The Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board is composed of Nancy Leach, Trudy Austin, Bob Chestnut, Lena O’Neal and Ann Warner. Photo: C. Leinbach

At their May meeting, Hyde County Commissioners approved all 10 of the recommendations for grants for fiscal year 2022-2023 by the Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board (OTB).

Ocracoke County Commissioner Randal Mathew made the motion which was unanimously approved.

“I just want to thank all the board members for all the hard work they do and I’m really grateful for the appropriations they made,” he said. “We had a lot of extra funding this year and it looks like to me that most of the people that asked for allocations, got what they asked for, and that’s a lot of sustainability for Ocracoke and Hyde County.”

Here are the recipient amounts for a total of $1,262,645:
Mattie Arts Center $500.
Ocracoke Civic & Business Association $333,875.
Ocracoke Preservation Society $29,040.
Ocracoke Youth Center $538,610.
Ocracoke Fire Protection Association $100,000.
Ocracoke Friends of the Library $2,100.
Ocracoke School $5,350.
Ocracoke Alive $30,000.
Hyde County $165,000.
Ocracoke Community Center $58,170.

Of the 5% in occupancy tax collected on all lodgings on Ocracoke, the OTB manages 3% of that amount and the Ocracoke Tourism Development Authority (TDA) the remaining 2%.

The OTB, by statute, can recommend grants “for any legal purpose.”

Below is a breakdown of how the OTB grants will be used.

The Ocracoke Civic & Business Association (OCBA): $201,900 for the restroom project on the Island Inn campus. The association expects to purchase a ready-made, unisex bathroom sometime this year. It also received $67,875 for 2022 events (July 4, Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree and the Island-wide yard sale).

It also was awarded $36,000 for 2023 fireworks, $20,000 for the walking map, and $8,100 for visitor center (in Community Square) rent.

Ocracoke Preservation Society: $11,399 for this year’s Fig Festival, and $17,641 for the Island Inn Project.

Ocracoke Youth Center: $144,000 for phase I and $424,610 for phase II for the building of tennis/pickle ball courts near the Ocracoke Community Park.

Ocracoke Fire Protection Association: for funding for purchase of a new fire truck $75,000, insurance $20,000, training, $5,000.

Ocracoke Friends of the Library received $2,100 for the summer reading program, $800; story walk, $300; author visit, $500; programming, $500.

Ocracoke School: Arts Week, $5,350.

Ocracoke Alive received $30,000 for the Ocrafolk Festival $22,000 and Latino festival, $8,000.

Hyde County received $165,000 for the state lobbyist $10,000, tram service $70,000, and $90,000 for the Tekniam broadband pilot project.

Ocracoke Community Center: for operations, $18,570; improvements, $33,000.

This year, Bob Chestnut, OTB chair, said both boards reviewed the proposals to discern if the TDA could cover the costs of advertising since its authorizing statute is to spend two thirds of its revenue on advertising, colloquially referred to as “heads in beds.”

This year, the TDA chose to fund a total of $119,641 towards advertising for projects which are as follows:

OCBA’s restroom project $50,000

WOVV for Runfest Weekend $4,099

OPS for the British Cemetery Ceremony $4,800

OPS for the Fig Festival $2,601

OPS for the Island Inn project $17,641

Ocracoke Youth Center for the tennis/pickle ball courts $30,000

Ocracoke Running Club for the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot $5,500

Hyde County for the state lobbyist $5,000

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