In this issue:
- Recap of Village Council regular meeting.
Including a preview of the topics for the upcoming annual Village Council retreat, an update on the Commercial Area Master Plan (CAMP), a wind energy update, and information on the Edward Teach Ext. landscaping project.
- An update from Duke Energy.
Including a temporary outage scheduled for tomorrow and a future lane closure to remove old equipment and replace it.
- Bald Head Association annual meeting – January 28, 2023, at 9:00 a.m.
- Annual Village Council retreat – February 7th and 8th.
- Golf cart registration Renewal was due on January 1, 2023.
Regular Council Meeting – The Village Council conducted its regular meeting on Friday, January 20, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Here is a summary of the information shared and the actions that were taken at this meeting:
Under public comment, the Village Council received comments from Steve Anthony from the Police Benevolent Association, John Fisher of 506 SE Beach Dr., Jeff Stokely of 220 Station House Way, and Rex Cowdry of 17 East Beach Drive. Under presentations, the Village Council heard a presentation from Jeff Niebauer, Tax Assessor for Brunswick County, on the 2023 tax revaluation process. View the PowerPoint presentation HERE. View the County’s revaluation webpage with FAQs HERE.
Under old business, the Village Council adopted a resolution approving the Village of Bald Head Island to join the American Flood Coalition (the Village Council received a presentation from Tony McEwen, the Carolinas Director for AFC last month). Mayor Quinn provided an update on the Commercial Area Master Plan (CAMP) effort. Jae Kim, Assistant Village Manager, updated the Village Council on the Contractor Services/Public Works/Public Safety landscaping project. Mayor Pro Tem Gardner reported on the latest information coming out of the NC Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC Towers). Details on the CAMP effort, the landscaping project, and NC Towers are highlighted later in this issue.
Under new business, the Village Council adopted a budget amendment for beach accesses, this is for additional work needed at Beach Access #34 and for bump outs to be installed at the new ADA beach access. There was discussion on the Village’s financial positioning and modeling plan. The Village Council approved a work order for First Tryon to develop a capital planning model and approved a new position for the Finance Department, a Senior Account Technician position, which will be responsible for planning the Village’s future finances. The Village Manager and Council discussed the annual retreat agenda items. The annual retreat is scheduled for February 7th and 8th. Mr. McCall said he is still finalizing the agenda but announced that the agenda will include an in-person presentation from the Village’s coastal engineer regarding the Village’s shoreline management program to include, sand sources, erosion mitigation, and short-term/long term plans for the shoreline. The agenda will also include a report from the BHI Conservancy and other Island entities, and an update from the Village’s governmental affairs consultants. Mr. McCall reported on the upcoming visit to Washington D.C. to introduce Village officials (Mayor, Manager and Assistant Village Manager) to the congressional delegation. Meetings have been set for this week with Senator Ted Budd and Congressman David Rouzer. They may also secure meetings with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and FEMA while there.
CAMP Update – Mayor Quinn reported that the committee and individual Council members have been meeting with the planning consultant one-on-one to review information and provide feedback. The draft plan is still on schedule to be completed by March. He announced that on February 16, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, there will be a special meeting of the Commercial Area Master Plan (CAMP) committee and a public presentation. Next Friday, January 27th, the CAMP committee will be having a work session. In-person and online attendees will not have an opportunity to provide input or participate in the committee’s discussion at this work session. Details will be posted on the CAMP webpage HERE.
Landscaping Project – Mr. Kim briefed the Council on the Edward Teach Ext. Landscaping project. He said the landscape contractor is expected to be on the island on January 23 to flag the plant locations. He indicated that the contractor is familiar with the island and its processes. They will be installing temporary irrigation in the installation area to get the plants set and take root in the first year or so. View the current plans HERE.
Wind Energy Update – Mayor Pro Tem Gardner reported that the NC Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC Towers) infrastructure subcommittee met, and the main topic of discussion was transmission. He said the Northeast states that are installing wind energy have multiple smaller companies to work with, while the Southeast, specifically the Carolina’s location, mainly has only Duke Energy to work with, which makes it easier. There was discussion about locating the transmission offshore so the electricity can be bought, sold, and traded. As far as timing, he indicated that construction near BHI is going to be several years ahead. Regardless, he said that he will be in touch with Duke Energy and the other leaseholders, Pam Hardy (Duke), and our lobbyists in DC. He said the committee meets about every other month and he will continue to provide updates.
Below are a few items shared in the Manager’s Report:
Building Inspections – Mr. Boyett reviewed the monthly statistics. He reported that he continues to work with contractors on parking onsite ICE vehicles legally, so they do not impede emergency vehicles. He wanted to remind property owners to make sure that they are hiring licensed contractors. This is for safety and liability. He cited a recent instance where an unlicensed person was hired to do electrical work. Live wires were left exposed near duct work which could have resulted in injury of an HVAC tech and/or a fire.
Public Safety – Chief May reviewed the monthly statistics. He reported that the ladder truck has returned to the island after being off the island for maintenance and repairs. Public Safety Officers continue to do a good bit of training during this time of year while the calls for service are slower. The department continues to utilize the message board and is adding two radars. He said that he looks forward to sharing the department’s accomplishments over the year at the annual retreat (February 7 & 8). He indicated that PSOs continue to patrol for ICE violations and are trying to identify speeders.
Public Services – Mark Johnston, Project Manager, reported that the annual right-of-way maintenance will be taking place next month. This is the maintenance of the tree canopy which is higher up. They will be trimming to provide emergency vehicle access and to eliminate “widow makers.” He reviewed the statistics for public works, utilities, and water and wastewater plant operations.
#6 Bypass Lagoon Stormwater Project Update – Mr. McCall reported that this project has been completed. The Village and the Club coordinated well on this effort. The work included the replacement of the existing 24-inch culvert pipe and gate on the Club side of the lagoon with a 36-inch culvert pipe and two (2) isolation gates. This project completes the recommended changes at the bypass lagoon per the Hurricane Florence Task Force final report from July 2019. The Village would like to thank the Bald Head Island Club and BHI Transportation for ensuring that this was a successful project.
Verizon Cell Tower Service Equipment Upgrades – Mr. McCall indicated that he is still planning to hear from Verizon after January 23, when it is expected that Verizon has completed its annual budget approval which should include upgrades to improve service on the island. Verizon has been receptive to hearing from the Village on behalf of the many customers who live, work, and play on Bald Head Island.
MAPS Salary & Pay Classification Study Update – Mr. McCall reported that the study is set to be completed in February and recommendations will likely be presented at the March regular Council meeting.
Cyber Security Assessment Update – The NC Army National Guard conducted its assessment in late December. Mr. McCall reported that the Village is currently waiting on the formal report. It was expected to take a minimum of 30 days for headquarters to complete.
The Assistant Village Manager, Jae Kim, provided an update on the following:
Shoreline Protection – Mr. Kim updated the Council on the Wilmington Harbor Inner Ocean Bar project.
- Due to weather conditions and moving the lines, dredging should have started back up on Friday, January 20, 2023. The timeline is progressing well and the contractor and the Army Corps of Engineers are still expecting an estimated completion date of April 3, 2023.
- The contractor completed dredging the Smith Island Reach area and has moved to Bald Head Island Reach 2. They have mobilized approximately 5,800 feet of submerged pipeline.
IPC/PO Update – November package counts that came through the IPC/PO facility:
- 4,758 total packages for December 2022 with a -3.2% decrease from the month before (4,916 packages)
- 12.4 % increase from the year prior when there were 4,232 total packages from December 2021.
- Saturday usage increased 50% from 20 customers to 30 from the prior week.
- Contracts – UPS contract status is ongoing. FedEx (Ground) contract status is ongoing.
IPC/PO Opening on Saturdays– The IPC/PO opened on Saturdays starting January 7, 2023, with windows open from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Mr. Kim reported that staff continues to get the word out about being open on Saturdays.
Please note that FedEx and UPS packages are not transported to the island on Saturdays. These packages continue to arrive at the Deep Point Warehouse and are sent to the island via barge which operates on weekdays only.
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 December meeting minutes, they can be found under the January regular meeting agenda).
An 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.
Temporary power interruptions
As we work on this customized solution to upgrade the system on the entire island, we’re trying hard to avoid interruptions. We appreciate your patience when we do encounter unforeseen issues.
This Tuesday, Jan. 24, we’ve scheduled a planned outage to conduct some switching and cutover work. This will impact seven customers in the 700s stretch of Federal Rd. It is schedule between 9am-1pm. Those seven customers have been notified based on their account preferences.
You can sign up for outage alerts and update your preferences here: https://www.duke-energy.com/outages/alerts.
New equipment installation
A final step of this project is installing some of the large switchgear equipment custom designed for Bald Head Island.
We’ll be removing old equipment and setting new switchgear near the intersection of N Bald Head Wynd and W Bald Head Wynd. During this activity, there will be some temporary, single-lane road closures to allow the team to work safely.
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.
BHA Annual Meeting – The Bald Head Association Annual Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, January 28, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. Mayor Quinn is expected to provide an update from the Village at this meeting. Details on the meeting are included in BHA’s annual report which was mailed to BHA members.
Annual Council Retreat – The annual Village Council retreat is scheduled for February 7th and 8th with the regular council meeting taking place at the end of day two. The public is welcome to attend in person or listen-in online via Zoom. The agenda will be posted HERE. Zoom information is posted HERE.
Golf Cart Registration Renewals – Golf cart registration renewals were due on January 1, 2023. If you have not yet registered your carts, please do so as soon as possible, you can do it online HERE. Please remember to include your insurance information, mailing address, and VIN. Entering “on file” or “same as last year” is not acceptable.
If you have already submitted your renewal, please be patient as we continue to process approximately 3,500 registrations. Enforcement will not be in full effect until it is understood that all who have taken measures to register their vehicles have the new stickers.