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Nags Head previews $19 million operating budget  

Actions at the May 2 Nags Head Board of Commissioners meeting included an overview look at a 2018-19 recommended operating budget and a new bathhouse ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Presented as the second year of a two-year budget cycle, Town Manager Cliff Ogburn provided a PowerPoint summary of the recommended $19,062,987 budget, a $2.1 million increase over the previous budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 which runs from July 1 through June 30, 2019. 

Ogburn went on to say the recommended budget does represent a $2,727,221 decrease from the town’s fiscal 2018-2019 financial plan after a beach nourishment debt payment originally expected to be in June 2019 is now anticipated to be made in the fiscal 2019-2020 budget. 

Ogburn said there are other changes to the financial plan due to unfunded mandates, changes in board goals, as well as other unforeseen circumstances such as an increase in tipping fees and a necessary fire station roof repair. Included in the budget are funds to fill an existing full-time planning director position, add two new full-time public works positions, and add two new seasonal part-time positions. 

To cover the difference, Ogburn has proposed a one-cent tax increase which sets the ad valorem rate at $0.28. One cent in ad valorem generates $235,409 for the town. There are no recommended changes to the Municipal Service District tax rate of $0.175 nor the townwide $.027 rate for beach nourishment. 

A budget workshop is scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 9 in the Nags Head Town Hall Board Room and commissioners set a public hearing on the town manager’s proposed operating budget for the June 6 commissioners’ meeting. 

Another two-year budget cycle will begin again with the 2019-2020 fiscal year. 

Taking a break from the morning’s indoor session, the board recessed briefly and reconvened at the Bonnett Street Beach Access for a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

Following an extensive renovation that included a complete overhaul for the Bonnett Street Access and Bathhouse at 2919 South Virginia Dare Trail, commissioners and several town employees cut a ribbon as an official opening ceremony for the new structure. 

According to Mayor Ben Cahoon, the new building replaces one that was more than 30 years old with several modern features and a more convenient access to the beach. Barn doors provided added security and protection during storms and the volleyball court was also retained. 

The Bonnett Street public beach access is one of more than 40 within the Town of Nags Head.