Highlights from the Dare County Board of Commissioners Meeting - September 6, 2016
Tropical Storm Hermine
Chairman Bob Woodard opened the meeting by discussing the impacts from Tropical Storm Hermine which barreled through the County over the holiday weekend. Damage assessment teams have been in the field and while the initial report estimates damages at approximately $2.5 million, this total will increase, particularly on Hatteras Island, as assessment teams continue their work. He thanked County personnel who worked continuously during the storm to keep everyone safe and offered condolences to the family of the truck driver involved in a fatal accident on the Alligator River Bridge Saturday morning.
Chairman's Stewardship Report
Chairman Bob Woodard provided a Stewardship Report regarding the Board's progress meeting goals established earlier this year. He reported that the Board held true to their promise to continue providing high quality government services without raising taxes while also addressing several issues that needed immediate attention: funding for much- needed beach nourishment projects, tackling problems facing our watermen at Hatteras Inlet, and developing an economic diversification strategy to strengthen and grow our local economy. At the same time, the Board has made significant progress in paying down the County's insurance debt and increase the fund balance savings account without raising taxes.
Woodard was quick to point out that while the Board provides the leadership for the mission, it is the dedicated staff that makes it all possible. He mentioned that for the first time in many years, the Board has taken action to address the salaries of County employees.
The full stewardship report can be viewed online at darenc.com. Scroll down, it's listed under the left hand column.
At the Board's request, Donna Elms, Chair of the Dare County Board of Elections, came before the Board to review the process for establishing the one-stop voting schedule for the November general election, noting that additional hours have been added recently. Elms made it clear that it is the goal of the Elections Board to work in a non partisan way to meet state laws and provide the best service possible for the people of Dare County. The one stop voting schedule is as follows for the upcoming election:
Board of Elections Office in Manteo - Weekdays from October 20 through November 4 from 8:30 AM to 6 PM and Saturday, November 5 from 8:30 AM to 1 PM
Fessenden Center in Buxton, the Kill Devil Hills Town Hall, and the Pitt Center in Southern Shores - Weekdays from October 20 through November 4 from 2 to 6 PM (except for Oct. 26 and Nov. 1, when they will run from 10 AM to 2 PM in KDH and Southern Shores to avoid conflicts with town meetings).
For information about absentee ballots - contact the Board of Elections office at 252.475.5630 or visit darenc.com/boe for more information.
Capital Improvements Plan 2017-2021
Finance Director David Clawson presented the County's five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) outlining the upcoming schedule and appropriation of funds for major projects. To be considered as a project in the CIP, the project cost must be more than $50,000 and have an estimated service life of more than 5 years. The CIP is a planning tool as well as a financial plan and fulfills the County's policy of projecting future facilities and equipment needs. The Capital Reserve Fund - which is the County's share of the land transfer tax collected when real property is conveyed - is the funding source for CIP projects, for both pay-as-you go and debt financed projects . The plan is updated each year as part of the annual budgeting process. Commissioners approved the 2017-2021 Capital Improvement Plan as presented.
For this year, $1.65 million is allocated for the Dare County Schools' capital outlay and capital improvements plan. Another large project is replacement of the heating and air system at the Dare County Justice Center. For more information about the County's CIP, visit www.darenc.com/finance.
Refinancing of Utility Bonds
Commissioners approved a request from Finance Director David Clawson to move forward with refinancing of the County's Series 2009 and Series 2011 Water Bonds. Clawson has been tracking this possibility for over a year and estimates that almost $110,000 in savings will be realized over the life of the bonds. The request will go the the state's Local Government Commission for final approval.
Proclamations Adopted for Dare Literacy Week and Constitution Day
Lynn Blackburn of the Dare Literacy Council came before the Board to present information about the Council's efforts to provide tutoring and learning resources in Dare County. Following the presentation, the Board thanked the Council for their efforts and proclaimed September as National Literacy Week in Dare County, challenging all citizens to become involved in helping others "learn" to improve their lives. For more information, about the Dare Literacy Council go to dareliteracy.org.
Commissioners proclaimed the week of September 17 - 23 as Constitution Week, following a presentation from Evelyn Webb of the Virginia Dare Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). As we near the 229th anniversary of the drafting of the constitution of the United States of America, citizens are asked to reaffirm the ideals that the framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by protecting the freedoms guaranteed us through this document.
The Board of Commissioners' next meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 26 at 5 PM For more information about the Dare County Board of Commissioners, including full agenda packets and video from meetings, visit darenc.com and scroll to the Board of Commissioners information located in the left column on the home page.