In this issue:
- Recap of Village Council regular meeting
- Dosher Clinic on BHI will be closed for the remainder of the season
- Candidates’ forum to be hosted by BHA in October
- Hold off on donating your bikes to the Village Chapel’s Bicycle Recycle
- Tips for preventing your golf cart from disappearing
- New refuse guide available for islanders and guests
- NC has lifted most mandatory mask mandates, all mandatory capacity, gathering limits, and social distancing requirements.
- As the Delta variant spreads, local governments in NC are reinstating mandates.
- Vaccinations are still available to everyone ages 12 and up. Brunswick County announced it is offering third doses for immunocompromised persons starting August 24, 2021.
- The Public Safety Building is closed to the public. Masks are required in all other Village buildings regardless of vaccination status.
- For the ferries, masks are only required on the ferry if you are riding in the cabin.
Regular Council Meeting – The Village Council conducted its regular meeting on Friday, August 20, 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 appointed Marianna Fitz Hugh as an alternate member of the Planning Board as part of the Consent Agenda. Two public hearings were held, one was on an ordinance to amend the code of ordinances making conforming amendments related to the direction of the utilities and public works department by a public services director, the other hearing was held on the bond order authorizing the issuance of $54,000,000 in public transportation bonds. No comments were received for the ordinance amendment. Written comments received by the Village on the bond order can be viewed HERE under Public Comments.
Under old business, the Village Council unanimously adopted the ordinance to amend the code of ordinances making conforming amendments related to the direction of the utilities and public works department by a public services director and unanimously adopted the resolution to adopt the bond order and authorize the bond referendum for the issuance of $54,000,000 in public transportation bonds. The Village Council received an update from staff on the current COVID-19 response. Effective today, Monday, August 23, 2021, all visitors to the Island Package Center/Post Office and Village Hall must wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
Under new business the Village Council unanimously adopted a grant project ordinance for Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, unanimously adopted a budget amendment for the new Village Hall project, and unanimously adopted a reimbursement resolution for the new Village Hall project. Village Council also unanimously awarded the contract for engineering services for the sanitary sewer and wastewater treatment plant expansion upgrade (to meet future island build-out) to McKim & Creed.
The Village Manager updated the Council on several items to include the status of the ADA beach access, new cell tower, and stormwater improvements. Below are a few details on the information he shared:
- ADA Beach Access – The CAMA permit was received for this project. The Village re-advertised for bids on the construction of the crossover and parking area. The Village will be working with the Bald Head Association to address the structure crossing over common area on the seaward side of the lot.
- Cell Tower – Installation of the cell tower is complete, the vegetation for the surrounding buffer is in place, and it is ready for service providers to move over from the old tower. Bellsouth (AT&T) was first, next will be Verizon, then US Cellular. All service providers should be moved over to the new cell tower by fall. Even though Bellsouth has moved, the services are not operational on the new tower. There should be no service interruptions as services are switched. At this time, there is no schedule for other service providers moving to the new tower. Please contact your service provider if you are having service issues.
- Stormwater Management – The connection of Lagoon 3A to Lagoons 6 & 7 is working well and the Village has received positive feedback. The weir gate for the bypass lagoon has been ordered and will be in production for 8-10 weeks so it will be ready to be installed this winter.
The Village Manager introduced the Council and audience to the new Assistant Village Manager/Shoreline Protection Manager, Jae Kim. He also announced that Gina Hinson has moved from the IPC/PO to the Accounting Technician position in Village Hall. A new Village Clerk has been hired. Darcy Sperry will be starting with the Village this week, she comes to us from Graham, North Carolina where she served as City Clerk.
Dosher Clinic on BHI – Dosher Clinic on Bald Head Island will be closed for the remainder of the season. The clinic typically runs through the week before Labor Day. Dosher Memorial Hospital needs the staff in Southport to respond to the increase in Covid-19 cases requiring hospitalization.
Candidate Forum – The Bald Head Association announced that it is planning to hold a Village Council Candidate forum in early October at its association center (111 Lighthouse Wynd, Bald Head Island). The event will be in-person, live-streamed, and recorded. The event will be managed by the League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear. The League will be collecting and organizing questions for the candidates prior to the event using a unique and private email address. The event will be moderated. Once the date is finalized, BHA will send out announcements.
This year there are 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). Lou Ann Earnhardt and Peter Quinn have filed to run for mayor. Robert Drumheller, Scott Gardner, Emily Hill, and Nathan McBrayer have filed to run for councilor. Best of luck to all candidates! Please direct any questions about the 2021 municipal election to the Brunswick County Board of Elections at 910-253-2620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preventing Golf Carts from Disappearing – Reports of golf cart thefts are not always intentional thefts, but a matter of mistaken identity. Many golf carts on Bald Head Island look the same and to the unsuspecting visitor or renter, they can easily end up driving off in the wrong golf cart. Alan May, the Village’s Public Safety Director, has reached out to other golf cart communities for ideas on how to prevent this activity from happening. Unfortunately, there aren’t any new ideas out there.
Here are a few tips for making it harder for someone to take off with your golf cart:
- Re-key your golf carts. This will ensure that another golf cart key will not work on your cart and your key will not work on someone else’s (in case your renter or visitor takes the key out of the cart like they do with their regular car keys).
- Purchase a pedal to wheel lock for your golf cart(s).
- Have a hidden kill switch installed.
- Do something to make your golf cart stand out. This could mean painting it a unique color, naming it (often folks will put the house name on the cart), or putting a special decal or decoration on it. Just make sure that nothing is blocking the view of the driver.
- Educate your renter/visitor about this issue so that they are prepared to double check that they are getting into the right cart.
- Install a GPS. While this won’t necessarily prevent a cart from being stolen, it will be helpful in locating it if all else fails.
Bicycle Donations on Temporary Hold – The Village Chapel Recycle Bicycle Ministry has asked that the Village send the following message:
Do you have a bicycle that you are waiting to recycle with our bicycle ministry program? If so…, will you please hold on to it for a bit longer? Bicycle Man in Fayetteville cannot receive our bikes for at least another 6 weeks (NOTE: This message was originally sent on August 11), and our container is overflowing. Please do not bring your bikes to the container as they will be thrown away and we do not want to lose any bikes to the trash We thank you for your continued support of our ministry and your patience as we traverse yet another hiccup! If you have any questions, please contact Anne Rex at email@example.com.
Refuse Guide – Property owners should have received a copy of the Village’s new refuse guide in their utility bills last month. The online version is available HERE and a printer-friendly version is HERE. This document is also on the Village’s online welcome guide webpage HERE.
The State of North Carolina has not implemented any new restrictions since the end of July. All State-wide mask mandates except for a few places such as public transportation, childcare, and public health settings have been lifted. With the spread of the Delta variant, some local communities in North Carolina have been reinstating mandates. As of last Monday, Brunswick County has not reinstated any mandates. New Hanover County’s indoor mask mandate began on Friday, August 20, 2021.
Vaccines – All persons aged 12 and older are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines (12-17 are eligible for Pfizer only). The COVID-19 vaccines are free. Brunswick County recently announced that it will begin offering third doses for immunocompromised persons starting August 24, 2021. The State’s vaccine finder at myspot.nc.gov provides information on where folks can receive a shot. More information about vaccines can be found at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.
Brunswick County Case Numbers – This month, North Carolina transitioned from the County Alert system map to CDC’s COVID-19 community transition map. According to the CDC, Brunswick County is in “red” and that means that the county has a high transition rate and there have been over 100 cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 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’s Response – To protect first responders, the Village has closed the Public Safety Building to the public. Please contact the Department of Public Safety for any administrative needs prior to coming to the building (910) 457-9700 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may be asked to transact your business outside. For all other Village buildings (Village Hall, IPC/PO, Contractor Services) masks are required (regardless of vaccination status).
Masks Required in Ferry Cabins Only – On June 23, 2021, the NC Utilities Commission issued an ORDER making the mask requirements on BHI ferries consistent with US Coast Guard and Governor’s Orders for public transportation, masks will continue to be required if seated inside the cabin area and not required if seated outside of the cabin.