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Manteo department leaders report on prior month’s activity

On July 21, Manteo’s Board of Commissioners gathered for a workshop, which featured the town’s staff presenting reports on June governmental activities.

Water and Sewer Department:

Manteo’s Josh O’Brien heads up the Water and Sewer Department. The town’s Annual Drinking Water Quality Report is now posted on the town’s website, manteonc.gov.

In his report, O’Brien wrote “the Wastewater Treatment Plant was compliant and free of violations for the month. The sewer collection system was free of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). The water distribution system was compliant and no violations occurred.”

In the first week of June, wastewater treatment plant maintenance was conducted including removal of 294,000 gallons of stabilized sludge by a contractor.

In June, the department’s staff installed two new house meters, replaced one meter, repaired one meter box, one radio unit and a meter leak, addressed 15 meter troubleshooting events, reread 30 meters and responded to 45 service location requests.

For sewer work, staffers installed two new connections, repaired two connections, made three vac-truck hauls, cleared three lateral blockages, cleaned and inspected 1,125 feet of main, inspected 16 manholes, responded to 45 service location requests, repaired a lift station pump, replaced a lift station control and made four road patches.

Information Technology:

Carl Woody heads this department for Manteo. In June, wifi was installed in the Town Common and an interactive town map was posted to help citizens identify the town’s boundaries.

Manteo will be installing interactive kiosks at three town museums: Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, the Pea Island Cookhouse and Maritime Museum. Over 200 audio and image files have been received from the Outer Banks History Center. The three kiosks have been purchased.

Maritime Museum and Marina:

Barry Wickre heads these operations.

A youth sailing camp started its 21st season Monday, June 14.

Upcoming events promoted by the department are Annual Summer One Design Regatta on July 31; the annual Kids Fishing Tournament on Aug. 14; and the Wooden Boat Show set for Oct. 30.

Volunteers worked 144 hours preparing for the sailing camp, replacing a few damaged boardwalk planks and touching up paint on the lighthouse.

During June, 50 boats visited the town’s marina producing $14,000 in revenue. Average length of the boats was 41 feet. Average stay was six nights.

For the fiscal year, 388 boats visited the marina with an average stay of 4.5 nights.

Police Department:

Police Chief Vance Haskett reported three officers participated in training courses with topics such as RADAR/LIDAR instructor recertification, anti-bias policing, internet crimes against children and child death investigation.

The town’s K-9 Boscoe, with accompanying officer, completed four K-9 deployments to search for drugs on traffic stops, looked for drugs on two Dare County Sheriff’s Office cases and provided a K-9 demonstration for a church youth group.

Haskett reported eight traffic accidents and nine arrests for June. Town officers issued 30 citations, conducted 19 investigations, closing 15. Ordinance violations numbered 21 and warning tickets 14.

During discussion at the end of the July 21 workshop, Mayor Bobby Owens raised the topic of police salaries, wanting to know if Manteo’s law enforcement officers were paid adequately and comparably to the beach towns.

Commissioner Betty Selby said “we should be able to hold our own.”

Finance Department:

The town’s chief financial officer is Shannon Twiddy.

She reminded the board that the town’s budget for fiscal year 2021-22 has been adopted and the budget ordinance has been posted on the town website, manteonc.gov.

The department is closing out the fiscal year with the last quarter’s reports.

Preparations for the audit will take one to two months. The schedule calls for working with the auditor starting in August.

Public Works Department:

Frankie Woodley heads up the public works department, which removed and cleared the debris and vegetation from openings of culverts along the ditch on Agona Street Extended.

Sidewalk repairs included installing steel plated covers over drain outlets leading from Tranquil House Inn to Queen Elizabeth Avenue. To repair the sidewalk at the corner of Budleigh Street and Queen Elizabeth Avenue in front of the candy shop, bricks were removed; an arborist from Roanoke Island Tree Service removed the tree root that was growing under the sidewalk; and then bricks were placed back onto the sidewalk. Additionally, the public works crew ground down the edge of the sidewalk at the Cookhouse.

The crew painted the fence at the rain garden and trimmed hedges at Cartwright Park, Town Hall, the Maritime Museum and along E. Fernando Street.

Community and Economic Development Department:

Michele Bunce keeps up with diverse aspects of town operations.

She’s developing the Downtown Associate Community Program, collecting and organizing data.

Public relations duties include producing videos promoting Manteo, continually monitoring Facebook pages and other social media and processing requests for weddings, special events and facility use applications.

Planning Department:

Melissa Dickerson steers this part of the Town of Manteo government.

The Town of Manteo participates in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System. The town was up for a five year review and renewal. Dickerson reported a letter dated July 9 announced an improved rating for the town. The rating moved from a 7 to a 5. The new rating, effective Oct. 1, 2021, should result in a discount on flood insurance premiums.

The staff is working on Davis Lot improvement and a westside stormwater project.

At the July 21 meeting, the commissioners approved the use of town facilities for the

New World Festival of the Arts, scheduled for Aug.11 and 12. The event is run by the Dare County Arts Council.

The next meeting of the Manteo Board of Commissioners is Aug. 4, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

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