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Town Board Meeting July 2019
Paving update, audits completed
June 27, 2019

J
uly’s meeting was held at the end of June to avoid conflict with the federal July 4 holiday. The meeting covered the town’s efforts to prepare for the next storm, a proclamation thanking Deaton Yacht Services for their commitment to the community, and the acceptance of the town’s corrected fiscal audits going back to 2015-2016.

town hall signDuring the public comment period, Buddy Kelly urged the Town Commissioners to turn South Avenue into a river side promenade, banning cars from using the area, and using the promenade to make Oriental “more interesting.”

Kelly has brought up the issue several times before including at the January Town Board meeting. Commissioner David White told Kelly the issue was brought up for discussion several meetings ago; it was now a dead issue. FEMA grants will only pay for a storm damaged area or property to be brought back to its former condition, not to have it made into something new.

Kelly owns property at Neuse Dr. and Vandemere St. near South Ave.

Repaving South Water St.
“As soon as Croakerfest is over,” Town Manager Diane Miller said, “they’re going to do that drainage that runs from Academy St. to South Water, that runs next to Jeannie Robertson’s property and then recast the box and connection to the other side of S Water before they do the paving.”

A bid is out for the paving contract, not only for South Water Street, but for South Avenue as well. Miller said they will be able to award the paving contract after the third bid is received. South Water St will receive curb and gutter, and will be made into a one way street directing traffic away from Hodges St. toward Main St.

Town Hurricane Preparedness, Sustainability, and Resilience
Town Manager Miller reports she and Deputy Finance Director Tammy Cox have been attending several Hurricane Preparedness meetings held by the state to determine what municipalities can do to better respond to future storms.

“The biggest issue during this storm [Hurricane Florence] was that people waited too long to leave and then they couldn’t.”

File photo: Flooding On Hodges Street, October 2015.

“The Saffir-Simpson Scale [which rates hurricanes from a category 1 to a category 5 depending on severity] only measures wind, not water,” said Miller. “While we went down to a category 1 storm [during Hurricane Florence], we got the effects of a category 5 storm. The trend is the storms are sitting over us longer, dumping more water.”

The town’s emergency management team will resume meetings now that Croaker Festival is over.

Cherry Point Joint Land Use Study Meeting
The Town of Oriental is attending the Joint Land Use Study Meetings with Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. Oriental is only impacted by bombing targets 9 and 11 in the Neuse, though Cherry Point has conducted operations in Oriental previously. Miller said the Town will continue to attend the meetings, to insure the Town’s needs and concerns regarding its citizens and its waterways are being heard.

Town Audits from 2015-2018 Have Been Corrected and Accepted
The town’s fiscal audits are caught up. Due to a glitch in the financial software used by the town, the annual audits contained several inaccuracies. New software was implemented and the issues have been resolved. Miller reports the Local Government Commission has accepted the 15-16, 16-17, and 17-18 fiscal year audits. The audit for 18-19 fiscal year will begin after August 1.

2020 Census and Oriental
The 2020 Census is happening April 1, 2020. Town Manager Miller said the census is important as it is “used for how much federal funding is directed to us.”

Residents are encouraged to complete the census via internet. However, Miller says Pamlico County lacks broadband services and transportation services and the town will work with community leaders to help reach vulnerable populations who may not have access to these services.

Deaton 40th Anniversary Proclamation
Mayor Sally Belangia read a proclamation recognizing Deaton Yacht Services for their contribution to the community and residents of Oriental. Their 40th anniversary is July 20, 2019.

Police Report
This month’s report was incomplete, said Officer Nic Blayney, as it did not reflect the impact of the Croaker Festival on the town. Those numbers will be reflected in the August meeting report.

Officer Blayney said the Oriental police department will accept road and boat flares for destruction. Several have been dropped off to the Fire Department, but they are unable to dispose of them. Residents can call the Oriental Police Department to schedule a drop off. 252-249-0369

Oriental’s newest police vehicle now has the decals in place:

Town Hall July 2019
Oriental’s new police vehicle.
Dates to Know
  • The next Town Board Meeting will be Tuesday, August 6 at 7p.
Related Information

Posted Thursday June 27, 2019 by Allison DeWeese


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