January 9, 2018

MEMO TO:        Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:             Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:       Beach Access Walkways - (Summary & Suggested Motions)

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider 4 formal actions that would result in the construction of new beach access walkways at West Landing Drive (new), Fairfax Road (replacement), Beachview Road (replacement), and Whitewater Drive (replacement).  The total cost for all 4 walkways is $109,000, with $12,500 provided by residents and property owners in the vicinity of West Landing Drive, and $96,500 provided by the Town. 

Resolution Amending Public Beach Access Walkway Policy

The attached resolution amends the Town’s policy regarding the construction of new (improved) beach access walkways, and is specifically intended to encourage the construction of new walkways on the remaining 12 public sand (unimproved) pathways.  The attached resolution includes a new policy whereby the Town will pay 50% of the cost to construct new walkways, as opposed to the current policy whereby the residents and property owners are responsible for 100% of the cost. 

The Town system now includes more than 60 public beach access walkways maintained by the Town.  The majority of the existing walkways were constructed by the original developer of the subdivision or by the residents and property owners within that subdivision after subdivision lots were sold to individual owners.  In all cases, the beach access walkway was constructed on a public easement and dedicated to the Town for maintenance (and, ultimately, replacement).  Thus, the initial cost of the public beach access walkway was ultimately financed by the individual property owners within the subdivision. 

As noted, there are now only 12 remaining (unimproved) sand pathways on public easements in the Town.  These public beach access easements are located at or near:

  • 2nd Street
  • 6th Street
  • 17th Street
  • Clark Street
  • East Landing Drive
  • West Landing Drive
  • Riptide Drive
  • Pinta Drive
  • Indigo Drive
  • Purdie Street
  • Yaupon Street
  • Inlet Drive.

On average, the construction cost of each beach access walkway is approximately $25,000 - $30,000, thus this policy amendment would result in a Town cost of approximately $12,500 - $15,000 for each walkway constructed in the future.  The Board should note that this policy still requires significant initiative by the residents and property owners, and thus we would expect the improvement of the remaining public sand pathways to occur gradually over time. 

The ultimate improvement of these remaining public sand pathways will result in more plentiful, easier access to the beach for our residents, property owners, and visitors, and will result in a more attractive community overall.

Resolution Authorizing Construction Contract – New Beach Access Walkway (West Landing)

The proposed amendment to the Town’s Public Beach Access Walkway Policy was pursued, in part, as a result of a request from residents and property owners in the vicinity of West Landing Drive.  The residents and property owners in this area have raised a total of $12,500 toward the construction of a new walkway at this location, and have requested that the Town provide the remaining $12,500 required to construct the new walkway. 

If the Board approves the proposed amendment to the Town’s policy, I recommend the approval of the attached resolution authorizing a construction contract for a new walkway at West Landing Drive.  The attached resolution authorizes a contract with B&P Services, Cedar Point, NC, in the amount of $25,000.  B&P Services submitted the lowest of three price quotes, ranging from $25,000 - $36,000, for this work.

The required $12,500 contribution from the Town is included in the attached budget amendment, and would be provided by cost savings from another project and additional, unanticipated revenues in the Parks and Recreation Department. 

Resolution Authorizing Construction Contracts – Beach Access Walkway Replacements (Fairfax, Beachview, Whitewater)

The Board is also asked to approve the attached resolution authorizing a contract for the replacement of the wooden public beach access walkways at Fairfax Road, Beachview Road, and Whitewater Drive at the January 9 meeting.  The resolution authorizes a contract for $28,000 for each walkway, or a total of $84,000, and the contracts would also be awarded to B&P Services, Cedar Point, NC. 

Some of the walkways in the Town system are now more than 20 - 30 years old.  The Town has been replacing 3 walkways per year for the past several years, and the attached resolution authorizes the replacement of 3 additional walkways this winter / spring.  Town staff conduct annual ratings of all wooden beach access walkways, and assign a rating of 1 – 10 (10 being the best condition) to each walkway.  The beach access walkways at Fairfax, Beachview, and Whitewater all received a “3” rating in the 2017 survey, and these walkways currently have the lowest ratings in the Town’s system. 

Town staff solicited price quotes in November and December, and received 2 quotes for each walkway.  The submitted price quotes for each walkway are attached for the Board’s review.  As you will note, the quotes from T.E. Davis Construction are significantly higher than B&P Service’s quotes, and are also significantly higher than the Town’s historical cost for beach access walkway replacements.  Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation Director, and I have discussed these walkways with B&P Services, and we believe they will complete the work in a responsible manner for the Town. 

The FY 17-18 budget includes a total of $84,000 for beach access walkway replacements, thus the amount authorized in the attached resolution is equal to the amount budgeted.  Work on the three walkways would begin as soon as B&P Services can mobilize, hopefully later this month.  Our goal is to complete all work by the end of April.

I recommend approval of the attached resolution.

Budget Amendment – General Fund

The attached budget amendment includes a net additional appropriation of $17,400 to the Parks and Recreation Department budget for the construction of the West Landing public beach access walkway.  This amount includes $12,500 from the residents and property owners in this area, and an additional $4,900 of unanticipated revenues in the Parks and Recreation Department.  The attached budget amendment also reduces the Transfers to Capital Projects account by $7,600, which is attributed to the lower-than-anticipated cost of the Old Ferry Road sidewalk construction contract. 

I recommend approval of the attached budget amendment.