Emerald Tidings

May 2018

  1. NC Commissioner of Insurance Approves 5.5% Homeowners Insurance Rate Increase for Emerald Isle
  2. Town Seeks Committee Members for New Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament
  3. Emerald Isle Voted Best NC Beach in USA Today Poll!
  4. NCDOT Installing Pedestrian Crosswalks Along NC 58
  5. Hurricane Season Begins June 1 - Stay Informed!
  6. What Emerald Isle is All About
  7. Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Races Contribute $36,000 to Two Great Causes!
  8. Ride in Bike the Banks, and Check Out the EI Garden Club's "Bikes and Blooms" - May 5
  9. McLean-Spell Park Acquisition Nearly Complete, New Park Open for Public Use
  10. Dog Park Development Committee Reviews Potential Locations
  11. Be Safe on the Bicycle Path!
  12. Emerald Isle Fire Department Offers Free Residential Fire Inspections
  13. Important Beach Regulations
  14. Lifeguard Services Begin May 23
  15. Thank You to Yardworks Landscaping!
  16. Did You Know?

NC Commissioner of Insurance Approves 5.5% Homeowners Insurance Rate Increase for Emerald Isle

The NC Rate Bureau (the entity representing insurance companies in North Carolina) requested a 25% (homeowners) and 40% (tenants and condominiums) increase in insurance premiums for permanent homes in Emerald Isle in late 2017.  After reviewing the request and considering significant public input (thank you to those who commented!), NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey approved a 5.5% (homeowners) and 12% (tenants and condominiums) rate increase for Emerald Isle on April 18. 

The Town is pleased that the approved rate increase is significantly lower than requested (5.5% and 12% is certainly better than 25% and 40%), but continues to have concerns about the overall unfair rate structure used in North Carolina.  Because Commissioner Causey essentially approved a similar increase for nearly all areas of NC, Emerald Isle property owners (and those in other barrier island communities) will continue to pay insurance premiums that are 4 - 5 times higher than many other communities in NC.  The Town recently hosted top staff from the NC Department of Insurance in Emerald Isle, reiterated these concerns, and again requested that Commissioner Causey work with the NC General Assembly and others to implement a fairer rate structure.  

A separate rate increase request for second homes and vacation rental units (nearly 40%) is still pending a final decision by Commissioner Causey.  The Town, and many of our property owners, recently submitted comments to Commissioner Causey in March, and the Town remains hopeful that this requested increase will also be rejected or significantly reduced.  A final decision on this request is expected sometime in the coming months.

Emerald Isle property owners are advised to carefully review their insurance renewal notices to determine the amount of any premium increases.  Some insurance companies utilize a procedure known as "Consent to Rate", which allows the insurance companies to charge higher rates than those approved by the NC Insurance Commissioner (with your voluntary consent that may be provided unknowingly).  If you experience larger increases, please contact your insurance agent and/or shop around for the most affordable coverage, as there may be multiple options available.  

Town Seeks Committee Members for New Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament 

 

Under the leadership of Commissioner Mark Taylor, the Town is working to establish a new Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament in 2019.  The new tournament is tentatively planned for late summer / early fall 2019, primarily as a boat-based tournament targeting spanish mackerel and flounder, with event proceeds dedicated for future Bogue Inlet dredging efforts and college scholarships.  The goal for the new tournament is to develop a successful and enjoyable fishing tournament for fishermen in our community, and also to lure additional visitors to Emerald Isle.  

The Town is seeking volunteers interested in serving on the organizing committee.  If you are interested in serving, please email Rhonda Ferebee, Town Clerk, at rferebee@emeraldisle-nc.org  to express your interest no later than May 25.  

Emerald Isle Voted Best NC Beach in USA Today Poll!

Emerald Isle was fortunate to receive the most votes in the recent USA Today poll of the best beach in North Carolina!  The Town is pleased to receive this recognition from a respected national publication, and thanks everyone who voted for Emerald Isle!  To check out the final results, visit  http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-north-carolina-beach/ .

NCDOT Installing Pedestrian Crosswalks Along NC 58

Thanks to assistance from NC Representative Pat McElraft, NCDOT will soon install 3 new pedestrian crosswalks along NC 58 to promote safer and easier pedestrian crossings.  The new crosswalks will be outfitted with a special flashing beacon that is activated by a push button and will alert approaching motorists to the presence of pedestrians.  The new crosswalks are planned for the Islander Drive intersection, the Town Government Complex, and at the Ocean Drive "dog-leg" intersection.  NCDOT hopes to complete installation by June, if not sooner. 

Hurricane Season Begins June 1 - Stay Informed!

Hurricane season begins on June 1, 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 .  Be prepared, and be safe!

What Emerald Isle is All About

To learn about (or simply remind yourself!) what Emerald Isle is really all about, please view the full-length "See For Yourself Why Nice Matters in Emerald Isle" video at  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/see-for-yourself-why-nice-matters-in-emerald-isle- .  

All of us at the Town recognize what a special place Emerald Isle is for our residents, second home owners, visitors, and businesses, and the narrative below sums it up well:

"Welcome to Emerald Isle, North Carolina, a beautiful oceanfront community that is truly the gem of the North Carolina coast..........  Emerald Isle offers an excellent quality of life for those who are fortunate to live here, and a premier vacation experience for those looking to escape to paradise for a little while! 

We pride ourselves on our small-town atmosphere and family beach image, and with 12 miles of south-facing beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, and bordered by beautiful Bogue Inlet and Bogue Sound, Emerald Isle is the place you'll want to call home, purchase your vacation home, retire to, or visit...... again..... and again...... and again!  

Emerald Isle occupies the westernmost 12 miles of Bogue Banks, a barrier island located along the Southern Outer Banks.  Known as the Crystal Coast, the entire area boasts a pristine natural environment with excellent water quality.  Enjoy great swimming, surfing, or boogie boarding in the Atlantic Ocean, or simply relax with a cold drink and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the most beautiful beach you'll ever find!  

Hop in your boat, and get ready for great offshore and inshore fishing, take the kids water skiing, wakeboarding, or tubing, or just pull up to a sandbar and soak in the sun, sand, and saltwater!  Looking for a more relaxed and peaceful pace, then launch your kayak or stand-up paddleboard, and get away from it all in the calm waters and marshes of Bogue Sound.  Whether you're on the beach or in the sound, don't be surprised to come across a pod of dolphins, beautiful egrets and ospreys, and perhaps a nesting sea turtle!  You'll probably see a fish or two also....................

But there's far more to Emerald Isle than the sun, sand, and salt......... When you need a break from all of the fun in, on, and near the water, hop on your bicycle and enjoy more than 11 miles of dedicated bicycle paths, hike the trails at our 43-acre soundfront nature park, enjoy some fresh local seafood, take in a summer oceanfront concert, get some delicious ice cream, view the amazing sunset at The Point, or walk (or fish!) along Bogue Inlet Pier!

Emerald Isle has it all, yet maintains a friendly, relaxed, and unpretentious charm that is reflective of the great community of people that make up Emerald Isle.  Emerald Isle has nearly 7,000 residences, for every taste and every budget, and remains one of the most affordable beach communities on the East Coast.  If you're looking for your dream home, or if you're just looking for a great vacation rental, the first-class real estate and vacation rental agencies will strive to meet your every need so you can focus on what you came here for - to relax, enjoy yourself, make lifelong memories, and spend quality time with family and friends!  

The Town of Emerald Isle, the town government, strives to provide the highest quality service to our residents and visitors, and is continually working to make Emerald Isle an even better place than it already is!  Our tagline is "Nice Matters", in every way, and it won't take you long to understand that's what life is all about in this truly special place...................."

Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Races Contribute $36,000 to Two Great Causes!

The 5th Annual Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Races were held on March 10, with a total of 725 finishers on a beautiful spring day in Emerald Isle.  Thanks to a great turnout, great sponsors, and great volunteers, the races generated total net proceeds of $36,000 that have been distributed to two great causes.

At the April 10 Town meeting, Race Director (and Town Commissioner) Candace Dooley and Race Committee members presented a check for $18,000 (50% of race proceeds) to the Town's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee for future bicycle and pedestrian improvements in Emerald Isle.  Dooley and the Race Committee members also presented a check for $18,000 (50% of race proceeds) to Little Pink Houses of Hope, a breast cancer charity that routinely provides vacation opportunities for breast cancer victims in Emerald Isle.

Since its inception in 2014, the races have raised approximately $240,000 for bicycle and pedestrian improvements in Emerald Isle and various health charities.  Thank you to all who have participated, supported, and volunteered for this great annual event over the past 5 years!   

Ride in Bike the Banks, and Check Out the EI Garden Club's "Bikes and Blooms" - May 5

Register today for the 4th annual Bike The Banks event, with 3 great bicycle rides in our beautiful coastal environment!  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/4th-annual-bike-the-banks-2018-05-05

The 2018 event will again feature a 100 mile ride to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and back, a 50 mile ride to Fort Macon State Park and back, and a 10 mile leisure ride on the Town's bicycle path. All proceeds benefit the Emerald Isle bicycle path network. Please join us on May 5 in Emerald Isle!

The Emerald Isle Garden Club is also presenting "Bikes and Blooms" in conjunction with Bike the Banks.  Participating Emerald Isle businesses will be decorating storefronts with bicycle-themed flower displays leading up to the May 5 event.  Check out the beautiful decorations!  

McLean-Spell Park Acquisition Nearly Complete, New Park Open for Public Use

The Town expects to officially take ownership of the 30-acre tract now known as McLean-Spell Park on May 11.  After several months of hard work, Federal and State grant funds ($2.545 million) will be released for the consummation of the $3 million+ land acquisition.  

Area scouts, led by Emerald Isle resident and Eagle Scout candidate Jack McCabe, have been working in recent weeks to improve existing nature trails and construct new trails for the public to explore.  This work is complete, and the new park is now open for public use.  The primary park access point is located at the end of the Town Government Complex driveway between the EMS Station and Fire Station 1, off Emerald Drive.  Parking is available at the Community Center parking lot, and it's just a short walk west along Archers Creek to the primary park access point. This primary access is temporary, and will be replaced with a new pedestrian bridge over Archers Creek near the Community Center this fall.  Until the new bridge is completed, please use the EMS Station / Fire Station 1 primary access point.  

Neighborhood park access points are also located along Sound Drive in two locations.  There is no parking available in this area, and these access points are for pedestrians and bicyclists only. Park visitors traveling by car should park at the Community Center.  

Enjoy the new park, and please respect the privacy of the adjacent neighbors.  A special dedication ceremony is scheduled for June 11, and the public is invited to attend this celebration of Emerald Isle's newest park! 

Dog Park Development Committee Reviews Potential Locations

The Town's new Dog Park Development Committee has been hard at work in recent months, and has been evaluating 5 Town-owned sites for a potential new dog park.  

The committee has reviewed potential locations at Emerald Isle Woods Park, at the new McLean-Spell Park, near the Blue Heron Park tennis courts, at Senator Jean Preston Memorial Playground, and adjacent to the Town Administration Building.  After considering all 5 locations, the committee is now focusing on a 1 - 2 acre area in the new McLean-Spell Park, and will be working to identify the specific location in the coming weeks.

After the location is approved by the Board of Commissioners, the committee will begin identifying desired design features and begin fundraising efforts.  The committee is eager to make a dog park a reality in Emerald Isle within the next 1 - 2 years.  Stay tuned for more information on how you can contribute to these efforts!

Be Safe on the Bicycle Path! 

Emerald Isle residents and visitors are fortunate to enjoy more than 11 miles of dedicated asphalt bicycle paths throughout the Town.  The bicycle path represents an alternative method to travel around Emerald Isle, and is also a great way to exercise and stay in shape.  The next time you get ready to hop in the car, think instead about hopping on your bicycle or walking to one of EI's great restaurants and shops!

It's important for all bicycle path users to be aware of your surroundings, watch out for other bicyclists and pedestrians, and adhere to STOP signs at various street intersections.  Helmets are encouraged, especially for children using the bicycle path. Enjoy the path!  

Emerald Isle Fire Department Offers Free Residential Fire Inspections

Emerald Isle is fortunate to be served by a quality team of firefighters, and they do much more than respond to fire calls!  As required, EIFD inspectors complete hundreds of commercial fire inspections each year as part of our overall fire prevention efforts.  Although not required by law, EIFD also offers voluntary residential fire inspections to any homeowner who requests this service.  To take advantage of this free service, please contact EIFD at 252-354-2445 or Fire Chief Walker at bwalker@emeraldisle-nc.org . EIFD will be happy to visit, identify potential threats, and offer hepful recommendations to keep your home and family safe!

Important Beach Regulations

With the summer season nearly upon us, the Town reminds everyone to obey the following key beach regulations:

- unattended beach equipment must be removed from the beach at the end of each day, 

- camping overnight on the beach is not permitted, 

- fires are not permitted on the beach, 

- dogs must be on a leash at all times, in all locations on the beach, 

- dog excrement must be collected and removed from the beach by the dog owner, 

- holes deeper than 12 inches must be filled in before the person leaves the beach, 

- littering is illegal, and detracts from others' experience in this special place, and  

- fireworks that explode or leave the ground are illegal, as per NC law. 

These regulations are aimed at maintaining a safe, attractive, and enjoyable beach strand for everyone.  The Town appreciates your cooperation!

Lifeguard Services Begin May 23

The Town's lifeguard services will begin on Wednesday, May 23 and continue through Labor Day weekend.  The Emerald Isle Fire Department provides fixed lifeguards at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and Western Ocean Regional Access daily, along with 4 roving lifeguards on all-terrain vehicles along the Town's 12 miles of beach strand.  

Thank You to Yardworks Landscaping! 

Yardworks Landscaping, owned and managed by Emerald Isle residents Jimmy Farrington and Chad MacAvery, donated significant materials and labor for recent landscaping improvements in and around the new NC 58 roundabout.  Yardworks also provided significant materials and labor contributions to the Senator Jean Preston Memorial Playground and the Emerald Isle Welcome Center in recent years, enabling the Town to enhance the attractiveness of these new facilities at virtually no added cost.  The Town greatly appreciates Yardworks' commitment to our community!

Did You Know?

The Emerald Isle Police Department provides a full range of Police services over 5.2 square miles, for nearly 7,000 housing units, and along 12 miles of beach strand with a total full-time workforce of 18 sworn officers and 1 civilian employee.  EIPD's annual budget is approximately $1.84 million, is the largest department budget in the Town, and represents approximately 18.4% of total General Fund expenditures.    

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, May 1, 2018 2:43:00 PM

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