Latest News

Coastal Flooding Threat Continues  

This morning's update from the US National Weather Service Newport/ Morehead City:

9/22/20 6 AM: Coastal flooding and ocean overwash will continue through mid week for Hatteras Island, Ocracoke,, Downeast Carteret County, and the Crystal Coast, peaking during high tide around noon today. A High threat of rip currents also continues for all area beaches today. Remember do not drive across flooded or closed roads.

Posted by Sarah Williams Tuesday, September 22, 2020 9:58:00 AM Categories: News

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events 

Household Hazardous Waste recycling events sponsored by the Coastal Environmental Partnership will start next week. The first event will be Saturday, September 26 from 8-1 at the Carteret County Health Department on Bridges Street in Morehead City. The Craven event will be Saturday, October 17 from 8-1 at Craven Community College.

We will be following Covid-19 guide lines: You will be asked to remain in your vehicle at all times. We will remove your items from your vehicle. We will follow Social Distancing guide lines and ask you to not to put your windows down further than 4 inches. Employees and will be wearing masks. If you need further information, please call us at 252-633-1564.

 

Bobbi Waters

Solid Waste Planner/Outreach Coordinator

Coastal Environmental Partnership

P. O. Box 128

Cove City, NC  28523

7600 Old Highway 70 West

New Bern, NC  28562

www.cepnc.org

252-633-1564 P

252-633-6515 F

Posted by Sarah Williams Monday, September 21, 2020 12:58:00 PM Categories: News

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:Election Campaign Sign Season Underway 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

September 18, 2020

EMERALD ISLE, NC-  Election Campaign Sign Season Underway

In an effort to assist local property owners and candidates, the Town of Emerald Isle Planning Department wishes to share the following Public Service Announcement.

The Town of Emerald Isle regulates political signage placement within the Town limits.  The following regulations should be adhered to when placing signage for candidates within the Town of Emerald Isle:

(H) Temporary political signs advertising candidates or issues subject to the following conditions:

1. Signs may be placed within the NC 58 right-of-way and within the right-of-way of all Town streets, but permission of the adjacent private property owner is required.

2. Signs must be placed at least three (3) feet from the edge of the street pavement, and shall not be more than forty-two (42) inches higher than the asphalt roadway surface.

3. Signs shall not be displayed earlier than thirty (30) days prior to the start of "one-stop" voting and shall be removed no more than ten (10) days after the election.

4. Signs shall not obstruct a driver's sight distance at an intersection or create an unsafe condition for motorists, pedestrians, or bicyclists.

5. Signs shall not be larger than six (6) square feet.

6. Signs shall not obscure or replace other signs.

7. No banners are permitted.

8. No campaign signs are permitted on or in front of Town-owned property, with the exception of Election Day and only in accordance with the guidelines established by the Town.

9. There is no limit on the number of campaign signs, provided that all other regulations are followed.

For information related to NCDOT controlled roadways, please visit the following link:

https://www.ncdot.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/2020/2020-09-16-election-campaign-sign-season.aspx

If you have additional local questions, please contact the EI Planning Department at 252-354-3424 or visit www.emeraldisle-nc.org.

 

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Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, September 18, 2020 10:06:00 AM Categories: News

Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament raises $29,110 

Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament raises $29,110

September 17, 2020

EMERALD ISLE, N.C.-  The Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament held a live virtual auction on Wednesday September 16, 2020.  To say it was a success is an understatement.  The auction, led by tournament Chairman Mark Taylor, raised a total of $29,110 for local scholarships and waterway dredging efforts.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament Committee had to be creative for the 2020 tournament.  Social portions of the tournament have been adjusted, in an effort to comply with North Carolina safety guidelines.  The well-attended (and sought after) Captain’s Party was unfortunately eliminated for 2020.  The onsite auction was also adapted.  

“Last year, we held an in-person auction during the Captain’s Party and raised a substantial amount of money,” said Mark Taylor, Committee Chairman.  “This year, we went virtual and saw the power of an online audience.  The increased reach helped local donors raise nearly $30,000.  We are so amazed and grateful, words cannot express it!”

An array of products and local services were donated.  These items were then auctioned off during a 4-hour live event, broadcast via Facebook Live.  In addition to being a commercial airline pilot and Town of Emerald Isle Commissioner, Mr. Taylor is a licensed auctioneer.  His skills were put to good use during the auction, helping to fund the annual scholarship program for the 2021 academic year.  

“The Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament provided two scholarships in 2020. One to a graduating senior at Croatan and one to Swansboro High School.  For 2021, we intend to provide two more scholarships to area students that pursue higher education or training that relates to the marine or maritime industry,” said Taylor.  “We could not reinvest these dollars into our young people without the selfless donations of our local sponsors and the countless hours provided by our volunteers.”

To learn more about the Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament and the associated scholarship program, visit www.emeraldislefishingtournament.com or follow them on Facebook. 

 

Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, September 18, 2020 8:25:00 AM Categories: News

2020 Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament Canceled 

EMERALD ISLE, N.C.-  The Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament Committee made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2020.  

Severe weather and unsafe boating conditions, caused by the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Sally, forced the decision. Per the National Weather Service, northeast winds of 25 to 35 kt with gusts to 40 kt are expected.  Seas are predicted to be 7-10 feet.  Adjacent sounds and rivers will be rough on Saturday as well.

“It seems that 2020 is proving to be a challenging year on many fronts,” said Mark Taylor, Committee Chairman.  “Our team had taken every precaution possible to produce a socially distanced and safe tournament, despite the impact of COVID-19.  Now, weather from a Gulf Coast Tropical Storm arrives on the Crystal Coast.  We must make the tough call and forego the tournament for everyone’s safety.”

The silver lining to the 2020 Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament remains the success of the live Facebook auction.  Due to the generosity of so many wonderful sponsors, bidders and volunteers, a total of $29,100 was raised to support local scholarships and waterway dredging efforts.

To learn more about the Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament and the associated scholarship program, visit www.emeraldislefishingtournament.com or follow them on Facebook. 

 

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Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, September 18, 2020 8:17:00 AM Categories: News

HIGH RISK: Heavy Rain, Flash Flooding and Dangerous Rip Currents  

To view the latest update from the National Weather Service: click here 

HIGH RISK: Heavy Rain, Flash Flooding and Dangerous Rip Currents

The Town of Emerald Isle is sharing the latest news from the National Weather Service office in Morehead City.  Please take time to review the latest briefing and take appropriate action now. 

Remnants of Tropical Cyclone Sally are moving from Alabama into the Carolinas (Thursday 9/17/20 into Friday 9/18/20), several impacts are likely for our area.

  • Heavy rain with Flash Flooding Thursday and Friday.
  • A prediction of 4-6” of rain is possible in our immediate area.
  • Severe weather expected Thursday evening, throughout the night: Strong wind gusts and isolated tornadoes possible.
  • Prolonged strong northeasterly winds leading to coastal flooding, rough surf, dangerous rip currents and potentially significant beach erosion and ocean overwash.

LOCAL ACTION STEPS:  The Emerald Isle Public Works Department is taking proactive steps to clear storm drains and lower drainage pond levels.  Staff and equipment are in position to respond as needed to heavy rains and localized flooding. 

Residents, businesses, and guests can help by following these recommendations:

  1. For properties that have flooded in the past, it is best to move items to higher ground now. 
  2. Please do not drive across flooded roadways: TURN AROUND AND DON’T DROWN.
  3. Until the heavy rains move through our area, please DO NOT place any additional yard debris by the roadway.

Yard Debris Update:  The Emerald Isle Public Works Department consistently has two knuckle boom trucks working 5-days per week on Emerald Isle.  We average 160-180 residential stops per day.  The volume of yard debris placed at the roadway is reaching record levels.  We are taking every possible step to collect yard debris as quickly as possible.  As a reminder, contractors should carry away and dispose of debris, when they remove trees from a property. Thank you for your patience and cooperation. 

 

Posted by Sarah Williams Thursday, September 17, 2020 10:16:00 AM Categories: News

EMERALD ISLE, NC- RFQ for Stormwater infrastructure planning, design and permitting (Due Oct 7, 2020 @ 2:00 PM)  

REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS (RFQ) ANNOUNCED PURSUANT TO N.C. GEN. STAT.§ 143-64.31

The Town of Emerald Isle is requesting that licensed engineering firms submit qualifications with expertise in stormwater infrastructure planning, design and permitting.

Interested firms should submit proposals no later than 2:00 pm on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2020 to:

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL PROPOSAL 

Proposals shall be Mailed or Hand Delivered to:

 

Storm Water RFQ

Attn: Matt Zapp, Town Manager

7500 Emerald Drive

Emerald Isle, NC  28594

 

Or emailed to:

mzapp@emeraldisle-nc.org

Posted by Sarah Williams Wednesday, September 16, 2020 3:01:00 PM Categories: News

NCDOT NEWS UPDATE: Lane Closures on Emerald Isle Bridge Delayed 

News Release

For Immediate Release

date: Sept. 14, 2020

contact: Lauren Haviland

Lbhaviland@ncdot.gov

(919) 707-2677

Lane Closures on Emerald Isle Bridge Delayed

EMERALD ISLE – After conversations with town leaders and residents, the N.C. Department of Transportation contractors working on the Emerald Isle Bridge will not close lanes until Nov. 1.

NCDOT decided to delay planned lane closures on the bridge so the improvements could be completed when fewer motorists would be affected. The lane closures were originally scheduled to begin this week. Specifics on the schedule of lane closures will be provided closer to Nov. 1.  

The lane closures on the Atlantic Beach Bridge will remain the same. Contractors may close one of two lanes of the Atlantic Beach Bridge Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. Contractors will use flaggers at the ends of the work zone to direct traffic.

 

For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.

 

Posted by Sarah Williams Monday, September 14, 2020 3:00:00 PM Categories: News

NCDOT NEWS: Two Carteret County Bridges to Have Lane Closures 

The Town of Emerald Isle was notified by DOT today about upcoming lane closures to the bridge. Please see below for details from NCDOT.

News Release                                                                                               For Immediate Release

Date:     Sept. 11, 2020

Contact: Lauren Haviland (Lbhaviland@ncdot.gov)

(919) 707-2677

Two Carteret County Bridges to Have Lane Closures

Closures will occur during off-season

MOREHEAD CITY – N.C. Department of Transportation contractors plan to close lanes on two Carteret County bridges throughout most of the off-season.

Beginning Monday, the outer two lanes of the Atlantic Beach Bridge, connecting Morehead City and Atlantic Beach over the Bogue Sound, will close.

Also in Carteret County, lane closures on the Emerald Isle Bridge can begin Wednesday. Contractors may close one of two lanes Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 7a.m.-6p.m. Contractors will use flaggers at the ends of the work zone to direct traffic.

The lane closures in both Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle will allow contractors to continue rehab work, which extends the life of the bridge. Drivers should expect lane closures on both bridges to last through March 2021.

Motorists should use caution while crews are working and allow themselves more time than normal to reach their destinations.

For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.

 

***NCDOT***

Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, September 11, 2020 2:33:00 PM Categories: News

Bogue Banks Water Update 

Bogue Banks Water Update

Greetings from Bogue Banks Water Corporation!

I hope everyone is enjoying their time at the beach as much as we enjoy working here. It truly is an amazing area to live, work, and play. I wanted to let you know what is happening here at BBWC, why we are making the changes we are, and what to expect in the future. This is going to be a long one, so please bear with me.

We essentially have 2 ‘zones’ of water here in our service area that are produced by 7 treatment plants. The Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant located on Coast Guard Rd produces an extremely high-quality water, but only serves about 30% of the west end customers during the summer season. All other customers receive a blend of RO water and the treated water from our other plants. The farther east, the less RO water. While the other 6 treatment plants produce perfectly safe drinking water, it is a harder water with more character, commonly called as “Beach Water”.

Over the last couple of years, we (BBWC) have been working towards increasing the amount of RO treated water for all our customers. We are in the planning phase of building a second RO treatment plant that will provide 80-90% of the customer base with RO water during the summer at our current average demand rates. This is not a quick process. We are currently looking for new well sites and applying for a new discharge permit. After this process we can begin the piloting stage, followed by plant permitting and design, and finally construction!

During this planning phase we have 1 other major project happening, replacing and upgrading our aging meters. Water meters have a 15-20 year life cycle. Do they stop working suddenly? No, but from the day they are installed they start losing efficiency as the internals wear out. After 15-20 years a meter is typically only 80-90% efficient. Our costs to produce water keep going up, but our income gradually goes down for the same production rates. Our distribution crews have replaced roughly 65% of the meters over the past 2 years and will likely finish by sometime next spring depending on the weather. A new meter can be expected to show an increase in average usage as it is 100% efficient at the time of install. Our new meters also store the previous 90 days of hourly usage on them. We can pull a usage report showing how much water you used during 1-hour blocks for the previous 90 days! Finally, the meter will flag itself for a leak if during a 24hour period it goes without reading 0 usage for at least 1 hour. When we read the meter at the end of the billing cycle, we get a report on flagged meters. We then notify customers as a courtesy of the potential leak, saving wasted water and helping to keep the customer bill lower.

Early this year we had a rate increase and rate structure change. The timing of the rate change was just before the COVID restrictions started. None of us could have predicted the initial 2-week social distancing that happened or that it would have lasted for the next 6 months. We waived all late fees and suspended any disconnections during this time and offered hardship payment plans if needed. In the past BBWC has always tried to provide safe water as cost effectively as possible. While we still wish to provide cost effective water for our customers, our expenses have increased, and we have not kept up. It has been 10 years since our last base rate increase, and our usage rate has not changed since the 90s. The water quality has not changed much since then either, still safe, still mostly “Beach Water”. The decision to switch to a tiered structure was not made lightly. Many water utilities [including most of our neighboring ones] across the nation have already made the switch. With summertime demand increasing to almost 400% of the offseason demand we sent out newsletters in the spring of the last 2 years asking customers to help by lowering their usage, specifically irrigation, during the summer season. The demand has not subsided any over the past 2 years. Statistically speaking, homes that irrigate use 70-80% of their water on the lawn. While we understand the desire for a plush green lawn, especially in a community that contains significantly more rentals than fulltime residents, it is ultimately a luxury item that is doing more

harm to the aquifer than good to the surface. We cannot continue to blindly abuse the groundwater aquifer with such a high demand without consequences to future generations. We’ve already starting to see those repercussions in the form of saltwater intrusion in the western end of the aquifer. As alternatives we highly encourage landscaping with natural flora that does not need as much water as grasses and non-native species do. If irrigation is a must for you, then shallow wells, low flow irrigation heads, working rain sensors, and no more than 3 days per week irrigation will also help reduce your usage.

We are aware of the high bills some have received. While a portion of that is from the rate change, there are other factors as well. These are some of the reasons bills can and do vary on occasion.

  • We bill a month in arrears. The current bill is for July usage. Meters were read at the beginning of August and then mailed out at the beginning of September.
  • Demand is higher in the summer. Showers are longer and more frequent, gardens are watered, pools are filled and kept topped off. Irrigation systems account for 90% of our high usage inquires.
  • Some billing cycles are longer than others. While we try to read meter at the beginning of each month, sometimes due to uncontrollable circumstances we are unable to read for an extra week resulting in a longer billing period. 6 weeks vs 4 weeks is roughly 50% more usage.
  • New meters! As I spoke about earlier, the new meters are 100% efficient whereas the 20-year-old meters were likely only 80-90% efficient, sometimes even less.
  • Leaks and wasted water. We can detect leaks with the new meters, but it is still up to a month before we find out and can notify you.
  • Irrigation is by far the number one reason usage is high resulting in higher bills under the tiered system. Check your settings and reduce them as much as possible or find alternatives.
  • Recently our billing vendor’s system did not process the auto-pay options for some of our customers leaving them with an unpaid balance. These customers are showing a balance for 2 months. No late fees of any type were assessed to these accounts for the error, but the balance is still due. We can setup payment plans to help if needed.

We are currently testing an add-on feature that would allow the homeowner to see water usage daily via an app, but it is still in a testing phase. It will require a different endpoint (antenna) than is currently installed. Pricing and features will be made public as soon as we have everything sorted out. This could be a powerful tool for those that do not live here fulltime, have rental homes, or just want to keep an eye on your everyday usage! Please give us a call at the office (252-354-3307) if you feel your bill is in error or you have any questions about your account. Please be patient with us as there at over 6,000 of you and very few of us. If you cannot get a hold of a representative immediately, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. There is also a lot of useful information at Boguebankswater.com.

Lastly, we are a Non-Profit Water Utility. While we work closely with the towns of Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, and community of Salter Path, we are not affiliated with any government entity. We operate solely on the sale of water we treat and deliver to your homes and businesses so that everyone can enjoy this community without having to think about whether there will be safe water available. Our crews work incredibly hard through ice storms, hurricanes, floods, heat waves, you name it, to ensure the system stays intact, pressurized, and safe to consume every day of the year. My primary goal is to maintain a water system that is not only functionally healthy, but one that is prepared for the future with a healthy aquifer to provide safe water for future generations.

Sincerely,

Seola Hill

Executive Director

Posted by Sarah Williams Friday, September 11, 2020 2:05:00 PM Categories: News
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