Dare County moves ahead on several programs and projects

Published 4:53 pm Thursday, July 7, 2022

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Dare County has moved forward on securing state funding for dredging in Oregon and Hatteras inlets and building a boardwalk.

Commissioners, at the request from Grants and Waterways administrator Barton Grover, approved, by resolution, a funding application to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality for $23,627 or 66.67% for construction administration services for Oregon Inlet and $73,694 or 75% for Hatteras Inlet.

Funding comes from the state’s Shallow Water Navigation Fund.

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The state’s Division of Water Resources has a grant program providing funding to local governments for water-based recreation projects.

Dare County’s Tourism Board wants to construction a boardwalk, boat slips, a gazebo and walkways to the sound at the Soundside Event Site in Nags Head.

Since the Tourism Board is not eligible to apply for the grant, it requested that Dare County submit a grant request for $200,000. If the award is granted, the Tourism Board will match the $200,000 and assume all obligations required of Dare County. The commissioners agreed, by resolution, at a regular meeting on June 20, 2022.

In another water-related item, Dare County received a grant in the amount of $498,691.60 for modifications to the Island H confined disposal facility near Wanchese. The modifications are needed in preparation for the upcoming Corps of Engineers pipeline project. Coastal Protection Engineering is slated to provide engineering, consulting and construction administrative services for the project.

Dare’s commissioner approved a budget amendment and authorized county manager Robert L. Outten to enter a contract with Coastal Protection Engineering.

Funding came from the county’s fund balance.

In another money move, the commissioners approved Barnhill Contracting Company as the preferred construction manager at risk for the emergency medical services and Masonic Lodge construction projects. Some EMS facilities will undergo renovation and three stations will be newly constructed. The former Masonic Lodge property in Manteo will be renovated to become the Roanoke Island Youth Center, an after-school program.

The Capital Improvements Planning Committee evaluated five request for qualification responses from construction management companies. Responses were received from Barnhill Contracting Company, AR Chesson Construction, Daniels & Daniels Construction, Skylar Design Build and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. The committee recommended Barnhill.

North Carolina’s E911 Board awarded the county additional funds for fiscal year 2023 to offset planned capital expenditures and equipment maintenance and repair costs. The commissioners approved a budget amendment allocating $269,666 in E911 funding.

In consent agenda items listed below, the commissioners:

– Approved reimbursement resolutions for fiscal year 2023 Capital Investment Fund budget, which includes $1,823,834 to be financed for the purchase of vehicles and equipment, and sanitation fund budget, which includes $2,243,880 to be financed for the purchase of public works equipment.

The commissioners adopted the resolutions thereby allowing the county to be reimbursed from the proceeds of the financings for those items that need to be purchased prior to the placement of the financings.

– Approved a Sanitation Fund capital outlay budget amendment of $23,129 to cover price increases between the budget and date intent to purchase was submitted.

– Increased fiscal year 2021 budget and estimate for fiscal year 2022 for Register of Deeds collections of the State Deeds of Trust Fees. Finance director David Clawson indicated that the original figures “may be low.” The budget numbers were increased by $100,000.

– Approved a public works capital outlay budget amendment within the Capital Projects Fund of $4,263 to cover price increases between the budget and date intent to purchase was submitted.

– Approved a budget amendment for GASB87, a new accounting standard for leases, which requires leases with a term exceeding 12 months to be treated as a financing transaction. The county approved two lease agreements for equipment: one for a dishwashing machine for the Detention Center and one for a digital wide format copier for Register of Deeds. This budget amendment, totaling $22,500, made the required appropriations should the equipment be delivered prior to June 30, 2022. Net effect on the budget is $0.

– Approved an agreement with NCDOT for the Colington Road water line upgrade to cover engineering cost of $497,500 for Dare County Water Department.

– Approved a payment card processing agreement with Tyler Technologies, Inc. to create a single merchant processor for point-of-sale and online activity and for the telephone system.

Advantages for the county include simplified workflow, more control and seamless integration with other accounting programs. The Tyler payment agreement provides a single portal for paying all types of county bills. The provider handles the entire payment process from start to finish with no redirect to a third party website to complete a payment.

The board appointed Jennifer Cromwell to the Fessenden Center Advisory Board.

The commissioners received an update about a website design for the county’s site. Implementation is expected by the end of the year.

Master Gardeners swelled the audience for the annual report of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, presented by extension director Tanya Lamo and staffers.

During public comment, Jayson Collier from Frisco came forward to share information about the bathroom and press box building at the Burrus Baseball Field in Buxton.

This spring and early summer, 135 children from 115 families played t-ball, 10 and under or 12 and under baseball.

In his letter, Collier wrote that the original group was no longer involved in the league or completing the project, which would include two fully functioned bathrooms.

At a site meeting April 14, Collier was told by county representatives four items needed to be completed to meet American with Disability Act code. More items were added, such as replacing windows and doors, eliminating rot, removing compromised framing, re-siding and painting exterior.

What was initially estimated at $20,000 increased to $70,000. Collier has personally put $13,980 into the project, which he asked to be reimbursed.

Outten responded that the project is years old. “We’ve got to do something.” He added “we haven’t agreed to reimburse anybody.” Outten said he had not received a price from the county’s facility staff.

Several property owners from northern Roanoke Island expressed displeasure at the approval of a subdivision called Old North End with 56 single family homes off Airport Road.

Malcolm Fearing rose to speak about “health care or lack thereof.” He referenced the letter received about Outer Banks Family Medicine – Manteo. He urged the commissioners to set up a task force as soon as possible.