Dare commissioners approve new salaries, tourism grants

Published 9:24 am Saturday, November 12, 2022

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Dare County Board of Commissioners adopted compensation and classification recommendations for employees as presented by Evergreen Solutions, LLC in a special meeting Oct. 27, 2022.

New salaries will begin Jan. 1, 2023.

The commissioners authorized transferring $562,242 to cover additional salary expense in the general fund for the current fiscal year.

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The move commits the board to $2,323,078 for next fiscal year and going forward, said Robert L. Outten, county manager.

Employees of six additional funds are also included in the salary and classification moves. Those funds are C&D landfill, sanitation, water, insurance, fleet maintenance and Dare County Airport Authority.

Included in the Evergreen Solutions recommendations is a move to 21 grades, a reduction from the current 34 grades.

How the plan will be rolled out to employees is forthcoming. In 2021, Dare County reported 761 employees and was the largest employer in the county.

The commissioners granted consent for the Dare County Tourism Board to spend $908,595 from the Tourism Board’s Restricted Fund.

Eight projects are funded in the 2022 round of Tourism Impact Grants. Five projects partially fund pathways:

– Frisco-Buxton pathway, $200,000 for match of possible federal grant.

– Duck: Ocean Crest Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements, $78,000 of $110,128.68 needed.

– Kill Devil Hills: Sidewalk in front of Wright Brothers Memorial connecting existing sidewalk segments along U.S. 158 from the northern to southern end of the town, $177,000 of $424,980 needed.

– Outer Banks Forever for Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Pathway: construct a paved path from lighthouse entrance to lighthouse, $132,000 of $2,080,583 needed. Funding already secured totals $1,375,000.

–Town of Southern Shores: walking path from Ocean Blvd. to existing path at East Dogwood Trail, $150,000 of $328,415 needed.

Three other projects that will go forward with funding from the Tourism Board include:

– Southern Shores Civic Association for handicapped access ramp at walkover 96A Ocean Blvd. to beach, $25,000 of $37,235 needed.

– Nags Head: construct Whalebone Park universally accessible restrooms close to ADA parking, $112,000 of $150,000 needed.

– Outer Banks Forever: rebuild historic Weather Bureau signal tower, $34,595 of $37,095 needed.

Said Commissioner Danny Couch, “these TIG grants work.” He called the current grant lineup “a solid mix. Everybody wins.”