CAPE CARTERET — Cape Carteret town manager Zach Steffey told commissioners Monday he believes a study underway will help the town prioritize and address flooding problems in various areas, including Star Hill and along and near Anita Forte and Neptune drives.
Speaking during the commission’s monthly meeting in town hall and virtually on GoToMeeting, Mr. Steffey said the study is being conducted by Dewberry, a Virginia-based nationwide engineering firm, paid for with a $30,000 state resiliency planning grant awarded to the town earlier this year.
The meeting was less than a week left some areas flooded, to the point where some residents were still pumping water out of their yards Monday.
“I think we will get a good handle” on top stormwater management priorities to address with work by the town public works department and contractors, Mr. Steffey said during the meeting. He added that he hopes some state money will be available when the town begins to take tackle the problems areas.
Finally, he said the town hopes it can use money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to address stormwater management infrastructure. Cape Carteret expects to get at least $600,000 from ARPA in two payments.
“If not, we’ll have to … figure out how to pay for these things,” Mr. Steffey said of improvements like catch basins and swales.
Mayor Will Baker said at some point, the town might have to implement a stormwater fee to generate revenue for such projects.
Mr. Steffey said the town’s “public works department has done a good job” tackling some problem areas by cleaning out ditches. But, he noted the department is playing catch up after many years in which relatively little was done.
One of the biggest problem areas is Sutton Drive at Star Hill Golf Course. Yards were underwater after the early August storms, as they were after a thunderstorm dropped 5.5 inches of rain in mid-June 2020. Several residents of the street were at the meeting Monday.
Town and golf course officials have long disagreed over who is responsible for the problems, but Mr. Steffey said since the early August floods, he’s seen some movement by the business owners.
Sutton Drive resident Nancy Gurganus, speaking during public comment, said she hopes everyone can “come together” for a solution.
Commissioner Mike King said the town should “bring people to the table” to work out a solution, while Commissioner Jeff Waters agreed and said the town, the golf course and the state should all be involved.
“This is important to everyone,” he said.
Mayor Baker concurred and noted that in addition to being a nuisance and causing property damage, flooding is a public health problem eas the water often ponds over septic tanks.
“Please don’t your kids go out and play in the stuff,” he said. “It’s been an issue for a long time.”
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.