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Motz presented with Lifesaving Recognition Award

The Wednesday, October 7 Nags Head Board of Commissioners meeting opened with a series of employee recognitions.

Leading off the session, police Officer Grady Edwards and human resources manager Stacey Reichler were welcomed as new town employees followed by police Officer Benjamin Jadoff, who was recognized for completing five years of service. Then, completing 15 years of service were Fire Captains Christopher Day, Wayne Kidd and Philip Wolfe along with police Sergeant Steven Anderson.

Fire Chief Randy Wells concluded the recognition session by presenting a special Lifesaving Recognition Award to Ocean Rescue Captain Chad Motz, who demonstrated commitment, character and compassion for human life on August 30 when, while off duty at the beach with his own family, Motz recognized that there were two men caught in a rip current and struggling. Wells said Motz entered the water with his personal paddle board, where he confirmed that one subject was okay and then attended to the second subject who was face down and exhausted. After several unsuccessful attempts to get the man on his paddle board, Motz stayed with the swimmer until help could arrive.

Moving on to action items on the day’s agenda, the board reviewed a site plan presentation by deputy planning director Kelly Wyatt with improvements for the Islington Street Beach Access. According to Wyatt, there will be an asphalt drive isle, 11 parking spaces, landscaping work and shower area in addition to a wooden walkway connecting to an existing one.

After a brief discussion on the need for improving the sight line there, board members gave unanimous approval to the site’s development plans.

Also gaining unanimous approval was the reappointment of Jeanne Kramer to the Personnel Grievance Panel.

Other business for the day included a discussion on several changes to camping provisions within the town code. Board members agreed that campers should only be used at a residence for up to seven consecutive days and no more than three weeks per year. Approval is to be tied to wastewater capacity of the site and while they may be parked on vacant lots they may not be used there. Planning and development director Michael Zehner said he would have a draft ordinance for board consideration at a future meeting.

During his reports, town attorney John Leidy advised that a federal court lawsuit against Dare County and all municipalities by Joseph and Linda Blackburn related to limited access to Dare County was dismissed by the court. The Blackburns have filed an appeal and the case will now go to the Court of Appeals.

In another report, deputy town manager Andy Garman also pointed out that the part-time Dowdy Park event coordinator position and the Farmers Markets has not been cut. During board discussion, it was mentioned that pandemic restrictions played a greater part in Dowdy Park access and the position is still included in the budget.

The board also reviewed a fire department five year strategic plan, an annual beach monitoring survey report, and an update from the Waste Reduction Task Force.

Other discussions included the need for a look at commercial lighting guidelines, Soundside Road Jockey’s Ridge access, the need for a better furniture  store definition, power  poles  on  US  158 and a jetty at Oregon Inlet that would help mitigate erosion at the south end of the town’s beach nourishment project.

Following a closed session to discuss legal issues with Leidy, the board recessed until 9 a.m. October 21 for a mid-year budget review workshop.

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