After an unusually low-key “town hall-style” meeting with the public, Oak Island Town Council agreed to seek $4.5-million in grants to help rebuild dunes and create a recreational berm for the length of the ocean beach.
Council also approved a $25,000 performance guarantee for future sidewalks in phase one of the Pine Forest development and assignment of an ingress and egress easement on a lot in the King’s Lynn subdivision.
Katie Finnigan of Moffatt & Nichol briefly reviewed the grant request, which will be submitted next month to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The request is for $1.5-million this year and $3-million next year to help rebuild the dunes and berm destroyed by Hurricane Florence.
Finnigan said the town’s projects “are competitive because they’re shovel-ready.”
Staff expects to learn the outcome of the request in March 2020.
During the open discussion, Rosalie Fairley thanked members of Council for their service to the town.
Rosanne Fortner gave updates on the Beach Preservation Society, including the new mobility mat at Oak Island Pier and the new evening lecture series.
Ed Drzewiecki asked about water quality in light of the latest spill at the Chemours complex, which briefly caused water suppliers drawing from the Cape Fear River to shut down.
Town Manager David Kelly said that almost all of the water Oak Island buys from Brunswick County comes from the wells off N.C. 211. The county adds treated water from the river only during peak demand. The town tests the water monthly, he said.
Drzewiecki also said he continued to be concerned about the possibility of paid parking.
Another resident asked about enforcement of removal of obstructions in the street rights of way. Town Planner Jake Vares said that vehicles and trailers were handled by police; code enforcement staff deals with fences, old furniture and the like.
Vares said the town’s campaign to address obstructions has been slightly stalled while staff works on the exact contents of warning letters and follow-up letters.
Council Member John Bach urged residents to take concerns directly to the town and not complain solely on social media. Bach also asked staff to work on a financial report about the pier complex.
Mayor Cin Brochure plugged the Live and Local events coming October 18 and November 15 from 4 to 7:30 at Middleton Park. They will include vendors and local bands.
Kelly said 80% of the current paving project is done and that the town was using a contractor to help get caught up on yard debris removal.
Council also gave awards of appreciation to three police officers who helped a couple of visitors and their pets escape a burning home on East Beach Drive on September 17. Thomas O’Brien saw the flames while on patrol and woke the residents up. Lloyd Hames and Kenneth Bullock arrived and doused the blaze with a hose before firefighters arrived on the scene.