ . 

Vacationers - Don't Throw Out Your Leftover Food! Donate to "A Second Helping"

 

Volunteers from "A Second Helping" are again collecting leftover food from vacationers departing Emerald Isle, and will be delivering this food to the hungry in our area.  Please don't waste your leftover vacation food - bring it to the "A Second Helping" volunteers each weekend through Labor Day at Stir It Up Coffee Shop (Emerald Plantation) or Bert's Surf Shop (corner of Hwy 58 & Islander Drive).  For more information, please visit https://asecondhelping-emeraldisle.com/ . 

Emerald Isle Lifeguard Team Offers "Water Safety Splash" Classes Every Saturday

 

The Emerald Isle Lifeguard Team is now offering weekly "Water Safety Splash" classes every Saturday morning at 11 am at the Western Ocean Regional Access gazebo.  Come on out, meet the lifeguards, and learn valuable water and beach safety information!

Did You Know?

Driving in a roundabout is simple and easy!  The key thing to remember is that drivers entering the roundabout should simply yield to drivers already in the roundabout.  If no one is approaching your entry area into the roundabout, you can proceed on into the roundabout and on your way.  Be safe! 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, June 29, 2018 4:36:00 PM

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