Dare’s commissioners receive reports on capital projects

Published 5:23 pm Thursday, October 10, 2019

Dare County Board of Commissioners moved ahead with three major projects, Monday, Oct. 7.

For the expansion of the Department of Health and Human Services Department campus, the commissioners selected A.R. Chesson, Williamston, as the contractor. The firm previously built the Dare County Center and has worked with the architects for the project, Oakley-Collier Architects.

The Capital Improvements Plan Committee recommended the board’s action that was unanimous.

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One project is over preliminary, place-saving costs estimates.

Robert L. Outten, Dare County manager, said the proposed animal shelter is “modest, no frills.” The original figure in the county’s improvement plan was $3 million. Whiting-Turner Contracting Company sent 35 percent completed plans to various contractors. The estimate is now $4.61 million.

Outten reported that the plans are now close to 65 percent complete. Bids will be solicited when plans are 100 percent completed.

The site for the animal shelter is across from Dare County’s Emergency Operations Center. The dog park will move to the front of the property adjacent to Airport Road. The new shelter will be built where the existing dog park is located. During construction, the dog park will be closed. The shelter’s architect reported that programming counts for the new shelter are 34 dogs and 128 cats. The previously reported estimates were incorrect.

Outten also presented the costs estimates for the new College of The Albemarle campus. Again, the original square footage estimate was calculated on space at the existing Twiford campus plus some for growth. Boomerang Designs now shows 36,500 square feet needed rather than the original 26,000 square feet. The estimated cost is $14.07 million.

As recommended by the improvements committee, the commissioners will instruct Boomerang Design to use the $14.07 million estimate, but include renovations for the Professional Arts Building within that total.

Funding is available for the three projects in the capital improvements fund. The projects will not require a tax increase, said Outten.

A Dare County School received a special recognition at the meeting.

A Cape Hatteras Secondary School program earned NOAA recognition as an Ocean Guardian School for meeting all the established criteria. In the first year, science teacher Clayton Tiderman led students in establishing a recycling program within the school. Students collected over 5,000 gallons of recyclable materials.

Shannon Ricles, education and outreach coordinator with the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, presented Tiderman and Cape Hatteras Secondary School’s principal Beth Rooks with the first year banner and a big check for $3,000 to continue the school recycling program and install a water refill station to cut down on the use of single use plastic bottles.

Also attending the presentation was chairman of the Dare County School Board Bea Basnight.

During public comment, Basnight thanked the county’s Board of Commissioners for agreement on funding school repairs. Damage at the Cape Hatteras Secondary School is estimated at $3.2 million. Because of the county’s agreement to fund repairs and be repaid with insurance and FEMA funds, Basnight said the school board was able to quickly issue a remediation and roof repair contracts.


Dorothy Hester has achieved the designation Master Public Information Officer, received from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute. The three-week course included classroom training and exercise. Additionally, Hester designed, developed and presented a research project. She used research results during Hurricane Dorian. Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy photo

Also at public comment in Manteo, Michael J. Hurt with DanCo Builders, Rocky Mount, introduced himself and the company, a full service general contracting team. He reported already working in Ocracoke. He’s looking for subcontractors.

Regarding Dorian Recovery, during commissioner comments, commissioner Ervin Bateman said Ocracoke “really got beat up . . . houses and jobs have been lost.” To work and help in Ocracoke, contact Hyde County Emergency Management Justin Gibbs, reported Outten.

Commissioner Danny Couch said about Hatteras, “we did get hit.” Couch said the help list stands at 463 families. Some 239 requests remain on the list. Hatteras Island has 50 homeless families, said Couch. “People are reaching out,” said the commissioner.

Dare’s commissioners formally waived building permit fees for those affected by Hurricane Dorian.

To process federal and state relief funding applications and receipts, the commissioners appointed David Clawson as primary agent and Sandy West as secondary agent.

The commissioners also agreed to allow the county’s information technology director Matt Hester to sign a legally binding agreement with Apple, Inc. to set up an enterprise development account. Such accounts allow the county to develop applications and then distribute throughout county offices or the public.



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