Manns Harbor asks for traffic help

Published 10:10 am Monday, February 19, 2024

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Manns Harbor citizens have a problem with vehicles speeding through an intersection, specifically the intersection with the western end of the Virginia Dare Bridge and Shipyard Road.

On Feb. 5, 2024, Robin Mann, president of the Manns Harbor Civic Association, presented a list of options to the commissioners. The options have been reviewed by NCDOT and Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie. “It was agreed that any or all of these options would be effective:”

– Installing message boards for eastbound and westbound lanes indicating “Slower Speeds Ahead.” A board that shows the vehicle’s speed with reminder about slower speed limit.

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– A flashing “Lower Speed Limits Ahead” on westbound lane railing on Virginia Dare Bridge.

– Lower posted speed from 40 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. “With strict enforcement from combined efforts with the Dare County Sheriff’s Office and the NC Highway Patrol, the message will so become abundantly clear that slower speeds through Manns Harbor will continue to be enforced,” states the letter to the commissioners.

– To enhance visibility, more frequent trimming of trees and shrubs on either side of the four-lane near the west end of the Virginia Dare Bridge.

Board Chairman Robert L. Woodard responded. “We will reach out to NCDOT.”

Regarding another street, the commissioners scheduled a public hearing about permanently closing an unimproved extension of the road known as Washington Street on Roanoke Island. The street is between First Street and North US 64/264 and north of Barlow. Both adjoining property owners, Michael R. Davenport and Edgar Mallory and Ruth Mallory, have requested the closure and will split the road area. The public hearing is set for Monday, March 4, 2024 at 9 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Dare County Administration Building in Manteo.

The commissioners made several appointments during the meeting:

– Land Transfer Tax Appeals Board. Councilman Dylan Tillett, as recommended by the Town of Kitty Hawk, was appointed to replace outgoing councilwoman Lynne McClean.

– Veterans Advisory Council. Lisa Lloyd was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Marsha Brown, who resigned effective Dec. 31, 2023.

– Older Adult Services Advisory Council. Commissioner Bea Basnight was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of Jim Tobin.

– Albemarle Commission. Reluctantly Woodard agreed to represent Dare County. Rob Ross was the previously appointee.

The commissioners appointed Susan Davis and Toni Midgett to the Firefighters Relief Board for the Stumpy Point Volunteer Fire Department.

At the request of commissioner Steve House, the board appointed Greg Mayer, captain of Feedin’ Frenzy, to the Oregon Inlet Task Force to fill the vacancy created by the death of Jim Tobin.

County manager Robert L. Outten brought issues to this meeting.

First, he advised the board, as he is required to do so by the budget ordinance, that he moved $250,020 from the building and grounds budget to pay for the work on the First Flight soccer fields.

“We’re concerned about the summer,” said Outten about the shortage of employees in sanitation. “We need some kind of solution soon.”

To contract trash pickup “doesn’t seem to be a good idea.” He listed faults with changing over to a contract hauler.

Outten said, despite the salary study, sanitation employees are still behind Nags Head $7,000 to $10,000 annually.

Outten suggested that Dare County salaries be raised at least 4% annually bringing the total needed annually to $235,000 and much less to finish out this fiscal year. The raise “makes us competitive. We do have overtime.”

Outten reported some success in hiring folks without CDLs and paying for employees to get a license. He also reported that employees in other departments have CDLs. In an emergency, the county can move those employees to sanitation.

Outten asked that a public hearing be held for a bond issue. The hearing will be scheduled for March 4, 2024.

For 20 years, a person has tried to build a house. He has not paid a new building permit fee because he does some kind of work on the structure. “I don’t think a year works,” said Outten. The commissioners agreed to set a 30-day period until a new permit fee kicks in.

After a closed door session, the board returned. Reporting for the board, Outten gave information on two decisions.

An occupancy tax issue was resolved. Working through attorneys Baker McKenzie, one of the world’s largest international law firms, the firm’s unnamed client will pay all back occupancy taxes owed.