Dare commissioners adopt resolutions

Published 7:54 am Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

For over 30 years, the Mid-Currituck Bridge has been talked about, planned and included in a state transportation plan.

On April 4, 2022, Dare County commissioners adopted a resolution reaffirming commitment to the Mid-Currituck Bridge project and advocating “for advancement of this crucial project and its continued inclusion as a funded project in the State Transportation Plan.”

The purpose of the bridge is to alleviate traffic delays along NC 12 and U.S. 158 for visitors and residents going north to Duck in Dare County and the Currituck County Outer Banks.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

The bridge would also substantially reduce hurricane evacuation time.

The resolution states that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina ruled in December 2021 that “NCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration have complied with all applicable federal laws and regulations in planning for the bridge;….”

Dare commissioners unanimously passed the resolution.

Another resolution was presented by commissioner Steve House.

This resolution advocates lifting the ban on gill net use above the ferry lines in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico rivers.

This fight has been going on since February 2019 when the Marine Fisheries Commission adopted Supplement A to the Striped Bass Fisheries Management Plan. The Marine Fisheries Commission asked then-director Steve Murphey to ban the use of gill nets above the ferry line in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico rivers.

Murphey refused. He stated in his letter that data shows that gill nets are not the primary or even “the most significant source of discard mortality,” reports the resolution.

The commission held an emergency meeting in March 2019 and voted 5-4 for the gill net prohibition.

Now, two years later, the Marine Fisheries Commission has adopted a draft Amendment 2 to the Estuarine Striped Bass Fisheries Management Plan that maintains the prohibition against gill net use in the two rivers.

In the unanimously adopted resolution, the board “strongly endorses lifting the ban on gill net use north of the ferry lines in the Neuse River and Tar-Pamlico River.”

The commissioners approved a contract with YoungWilliams, of Ridgeland, Miss., for child support enforcement. The firm has worked with Dare County since 2010. YoungWilliams manages full service child support projects in 15 North Carolina counties.

For the next five years, YoungWilliams will be paid 8.7% of the amount collected.

In the consent agenda, the commissioners

– Approved a Tourism Board’s request for four expenditures from the Short Term Restricted Fund line items for the July 4 Fireworks Grant awards in the following amounts: Avon Property Owners Association $15,000, Town of Kill Devil Hills, $12,200; Town of Manteo $15,300; Town of Nags Head $12,500.

– Increased the budgeted amount for tipping fees for residential and commercial garbage by $175,000. The action notes that in fiscal year 2021 tons collected increased 22%. Public Works director Shanna Fullmer indicates that this fiscal year is tracking as high as FY 2021.

– Approved a budget amendment for fines and forfeitures. The Fines and Forfeitures (Special Revenue) Fund was created during FY 2021 per state treasurer fiscal management requirement, reports Dave Clawson, finance director. Fines and forfeitures have increased 62% in 2022 over 2021 and penalties and interest delinquent tax payments increased $20,000. A budget amendment increases revenue from the court system and interest payments and increases the amount of those accounts sent to Dare County Schools in the amount of $270,000.

– Approved $40,000 to cover processing fees for payments made via e-check. “Finance is looking into options to reduce processing fee costs to the County in the upcoming budget year,” indicates the agenda item.

Under the county manager’s agenda, Robert L. Outten asked the commissioners to approve applying for a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant for the planned boardwalk at the Event Site in Nags Head. Only local governments can apply. The commissioners agreed to make the application.

Dorothy Hester, the county’s public information officer, introduced a video saluting people who volunteer in county programs. The video is now on the county’s website, darenc.com.

The board next meets Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 5 p.m., in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Dare County Administration Building, located at 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive in Manteo.