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Dare County to purchase Mako’s for future EMS station

Dare County commissioners will purchase Mako’s Beach Grille and Bar to facilitate building a new Emergency Medical Services station in Kill Devil Hills.

After a March 1 closed session for the commissioners, Dare County manager Robert L. Outten said the board agreed to purchase the building for $1.95 million. The property at 1630 N. Croatan Hwy. in Kill Devil Hills adjoins the town’s fire station and existing Emergency Medical Services building, which houses ambulance units and department offices.

The commissioners authorized Outten to conclude the transaction and find the funds. The transaction will be finalized in October 2021.

Replacing the existing Emergency Medical Services building has long been in the Capital Improvement Plan. A Dare County/Kill Devil Hills joint project is anticipated. The property totals 2.09 acres.

In the March 1 consent agenda, the commissioners agreed to six financial transactions:

– Adopted a budget amendment increasing the tipping fee expense account due to high 2020 occupancy in Dare County and to show increases in the tipping fee revenue account along with appropriated fund balance. Increased tipping fees cost $200,000. The expense is covered by $115,000 in tipping fees plus $85,000 from appropriated fund balance.

– Agreed to additional federal funds of $42,504 assigned to Low Income Energy Assistance at $34,125 and Crisis Intervention Program at $7,379 for the Department of Health and Human Services.

– Added $48,964 in additional CARES Act Help America Vote Act funds to the Elections Board budget. The docket items says “these funds may be used for a variety of purposes to improve the County’s voting and elections operations.”

– Approved the audit contract with Potter & Company and authorized Outten and commissioner Rob Ross, as chairman of the board’s Audit Committee, to sign the contract. The contract is for $68,750 at an increase of $920, or 1.4%. The county’s agreement with Potter & Company allows for an annual increase of up to 2.0%.

– Consented to award of $22,610 from the Tourism Board’s long-term unappropriated line item to Chicamacomico Historical Association to repair water damage to the floor and install historically correct “storm” doors on the 1874 Life-Saving Station.

The commissioners also approved, in the consent agenda, the 2021-22 budget for the Government-Education Access Channels. Ten different entities participate in these channels. Participants are Dare County, the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo, Dare County Schools, College of The Albemarle and Coastal Studies Institute – ECU.

Funding comes from North Carolina’s use tax on cable and satellite fees, which the 10 entities pool together. Estimated revenue from the use tax is $270,000 for next fiscal year. Each entity pays a $1,000 fee to participate. The budget calls for spending $94,025.55 from the organization’s fund balance. Total budget is $375,025.55.

Two full-time employees operate the channels. A local programming development initiative calls for $50,000 – each entity allocated $5,000 – to help members develop programming. The budget includes capital purchases of $75,000 for a new video server system to replace outdated equipment and equipment and service plans to allow for live streaming production capability.

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