Ocracoke News Roundup:
ordinance, fireworks, ABC store
By CONNIE LEINBACH
The Hyde County commissioners expect to have a noise ordinance in place
before the summer.
Now in its third draft, the ordinance will focus on allowable decibel
levels and time frames for outdoor music on Ocracoke and the mainland.
Hyde County manager Mazie Smith and the commissioners are working on
how the ordinance will be enforced, which will involve decibel meters
and training personnel in their proper use.
Several Ocracoke residents gave their opinions to the commissioners at
their Jan. 19 meeting.
The draft is available to view and to make comments at www.hydecountync.gov.
Hyde commissioners are still trying to get a handle on the ABC finances
to help the two stores in the county stay profitable.
New legislation mandates that ABC stores must be profitable or the
state will take them away, noted Commissioner Barry Swindell at the
March 7 meeting.
The current group of county commissioners is trying to keep a close eye
on operations because the county pays for the buildings that house the
stores in Swan Quarter and Ocracoke.
Darlene Styron, county commissioner for Ocracoke, explained that the
state mandates the cost of the liquor to the stores and how much the
stores can charge over cost.
She has been asking questions about the accounting methods and business
practices of the stores since last summer, noting that there are many
business practices that can be used to boost efficiency and improve
“Our hands are tied unless you operate your business efficiently,” she
A joint meeting of the county commissioners and ABC board is scheduled
for March 14 in Swan Quarter.
Fred Westervelt, who is on the Fourth of July Committee of Ocracoke’s
Civic and Business Association, reported that a fireworks display on
Ocracoke on July 4 is a tentative “go.”
He said that the North Carolina Ferry Division has agreed to lend
Ocracoke a barge from which to launch fireworks out in the Pamlico
However, several details have to be confirmed in the next few weeks,
including funding for the fireworks.
He had noted that an informal e-mail poll he conducted about whether
fireworks should be part of the celebration showed a few more people
were in favor of fireworks than against it.
He also noted that the committee wants to again have skydivers from the
Airborne Infantry as part of the island’s day-long celebration.