In this issue:
- Farewell to Village Clerk, Daralyn Spivey
- Recap of Village Council regular meeting
- Beachgoers urged to take caution on both ends of South Beach
- Clarification on property registration for re-entry
- Temporary access completed at Marina Park
- Construction at the Creek Access gazebo this week
- Village Council Special Meeting on 6/28/2021
- Candidate filing begins July 2 and ends July 16, 2021
- An update from Duke Energy
REMINDERS: Dosher Clinic on BHI is open Monday through Friday, Village offices will be closed on July 5, 2021, for the Independence Day holiday, Stage 1 water conservation alert still in effect for Brunswick County, drone flights.
- An on-island vaccine clinic, hosted by Brunswick County Health Services, will take place THIS THURSDAY, June 24, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. at the Marina Park (old tent site).
- NC has lifted most mandatory mask mandates, all mandatory capacity, gathering limits, and social distancing requirements, the May 14, 2021, Executive Order has been extended through July 30, 2021
- Vaccinations are now available to everyone ages 12 and up
- Masks are required for all visitors (unvaccinated and vaccinated) in the Public Safety Building. For all other Village buildings (Village Hall, IPC/PO, Contractor Services) masks are optional for vaccinated persons, required for unvaccinated – Village staff will not ask for vaccination status.
Farewell to Daralyn Spivey, Village Clerk – Daralyn Spivey started working for the Village in 2007 and has served as Village Clerk since early 2014. Some may remember Daralyn before she joined the Village as she worked for Limited for 9 years before working for the Village. That makes 23 years working on Bald Head Island. She has calculated that to about 12,000 ferry rides over the years. Daralyn has accepted the Clerk to the Board position with Brunswick County. She will not be going far and will still be serving Bald Head Island citizens in this new capacity. Her last day with the Village is today. We wish Daralyn the best of luck in her new position. She will be missed!
Regular Council Meeting – The Village Council conducted its regular meeting on Friday, June 18, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Here is a summary of the information shared and the actions that were taken at this meeting:
The Village Council added a Resolution of Appreciation for Daralyn Spivey to the Consent Agenda. The Consent Agenda was approved unanimously. The Village Manager gave a presentation on the FY22 budget followed by a Public Hearing on the FY22 budget. There were no comments received from the public. The Village Manager’s budget message can be viewed HERE. It includes a summary of the budget to include a statement on the base tax rate (.6863 cents per $100 of valuation) and the MSD Zone Rates (.0908 Zone A and .0556 Zone B) which were maintained in this budget, funding priorities, general fund balance, projected revenues, projected expenditures, capital outlay, stormwater fund, debt service, fee schedules, etc. The Manager’s presentation can be viewed HERE.
Under Old Business the Village Council unanimously adopted the FY22 Budget Ordinance. The Village Manager gave an update on COVID-19 and there was consideration from the Council regarding the mask requirements for Village buildings. It was decided that masks would still be required in the Public Safety Building for all persons regardless of vaccination status since the clinic is running in this building and masks are still required in some medical settings per the Governor’s Executive Order. In all other buildings, masks are optional for vaccinated persons and are required for unvaccinated persons. Village Staff will not be asking customers for their vaccination status. The Village Council unanimously adopted a Resolution Declaring the Village’s Intent to Consider Closing a Portion of Lighthouse Wynd. There was discussion about Village landscaping, particularly in the area of Contractor Services, Public Works, and Public Safety. The Village has notified the public of the necessity to remove vegetation in the Contractor Services area to comply with stormwater regulations and to re-establish vegetation along the berm along Federal Road in previous communications. This information is on the Village Projects webpage HERE. Staff has pulled this information into a one-page document which can be viewed HERE.
Under New Business budget amendments were adopted by the Village Council addressing the new Village Hall, Contractor Services, Wastewater Treatment Plant expansions and upgrades, and the end of FY21 budget ordinance amendment. The Council also adopted a Capital Project Ordinance for the new Village Hall, its annual audit contract, and a Resolution Opposing HB 496 Regulating the Removal of Trees.
The Village Manager updated the Council on several items to include the EOC team’s recent tabletop exercise for emergency preparedness, notary services, considerations on the fee structure in the IPC, improvements at the IPC, the new ADA beach access. He indicated that the Village will be conducting four interviews for the Shoreline Protection Manager & Assistant Village Manager. Below are a few details on the information he shared:
- Tabletop Exercise – Last week the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Team participated in a tabletop exercise. The team went through a Category 4 hurricane scenario and discussed the pre and post-storm decision-making process. The re-entry guidance provided by the Hurricane Florence Task Force is being shared with Council and the PIO is working on public education on the decision-making process and re-entry guidance.
- Notary Services – Since most folks who come to the Village offices seeking notary services are island residents, the Village will not be charging a fee for this service. Several Village employees in the IPC/PO and Village Hall are notaries. Please go to the IPC/PO first if you are seeking this service.
- IPC Fee Options – The Village is exploring options for how it handles the packages that are coming to the IPC daily, especially the larger items. The pallet fee is going up from $75 per pallet to $95 per pallet and some folks are opting to use shippers that send items to the IPC to avoid pallet fees and warehouse delivery options. This increases costs for the IPC and limits storage capacity.
- Improvements at the IPC – IPC employees are adjusting to the new software and looking forward to the improvements that are going to be made to the building. This will include a design that will work better for their daily operations. Construction has begun on a ramp for the US Postal Service side of the building. A new “Ring” type camera system will be a part of the improvements. This will allow folks who are coming to pick up packages to speak to personnel in the back warehouse, provide their information (box number or last name) so that the person in the back can bring packages out to the front.
- ADA Beach Access – The CAMA permit has been issued for the new ADA (handicap) access and the Village is still working on bids for the construction of the access and parking. The bids received so far will go over the amount of the Division of Coastal Management Grant amount. The Village may need to provide supplemental funds from the beach fund to pay for the access. The access will be located a few lots east of Beach Access #15 which had been an ADA access until sand built up on it over time making it steep. Steps were put in before this peak season when many of the Village’s beach accesses were maintained. The Village is directing folks to the emergency vehicle accesses which do not have steps. These are at Beach Access 11, 24B, 35, and 42. Beach Access #42 is the access with the shortest distance to the beach and is the one used most by folks who borrow the Village’s beach wheelchair. The beach wheelchair can be borrowed from the Department of Public Safety. More information on the wheelchair can be found HERE.
The Village Council went into closed session to consult with the attorney regarding property acquisition. After the closed session, it was announced that Council had authorized Mayor Pro Tem Brown and Councilor Gardner to interview financial advisors to work on the acquisition of the transportation service by general obligation (GO) bond. Council also authorized the Mayor to retain a financial advisor. The Village has since released an announcement explaining these efforts more fully, that announcement can be viewed HERE. Other documents associated with the transportation system can viewed HERE.
South Beach Hazards – Earlier this month the Village shared an aerial photo on social media that showed several folks wading in the shoals on the east end of South Beach. The Village cautioned folks about wading in this area. It is where our Public Safety Officers are called to the most for water rescues. Oftentimes the tide comes in and people find themselves in deep water before they know it. Folks are advised not to go out further than they are prepared to swim back. Alternatively, the Village was recently notified by a concerned citizen and representatives from the state port that a shoal is building up on the west end of South Beach near the terminal groin which is attracting beachgoers. The problem is that when a ship (even a small ship) passes that area a hydrodynamic effect occurs which violently draws the water out from shore and back into shore. This can be very hazardous for swimmers. The Village will be following up with additional communications about this hazard. Please pass this on to your visitors and renters in the meantime.
Property Registration for Re-entry – It has come to the Village’s attention that some outdated information was included in the June 2021 issue of the Island Report and was still on the Village website. This was regarding requiring property owners to register their property in advance of hurricane season. The Village is no longer accepting property registrations in advance. The Village will be making the online registration form available when there is an active emergency event. This way the information is current and accurate for the property owners’ circumstances during the time of the event. On the very rare occasion that there is a re-entry process to go through, the Village can always reference the County property records to verify ownership as a backup.
Marina Park Dock – The dock at Marina Park sustained damage during Hurricane Isaias and has been replaced with a temporary access and floating dock. The old dock will be removed when the Village receives FEMA funding. Kayak rentals have resumed at this location (they had been operating from the Creek Access). The Village’s long-term plans are to replace the temporary access and floating dock with a “t dock” in the same location as the temporary access.
Creek Access Gazebo – The roof on the gazebo at the Village’s Creek Access needs replaced. Construction on the roof is expected to begin tomorrow, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. This area will not be accessible to the public while construction is taking place.
Village Council Special Meeting – The Village Council will be conducting a Special Meeting and Public Hearing on an ordinance to amend Chapter 32 of the Village Code of Ordinance to conform with Chapter 160D of the North Carolina General Statutes. This was introduced to the Council at its retreat in February and the Planning Board has reviewed the amendments and has made the recommendation for the Village Council to adopt the changes. A draft copy of the changes can be viewed HERE.
2021 Candidate Filing for Municipal Elections – Candidate filing for the next municipal election for the Village of Bald Head Island begins on Friday, July 2, 2021, at noon through Friday, July 16, 2021, at noon. Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. is the deadline to withdrawal notice of candidacy. There will be three vacancies on the Village Council, the mayor (which is currently held by Andy Sayre), and two council members (which are currently held by Scott Gardner and Emily Hill). More information about filing for the 2021 municipal election can be found at the Brunswick County Board of Elections website HERE.
Duke Energy Update (submitted by Duke Energy) – A key component to the major grid improvements on the island is creating an unground self-healing system with the ability to isolate outages and create back feeding options automatically.
We have custom engineered automatic switchgear that is a first of its kind for Duke Energy in the Carolinas. We’ve been busy this month training our team on the proper installation and operation.
We continue to appreciate your patience as we’re working hard to upgrade the island’s energy grid. We plan to have this multi-year project on the island completed by the end of the year.
If you have questions or feedback, you are welcome to contact Danielle Peoples at Danielle.Peoples@duke-energy.com.
- Dosher Clinic on Bald Head Island – The on-island clinic is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Patients seeking medical attention must call ahead at 910-457-5252. The clinic is located in the Public Safety Building. Masks are required in this building regardless of vaccination status.
- Village Offices Closed – Village offices, including the IPC/PO will be closed on Monday, July 5, 2021, for the Independence Day holiday. The 4th of July Golf Cart Parade hosted by the Old Baldy Foundation will take place on Sunday, July 4, 2021 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Details can be found on the Old Baldy website HERE.
- Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert – The Village is monitoring the current drought level, which is considered moderate, and is asking Villagers to please use water wisely. Brunswick County has issued a Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert and is requesting customers to be diligent and use water wisely through the Independence Day (July 4) holiday. For more guidance on the conservation alert, view the County’s media release HERE.
- Drone Flights – The Bald Head Island Conservancy will be conducting drone flights to image beach vitex throughout the summer during the growing season (when it’s green). They will be starting on the west side of the island and will work their way east. Flights will be conducted around mid-day. For more information, please view THIS information sheet.
Governor Cooper completely lifted most mandatory mask mandates, all mandatory capacity, gathering limits, and social distancing requirements on May 14, 2021. The mask mandate will remain in effect on public transportation (which means the Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. ferries and trams), in childcare, in schools, in prisons, and in certain public health settings at least through July 31, 2021, when the latest Executive Order is due to expire. The state continues to recommend that unvaccinated people wear masks and is strongly urging them to get vaccinated.
Vaccines – Brunswick County Health services will be holding a COVID-19 vaccine clinic THIS THURSDAY, June 24, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. at the Marina Park (old tent site). All community members aged 12 and older are eligible to receive vaccines (12-17 are eligible for Pfizer only). The COVID-19 vaccines are free. Community members are asked to bring their ID and Insurance cards to the clinic, if available. The clinic will follow state guidelines for a clinical setting and require everyone to wear masks.
Brunswick County Case Numbers – The latest NC County Alert System report indicated that there are no “red” counties, 6 are “orange”, 36 are “yellow”, 49 are “light yellow”, and 9 are “green.” Brunswick County is currently green! Green means there is low impact on county hospitals and that the case rate was less than 10 cases per 100,000 people in 14 days.
Case numbers were typically updated daily on Brunswick County’s dashboard on THIS WEBSITE. The County experienced technical issues and this site will direct citizens to the State’s COVID-19 dashboard until the County dashboard is up and running.
Village Offices have Reopened, Masks Required at Public Safety – All Village offices are now open to the public. Per Council instruction, all visitors (unvaccinated or vaccinated) are required to wear masks in the Public Safety Building. Starting on Friday, June 18, 2021, masks are optional for vaccinated persons and mandatory or unvaccinated persons who enter the IPC/PO, Village Hall, and Contractor Services. Village Staff will not be asking customers for their vaccination status. The Council will review this policy monthly.