Village’s Voice

In this issue: 

  • Recap of Village Council regular meeting – FY25 budget approved, 2025 beach nourishment project awarded, public hearing called for amendments to the commercial design guidelines, and more!
  • House Bill 385 includes language to allow for hardened structures on BHI.
  • Please follow these tips to beat the heat!
  • Hurricane season is here – we will be testing the CodeRed notification system on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, at 7:00 p.m., please make sure you are signed up!
  • Information for visitors and guests – don’t assume they know!

Reminders & Events: 

  • Public Safety Day is June 28, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Marina Park.
  • Village offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4, 2024, in observance of Independence Day – Fireworks are prohibited, register for Old Baldy Foundation’s golf cart parade, local firework displays.
  • Dosher Clinic is open for the 2024 season.
  • The next regular Village Council meeting is on Friday, July 19, 2024.
  • Village Utilities is assessing island properties per the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule.

Regular Council Meeting

The Village Council conducted its regular meeting on Friday, June 21, 2024, at 10:00 a.m.  Here is a summary of the information shared and the actions that were taken at this meeting:

Public Safety Chief Joshua Gibson presented Lieutenant David LaPlante with his Advanced Law Enforcement Certification from the NC Department of Justice.  This is North Carolina’s highest honor for law enforcement officers awarded by the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.  The professional certificate program recognizes the level of competency for officers serving government agencies throughout NC.  Eligibility is determined by a formula that combines formal education, professional training, and work experience. LaPlante will celebrate his eleventh year with the BHI Department of Public Safety on July 6, 2024.

Chief Gibson presented Lt. David LaPlante with his Advanced Law Enforcement Certification.

Under public comment, the Village Council heard from Anna Newton.  She expressed concerns about the speed of golf carts on the island and indicated that it has increased over the last few years. She would like the Council to consider potential mitigations.

Under the consent agenda, the adoption of the FY 2024-2025 budget ordinance item was pulled from the consent agenda for discussion.  The remainder of the consent agenda included the approval of minutes from the May 17 regular session and closed session, approval of the Golf Cart Safety Awareness Month proclamation, approval of the audit contract with Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams & Co., P.A., approval of the FY 2024-2025 ICE Fee Agreement with Bald Head Island Transportation.  The consent agenda, as amended, was approved unanimously.

Under Old Business, Village Manager Chris McCall updated the Council and the public on the transportation system litigation status tracker.  He explained that text was added under Sub 23 (Proposed ferry services schedule amendment) to indicate a hybrid schedule has been proposed. He reported there are ongoing discussions and a proposed extension date under consideration and that there has been positive progress in the discussions between the intervenor group (including the representatives from the Village) and the transportation system.  

Mayor Pro Tem Gardner, who is representing the Village in the discussions indicated that he has been looking at the data that BHI Transportation and wanted to get clarification on some anomalies in the data. He is hoping by sometime next week he will be able to determine if the proposed hybrid schedule is something the Village can support.  Mayor Quinn indicated that BHI Transportation is as committed to finding a solution as the Village.  

Mr. McCall reviewed the legal fees, expenses, and out-of-pocket cost totals (HERE).

Councilor White reported that she has received positive feedback from the June 14th Mayor’s Message and the responses to citizen questions on the transportation system litigation.  

The Village Council received a presentation from Dr. Chris Shank, Executive Director of the Bald Head Island Conservancy.  The presentation provided the Council with the Conservancy’s concerns with the potential of adding a hardened structure to the east end of South Beach and gave its recommendations.  Mayor Quinn acknowledged that the Village has been looking at potential solutions for years and that a hardened structure would need to be studied thoroughly before any action is taken, it’s not something that the Village is steamrolling through.  Additional information on this topic can be found below under “House Bill 385.”

Under New Business, the Village Council awarded the contract for the 2025 beach renourishment project (info HERE), to Marinex Construction of North Carolina, Inc., conducted the first reading on proposed text amendments to the commercial design standards, and called for a public hearing on July 19, adopted the year-end closeout budget amendment, and adopted a capital project ordinance amendment for Jay Bird Shoals Dredging Project, adopted the capital project closeout ordinance amendment for a New Village Hall.  The adoption of the FY 2024-2025 budget ordinance was discussed and adopted 3 to 1 with Councilor Thomas voting against adoption, Mayor Pro Tem Gardner who was attending remotely could not vote but expressed support for the motion to adopt.


Stephen Boyett, Development Services Director, presented the monthly departmental statistics for May (HERE, and HERE).  He reported that he continues to keep an eye on work sites.  He encourages property owners who have private crossovers that are buried in sand to contact a contractor to get the crossover built over the dune.  It requires a CAMA exemption, and it is a quick permit process. The island’s dunes are in good shape and are our first defense from storm surge. If you are walking on your dune to get to the beach, you are compromising its ability to protect your property and public infrastructure.  He also mentioned that letters have been sent to repetitive loss properties to offer FEMA funding to make improvements to make the property more resilient. If you have received a letter, please follow up if you have an interest in improving your property. There was a discussion on commercial signs which currently fall under the Village’s sign ordinance.  These may be added to the commercial design guidelines.   

If your private crossover is buried in sand, please contact a contractor about building your crossover to go over the dune so it is not compromised.


Chief Gibson reported that three out of four department vacancies have been filled.  The remaining position, the Deputy Chief Law Enforcement opening should be filled next month., interviews are currently taking place.  He reported that the Dosher Clinic is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  He stated that the department is tracking the number of patients being seen, and based on the numbers, Dosher may likely pull out next year.  It is assumed many folks started using telemed services over the pandemic and that may be why the utilization is low.  He reported that enforcement is up 106% over 2023.  He said that the department is working on policies and procedures for the volunteers for improved efficiency. The department also plans to incorporate similar changes for the Public Service Auxiliary.  He was asked about the cause of the Dowitcher fire. He reported the fire was classified as accidental due to improperly discarded rags/volatile chemicals.  There was discussion about parking congestion near East Beach.  The placement of the rope and posts helps keep the area clear for emergency vehicles. The monthly statistics for May can be viewed HERE & HERE.

Post and rope were installed to prevent the area of SE Beach Drive and Station House Way from getting congested and allow for emergency vehicles to pass through. Please use the overflow parking on Station House Way if the BA #42 parking lot is full.


JP McCann, Public Services Director, presented the monthly statistics for May for Public Services.  He shared information about the lift station upgrade project which showed the 5 phases.  The FY25 budget includes $525k for the upgrade of three lift stations for the next fiscal year. Council and staff recalled the decision was made to pause funding of the project in FY24 because phases one and two were delayed because of supply chain issues, so it served as a “catch-up” year. Mr. McCann reported that phase one should be completed in the next three or four weeks.  Phase two is still held up because of the lack of supply of electrical panels.


IPC/PO – Assistant Village Manager Jae Kim provided an update on the Island Package Center and Post Office.  He provided the latest package count data. There was a 19.1% increase from last month and a 15% increase from this time last year.  The IPC is seeing an average of 54 customers on Saturday with 169 packages received.  The Village continues to work with the USPS on the contract and supplying the information they request.  

Marina Park Bulkhead – Mr. Kim shared samples of a vinyl material that is being proposed to replace the dilapidated bulkhead at Marina Park. There was consensus to use the vinyl material in a clay color. This material is expected to last longer than wood, which is the current material.

AIA Grant – Mr. Kim reported that the contractor working on the Asset Inventory Assessment remains on time and on budget and is expected to make a presentation to the Council at its February 2025 meeting.

Waterfront Access Grant – The Village’s application for construction of the ADA access at Marina Park did not move to the final stage. There were more applications submitted this year and the application was less favorable because the proposal did not provide direct access to public trust water, whereas other applications provided access for swimming and boating and scored higher. Property acquisition applications also receive priority (the Village already owns the property).  Some suggestions were made to improve the success of the application and the Village can consider reapplying in January 2025.


Wilmington Harbor Channel Maintenance – Mr. McCall reported that the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is expected to open bids for the Wilmington Harbor Channel Maintenance project on July 24th.  The Village’s contractor for the 2025 project, Marinex Construction, indicated that it was not bidding on this project. Coordination between the USACE’s contractor and Marinex will need to occur.

Sandbag Revetment Update – Mr. McCall reported that Village staff met with David Sawyer, Brian Mullins, and Bruce Marek to discuss the ongoing efforts with the sandbag revetment at the Shoals Club. They are seeking a variance to enlarge the base and height. The permit application is expected to be denied, which will then initiate a variance process. There was discussion about the Village’s 2025 project and this project coinciding and a need for coordination and permission to cover the sandbags with beach fill. Staff will continue to work with the club and engineers on these efforts.

Wilmington Harbor Navigation Channel Deepening Project (Section 403) Update – Mr. McCall reported that Village staff, a representative from our coastal engineering firm, and counsel attended the virtual meetings and open house that the USACE conducted on the Harbor Deepening Project earlier this month. The Village’s government affairs consultant (Mike McIntyre of Ward & Smith, P.A.) also keeps abreast of this project. Village staff and representatives are working on a letter to be submitted by the comment period deadline (July 22, 2024). The Village had already submitted comments in June 2023 for the early scoping, which are officially a part of the decision record.  The Village will recap some of the points made in the 2023 letter and will continue to attend meetings and remain engaged.  For more information view the USACE webpage on this project HERE.

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). 

House Bill 385

Last week, language was added to House Bill 385 which gives the Village of Bald Head Island the options to mitigate shoreline erosion through hardened structures. This is similar to the legislation that was passed in 2011 to allow for the terminal groin that was constructed on the west end of South Beach and completed five years later in the spring of 2016.  This came on the heels of Secretary Elizabeth Biser and Representative Charlie Miller’s visit to the island in May. The proposed legislation nearly mirrors the draft language provided to the officials.  As reported, the officials toured the terminal groin area and the sandbag revetment at the Shoals Club.  Village officials discussed the success of the Village’s shoreline protection program and the need for legislation to increase the options currently available, sustain the program into the future, and protect additional areas of the shoreline.

Slide from the 2020 retreat showing the Village’s coastal engineer’s proposal to convert the sand tube groin field into rock structures.

One of the options that the legislation will allow, which has been proposed by the Village’s coastal engineer for 5 years (see slides 18 and 19 from the 2021 retreat HERE, view the retreat presentations HERE), is to replace its existing soft tube groin field on the west end of South Beach with rock structures.  The soft tube groins deteriorate over time and must be replaced every 5 years or so, which is planned for this fall as part of the 2025 CSDR project. Replacing the tubes with rock would eliminate the need to maintain and replace the soft tube groins which have worked to mitigate erosion and protect public infrastructure in that area of South Beach. A recent article about the new legislation was somewhat misleading in that the author described the sand tubes (soft tube groins) as being located on the east end of South Beach, which is incorrect.

The legislation also provides for the option of a hardened structure at the east end of South Beach. This has been discussed by our coastal engineer since at least the 2022 retreat (see slide 50 HERE or view presentation HERE) and was one of the options proposed (Option 5) by the engineering firm hired by the Shoals Club. Our coastal engineer noted that the permit feasibility for both the conversion of the sand tube groins and a structure at the east end of South Beach is questionable and currently not possible because of NC law. No definitive decision has been made to pursue a hardened structure for the east end of South Beach. The Village is still looking at all options and accepting feedback.

If the proposed legislation passes and the Village decides to pursue a hardened structure at the east end of South Beach, permitting will remain a hurdle.  Like the terminal groin (TG), it will take a minimum of 5 years to get from legislation to completion.

Here is a list of some of the items that will need to be accomplished:

  • The Village’s coastal engineer will have to perform an intensive model of the shoreline. For the TG this took 18 months, for this area, a minimum of 24 months will be needed.
  • NEPA/EIS process – This is the National Environmental Process Act and Environmental Impact Study process, the same process the Section 403 Harbor Deepening project is going through. This will take 18-24 months and will include public scoping meetings and public comment periods in which BHI Conservancy and all island stakeholders will be invited to participate.
  • IF a favorable “record of decision” is received, the Village will proceed with Corps/NC Division of Coastal Management CAMA permitting which would take 150 days. These permit applications go through a “clearing house” process in which various departments under NC Department of Environmental Quality will review (Marine Fisheries, Water Quality, Water Recreation & Shellfish, Turtle Coordinator, Wildlife Resources, US Fish & Wildlife, USACE – BHI Conservancy would be consulted).
  • After the EIS and before and during the permitting process financing would be discussed. GO Bond and LGC approval process would be initiated if necessary which would provide an additional opportunity for public input (bond referendum & election).

As recommended by the BHI Conservancy, the Village plans to see how the 2025 CDSR project sand placement performs on the east end of South Beach. It will continue to review its coastal engineer’s beach profile surveys and monitoring reports and keep the public informed on the recommendations that are made to protect the shoreline for all.

Tips for Hot Weather

The National Weather Service Wilmington office announced another hot day today with highs averaging 10-15 degrees above normal!  Please take proper precautions for yourself and your pets if you’re going to be outside for extended periods.

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take frequent breaks inside or in the shade
  • Wear light, loose-fitted clothing
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity
  • Check on your neighbors.

More tips on how to beat the heat can be found here.

Hurricane Season is Here!

NOAA has forecast an above-normal hurricane season this year, but remember, it only takes one storm in our area to make it an impactful season. 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. Determine how you are going to communicate with your family during a storm. The Village strongly recommends evacuating over sticking it out through a storm.

Sign up for CodeRED via text or online HERE. Please do so before July 3 so you receive the Village’s test message.

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 be performing a test of the CodeRED notification system on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. All Islanders who are signed up will receive a message on all of their forms of contact to test that the system is working.

Some folks may be signed up for Brunswick County’s notification system which is called ReadyBrunswick and is served by a company called Everbridge.  It is okay to sign up for both, but to receive alerts directly from the Village you will need to sign up for CodeRED which is served by a company called OnSolve.

Please visit us at the hurricane preparedness booth this Friday (6/28) on Public Safety Day if you have any questions.  We will be at Marina Park from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Visitor Information

The Village occasionally hears from Islanders about visitors and guests not following the rules on the island, not respecting and valuing its natural beauty and wildlife, and exhibiting unsafe behavior. The Village communicates many of these messages via our Village’s Voice, social media channels, and bulletin board.  We also produce a palm card/flyer that can be provided to your visitors and guests.  Those can be found electronically HERE and HERE and the palm cards are available at Village Hall.  You can help us by sharing this information and our social media channels. 


Public Safety Day

Join us this Friday, June 28 for Public Safety Day!  We will be at Marina Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our Department of Public Safety’s apparatus and equipment will be on display, there will be activities for kids, and educational information including a hurricane preparedness booth.  We have also invited the Southport Fire Department, Airlink helicopter, the U.S. Coast Guard, Oak Island Water Rescue, Marine Fisheries, and NC Wildlife to join us to show everyone their stuff! The Public Service Auxiliary will be serving free food, donations will be appreciated (Venmo @BHI-PSA1).

Join us this Friday!

Independence Day

Village offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4, 2024, in observance of Independence Day. This includes the Island Package Center and Post Office and Public Safety administration.  If you need a Public Safety Officer to come to you, please call 911.  Please remind our visitors and guests that fireworks are prohibited on Bald Head Island.  You can register your golf cart for Old Baldy Foundation’s 4th of July Golf Cart Parade HERE. The Southport fireworks are usually visible from West Beach. Those are scheduled for Thursday, July 4, at 9:00 p.m.  HERE is some information on other Fourth of July fireworks in the area.

Duke Energy Siren Test

Duke Energy will be testing outdoor warning sirens around the Brunswick Nuclear Plant on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.  The test will be a full-volume 5-30 second test. No public action is required.

For more information about the outdoor warning sirens, customers can refer to the information available on this website HERE.

Next Regular Council Meeting

The next regular Village Council Meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 19, 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.

Dosher Clinic

Dosher Clinic is now seeing patients at the Department of Public Safety for the 2024 peak season.  It will be operating through August 29, 2024, on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The clinic provides telehealth services, and a medical assistant or nurse is on the island to support the patient and telemedicine cart.   For more information, please view our webpage 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.  The assessment is about 3/4 complete.  They had paused this work for the end of the year inventory and should be back out after July 1 to finish up.  For more information, read our Lead & Copper Rule Fact Sheet HERE.

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.

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