Dare’s commissioners make decisions on several projects

Published 8:38 am Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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Dare County’s Board of Commissioners touched on two controversial projects.

On Feb. 6, Dare’s commissioners agreed to a three party right of way encroachment agreement between NCDOT, Dare County’s Water Department and the Old North End Subdivision. The agreement allows the subdivision to encroach on the NCDOT right-of-way by installing two six-inch diameter watermain connections to an existing eight-inch diameter water main along western extents of Airport Road on Roanoke Island.

The Old North End Subdivision will use just at 25 acres along Airport Road to create a 56-lot subdivision, the largest in many years. The development proposal has drawn complaints from neighboring residents.

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In another action involving the water department, the commissioners authorized signing an agreement with NCDOT for replacing the water line on Bridge No. 8 over Slash Creek in Hatteras village.

NCDOT will engineer and the construct the replacement line as part of the overall project. The work will be done at the expense of NCDOT.

According to NCDOT letter, the Slash Creek Bridge replacement project is expected to be bid out July 18, 2023, with construction starting Sept. 25, 2023.

At a meeting about the bridge project, residents in Hatteras village objected to the project as designed.

The Monarch Beach Club of Dare leases a portion of a space located at 715 N. Hwy 64/264 in Manteo. The commissioners authorized a lease renewal agreement for three years. The building located at 715 N. Hwy 64/264 and is commonly known as “the old Kellogg Supply building.” The lease is for 3,600 square feet together with adjacent parking and signage. The purpose is for a day activity program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. No dollar amount is attached to the lease.

On the recommendation of the board’s audit committee, the commissioners approved a four-year renewal of the county’s audit services with Potter & Company at an annual increase of 3%. The contract for the first year is $72,100, a 3% increase from fiscal year 2022. Commissioner Rob Ross, who is the chairman of the Audit Committee, was authorized to sign the contract.

As the result of a compliance and proficiency review by NCDOT, Dare County is required to update its financial polices related to federal awards and its travel policy.

Three financial policy updates were required. First, “the grant manager will comply with the Cost Allowability for Charges Against Federal Awards Policy section.” Next, after deleting a section, adding “the County will comply with 2 CFR Part 200.305 of the Code of Federal Regulations regarding the timely distribution of Federal funds as it relates to payments made by the County for which Federal funds will be used and expended.” The last financial policy regards inserting a policy section on cost allowability.

The travel policy update required this insertion: “When using grant funding for travel expenses, County employees shall comply with granting agency travel reimbursement policies.”

Dare County commissioners unanimously supported a resolution urging “the adequate and timely increase of the salaries of juvenile facility and court service staff across the State of North Carolina to make those positions competitive and to ensure qualified staff are compensated adequately for years of experience for the purposes of retention, as well as lay the groundwork for recruitment of qualified staff for youth facilities which will ensure the immediate and ongoing protection of the community and strengthen rehabilitative services for those juveniles most in need.”

As explained in the resolution, the staff in juvenile facilities have been passed over for step-pay plan and compression relief. Step pay and compression relief for Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention facility staff and court services staff were removed from the state’s budget prior to final approval while adult corrections staff received increases, states the resolution.

Two capital project ordinances were approved by the commissioners.

One ordinance set up the budget for the $200,000 from a Tourism Impact Grant approved by the Dare County Tourism Board for matching funds for the Frisco-Buxton Pathway project. The Tourism Board has approved another $200,000 for matching funds for the project bringing agency’s total contribution to $400,000.

County manager Robert L. Outten was authorized to sign the contract with the Tourism Board.

The second ordinance created a budget for a $200,000 grant from the Division of Water Resources awarded to Dare County for improvements to the boardwalk at the Event Site in Nags Head. The county has already entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Tourism Board for this project. Outten will also sign this contract with the Department of Environmental Quality.

During commissioner comments, commissioner Steve House explained a situation with the Colington Volunteer Fire Department, which asked for funding for a LUCAS chest compression system. The device performs automatic CPR compressions. The commissioners agreed to spend $20,689.37 to purchase the device in case Emergency Medical Services cannot get through flooding along Colington Road.

Commissioner Wally Overman brought a resolution to the commissioners about revising and expanding the state’s Good Samaritan Law (GS 90-96.2). The original resolution was adopted in 2013 and was cited as one of the best in the nation – it has saved lives. New substances which pose threats are not specifically designated and are not covered by the law. “People are still too often deterred from calling for help at the scene of an overdose if they fear arrest and prosecution …”

The resolution asks the General Assembly “to urgently consider revising and expanding the Good Samaritan Law to include a broader spectrum of substance-related threats to out citizenry as a matter of public safety …”