Monthly reports delivered to Manteo commissioners

Published 8:04 am Monday, April 11, 2022

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At Manteo’s Board of Commissioners mid-month meetings, department heads report on the work accomplished or started during the preceding month.

At the Manteo waterfront, volunteers have been busy, reported Barry Wickre, who oversees the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum and the waterfront operations. A new bike rack was built and a guard rail around the new tide gauge on the lighthouse pier. A contractor completed a new stand for the pump at the town’s pump-out station. Five transient boats stayed at the Manteo docks for three-night stays. Spaces in the sailing camps are filling up, Wickre reported in mid-March.

For the Water and Sewer Department, Josh O’Brien, utilities superintendent, said the statistics showed a “nice mix of a lot of different things.” He started with the repair of a water main leak behind a fire hydrant at Queen Elizabeth Ave. and Fort Raleigh Rd. in the middle of the night in a snow storm. The main was only connected to the hydrant. The crew isolated the leak and made the repair the next day.

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The report for the water department shows two new house meters installed, three radio units repaired and one replaced, 15 meter rereads, two hydrant inspections and 38 service location requests.

On the sewer side of the department’s work, O’Brien reported two sewer connection repairs and a repair on a lift-station pump.

O’Brien talked about fats, oil, grease (FOG) and wipes as what not to flush. The East Hammock Pump Station was not operating properly, something identified on the town’s SCADA system that monitors the water and sewer systems. The pump was clogged with wipes and FOG.

To prevent clogs, backups and pump failures, don’t send fats, oils, grease and wipes into the town’s wastewater system. O’Brien indicated that flushable wipes are available. More information is available on the town’s website.

Manteo Mayor Bobby Owens asked O’Brien about the water quality in Shallowbag Bay. The town’s permits require testing. O’Brien told the board that his department grabs 3,000 samples per year. O’Brien reported the department has not had a permit violation in over 10 years.

Information Technology administrator Carl Woody started his presentation with cybersecurity training – navigating the app store. His messages were: malicious apps can get by screening, limit risk by removing unused apps and watch for red flags like few users and asking to install frequent updates. He announced six small videos, 30 seconds long, have been created for the virtual tour of the lighthouse. He showed one of the videos.

In February, Public Works employees installed a new changing station in the men’s restrooms at Magnolia Pavilion, assembled and installed signs for Shallowbag Bay lift station, replaced a section of fence, removed railroad tie, cut limbs and cleaned under Christmas tree, trimmed hedges and removed tree behind Tranquil House Inn and continued removing trash and debris along the causeway.

Under the Planning Department, now town manager Melissa Dickerson reported on the town’s comprehensive plan which has now been released for review and that the Davis lot construction is underway and other matters that came before the Planning Board.

Michele Bounce reported on the Downtown Association Community Program and special events training. The town’s market already had 40 applications to participate. The deadline is April 25. The market will run May 14 through Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In 2022, Dare Days is a three-day event running June 3, 4 and 5. On Friday, June 3, from 6 to 10 p.m., the new campus of College of The Albemarle will be open and First Friday takes place in at the waterfront. On Saturday June 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Roanoke Island Festival Park, music, vendors and lawn games will be offered. On Sunday, June 5, from 2 to 4 p.m., a gospel concert will be offered at the Pea Island Cookhouse on Sir Walter Raleigh Street.