September 23, 2014

Hatteras commissioner talks about
bridge issue on radio show...WITH AUDIO


Allen Burrus, vice-chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners and Hatteras Island representative on the board, was the guest Sunday, Sept.21, on the new Radio Hatteras interview show, "To the Point."

The show, hosted by Island Free Press Editor, Irene Nolan, will air on the island's community radio station, FM 101.5 and FM 99.9, at 5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month.  It will be repeated on the second and fourth Sunday.

Burrus, who also is the owner of the Burrus Red & White supermarket in Hatteras village, talked about a variety of issues that affect island residents, off-island property owners, and visitors.

The first question was about the issue of replacing the Bonner Bridge.

The question was: "DOT announced earlier this week that the abrupt work stoppage at the Pea Island bridge is because the department is "in conversations" with the Southern Environmental Law Center and its clients about the recent court decision on the Bonner Bridge replacement. How do you feel about the fact that the public and, especially, Dare County, do not have a seat at that negotiating table?"

Burrus answered in an extensive reply that he is "really concerned and that he thinks anyone who lives on Hatteras Island and, for that matter, all of Dare County should be concerned.

He mentioned specifically distrust of the SELC.

"DOT feels they can deal with Southern Environmental Law (Center) and come out as equal partners, and it's hard to do that," he said, harkening back to previous battles with the group about the 1990 expansion of the island water company's wellfields and the more recent National Park Service off-road vehicle management plan.

"They are what they are," he said. "They'll be a snake until their head's cut off."

"If they are coming to the table," he added, "it's because they feel like they're at a disadvantage to continue doing what they are doing....I think we'll be better off to continue doing what we're doing."

He said he is also concerned about whether DOT can really get all the permits it needs from federal and state agencies.

Burrus also talked about:

  • The continued shoaling of our shoaling inlets and eroding beaches.  He thinks we need to "think outside the box and not keep going around with a hat in our hands, expecting help from the federal and state government." He believes it is workable financially for Dare County to buy its own dredge to keep the inlets open, nourish our beaches, and grow our economy.  And he spells out that plan.
  • How Dare County should deal with the issue of property rights vs. public nuisances. "It's a slippery slope," he said. "It's a slow process, and it shouldn't be but only so fast."
  • Keeping Hatteras Inlet open to the Atlantic Ocean for the island's commercial and recreational watermen.
  • The severe erosion of the southern tip of Hatteras Island.
  • How changes made by the General Assembly to the state's unemployment compensation had negatively affected the county's seasonal workers and their employers.
  • How the county handles increasing taxes for special tax districts, such as it did this year for the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department.

Scroll to the bottom of the page
to hear Allen Burrus discuss these issues in greater detail. The interview lasts about 35 minutes.


On the show, IFP editor Irene Nolan will be interviewing newsmakers about the events and issues that affect all of us who live on Hatteras Island and those of us who love to visit here.

"You can expect to hear from folks who are making the news, those who are decision-makers, and some who are just plain interesting to talk to about the island and its past, present, and future," she says.

Because the station's all-volunteer staff and small budget are stretched tight, the show is pre-recorded.  At this point, listeners cannot call in questions.

Also, the station can be received only on Hatteras Island, though the board of directors of the community, non-profit hopes that funds can be raised soon for online streaming of the programming.

For now, the audio will be posted the week after the interview so Island Free Press readers who missed the show or who do not live on Hatteras can listen in.

You can let Nolan know about folks you would like her to interview and suggest questions to ask.  Send your ideas to [email protected].


Radio Hatteras is our community, non-profit radio station and depends on grants, memberships, and underwriting.

It broadcasts around the clock with news -- including such things as surfing and fishing reports -- community announcements, music, and special programs.

Our community radio station also needs your support, and you can give that by purchasing a membership or by underwriting the station if you are a business or another community non-profit.

Radio Hatteras memberships are $50 for a family, $25 for an individual and $10 for a student. Mail memberships and other contributions to Radio Hatteras, P.O. Box 339, Frisco, NC 27936.

E-mail [email protected] or call (252) 995-6000 for information about underwriting opportunities.

You can read more about Radio Hatteras and its music and programs on its Facebook page,

The new Radio Hatteras website is There’s information on memberships, underwriting, and programming, among other things.

Radio Hatteras wants to publicize community events.  You can send them at least two weeks in advance to [email protected].

If you have a special request for a song, you can e-mail it to [email protected].

If you have news, you can send it to [email protected].

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