In this issue:
- Recap of Village Council regular meeting
- Candidates’ forum to be hosted by BHA on Monday, October 11, 2021
- Annual change from chloramines to chlorine
- Updated procedure for standard forward mail and change of address
- Halloween 2021 on Bald Head Island
- Commemoration on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11
- An update from Duke Energy
REMINDERS: IPC/PO will be closed on Saturdays until further notice
- No changes in State mandates, most have been lifted and many local governments are issuing their own mandates.
- Vaccinations are still available to everyone ages 12 and up. Brunswick County announced it is offering third doses for immunocompromised persons.
- The Public Safety Building is closed to the public. Masks are required in all other Village buildings regardless of vaccination status.
- Today, Bald Head Island Transporation, Inc. announced new operating guidelines and restrictions for the ferries and trams, this information can be found on the BHI Transportation, Inc. website HERE.
Regular Council Meeting – The Village Council conducted its regular meeting on Friday, September 17, 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 approved a proclamation for Constitution Week which is recognized from September 17 through September 23. Village Staff gave an update on COVID-19. There have been no changes in mandates coming from the State and many local governments are putting their own mandates in place. The Department of Public Safety is making updates in response to additional OSHA standards for emergency personnel. The Village did not make any changes to its current response. Masks are required in all Village buildings regardless of vaccination status and the Public Safety Building is closed to the public.
Under new business, the Village Council adopted a resolution authorizing staff to apply for NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) Division of Water Infrastructure for financing the cost of construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion. There was a first reading of an ordinance to regulate the landing of helicopters on Bald Head Island and the Village Council called for a public hearing to take place at the next regular Village Council meeting on October 22, 2021. The ordinance provides some exceptions for County, State, or Federal needs (i.e., FEMA/NCEM/Governor/Brunswick County Sheriff, etc.). Village Council unanimously adopted a budget amendment to transfer funds to complete Phase I of the contractor services yard improvements.
The Village Manager updated the Council on several items to include updates on fall paving, the new Village Hall, Old Baldy campus redesign, the ADA beach access, Sandpiper Trail relocation, and BOEM wind energy areas. Below are a few details on the information he shared:
Fall Paving Update – The Village’s paving contractor will be doing the scheduled paving that was to take place last fiscal year and the paving scheduled to take place this fiscal year. The Public Services director presented the streets that will be paved which include:
- South Bald Head Wynd (top of hill to Federal Road)
- Bald Head Island Conservancy intersection
- East entrance of Palmetto Cove to stop sign at Federal
- Kinakeet Way from SE Beach Drive to Federal Road
- Coquina Trail
- Ibis Roost
- North Bald Head Wynd at public Creek Access
Paving should begin in mid-October. Click HERE for maps.
New Village Hall Update – The pre-bid meeting for the construction of the new Village Hall is on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The bid opening is scheduled for October 5, 2021. The architect will review the bids received to make a formal recommendation for the October 22, 2021, Council meeting. In conjunction with the bid process, staff will be preparing a draft RFP for bank financing and the amount will need to be included in a Local Government Commission (LGC) application for approval. Resolutions will be drafted for approval at the Council meeting on October 22, 2021, to go to the LGC. The LGC application will be submitted in November for consideration at the December 7, 2021, LGC meeting.
Old Baldy Campus Redesign – Village officials met with Old Baldy representatives to look over the design elements, including the layout of the complex and accessibility from the ferry to the lighthouse. The site plan and other details of the project will be forwarded to the Village by December. Last June, the Village adopted a resolution declaring its intent to consider closing the end of Lighthouse Wynd. Once the Village receives the detailed plans for the campus, a public hearing on the road closure will be scheduled.
ADA Beach Access – The CAMA permit was received for this project and the project was bid out twice and is pending construction while the Village and the Bald Head Association (BHA) work together to address items identified by the ARC. Staff submitted an extension to the initial CAMA grant award and received an amended grant contract this week.
Sandpiper Trail Road Relocation – The Village is working with property owners on putting together a road design that will allow for tram access down Sandpiper Trail to the cul de sac. This is an additional option to the Village’s efforts in working with the BHA to provide access through BHA common area off West Bald Head Wynd.
BOEM Wind Energy Areas – Over the last six months Mayor Sayre and staff have had meetings with congressional members and the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to emphasize the Village’s position on the proposed wind energy areas off the southeast coast of NC. The Village is in support of alternative energy but is concerned about the visual impacts and impacts the infrastructure will have as it comes on land. The Village’s government affairs consultants sent THESE COMMENTS to BOEM last week, which include the Village’s resolution and resolutions from Brunswick County and other local beach communities.
The Assistant Village Manager updated the Council on the following:
Grants – The Assistant Village Manager will be submitting letters of interest for projects that may be eligible for FEMA grants. A few of the projects that could qualify are stormwater, sterilization of HVAC units, and wastewater utility plant lift station upgrades. Staff has also investigated potential Federal Transit Administration funding should the Village become the new owner of the BHI transportation system.
Landscaping – The Assistant Village Manager reported that he is working on drafts of Requests for Qualifications for landscaping services for Contractor Services, IPC/PO, and Village Hall. A recommendation was made to advertise for all three projects in one to streamline the process.
There was discussion regarding a company that wants to rent and sell electric motorcycles and unicycles on BHI. The motorcycles would not be compliant with the current Village ordinance. The unicycle would be able to be used on the island per the Village ordinance. Council suggested that the transportation ordinance needs to be tightened up.
The Village Manager introduced the new Village Clerk, Darcy Sperry. He announced the following important dates:
- Badwater Cape Fear Race – Saturday, October 2, 2021.
- The next Village Council meeting – Friday, October 22, 2021.
A full account of these meetings can be found in the minutes which are posted HERE. Typically, minutes are posted with the agenda of the next month’s meeting (ex. If you want to read the August meeting minutes, they will be found under the September regular meeting agenda). Updates on various projects on the island can be viewed on the Village Projects webpage HERE.
Candidate Forum – The Bald Head Association will be holding its Village Council Candidate forum on October 11, 2021, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Generator Society Hall at its association center (111 Lighthouse Wynd, Bald Head Island). The event will be live-streamed and recorded and BHA intends to hold it in person following current COVID safety protocols mandated by North Carolina’s Department of Health and the CDC. The decision on whether to allow an in-person audience will be made by October 6, based on positive COVID rates in the area. If safety protocols prohibit allowing a live audience, the event will be live-streamed and recorded only. The forum will include two sessions, the first for council candidates and the second for mayoral candidates with a 5-minute break in between.
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.
Annual Change from Chloramines to Chlorine – The annual change from chloramines to chlorine will occur between now and through the end of October/early November. Notices were included in the August utility bills. For more information, view the full notice HERE.
Updated Procedure for Forwarding Mail and Change of Address – Earlier this month, Village officials met with the supervisor of the Southport Post Office to discuss a few service-related issues that islanders have been experiencing. One of the outcomes of the meeting was to update the standard forward mail and change of address procedure for Bald Head Island property owners.
Please review the following procedure for property owners with a Bald Head Island PO Box and for those without a PO Box:
With a BHI PO Box:
To have your mail forwarded to or from Bald Head Island you will need to fill out two (2) hard copies of the USPS Official Mail Change of Address Order (Form 3575) which is available at the Island Package Center & Post Office (IPC/PO). One form is filled out for the property owner’s Bald Head Island PO Box and the other is filled out for the property owner’s physical address on Bald Head Island. The reason for the two forms is that the USPS system will classify the Bald Head Island PO Box Number as a suite.
Without a BHI PO Box:
Property owners can either pick up and fill out a hard copy of the USPS Official Mail Change of Address Order (Form 3575) which is available at the Island Package Center & Post Office OR fill out the form online at the USPS website HERE. These property owners will use their physical address on the island for this form.
Halloween 2021 on BHI – Folks are already gearing up for Halloween. This year will be much like last year. Trick or treating will take place on Saturday, October 30, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. A volunteer will be collecting the addresses of those who will be handing out candy and that list will be available for pick up at the Maritime Market on October 29, 2021 (email email@example.com for the contact info). Please also check communications from the clubs and other island entities for organized events. The Village will be sharing these safety tips on social media throughout the month of October.
Commemoration on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 – Thank you to all who planned, participated, and attended the commemoration on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, which was held on Friday, September 10, 2021, at the Village Chapel. For those who were not able to attend, a short slideshow of the event can be viewed HERE. Highlights of the event included Colonel (ret.) Kevin Arata leading the event with the bagpiper Michael Hostler, the performance of the “Star-Spangled Banner” led by Cindy Sellers and the Village Chapel Choir, the tolling of the bells by Public Safety Officers, the performance of “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” by Colonel (ret.) Michael Charles, and performance of “America the Beautiful” by the Village Chapel Choir, and the closing prayer led by Gayle Sanders, President of the Village Chapel Trustees.
Duke Energy Update (submitted by Duke Energy) – Duke Energy is working 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.
A key component to the major grid improvements on the island is creating an underground 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. Our vendor recently learned of some operational improvements that they want to incorporate in the equipment before we install it on the island. We’ll continue to share our progress.
We continue to appreciate your patience as we’re working hard to upgrade the island’s energy grid.
If you have questions or feedback, you are welcome to contact Danielle Peoples at Danielle.Peoples@duke-energy.com.
IPC/PO will be closed on Saturdays – Until further notice, the Island Package Center & Post Office will be closed on Saturdays. First-class mail will be delivered to post office boxes every Saturday. When staffing levels are back up, the IPC/PO will resume operations on Saturdays. We apologize for the inconvenience.
The State of North Carolina has not implemented any new restrictions since the end of July. With the spread of the Delta variant, some local communities in North Carolina have been reinstating mandates. As of today, Brunswick County has not reinstated any mandates.
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 announced that it would 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 still in “red” this month (it was in red in August too). 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).
Updated Guidelines & Restrictions for the Ferries & Trams – From Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc.:
Bald Head Island Transportation will implement new US Coast Guard COVID operating guidelines and restrictions that require all passengers (except children under the age of 2) wear a mask:
- While waiting to board the ferry inside the terminal gate area;
- While boarding the ferry
- While inside the ferry cabin
- While disembarking the ferry
- While riding in trams
Additionally, all passengers are encouraged to practice social distancing whenever possible. Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. thanks you for your consideration and for everyone’s cooperation in ensuring that our employees and customers remain healthy and safe.