EMERALD ISLE — The emerald Isle Board of Commissioners will hear a report Tuesday from Police Chief Tony Reese on complaints about horses on the beach, including suggestions on how to deal with them.
The 6 p.m. session will be live in town board meeting room beside the police department on the south side of Highway 58 and virtual on GoToWebinar. To join, visit register.gotowebinar.com/rt/345335023403173392.
In a memo to the board, Chief Reese said the department has seen an influx of complaints from the public related to the presence of horses on the beach strand.
“Specifically, the complaints are centered on parking and the riders of horses failing to pick up and remove the feces deposited by their horses,” he wrote.
The chief said the most complaints about parking came residents at The Point, detailing people parking trucks with horse trailers along the streets.
“Since the majority of the streets in the point area are all posted as ‘No Parking,’” the chief added in the memo, “there is really no place a person can legally park a horse trailer in that area other than on private property. It is my opinion that advertising this area as a location for horse owners to be able to access the beach when there is nowhere for them to park in that area unless they own property there is counterproductive and contributing to the problem.”
As a result, he recommends the town cease mentioning the vehicular beach access ramp at The Point as an access point for horses and riders or, alternatively, identifying and designating an area there for horse trailer parking.
He does not recommend making the access at The Point off-limits for riders, “since there may be property owners at the point, or friends of property owners, that would be able to legally park their horse trailer on private property.”
Regarding horse feces, the chief’s memo said the current town ordinance requires a rider to immediately pick up and remove horse feces and prohibits the burial of such waste on the beach or disposal of it in the ocean.
“On multiple occasions this year, the department has responded to complaints from residents about riders either not picking up feces deposited by their horses or burying the feces in the sand so that it is uncovered and washed along the beach when the tide comes in,” Chief Reese wrote in the memo.
He recommends the town require an annual permit for people to ride a horse on the beach, partly to educate them on rules, similar to the beach driving permit. He also recommends riders provide the department a recent blood test used to identify the presence of antibodies for Equine Infectious Anemia, or EIA, an infectious and potentially fatal disease, and that “all horses being ridden off private property in Emerald Isle be equipped with a bun bag, also called a manure catcher.”
Other items on the Tuesday night agenda include updates on the new paid parking system at the two major beach accesses and general parking, an update on the beach safety program and a proposed update to the town noise ordinance to include maximum decibel levels allowed.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.