Manteo board adopts new travel policy, discusses zoning

Published 7:32 am Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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Manteo’s Board of Commissioners adopted a new travel policy, discussed its zoning ordinance and changed the monthly meeting format. The board also received reports from department leaders at its meeting held Oct. 19, 2022.

The existing travel policy was created in 2004 and had “a lot of gray areas,” town manager Melissa Dickerson told the board. She started with the Nags Head policy and produced a five-page document.

The purpose of the new policy is to provide town departments, agencies, employees and officers with “a comprehensive reference for uniform interpretation of payment or reimbursement for travel expenses pertaining to official travel.”

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Employees or officials are “to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise …” Those town employees and officials are responsible for unauthorized costs and any additional expenses.

Detailed documentation is required for all town credit card use.

The new policy addresses transportation by town and personal vehicles as well as rental vehicles, which are “to be used as a last resort.”

The policy also addresses meals which “may be an eligible expense when a travel destination is located at least 35 miles from the employee’s normal job location.”

Reimbursement procedures are also spelled out.

The new policy was unanimously adopted.

The Salt Meadow Landing development quasi-judicial hearing was continued to Nov. 2, 2022. However, the expectation is that hearing will likely be set for another date.

In discussing the zoning ordinance, Mayor Bobby Owens said “we’re dealing with some antiquated laws that would not stand up in court.”

He flatly stated “we would lose in court.”

Delving into the zoning ordinance comes at a time when the town’s Planning Board has no active applications to consider.

Town attorney Ben Gallop said he would provide procedural perspectives and “to a certain extent, policy perspectives” during the revision.

The commissioners signaled various problems with the existing ordinance: language needs to be consistent; examine definitions; finish determining the wastewater capacity; deal with a feral cat ordinance.

The meeting format will change.

Effective December 2022, department reports will be delivered by email to the commissioners and department heads would attend meetings only as needed. Previously, the department leaders were attending the mid-month meeting in person.

Also effective December 2022, both the first Wednesday meeting and the third Wednesday meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Commissioner Tod Clissold commented that four to five parking spaces on Queen Elizabeth Street are lost due to striping. He also brought the board’s attention to the possibility of ferry service on the inner banks. “We’re centrally located. We look like a hub.”



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