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.
Public Services Update – Updates on Utilities, Public Works, and Contractor Services from April 2022, can be viewed HERE.
Contractor Services Improvements – As of September 17, 2021, Phase I of the contractor services yard improvements was nearly complete. Staff had moved into the new facilities with IT systems in place. Some grading and drains were needed in the area in front of the storage units and the Village is waiting on the new fuel dispenser to arrive. Plans are in place for landscape design.
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.
ADA Beach 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 new handicap access on the purchased property near the Bald Head Island Club between public beach access #15 and #17 which is near the Bald Head Island Club entrance.
The CAMA permit was received for this project. The project was bid out twice and is pending construction while the Village and the Bald Head Association (BHA) work together to address potential encroachments to seaward unbuildable platted parcels. The project was approved by the BHA’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) and will require BHA board approval. An informational meeting is set for April 18, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. and the Board of Directors will meet on April 22, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. to vote on whether to approve or deny the Village’s application. More information on those meetings and the Village’s application can be found HERE.
Staff submitted an extension to the initial CAMA grant award and received an amended grant contract.
NOTE: In anticipation of the new beach access being built a few lots away, and because the dune had naturally grown over the existing structure, beach access #15 was modified and is no longer a handicapped access. Until this new access is complete, the emergency vehicle accesses can be used (#11, #24B, #35, #42). BA #42 would be the shortest path to the beach.
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.
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 and is currently working with the Division of Coastal Management to receive a major permit to rebuild it. At this time, 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. These plans are subject to change as the Village proceeds with the permitting process. In the meantime, the Village constructed a temporary walkway, ramp, and floating dock for folks to enjoy.
Duke Energy – Duke Energy continues to work hard to complete a multi-year power grid improvement project that will help harden our system serving Bald Head Island to storms and allow for isolation of outages and remote automatic repairs. While a lot of the visible work on the island is concluding, there are important updates to the operating systems taking place now so Duke can fully leverage these upgrades in the near future.
Duke Energy is anticipating the need for some small, isolated planned outages as they configure the new equipment. They will work to communicate this in advance to impacted customers. If you experience an outage and you are not sure if it is planned, please contact the Duke Energy outage line at 800-419-6356.
Duke Energy will be providing updates to the Village as they continue to make improvements on BHI. Those updates can be found HERE.
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 when Duke is finished with its temporary use of this lot. Some of this lot is used for beach access parking.
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. For instance, the Village will be working with BHI Club this winter to redirect water flow and improve the connection between a few of the lagoons, and repair a swale that has silted in over time. 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 October 23, 2020, Council meeting the Village Manager indicated that the Village will be working with a contractor to make improvements to the bypass weir gate. Survey crews were able to locate the end of the pipe from Lagoon 8 and that line will hopefully need to be cleared out versus requiring boring and replacement.
At the November 20, 2020, Council meeting the Village Manager reported that BHI Club had redirected the irrigation dump valve from Lagoon 7 to the bypass lagoon. The Village is already observing the benefits from this modification as it has increased the amount of water pressure going through the bypass lagoon and off the island.
At the January 15, 2021, Council meeting the Village Manager reported that staff will be meeting with contractors to finalize the plans for improving the bypass lagoon. The plans are to replace the 24-inch pipe with a 36-inch pipe. The objective is to get both tasks completed in the February/March timeframe.
At the April 16, 2021, Village Council meeting, the Village Manager reported that the Village has received cost proposals for the planned stormwater updates to include lagoon connection. The Village will be reaching out to property owners in the vicinity of lagoons 3 A/B and 6/7 (adjacent to Nightshade Court and Fort Holmes Trail) which will be connected as part of this project.
At the May 21, 2021, Village Council meeting, the Village Manager reported that bypass lagoon improvements will likely be completed in winter 2021 due to the cost of installing a temporary cart bridge for the golf course.
At the July 16, 2021, Village Council meeting, the Village Manager reported that the connection of Lagoon 3A to Lagoons 6 & 7 is complete. The water levels have been low compared to when they were surveyed, but it is expected when there is more rain that there will be a full connection. The Village will continue to keep an eye on it.
At the November 19, 2021, Village Council meeting, the Village Manager reported that the Village met with the BHI Club to go over the construction plans and timing for stormwater work that will require the closure of the front 9 holes. The Club agreed to contribute $15,000 to supplement its in-kind contribution of labor. Once materials are received in early February 2022 the work is to take two or no more than three weeks to be completed.
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://www.bhic.org/deer/. 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.