Manteo commissioners hear requests

Published 1:50 pm Thursday, May 18, 2023

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Manteo commissioners received two requests from citizens at the May 3, 2023 regular meeting.

Robert Keeney requested that the town set up a work group about the public boardwalk and easement associated with Marshes Light.

The boardwalk to the net shed is seamless, though a portion is actually the responsibility of the homeowners under the special use permit granted the development.

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In his presentation, Keeney said the public amenity is enjoyed by visitors and residents. Adults and children use the facility for access to sailing classes, fishing, exercise and strolling. The town docks its boats at the Marshes Light boardwalk. Special events bring lots of people to the boardwalk.

For Marshes Light homeowners, Keeney described three issues:

– The homeowners are fully liable for accidents and injuries.

– The homeowners are solely responsible for reconstruction of the public boardwalk. The developer has declined to contribute funds for maintenance. Homeowners could face reconstruction costs up to $1 million.

– Marshes Light cannot access grants from Federal Emergency Management Agency, even though the boardwalk is defined as public use.

Keeney said the developer and homeowners agree with the donation, which is about 50% of the total Marshes Light public boardwalk.

After Keeney’s presentation, Susan Ehart said the homeowners association has already spent $20,000 for repairs and maintenance. She presented a petition.

Mayor Bobby Owens responded, “We’re well aware of the situation.”

Commissioner Sherry Wickstrom said, “This is something we really need to take a look at.”

Owens said, “I personally think you have an excellent idea.”

During public comment, Philip Spinella, of Ron and Phil’s Body Shop, came to talk about stormwater. Specifically, he said stormwater doesn’t drain down Burnside Road like it is supposed to do. A culvert is collapsed behind the Dare County Library. “It’s a ditch to nowhere.”

The meeting opened with a presentation from Manteo Police Investigator Tony Corbin about North Carolina State University’s Administrative Officers Management Program.

Corbin graduated on April 14 with good grades, reported town manager Melissa Dickerson.

The program was started in 1989 and Corbin’s class was the 95th. The program features five three-credit courses over 12 weeks and covers subjects like research methods, managing police organizational behavior, public administration for police supervisors, constitutional and legal principles for police supervisors and special topics in public administration.

Commissioner Eddie Mann said the program is highly selective. Corbin had to be recommended by the department and the administration to attend the course. Mann congratulated Corbin and praised his achievement was “very admirable.” Corbin received loud applause.

Under new business, the commissioners:

– Proclaimed National Public Works Week, which runs from May 21 through May 27, 2023;

– Proclaimed Municipal Clerk Week, which ran from April 30 to May 6;

– Appointed Yvonne Farmer to the Mainstreet Advisory Board.