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Cigarette butt clean up discussed in KDH

During the January 31 Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners meeting, town officials were given a lesson on learning by playing, adjusted the council’s monthly meeting schedule, voted to move forward with a Land Use Plan Update Citizen Participation Plan and approved three resolutions.

Among the items approved in a lengthy consent agenda, in response to a couple of schedule conflicts noted during a previous meeting, was a change to a previously published list of board meeting dates. As approved, council members agreed to change the July and August meeting dates to be on July 16 and August 22.

Other consent agenda items approved included January 8 meeting minutes, a reciprocal agreement with Dare County for building inspector services, scheduling a Nature’s Walk site plan modification for March 12, an adverse weather personnel policy amendment, a Teal Court water main extension project, nomination of Ike McRee to the NC Coastal Resources Advisory Council, a surplus property sales report, and record of grant funds for Glenmere and Ferris Avenue beach access work.

As the meeting began, Sue Kelly, chair of the town’s Community Appearance Commission, used the evening’s public comment session to advise board members that her group would be working on two important project in the coming months.

ALYSSA HANNON, president and founder of the Outer Banks Children at Play Museum in Kitty Hawk, was at the January 31 Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners meeting to say the interactive museum was designed to encourage families to learn and grow together through play and has become a valued educational resource for kids from zero to 16. (P. S. Ruckle Jr. photo)

Kelly said in addition to mounting a cigarette butt clean up campaign, members of the appearance commission are looking at options to counter the recent loss of a ban on plastic bag use.

She explained further that while cigarette butts have been included as part of previous Trash Attack clean ups, they are now being tackled as a topic of its own.

“We are on a major education track,” advised Kelly. “We’re working on a plan of action for  cigarette butts and our second project which is just as important to get people to use paper.”

Kelly went on to say commission members welcome public participation.

Although commission membership is limited to seven regular members, its members are not limited to outside resources for additional information and help.

Kelly closed her comments saying the commission meets 8:30 a.m. the fourth Thursday each month at Town Hall and although several meetings were dropped from the schedule last year, most have been added back for 2018. The next meeting is February 22 and is open to the public. Most meetings are completed by 10.

The next agenda item was a slide presentation from Alyssa Hannon, president and founder of the Outer Banks Children at Play Museum in Kitty Hawk.

Hannon, also a First Flight Middle School teacher, said she started the museum almost ten years ago in order to have a place for children to play and learn. Today the museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit run by a board of directors where kids from zero to 16 can learn through play in a safe environment.

She went on to say that in October 2012, the Museum was hit by Hurricane Sandy, leaving every exhibit submersed under 24 inches of water. Closed from that October until January 2013, it relocated to higher ground in the current  Buccaneer Walk location at 3810 North Croatan Highway.

“It’s a small, 2,500 square foot storefront property,” explained Hannon. “We have continued to expand our services to the community and gain members. In 2017 we had 175 families with annual membership with grants available to allow low income family to participate.”

According to the information presented, there were 15,100 visitors to the Outer Banks Children at Play Museum in 2017.

Hannon added also that it takes $8,500 per month to operate the museum with revenues generated from admission fees, memberships, grants and donations.

Under new business, board members reviewed a Citizen Participation Plan as part of a Land Use Plan Update.

Town documents show that the proposed plan was developed by Holland Consulting Planners along with town staff. Included in the plan are a number of Planning Board meetings, work sessions, a joint workshop with commissioners and development of an interactive website dedicated to the town’s Land Use Plan Update with several opportunities for public involvement.

After a short discussion with confirmation that results from a recent public survey would be made public, a motion to approve the land use citizen action plan passed on a unanimous 5-0 vote.

In other business for the night, commissioners sent options for calculating Workforce Multi-Family Housing Density Bonuses to the Planning Board for additional consideration and approval of resolutions presented by Mayor Sheila Davies.

The first resolution expressed disappointment in the state legislature’s repeal of a ban on plastic bags and a call for increased citizen awareness. The second resolution expressed opposition to any change in the definition for commercial fishing operations and a third resolution was in support of two victim rights bills in the NC General Assembly. All three passed with a unanimous vote of approval.

There was also a brief discussion on the announcement that off shore waters are again open for oil and gas exploration. The only North Carolina hearing on the issue is set for February 26 in Raleigh. A number of people are planning to attend and a bus has been chartered with tickets for those interested in attending for a show of support available at $10 each.

The next scheduled commissioner meeting is Monday, March 13, at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Building Meeting Room at 102 Town Hall Drive and is open to the public.

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