In this issue:
- Recap of Village Council regular meeting.
- Water conservation alert in effect.
- Beach vitex drone surveys to take place through August.
- NC Utilities Commission files order for a hearing on VBHI v. BHIT/BHIL.
- Public Safety Day was a great success!
- Update on new firetruck.
- Sandbag project complete.
- Adhering to the Village’s lighting ordinance helps turtles and the environment.
- An update from Duke Energy.
REMINDERS: Dosher Clinic on BHI is open, N-95 masks available at Village Hall, free at-home COVID-19 tests available via mail, IPC/PO remains closed on Saturdays.
Regular Council Meeting – The Village Council conducted its regular meeting on Friday, June 17, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. Here is a summary of the information shared and the actions that were taken at this meeting:
During the public comment period, Sheree Vaickus, a representative for the Bald Head Island Academy gave a presentation to the Village Council. The consent agenda passed unanimously. It included meeting minutes, a proclamation declaring July 2022 Golf Cart Safety Awareness month, and adoption of the FY23 budget ordinance.
Under old business, the Village Council acknowledged receipt of the Part-Time Resident Governance Ad Hoc Study Committee report of findings and recommendations. Click HERE for the committee’s presentation, HERE for the report of findings and recommendations, and HERE for the survey spreadsheets. The Village Council re-opened the continued the public hearing on the proposed text amendment for school use. The Council acknowledged several letters of support from the public. The text amendment was adopted unanimously. The Village Council unanimously accepted the Village’s section of the Blueprint Brunswick 2040 plan to include the future land use map, demographic data, goals, and action items. The County’s full plan will be reviewed by the Planning Board and its recommendations will be passed on to the Council in the fall for formal adoption. A public hearing on the plan will take place before adoption.
Under new business, the Village Council unanimously adopted A Resolution Expressing Its Intent and Agreement for the Coverage of Retirement Coverage Groups of Employees Under the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Provisions of Title II of the Federal Social Security Act, unanimously adopted a budget amendment for Fund 10, unanimously adopted a capital project fund ordinance for lift stations, and unanimously adopted a budget amendment for fund 31.
Below are a few items that were shared during the Manager’s Report:
Edward Teach Wynd – Staff discussed enforcement of the “no through traffic” regulation on Edward Teach Wynd. With the Village’s new sign making equipment in place, the Village will be constructing signs to be placed on either end of this wynd so appropriate enforcement can occur. In addition to the signage, staff has been providing Public Safety with the list of homes under construction. The Village has also included this regulation in the contractor services handbook. Additional public education is in the works for the contractors, including informational videos for the break room area.
Public Safety – Chief May thanked everyone for a successful Public Safety Day. He said that it was a great success and that he received several positive comments. He indicated that Corporal Paul Homick put the event together and that he did a fantastic job (more on this event below).
Chief May shared photos of the trip to Florida to the pre-construction meeting with the manufacturer of the new fire truck (more on this below). He reported on the Village’s recent hurricane tabletop exercise. It was emphasized that there are no longer re-entry cards or a pre-registration process for re-entry. There however will be a registration site opened if it is necessary to implement a phased re-entry process. For Islanders who may be unfamiliar with the Village’s evacuation and re-entry processes, please review the following guide HERE and our emergency preparedness webpage HERE.
Chief May announced that the Dosher Clinic is now up and running. There had been some issues with the tele-med equipment and those have been solved. There will be a maintenance plan put in place to avoid this issue in the future.
Chief May reported that the department surveyed Harbour Village and the yacht club area to get ready for the new signage that will be made for this area to clear up the vagueness of the parking guidelines and allow for better enforcement. He said that the department has already implemented strict enforcement in the barge landing area. It was mentioned that the Village does not regulate the overnight parking at the circle lot, and that this is under the purview of BHI Transportation. The harbormaster enforces the area and places boots on the vehicles there.
Public Services – Public Services Director JP McCann reported that the new storage building at Public Works should be complete this week. All Conex boxes have been moved and he is working on mapping out a new traffic pattern and assigned parking spaces. The Bald Head Association and the Village have finalized the plans to relocate the boat storage area to provide space for Island Contracting to move into this area and more effectively operate the mulch site. He reminded folks that they must call 811 before digging anywhere, even if it is to put up a sign. Staff continues to work with event planners and Village counsel on updating the Common Park rental agreement.
Shoreline Protection – Assistant Village Manager Jae Kim reported that the Village was contacted by BHI Transportation about shoaling in the marina entrance channel. Coastal Dredging is expected to mobilize early this week to dredge out the channel and the bypass area which has quickly filled up with sand presumably due to high winds and kind tides.
Mr. McCall announced that the Village has begun working on getting core samples to begin the permit process to use Jay Bird Shoals as a borrow site for the Village’s next shoreline restoration project.
Island Package Center/Post Office – Mr. Kim reported that the Village has hired three full time employees and is finalizing the hiring of a part time employee. Training is ongoing with these new employees. The use of new software and handhelds is expected to begin this week. He reported that discussions have been underway on whether the IPC will reopen the window on Saturdays and its impact on the current processes that are working very efficiently for now. He reported that there had been a slight issue with folks leaving packages at the IPC over the 30-day limit, requiring the IPC to strictly adhere to the policy. This policy has been emphasized in the pickup notification emails and in the Village’s June 10, 2022, announcement (HERE).
ADA Beach Access – Mr. McCall reported that the Division of Coastal Management advised the Village to close out the current grant and resubmit a new application for the next grant cycle. He was told there is a good chance the Village will be awarded the grant since the funds on the first grant were unused. He said the Village re-examined the Peppervine access and using a different approach resulted in a better plan. The new proposed access will be entirely on Village-owned property and will extend all the way to the shoreline. A part of the CAMA permit process is to notify adjacent property owners. The existing parking area that is across the street from Peppervine on S. Bald Head Wynd is expected to be refurbished and handicap street parking will be designated closer to the access.
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 April meeting minutes, they can be found under the May regular meeting agenda).
Water Conservation Alert – To ensure adequate water is available for essential needs, Brunswick County has declared a Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert. Water conservation alerts affect all customers of public water systems anywhere in Brunswick County, including Bald Head Island. Users have been asked to be diligent in using water wisely. Demand for water has exceeded 80% of the available production and distribution capacity. As Independence Day approaches, water demands are expected to increase.
Under a Stage 1 Water Alert, water system customers are requested to make voluntary adjustments to their water usage habits to appreciably reduce peak demands. (A peak demand of under 80% of system production and distribution capacity is targeted). Irrigation demands represent the bulk of non-essential water use, so a primary way that customers can reduce water usage is to limit irrigation. Additional guidance on specific ways to reduce water usage can be found HERE. The Bald Head Island Club receives its water through reclamation (tertiary treated wastewater) and will not need to restrict its usage. Residents will be notified if any other conservation measures are needed and when conditions dictate that restrictions are no longer required.
Drone Surveys – The Bald Head Island Conservancy will be performing drone surveys to map beach vitex on the island. This work should be complete by the end of August. Flights will be conducted around mid-day. More info HERE.
NCUC Hearing – Last Friday, June 17, 2022, in follow up to the Village’s petition to the NC Utilities Commission to regulate parking and the barge, the NC Utilities Commission filed an order scheduling a hearing and establishing procedures for the matter of the Village of Bald Head Island v. Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. and Bald Head Island Limited, LLC. The hearing is scheduled for Monday, October 10, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. in Commission Hearing Room 2115, Dobbs Building, 430 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina. Click HERE for the full NCUC order, including procedures and deadlines.
Public Safety Day – Last Wednesday, June 15, 2022, the Department of Public Safety held its Public Safety Day. It had been a few years since the last event took place, due to COVID-19. The event kicked off with a fly in and landing of the Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center VitaLink helicopter. In addition to tours of the helicopter, the Department of Public Safety had its ambulance, fire truck, new creek boat, and associated equipment on display for public view. Boats from partner agencies included the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol, United States Coast Guard, NC Wildlife, and Marine Fisheries and folks from those agencies were also providing tours. Goodies and information were given out by the Public Service Auxiliary, Island Time Wellness, BHI Conservancy, and VitaLink. Attendees were served hot dogs and drinks by our amazing PSA volunteers. The Village wishes to thank everyone who came out to learn more about the Department of Public Safety and its partners. A special thanks to the Public Service Auxiliary volunteers for their help in making it such a successful event. In all $1,800 was raised. See you next year!
Update on New Firetruck – Last week, Public Safety Director, Alan May, Captain Paul Swanson, and Lieutenant Steve Barger visited the E-One manufacturing facility in Ocala, Florida for a pre-construction meeting. While there they were able to see where the Village’s new ladder truck is going to be built and got to look at a few trucks that were in different stages of the building process. At last Friday’s Village Council meeting Chief May showed a series of photos of what they saw at the facility. He showed the Council a photo of a 100-foot ladder exactly like the one the Village’s truck will have. The ladder is built with the nozzles already installed on it and the end is painted red for visibility. He showed a photo of a truck (shown above) that has similar coloring to the Village’s new truck. Chief May pointed out that the Village’s truck will include the same outriggers, these are the supports on the side that help stabilize the truck when the ladder is deployed. As you can see from the photo, the truck is fully lifted on the outriggers. The outriggers for this particular type of truck are narrower than what other companies offer, most are 18 feet apart and these are less than 12 feet apart. They have a scissor-like construction, and this was an important specification for the Village’s truck to have because of the island’s narrow wynds (roads). The truck in the photo is not the exact same size as the truck the Village will be getting because the Village has height restrictions because of the tree canopy. Chief May pointed out that the new truck will be similar in size to the trucks the Village already has, just that the ladder will be longer. He said another difference is that the new truck will be equipped with improved technology.
Sandbag Project – As previously reported, the Shoals Club began installing sandbags along its shoreline to stabilize the erosion at 100 Station House Way on Friday, May 20, 2022. The project is now complete. The sandbags are the property of the Shoals Club. For the protection of the sandbags and to ensure public safety, no person shall walk, sit, stand, climb, or perform any other activity on the sandbags.
Lighting Ordinance – Please be mindful that the Village has an ordinance regarding exterior lighting to protect nesting sea turtles during nesting season. Lights that shine onto a nesting beach can draw turtle hatchlings away from the ocean and off the beach, where they have a slim chance of survival. Beach lights can also scare away females crawling ashore to nest.
Here is an excerpt from the ordinance:
Sec. 10-83. Beaches; new developments; exterior lighting.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any individual to illuminate, by artificial light, any portion of the beach within the confines of the village between the hours of sunset and sunrise from May 1 through October 31 except by such frequencies of red light as do not disturb nesting or hatchling sea turtles.
(b) No new development within the village shall be undertaken except that which includes exterior lighting which shall conform to the requirements set forth in this article.
(c) No exterior lighting of any kind shall be permitted except the following: low profile luminaries and baffled lights, except that pole lights shall be permitted in commercial areas; marinas, lighthouses, fire stations, the public rights-of-way or multi-family areas located more than 100 feet landward of the stable line of natural vegetation. The lighting standard shall be approved by the village council. In addition, low voltage up-lights are permitted in commercial areas, lighthouses, fire stations, the public right-of-way and multi-family areas located more than 600 feet landward of the stable line of vegetation along beach and turtle habitats. Such lights are also permitted in the marina area if located more than 150 feet landward of the stable line of vegetation. These low-voltage up-lights shall be rated at a maximum of 50 watt/850 CP (candle power) and shall be oriented such that the thrown light is reflected against the natural vegetation. Non-reflected light is not allowed. (Full ordinance HERE).
These lighting regulations also help curtail light pollution, reduce skyglow, and improve the nighttime environment for viewing and enjoying the night sky, protect the viewshed of historic Old Baldy, minimize adverse off-site impacts of lighting such as light trespass and obtrusive light, and conserve energy and resources. Please make sure your guests and visitors are aware of the regulations too, especially if you own oceanfront property.
Update from 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.
To configure some of the new equipment, there are needs for some small, isolated outages.
This Thursday, June 23 there will be a planned outage for two hours for the Fort Holmes Trail area. The 53 impacted customers will receive advance notification and a rain date.
We’ll work to communicate additional small, planned outages to impacted customers in advance.
Next month, we’ll start installing some of the final, large switchgear equipment custom-designed for Bald Head Island. We’ll communicate more specifics as we have preconstruction meetings at the locations.
We appreciate the community’s patience and support as we continue this work.
If you have questions or feedback, you are welcome to contact Danielle Peoples at Danielle.Peoples@duke-energy.com.
The Village receives regular updates from Duke Energy which will be shared with our e-newsletter subscribers and posted on the Village’s “Village Projects” webpage HERE.
Dosher Clinic – Dosher Medical-Bald Head Island is now open for minor illness and injury patients for the 2022 summer season. The clinic at the Bald Head Island Public Safety Building, 273 Edward Teach Extension, is open Monday through Friday, with clinic hours from 9 am – 2:30 pm. Patients are encouraged to call ahead, and patients with respiratory illness are required to call before entering the building. Everyone who enters the clinic will be required to wear a mask. To contact the clinic, call 910-457-5252. The clinic will be open through September 2, 2022 and will be closed on July 4, 2022.
Free N95 Masks – Federally provided N95 masks are available at Village Hall, as supplies last. These supplies do not include child-sized masks at this time. Brunswick County Health and Human Services dispersed its full allocation of N95 masks to several of its municipal and senior center partners to improve access countywide. Learn more about N95 and other types of masks HERE. To learn more about where to find free N95 masks in Brunswick County go HERE.
Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests – Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests now so you have them when you need them. Order your tests through the United States Postal Service (USPS) at covidtests.gov. Find local testing sites HERE.
IPC/PO is closed on Saturdays – The Island Package Center & Post Office remains closed on Saturdays. First-class mail will be delivered to post office boxes every Saturday. We apologize for the inconvenience.