Assets, infrastructure maintenance primary focus of Nags Head budget

Published 8:19 am Tuesday, July 4, 2023

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Nags Head’s commissioners voted unanimously at their June 21, 2023 meeting to adopt the town’s fiscal year July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024 budget.

“Preparation for this balanced, fiscally responsible budget started two years ago when we began placing a greater focus on maintaining our assets and infrastructure as part of our strategic plan,” said Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon. “Two large projects, construction of our new Public Services complex, and replacement of our aging water meters with digital meters, total $19 million in expenses. The 4.25 cent tax increase included in this budget will largely be used to pay the debt service for these projects, and the 12.3% water rate increase will pay for the water fund portion of the debt service.”

For reference, a property with a tax value of $500,000 would realize an additional $212.50 per year, noted a Town of Nags Head press release. For the average water customer, the water rate increase would equal approximately $8 every two months. The Nags Head tax rate is currently 28.75 cents per $100 of assessed value; the proposed increase would bring the FY 24 tax rate to 33 cents per $100 of assessed value.

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Property owners can find the tax value for their properties at and can call the Town of Nags Head offices at 252-441-5508 if they need additional information.

“We appreciate our property owners understanding just how important these initiatives are to Nags Head,” Mayor Cahoon further said. “Aside from our beach nourishment projects, the new Public Services complex represents our greatest investment ever in infrastructure. As the operational hub of our largest department, this facility provides the most visible level of service to our town and visitors, impacting us all daily.”

Budget highlights, as noted by the Town of Nags Head, include:

  • No changes to the municipal service district or town-wide beach nourishment taxes.
  • Resurfacing of several sections of town streets.
  • Replacement of asbestos cement water lines.
  • Replacement of the Loggerhead public access beach walkover ($75,000).
  • Applications for grants to assist with constructing new sidewalks, a new walkover at Governor Street, an update to the town’s Stormwater Master Plan, and replacement of the pier and gazebo at the causeway sound public access.
  • Funding for the maintenance of the multi-use path on South Virginia Dare Trail ($260,000). Additionally, the Town of Nags Head has received a $650,000 grant that will also be used for repairs and improvements to this section of path.
  • Funding for continued path maintenance ($80,000), including bulkhead replacements along South Virginia Dare Trail and concrete path repairs in south Nags Head, adjacent to South Old Oregon Inlet Road.
  • Funding in the amount of $1,300,237 – part of a $2,957,961 North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality grant – will be used for a stormwater project to mitigate flooding along South Old Oregon Inlet Road.
  • Old Nags Head Place drainage infrastructure improvements are funded through a public-private partnership with additional grant assistance at a cost of $600,000.
  • Replacement of the Epstein bathhouse.
  • Replacement of vehicles, including sanitation trucks.
  • A 6.5% cost of living adjustment ($650,000) tied to the January 2023 Consumer Price Index.
  • An increase in career development and training funds and a 1% increase for the non-law enforcement officer 401k savings plan, bringing the town’s contribution to 5%, with no required match.
  • Two new police officer positions ($96,000 each) and funding for part-time firefighters ($24,000).
  • An increase in wages for ocean rescue staff from $16 per hour to $18 per hour and added incentives for guards to work later into August, including a $600 end-of-season bonus for lifeguards and a $1,000 end-of-season bonus for ocean rescue supervisors. Funding is also included for eight lifeguards from Labor Day through September 30, as well as maintaining two to three guards on patrol through October 31.

The budget can be viewed at