Capital improvements among items to be discussed by Dare commissioners

Published 7:57 pm Monday, September 5, 2022

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Dare County Board of Commissioners embarks on a once-a-month meeting schedule on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

The agenda for Tuesday includes 19 agenda items and 18 consent agenda items.

The commissioners will consider four proclamations, hold a hearing on closing Seagull St. in Rodanthe, appoint a deputy tax collector, hear a presentation on a Rogallo Museum and take up a request for matching funds from the Dare County Tourism Board.

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The meeting starts with Chairman Robert L. Woodard providing an update, presenting service pins and naming an employee of the month.

Notable among the items is the Capital Improvements Planning Committee recommendation about EMS stations, Public Works on Roanoke Island and in Buxton, Parks and Recreation facilities and the new Youth Center in Manteo.

On Tuesday, August 30, 2022, the Capital Improvements Planning Committee met with Oakley Collier Architects. Tim Oakley made the presentations.

In the agenda book are renderings for some of the emergency medical stations. The firm is recommending similar exterior treatments and colors for all buildings to clearly identify the structures as Dare County facilities. That design is seen in the rendering for the EMS station in Southern Shores.

The Southern Shores and Kill Devil Hills EMS stations along with a new helicopter hanger are in Phase 1, which is estimated to cost $36,305,256. Limited obligation bonds will be issued.

The Kill Devil Hills station is shared with the Town of Kill Devil Hills. Dare County will own the project and the Town of Kill Devil Hills will lease its space which will, over years, pay back the town’s portion of construction costs.

The floor plan for the Dare Medflight hanger flashed on the screen at the committee meeting. Oakley explained the plan, pointing out another bay for a second helicopter. Committee members laughed and said no. However, the county’s new helicopter requires space for repairs and a larger inventory of parts. The members seemed resigned to the second bay to accommodate the needs of the existing helicopter.

In Phase 2, the plan is to address EMS stations in Manteo (Station 2), Frisco/Buxton (Station 3) and Manns Harbor (Station 8) as well as the new Manteo Youth Center. This phase totals $9,002,097 with Manteo at $1.4 million, Frisco/Buxton at $1.38 million and Manns Harbor at $4.6 million and the youth center, which will be a new building on the grounds of the old Masonic Lodge. The cost for the center estimated at $1.7 million.

EMS stations in Rodanthe and in Kitty Hawk are assigned to Phase 3 as partners are not ready to proceed.

Two of Dare County’s Public Works facilities are totally reworked. Site plans are in the agenda packet.

For the Public Works facility on Roanoke Island, construction would proceed in phases. The site plan calls for separating the recycling public from all the other uses on the site. Currently, the public wanders around to find recycling and brush piles. The construction estimate for this project is $29,240,171.

In Buxton, the transfer station off Buxton Back Road needs to be made compliant with North Carolina’s Division of Water Quality rules. A placeholder of $1 million is indicated.

The Parks and Recreation plan was the last to come under review. The plan reports on the status of existing facilities and provides additional construction for new demands.

Initially, the projections for Parks and Recreation priorities came to $36,045,963. However, the commissioners had already made a decision not to provide artificial turf for soccer fields costing $5,577,000. And the committee quickly eliminated a new gym for the Lions Club site on Roanoke Island. Those two deductions reduced the total to $23,870,313 which is recommended by the committee. The Parks and Recreation plan will not be implemented until 2028 and the calculated price escalation is $28,682,245.

In addition, the adjustments to the total were needed to make financing payback work.

At the Kill Devil Hills Youth Center, new construction is estimated to cost $3.1 million and with remodeling and additional parking added, the plan calls for spending $11.9 million at this location. The building was constructed in 1989.

At the Lions Club, some new construction will wrap around a portion of the existing building, which was constructed in 1999. Renovations and improvements are estimated to cost $3,922,375.

Providing pickleball courts is priority four on the plan list. A pair of courts is estimated to cost $453,600. Committee members indicated that land for courts was not an issue.

For the Fessenden Center, the plan proposes basic repairs at $2,966,225 and program upgrades at $2,035,500.

The Baum Center, like the Fessenden Center, will have basic repairs at $2,200,774 and program upgrades at $392,645.