This is your Ocracoke community forum. Your input and participation needed.
Minutes of the September meeting and tonight’s agenda are below.
Ocracoke Civic and Business Association
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Ocracoke Community Center
Meeting was called to order by Vice-President Justin LeBlanc at 7:06 p.m. Board members present: Connie Leinbach, Rudy Austin (7:15), Jim Borland (8 pm).
Others/members present: Sundae Horn, Ed Fuller (for the NPS), Fred Westervelt, Janey Jacoby, Peter Vankevich and Kris Noble.
Minutes: Of the August meeting were approved.
Treasurer’s report: Frank Brown is working on the books and budget. A report will be given next month.
County manager: Bill Rich attended by cell phone and talked about the following:
The county will sign a three-year lease with option to buy Ronnie Van O’Neal’s property on Back Road for a new location for EMS including gradual expansion of the Ocracoke Health Center. Under their federal grant, the health center will need a new facility and the county’s purchase of this building will allow them to expand gradually.
Noise ordinance: This needs more of Ocracoke’s input. The ordinance defines what level of sound to 10 p.m. and after that, the ordinance is not specific. He said we need to make an ordinance that is enforceable. Even indoor music from some businesses can be heard outside those building confines. The complaint now is that after 10 p.m. it is subjective. We need to agree on what is Ocracoke. What is our image? We’re a family community and do we say music up to 10 p.m. then it’s lights out? We need an ordinance that compromises all the needs to present to the county commissioners. He said we should think about this and talk about it at the October meeting, and/or have a community round-table to find out what the majority wants.
NPS: He and other county officials had one of the most productive weeks we’ve ever had with the NPS regarding sound-side access.
Regarding the proposed passenger ferry, he said the Ferry Division received a $6.2 million federal grant to help with planning of infrastructure and transit for this project on Ocracoke.
Scabies: Bill said the county health department has taken “an aggressive approach” to this and are doing more than what their mandate is. “We’re not in control of them,” he said about the health department.
Travel & Tourism Director’s report: Sundae Horn reported that she has heard great feedback about the Fig Festival. We had a food writer from the Raleigh News&Observer, who also will do a story on the event for Our State magazine next year. The event drew the most cake entries to date. Maybe charge a vendor fee next year?
Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree: a press release went out this week.
Fireworks: No word yet on if the NPS will approve this for the beach off the airport ramp. However, the first fireworks company, Pyrotechnico, has now raised its price to about double what they have quoted and also said they might not have a crew available. She will talk to Zambelli, another fireworks company. Rudy said he might have another barge. Hyde County has again agreed to hold the insurance certificate.
The OPS House Tour will be Dec. 5 and include the area of Lighthouse Road to the end (where Loop Road begins).
NPS report: Ed Fuller reported that all the bird nesting is done. There are 26 remaining turtle nests which may affect night driving. Beach-driving permit purchases to date: 1,263 weekly (1,264 last year at this time), and 102 annual permits (84 last year at this time).
Bike racks are in and they received two more beach wheelchairs for a total of five. Regarding trash at the NPS lots, that is supposed to be picked up twice a week. Over the winter they will talk about how to implement recycling at the NPS access points.
Ramp 63 will be a new ramp with a contract to be awarded by next April.
President’s report: Hatteras Inlet is shoaling over even more and it’s in an area outside the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers, who are responsible for the federal part of this inlet. If the Corp can get this area designated for “advance maintenance” then they might be able to widen the dredging area to 200 feet. (Currently, the Corps is only authorized to dredge a width of 100 feet.) The only way to get the short route back is through a rebuilding of the southern end of Hatteras Island to stop the flow of water into the inlet. It’s not just boating needs that are critical with this inlet, the rebuilding the end of the island with sand also will help with Tideland’s underwater electric line to Ocracoke.
Bill Rich said he will attend the Sept. 15 meeting of the waterways committee in Manteo. Justin LeBlanc said he would reach out to SeaGrant.
Old business: Hyde County has purchased an official, locked lost-and-found box to be placed at the sheriff’s office.
Rudy reported that the Variety Store will not be getting big Christmas trees this year, only small ones. We need three twelve-foot ones for the community. Kris Noble said that Chris Williams, who has a grocery store in Swan Quarter, is looking into getting large ones.
No new treasurer yet.
Storm water: Justin reported that installation of the drainage at Blackbeard’s Lodge will begin soon.
Maurice Ballance Road will become a state road and will receive gravel.
Rudy said that David Hallac, Cape Hatteras National Seashore superintendent, said they will try to fix at least one half of the public boat launch.
New Business: none
Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. The next meeting is Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Ocracoke Community Center.
Connie Leinbach, secretary
OCRACOKE CIVIC AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
Monthly meeting 7 p.m. Oct. 14, 2015
Ocracoke Community Center
- Call to Order
- Approval of September minutes
- Treasurer’s report
- Travel & Tourism Director report (Sundae Horn)
Topics for discussion/approval:
–OCBA considering dropping of fireworks for July 4
–Life in the Carolinas television show and commercial: approval of OCBA paying $1,800 for a commercial about the Pirate Jamboree on this show
–Approval of reimbursing Core Sound Museum $499 for representing Ocracoke at the NC State Fair
–Discussion/approval of expanded Walking Map (in lieu of two brochures—the walking map and asset brochure). This will cost about $4,000 more than we currently spend to print 200,000 walking maps
- As-needed reports:
National Park Service
County Manager (Bill Rich)
County Commissioner (John Fletcher)
- President’s report:
–Hatteras Inlet/ferries. NC Ferry Division is looking to again enact tolls on the Hatteras Ferry.
- New business
- Old Business
Note: 2015 meetings: Second Wednesdays of the month. 7 p.m. Ocracoke Community Center (unless otherwise stated). Next meetings are:
Nov. 11, 2015
Dec. 9, 2015 (Election of officers and board members)
Jan. 11, 2016