Emerald Tidings

June 2018

  1. Town Budget Maintains Current Tax Rate, High Service Quality
  2. Help us Keep Emerald Isle Clean - Adopt a Street and/or Adopt a Beach!
  3. Nice Matters in Emerald Isle!
  4. Be Aware of Ocean Conditions, and Stay Safe!
  5. Town Manages Extensive Storm Water Infrastructure
  6. Work Continues for 2019 Beach Nourishment Project
  7. Town Officially Assumes Ownership of McLean-Spell Park Property
  8. Bike the Banks Continues to Grow, Raises Additional Fund for Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
  9. EmeraldFest Concert Series Offers Free Music on the Oceanfront All Summer!
  10. Transportation Impact Named Business North Carolina 2018 Employer of the Year!
  11. Emerald Isle is a Sea Turtle Sanctuary
  12. Emerald Isle Garden Club and Area Youth Install Rain Garden
  13. New Up-lighting To Be Added at Base of Emerald Isle Bridge

Town Budget Maintains Current Tax Rate, High Service Quality

The Town Manager's FY 18-19 Recommended Budget was presented to and reviewed by the Board of Commissioners in May, and is scheduled for adoption in June.  The total budget is approximately $10 million, and includes funding for all Town services, programs, and planned improvements.

The FY 18-19 budget maintains the Town's current property tax rate of 15.5 cents (14 cents for general services and 1.5 cents for beach nourishment) and the annual solid waste fee of $228 (or $19 per month).  The budget includes sufficient funding to maintain the high quality of Town services and invests appropriately in strategic service enhancements, capital replacement needs, and Town staff.  The budget also anticipates a significant beach nourishment project in eastern Emerald Isle, significant streetscape improvements along Islander Drive, and limited initial development of the new McLean-Spell Park in FY 18-19, among other improvements.  

The entire FY 18-19 Recommended Budget and a summary presentation are available for public review at  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/presentation-fy-2018-2019-recommended-budget .  Mayor Barber, the Board of Commissioners, the Town Manager, and Town staff all work very hard to provide quality services at the lowest possible cost to our taxpayers! 

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. 

Nice Matters in Emerald Isle!

Nice Matters is the Town's official tag line, and clearly and succintly summarizes what the Town of Emerald Isle continually strives for in our beautiful community!  

Nice Matters in every way in Emerald Isle --- 

1) keep the entire town looking as "nice" as possible so that everyone can enjoy a special experience in a truly special place, and enhance the Town's desirability for all groups,   

2) treat our customers (that's all of you! --- our permanent residents, our second home owners, our property investors, our businesses, and our visitors) as "nice" as possible, with a helpful customer service approach because all 5 of these groups help make Emerald Isle the special place that it is, and  

3) most importantly, promote the ideal that everyone in our community should simply treat others "nice" - the way you want to be treated by others!  All of us are truly blessed to enjoy Emerald Isle, and we strive for a friendly, helpful, and caring community of people!  

Be Aware of Ocean Conditions, and Stay Safe!

The Town is fortunate to be served by a quality team of lifeguards and trained Fire and EMS personnel that respond to numerous water rescue calls throughout the summer.  Emerald Isle has ~ 12 miles of ocean beaches, and it's impossible for Town staff to be everywhere on the beach strand, so PLEASE make sure you are aware of current ocean conditions, know your abilities, and enjoy the ocean with a friend or family member. 

The Fire Department (which manages the lifeguard program) relies on National Weather Service advisories AND local observations to gauge current ocean conditions in Emerald Isle.  The Town utilizes a YELLOW FLAG and RED FLAG warning system to communicate ocean conditions to those visiting the beach. The Town's normal status is communicated with YELLOW FLAGs, which indicate moderate hazards.  Although it's a great place to enjoy yourself, the ocean always presents some risk, and the public is always advised to use caution while enjoying the ocean.  As conditions warrant, YELLOW FLAGs are displayed at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access, Western Ocean Regional Access, Bogue Inlet Pier, on roving all-terrain vehicles, and in front of Fire Station 1 and Fire Station 2.  

When conditions deteriorate and become more dangerous, the Town utilizes RED FLAGs to communicate high hazards and advise the public to stay out of the ocean.  RED FLAGs are displayed at every beach access location (roughly every 1/4 mile +/-), at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access, Western Ocean Regional Access, Bogue Inlet Pier, on roving all-terrain vehicles, and in front of Fire Station 1 and Fire Station 2.  RED FLAG status is also communicated via the Town's various digital platforms (website, email newsletter, the Emerald Isle APP, facebook, Twitter, and text message alerts).  PLEASE heed the RED FLAG warnings when they are issued - if you choose to enter the ocean anyway you are not only putting yourself at risk, but also concerned bystanders and the Town's water rescue personnel!  

In addition to staffing the beach with 2 fixed and 4 roving lifeguards each day during the summer, the Town also provides "rescue tubes" at beach access locations to assist those in distress. Other beachgoers should only use these "rescue tubes" if they are physically capable of responding to others in distress and when 911 has also been alerted - so our trained Fire and EMS personnel can respond as quickly as possible.  

For more information on beach safety, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/safety .  Stay safe, and have fun!

Town Manages Extensive Storm Water Infrastructure

Storm water management is a significant challenge for any barrier island community, especially in Emerald Isle where we seek to preserve the excellent water quality in the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Sound all around Emerald Isle.  As a result, no new storm water discharges to the ocean or the sound are permitted, and all storm water must be managed on the barrier island.  The Town is fortunate that there are relatively few older, existing storm water discharges in Emerald Isle, and the Town has worked hard and continues to work hard to address storm water challenges in an effective and environmentally-friendly manner. 

The Town owns and manages an extensive network of 8 pump stations in various neighborhoods along Coast Guard Road. These 8 pump stations pump groundwater and surface water into upland and wetland areas in the 43-acre Emerald Isle Woods Park, where the water is treated via natural processes before infiltrating into the ground or eventually being discharged to Bogue Sound. This system, installed between 2002 and 2014, has significantly reduced the duration and intensity of nuisance storm water flooding in many areas along Coast Guard Road where the water table is very close to the surface.  

The Town has also installed numerous small-area underground infiltration systems in many areas with localized nuisance flooding, and continues to add more as time, funds, and the water table elevation permits.  The Town has also installed several small-area "relay" pumps in other areas, with discharge of storm water from low, impervious areas to locations where infiltration into the ground can occur.  Public Works staff typically installs 3 - 5 of these small-area improvements each year, and is gradually addressing the known problem areas.  Over the years, the Town has also invested in numerous retrofits of older discharges to Bogue Sound in eastern Emerald Isle to reduce the volume of untreated storm water runoff in these areas.

The Town continues to work on beneficial storm water management projects, and the Town budget includes annual funding for these small-area systems.  In most instances, the limiting factor in resolving nuisance flooding concerns is not money or staff resources, but rather the availability of public-owned or public-controlled land where storm water can be discharged and infiltrated or treated. Town staff attempt to utilize public street right-of-ways or other Town-owned properties to resolve these issues, however, many locations are completely surrounded by private property and are therefore more challenging.  

Work Continues for 2019 Beach Nourishment Project

The Town continues working with the Carteret County Beach Commission / Shore Protection Office on a significant beach nourishment project for eastern Emerald Isle during winter - spring 2019.  Tentative plans call for the placement of up to 500,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach between the Indian Beach town limits and the Eastern Ocean Regional Access.  This area has been identified in previous annual beach profile surveys as the area with the greatest need for beach nourishment.  

The ~$9.2 million project relies on requested State funding ($4.6 million, or 50%), previously reserved County room occupancy tax funding ($3.45 million, or 37.5%), and previously reserved Town special district property taxes ($1.15 million, or 12.5%).  The Town expects to have a definitive decision on requested State funding later this summer, and if this funding is approved the Town will solicit construction bids this fall.  All work would likely occur between January - March 2019.  

Town Officially Assumes Ownership of McLean-Spell Park Property

The Town became the official owner of the 30-acre tract of land behind the Town Government complex, now known as McLean-Spell Park, in early May.  The land had been temporarily held by The Conservation Fund of North Carolina, on behalf of the Town, since October 2017.  The Town's total land acquisition cost, including The Conservation Fund's fee, was $3.075 million. Federal and State grant funds provided $2.545 million of the total acquisition cost. 

Nature trails are currently open in the new park, and the Town will be constructing a new pedestrian bridge over Archers Creek from the Community Center later this summer or fall.  This new pedestrian bridge will provide the primary park entrance in the future.  Secondary park entrances (pedestrians only) are located off of Sound Drive.  Park visitors arriving by vehicle should park at the Community Center and utilize the existing alternative park entrance located near the Town's Fire Station and EMS Station. 

In accordance with recorded restrictions and easements, a total of 20 acres will remain in a natural state in perpetuity.  The Town retains the right to utilize 10 acres for future active recreational facilities to serve Town residents and visitors, to be determined by the Board of Commissioners in the future.  

A formal dedication ceremony was originally planned for June 11, but has been delayed until the new pedestrian bridge is complete later this summer or fall.  More details will be announced later. 

Bike the Banks Continues to Grow, Raises Additional Fund for Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements

The 4th annual Bike the Banks rides, organized by the Town's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, were held on Saturday, May 5.  A total of 164 riders, the most ever, participated in the 3 rides, and the event raised approximately $5,500 for future bicycle and pedestrian improvements!  Thank you to all the riders, and congratulations to the organizers for a great event!

EmeraldFest Concert Series Offers Free Music on the Oceanfront All Summer!

The annual EmeraldFest summer concert series is back every Thursday evening this summer, beginning on June 7 and continuing through August 16.  Concerts are held at the Western Ocean Regional Access from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm, and include quality performers from all genres.  For a complete lineup, visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/emeraldfest .  Come on out and enjoy a great evening of music outdoors on the oceanfront!

Transportation Impact Named Business North Carolina 2018 Employer of the Year!

Transportation Impact, an Emerald Isle-based transportation logistics company, is now 10 years old and continues to be an outstanding corporate citizen for Emerald Isle and all of Carteret County.  The Town is proud to have Transportation Impact call Emerald Isle home, and greatly appreciates their contributions to the quality of life in our community.  Transportation Impact has developed a strong reputation as a quality employer, and was recently recognized by Business North Carolina as its 2018 Employer of the Year.  The Town congratulates TI on this significant accomplishment!

Emerald Isle is a Sea Turtle Sanctuary

Emerald Isle has long been designated as a "sea turtle sanctuary", and each morning volunteers from the Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Patrol walk the beach looking for turtle tracks.  Volunteers identify new nests and then protect the nest for several weeks until they hatch later in summer. For more information about this dedicated group, please visit http://eiseaturtlepatrol.org/ . 

 

 

 

Emerald Isle Garden Club and Area Youth Install Rain Garden

The Emerald Isle Garden Club recently partnered with kids from the Town's After School Program to construct a new rain garden adjacent to the Community Center parking lot.  Thank you to all involved for your efforts to infiltrate storm water in an environmentally-friendly manner!

New Up-lighting To Be Added at Base of Emerald Isle Bridge

As part of the Town's continual efforts to improve the appearance of the NC 58 right-of-way, the Town is currently working to install new landscaping up-lighting at the base of the Emerald Isle bridge.  The new up-lighting will illuminate existing vegetation in this area, and promote a more attractive night-time entrance to Emerald Isle. Town Commissioner Steve Finch, a semi-retired electrical contractor, and Town Commissioner Mark Taylor recently worked to install necessary electrical panels in this area.  Town staff and Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative staff will complete the remaining work in June.  

Did You Know?

The Town has secured more than $33 million of grant funding and outside funding sources for capital improvements since 2000.  This funding has enabled the Town to construct various storm water, bicycle path, beach nourishment, inlet management, boating access, beach access, and park projects that likely would not have occurred without these funds and/or would have resulted in higher property taxes for Emerald Isle property owners.  

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, June 1, 2018 3:08:00 PM

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