Phase 5 Matthew Project
This project was previously approved by FEMA for damages sustained by Hurricane Matthew. It is now out for bid. Chris Gibson has said there is a lot of interest in this project. He has had calls from South Carolina to Massachusetts. The bids will be returned on July 26th.
Chris will be at our next Board meeting on August 1st to make a recommendation to award the contract and discuss the project. Next week, he and I will be discussing the project, as well as analyzing project and source sites.
Beach Renourishment Florence Damage
The Shoreline Protection Workgroup has been working with ATM and Fran. He has recently completed his report for FEMA and needs assessment for sand lost during the Florence. FEMA now has it and it is going through their step process.
I have in tonight’s package the proposal from Fran to prepare the bid documents for the Florence project. The Shoreline Protection Workgroup discussed this proposal with him. We are recommending this be approved by the Board of Aldermen. It is anticipated that these costs will also be reimbursed by FEMA for the total project.
This project will touch every phase of beach within North Topsail Beach. It includes Category G
(“engineered beach”) and Category B (dune restoration on natural beach).
US Army Corps of Engineers NTB/SC Federal Project
Over the past 10 years, we have been advocating for Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project (Federal Project) for towns on Topsail Island. Because of some ineligible sections of our Town, we decided to partner with Surf City. (4 miles NTB and 6 miles SC). Topsail Beach has a separate project.
We have pursued “new start funding” at the federal level to construct the project according the plan. Each year, we have “scored high” on the list. Unfortunately, it was never approved and sometimes deleted through the budget process.
We received recent news that Congress passed a supplemental disaster relief bill that included over $700 million to the USACE. The Corps has determined the significance of this law to mean that 100% federal disaster financing will be used for the top projects.
We have been working with Surf City to make this beach nourishment a reality. We have sent letters of support to Wilmington and all the way to Washington. We have a conference call scheduled next week to talk to officials in Atlanta.
It will still be several months before we know whether or not our project will be included in this disaster relief funding.
USACE Dredging ICW/New River Inlet Crossing/Channel to Jacksonville
At the Shallow Draft Inlet Maintenance Meeting we learned that the contract bids for a Corps project to dredge the ICW – New River Inlet Crossing and the Channel to Jacksonville will be late in August. This pipeline dredging project will place approx. 250,000 cy of sand on the north end of NTB sometime after November 16th.
So, as it currently stands, this fall we will be getting 250,000 cu/yds of sand at the north end from the Army Corps as they clean out the ICW/New River channel, we have plans out for bid for the restoration of the Phase 5 area from Hurricane Matthew FEMA funds also this fall, and we are working with FEMA on the restoration of all of the town's Hurricane Florence affected dunes. We are also advocating for a federal project new start. No areas of the town are being overlooked, passed by, or otherwise left out.
CBRA Mapping Bills
We were informed by our lobbyists that Senators Tillis and Burr introduced a North Topsail Beach CBRA Mapping Bill on May 9th (S.1406). Congressman Rouzer introduced the companion bill in the House on May 17th (H.R. 2834). H.R. 2834 has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.
We want to thank our Congressional delegation. Senators Tills and Burr have continually supported this change. With the death of Congressman Jones, Congressman Rouzer took this even though we are not constituents in his district. He knows how important it is to us (and the area) and that Congressman Jones supported it and had previously proposed legislation.
Town Hall and Town Park Repairs
The company (Caremaster) completed the gutting and mold remediation to town hall. FEMA came to inspect the facility two weeks ago to assess the damages. Aldermen Benson, Peters and I met with several department heads to discuss town hall. We are still awaiting word from FEMA on any assistance with this project. I have also submitted a grant to the Golden Leaf Foundation to assist with this project as well. We also continue working with Stewart, Cooper, and Newell concerning the renovation of the facility.
Chief Best and I met with Stewart, Cooper, and Newell concerning town park repairs. They showed us the design prints of the facility. There were a few changes made and we are awaiting those final prints.
Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Fund
Golden Leaf Foundation
We have officially been awarded the grant for $50,200. As you will recall, we submitted it for the engineering and designs to repair the town park. I attended the grant award workshop the week before July 4th.
NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency
We have not received the official document but several email confirmations of our award of
$250,000. As you will recall, we submitted a grant for a larger amount. This funding will be used for loan repayment and staffing. Once I receive the official documents, we will bring a budget amendment to you for these funds.
We have received reimbursement for our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for $207,000. This is for overtime and expenses associated with our EOC operations. We have also received reimbursement for $1.2 million for our debris removal.
Shoreline Protection Working Group
Our meetings have entailed conversations with our Coastal Engineer dealing with Hurricane Florence. We have also completed the latest “newsletter” concerning shoreline protection. It will be posted on our town’s website and on Facebook.
Ocean City Jazz Festival
As you know, the Ocean City Jazz Festival was held last weekend and celebrated its 10th Anniversary. It was a great success from what I saw and have heard. Our Police, Fire and Public Works Departments did great jobs assisting during the event. It seemed to work seamlessly.
Building Codes Insurance Audit
On 5/30/2019 the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) conducted a 5 year audit with the Town of North Topsail Beach. Yesterday, I received our results letter and they showed an improvement in adoption and enforcement of the Building Codes Department. We went from a Class 5 to a Class 4 (the lower you go the better the score). This information was then passed along to the ISO (an independent statistical, rating and advisory organization) that can recommend credits towards property insurance for possible adoption in the Insurance underwriting. Our evaluation showed a better score and may allow a reduction in premiums. This shows the commitment to working towards compliance and placing our community in the upper areas of professionalism throughout the Building Code Industry. The improved score also meets one requirement for improving the Town’s CRS rating.
I want to recognize Jimmy Canady and Kate Winzler for being instrumental in the process.
Lead for North Carolina at the UNC School of Government Fellows Program
We have been selected to participate in the inaugural program of the Lead for North Carolina Fellows Program at the UNC School of Government. For the next 2 years we will have a recent graduate from UNC. We have prepared her work plan for the next two years. Town Clerk Oxley and I have talked with her and I will be meeting her at a training next week. We feel her skill set will be an excellent fit.
Since this is the inaugural program, Mayor Tuman and I will be going to Raleigh to meet with our legislative delegation and the governor for a kick-off event. She will officially begin on August 1st.