Village’s Voice

In this issue: 

  • Recap of Village Council regular meeting.
  • DEQ Secretary Biser & Representative Miller visit BHI.
  • Dowitcher fire update
  • Fire safety tips.
  • BHI hosts Brunswick County clerks.
  • Hurricane season is almost here!

Reminders & Events: 

  • Village offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024, in observance of Memorial Day. 
  • Village Utilities is assessing island properties per the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule.
  • Dosher Clinic will be open for the 2024 season.
  • The next regular Village Council meeting is on Friday, June 21, 2024.
  • Public Safety Day is June 28, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Marina Park.

Regular Council Meeting

The Village Council conducted its regular meeting on Friday, May 17, 2024, at 10:00 a.m.  Here is a summary of the information shared and the actions that were taken at this meeting:

The consent agenda passed unanimously.  It included the approval of minutes from the April 19 regular session, the April 26 special session budget workshop, a surplus property resolution, a proclamation for Tourette Syndrome Awareness Day, a resolution approving the 2023 North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Resources Local Water Supply Plan, and the 2024 Dosher Seasonal Clinic Memorandum of Understanding.

The Village Council conducted a public hearing on the manager’s recommended FY 24-25 budget.  Chris McCall, Village Manager, gave a presentation that summarized the proposed expenditures, revenues, and indicated a proposed tax rate increase of $0.0498 (an additional $498 per $1M property value). At the 4/26 budget workshop, the Council directed staff to decrease the proposed tax rate and it was reduced from $0.6469 to $0.6277. The Council heard from Rex Cowdry who provided his perspective on what he identifies as the main driver of increased spending, the Village’s transportation litigation matters.

Under Old Business, Mayor Quinn gave a transportation litigation update and Councilor White gave an update on the Village Council’s response to requests for information on transportation system litigation.

Mayor Quinn referred to the Village’s transportation system litigation tracker (HERE). He said that the one item that is active right now that does not involve attorneys is a group made up of the four entities (BHI Club, BHI Academy, Village of BHI, and Bald Head Association) who are intervening in the proposed ferry schedule matter. The group is trying to identify similar concerns of island employers and other key stakeholders and ferry users to potentially identify other options for solutions to the ferry schedule before it gets to litigation. There is agreement that Islanders can make changes in how they use the ferry that could help alleviate some of the issues, and that it is not all on BHI Transportation, Inc. to come up with solutions. Staff indicated that the litigation tracker will be updated to include the expenditures associated with each case.  The litigation spending information was included in this month’s financial report (HERE).

Councilor White reported that the Village is working on the responses to the questions received from the public on the transportation litigation. She said she expects to send a draft to all Council members for review over the next few days. When the document is finalized, it will be published online and included in a Village’s Voice announcement.

Under New Business, the Village Council adopted a resolution accepting dedication of Keeper Samuel Brinkman Alley and a budget amendment for general and utilities funds.


Stephen Boyett, Development Services Director, presented the monthly departmental statistics for April (HERE, HERE, and HERE).  He reported that there is some legislation going through the NC General Assembly prohibiting local jurisdictions from holding up permits if there is a State or Federal permit also required.  It also prevents officials from denying a certificate of occupancy for issues that do not have an impact on public safety (ex. landscaping/exterior lighting) This is to help streamline the permit process.  

At the end of this month, there will be a PPI (Program for Public Information) meeting with key contractors to go over an important flood issue having to do with ductwork. This meeting will satisfy one of the Village’s requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System program.


Chief Gibson reported on the May 3 structure fire on Dowitcher Trail. He went through the timeline of events and summarized the after-action review that took place with the Department of Public Safety, Public Safety Volunteers, Public Safety Auxiliary, and the responding mutual aid agencies.  For additional information view our update below. The monthly statistics for April can be viewed HERE & HERE.


JP McCann, Public Services Director, presented the monthly statistics for April for Public Services.  He noted that Public Works has been busy working on the groin bags, two of them needed to be tied off over the last few weeks. There is some erosion in that area likely caused by these bags becoming less effective in holding the sand in place. The Village’s upcoming coastal storm damage reduction project cannot come soon enough as the bags are now showing more severe deterioration. 

He reported that the Village has a contractor that will be replacing several timbers on the Timber Bridge. Any bridge closures will be reported via social media and TextMyGov.  The Village will also be excavating for the new infiltration pond at Contractor Services. This is a requirement for the Village’s stormwater permit.  


Assistant Village Manager Jae Kim provided an update on the Island Package Center and Post Office.  He provided the latest package count data and indicated that the Village is still negotiating the USPS contract and is looking to convert to a software program that would help the Village track revenue which could be used to increase the contract amount. With that negotiation also comes some restrictions in how the Village is currently forwarding mail for customers.  The Southport postmaster is requiring the Village to begin charging PO Box holders for the forwarding service that is used on the mainland.

Shoreline Protection
Mr. Kim reported that Village staff and Councilor Thomas attended the spring meeting of the NC Beach Inlet & Waterway Association.  Mr. Kim said he would forward the slides of the presentation to Council. The dredging company has had some weather delays and is now working on the advance fill area.  They should be finished with the project by mid-week this week.

AIA Grant
Mr. Kim reported that the contractor for the Asset Inventory Assessment is expected to have the GIS deliverables to the Village by July and condition assessments between July and August.  The risk analysis and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) development will occur in August.  The Village expects to take this CIP that is developed for the water and sewer infrastructure and use it as a template to do an in-house CIP for its other departments.  So, items such as the Timber Bridge will be added to the program for future maintenance needs and budgeted appropriately.

LGC Application for Shoreline Project Debt
Village Manager Chris McCall reported that the Village’s debt application for the 2025 Coastal Storm Damage Reduction (CSDR) Project was approved at the NC Local Government Commission’s (LGC) May 7, 2024, meeting ($13.5 million). More information about the 2025 CSDR project can be found HERE.

Frying Pan Shoals
The Village has directed its contractors to re-initiate the Village’s permit application to use Frying Pan Shoals as a borrow site for future shoreline management projects.

Project Bidding
There will be pre-bid meetings for the groin field project and the 2025 CSDR project in the next couple of weeks.  The Village’s coastal engineering firm hopes to have recommendations for awarding the project by the June 21 regular council meeting.

A full account of these meetings can be found in the minutes which are posted HERE. Typically, minutes are posted with the agenda of next month’s meeting (e.g. If you want to read the November meeting minutes, they can be found under the December regular meeting agenda). 

Mayor Peter Quinn, Village Manager Chris McCall, Assistant Village Manager Jae Kim, Representative Charlie Miller, and NC DEQ Secretary Elizabeth Biser near the terminal groin site on Friday, 5/17.

DEQ Secretary Biser & Representative Miller Visit BHI

Secretary Elizbeth Biser from the NC Department of Environmental Quality and Representative Charlie Miller of the NC House of Representatives visited the island on Friday, May 17, 2024.  Secretary Biser and Representative Miller received a briefing on the Village’s shoreline protection efforts, including an overview of the Army Corps’ Wilmington Harbor Sand Management Plan, the Village’s 2025 project, and the terminal groin.  Village officials, Village staff, and BHI Conservancy staff accompanied Secretary Biser and Representative Miller on a tour of the terminal groin site and the sandbag revetment at the Shoals Club.  The Village emphasized the success of its shoreline protection program and stressed the need to stabilize the east end of South Beach and replace the soft groin tube field with longer lasting erosion control structures. Doing both would require a legislative change and that language has been drafted and provided to Representative Miller, Senator Rabon, and Secretary Biser.

Dr. Chris Shank, BHI Conservancy Executive Director, Mayor Pro Tem Scott Gardner, NC DEQ Secretary Elizabeth Biser, Village Manager Chris McCall, and Mayor Peter Quinn at the Shoals Club Beach Access on Friday, 5/17.

Dowitcher Fire Update

Late in the afternoon on May 3, the Department of Public Safety was dispatched to a structure fire on Dowitcher Trail.  At the time, a public safety officer was patrolling in our QRV (quick response vehicle) and was able to reach the house within one minute.  The responding officer arrived at a fully involved fire.  This means the fire had spread and engulfed the entire home.  Our fire engine made it out of the station within one minute of the dispatch and arrived on the scene in three minutes.

When a structure fire is called in, Brunswick County 911 automatically dispatches our mutual aid stations.  Oak Island and Southport arrived within 36 minutes of the initial page. A total of 30 firefighters made it to the scene, this included 13 firefighters from Bald Head Island, two of which were volunteers who are trained firefighters. The fire was under control right at one- and one-half hour.  Two hose lines were used to extinguish the fire. There were no issues with water pressure.  Utilities staff were on the island to monitor water pressure and assist, if necessary.

The side of the house with the power meter was engulfed so the Village had to ask Duke Energy to shut off the power to the house for the safety of the firefighters. This impacted hundreds of customers on the island who were notified via CodeRed as quickly as possible that the power outage was imminent.  The Village will be following up with Duke Energy to see if any processes could be improved to lessen the impact during future events.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.  Chief Gibson said he would be meeting with the fire marshal’s office this week to follow up. 

Since the Lighthouse Landing fire in 2021, the Village has invested a lot of time, energy, and funds into the Department of Public Safety’s firefighting operations.  This has included training operations with our mutual aid partners, which has paid off.  Gibson said that each fire is different and that lessons are learned each time.  The Department and volunteers are taking the lessons learned from this fire and are already applying them in their training.

Fire Safety Tips

The Village often shares fire safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on social media, in the Island Report, and on the bulletin board at the IPC/PO.  There are fact sheets on every fire related topic you can think of (HERE). A few that may interest islanders include Lithium-Ion Battery Safety, Fire Safety at Your Home Away from Home, and Grilling Safety. Of course, most Islanders should know that fireworks are prohibited on BHI.  Please make sure you let your visitors and guests know this!

Here are a few more tips:

  • Have a monitored alarm system and do not let your monitoring contract lapse (Village ordinance requires monitored smoke detection systems. View our guide for property owners HERE).
  • Have your sprinkler systems inspected annually.
  • Make sure your address bollard is not blocked by vegetation and address numbers are not faded.
  • Purchase a Knox Box or examine existing Knox Boxes for rust or corrosion (more info HERE).
Brunswick County clerks visited the island on May 10.

BHI Hosts Brunswick County Clerks

Village Clerk Darcy Sperry hosted ten other clerks from Brunswick County on Friday, May 10th wrapping up the 55th annual professional municipal clerks’ week (May 5 – 11). The clerks had a roundtable discussion on several clerk matters, including cybersecurity, had refreshments, and toured the island.

While the duties of municipal clerks vary from place to place, they serve an essential role in local government.  Our clerk is responsible for maintaining all Village contracts, preparing agendas, packets, and minutes for each meeting, certifying and recording proclamations, resolutions, and ordinance codifications when passed by the Council, maintaining custody of the Village seal, and maintaining Notary Public qualifications. She also posts meeting schedules and legal notices for Committees, Boards and Council as required by North Carolina State Statutes. She provides administrative support to the elected officials, department heads, citizens and visitors, assorted boards, committees and task forces, and coordinates arrangements for receptions, retreats, and other functions.

Visit the Village’s Emergency Preparedness webpage HERE.

Hurricane Season is Almost Here!

Hurricane season begins on June 1.  That’s only a few weeks away.  If you have not heeded our suggestions to start preparing yet, please do so now.  The National Hurricane Center recently started reissuing tropical weather outlooks. Even a tropical storm can cause power outages, transportation delays, and property damage.  Make sure you have your emergency kit stocked.  Make sure you have an evacuation plan in place. The Village strongly recommends evacuating over sticking it out through a storm.

Visit our emergency preparedness webpage HERE for all the preparedness information you need and make sure you are signed up to receive Village communications (HERE). We will have a hurricane preparedness booth at the June 28 Public Safety Day, so please come by and ask us any questions you have!


Memorial Day Holiday

Village offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. This includes Public Safety Administration and the Island Package Center and Post Office.

Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. has released the schedule for Memorial Day weekend. You can view it HERE.

Lead & Copper Rule

Village Utilities personnel have been assessing island properties per the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule.  This may require them to do a small amount of excavation to check the water lines at the meter. All Village Utilities staff drive vehicles and wear uniforms with the Village of Bald Head Island logo and are authorized to do this work.  As of today, the assessment is about 3/4 complete.  For more information, read our Lead & Copper Rule Fact Sheet HERE.

Dosher Clinic

Dosher Clinic will be seeing patients at the Department of Public Safety for the 2024 peak season.  It will operate from May 30 through August 29, 2024.  The clinic will be open on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The clinic will provide telehealth services with a medical assistant or nurse on the island to support the patient and telemedicine cart.   For more information, please view our webpage HERE.

Next Regular Council Meeting

The next regular Village Council Meeting is scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2024, 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.

Public Safety Day

Public Safety Day is June 28, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Marina Park.  We will have our apparatus and equipment on display, activities for kids, information on Public Safety programs (Knox Box and File of Life), and hurricane preparedness.  We have also invited other agencies to showcase all their departments have to offer.  In years past, we have had Brunswick County Marine Patrol, Airlink, NC Wildlife, Marine Fisheries, and the US Coast Guard attend.

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

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