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Town Board Meeting June 2019
A new budget, curbing & gutter, Cycle NC
June 6, 2019

uesday night’s monthly Town Hall began with a discussion, and acceptance, of the 2019-2020 fiscal budget. A new engineering drawing for Whittaker Point was introduced, Cycle NC officially chooses Oriental, and the next town meeting is moved to accommodate the July 4 holiday.

Public Hearing #1: 2019-2020 Budget & Capital Reserve Resolution
Town Manager Diane Miller presented the budget to the Commissioners and public. It will focus on continuing repairs from Hurricane Florence. No tax or water fee increases are included and the general fund, the main fund used for administrative and operational costs, is at $968,494. Miller said towns the size of Oriental are required to keep 8% of their operating budget in the general fund, though 50% is recommended. Oriental’s general fund is at 91% of its operating budget.

town hall signIncluded in the budget were repairs to S. Water street. The road, just off Hodges Street, experiences frequent flooding and poor drainage. Miller said the town will install curb and gutter, resulting in a one-way road. Traffic will be routed away from Hodges Street, down S. Water Street towards Main Street.

A resolution was introduced to move $15,000, held in reserve to replace the emergency generator, into the Public Works reserve fund. Town Hall’s generator quit during Hurricane Florence and will be replaced through FEMA and insurance, freeing up the funds for another equipment purchase – a multi-terrain skid steer loader for the Public Works Department.

There were no public comments. The Board approved the budget and the resolution.

Public Hearing #2: Fee Schedule Increases
Three fee schedule increases were introduced, affecting contracted costs. The increases are as follows:
  • Water Tap Fees (3/4”) increase from $1,475 to $1,675
  • Annexation Petition increases from $50 to $1,000
  • Copy of GMO (Growth Management Ordinance) Map larger than 11×17 increases from $5 to $45

Town Manager Miller cited increased costs from outside providers (for water tapping and printing fees) and unaccounted for legal costs (for annexation paperwork) as the reason for the increases.

There were no public comments. The Board approved the increases.

Whittaker Point Restoration
Quible and Associates engineers, the firm hired for the Whittaker Point restoration project, has sent a new drawing incorporating suggestions from the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) to the Town for the restoration. (Full size document available at the end of the article.)

Town Board Meeting June 2019
A newly engineered plan for the restoration of Whittaker Point shows oyster shell beds on the inside of the point, a rock sill on the end of the point, and proposed wetland restoration in the existing breach.

The updated drawing calls for oyster shell beds on the inside of the point, bolstering of existing rock, reducing the fill in the breach of the point, and using the existing, stable hog slat breakwaters as an additional barrier with new barriers to be installed behind.

Town Manager Miller said NCDEQ had concerns about the potential navigation hazards posed by a proposed 200 ft jetty at the end of the point. Quible and Associates reworked the plan to include a 30 ft extension of the rock sill at the end of the point instead.

The engineering firm is seeking approval of the new plan from NCDEQ in order to move ahead.

Voluntary Water Restrictions
Due to the lack of rain, the Town is asking residents to voluntarily restrict their water usage. Town Manager Miller noted several counties have already gone into mandatory water restrictions, and asks residents to be aware of their usage. Several conservation methods were discussed including watering plants deeply and less often, not installing sod during the summer as it takes thousands of gallons of water to properly install, and turning off sprinklers when it’s raining. (More suggestions from the Water Shortage Response Plan in document at the end of the article.)

Police Report
Officer Nic Blayney has created property check cards for residences and businesses, to let residents know when their property has been inspected, and if the resident needs to get in touch with one of the officers about their property. Residents can call the number on the card if they have any questions.

Town Board Meeting June 2019
New property check cards from the Oriental Police Department.
Manager’s Report
  • Cycle NC officially designates Oriental as the town for their 2020 Coastal Ride.
  • JLUS Meeting at Havelock Town Manager Miller will be attending a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) meeting at Havelock on June 11. A JLUS is a cooperative planning effort between military bases and neighboring municipalities. Miller said the purpose of Oriental’s involvement is to have a seat at the table and to have a voice when new zones (such as the bombing targets in the Pamlico Sound) are introduced or expanded.
  • Annual Dog Park Tags expire next week New ones are available at Town Hall. Bring proof of current rabies shots to get a new tag.
  • Fireworks permit The Town has received their fireworks permit for Croakerfest. Last year, the Oriental bridge was closed in both directions and fireworks were set off from the top of the bridge.
  • Highway 55/Broad Street Road Stripes Town Manager Miller has contacted NC Department of Transportation to move the stripes on the newly paved Highway 55 (Broad Street) away from the side of the road nearest the Oriental Village Veterinary office. Several vehicles park on the side of the road there (and further down) and the new placement of the stripes has caused traffic problems. NCDOT said the stripes are temporary and are looking into fixing the issue. The stripes have already been moved to one side, further down Broad Street near New Village Brewery, allowing for parked cars along the road.

Dates to Know
The next Town Board Meeting, scheduled for July 2, has been moved so as to not interfere with the July 4 holiday. The next Town Board meeting will be Thursday, June 27 @ 8a.

Related Information

Posted Thursday June 6, 2019 by Allison DeWeese

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