Please Make Sure Your Decks Are Safe!
AS WIDELY REPORTED in the media and by the town, an extended family visiting Emerald Isle was injured on July 4 due to the collapse of an approximately 9 foot by 10 foot section of the deck floor. The family had gathered that evening for a group picture, and a total of 24 people were treated for injuries, some very serious.
This unfortunate accident serves as an important reminder to all Emerald Isle property owners (permanent residents, second homeowners, and vacation rental unit owners) to check the condition of the decks at your property in Emerald Isle. Emerald Isle includes more than 6,700 housing units, and many of these units were originally constructed more than 25 years ago. Additionally, the corrosive nature of the coastal environment can take a heavy toll on wood and fasteners, and it’s important to routinely inspect the condition of your property and take any necessary corrective action. There are many licensed general contractors and home inspectors in our area that would be happy to assist, along with area vacation rental companies.
In accordance with North Carolina law, the town inspects any new construction and significant repairs or renovations at the time the work is completed, but does not engage in routine, periodic inspections. This responsibility ultimately falls on the property owner, although the town’s inspectors will inspect any property for which a specific complaint is received. In an effort to assist our property owners, town staff has prepared a simple, helpful “Citizens Guide to Deck Safety” that can be viewed at www.emeraldisle-nc.org/pdfs/DeckHandout.pdf. The flyer includes a graphic illustrating typical deck construction along with illustrations of common problems and other helpful tips.
Additionally, it’s important for everyone (property owners and visitors) to be mindful of the number of people gathered on a particular deck or section of deck.
If you have questions or need additional information or assistance, please contact Town Planner Josh Edmondson at 252-354-3338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Yard Debris Truck Ordered
The town continues to experience heavy yard debris collection demands, and town staff is working hard to keep up with the demand and provide timely service for our customers. Town staff currently provide service with a town-owned yard debris collection truck, and the town has also relied on a rental truck during peak demand periods, along with longer collection hours, additional collection days, and the use of a closer disposal facility. Despite these efforts, demand continues to outpace the town’s capabilities.
In an effort to improve the timeliness of yard debris collection services, the town has ordered a second yard debris collection truck, and is currently recruiting for a new position to operate the truck. The new truck is expected in service by October, and should enable the town to better meet service demands in the future. The new truck and new position are funded by an increase in the town’s annual solid waste fee that was authorized in the FY 15-16 budget.
Thank you for your patience!
New Beach Monitoring and Maintenance Plan Adopted
The board of commissioners recently adopted a new, formal Beach Monitoring and Maintenance Plan that outlines the town’s commitment to future beach nourishment efforts in order to maintain a healthy, wide, protective beach strand. The new plan replaces the town’s current plan adopted in 2003, and includes historical data, annual beach profile surveys, identifies future sand sources, establishes new “triggers” for future nourishment activities, and outlines the town’s financing plans.
The town’s current plan has been invaluable in monitoring the condition of the town’s beach strand over the years, and has enabled the town to remain eligible for FEMA financial assistance to replace sand lost during federally-declared disaster events. The town has been fortunate to receive approximately $15 million from FEMA since 2004 for such efforts. The adoption of the new plan will maintain the town’s eligibility for future FEMA assistance.
Overall, the town’s entire beach strand is currently in good condition, and no specific beach nourishment projects are currently planned. The town continues to reserve room occupancy tax revenues, General Fund property tax revenues, and municipal service district property tax revenues for future nourishment efforts, and expects to have sufficient funds to implement the Beach Monitoring and Maintenance Plan.
Beach Driving Permits on Sale Now
The town allows driving on the beach strand between Sept. 15 and April 30 for four-wheel drive vehicles with a town-issued permit. Permits are now available at the town administration building (7509 Emerald Drive). To learn more about this program, and to download the appropriate form, please visit www.emeraldisle-nc.org/beachdrivingpage. Be safe, respect others enjoying the beach strand, avoid the dunes, and have fun!
Time Warner Cable Set to Transition to All-Digital
Time Warner Cable, the primary cable television provider in Emerald Isle, has announced a full conversion to digital format beginning on or about Oct. 6, 2015. For some customers, additional equipment may be necessary to continue receiving Time Warner Cable programming. To learn more about these changes, please visit www.emeraldislenc.org/CommunityNotice/TimeWarnerCableChanges2015.pdf. To contact Time Warner Cable in our area, please visit www.timewarnercable.com/en/residential or call 1-800-892-4357.
Town’s Feral Cat Policy
The town offers cat traps free of charge to Emerald Isle property owners concerned about feral cats. Cat traps can be picked up at the town administration building (7509 Emerald Drive) during normal business hours. The property owner is responsible for setting up the trap on their property, and any captured cats will be collected by Carteret County Animal Control on a daily basis and transported to the Carteret County Animal Shelter near Newport. Please note that these traps should not be used to capture wild animals (a licensed trapper should be consulted), and that it is illegal to release any captured animals in the Croatan National Forest.
A local volunteer group, Island Cat Allies, has been working to help control the feral cat population in Emerald Isle for several years, and engages in a trap-neuter-release program aimed at reducing the feral cat population in a more humane manner over time. For more information about Island Cat Allies, please visit www.islandcatallies.com. Town ordinances allow the feeding of feral cat colonies only on private property with the permission of the property owner.
Island Review Magazine Announces New Mailing Policy
The town’s monthly “Emerald Tidings” newsletter is emailed each month to nearly 7,000 email subscribers, posted on the town’s website (www.emeraldisle-nc.org), distributed through Facebook and Twitter, and is printed in the monthly Island Review magazine. The town places the highest priority on keeping our residents, property owners, visitors, and businesses informed about Town issues, and works hard to ensure that accurate, timely information is disseminated.
The privately-owned Island Review magazine recently announced new distribution changes for its monthly print edition. All Bogue Banks property owners who live in Emerald Isle, Carteret County, or North Carolina should receive a copy of the magazine in the mail, free of charge. Property owners who live out of state and others interested in the Island Review magazine can purchase an annual subscription for $12 per year. The print edition is also available in public racks in various locations in Emerald Isle, including the town administration building. For more information, or to place your subscription order, please email email@example.com.
Mark Your Calendars
The race committee has announced that the 2016 Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, & 5K races will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2016. This date has been selected to avoid a conflict with the Easter holiday on Sunday, March 27 (the established race weekend in Emerald Isle).
Mark your calendars, start your training program and plan to join us for the 3rd annual event! The 2015 event included more than 1,500 participants, and raised more than $50,000 for heart issues and the town’s bicycle path network. The 2016 event hopes to surpass these totals, with proceeds earmarked for cystic fibrosis issues and the town’s bicycle path network.
We hope to see you, your family, and friends in Emerald Isle on April 9!
Did You Know?
The town operates 4 public beach access facilities with parking for more than 350 vehicles. The town also manages more than 60 public beach access walkways along the town’s 12 miles of ocean beach!