Dare County initiatives on housing, dredging and COA campus advance
Published 4:13 am Sunday, December 22, 2019
At year-end, Dare County’s Board of Commissioners made advances on three initiatives: essential housing, dredging and a new College of The Albemarle campus.
Meeting in Manteo Dec. 16, the commissioners agreed to contracts pushing ahead on housing, looking for dredge spoil sites and building the new campus.
For help with essential housing, the commissioners have turned to School of Government at University of North Carolina, which has a program titled Development Finance Initiative.
Phase I of the project is called Opportunity Site Identification. The initiative will carry out parcel analysis, site analysis and financial feasibility and then identify and prioritize key development sites. The selection will be based on market needs and the county’s public interests.
In Phase II, the county will select up to two sites and gain control if necessary. Program staffers will help the county in recruiting private developers to build the envisioned projects.
The cost is a reduced $85,300.
The project will be paid with court settlement funds. Dare County participated in lawsuits against USB AG. In 2005, Dare County executed four financial instruments with the corporation. All were terminated in 2011 with debt service savings of $1.28 million. The lawsuits alleged that USB AG manipulated interbank offering rates and London Interbank Offered Rates.
In the settlement for the first class action suit, Dare received $20,089. In the second suit brought by 41 state attorneys general, Dare County will receive $111,454.23. The commissioners approved releasing its ability to individually file suit against USB AG.
The settlement monies will pay for Phase I and II of the essential housing initiative, with the remainder will go to the budget’s contingency fund.
Looking ahead, the commissioners contracted to search for dredge spoil areas, which are a county responsibility when the Army Corps of Engineers dredges federal channels.
Ken Willson with APTIM was hired to develop a Dredge Material Management Plan.
Willson reported to the commissioners that the Army Corps of Engineers wants to budget dredging two federal channels. The first is Rollinson Channel, which comes out of Hatteras Harbor. This would be scheduled for 2021-2022.
As requested by the Dare County Waterways Commission, Dare commissioners approved a grant submission to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Shallow Draft Navigation Grant to assist with cost share for an area called Southern Dare County Channel Maintenance and Dredge Material Management Permitting Project. The purpose of the project is to provide the necessary spoil sites for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed federally funded dredge event in FY2022 for Rollinson Channel and to find additional spoil disposal sites. The cost for this contract is $163,790. The grant application will include $6,933 for in-kind contribution from the Dare County Waterways Administrator. Total project cost for the grant will be $170,723 with Dare County’s 33 percent contribution being no more than $49,969.
The second channel is for Manteo/Shallowbag Bay Interior Channels in 2022-2023. The project is dubbed the Central Dare County Channel Maintenance and Dredge Material Management Permitting project. Again, as requested by the Dare County Waterways Commission, the commissioners approved a grant submission to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Shallow Draft Navigation Grant to assist in the cost share. Total project cost for the grant will be $174,468 with Dare County’s 33 percent contribution being $51,217.18. This project includes the northern portion of the Shallowbag Bay channel as well as channels into Wanchese and Stumpy Point.
As to the College of The Albemarle campus project, the board approved a Construction Manager at Risk Contract with Barnhill Contracting Company to build the new campus and authorized county manager Robert L. Outten to execute the document. The board also adopted an amendment to a Capital Project Ordinance in the amount of $109,098 for a preconstruction services fee.
When queried about another project, Outten responded that he expected groundbreaking for the new animal shelter sometime in February.