Village’s Voice

In this issue: 

  • Recap of Village Council regular meeting to include departmental reports, updates on Public Safety Director recruitment, shoreline protection, storm preparedness, and Verizon cell service on the island.
  • The Village Council is seeking applicants for the Village’s Commercial Review Board (CRB).        

Reminders & Events: 

  • IPC/PO reminders – Annual renewals, check for first-class mail.
  • Do not feed any wildlife!  Pet food found at Wildlife Overlook.
  • Village offices will be closed on Monday, September 4, 2023, for the Labor Day holiday.  This includes the IPC/PO.
  • Trash pickup will go to once weekly after September 5, 2023.
  • The next regular Village Council meeting is on September 15, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
  • NCDHHS urges caution after 3 deaths due to vibrio this summer.
  • Peak hurricane season is HERE! We are watching 5 systems in the Atlantic.

Regular Council Meeting

The Village Council conducted its regular meeting on Friday, August 18, 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, Thomas Antalik thanked the Department of Public Safety for its assistance. He made comments about the Village’s projects, expenses, and the tax increase.  He wants supervision of the Village’s spending. The Village Council acknowledged the written comment received by Charlie Scott regarding wake in Bald Head Creek.

The consent agenda passed unanimously.  It included the July 21, 2023, regular session and closed session minutes, a resolution requesting State assistance from the Water Resources Development Grant Program, a budget amendment for fund 10 and fund 42, an amendment to add the NC Investment Pool to Section 20 of the budget ordinance, and a resolution declaring surplus property and authorizing disposal.

Under old business, Mayor Quinn gave an update on the Commercial Area Planning Task Force’s work on the commercial design standards.  He reported that the CAPTF met that Monday to go through the document page by page and that with the help of legal counsel is making the final amendments.  In the meantime, the task force has recommended that the Village Council appoint members to the Commercial Review Board (CRB). 

There was discussion about the recent call for a Planning Board member and that some of the applicants for that vacancy may be more interested in serving on the CRB.  The Village Council unanimously agreed to postpone making the Planning Board appointment so that applicants can decide if they may also want to apply for the CRB instead or both.  The CRB and Planning Board appointments are expected to take place at the next regular Village Council meeting on September 15, 2023. More details on the CRB and how to apply can be found later in this issue. 

Once the commercial design standards are completed the Village Council will conduct a public hearing which is required to take place prior to adoption.  The goal is to have the ordinance adopted before the commercial development moratorium expires in mid-December and the CRB in place so that the Village can begin to process applications immediately.

Under new business, the Village Council discussed the NC Rate Bureau’s request to increase dwelling insurance policy rates and unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the rate increase. Dwelling policies are for second homes/rentals/investment properties.

Below are a few items shared in the Manager’s Report:  

Development Services Update

Mr. Kim, Assistant Village Manager, presented the monthly departmental statistics (here and here),

Public Safety Update

Captain Gibson, interim Public Safety Director, presented the monthly departmental statistics (here and here) and took questions from the Village Council regarding boaters speeding through the creek. 

Captain Gibson indicated that if citizens see boaters speeding through the creek, they should call 911 immediately.  This is the most direct way to contact Public Safety for enforcement. If the caller can provide the color, name, model, etc., any other description, that could help. 

Captain Gibson announced that the Department of Public Safety assisted the US Coast Guard on the night of the recovery of the four missing divers that were located 46 miles southeast of the Cape Fear River. The USCG needed more fuel to complete the mission.  Our department was able to assist them in getting fuel at the BHI marina after-hours.  The divers were spotted by a Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane crew at 12:45 a.m. on August 14 and the lifeboat crew from the Coast Guard Station Oak Island returned with the divers at 6:10 a.m.

Weekly activity reports are posted on the Department of Public Safety’s webpage HERE.

Public Services Update

JP McCann, Public Services Director, presented the monthly statistics for Public Services.

He gave an update on the emerging contaminants testing and indicated that all 16 wells will be tested next week. He said he is expecting test results to come in for three wells, the County water line, and taps at the Public Safety building.  

He reported staff will be bringing Council two resolutions next month that will address stormwater and PFAS.  There is State funding available for PFAS and planning grant funds for stormwater.

Mr. McCann answered questions about the Village’s use of water from Brunswick County.  He said that usage depends on the time of the year and is based on demand.  The Village uses the County water most in the months of June, July, and August.  He emphasized that the testing of the water is a snapshot in time and that the Village’s water meets EPA standards with the current filters in place and is well below maximum thresholds for emerging contaminants.  The raw water testing is indicating that there are traces of the contaminants and the filters in place are working to result in finished water that is well within EPA standards.

Mr. McCann reported that the lift station upgrade project will be starting in the next week or two and will take approximately four to six weeks to complete.  He will be bringing more information about Phase 2 of this project and an update on wastewater usage next month.

IPC Update

July package counts that came through the IPC/PO facility:

  • 9,750 Total packages for July 2023 with a 5.3% decrease from the month before (10,296 packages).
  • 17% increase from the year prior when there were 8,332 Total packages from July 2022.
  • Numbers from May to current show an average of 70.47 customers picking up packages on Saturdays.
  • USPS Contract – Ongoing, gathering information for rate increase request.
  • FedEx Contract – Village Council unanimously authorized Village staff to execute the renewal contract after it has been reviewed by legal.  There will be no changes in prices, the only change will be an exemption for the Village to allow the Village to continue to use its own scanning equipment and not have to add on using FedEx proprietary equipment, which would cause additional work on staff. This was acknowledged after their visit to our operations and a unique situation we have as we work with a third party (Bald Head Transportation) to get mail and packages to our facility.
Shoreline Protection

NCBIWA Conference –The next NCBIWA conference is scheduled for Thursday & Friday, November 16-17.  Since it is scheduled at the same time as the November regular Council meeting, Village officials who wish to attend will attend on Thursday only.

2025 CSDR Project – A webpage for the 2025 Coastal Storm Damage Reduction (CSDR) project is on the Village’s website and can be found on the Shoreline Protection page within the Departments and Services section (HERE). This webpage will be updated as more information becomes available.

Wilmington Harbor Navigation Channel (WHNC) Deepening Project – Mike McIntyre with Ward & Smith attended a meeting on Monday, August 14th with Charles Baldwin and the Brooks Pierce team to discuss concerns and strategies involving the deepening project. This included long-term solutions to challenges in the Wilmington Harbor, including the possibility of a shore protection feasibility study by the Corps, dredging in the harbor, maximizing sand placement on the Village’s shoreline, and continued shoreline impacts of further deepening.

Mike McIntyre contacted Bob Keistler (USACE) to set up a meeting between the Ferguson Group, Village staff, and Ward & Smith, to discuss several issues as we look at potential solutions for the future.

Storm Preparedness

Village staff met with the Club (David Sawyer) and the Shoals Club’s manager (Brian Mullins) to discuss the Village’s emergency preparedness process including the roles of the Club’s staff and the re-entry process.

The meeting went very well and was a good opportunity for back-and-forth discussion and Q&A with some “what-if” scenarios related to the Club’s support of the Village in responding to an event from re-entry of pre-identified Club staff to assist with flood management of the lagoon system and irrigation distribution system.  Other related items included the Village’s capacity with diesel fuel to supplement the Club in making sure their generators were “topped off”. The Club acknowledged that once deemed safe by the Village, a small number of Club staff will be allowed to access their facilities.

AIA (Asset & Inventory Assessment) Grant

Monthly meetings between the Village and WithersRavenel staff will begin in September and will take place on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Staff is expected to present a resolution for Council to adopt at its September regular Council meeting for a stormwater AIA grant application that will be submitted in October, additional information and/or project details are forthcoming.

Public Safety Director Recruitment

Matt Sullivan with Development Associates was on the island last week to meet with each of the Public Safety shifts including the supervisors (lieutenants and sergeants), the PSOs, command staff (Captains Gibson and Swanson), and the PSA and PS Volunteer leadership.  Each of the meetings included an opportunity for sharing thoughts, ideas, areas of concern, and general comments to give Mr. Sullivan a better perspective and insight regarding the Public Safety Director position.  This is an initial effort of the consultant in working on the organization analysis to identify the key skills and abilities needed in the future leader.  The job advertisement is being prepared as the next step of recruitment.

Brunswick County Senior Services Liaison

Brunswick County has identified staff to start working with the BHI Project Longevity Team to assist with senior resources.  There are tentative introduction meetings set for October and/or November 2023.

BHI Polling Site Update

Village staff will be providing an update in follow up to their attendance at this afternoon’s Board of Election (BOE) meeting in Bolivia where they were set to discuss and answer questions on the Village’s request for a future voting polling site on BHI.  Staff had previously met with the Board of Elections staff at Deep Point Marina and brought them to BHI to show them the logistics and potential polling site at the Public Safety multi-purpose room.  Based on initial feedback and reaction of BOE staff they felt that it was something that could be done but that some follow-up was needed.

Verizon Cell Service

Staff has had several conference calls with systems engineers and other consultants working on behalf of Verizon in attempting to improve the cell service on the island.  Discussions have led them to consider the option of using “Small Cell Towers” (SMCs) strategically placed around the island, preferably located within public rights-of-way.

Given the proposed locations (i.e., in front of the BHI Club entrance off SBHW) out in the open oceanfront area(s) Village staff indicated that this would not work given the unique environment on BHI in keeping all utilities below the surface and would be seen by the island residents as visual blight.  Both parties discussed other alternatives, with priority given to making improvements on the new/taller Crown Castle cell tower in locating their existing equipment from the current 72-foot location to somewhere above 128 feet and below 150 feet.

During staff’s discussions with Verizon staff did offer alternative options, although located on “private” property – i.e., rooftops at the Chandler Building, BHI Club, and Shoals Club.

Staff has had some follow-up discussion with Mark Prak who has experience having worked on the previous broad-band fiber project with Charter/Spectrum and have discussed options in reaching out to representatives with Verizon to discuss further.

Marina Dredging Cost Share

After reviewing the financial analysis based on the 1/3 split of the basin, staff is looking at another option under the “main street” approach in lieu of the 1/3 split.  This scenario would have the Village’s current marina channel entrance extend to the end of the channel (beyond the Station 8 reference point) to the intersect of the basin. 

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 June meeting minutes, they can be found under the July regular meeting agenda). 

CRB Members Needed

The Village Council is seeking members for the newly created Commercial Review Board.  Below is a description straight from the draft Commercial Design Standards:

The Commercial Review Board (CRB) is established by the Village of Bald Head Island to administer the Design Standards and to review all applications for new construction and renovations on any properties in commercially zoned districts.

The CRB is composed of a five-person voting board, with two alternates who may replace any absent or disqualified member at any meeting. Members of the CRB are appointed by the Village Council. Council should give priority to persons with backgrounds in Planning, Development, Design, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, or Construction. Board members sit for staggered three-year terms with two members and alternate being appointed in odd-numbered years and three members and alternate being appointed in even numbered years. In appointing the initial CRB, council shall appoint two regular members and one alternate to an initial term that expires June 30, 2025, and three regular members and one alternate to an initial term that expires June 30, 2026, in order to create staggered terms. Council may fill vacancies for unexpired terms only.

The CRB will be advised by a licensed architect contracted by the Village and by the CRB administrator, who shall be appointed by the Village Manager. Both are non-voting positions.

The CRB will hold an organizing meeting annually in the month of August. At that meeting, the CRB will elect one of its members to serve as chair and preside over the board’s meetings and one member to serve as vice-chair to serve as acting chair in the absence of the chair. The persons so designated will serve in these capacities for one year and are eligible for reelection.

Other than the organizing meeting, meetings of the CRB will be held pursuant to a regular schedule set at the organizing meeting or adopted at any properly noticed meeting thereafter or at the call of the chair within 60 days of submittal of a complete application, as determined by the CRB administrator. All meetings of the CRB are open to the public. The board will keep minutes of its procedures, showing the vote of each member upon each question, or, if absent or failing to vote, an indication of such fact and final disposition of all matters before the board, all of which shall be of public record.

A quorum shall consist of more than one half of the appointed members of the CRB eligible to vote, including any alternate seated to replace an absent or disqualified member, present for any meeting. Once the existence of a quorum is established, votes may proceed by simple majority of the members present at the meeting

CRB approval is required prior to undertaking any new construction, exterior renovations, or site work. When reviewing a submitted set of plans, the CRB may require compliance with requirements that, although not itemized specifically, are supported by sections of the Design Standards, or agreed upon by the applicant.

Those interested in serving on the CRB must fill out an application which can be downloaded HERE, or a paper copy can be picked up at Village Hall, see Darcy Sperry, Village Clerk.  Applications are due to the Village Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on September 8, 2023.


PO Box Annual Renewal

Island Package Center & Post Office staff wants to remind PO box holders that they need to get their annual renewal forms turned in as soon as possible.  Box holders who have an expired PO box should have received a blank renewal form in their box.  Forms are also available at the counter. Please make sure to use your Bald Head Island address and not your off-island address when filling out the form.  Completed forms should be handed to IPC/PO staff at the counter. 

Check for First-Class Mail

Non-PO Box holders, please check to see if you have first-class mail at the Post Office. You can collect first-class mail at the Island Package Center counter.  The IPC/PO holds this mail for only TWO WEEKS.  After that time, it will be returned to the sender.  If you have been receiving mail at the IPC/PO for your BHI address, please pick it up in a timely manner so that it does not get sent back. 

Additionally, the IPC/PO receives mail that is unexpected or unwanted that is never picked up, is continuously received, and repeatedly sent back to the sender.  The IPC/PO would rather you, as the unintended/unwanted recipient, pick up the mail before it goes back AND communicate to the sender that this is either not the appropriate address or that you don’t want the mail or solicitation anymore.  This will save time and trees.  Thank you for your help!

Village Offices Closed

Village offices will be closed on Monday, September 4, 2023, for the Labor Day holiday.  This includes the Island Package Center & Post Office. Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. has released its Labor Day weekend schedule, view it HERE.

Trash Pick Up

Trash pickup will go to once weekly after September 5, 2023.  Pick up will be Monday and Tuesday only.  Biweekly pick up will resume after Memorial Day 2024.  View the Village’s trash and vegetation pick up calendar HERE.  This includes a map of the pickup areas.

For more information, view the Village’s wildlife video HERE.
Do Not Feed Any Wildlife

The Bald Head Association recently reported that dog food and dog biscuits were recently found in a grate at the BHA’s Wildlife Overlook. This is unsafe for humans and wildlife. Nobody should be feeding any wildlife on Bald Head Island, and it is illegal to fish at the lagoons because it is considered feeding the alligators.   It is unlawful on BHI and in NC to feed, harass, annoy, provoke, injure, infuriate or enrage any wildlife.  When an alligator is fed by humans it can become a dangerous predator. Islanders, visitors, and guests are urged to leave wildlife alone.  Call 911 if you see anyone violating the law and tell the operator that you are on Bald Head Island.  More information about wildlife can be found HERE.  Please spread the word to your guests and renters.

Next Regular Council Meeting

The next regular Village Council Meeting is scheduled for September 15, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. in the multi-purpose room in the Department of Public Safety (273 Edward Teach Ext.).  The agenda will be posted HERE.  Zoom information to listen-in remotely can be found HERE.

NCDHHS Vibrio Awareness

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) recently published a release warning the public of the potential dangers of having open cuts or wounds open to saltwater or brackish water.  This is in response to three deaths due to vibrio infections in North Carolina residents.  You can view the entire release from the NCDHHS HERE to learn more about the infection and the department’s recommendations.

Peak Hurricane Season is HERE!

Peak hurricane season runs from mid-August to late October.  The National Hurricane Center is now tracking at least five systems in the Atlantic and the Village is keeping an eye on them too. As of right now, Southeastern North Carolina faces no imminent threat.  You can always find up to date and accurate information from the National Weather Service in Wilmington and the National Hurricane Center.

NOW is the time to make sure that you are prepared for the next big storm.  There are many resources available online for preparedness.  The site (HERE) has many tips.  The Village’s website (HERE) has additional Bald Head Island-oriented information, including how to sign up for emergency alerts.

Old Baldy Foundation events can be found HERE.
BHI Conservancy events can be found HERE.
Village Chapel events can be found HERE.
The Village calendar can be found