townhall-icon

01-14-14

Town of Holden Beach – BOC’s Regular Meeting
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments – Lou’s Views

1. Fiscal Year 2012 – 2013 Audit Report – Alan Thompson, Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams and Co.Auditor LogoAuditor’s report for fiscal year 2013 audit was presented. They issued an unqualified opinion – which is to say they gave the Town a clean report”, meaning that no problems were found, and everything is in very good shape. This is the second consecutive year that the audit report has not been completed and submitted to the Town on time. Both Commissioner Harrington and Commissioner Young questioned the timeliness of the report which is due by October 31st. Alan responded by stating that he had no excuse and was personally responsible. But in way of an explanation he stated the reason for the delay was that two of his staff had personal issues that resulted in significant time off, so it took a little longer than it should have. Mayor Holden pointed out that the Town has a low tax rate relative to the rest of the state and our collection rate was the highest it’s ever been.


2. Presentation by Jacob Vares of Cape Fear Council of Governments on Possible Application for Parks & Recreation Trust Fund Grant (PARTF)

 a. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 14-01, Resolution Supporting the Submittal of a Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Grant Application by the Town of Holden BeachPARFT logoThe North Carolina General Assembly established the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) on July 16, 1994 to fund improvements in the state’s park system, to fund grants for local governments and to increase the public’s access to the state’s beaches. The Parks and Recreation Authority, a nine-member appointed board, was also created to allocate funds from PARTF to the state parks and to the grants program for local governments.

PARTF is the primary source of funding to build and renovate facilities in the state parks as well as to buy land for new and existing parks. The PARTF program also provides dollar-for-dollar grants to local governments. Recipients use the grants to acquire land and/or to develop parks and recreational projects that serve the general public.

A portion of PARTF is the primary funding source for the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program. The program, administered by the Division of Coastal Management (DCM), offers matching grants to local governments throughout North Carolina’s twenty coastal counties.
Read more » click here
http://www.ncparks.gov/About/grants/partf_main.php

Town approved submitting application for grant for the Bridgeview Park. The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) provide dollar-for-dollar matching grants to local governments for parks and recreational projects to serve the public. The park will benefit the Town by giving its citizens more options for recreation. Estimated total cost of project is @$487,000. The grant is a fifty (50) percent match, making the PARTF grant and the Town each responsible for $243,500. Only caveat is that we need to do everything included in application and all the work must be completed within three (3) years.

The Town is attempting to optimize grant funds. Both grant applications (BIG / PARTF) include rest rooms which is the only overlap in the two grants. Any excess funds from these grants can be used either to enhance the site or can be used for the Town matching portion.

This is a breakdown of preliminary estimate of costs for the entire project:
Town portion –
$156,000         Stormwater control and bulkhead
$244,000         PARTF Grant
$338,000         Boat Infrastructure Grant
$738,000        Total project cost to the Town

Additional funding –
$40,000           Let’s Build a Playground Together –
HBPOA raised funds for playground equipment
$338,000        
Boat Infrastructure Grant (BIG) – matching funding for transient boaters
$244,000        
Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) matching funding for parks projects
$622,000        Total project cost additional funding

Bridgeview Park #2That makes the estimate of costs for the entire Bridgeview Park project approximately one million three hundred and sixty thousand dollars ($1,360,000).  

A decision was made – Approved submitting grant application


3. Police Report – Chief Wally Layne

Police PatchNeighborhood Watch – It’s that time of year

  • Need to look out for each other and report any suspicious activity
  • Call 911 if you see or hear anything suspicious
  • Fill out Keep Check Request Form if you will be out of town
  • Submit completed Property Registration Form
  • Pickup copy of Protecting Your Home


    Knock on wood – We are in our traditional break-in season and he has no bad news to report


4. Discussion and Possible Scheduling of a Date for a Planning Workshop

They want to address issues previously discussed but not acted on yet

Planning Workshop Meeting
At Town Hall on Tuesday, February 11th at 1:00pm
         •
Same day as BOC’s scheduled meeting
         •
Send the Board any suggestions or issues and concerns you want on the agenda

Town Department – Elected Officials
For more information »
click here
http://www.hbpoin.com/category/town/

Alan  Holden Mayor 842.606 holden@atthebeachnc.com
Ken Kyser Mayor Pro Tem 842.463 kensue@atmc.net
Sandy Miller  Commissioner 842.769 friend@atmc.net
Sheila Young Commissioner 846.188 syoung@atmc.net
Dennis Harrington Commissioner 842.359 dharrington003@ec.rr.com
Gina Martin Commissioner 842.904 rgobb@aol.com
       
Distribution List:      
holden@atthebeachnc.com; kensue@atmc.net;friend@atmc.net; 
syoung@atmc.net;dharrington003@ec.rr.com; rgobb@aol.com; 

Issues that I would like to see them address
     1) Infrastructure –
       a)
Reserves for major capital outlays
         •
Three major sectors – Water System / Sewer System / Roads & Sidewalks
     2)
Town Properties
       a)
Par Course – landscaping enhancements
       b)
Scotch Bonnet / Greensboro spoil area – develop site plan
     3)
Beach Strand –
       a)
Frontal dune policies
       b) S
ignage standardized
       c)
Access
       d)
Parking
       e)
Restrooms
     4)
General Management –
       a) Review e
mployee compensation package
       b)
Prohibit residential dwellings that are essentially hotels
       c)
Review Permitting procedures
       d)
Curbside Recycling Program
       e)
Review of Ordinances
     5) P
ublic Safety –
       a)
Public Health – critter control (mosquitoes, rats, snakes, deer)
       b)
Beach Patrol
       c)
Animals – owner responsibilities, ordinance compliance and enforcement
         •
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / 90.20
           a)
Dog’s need to be on a leash
           b)
Owner’s need to clean up after their animals (It’s their doody!)
       d)
Ordinance Compliance
         •
Disseminate information about regulations
         •
Effective ordinances well enforced
       e) Golf cart regulation
     6)
Misc.
       a)
Eye sore – removing the shrimp boat Southern Lady


5. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 14-02, BB&T Signature Card

Housekeeping item – update of signatories


6. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 14-03, Resolution Opposing Homeowners Policy Rate Hike

The proposed rates would result in financial hardship for the homeowners on Holden Beach. The Board passed the resolution in opposition of proposed homeowners policy rate increase. Commissioner Harrington strongly urged homeowners to e-mail their comments and concerns to 2014homeowners@ncdoi.gov prior to the January 31st deadline.

 Call to Action
Homeowners Insurance Rate Case 

The North Carolina Department of Insurance received a homeowner’s insurance rate filing from the North Carolina Rate Bureau in the late afternoon of Friday, January 3, 2014. The North Carolina Rate Bureau has requested increases in our area of up to 35%, with a requested effective date of August 1, 2014.

The Board of Commissioners will be considering a resolution urging the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner to deny the proposed increase at their January meeting. Please express your opposition to the proposed increase by submitting written public comments to 2014homeowners@ncdoi.gov. Comments will be accepted through January 31st. Click here to find further details from the Business Alliance for a Sound Economy.
Read more » click here
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=zwczazcab&v=001_7pdtf0NbxPiuCaPh8AAMLgLzhmPYsEX3LNDAoe_UWzsIZP2UIiK_98-X4WhwINuVL9R2vw87OTjTLn69s7SnL-ooomvEa_WKQ6WUe5NiVBiVRf6R5AyMv8J-8gjtAHe5iH3CVHwjRPhALIDT6SSlLREgrr9RyMAKVRQpqKT3hxrAkt7zM_pfA%3D%3D

Homeowners Insurance Policy - CRCompanies seek higher NC homeowners insurance
The group representing companies that provide homeowners insurance in North Carolina is seeking an average increase of more than 25 percent, a request the state insurance commissioner describes as appalling. Officials with the state Insurance Department said the N.C. Rate Bureau filed the request Friday. The bureau wants an effective date of Aug. 1. Insurance Department officials say the requested rate changes range from a decrease of almost 3 percent to an increase of more than 35 percent. They’ll review the request and determine what adjustments they believe are warranted. If the two sides don’t agree, then a public hearing will be held. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin says new homeowners insurance rates went into effect in July 2013 and he’s appalled more increases would be sought so soon.
Read more » click here
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/01/03/3938063/companies-seek-higher-nc-homeowners.html

Homeowner insurance rates in N.C. could jump up to 35 percent
Homeowner insurance rates in North Carolina could jump up to 35 percent, with coastal areas again being hit the hardest, under an industry request filed with the state Department of Insurance late Friday afternoon. The N.C. Rate Bureau, which represents all companies writing homeowners insurance in the state, requested a statewide average rate increase of 25.3 percent – varying by territory – with a requested effective date of August. The insurance companies also requested revisions to the current geographic rating territories. The filing will now be reviewed by the state to determine what, if any, rate adjustments are warranted. The state’s property owners just saw their insurance rates jump in July, with an average hike of 7 percent statewide. But coastal residents saw their insurance rates jump by nearly 20 percent in beach areas of Southeastern North Carolina. Insurance officials in the past have said that substantial rate increases are needed in coastal areas due to the potential for significant losses tied to a severe hurricane striking the region. Many coastal property owners already are dealing with rising insurance rates due to increases, sometime dramatic, in flood insurance costs. The price spikes stem from a federal law, called the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, that aims to recover losses to the government’s National Flood Insurance Program – largely from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – and to make the program financially sound
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20140103/ARTICLES/140109909/1177?p=all&tc=pgall#gsc.tab=0

NC insurers ask for homeowner policy rate hike
The North Carolina Department of Insurance says it has received a request by insurers that could mean big rate increases for homeowners policies across the state. NCDOI says late this afternoon the NC Rate Bureau, which represents all companies writing homeowners insurance in the state, requested a statewide average rate increase of 25.3 percent, varying by territory. The Rate Bureau requested the changes to go into effect Aug. 1. The requested rate changes range from -2.7 percent to +35 percent. The insurance companies have also requested revisions to the current geographic rating territories.
Read more » click here
http://www.wwaytv3.com/2014/01/03/nc-insurers-ask-for-homeowner-policy-rate-hike


Insurers seeking second rate increase say first one too small
North Carolina insurance companies are seeking hefty increases in homeowners premiums in part because they didn’t get what they needed the last time around, an insurance industry official said Monday. The last time North Carolina insurers went to state regulators for an increase they asked for 30 percent, but got an average 7 percent statewide. That went into effect last summer and was the fifth increase in homeowner insurance premiums granted by the state since 2002. Then on Friday, the N.C. Rate Bureau, an industry group that represents insurance companies in rate cases, went back to the N.C. Department of Insurance with a proposal seeking an average increase of up to 25.3 percent statewide. That proposal, which the industry would like to see take effect in August, includes an increase of up to 35 percent in parts of the three-county Wilmington area. The department can grant the proposal, deny it or approve a smaller increase.
On Monday, the Wilmington-based lobbying group Business Alliance for a Sound Economy (BASE) issued what it termed a call for action in trying to head off an increase in rates, urging the public to contact the insurance commissioner. The Department of Insurance also plans to hold a public comment session on the proposal Jan. 24. If Goodwin approves any increases, their effect locally will likely vary. That’s because the Rate Bureau’s filing also calls for creation of new insurance zone maps. The amount of an increase homeowners could see also would be determined by whether they have separate policies for wind and hail.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20140106/ARTICLES/140109828/1177?p=all&tc=pgall#gsc.tab=0

Brunswick County commissioners oppose homeowner insurance rate hike
Brunswick County hopes to present a united front in opposition to a proposed homeowner insurance rate hike of more than 25 percent. The state’s insurance companies filed the request with the N.C. Department of Insurance late last week. The proposal has set off a fire storm of criticism and concern, with many residents and officials noting that there have been five hikes in homeowners’ insurance premiums granted by the state since 2002.
The county commissioners said at their agenda meeting Wednesday that the hike is unwarranted and would hurt the area’s real estate and tourist economies. The commissioners, who plan to vote on the resolution at their Jan. 21 meeting, also have sent out a resolution to area municipalities seeking their support against the proposed hike.
In a statement after the industry filing late Friday afternoon, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said he was “appalled” by the industry’s request just six months after the latest homeowner rate hike went into effect.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20140108/ARTICLES/140109749/1177?p=all&tc=pgall#gsc.tab=0

Area groups plot opposition to proposed homeowner insurance increase
For area real estate and policy groups, it’s call-to-action time all over again. Soon after the N.C. Rate Bureau filed its latest case for increases on homeowner insurance Friday afternoon, objectors like the Wilmington-based Business Alliance for a Sound Economy (BASE) grouped to figure out how to muscle its members against the proposal. It’s been only six months since the last homeowner insurance base-rate increases, but the industry–represented by the Rate Bureau–has said they weren’t to an adequate level. What the state approved had calculated to $237 million less than insurance companies desired in policyholder payments.
The Rate Bureau is separate from the N.C. Department of Insurance. Created by statute, it represents all the insurance companies writing policies in North Carolina and, among its functions, recommends changes in insurance rates. It’s up to the state’s insurance commissioner to decide whether to grant any increases. Following review and negotiation, the commissioner may fully grant, deny or approve a limited version of what the bureau requested. A public hearing is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 24, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Jim Long Hearing Room of the Dobbs Building at 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh. In the meantime, until Jan. 31, anyone can submit written comments. They can be mailed to NCDOI, Attn: Bob Mack, Property & Casualty Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1201, or emailed to 2014homeowners@ncdoi.gov.
Read more » click here
http://portcitydaily.com/2014/01/07/area-groups-plot-opposition-to-proposed-homeowner-insurance-increase/


7. Resolution Authorizing the Town Manager to Draft a Letter to Senator Hagan, Senator Burr and Congressman McIntyre Opposing Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) and Requesting a Delay in its Implementation
*** Not on agenda so verbiage is what I understood to have been said

The Town is extremely concerned that the Act will financially impact home and business owners; devalue properties; discourage construction; hinder real estate sale transactions; …

Board is sending letter to request that our North Carolina Senators bring the bill to the floor and support the effort to delay implementation. Commissioner Harrington stated that Republican Senator Burr already indicated that he would not vote for a delay.

A decision was made – Town Manager drafting and sending letter

New Jersey Army National Guard aerial views shows the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coastPreviously reported -
Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12)
National Flood Insurance Program was passed to ensure flood insurance coverage
BW-12 puts into place significant reforms as a result of high losses incurred by the program
Intent of the Act is to make the program financially solvent
Reforms include dramatic and immediate changes
       a)
Section 205 – removes subsidized insurance rates
       b)
Section 207 – removes subsidies for any structures grandfathered
       c)
Substantial improvement threshold lowered from 50% to 30%

Bipartisan deal in Congress to delay flood insurance hike: sources
House and Senate members have reached a bipartisan agreement to delay by at least four years a flood insurance rate hike that would impact more than a million homeowners, according to congressional sources. The agreement would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to complete an affordability study before increasing future flood insurance premiums, according to a copy of the draft legislation obtained by Reuters.
Read more » click here
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/29/usa-flood-insurance-idUSL1N0II20I20131029

Prospects Dim for Bills to Delay Flood Insurance Rate Hikes
Efforts to delay implementation of changes in the federal flood insurance program have run into roadblocks on both sides of Capitol Hill. The leaders of the House Financial Services Committee say they are standing behind last year’s bipartisan legislation to put the flood insurance program on sounder financial footing even as the implementation of the law has sparked a chorus of complaints from constituents fearing spikes in premiums and plummeting home values. The flood insurance program collects $3.5 billion in premiums each year, but FEMA says $1.5 billion more is required from subsidized policyholders to put it on sound financial footing as required by last year’s changes. Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, didn’t attend Tuesday’s hearing, but a committee statement noted the “importance of implementing the … Flood Insurance Reform Act in order to protect taxpayers from having to continue bailing out” the flood insurance program.
Read more » click here
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2013/11/21/311913.htm


 8. Discussion and Possible Action on Elevation of Town Buildings

townhall-iconThe Town Government is concerned over a potential increase in cost of flood insurance for Town buildings. Town Hall is the only building potentially impacted and it was built to elevation requirements at the time of its construction. The rules have changed since then and there are no exemptions for municipalities. Planning & Inspections Director Tim Evans indicated that it is highly unlikely we will see significant change to mapping that was done in 2006. Therefore he did not feel it should be a major concern of ours.


9. Discussion and Possible Action on How to Measure 35′ Height Limit on Homes 


Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) is the computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood. Base Flood Elevations are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and on the flood profiles.
The elevations of structures are determined by the datum plane and how we determine ground level in reference to BFE.

Datum plane – Surveying the horizontal plane from which heights and depths are calculated

§ 157.006  DEFINITIONS.
GROUND LEVEL.  A measuring point per the following:
   (1) FEMA flood area “AE”: measuring point is minus 10 ft. from the base flood elevation.
   (2) FEMA flood area “VE”: measuring point is minus 8 ft. from the base flood elevation.
   (3) FEMA flood area “AE” and “VE”: where the minus 10 ft. and minus 8 ft. respectively from the base flood elevation is below undisturbed soil: measuring point is the lowest original soil under the structure after the undisturbed soil has been balanced.
   (4) FEMA flood area “X”: measuring point to be the lowest original soil under the structure after the undisturbed soil has been balanced.

§ 157.082  ADDITIONAL HEIGHT REGULATIONS.
  
(A) Except as provided herein the 35-foot height limitation for the primary structure shall not be violated.

Base Flood Elevation (BFE) was the point you start building from
Now it’s BFE plus one foot is the point you start building from
Island has thirty-five (35) foot height limitation restriction
Therefore it impacts the architectural design of any new construction

Planning & Inspections Director Tim Evans addressed the issue –
Other locations measure height differently than we do which affects our ability to compete against other islands for new construction. Height limitation negatively impacts architectural design causing a flatter roof line. For a change all parties appeared to be in agreement. To be clear we are not talking about changing the thirty-five (35) foot height limitation restriction but rather how we determine it. Recommendation was for us to begin talking about reevaluating the way we calculate the thirty-five (35) foot height limitation. A number of representatives from several construction companies were in attendance and they seemed pleased with the way Tim articulated their position.


10. 
Concert Management
Pavilion-holden-beach-HThe Town has agreed to do the scheduling of the events for the Concerts on the Coast Series. Live performances featuring local musical groups are held at the Holden Beach Pavilion, under the bridge, on Sunday evenings from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. The concerts are FREE of charge. Sponsored by the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association, previously scheduling had been handled by volunteers. The Town already picks-up the bulk of the cost of the concerts; we have now assumed event management too. The issue appeared to be regarding whether the Town Manager should have asked the Board before agreeing to do this. I’m not sure why, we pay the Town Manager to make those kinds of decisions. In this particular instance we have a Parks & Recreation Programs Coordinator Amanda Wiggins on our staff. The position is paid for from the BPART account. Frankly my question would have been why we weren’t already handling this. This is exactly the kind of activity the Parks & Recreation Programs Coordinator should be engaged in.

BPART Beach Preservation / Access & Recreation / Tourism Fund
At least two-thirds of the proceeds must be used to promote travel and tourism and the remainder must be used for tourist related purposes


11. Discussion and Possible Action on Vacancy on the Board of Adjustment

The purpose of Board of Adjustment (BOA) is to review variances to hardship presented in meeting the regulations of the Zoning Ordinance and any appeals to the Building Inspectors decisions.

Volunteers are needed to fill two vacancies on the Board of Adjustment. If you are a resident of the Town and interested in serving on the Board, please fill out and submit a resume form to heather@hbtownhall.com.


12. Discussion and Possible Executive Session to Consider Acquiring Accessways and Public Properties

The Town continues to look for property that can be used for additional access points and parking. Source of funding is the
Division of Coastal Management Access Grant to acquire land.

CAMA Sign - CRGrant Program for Local Governments
“Public purposes would be served by providing increased access to ocean beaches, public parking facilities or other related public uses.” — Coastal Area Management Act

The Division of Coastal Management awards about $1 million a year in matching grants to local governments for projects to improve pedestrian access to the state’s beaches and waterways. Funding for the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program comes from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.
Local governments may use access grants to construct low-cost public access facilities, including parking areas, restrooms, dune crossovers and piers. Projects range in size from small, local access areas to regional access sites with amenities such as large parking lots, bathrooms and picnic shelters. Towns and counties also may use the grants to replace aging access facilities. In addition, local governments can use the funds to help acquire land for access sites or to revitalize urban waterfronts.

The N.C. General Assembly established the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program in 1981 by amending CAMA to provide the matching grants to local governments for oceanfront beach access areas. In 1983, the legislature expanded the program to include estuarine beaches and waterways.
Read more » click here
http://dcm2.enr.state.nc.us/Access/about.html


13. Town Manager’s Report

Water Tower Site / Bridgeview Park 
Storm water plan application has been received and acknowledged

Lockwood Folly Inlet Crossing
Have memorandum of agreement which is good for five (5) years, projects will be determined as need arises. Town of Holden Beach is the first community attempting to piggyback on the Lockwood Folly Crossing maintenance contract.

House Bill 717, the shallow draft navigation bill was ratified on June 19th. It specifically directs DENR to utilize a long term memorandum of agreements with the Corps to dredge navigational channels and specifically to assist local governments to obtain general and individual permits.

The Army Corps of Engineers will begin maintenance dredging in March
It is a transportation and navigation project
Byproduct beach placement sand @50,000 yards
We plan to piggyback that project @100,000 yards at an estimated cost of $900,000

Dredge Boat Merritt - CRLockwood Folly Inlet Dredging
The Army Corps of Engineers dredge boat Merritt has completed maintenance dredging the inlet and has left the area. It is scheduled to be back here for a week in mid-May and again for a week in July. Beach compatible sand will be placed on east end of beach strand

Water System
Water Meter Update – automated meter read system
         • S
oftware tested and being integrated in IT system
Asbestos / Cement (AC)
pipe – determine condition of system
         •
Three pipe sections were removed and have been sent out for testing

Bike Route


Olden Holden Bike Tour
Routes available on Google Earth, flyer will be updated to reflect the enhancement
Current Flyer » click here
http://www.hbtownhall.com/pdf/oldenholden.PDF

                                                                                                                         
Dredging Update
King Dredging Company has completed the dredging portion of the Canal Maintenance Dredging Project. Demobilization and cleanup should be completed shortly.

Deal Drive Public Access

Easement III - CRDeed of Easement donated to the Town last year for Parcel #245EB02804 located directly across from Deal Drive. The easement is located between the properties at 1085 OBW and 1089 OBW. The
Town is in the process of installing a five (5) feet wide wood walkway public beach access there.


14. Mayor’s Comments

The Mayor requested that the Town work with homeowners and review our golf cart ordinances so that the rules are consistent with the state requirements.

Civil War Shipwreck Ranger – 150th Birthday

Shipwreck - CRDetails on the construction of the 400-ton, blockade-runner Ranger are currently unknown. The steamer sailed from New Castle, England, November 11, 1863, to Bermuda and left there for the South Atlantic coast on January 6, 1864. After landing passengers and baggage near Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina, the Ranger continued up the coast toward Wilmington when Union ships spotted it. The Ranger was beached one mile west of Lockwoods Folly Inlet, North Carolina, and destroyed by fire.


General Comments –

 ArtemusFeline Management Program
Essentially a community supported animal rescue program. The Town placed nine (9) cats on the island. Artemus had been the sole survivor of the Program. Someone shot Artemus with a high velocity weapon. The emergency trauma hospital were unable to save him due to the extensive internal damage. He had to be put to sleep on Sunday December 15th. A Police Report was filed for animal cruelty. The loss of our community cat was a senseless act of another. It’s very disheartening that anyone would do this. I ask myself – Why? It has left me despondent. I’ll miss him!


Calendar of Events –
Las Vegas Night 2014

 Rotary - CR

 

 

Las Vegas Night!
January 25th
Supply

The Rotary Club of Shallotte will host its Ninth Annual Las Vegas Night on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 101 Stone Chimney Road the Brunswick County Board of Realtors building.

 


Reminders –

Recycling Bin - CR

Curbside recycling –
Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $50.00 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.

 

 

Curbside Recycling Application » click here
http://www.hbtownhall.com/pdf/RECYCLINGFORM.pdf

Curbside Recycling Schedule 2014 » click here
http://www.hbtownhall.com/pdf2014/2014RecyclingSchedule.pdf

       Decal Holden Beach - CR

Hurricane Vehicle Decals –        
Each home owner will receive a total of four (4) free decals in their February water bill.
Brilliant!

 


Upon Further Review –

Money - CRPreviously reported
Mayor Holden is on sales tax distribution review committee and represents the district not our town there. Brunswick County has nineteen (19) municipalities, the committee is charged with evaluating methodology to fairly distribute sales tax to them.

Brunswick County evaluating sales tax distribution
One by one, residents and elected officials approached the podium in the Brunswick County Commissioners Chambers on Wednesday to speak for or against changing the sales tax distribution method. The meeting of the county’s Sales Tax Distribution Committee sought the positions of the 19 towns in the county, and 15 of them support keeping the current method of apportioning the money based on population. At stake are large sums collected through the sales tax, and neither side wants to budge. Officials from most towns say a change to the distribution method would dramatically change taxes within their town. But a few beach towns with small populations and large tax bases say they rake in millions through tourists and that money should be coming back to them. The committee, made up of a town official in each district and one from Bald Head Island, said it’s unclear what a fair distribution is. No decisions were made Wednesday about changes.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20131106/ARTICLES/131109786/0/search?p=all&tc=pgall

Update –
Brunswick County votes not to change sales tax distribution method
Brunswick County will not change its distribution of sales tax money for area municipalities after a unanimous vote to kill the matter Monday night. The vote means sales tax revenues will remain shared on the basis of population. Bald Head Island and three other beach communities advocated switching to a system based on property values – or some combination of the two methods. Commissioners said they did not find a compelling enough reason to make changes to the distribution method after months of discussion from a committee made up of officials from each of the five districts and Bald Head Island. Nonetheless, Commissioners did say something needed to be done for beach communities who lose out on the money despite having high summertime populations. Commissioners also pointed out that of the 19 municipalities in the county, 15 of them objected to any changes. Commissioners’ Chairman Phil Norris said the solution would have to be something other than changing the sales tax distributions.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20131216/ARTICLES/131219759/1177?p=all&tc=pgall

Brunswick County to continue distributing sales tax revenue based on population
The method by which sales tax revenue is distributed among Brunswick County’s municipalities will remain unchanged for the time being. Brunswick commissioners voted unanimously Monday to continue the county’s practice of distributing sales tax revenue based on population. Several of the county’s 19 municipalities had sought to have that method changed to one that would consider not only population but also property tax levies. Beach towns in particular had sought the change, as their year-round populations are usually low despite spikes in the summer and typically higher land values. An ad hoc committee examining the issue met Monday as well to provide a recommendation, but a motion in support of the blended method received three votes for and three votes against, according to a release issued by the county. The release went on to say that commissioners agreed that switching to an ad valorem method “would create more problems than it would resolve,” opting instead to continue the current method. That method, the county notes, has been in place since 1989, before which revenues were distributed according to ad valorem. Meeting minutes from that period are not clear why the change was made, the county said.
Read more » click here
http://portcitydaily.com/2013/12/17/brunswick-county-to-continue-distributing-sales-tax-revenue-based-on-population/

Sales tax distribution method won’t change
Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to leave Brunswick County’s sales tax distribution method as is. North Carolina state statute allows county commissioners to choose to distribute sales taxes using per capita – by the population of the county and municipalities, or ad valorem – based on the tax levy methods. Since 1989, Brunswick County has based its sales tax distribution on town population.
Read more » click here
http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/sales-tax-distribution-method-won%E2%80%99t-change

Barring a fairer system, Brunswick right to keep current sales tax formula
It’s important to know when it’s best to keep things as they are, and the Brunswick County Commissioners were wise to see that now is not the time to change radically the way sales tax revenues are distributed within the county. They fended off a push by beach towns to distribute the money according to a method that favors wealthy towns with high property values. There has to be a good reason to change something as complex as government finance formulas, and fairness must be at the top of the priority list.
Read more » click here
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20131219/ARTICLES/131229963/1108/editorial?p=all&tc=pgall


 This month in the continuing saga of Mark Saunders and the Coastal Companies …

Progress on Jaguar’s Lair plods along amid lingering frustration
As 2014 begins, the residential community just outside Sunset Beach is nowhere near finished. Jaguar’s Lair is in the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), where the town can impose ordinances and restrictions on property.
Read more » click here
http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/progress-jaguars-lair-plods-along-amid-lingering-frustration


Odds & Ends

Road Sign Interstate 40Leland leg of Wilmington Bypass to remain closed to traffic until next spring
The Leland leg of the Wilmington Bypass will not open to traffic until 2014. The stretch of highway between U.S. 17 and U.S. 74-76 west of Leland was originally scheduled to open in September, but additional work delayed the opening until later this year. That opening has now been pushed back until March, February at the earliest, said Jackson Provost with the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Wilmington office. Work is essentially finished on the road, which will extend Interstate 140 from New Hanover County to Brunswick County, around Navassa and Leland, via a final and most-expensive leg that involves constructing a bridge over the river. Once completed, the Wilmington Bypass will connect the existing Interstate 140 in New Hanover County with U.S. 17 in Brunswick County. That leg—the final part of the three-sectioned bypass—is slated to start in September 2014, with bids to be let in late January.
Read more » click here
http://portcitydaily.com/2013/12/22/leland-leg-of-wilmington-bypass-to-remain-closed-to-traffic-until-next-spring/


State FlagNC tax overhaul takes effect in 2014
North Carolina state leaders say major tax changes taking effect in 2014 will simplify returns, create jobs and keep more money in people’s wallets. Critics say the new rules will diminish funds for schools and widen the gap between haves and have-nots. The most substantive changes passed this summer by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory take effect Jan. 1. Like any tax overhaul plan, “there will be winners and losers,” Cindy Avrette, with the General Assembly’s non-partisan staff, told lawmakers at a December tax policy meeting. But as far as personal income taxes go, she said most people should see an increase in take-home pay. Regardless, the changes are forcing nearly everyone to adjust: Millions of workers are adjusting their net pay in response to the law’s one flat income-tax rate, higher standard deductions and eliminated personal exemptions.
Read more » click here
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2013/12/28/3927021/nc-tax-overhaul-takes-effect-in.html

New tax changes in 2014 in North Carolina
Significant changes made to the North Carolina tax laws approved this summer and taking effect starting Jan. 1, unless otherwise noted:

INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX:

— Eliminates the current three-bracket rates of 6, 7 and 7.75 percent with one bracket with a 5.8 percent rate in 2014. The rate falls to 5.75 percent in 2015.

— Eliminates personal exemptions, but increases standard deduction — currently ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 depending on filing status — from $7,500 to $15,000.

— Eliminates $4,000 deduction on government retirement income and $2,000 on private retirement income. Social Security and some government income remain exempt from taxes.

— Limits itemized deductions originating from mortgage interest and property taxes combined to $20,000. All charitable contributions allowed by federal law can still be deducted.

— Raises child tax credit from $100 per child to $125 for tax filers with lower adjusted gross incomes, such as up to $40,000 for married couples filing jointly. The $100 credit is still eliminated for people with high incomes.

— Eliminates a $50,000 deduction on certain business-related income.

— Repeals a deduction of up to $2,500 for a single taxpayer and $5,000 for a married couple to give to a child through North Carolina’s college savings plan. Account earnings remain exempt from federal and state income tax.
Read more » click here
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2013/12/28/3927035/new-tax-changes-in-2014-in-north.html


This & That

SurveyPoll – Beach Strand Safety
Thank you for taking the time and completing our Beach Strand Survey. We feel it’s important to get feedback from the community. I’m pleased to report that eighty-six (86) of our subscribers completed the twelve (12) question survey. Obviously the survey was “Unofficial” since we are not affiliated with the Town Government. Hopefully the BOC’s will take our input into consideration to help determine their actions in the future. We present the responses to you below and make no effort to interpret the results. Will leave it to the Board to interpret the numbers and use input as a guideline


1. Have we done enough to make beach usage safe?
Total Votes 86

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

44

51%

 

No ___

30

35%

 

Other

12

14%

 

Other Answers
   1) Perhaps a rip tide flag could be placed on Ocean Blvd access when needed
   2) The summer town personnel that used to patrol the beach on golf carts were very helpful to our visitors. More hospitable than seeing Police in big trucks on the Strand
   3) Last summer I witnessed two almost drownings in the area of 769OBW. I believe there should have been more warnings in place to let the inexperienced swimmer know how to handle rip tides
   4) Need live patrols for animals, holes in sand, etc
   5) Yes with the exception of not providing lifeguards
   6) We should have more patrols during peak season. Otherwise, it’s adequate
   7) Need explicit picture diagrams on how to perceive rip tides & how to save yourself when in one. Need very explicit warning signs on all inlets about very dangerous currents & other dangers. Warn about swimming at dusk & dawn because of sharks. Many tourist
   8) Need signage about rip currents at key beach access points (all public and private neighborhood access points)
   9) Need to be sure vacationers are informed about rip currents and how to react to them. Hate to say it, but parents need to be reminded to properly supervise their children (mainly 10 and under) in the surf. Realtors and owners need to take the lead on this.
   10) I would suggest some type of signs at beach crossovers that emphasis safety as relates to the water!
   11) We’ve done some things; I’m just not sure how to protect people from sharks and riptides. There are always dangers lurking and we have to get as much info as possible disseminated.
   12) Lifeguards at public beach access points at peak times


2. Have we done enough to disseminate information about beach strand Rules & Regulations?
Total Votes 80

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

39

49%

 

No ___

31

39%

 

Other

10

13%

 

Other Answers
   1) Great idea to post rip current signs vs hiring life guards
   2) See comment about rip tide flags in question #1
   3) Too much verbiage on CAMA signs. Some are now buried & unreadable. Need a LARGE sign on East End warning of Dangerous Currents & Extreme Tidal Flow.
   4) Strategic signage and revamping ordinances
   5) Don’t know what’s been done
   6) Apparently not. Need more info about fireworks. They are out of control!
   7) Plenty of people ignore the rules & regs, but it may be because they choose to do so.
   8) Yes, but the rules are not followed when it comes to picking up dog waste and filling large holes back up with sand.


3. Should we post standardized signage at each of the twenty-two (22) beach access points that includes all of the Rules & Regulations that apply to the beach strand?
Total Votes 76

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

58

76%

 

No ___

11

14%

 

Other

7

10%

 

Other Answers
   1) After you do this ENFORCE ALL OF THEM without concern for the views of “tourons”.
   2) Think more important would be rip current info
   3) IF there is any chance of enforcing the rules…yes. IF we let them slide to keep the tourists happy…no.
   4) If very concise.
   5) Strategic signage just as effective and less expense
   6) No, most renters have adequate access to information on the Rental Agency websites and rental agencies can post on refrigerators in rental homes
   7) Probably


4. Is there a fairly high level of ordinance compliance on the beach strand?
Total Votes 71

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

41

58%

 

No ___

17

24%

 

Other

13

18%

 

Other Answers
   1) Still too many loose dogs, people not filling in holes dug in sand, and people drinking alcohol
   2) IDK / I don’t know / Don’t know
   3) Pretty much…there are always those who think they can do as they please.
   4) Not sure
   5) I have no idea, only visit my section of beach a limited amount of time during the 100 days.
   6) Rent my 2 houses during summer, enjoy other seasons.
   7) Not on fireworks
   8) I only see a small portion of about 2 miles, so I can’t speak for the whole strand.
   9) Not on strand enough to know
   10) People drink alcohol freely on the beach without fear of law enforcement.
   11) Dogs
   12) Visitors do not appear to care one bit about the leash law. Don’t know how to put more teeth into that one.


5. Is the Town actively enforcing the beach strand ordinances?
Total Votes 68

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

31

46%

 

No ___

23

34%

 

Other

14

21%

 

Other Answers
   1) Seems to be too selective
   2) IDK / I don’t know / Don’t know
   3) Dogs off leash often.
   4) Ordinances need to be revamped
   5) Not sure, but the police drive way too fast on the beach. I feel like they are creating more of a hazard than making us safe. I am scared for my little children with them driving up and down the beach.
   6) Never saw a dog removed
   7) Not on strand enough to know
   8) I think so, but don’t know for sure


6. Do the Police have high visibility and adequate presence on the beach strand to enforce ordinances and to ensure the public safety?
Total Votes 70

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

23

33%

 

No ___

34

49%

 

Other

13

19%

 

Other Answers
   1) Police don’t have hi visibility but not sure they need to – also they can’t ensure public safety regardless (e.g. Drowning). Bad question
   2) IDK / I don’t know / Don’t know
   3) I don’t know how often the Police patrol the beach strand
   4) Too much so. Big trucks leave deep ruts that are hard to walk over for the very young and older folks. Would like to see HOSPITALITY PERSON in a Golf Cart.
   5) Not enough people and hours. part time code team with regular duty backup needed
   6) Probably sufficient
   7) Never saw a policeman on the strand
   8) Enforce ordinances yes, in terms of public safety, no, as I believe water rescue capabilities are the only public safety issues we have.
   9) You rarely see them on the beach, once a day if at all
   10) Not on strand enough to know
   11) I have never seen police officials at the 1100 block of the beach over 4 summers of frequent visitation


7. Is having only one (1) officer on the beach strand daily for six (6) hours adequate?
Total Votes 73

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

23

32%

 

No ___

43

59%

 

Other

7

10%

 

Other Answers
   1) One is not enough, but it does not have to be a police. How about trained volunteers from community or fire department?
   2) Probably should be expanded on Saturday and Sunday when day-trippers are heaviest
   3) Yes, if is constantly moving from one end to the other stopping only for emergencies or violations.
   4) Not around the 4th of July
   5) Should be 9 to 5 and later if need arrives
   6) I have never seen one
   7) I don’t know. What is the rate of crime?


8. Does the Police force have adequate resources to accomplish the additional work load of patrolling the beach strand during tourist season, the hundred (100) days of summer?
Total Votes 70

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

23

33%

 

No ___

37

53%

 

Other

10

14%

 

Other Answers
   1) I don’t know
   2) No, and again it doesn’t have to be the police, but trained volunteers or firefighters
   3) Do not know. Use regular person to ride the beach, who has a cell phone & can call an officer if needed. Much cheaper & nicer for our visitors.
   4) Not sure
   5) Probably need more hours on weekends
   6) Don’t know how many they have
   7) Doubtful
   8) How could I possibly know what resources are available!


9. Should the Town adjust staffing to respond to seasonal increase in work load by establishing a temporary seasonal beach patrol / code-enforcement team?
Total Votes 70

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

54

77%

 

No ___

12

17%

 

Other

4

6%

 

Other Answers
   1) Depends on how it’s funded
   2) However, they could simply be REPORTERS & call an officer for a citation
   3) Beach Patrol should be young men (yes male) with life saving and CPR qualifications being first and most important, ordinance enforcement second
   4) We need to add back in the police officers the board quietly did not rehire. Police dept is understaffed to be effective.


10. Should we be utilizing a combination of a temporary seasonal employee’s beach patrol and Police beach patrol too?
Total Votes 63

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

39

62%

 

No ___

17

27%

 

Other

7

11%

 

Other Answers
   1) IDK / I don’t know / Don’t know
   2) Most definitely!!
   3) In the trucks PD could supervise and respond to code team while being ready for other needs
   4) Yes, as long as the temp seasonal employee is highly trained. possible solution would be life guards that patrol the strand in several locations
   5) That would be the minimum we should do. Rather have police patrol if there was a choice
   6) Need seasonal lifeguards only


11. Do we need uniformed law enforcement officers with citation authority to patrol the beach strand?
Total Votes 68

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

26

38%

 

No ___

37

54%

 

Other

5

7%

 

Other Answers
   1) Probably 
   2) Too intimidating.
   3) No! Part time Code Team hired/trained/supervised by the PD
   4) No, this position could easliy be filled with volunteers that would report serious violations to uniformed officers, otherwise simply pointing out ordinances to minor offenders.
   5) Hire Brunswick County Deputies to work for Holden Beach on their off days frome the Sheriff’s Department.


12. Should the beach patrol team have law enforcement background?
Total Votes 74

Answer

Votes

Percent

 

Yes___

29

39%

 

No ___

36

49%

 

Other

9

12%

 

Other Answers
   1) Not necessarily, but need to know enough to contact proper authorities
   2) Very helpful but training/supervision of select individuals more appropriate/cheaper.
   3) They should have life guard certification. the problems on the strand are mostly potential drownings
   4) No, only a good knowledge of the ordinances and the ability to interpret and present them to our guests in a public relation manner
   5) Would help
   6) Retired police or a person that lives on the beach with common sense
   7) Would make sense. At the least they need training and need to be a high enough level to do the job!
   8) If possible
   9) Not sure if that would matter, if they were supported by the Town and the Police


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Information Department – Approved Vendor List
For more information » click here
http://www.hbpoin.com/2013/05/30/approved-vendor-list-2/


 Things I Think I Think –

Dining #2Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price
taken into consideration.
///// October 2013
Name:            
Michael’s Seafood                                                                                                    Cuisine:          Seafood  
Location:        1206 North Lake Park Boulevard, Carolina Beach NC
Contact:          910.458.7761 /
www.michaelscfood.com/shop
Food:              Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:          Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:      Drab / Plain  / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:               Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:            Two Stars
Established in 1998 Michael’s Seafood Restaurant has been consistently receiving rave reviews. They have been voted Best Seafood Restaurant, in the Best of Wilmington done by Encore Magazine. Their seafood chowder is a multiple-year champion of the International Seafood Chowder competition held in Rhode Island. They have established a reputation for fresh, healthy food, with no fried food on the menu.  That said, I have no idea why the rave reviews. I was very disappointed; it was not at all what I expected. Restaurant is by the beach not at the beach, nothing special in any category so my recommendation is to skip going there, I definitely will not be going back there again.

///// November 2013
Name:             Boca Bay
/ Circa Group                                                                                           Cuisine:          Seafood
Location:        2025 Eastwood Road, Wilmington NC
Contact:          910.256.1887 /
www.bocabayrestaurant.com
Food:              Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:          Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:      Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:               Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:            Three Stars
Boca Bay is one of six restaurants in The Circa Group. We expected it to be pretty good and it certainly was. This one is primarily a seafood restaurant, beach dining in style. The menu has incredible variety offering something for everyone, making deciding what to order rather difficult.  Despite being a large facility there are several sections to be seated in which made it feel much more intimate. We had an outstanding dining experience, it was worth the trip.

/////
Buy one entrée, get one free!

Angelo’s Steak & Pasta
2311 S Kings Hwy
Myrtle Beach, SC
(843) 626-2800
http://angelosteakandpasta.com

It’s all about the steaks! Home of “The Greatest Steaks in the Universe”, they serve 100,000 steaks a year there. As good a steak as you will get at your upscale steakhouses. Great steaks, at an incredible value, it’s hard to beat this deal. With the coupon you are paying close to what you pay in the meat section at your supermarket; at this price, it costs almost that much to eat at home.

 Myrtle Beach The Sun News Find&Save Coupon
 
http://findnsave.myrtlebeachonline.com/Coupons?s=angelo%27s

BUY ONE ENTREE GET ONE FREE
Our Gift to our Loyal Customers Buy One Get One Free Dinner Entree of $10.95 or higher Valid Monday thru Thursday Only beginning 1/6/14. Not valid with any other offer or discount or local’s special. Must present coupon when ordering. Some restrictions may apply. Expires January 30, 2014.
 
Wine & Food Department – Dining Guide and Restaurant Reviews
For more information » click here
 
http://www.hbpoin.com/category/food-wine/

Dining Guide and Restaurant Reviews
     
a) We welcome your input about the ratings
      b)
Any restaurants not included that should be?
      c)
Miles / Minutes are calculated from the foot of the bridge


Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
/////
STORM FRONT
, by John Sandford
This is the seventh book in the Virgil Flowers series which are
a spin-off of the Lucas Davenport series. Virgil is a detective in Minnesota, a member of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) which is led by Davenport. Virgil becomes involved in the hunt for a stele, an ancient inscribed piece of stone, smuggled out of Israel that can have a supposed profound effect on the history of the Middle East.  The multiple storylines emphasize deceit and poke fun at those novels that use religious artifacts for covers of ancient global conspiracies. The book can be classified as a religious satire and a caricature of this type of suspense novel. A fun read.


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Happy New Year

2 thoughts on “01-14-14

  1. Linda Chamblee

    Lou,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your cat. Someone was very cruel to do such a senseless thing.
    I hope you all are having a good winter.
    See you in a few months.
    Linda Chamblee

    Reply
  2. Ed Brannock

    Lou. I am amazed that there is no reported mention or interest of beach renourishment for the center of the island. I understand that plans for the Central Reach Project are on hold until it is needed? Where are the funds coming from? I think the two are tied together. Beach renourishment in the center of the island gets little interest from Holden Beach residents. What will it take to get beach renourishment the priority it deserves? I am afraid it will be a hurricane season like the 80’s and 90’s and then it will be too late. There are discussion of infrastructure needs but the infrastructure most important to Holden Beach , health of the beach strand, is rarely mentioned. The beach strand survey does not cover the impact of not being able to drive the beach at high tide in some areas. What is the impact on emergency vehicles, trash collectors and patrols?
    Thank for your newsletter.

    Reply

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