Dare waterways projects approved

Published 12:41 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023

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Dare County commissioners set in motion two waterways projects.

On Feb. 6, 2023, the commissioners agreed to sponsor work for dredging in Wanchese and in Avon.

Island H is to be used as the dredging spoil depository for a Wanchese Harbor project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Current work to elevate the berm has been completed, reported Barton Grover, grants and waterways administrator. In the course of that project, “pre-existing slope stability issues” were discovered. The issues need to be fixed before the harbor can be pipeline dredged. Additionally, the water control structure needs work. An estimated $500,000 is required for the work. Under a new contract, Dare would be responsible for $125,000. The resolution asks for the state to pick up $375,000.

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The commissioners also unanimously passed a resolution to sponsor a dredging project for Avon Harbor. This infrastructure project has numerous players.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has $1.6 million to dredge the harbor and the first mile of the channel. NCDOT has committed to get permits and nourish the soundside beach at Haulover and Kite Point, on the eroding soundside shoreline between Avon and Buxton. Dare County is responsible for paying for vibracore samples and trucking the sand from Avon Harbor to the soundside area. The National Park Service is also involved.

The county will apply for a shallow draft navigation grant for 75% of project cost. Dare would be responsible for $120,000.

Land available behind First Flight Middle and Elementary schools has long been sought for additional athletic fields.

Dare County commissioners agreed unanimously to enter a memorandum of understanding with the Dare County Board of Education about the use of the land. Some of the provisions are:

– The three First Flight schools have first priority as to use.

– School schedules as to use must be delivered at the start of school; the county has use at all times not scheduled by school activities.

– County will keep and maintain the fields, concession stands, bathrooms, if any, and the improvements on the fields; will mow and line fields appropriately if sufficient time is allowed prior to events.

– County is “authorized to make improvements, including, but not limited to, adding lights, bleachers, dugouts, storage facilities, fences, concession stands, irrigation, score boards, and other amenities for its recreation programs with prior approval of the BOE. County shall be responsible for all permits and approvals necessary for such improvements and for the costs of installation and maintenance of such improvements. County shall notify BOE before adding any such improvements to be certain there is no conflict with schools needs for fields or with any drainage plans or other plans or permits held by the schools.”

– Schools can use county improvements except for any new storage facilities; schools can use storage space in existing concession stand, which the schools can use during school events.

– After use, trash must be picked up, concession stand and equipment sanitized, and sports equipment stored properly.

– All use of fields must be supervised.

– Parking is only in paved lots.

– Term is five years.

The land will provide two full soccer fields and three-fourths of another one.