BEAUFORT — After months tussling over duties and composition, town commissioners have appointed eight individuals to the new Beaufort Harbor and Waterways Master Plan Advisory Committee.
The panel is set to review issues and make recommendations to the board of commissioners on matters relating to the town’s waterways, harbor, docks, bulkhead and more.
During their virtual meeting Monday, commissioners appointed Steve Bishop, Tipper Davis, Victor Fasolino, Bucky Oliver, Susan Sanders, Miriam Sutton, Doug Townsend and Douglas Doubleday as members. All were nominated by consensus and appointed unanimously. Commissioner Charles McDonald did not make any nominations, but voted in favor of the appointments.
The board also unanimously selected Commissioner Ann Carter to serve as the panel ex officio member.
“You’ve got a lot of work (ahead),” Commissioner Sharon Harker said of the newly minted committee members.
All of the appointees are full-time Beaufort residents. They were selected from a list of 29 applicants, a round up commissioners said they were pleased to receive.
“We had a lot of great applicants, and it made the board’s decision a lot tougher to do,” Commissioner John Hagle noted.
Over the past several months, commissioners have compiled a list of charges for the advisory panel ahead of a number of what town staff has deemed “critical issues.” Those include needed repairs to the bulkhead along Taylor’s Creek – work that is expected to cost more than $1.25 million after a 2018 assessment found the structure to be failing – and planning for the expiration of the lease on the town’s docks in 2024.
Plans for the dock lease and bulkhead work are among the top priorities for the advisory panel, along with reconstruction of the boardwalk following repairs, the possibility of mooring fields in Taylor’s Creek and Town Creek, the future of the lease with the National Park Service for the Cape Lookout National Seashore information center in town hall, the ferry operator docks serving the seashore, dredging plans, changes to the town’s Navigable Waters Ordinance, water quality, protection of the Rachel Carson Reserve and more.
This spring, there had been some concern among commissioners that the scope of duties was too wide, particularly in regard to environmental issues, but the board ultimately approved the list of charges May 10.
The town has contracted with engineering firm Moffit and Nichol – which also serves as Carteret County’s engineering firm for beach restoration efforts – for $40,000 to create a harbor and waterways master plan. The goal is to complete the planning tool by July 2022.
The committee is set to hold its first meeting in the next few weeks, at which time the panel will adopt a regular meeting schedule.
In other action at Monday’s meeting, the Beaufort commission:
· Heard a presentation from N.C. League of Municipalities official Matthew Selves on the Beaufort Police Department’s law enforcement risk review.
· Approved two separate voluntary annexation requests, one for 186 Chadwick Road and the other for 190 Chadwick Road. No one spoke during public hearings on either annexation request. Both parcels were within 60 feet of the town’s corporate limits.
· Appointed Ian Huckabee to the town historic preservation commission.
· Approved a special event permit for Beaufort Wine & Food’s Dining on the Docks celebration Thursday and Friday, Oct. 7-8. The event will use the town’s west parking lot and John Newton Park, and as part of the approval, commissioners issued an alcohol waiver for the areas.
Items approved as part of the consent agenda, with no discussion, included:
· Minutes from the March 11 and March 12 board retreat, March 22 work session and April 8 regular meeting.
· A budget amendment to use $77,000 from the general fund to cover the increased cost for processing comingled recycling by the town’s garbage contractor, GFL.
· A special event permit for the Beaufort Triathlon to reschedule its 2020 event to Saturday, May 14, 2022. It requires a closure of the Craven Street parking lot and an alcohol waiver for that area and Middle Lane for two days that weekend.
Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 225; email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter @jackieccnt.