PINE KNOLL SHORES — The Carteret County Beach Commission is offering an alternative to the Federal Emergency Management Agency-based beach nourishment program, but Pine Knoll Shores officials seem reluctant to switch.
The town board of commissioners met for its regular meeting Wednesday in the town hall boardroom and online via Webinar.
During the meeting, Commissioner Larry Corsello informed the board of recent activity from the beach commission, on which he sits as a representative of Pine Knoll Shores.
Mr. Corsello said the beach commission discussed at its Sept. 28 meeting participation in the federal Bogue Banks Coastal Storm Risk Management Project. The effort would provide funding assistance for beach nourishment, with 50% coming from federal source, while the other 50% would be non-federal.
The county does not have to get the town’s permission to opt into the federal program, but has been seeking Bogue Banks towns’ opinions and has not made a decision. The beach commission is expected to make a recommendation later this month to Greg Rudolph, manager of the County Shore Protection Office.
“What we have here is working pretty darn well,” said Commissioner Bill Knecht, “so if it’s not broke, why fix it?”
Commissioner Ted Goetzinger agreed with Mr. Knecht.
“The way we’ve been doing this for years has served us well,” he said.
Mr. Corsello said while the project would allow nourishment to be conducted within the town’s budget, it would also require the town to allow the beach commission to decide when and where beach nourishment would occur.
It would also change the federal agency responsible for providing financial assistance for nourishment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Currently, town officials have conducted their own beach nourishment, under the auspices of the county,using a combination of funds from a municipal beach tax, state funds and FEMA funds when severe weather events, such as Hurricane Florence in 2018, have occurred.
In other news at Wednesday’s meeting, Town Manager Brian Kramer announced officials have acquired the final easements needed for phase two of the stormwater drainage improvement project. The effort is focused on improving drainage for stormwater, the No. 1 nonpoint source of water pollution in North Carolina, on the east side of town.
Mr. Kramer said staff will proceed with survey work for installing the drain in the Mobile Drive neighborhood Monday. He told the News-Times once the initial survey work is done, installation will begin the week of Nov. 9-13. The drain line will connect with the stormwater retention ponds at the Country Club of the Crystal Coast, accessed through Coastal Mobile Home Park.
The following also occurred at Wednesday’s meeting:
· The board unanimously approved the purchase of proximity locks for the public safety building to replace the existing keycard locks.
· Mr. Kramer informed the board Carteret-Craven Electrical Cooperative has pushed back trimming trees around power lines back to November.
· Mr. Kramer informed the board that staff has received a new bench with a plaque in former Mayor Ken Jones’ honor. He said they are considering locations for the memorial bench.
· Town Planner Kevin Reed informed the board the Down East Rural Transportation Planning Organization is working on a transportation model for Carteret County. He said with the upcoming extension of Interstate 42 into Carteret County, the update to the county’s comprehensive transportation plan is very timely.
· The board unanimously rescheduled the regular November board meeting from 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Reporter Brad Rich contributed to this report.
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.