Dare commissioners have busy meeting

Published 5:34 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2022

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Dare County commissioners heard a plea for beach nourishment in Rodanthe.

At the commissioners Nov. 7 meeting, Trisha Midgett, a Realtor, asked that a task force be set up to work toward beach nourishment in Rodanthe and more immediate solutions for houses now endangered.

Also speaking at public comment, John Head thanked the county’s Planning Department for help saving a house. He reminded the commissioners that the S-curves just north of Rodanthe had beach nourishment under the McCrory administration.

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“It’s time again to readdress that,” said Head, who supported the request by Midgett.

In 2013, a beach nourishment feasibility study was done for Rodanthe and Buxton.

In other matters, no speakers appeared at the public hearing about allowing pet crematorium as an accessory use to kennels and pet grooming in the R-2B zoning district. The text amendment was unanimously approved by the board.

Board Chairman Robert Woodard reported he had visited the site and that neighbors were in full agreement.

The commissioners received a report from the Outer Banks SPCA about the now-underway feral cat program.

Bill Coleman, executive director of the animal shelter, said the program started Sept. 1, 2022 and that 135 cats had been altered. Total spent to date was $6,500. He listed numerous places where cats have been trapped and returned.

He said the program has stopped in Kill Devil Hills. As described by Coleman, a feral cat delivered by an animal control officer from Kill Devil Hills cannot be returned to the officer and will be euthanized, creating a conflict with the trap and release program.

“They are the judge and jury. We are the executioner,” said Coleman, who reported that the expectation is that an altered cat is returned to the place where it was picked up.

Non-profit groups are doing the labor, said Coleman. Oversight is provided by a four-person steering committee.

For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use $2.58 million to dredge Stumpy Point Range 1 to the Pamlico Sound, Dare County must provide a disposal site and associated costs. Dare’s commissioners approved applying to North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund for 75% of the total project cost of $835,000 to make improvements to an existing disposal site in Stumpy Point. Dare County is responsible for $208,750, which is already available in a budgeted item.

The Division of Water Resources of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality awarded three grants to Dare County for costs associated with “mitigating or remediating coastal storm damage to the ocean beaches and dune systems of the State.” The Department of Environmental Quality required a Resolution by the Board of Commissioners to accept funds, which was passed.

The Northern Dare County Multi-Town beach nourishment project was awarded $1 million.

The Avon beach nourishment project was awarded $5,576,639 and the Buxton project was awarded $1,557,607.

Under the consent agenda, the commissioners:

– Agreed that Sheriff Doug Doughtie may present Deputy Sheriff Sergeant Greg Padilla his service weapon upon his retirement effective Nov. 1, 2022.

– Approved a contract amendment for Carolina Complete Health Network Inc. to add additional tailored plans to the current contract. Approval supported insurance reimbursement for services rendered within tailored plans.

– Accepted the late applications for property tax exemption or exclusion from Devin Ortega for a disabled veteran exclusion and David S. Hopkins for an elderly exclusion and approved the 2022 property tax relief for both.

– Authorized the county manager to sign contracts with North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and WithersRavenel to work on Phase 3 of the North Carolina Resilient Coastal Communities program grant of $45,000. The funds will be used to design stormwater improvements in Hatteras village. WithersRavenel performed Phase 1 and 2 of the project. The board’s action included approving a budget amendment and a Mini-Brooks Act Exemption.

– Approved a budget amendment for a $250,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation for stormwater improvements in northern Roanoke Island.

– Approved Albemarle & Associates, LTD as the engineering firm for FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance grant for the elevation of houses in Dare County. FEMA will cover 75% of the costs and homeowners, 25%. The county manager was authorized to negotiate a contract.

The commissioners made the following appointments or reappointments to the indicated boards:

– Veterans Advisory Council: Anthony Imperiale

– Board of Equalization and Review: reappointed Nelson V. “Skip” Jones, Jonathan Waddill, Jeffrey Scott, Terry Gore and Charles Evans

– Special Motor Vehicle Valuation Review Board: reappointed Danny Couch, Dock Sawyer and David Light

– Older Adult Services Advisory Council: reappointed Mary Pendill and appointed Emily Gould to replace Melissa Turnage.

– Virginia S. Tillett Community Center Advisory Board: appointed Jennifer Phillips to complete the term of Samantha Lock. The center “also removes Pam Zaffra from the Board for not meeting attendance requirements and will appoint a replacement at a later date,” as reported in the commissioners agenda packet.

– Dare County Transportation Advisory Board: appointed Tiffanie Herring to fill the human services vacancy.

– Dare County Tourism Board: The commissioners made the following appointments:

Outer Banks Hotel/Motel Association: Tonia Cohen, general manager of the Ramada Plaza

Town of Duck: Monica Thibodeau

Town of Southern Shores: Leo L. Holland

Town of Manteo: Tod Clissold. The commissioners skipped over Ruth Stetson and Sherry Wickstrom, who were listed first and second.

Hatteras Island/Member at Large: Dennis Robinson.

Dare Board of Commissioners requested Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce submit three candidates for appointment. The board noted that Bambos Charalambous was eligible for reappointment. The chamber recommended, in order of preference, Richard Hess or Myra Ladd-Bone.