Changes made to Dare capital improvement budget

Published 12:37 pm Monday, August 7, 2023

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Dare County’s Capital Improvement Plan Committee rearranged major capital improvements at its meeting July 20, 2023.

Generally, several projects are delayed.

Currently underway are a new Emergency Medical Services station in Southern Shores and a new hangar with crew quarters for Dare MedFlight. A partnership project is underway with Kill Devil Hills to build a Town of Kill Devil Hills Fire Station 14 and Dare County Emergency Medical Services Station 1.

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Slated for fiscal year 2025 are an EMS station expansion in Kitty Hawk for $10,100,000; work at the Manns Harbor Fire Department with the county’s EMS station for $9,313,672; and building a new Manteo Youth Center for $2,564,248.

In fiscal year 2026, the county is slated for a partnership agreement with Nags Head, combining fire department and EMS space and implementing plans for Public Works facilities in Manteo and in Buxton. The revised Public Works plan in Manteo will leave the facilities maintenance in its current location, reducing the total bill by $10 million to $31 million. The cost for upgrading the Buxton transfer station is $5,900,000.

The rearranged schedule has a phase IV with the note “pay go,” meaning pay cash.

Left in phase IV, without specific fiscal years, are the EMS buildings in Manteo at $4.2 million and Frisco at $2.4 million and new EMS facilities in partnership with Chicamacomico Banks Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, when it builds a new station in Rodanthe. That is estimated at $10.1 million.

Also in phase IV is work on the county’s Parks and Recreation facilities. The bill for that work is estimated at $27,682,245.

In discussing the changes, county manager Robert L. Outten said it’s possible as the county moves through projects in fiscal years 2024, 2025 and 2026 that some allocated project funding will not be needed and that surplus can be applied to Parks and Recreation projects.

The county capital improvements are funded by a land transfer tax, charged on real estate transactions. For this budget year, the estimated growth of the land transfer tax is one-quarter of one percent.

The committee also voted to approve the capital improvement plan for Dare County’s public schools. The Dare school board plan calls for spending $2,045,000. The county’s commitment is $1.86 million, $185,000 short of that called for in the Dare County Schools plan.