In this issue:
- Recap of Village Council regular meeting.
- Congratulations to the Brawners for being recognized by several Island entities via a proclamation of appreciation!
- Project Longevity/Community Care event receives many attendees, volunteers are being sought for the Community Care component.
- Keep up with the Village’s response to emerging contaminants on our new webpage on the subject.
- The 2023 municipal election is now underway, important dates and where to go for information.
- Retire your tattered US flags at the Department of Public Safety.
Reminders & Events:
- Annual change from chloramines to chlorine.
- Two events benefitting the Public Service Auxiliary will be taking place this week. A pub crawl on October 25 and the annual chili supper on October 27.
- Trick or Treating will take place on Saturday, October 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- The next Island Litter Sweep will take place this Saturday, October 28, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., meet at Room Service (4 Maritime Way).
- Village offices will be closed on Friday, November 10, 2023, in observance of Veteran’s Day.
- The next regular Village Council meeting is on Friday, November 17, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
- Village offices will be closed on November 23 and 24, for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Regular Council Meeting
The Village Council conducted its regular meeting on Friday, October 20, 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 Council heard from Elizabeth Hervey Stephen and Sandra Gleich.
Elizabeth Hervey Stephen made comments about the Brunswick County Board of Elections’ decision not to approve a voting precinct for Bald Head Island. She mentioned the number of volunteers from BHI who were willing to go to Bolivia for training, the tax dollars that go to the County versus the services received from the County, and the high turnout rate for BHI voters. She asked the Council to work with the County to make sure that BHI receives a voting precinct for 2024 and that BHI receives a commensurate share of services for the tax dollars that are received by the County.
Sandra Gleich made comments about the area near the new ADA beach access (Beach Access 24 A). She said she was in favor of the access and appreciates the Village’s work to improve the parking lot and making the area safer by removing the vegetation, however, she thinks that traffic is moving through the area too fast, and vehicles do not slow down. She asked the Village to consider installing rumble strips in both directions and pedestrian crossing signs. She said there are other areas that she has observed that may also need traffic calming and is available to discuss those areas as well.
Mayor Quinn made a few comments about the Veterans Day proclamation and its significance to him in terms of the current state of world affairs and read the entire proclamation aloud. Mayor Pro Tem Gardner asked the veterans in attendance to stand to be honored properly. Mayor Quinn also spoke about the Bee City USA resolution and announced that the second phase of the pollinator garden was recently completed at Marina Park. He thanked all of those who were involved (some of which include the BHI Conservancy, BHA Garden Club, and several private businesses). He also recognized the BHI Academy, which also participated in the planting of the garden and uses it as an educational experience. Two of the students were in attendance at the meeting along with their teacher.
Under Old Business, the Village Council received a presentation from George Corvin with an update on part-time resident governance participation which included a recommendation for the mayor to create an advisory board (called the Part-Time Resident Advisory Board – PRAB) that would report its activities and findings to the Mayor on no less than a quarterly basis. The Village Council voted unanimously to accept the report, thanked the group for its work, and passed the proposal on to staff to develop the next steps to clearly define the process of appointing members.
The Village Council received a proposed draft amendment to the utilities ordinance, this is in follow-up to the request by a commercial developer to charge tap fees in phases based on demand on the system. Council voted unanimously to move this item forward and there will be a public hearing on the proposed ordinance amendment at the Village Council’s November meeting (11/17).
In follow up to last month’s introduction of this item, there was further discussion on the Bald Head Island Conservancy’s request to acquire a portion of the Village’s right of way in front of the Conservancy. The Council received a survey and renderings of the conceptual design for the campus expansion of Turtle Central and Visitor Welcome Center as it had requested. There was consensus to direct staff to move forward with surveys to depict property lines for the road abandonment with language that would include the Village’s easement for utility lines that run through the property that would be conveyed to the Conservancy. The Village Council will receive the survey and draft language at its November 17 meeting and a public hearing could be held in December if Council agrees to move forward with the abandonment.
Under New Business, Kevin Arata, Chair of the Commercial Area Planning Task Force, presented the final draft of the Commercial Design Standards to the Village Council. Before guiding the Council through each article of the document, Arata thanked several people who had a role in forming the document, including the Task Force members (David Wray, David Beam, Diane Reid, Dr. Chris Shank, and before he sold his home on BHI, Nathan McBrayer), Village Council, Brian Jenest and his team at Cole, Jenest and Stone, Mayor Peter Quinn, Will Quick, Village counsel, Village Staff (Chris McCall, Jae Kim, Stephen Boyett, Darcy Sperry, Carin Faulkner, and David Cox), and last, but not least, he thanked the property owners, both residential and commercial, who provided input along the way.
The Village Council unanimously voted in favor of setting a public hearing for the November 17 meeting, after the hearing and adoption, the Council is expected to appoint the Commercial Review Board members and approve a proposal with Cole, Jenest, and Stone for plan review services.
Village Council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution accepting dedication of Seaton Court as a public road, unanimously adopted an ordinance to amend and close the project fund for Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds, and unanimously adopted a resolution declaring intent to reimburse the Village for fiscal year 2025 beach nourishment capital project expenditures. This will allow the Village to reimburse itself for costs out of the bond proceeds for work performed leading up to the start of the project. Examples of these costs will include but are not limited to, expenditures for the engineering, design, construction document formulation, and permitting work.
In lead up to the 2025 beach nourishment project, staff has been working with Bond Counsel in consultation with 1st Tryon on the financing structure to include a maximum (not to exceed) amount of $18M for the beach nourishment, soft-tube groin field replacement (including materials and labor for installation) and the design and permitting work performed by Olsen & Associates and Land Management Group. There is a webpage on the 2025 project (HERE) which will be updated as more information is available. Additional background information is expected to be available to islanders who may not be familiar with the Village’s shoreline protection program and past projects. In the meantime, the last presentation from the Village’s coastal engineer can be viewed on YouTube HERE.
Below are a few items shared in the Manager’s Report:
Development Services Update
Stephen Boyett, Development Services Director, presented the monthly departmental statistics (here and here). He reported that the Bald Head Association indicated that Chicomacomico had seven submittals in total recently and the last two Architectural Review Committee meetings reviewed 12 and 13 properties. He said that folks are doing a good job of parking in the right places and staying out of the way.
Public Safety Update
Interim director Josh Gibson submitted the monthly departmental statistics (here and here). Mr. McCall asked the Village Council to review the statistics and reach out to him with any questions. 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. In response to the public comment regarding rumble strips, McCann was asked about the cost. There was discussion about various locations where they may be needed. Council was advised to send those locations to McCann. There was further discussion on pedestrian and bicycle safety on the roads. Below is a graphic that the Village has been posting on its social media channels.
Mr. McCann reported that managers from the Village’s solid waste contractor, GFL (Green for Life) were recently on the island to discuss missed pick-ups, vehicles blocking the roads, and the other challenges the trash truck drivers have as they work on the island. He said that Public Works has installed the conveyor belt for the gravel which will be utilized on multiple pieces of equipment as they work on right-of-way maintenance.
Mr. McCann reported that the new water distribution pump has been installed and a fourth pump will be installed in the future. He updated the Council on the status of the fire hydrant inspection project. They are about 40-50 hydrants into the approximately 150 hydrant maintenance project. The worst hydrants have been addressed and he feels comfortable that the island’s hydrants are serviceable. He indicated that some have been raised and three were replaced. Some on West Bald Head Wynd will be replaced in the next maintenance cycle (3-5 years).
He reviewed the wastewater treatment plant’s daily averages and maximums during the peak months. The Village is up slightly from 2022 and is well below 90 percent capacity and is reaching its goals as far as planning for wastewater treatment plant expansion. He reported that the Village has received $965,000 from the State budget this also included $247,000 reimbursement for monies already spent so the Village is well ahead of what needs to be done before the 90 percent capacity threshold is triggered.
Mr. McCann reported on the latest test results that came back in September. The reject water from the wastewater treatment plant and the reverse osmosis reject water were tested. These tests were performed as part of the grant application. The numbers were in line with what was predicted. More information can be found on the Village’s emerging contaminant webpage HERE.
Before Assistant Village Manager, Jae Kim’s updates, the Human Resources Director introduced a new staff member from the Human Resources Department, Mr. Rick Parsons. Parsons started working with the Village at the beginning of October as a human resources analyst. Parsons came from Colorado where he worked in human resources and the city clerk’s office at two municipalities.
Mr. Kim updated the Village Council on the following topics:
September package counts that came through the IPC/PO facility:
- 7,049 total packages for September 2023 with an 8.6% decrease from the month before (7,711 packages).
- 42.47% increase from the year prior when there were 4,951. Total packages from September 2022.
- Saturday numbers from May to current, including number of packages handed out: Average 63 customers and 180 packages picked up.
- FEDEX Contract – Revisions made by legal counsel and submitted back to FedEx/USCartage and Village is awaiting a response.
- USPS Contract – Southport postmaster conducted a quarterly CPU (Contracted Postal Unit) inspection on 10/17/23. The Village will be scheduling a Zoom meeting with division staff that handles contracts to discuss the Village’s request to increase the contract amount.
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 will be attending on Thursday only. Councilors Hill and White, Mr. Kim, and Ms. Faulkner expect to attend.
American Flood Coalition (AFC)
There is a conference call on NC Legislative Updates scheduled for 11/15 at 11:00 a.m. Mr. Kim said he would share the link with the Village Council so members could listen in. The call will include the following:
- AFC will provide state flood resilience legislative updates at the stated and federal levels and their impacts on communities.
- Receive executive briefings from staff and key state officials.
- Available funding opportunities and how others in NC are utilizing those funds.
McKim & Creed will commence with the fall monitoring survey for 2023 in early November. This is part of the routine surveys that are performed for the Village’s shoreline monitoring reports (view HERE), which take place twice a year (fall & spring).
US Army Corps of Engineers Workshops
The Wilmington District US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as part of the Section 403 Letter Report and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Wilmington Harbor Channel deepening project is conducting several workshops. Davey Resource Group (Christian Preziosi and Greg Finch) will be attending the aquatic resources & habitat and wetlands sessions and representing the Village. Other workshops will be available on topics such as engineering/water resources modeling by Stantec (USACE’s contractor) providing an overview/introduction of the hydrologic and water quality modeling and those are being shared with the Village’s attorneys, legislative affairs consultants, coastal engineers and environmental consultants so all parties are engaged in the process at every opportunity.
Federal State Legislative Affairs Update
The $4.5M for the Bald Head Island Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project (a.k.a. beach nourishment project) is still included in the House earmark of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and related agencies. Unfortunately, the situation with the House without a Speaker will impact the timeline within which the Village can expect to see passage and receipt of the earmark.
State Legislative Affairs Update
The status of the Village’s $965,000 appropriation is as follows:
- The Office of State Budget & Management (OSBM) must certify the budget (60-90 days)
- Someone from that office or agency should reach out to the ViIlage with some paperwork to complete.
- OSBM will dictate acceptable uses, but should the Village run into any issues, we can get Senator Rabon or Representative Miller to reach out.
- The budget certification process takes 30-60 days, but with the large number of earmarks in this year’s budget may delay that. The budget went into effect on 10/3, so the process should have begun.
Village Manager, Chris McCall updated the Village Council on the following topics:
Public Safety Director Recruitment
Mr. McCall reported that the position recruitment process continues with applications, resumes, and cover letters received from more than 30 interested candidates. Development Associates went through an initial screening with staff to narrow them down to phone interviews with approximately 16-18 candidates further narrowing the list down to the top five approved by the Village. The hiring team has invited the successful semi-finalists to participate in virtual interviews with skill and Emotional Intelligence assessments next week October 24th – 25th, 2023.
Fire Prevention Sign/BHI Welcome Sign
Staff has been working on replacing the old fire prevention sign located along Marina Wynd as you exit from the ferry terminal. Mr. McCall requested some input on the replacement sign and its intended function. Staff had created one similar to the existing sign with the addition of the rip current risk.
BHI Voting Precinct/Election Polling Site Update
Mr. McCall reported back on the rationale that the Board of Elections gave for denying the request for a future voting polling site on BHI.
- Concerns with any disruptions to the ferry system, based on storms.
- Concern about the number of poll workers that need to come across from the mainland.
- Funding, which was twofold – The Board of Elections budget, that a cost of no greater than $10k would be too much for the budget and that the County tax dollars used to fund the site is not a good use of the funds based on the number of voters on the island.
There was discussion about this topic and the Council agreed to continue to pursue this item through a dialogue with the County commissioners and County administration. The Village contributes a large amount of taxes to the County versus the service needs and services used by BHI property owners.
BHIC Oyster Reef Creek Shoreline Stabilization Project Update
Staff has been working with the Conservancy and NC Coastal Federation on the upcoming oyster reef installation project. This project was included in the Environmental Services annual proposal approved and included in the FY24 budget. The project will look to install an oyster reef along the creek shoreline starting just to the north of the new Marina Pier and will extend north approximately 185 feet. The objective of the oyster reef is to mitigate shoreline erosion of the creek. The Village’s contribution to the project is $15k. This project should be a nice addition to the Butterfly Garden and an educational opportunity.
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 (e.g. If you want to read the June meeting minutes, they can be found under the July regular meeting agenda).
Proclamation for the Brawners
On October 12, Joe and Judy Brawner were presented with a proclamation of appreciation signed by the Mayor Peter Quinn, Alan Briggs, Board President of the Bald Head Association, John Cathcart, Board President of the Bald Head Island Conservancy (Chris Shank signed for him), Debbie Ward, Board President of Bald Head Island Chapel, and Slaughter Fitz Hugh, Board President of Bald Head Island Club. The proclamation (photo HERE) lists the many contributions the Brawners have made to Bald Head Island over the years. In addition, it acknowledges Joe and Judy as good, loyal, and faithful citizens and expresses deep gratitude to them for their leadership and dedicated service to the BHI community.
Project Longevity/Community Care
The Project Longevity/Community Care group hosted a kick-off meeting on October 9th with over 50 folks in attendance. Representatives from Brunswick County Social Services, Brunswick Senior Services, Inc., the Village, and the Chapel gave presentations on a variety of services that are available to the community. In follow up to the well-attended meeting, Joan Maggio who is heading up the Community Care program, is looking for some volunteers for a variety of different services/tasks that can be performed for those in need. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Joan Maggio at email@example.com.
Emerging Contaminants Webpage
Islanders can keep up with the Village’s response to emergent contaminants on our new webpage on the subject. If you are new to the island or have not ever heard about PFAS and other contaminants that have been discovered in our local water systems, this webpage will give you the background on this issue, how the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the NC Department of Water Quality, and the Village has responded. This webpage will be updated as the Village continues to perform testing and pursues grant funding.
The municipal elections are underway, and we’ve gathered a list of important dates to keep in mind:
- Now – One-stop voting, same day registration available, full schedule HERE. All early voting is taking place in the Cooperative Extension Training Room, 25 Referendum Drive, Building N, Bolivia, NC.
- Oct. 31 – Absentee ballot request deadline
- Nov. 4 – One-stop voting ends
- Nov. 7 – Municipal Election Day (polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
- Nov. 7 @ 5:00 p.m. – Hand-delivered absentee ballots due at the Board of Elections office.
- Nov. 13 – Mailed absentee ballots due (must be postmarked on or before Nov. 7).
Photo ID is now required when voting in person (see notice HERE). If voting absentee, a photocopy of an acceptable ID/Photo ID exception form must be returned with the ballot. The ballot also needs two witness signatures or a notary signature. Village Hall staff will assist with photocopies and notary services (8:30 to 3:30 M-F) for absentee voters for this municipal election.
Most answers to questions can be found on the Brunswick County Board of Elections website HERE. If you have questions, please direct them to Brunswick County Board of Elections at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-253-2620.
As homeowners are performing post-season maintenance many are finding that their United States flags are quite worn and need to be retired. Property owners can always drop off worn flags at the Department of Public Safety during office hours (M-F 9:00 – 3:30) so that our PSOs can retire them properly.
When should a flag be retired? According to the United States Flag Code §8. (k), “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” When the flag endures circumstances such as tattering, staining, fading, tearing, or defacement it is necessary to have the United States flag destroyed.
REMINDERS & EVENTS
Annual Change from Chloramines to Chlorine
The annual change from chloramines to chlorine will be occurring from late October through early December 2023. Customers may notice some discoloration and the presence of sediment in your water. These conditions are not harmful and should be of short duration. For more information, view the full notice HERE.
Events Benefitting the PSA
Two events benefitting the Public Service Auxiliary will be taking place this week! A pub crawl will take place on Wednesday, October 25. It will start at Jules’ Salty Grub at 5:15 p.m., costumes are required and as of yesterday, all trams were full! A big THANK YOU to the many sponsors of this event!
The annual chili supper will take place on Friday, October 27 from 4 to 7 p.m., and the annual chili supper on October 27. Details can be found on the flyer below.
The next Island Litter Sweep is scheduled for Saturday, October 28, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. All volunteers will meet in front of Room Service (4 Maritime Way). Click HERE for additional information. The litter sweep is sponsored and organized by the Bald Head Association’s Resource Conservation & Beautification Committee.
Trick or Treating
Island-wide trick or treating will take place this Saturday, October 28, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Bald Head Association has assisted with getting the list of homes that will be participating this year and an online map is available HERE. Copies of the map will be available at the Maritime Market and BHA’s office (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. M-F). For questions, please email BHITrickorTreating@gmail.com. Many thanks to the BHA’s Education and Recreation Committee for sponsoring this event!
Village offices will be closed on Friday, November 10, 2023, in observance of Veterans Day. The includes the Island Package Center and Post Office and Public Safety administration. The IPC/PO will be open on Saturday, November 11 at its normal hours (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.).
Next Regular Council Meeting
The next regular Village Council Meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 17, 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.
Village offices will be closed on November 23 and 24, for the Thanksgiving holiday. This includes the Island Package Center and Post Office and Public Safety administration. The IPC/PO will have extended hours on Wednesday, November 22, and will be open from 10:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m. If you are expecting to have packages sent to the IPC/PO for your holiday celebration, we recommend that you order it as early as possible to ensure timely delivery, by November 9, is suggested.
Bald Head Association events can be found HERE.
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 HERE.