I am pleased to report that former Town Manager Frank Rush made the long trip back to visit Emerald Isle recently. This was his first official return since he left office and it was for a good reason. He was recognized by the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce at the organization’s annual Crystal Ball event with the Marlene Anderson “Citizen of the year” award for his service to the community. The annual event was held for the first time at the Islander Hotel & Resort in Emerald Isle. A number of Emerald Isle officials attended the ticketed event to see Frank receive this well-deserved recognition. Not surprisingly, Frank was gracious in his acceptance comments as he gave all the credit to others for the successes Emerald Isle had during his tenure. CONGRATULATIONS to a fine public servant who truly made this Town a better place!
(Pictured left to right: Millie Chalk, Mary Cheatham King, Debbie Fisher, Cindy Bunch, Lori Tulloch, Frank Rush and John Hagle) Photo Credit: Dan Williams
The Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners and staff held a budget work session in February to identify priorities for the remainder of the current fiscal year and planning for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2019-2020 and beyond annual operating and capital budget. There were several initiatives discussed and the Board reached a consensus on a number of items that will give management guidance as the staff prepares the proposed budget for further consideration by the Board in the weeks ahead. I plan to cover some of these priorities in future publications.
The following are updates on specific ongoing major projects and activities Emerald Isle is currently pursuing:
Eastern Emerald Isle Beach Nourishment Project update
Emerald Isle and its Carteret County and Indian Beach partners were excited to see contractor, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, initiate mobilization in late February for the Post-Florence Phase 1 Beach Nourishment Project. All parties involved in the project are meeting weekly to discuss particulars and to ensure the project is moving forward in a timely manner.
With the use of two dredges, the Liberty Island and the much larger Ellis Island, scheduled to arrive in March, the project will move rapidly along the affected beach sections. I am pleased to report that the project schedule continues to anticipate the beach front sand replacement project elements to be complete by April 30, 2019. https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/emerald-isle-beach-nourishment-project
As for the public beach access in the affected area of the Eastern Emerald Isle Nourishment Project, all public access points with structural damages have been addressed to the extent possible prior to the addition of the sand and are now open. Damaged structures have been removed to the extent necessary to ensure safe public access is available and will be maintained throughout the project. In a few instances, ease of access will remain limited until sand is backfilled to eliminate some challenging elevations, but these specific locations will all be further addressed during and after the project is complete. The Town staff is focused on safety and to ensure access is available. Future improvements to some structures damaged by the storm to return the ease of access conditions to pre-hurricane status will be addressed after the 2019 tourist season ends.
Other Public Beach & Sound Access Points
Town staff has also worked diligently to remove or repair damaged beach access point structures outside the area impacted by the Eastern Emerald Isle Beach Nourishment Project. These beach access points have for the most part also been reopened with few exceptions. Unsafe structures have been repaired or removed, but some locations continue to need additional minor modifications to provide safe access. Citizens should exercise caution at locations where ease of access issues remain. As for sound access points, the Town will continue to pursue repairs until these accesses are likewise considered safe.
NCDOT Spring Litter Sweep – April 13-27, 2019
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has announced plans for their annual spring litter sweep. Please help keep North Carolina beautiful by considering your or your groups participation in this coordinated volunteer roadside litter collection effort. Below is a summary of the volunteer safety rules and guidelines to participate in this event. Print flyer!