Manager's Report — 3/9/21

USACOE Federal Project


The Corps is waiting for the approved PPA to be returned to the regional office in order to secure signatures from both ourselves and Surf City. Corps personnel visited Topsail Island on February 24th to verify parking requirements have been met in both North Topsail Beach and Surf City. Apparently these requirements have not been met by either town, particularly since data developed in 2008 required right-of-way parking on side streets throughout the project area. We are currently seeking an acceptable solution to the problem.

Capital Improvement/Fire Station


Becker Morgan personnel visited the south end Fire Station on Wednesday, 2/23, to begin collecting info for the feasibility study. Questionnaires were provided to Chiefs Soward and Younginer for completion as a means of assessing space and facility requirements for a joint public safety building. This building will replace the current structure which is in terrible condition, with girders rusted through, roof leaks, etc.


Town Hall

Work on the Town Hall began on Monday, February 15th. While the contractor indicated that roof work would be first, they actually began indoors, with the first weeks bringing electrical demolition, rewiring, preparation to remove HVAC units, and some additional demolition work beneath and inside of the building.


Florence Project


The truck haul has been underway for weeks on the dune restoration project. Work started at approximately 4400 Island Drive and proceeded rapidly north. A second group started to the north, in the area of the pier, and worked south. This section should be completed this week, at which time the contractor will move north of the pier, accessing the beach approximately halfway between the pier at the south end of the section, and the northern end of the project – between The Reefs and Dolphin Shores. They will then place sand at the extreme ends and work back toward the access point.


Covid-19


Exposure to an active Covid-19 case required the Town Hall to be shut down on Monday, 2/22. All employees have been tested and required to provide proof of a negative test before return to work. Town Hall remains closed to the public except by appointment.


Onslow County


Correspondence indicates that CAMA has found that alterations to the County’s plans for the renovation of their building have negated the requirement for a CAMA permit. There are now no obstacles to the completion of the work by the county. They have not communicated any schedule to resume work on their beach access, parking lot, building, or dune restoration.


Corps of Engineers: ICW Crossing and Channel to Jacksonville Dredging Inlet Dredge


Dredged material is now finally being placed in the “placement area.” It is unclear how far the sand will extend as part of this navigation project.


Corps of Engineers: Terminal Groin


The Corps of Engineers will conduct a Facebook Live event to inform stakeholders of the details of the project as part of the preparation of an environmental impact statement. Public comments on the groin project will be solicited over the next few weeks.


Paid Parking


Paid Parking rolled out effective March 1, 2021. As expected there have been some glitches with the technology, but the vendor has been very responsive in resolving issues as they come up. Anyone still experiencing problems can contact the vendor at 910-202-6001 or at customerservice@ottoconnect.us.


Budget


Preliminary budget figures have been developed, and department managers are prepared to address their requests and recommendations at the Board Planning Retreat scheduled for Wednesday, March 24th.


Capital Grant


We’ve submitted a Capital Grant request for $28,488.75 to Onslow County for assistance with the upgrade of the Town Hall ID sign to an electronic message board. This will assist in communicating hazards with the many visitors we receive each year, and our residents as well.


Tourism Grant


We’ve submitted a Tourism Grant request to Onslow County in the amount of $125,000 to provide funds for beach operation and maintenance.


Town Park Dedication


A ceremony dedicating the North Topsail Beach Town Park as the “Richard C. Peters Park” was held on Tuesday, 2/23, with Mr. Peter’s family and friends in attendance. I would like to thank the members of the Department of Public Works, the Fire Department, and the Police for working so hard to make this a smooth running, memorable event. I would also like to thank Alderman Leonard for his efforts in putting this tribute together, and Alderman Benson for his kind comments at the presentation. I believe the Peters family enjoyed the event and appreciated the town’s recognition of his 17 years of selfless service to the people of North Topsail Beach.