Dare Housing Task Force moves forward

Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2024

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On Tuesday, April 30, 2024, the Dare County Housing Task Force moved forward, electing a chair and vice chair and setting up committees.

Elected chair by a resounding voice vote was Donna Creef, retired Dare County planning director and now government affairs director for the Outer Banks Association of Realtors. She was nominated by Mitchell Bateman.

And elected vice chair was Malcolm Fearing, who is currently heading up the community-based Manteo Healthcare Task Force. He was nominated by Duke Geraghty.

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The election signaled the start of a community task force.

Also attending the meeting online were N.C. Rep. Keith Kidwell and N.C. Senator Norman Sanderson.

At the March meeting, the task force asked for a letter to be sent to the area’s representatives in the legislature asking that Section 24.8 of next fiscal year’s budget bill be deleted. This is the section that stripped away regulatory powers from Dare County’s incorporated towns.

At that meeting, Sen. Bobby Hanig said he had drafted a technical amendment to the budget bill to do just that.

The committee decided to asked the Dare County Board of Commissioners to put on hold sending the $35 million for building housing back to the legislature so the new committee could have the opportunity to provide a plan for using the money. The motion made by Bateman was unanimously adopted.

Sanderson warned task force members, “you’ve got to stay as close as possible to the intent” of the existing legislation.”

Creef moved to set up a couple of committees.

One committee will answer the question: what’s in the plan? Appointed to that committee led by Creef are Carol Warnecki, Matt Neal, Mike Siers, Betty Selby, Ron Payne, Tess Judge and Ryan Lang.

A second committee will investigate non-profits, which are involved in housing. On that committee are Bateman, Geraghty, Jeff Schwartzenberg, Ronnie Sloan and Melissa Dickerson.

Other committees such as community outreach and regulations will come later.

The housing committee will meet Tuesdays, May 14 and May 28, 2024.