Village Projects

Listed below are a few projects and initiatives that are taking place on Bald Head Island. More details can be found below and additional information about these projects will be added as the status changes. Shoreline protection project information can be found HERE.

  • Ladder Truck
  • Contractor Services Improvements
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Project
  • Lift Station Upgrades
  • FY24 Road Maintenance
  • Beach Access Repair & Maintenance
  • Emerging Contaminants
  • Natural Asset Planning
  • Marina Park ADA Access and Overlook (contingent on funding )
  • Accessible & Affordable Transportation System
  • Sandpiper Trail Relocation
  • New Village Hall
  • Wildlife Management

If you have a question about any of these projects or are not finding the information you need, please contact public.information@villagebhi.org.


Ladder Truck – The Lighthouse Landing fire in November 2021 brought the BHI community together. A fundraiser was started by the Public Service Auxiliary to raise money for the purchase of a new ladder truck.  A special fundraising event boosted the amount. The total amount of donations from the PSA for the ladder truck came to $455,000. The Village’s current ladder truck is operable. Newer technology is available that will greatly assist in stabilizing a truck of this size on the Village’s narrow wynds and the additional 50’ length will allow for a longer span of reach over trees and structures.

By February 2022, the Village had looked at several trucks, had manufacturers visit to see the unique working environment, and the final specifications for a new truck were finalized (see our update HERE). A request for proposals was issued in March 2022 and a bid was awarded to Fire Connections Inc. for $1,228,000. In June 2022, Public Safety staff traveled to E-One’s manufacturing facility in Ocala, Florida for a pre-construction meeting.  You can view a short video on the trip HERE and read an account of the visit HERE

According to communication the Village received in late January 2024, the manufacturer has moved the delivery date from December 2024 to October 2024. View the plans for it HERE and HERE.


Contractor Services Improvements – Construction on the building is complete and contractors have moved into the new storage units. Additional grading and stormwater installation are ongoing. The landscaping has been completed. Fuel pumps were installed in April 2023.

At the March 2024 regular Village Council meeting, JP McCann, Public Services Director, reported several additional updates that are scheduled to be implemented over the next three fiscal years. That list is forthcoming and will be posted here.

Why was so much vegetation cleared between the new Contractor Services pad and Federal Road? The State’s stormwater permit required a stormwater basin and required some clearing. Caution was given to minimize the amount of vegetation removed with the usual emphasis on the protection of the larger live oaks. The plan is to let the vegetation (understory) grow back to the extent that it will offer some buffer in the long-term and to use the material removed for the basin to build a berm along Federal Road which will be planted.  This project is still in progress and the current condition is not what the Village expects the area to look like in the long-term. The upcoming landscaping project (see below) will include plantings along the berm behind Contractor Services along Federal Road.

Click HERE to view a copy of the site plan. The stormwater basin is indicated in red. Slides with plans and maps of the area can be viewed HERE.

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
projects. 

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.


Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Project

As of July 2022, Village of Bald Head Island Utilities served 1,296 residential customers,165 REUs (Residential Equivalent Units), and 19 on-site systems, with a total of 1,461 REUs or 59.3 percent build-out.  The Village’s permitted waste treatment capacity is 300,000 gallons per day. It is projected that approximately 35 REUs will be added to the system annually. The estimated waste treatment capacity required for Island build-out is 650,000 gallons per day. 

The state of North Carolina’s 80/90 rule (15A NCAC 02T.0118) ensures that treatment facilities do not exceed their hydraulic treatment capabilities and details what actions must be taken when treatment plants reach average flows of 80 percent and/or 90 percent of their permitted capacity, based on the average flow during the last calendar year. Prior to exceeding 80 percent capacity, a utility must submit an engineering evaluation of its future wastewater treatment, utilization, and disposal needs.  Prior to exceeding 90 percent capacity, a utility shall obtain all permits needed for the expansion of the wastewater treatment, utilization, or disposal system and, if construction is needed, submit final plans and specifications for expansion, including a construction schedule. If these actions are not taken, a moratorium on sewer line extensions shall be imposed by the NC Department of Environmental Quality, which means no new homes will be built.

The Village of Bald Head Island is looking closely at the average flow and bases its averages, not on the year prior, like the State does, but on the prior peak months of usage which are the months of June, July, and August.  Eighty percent capacity is 240,000 gallons per day. Ninety percent capacity is 270,000 gallons per day.  The gallons per day average for July 2022 and 2023 had reached 80 percent capacity (261,237 and 263,910).

So far, the Village has hired an engineering firm to design the wastewater treatment plant expansion. The engineer of record, McKim and Creed has submitted pre-engineering reports (in 2015 and 2019) that satisfy the actions that must be taken at 80 percent capacity, while the Village has reached 80 percent capacity a few times, this is a proactive measure.  McKim and Creed projects that an additional 120 to 140 REUs will be added to the system prior to reaching 90 percent capacity, requiring permits and a construction schedule. An Aqua Aerobics Aqua Nereda (Aerobic Granular Sludge) design is proposed which will utilize close to the same footprint as the current plant and double the plant’s capacity. The construction window for an expansion project is 24-30 months.  

The Village is pursuing grants and no-interest loans to pay for the project.  An Asset Inventory Assessment grant was obtained to improve the Village’s score as it competitively seeks grants. A capital improvement plan and asset inventory are currently underway. The Village hopes to be on target to start on its wastewater treatment plant expansion project well ahead of build-out with plans and permit applications completed by late summer/early fall 2024. The Village’s goal is to be “shovel ready” with permits in hand as it seeks potential grant funding sources.


Lift Station Upgrades

Phase 1 – Phase 1 was funded in FY22 and includes Dune Ridge Main, Stede Bonnet Main, and Harbor Village Main. The Village received prices for two alternate lift stations, West Bald Head Wynd and Royal James.  West Bald Head Wynd is included in year-two funding.   Royal James is scheduled for Phase 3.

Phase 2 – Includes upgrades to the following lift stations:  Central Main Pump Station, Primary Main Pump Station, and West Bald Head Wynd Pump Station. A Capital Project Fund was established for this project at the December 16, 2022, Village Council meeting. These funds were budgeted in the Utilities Enterprise Fund for FY23.

Both phases have experienced supply chain issues which has caused delays.

The Village maintains 38 Wastewater (WW) Collection duplex lift stations that range from 20hp to 2hp.  The Village contracts out this work and is using the phased approach to spread out the costs of this maintenance over a 5-year period to avoid having to increase fees for Village Utilities customers.  HERE is a list of all five phases of this project.

The Village has materials on hand to respond to station failures, make repairs, and address odor issues as they arise.  All lift stations are kept in working order and monitored daily by our Village Utilities personnel.

Question:  Why is there an odor at Timbercreek?

The Primary Main is located at Timbercreek. After investigating the operation of this lift station, it was observed that the floats were not set low enough and the station was not turning over waste quickly.  That has been addressed and has improved the odor, but it is still present at times.  It should be much better in the off season.  The Public Services Department is going to request funds in the FY25 budget to purchase equipment to address the issue long-term.


FY24 Road Maintenance

While the Village decided to put off its capital programmed and contracted paving for FY24, road maintenance will occur mostly in-house under the operations budget for Public Works.  Below is a list of all budgeted road maintenance activities for FY24.

  1. Asphalt repair; 4 pallets $6,000.00, labor 150 hrs. $6,750.00 = TOTAL:  $12,750.00                                 
  2. Shoulder repair; 35 loads of stone $158,400.00, labor 2304 hrs. $103,680.00  = TOTAL: $262,080.00
  3. High overhead cutting (contracted) = TOTAL: $28,000.00
  4. Public Works low overhead cutting; labor 2560 hrs. $115,200.00 = TOTAL: $115,200.00

    Grand Total $418,030.00

FY25 road paving and repairs are being discussed as the Village works on its annual budget. The Village is requesting Federal funding through Transportation/Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills.


Beach Access Repair & Maintenance

Each year the Village surveys its beach accesses to determine needs, prioritizes the ones that are in need of repair, and selects a handful to include in the annual budget. In fall 2023, the following beach accesses were maintained or repaired: #2, #8, #9, #13, #17, #18, #22, #27, and #32 as part of the FY24 budget. If you notice any repair needs at the beach accesses, please submit a service request so the Village can evaluate and address the needs as soon as possible. You can submit a service request HERE.


Emerging Contaminants

The Village’s Public Services Director, JP McCann has been attending NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) workshops locally since 2021. The Village has taken advantage of opportunities to perform testing on the Village’s water and to apply for grant funding (Drinking Water State Revolving Fund) to lower/eliminate contaminants (PFAS). The testing results and background information can be found on the Village’s Emerging Contaminants webpage HERE.


Natural Asset Planning

At the April 19, 2024, Village Council meeting Mayor Quinn introduced a proposal for the Village to conduct natural asset planning.  He indicated the need to assess the Village’s natural environment and plan for what needs to be addressed. Some of the items include medians, beach access parking, public parks, mulch site, and landscape maintenance.  View a preliminary list of study items HERE.


Marina Park ADA Access

The Village has submitted a pre-application for a grant requesting $150,000 which will require a $50,000 Village match to make an ADA-accessible access that will allow folks to reach the area where the old Marina Park dock existed which will include a fixed platform that will overlook the Oyster Reef project.  If the Village’s pre-application is selected, a final application will be submitted in July. Funding notifications will be made around September or October and if funded, construction could start in November.

Aerial view of proposed access HERE.


Accessible & Affordable Transportation System

The Village has taken measures to ensure that the island’s interests are protected as the developer (Bald Head Island Limited) exits the island. All island stakeholders must have an accessible and affordable transportation system now and in the future. These efforts have led to legal action by both parties. To keep islanders informed of the status of the litigation, a litigation tracker has been created and will be updated as necessary. Click HERE to view the tracker.


Sandpiper Trail Road Relocation Effort – After exploring options to provide ingress/egress to properties on Sandpiper Trail where the seaward dune is encroaching onto the street, including creating an entrance/entrances off West Bald Head Wynd, the Village and the property owners are working on a road design that will allow for tram access down Sandpiper Trail to the cul de sac as an alternative. The 911 emergency access is expected to be maintained.


New Village Hall – The Village received bids for the construction of a new Village Hall on Friday, October 22, 2021. Two bids were received, and both were significantly higher than the projected cost of $1.9M.  In addition to being above budget, the lowest bidder did not submit the required bid bond and that bid was considered “non-responsive.”  Therefore, the architect and staff could not recommend an award at this time. 

The Village will be waiting to rebid the project at a more appropriate time given the current climate with high costs for labor and materials.  Additionally, staff will be working on “value engineering” of the project to look at other ways to reduce the overall costs.  When the plans are put out to bid in the future the Village would also like to give prospective contractors more time to vet out the construction costs.  When the time is appropriate to rebid the project the Village will be sure to communicate in a future update on the project. 


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://bhic.org/deer-management/. Read the 2020 Darting Season report HERE.

What are the green plastic safety fences in the maritime forest? These are exclosures to protect vegetation from deer. See more information about these on the BHI Conservancy website HERE. Several were damaged from recent hurricanes and staff with the Bald Head Woods Reserve are aware of this and are evaluating options (repair/replace/remove).

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 renew or use the permit. Please see the latest efforts the Conservancy is making in studying predator behavior on the shoreline HERE.


Recently Completed Projects

Marina Park Dock & Pier – The Marina Park dock and pier was severely damaged during Hurricane Isaias and has since been removed. The Village has received FEMA funding to replace the structure The Village is planning to relocate the structure so that there is more direct access from the park to the pier so that it does not protrude as far into the creek as the old pier, and design it as a “T” dock with the same number of slips. The project was bid out and awarded in July 2023 and construction was completed by September 2023.


Landscaping Project – All plants and trees have been planted along Edward Teach Extension and behind the Contractor Services building along Federal Road. Public Works has installed temporary irrigation to make sure the plants and trees are well established from the start. View the landscape plans HERE.

Plantings in front of Contractor Services, along the berm behind Contractor Services, at the entrance to Public Works, and in front of the Department of Public Safety.

ADA Beach Access – The Village’s contractor has completed construction of the new ADA access which is now located to the west of the existing vehicular access at Beach Access #24B off of Peppervine Trail. Beachgoers can reach the access from South Bald Head Wynd and a parking area is located across the street near the corner of South Bald Head Wynd and Muscadine. Plans are in place to make improvements to the parking area, add a bike rack, and signage.


Beach Access Maintenance & Repair – The Village issued a request for proposals to perform maintenance and/or repair to six beach accesses prior to the 2023 peak season, the maintenance and repairs have been completed. The beach accesses that were improved or maintained include Beach Access #1, #4, #32, #34, #39, and #41. Each year the Village surveys its beach accesses to determine needs, prioritizes the ones that are in need of repair, and selects a handful to include in the annual budget. Maintenance and repairs are typically performed in late winter/early spring so that beach accesses are ready for the peak season. If you notice any repair needs at the beach accesses, please submit a service request so the Village can evaluate and address the needs as soon as possible. You can submit a service request HERE.


Duke Energy – Duke Energy’s multi-year power grid improvement project is now COMPLETE! Please view our full announcement HERE.

Duke Energy shares its thanks with all Islanders for your patience and coordination during construction activities and planned outages to complete the installations. Duke Energy was able to work with Bald Head Conservancy and Bald Head Association to support native vegetation plantings and coordinated closely with Village staff to ensure cleanup and restoration.

You’ll continue to see Duke Energy around the island when there are new customer connections, power service requests, etc. They thank you for allowing them to serve our community!


Stormwater Management – The Hurricane Florence Task Force provided Village staff with several recommendations regarding stormwater management. This resulted in several projects that have been budgeted and some are yet to be completed. One of the actions the Village has regularly taken is monitoring the water levels and letting off as much water as possible off the island. This is accomplished by opening the weir gate at the bypass lagoon. The Village does not have the capability to install pumps everywhere they are needed, cannot pump on private property, and is only authorized to pump when certain conditions exist.

At the January 20, 2023 meeting, Village Council meeting the Village Manager updated the council on the latest project, the #6 Bypass Lagoon. He said the project is now complete. The Village and the Club coordinated well on this effort. The work included the replacement of the existing 24-inch culvert pipe and gate on the Club side of the lagoon with a 36-inch culvert pipe and two (2) isolation gates.  This project completes the recommended changes at the bypass lagoon per the Hurricane Florence Task Force final report from July 2019.  The Village would like to thank the Bald Head Island Club and BHI Transportation for ensuring that this was a successful project.