April 19, 2016

UPDATE: Board accepts bid for 2017 Buxton
nourishment, sets hearing for sand tax district


It is now official -- there will be no beach nourishment in Buxton this year.

In addition, the Dare County Board of Commissioners has now set a public hearing on its proposal for an expanded service district for Buxton to help pay for the project.  The hearing will be on Monday, May 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the Fessenden Center in Buxton.

After reaching out to the state and local officials to try to find more money to fund beach nourishment this summer and getting no encouragement, the Dare County Board of Commissioners voted to accept the bid Weeks Marine Construction of Covington, La., for $22.15 million to nourish 2.9 miles of beach in north Buxton next year.

Weeks was one of four companies that bid to do the work between April and the end of December in 2017 and was the low bidder. The other bids ranged from $29.8 million to $48.7 million.

Dare County had also asked the four companies to submit a bid for 2016, but only two of them did -- Weeks Marine and Dutra Group of San Rafael, Calif.  Each bid about $34 million, which is at least $12 million more than the budget.

At a special meeting of the board last week, the commissioners discussed whether the county could get the addition money from Congress or from the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Board Chairman Bob Woodard and county manager Bobby Outten reached out to folks in Washington, D.C., and Raleigh by phone at the end of last week, but was told that there was no money in the current budget, and the county has not time to wait.

The state's Local Government Commission must now approve the financing of the Buxton project -- which includes funds from the county beach nourishment fund and probably additional money from levying a tax on property owners in a special tax district.

At a special meeting last week, the board decided to expand the Buxton special district to include not only oceanfront properties but all parcels in a triangle formed by Old Lighthouse Road, the ocean, and Highway 12 -- with just a few parcels on the west side of Highway 12.

It has issued a new report on the service district and the need for it.  Click here to read the report. It has also issued a new map, set a public meeting with four weeks advance notice, and mailed  notices to all property owners in the proposed district.

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