In this issue:
- Recap of Village Council regular meeting.
- Mayor Quinn joins Brunswick County Commissioners and mayors of Brunswick municipalities in issuing a statement in response to antisemitic and racist fliers.
- BHI is now a Bee City USA affiliate!
- Municipal election results.
- Golf cart registration renewal begins on Friday, December 1, 2023.
- Creek access permit renewal process begins the second week in December.
- The Department of Public Safety received letters of appreciation from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
Reminders & Events:
- Annual change from chloramines to chlorine update.
- Village offices will be closed on November 23 and 24, for the Thanksgiving holiday.
- The third annual Golf Cart Christmas Parade will take place on Friday, November 24, 2023.
- BHA’s Education & Recreation Committee will have a Christmas Cookie Exchange on Monday, December 4, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Building.
- Village offices, including the IPC/PO and Public Safety administration, will be closed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, for the Village employee holiday luncheon.
- Christmas caroling will take place on December 8, 2023, from 5 to 7 p.m.
- The next regular Village Council meeting is on Friday, December 15, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
- All Angel Trees have been claimed! Monetary donations are being accepted.
- Save the date for a Project Longevity/Community Care meeting on January 26, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. at the Department of Public Safety.
Regular Council Meeting
The Village Council conducted its regular meeting on Friday, November 17, 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, Brian Mullins read the comments submitted by David Sawyer on behalf of the clubs in regard to the upcoming bond referendum for beach nourishment. The Village Council recognized that it had also received written comments from Rex Cowdry, Robert Drumheller, and Joseph Makar on the same topic.
The consent agenda passed unanimously. It included the October 20, 2023, regular session and closed session minutes and a professional services agreement with Olsen & Associates for coastal engineering services.
The Village Council conducted two public hearings. The first public hearing was on an amendment to the utilities ordinance to permit phased water and sewer tapping fees for certain non-residential development. No one from the public offered comments during the public hearing, rather one question was answered by staff. Staff indicated that the ordinance amendment also includes changes to residential fees placing payment later in the inspections process. The Village Council unanimously moved to adopt the ordinance amendment as drafted. The second public hearing was on the ordinance adopting commercial design standards. No comments were made by the public during the hearing. The Village Council unanimously moved to adopt the ordinance adopting the commercial design standards as drafted.
Under Old Business, the Village Council appointed John Fisher, Kurt Haglund, Harper Peterson, Dianne Reid, and Jeff Sanderson as members of the Commercial Review Board. Mary Susan Jackson and Jordyn Matthews were appointed as alternates. The Village Council unanimously approved an agreement with ColeJenest & Stone to act as a consultant to the Commercial Review Board (CRB). Development Services Director Stephen Boyett will serve as administrator of the CRB. The Village Council unanimously adopted an ordinance repealing the commercial development moratorium that was applicable to property located in commercial districts.
After Old Business, the Village Council considered several resolutions related to the 2025 Village Beach Nourishment General Obligation (GO) Bond Order. Prior to considering the resolutions, Chris McCall, Village Manager reviewed the project timeline (see above) and Mayor Pro Tem Gardner made a statement in support of two bond issue amounts to be considered by voters in the bond referendum and a background on the Village’s shoreline protection program (audio clip). Six separate resolutions were read aloud and adopted unanimously. A Resolution Making Required Findings (for a bond amount of $13.5M and a bond amount of $4.5M), a Resolution to Introduce Bond Order (for a bond amount of $13.5M and a bond amount of $4.5M), and a Resolution Authorizing a Public Hearing on the Bond Order (for a bond amount of $13.5M and a bond amount of $4.5M). A public hearing on the bond order will take place during the next regular Village Council meeting on December 15, 2023.
The Village is having a GO bond town hall meeting (set for December 11 @ 10:00 a.m. in person and via Zoom) to educate the public on the 2025 Coastal Storm Damage Reduction (CSDR) project, the financing, and the proposed bond referendum. Educational materials will soon be available. In the meantime, much information can be found on the Village’s shoreline protection webpages, including planning/permitting documents for the 2025 CSDR project, past projects, recent presentations, and articles on the Village’s shoreline protection program.
Under New Business, the Village Council was presented with the October 2023 financials.
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 he had already received two texts and an email because of the moratorium being lifted moments earlier.
Public Safety Update
Gibson reported that parking citations are down this year because the signage and color coding at the marina seem to be working. Gibson was asked for an update on the status of the ladder truck. Unfortunately, the delivery date has been pushed back to December 2024. The Council requested a formal status letter from the manufacturer explaining the delay and directed staff to look at the contract to see if there is a justification for applying penalties for the late delivery.
Public Services Update
JP McCann, Public Services Director, presented the monthly statistics for Public Services.
McCann reported on the ten-inch water main break that occurred on November 8, near Contractor Services. The type of break (longitudinal) required 20 feet of line to be replaced. Village Utilities worked on the line from 6:00 a.m. on 11/8 through 2:00 a.m. on 11/10.
McCann reported that Public Works has begun working on transportation and pedestrian safety efforts on South Bald Head Wynd. Public Works has performed some vegetation trimming to improve visibility. Pedestrian crossing signs have been installed near Beach Access #24 (the new ADA access). Additional signage will be installed in the S-curves indicating blind curves, alerting drivers to stay to the right, and advising drivers to slow down. The Village will try the signage first to see how it works and then evaluate the need for rumble strips. He said they are looking at several options for rumble strips, different materials and possibly getting a piece of equipment to score the pavement.
McCann reported that an additional set of test results was received as the Village and others continue to learn more about emerging contaminants in our water systems. Samples were taken from each of the Village’s 16 wells, so the water was untreated/raw water. He reported that 11 of the wells had PFOA, 4 had PFOS, 7 had PFAS acidic compounds, and 2 had GenX. He indicated that the Village’s reverse osmosis is doing a good job of removing these compounds from the raw water. The Village’s drinking water is testing at levels well within EPA-proposed standards. The Village has applied for an emerging contaminant grant to help dispose of the compounds that are being collected from the raw water and wastewater. There were suggestions from the Council to include this topic on the annual retreat agenda. All test results and actions taken by the Village to date regarding emerging contaminants are documented on the Village’s emerging contaminants webpage HERE.
McCann made a statement regarding cross-connection devices. He said that if you have one of these devices, he is recommending that you have positive drainage if it is indoors, and to check that the drainage assembly is tight. During the water main break, a cross-connection user had one indoors and the discharge for the cross-connection came apart and caused some interior flooding. He said to consider having this equipment installed outdoors from now on. He offered to meet with anyone who has one of these to consult and point them in the right direction.
Mr. McCall, the Village Manager gave a few updates:
USACE/VBHI Long-Term MOU Effort
The Village has formally reached out to Bob Keistler with the US Army Corps of Engineers to begin working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Corps. This memo would put in place an opportunity for the Village to contribute funds to future Wilmington Harbor Maintenance projects, the next one tentatively scheduled for 2027, and increase the scope of the project to better meet the Village’s needs.
BHI Conservancy Property Acquisition Request Update
Conservancy staff has worked up an updated survey to show the new proposed property line and waterline easement. McCall will work with Village Counsel to put together language for the easement and begin the road closure process.
Island Site Visit
Representative Miller and Senator Rabon have been invited to visit the island on Monday, November 27, 2023, to discuss all things related to the shoreline, facilities, the wastewater treatment plant expansion, and other key topics.
Please review the Assistant Village Manager’s memo HERE which covers updates on the IPC/PO, shoreline protection, lobbying efforts, and the Village’s Asset & Inventory Assessment grant.
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).
Statement Condemning Antisemitism
Mayor Quinn joined several Brunswick County elected officials in condemning the antisemitic material that was placed on the lawns of many homes in Carolina Shores on the night of Wednesday, November 15, 2023. In a media release that was sent Friday, November 17, 2023. The statement declared, “There is no room in Brunswick County for hate, however directed.” The statement further promised that as elected officials they will continue to do all that they can to ensure that all citizens in Brunswick County are safe and respected. It further assures citizens that if they have any concerns, each of them is available to hear the concerns and respond as necessary. A similar statement was released on behalf of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners by Chairman Randy Thompson.
Bee City USA
It’s official! The Village of Bald Head Island is a Bee City USA affiliate joining many other municipalities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators. Bee City USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, with offices across the country.
Bee City USA’s mission is to galvanize communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitats, rich in a variety of native plants and free of insecticides. Pollinators like bumble bees, sweat bees, mason bees, honeybees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, hummingbirds, and many others are responsible for the reproduction of almost ninety percent of the world’s flowering plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume.
Municipal Election Results
The municipal election canvass was completed by the Brunswick County Board of Elections on Friday, November 17, 2023, with the addition of 50 absentee ballots and 89 provisional ballots (County-wide). The results for the Bald Head Island Council contest (Vote for 2) Scott Thomas received 106 votes, and Jerry Maggio and Virginia (Ginnie) White tied for the second seat with 102 votes each.
According to GS 163-292, in the case of a tie, “the board of elections shall determine the winner by lot.” This determination cannot be made until after the deadline for candidates to request a recount expired on Monday, November 20 at 5:00 p.m.
The Brunswick County Board of Elections will convene on Tuesday, November 28, to conduct any recounts and determine the winners in the contests with tie votes. Further details about the board meeting will be released next week.
Councilor-elect Thomas and the determined winner of the second seat will be sworn in at the December 15, 2023, regular Village Council meeting.
Golf Cart Registration Renewal
It is almost time to get your golf cart registered for 2024! Online and in-person registrations begin on Friday, December 1, 2023.
To complete your online registration, you will need your insurance policy and a credit card. Entering “same as last year” is unacceptable. Please inspect your cart registration sticker before applying for a yearly renewal sticker. If your registration sticker is torn, faded, peeling, or damaged in any way please choose the option to pick up your annual registration at the Public Safety Building. When you arrive at the Public Safety Building, you will need to request a new cart sticker (you will be assigned a new registration number). The online registration can be completed HERE no earlier than December 1.
If you select the option to pick up the new sticker at the Public Safety Department (vs. having it mailed), please allow at least 48 working hours for processing by administrative staff before going by to pick it up. Note that the 48-hour processing does not apply on weekends and/or holidays.
You must register each cart individually. As a reminder, trailers that are pulled by golf carts must also be registered with the Village, this includes boat trailers.
Please try not to put this off until the last minute. If you have any specific questions about the annual registration process, please feel free to contact Elizabeth Gray, Administrative Assistant, at 910-457-5252 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Creek Access Permit Renewal
We are going remote! The 2024 Creek Access Permit renewals and applications will be offered online only. You should receive an email by December 15th which will include instructions and a link for online renewal. The due date for 2024 Creek Access Permit renewals is January 15, 2024. Permit fees remain at $150 per permit. If you already have a space at the Village Creek Access for your vessel (kayak, canoes, small boats without motors), your Creek Access permit renewal email should arrive by December 15th. If you need to update or verify your email address on file, please reach out to Darcy Sperry, Village Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 8th to ensure you receive your renewal notification by December 15th.
The online permit needs to be filled out in its entirety before submitting. Once your application is received and processed, you will receive an email with your assigned permit information and a link to pay online. After payment has been made, staff will affix the sticker to the vessel for you. Permits are issued per vessel as opposed to per space.
If you are interested in obtaining a space at the Creek Access, contact Darcy (email@example.com or 910-457-9700 ext. 1001) and if there is space available, she will get a space assigned to you once the proper online application is submitted. These spaces are permitted annually at the calendar year.
Letters of Appreciation for Public Safety
The Department of Public Safety received two letters of appreciation from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, one for firefighters and the other for law enforcement officers, in honor of National First Responders Day (October 28). Mary Mears and Jane Johnson presented the letters. Mary and Jane are members of the Brunswick Town Chapter of the NSDAR and Public Safety volunteers.
REMINDERS & EVENTS
Annual Change from Chloramines to Chlorine
The annual change from chloramines to chlorine is almost complete! Village Utilities expects to resume flushing on several island cul-de-sacs after the Thanksgiving holiday. Customers may notice some discoloration and the presence of sediment in your water. These conditions are not harmful and should be of short duration. Running water through the fixtures and flushing out hot water tanks helps the discoloration subside. For more information, view the full notice 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.
BHI Transportation, Inc. has released the Thanksgiving ferry schedule. You can view it HERE.
Golf Cart Christmas Parade
The island’s third annual Christmas Golf Cart Parade will take place on Friday, November 24, 2023. Line-up begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Shoals Club. The parade will start at 4:30 p.m. and will head down South Bald Head Wynd with the Department of Public Safety’s fire truck, Santa, and Mayor Quinn at the lead. The parade ends at the BHI Club. The entry fee is $20 (Venmo @christine-osborne-22). All proceeds benefit Brunswick Family Assistance. For questions, contact Christine Osborne or Joyce Nelson.
Christmas Cookie Exchange
BHA’s Education and Recreation Committee will have a Christmas Cookie Exchange on Monday, December 4, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Building (273 Edward Teach Extension).
Bring a total of three (3) dozen cookies. Package two dozen in four groups of six (6) each in a decorative bag or box PLUS one dozen for participants to taste. Attach your recipe to your four boxes/bags as well as one in front of the tasting dozen for people to take a picture of. Participants will leave with four different types of cookies to enjoy over the holidays. RSVP by December 1 to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her what type of cookie you plan to bring.
Village Employee Holiday Celebration
Village offices, including the Island Package Center & Post Office and Public Safety administration, will be closed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, for Village employees to attend the annual holiday luncheon. Longevity awards and the Employee of the Year award will be presented at this event.
The Village Chapel will be conducting a Christmas Caroling event on Friday, December 8, 2023, from 5-7 pm to spread some holiday cheer to select homes and locations (Public Safety, BHI, and Shoals Clubs) across the island. Our last stop will be at the BHI Club, where we will sing Christmas carols and enjoy a dinner (pay-as-you-go) afterward.
Transport across the island will be via trams. We will meet at the Village Chapel no later than 4:45 p.m. and depart promptly at 5 p.m. Caroling books will be provided, and no singing experience is necessary! If you would like to sign up to join us, please email Mary Mears at email@example.com no later than December 5 to sign up and for questions.
Next Regular Council Meeting
The next regular Village Council Meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 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.
Angel Trees Claimed, Direct Donations are Being Collected
Due to the overwhelming generosity of the Bald Head Island community, all 150 of the 2023 Angel Tree tags have been claimed! The Village Chapel Community Outreach team asks that if you would like to donate directly to Brunswick Family Assistance, donation boxes can be found at the BHI Chapel, Jules Restaurant, and Salty Paws. Your donation will directly benefit those in need this year.
Project Longevity/Community Care Meeting
Save the date of January 26, 2024, for a Project Longevity/Community Care meeting that will take place at 3:00 p.m. at the Department of Public Safety. Attendees are also invited to dine on their own at Jailhouse Provisions following the meeting. Stay tuned for additional information.
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.