Learn about Village Projects
Below are a few projects and initiatives that are taking place on Bald Head Island. Information about these projects will be updated as the status changes. Shoreline protection project information can be found HERE.
If you have a question about any of these projects, or are not finding the information you need, please contact email@example.com.
Drone Flights – Bald Head Island Conservancy plans to begin drone mapping for beach vitex starting September 9, 2020. It is anticipated to take about 6 weeks and they will be out 3 times a week for about 1-2 hours. They expect to start at Beach Access 1 and wrap around to the West, then do South Beach. For the most part, the drone will fly high and will be unnoticed. The pilot is required to have a line of sight with the drone at all times and it will not be flown over water, in windy conditions, or in heavy rain. For more information about beach vitex and the Conservancy’s efforts to eradicate it on the island, view their video HERE. Photos of homes will be kept confidential.
Handicap Access – The Village has received a Division of Coastal Management (DCM) beach access grant to purchase and improve a vacant oceanfront lot. The Village will be installing a new handicap access on the purchased property. At the December 2019 regular Council meeting, the Village Manager reported that the Village has executed an offer to purchase and settlement statement for a lot. The lot is located near the Bald Head Island Club between public beach access #15 and #17 which is near the entrance to the Bald Head Island Club.
New Cell Tower – Crown Castle owns the current cell tower on the island and started constructing a new one in summer 2020. The new cell tower will be next to the old cell tower which will be taken down during the off-season. The new tower will be 60 feet higher and will result in improved cellular service on the island. It will also enhance the Public Safety Department’s VIPER communication system allowing for improved line of sight on areas of the island such as near the dune line.
Crown Castle was expected to complete construction by the end of July 2020, unfortunately, there were several delays including an unknown impediment preventing the driving of the piles all the way down. Crown Castle intended to remove the friction piles and start driving them in a few feet over to avoid the obstruction but experienced more setbacks. The project is on hold while they consult with their engineers on additional installation options. When they start back up they will need dry weather as there is a significant amount of welding involved in installing the friction piles.
Please note that the installation of the service provider equipment (AT&T, US Cellular, Verizon) will be phased over from the old tower to the new one once the island’s population is reduced. The Village will post updates as they become available.
Will the new tower have T-mobile? Here is the answer the Village received from Crown Castle: “Currently T-mobile/Sprint are not on the current tower. When we went to construct the new tower we reached out to their RF department and they declined going on the new tower. After the merger of the two companies they might express interest down the road.”
Contractor Services Improvements – In October 2019, the Village Manager reported that Village Staff is moving forward with initial efforts on improvements to the Contractor Services lot. There will be a phased approach which includes clearing out the existing Contractor Service building and old and dilapidated storage units while relocating others for temporary use until new storage units are constructed. The preliminary work is estimated to cost $175,000 with most of the cost associated with relocating the fuel pump/gas dispenser.
Contractor Services staff and Development Services staff have relocated their offices to a mobile office while improvements progress. The mobile office is located near the entrance to the Public Works complex.
Relocation of the old storage units (CONEX boxes) is complete.
What is going on with all the flags on the side of the road?
Some folks may have noticed that these flags have been around the island for quite some time. They are marking various utility lines for the infrastructure projects that have been on-going for several years (first the broadband fiber project and more recently the Duke Energy project). Please do not remove them.
At some point ALL the flags will be removed, but not until all projects are completed. The Duke Energy project is almost complete, but the Village has a few other major projects that will be starting this year such as the installation of the new cell tower and the Village’s stormwater management infrastructure
When all projects are completed the Village can focus on removal of the flags, which we agree, are not the most attractive sight on the island, but are necessary to bring forth these planned improvements with minimal delay.
Duke Energy – Duke Energy continues to bore down Federal Road to replace a section of cable through to the area of the BHI Conservancy. After the job is complete there should be some redundancy to the area of the Conservancy and Shoals Club. Duke returned in summer 2020 to pull lines through the conduits that have been installed. It was emphasized with Duke staff that this will be the third consecutive summer the island has had a construction project. The impact on transportation is expected to be minimal compared to the project in summer of 2019. The Village estimates that Duke has spent approximately $10 million on its recent improvements on the island.
Corner of Muscadine & S. Bald Head Wynd – Duke Energy contractors have used this Village-owned lot to place the excess dirt and spoils from the boring. As the material dries out, they have been working to remove some of the excess dirt and will bring the lot back to a more presentable state. Some of this lot is used for beach access parking.
Wildlife Management – Deer: Over the last several years the Village has sub-contracted services to the Bald Head Island Conservancy to assist with Deer Herd Management which utilizes an immuno-contraception program. Updates on the program are posted on the Conservancy’s website at; https://www.bhic.org/deer/.
Coyote: During the 2019 turtle season, the Conservancy reported that coyotes were disturbing turtle nests and eating the eggs. Several non-lethal methods were used to deter the coyotes with little success. After consulting wildlife biologists about the viability of trapping coyotes, the Village and the Conservancy worked together to obtain a depredation permit. At this time, the Village currently has no plans in place to trap the coyotes.