Dare commissioners move COA campus forward

Published 11:44 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2020

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The Dare County Board of Commissioners moved ahead with the new College of The Albemarle campus and made a slight change to Dare’s scholarship program for the community college.

The board unanimously approved the final design at its regularly scheduled meeting Nov. 2.

County manager Robert L. Outten told the board that the option presented would have some minor modifications, such as a less stark white, like ash; that bricks are a shade darker than the drawings; that the wall on the rear entrance would be lower; and that windows and downspouts may be dark. The building contains 36,000 square feet.

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Vice Chairman Wally Overman remarked “this new campus is going to be fantastic.”

At the behest of Outten, Dare County’s scholarship fund for Dare students was altered. Under current rules, a Dare County Schools graduate can qualify for the scholarship up to 16 months after graduation. The board extended that requirement to 24 months.

The board approved unanimously a guaranteed maximum price for the early site work at the new College of The Albemarle building. Barnhill Contracting opened bids on Oct. 27.

The estimate for subcontractor bids was $1,881,865. The low bid was $1,518,400.

The total guaranteed maximum price is $1,703,680, which is $418,806 under the total estimate.

The board authorized Outten to execute the Barnhill contract amendment with any changes he deems necessary and adopted an amendment to the capital project ordinance.

A hearing will be held on Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. about extending temporary measures for restaurants using outdoor areas and mobile food trucks. Planning director Donna Creef suggests extending the temporary rules one year to Dec. 31, 2021. The regulations are set to expire Dec. 31 this year.

The board held a public hearing at which no one spoke or emailed comments about Fiscal Year 2022 NCDOT transportation grants, which support the county’s transportation program.

For the 2022 year, Dare County is requesting $100,000 in federal operational grant funds for providing transportation to seniors and individuals with disabilities. Dare County provides a $50,000 match. Administrative expenses are listed at $150,569 for the grant with a $30,114 or 20% match.

Capital expenditures of $94,900 in grant funds and $18,980 in county matching funds will purchase a replacement wheelchair-equipped van and replacing the four-camera monitoring system in the county’s revenue vans.

The board adopted the required program resolution.

Dare County joins a statewide initiative in proclaiming November as Home Care, Palliative Care and Hospice Month. The commissioners passed a proclamation unanimously.

In the consent agenda, the commissioners:

– approved the minutes of the board meeting of Oct. 19, 2020.

– agreed to the request of Sheriff Doug Doughtie to transfer $15,000 from the sheriff’s sale of sheriff’s property to the expenditure line for the purchase of an explosives detection K9.

– adopted a resolution and approved a petition to include East Midgett Way, Waves, in the NCDOT state-maintained road system.

– approved the Dare County Transportation System Safety Plan. A draft System Safety Plan was presented to NCDOT last winter, states the agenda item explanation. Required NCDOT changes, and additional updates and changes recommended by Dare County staff, are included in the approved system safety plan.

Under commissioner business, commissioner Danny Couch attended the Friday, Oct. 30 evening vigil for those who perished in a structure fire at Cottages by the Cape in Buxton. He reported that 200 people attended the event at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Couch also said Dare County’s Waterways Commission will take a long-term look at the waterways for commercial and recreation use.

Overman reported on the Alligator River Bridge. The current bridge needs to be replaced due to repeated failures of the swing span. He said he received general support for the idea from Hyde, Tyrrell and Currituck counties. At the Oct. 21 meeting of the Albemarle Rural Planning Organization, Overman said that pursuing replacing would mean setting aside work on the four-lane project.

Overman also reported that Jack Bagwell, president of College of The Albemarle, will join the board of Coastal Studies Institute. The institute’s director Reide Corbett is moving ahead aggressively to set up undergraduate and graduate programs, reported Overman.

Commissioner Steve House thanked those agencies and people who responded to the Buxton fire: volunteer firefighters, sheriff deputies, the State Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Coast Guard investigators, Dare County fire marshal and Office of the State Fire Marshal. “All did a very professional job,” said House. House praised the Dare County community for coming together for the fire victims.

Commissioner Jim Tobin reported that at the Marine Industrial Park Authority meeting, interest was expressed in having The Landing School of Boat Building and Design of Arundel, Maine, at the industrial park, with students using classrooms at Dare’s College of The Albemarle campus and a facility at the industrial park for workshop areas.

Commissioner Rob Ross dressed in mourning black to acknowledge the deaths of those in the Buxton fire of Oct. 23.

He also mourned the passing of an institution, the free press. This is the second time that Ross has spoken recently at a meeting on how the national press responded or did not respond to an issue.

Next, Ross mourned the demise of Girl Scouts of America. The organization congratulated Amy Coney Barrett on becoming the fifth woman to be on the United States Supreme Court through a Twitter statement. The statement was immediately attacked, then deleted. The Girl Scouts “caved,” said Ross, also stating the Girl Scouts “failed the ideological purity test. I watched this with great sadness.”



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