|Collaboration committee says county, cities already working together
a consensus emerged during the Nov. 20 meeting of the Dare County
Consolidation Committee, it was that local officials need to do a
better job telling the public about the extent to which they already
collaborate on services.
lot of folks thought there was inconsistency [in services] and started
hollering that we need to consolidate,” said Kitty Hawk Mayor Gary
Perry, at the close of the meeting. “The public needs to know that
we’re already working together.“
This is not the first time the county has examined the idea of
consolidating services in order to save money and instill efficiency.
This round was triggered by Dare Board Chairman Bob Woodard who, at the
Aug. 17 commissioners meeting, called for the creation of a committee —
comprised of a mayor, commissioner and manager from each town — to
explore consolidating functions between the county and its
Read the story in The Outer Banks Sentinel.
|Program helps Dare residents with energy costs
is the time of the year where Dare County residents begin to prepare
for the cold winter months that are approaching. Much work is done to
prepare our homes for winter and thermostats are turned up. Winter
heating bills can be an overwhelming cost to many families.
Fortunately, help is available to those who meet eligibility
|Governor says Mid-Currituck Bridge timeline to speed up two years
Pat McCrory announced last week that construction of the long-planned
Mid-Currituck Bridge between the mainland and Corolla could be
accelerated by two years and begin as early as 2017, due to
transportation funding changes in the state budget approved in August.
most recent estimate had construction of the 7-mile long toll bridge
over Currituck Sound starting in fiscal year 2019 and completion by
2025, at a cost of at least $410 million.
Read the story in the Outer Banks Voice.
|New rules to ease sandbag restrictions
new rules will make it easier for beachfront land owners to build
sandbag walls and leave them in place for longer periods.
of the state panel directed by the N.C. General Assembly to create the
rules expressed fears this week that the new, looser restrictions could
result in hardened beaches along the entire North Carolina coast. Read
|CHEC will relocate line to prepare for Bonner Bridge replacement
Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative, in cooperation with North Carolina
Department of Transportation, will begin work to relocate its 115kV
transmission cable south of Oregon Inlet to allow DOT needed space to
begin construction of the Bonner Bridge replacement. Read
|Dredging in Hatteras Inlet scheduled to start this week
will start this week in a shoaled section of channel in Hatteras Inlet,
a project that will provide much-needed relief to ferry and private
vessel traffic to and from the Atlantic.
off a recently completed survey, the state Ferry Division will use the
state dredge Carolina to clear about 700-800 feet between the
inlet gorge and Sloop Channel, a section that currently has as little
as 3.5 feet of water. Read
|The Hidden Epidemic: The social safety network helping OBX’s needy
Kindness is woven into the fabric of the Outer Banks, as is quickly
evident when people living or visiting here find themselves in trouble.
But where to get help is not always obvious, and it may be limited in
scope or difficult to access.
Over the last four decades of rapid growth in Dare County, a patchwork
network of organizations — many of them nonprofit and community
generated — has sprung up to address gaps that cohesive families once
Read the article, the third and last in a series by Catherine Kozak, in The Outer Banks Sentinel.
The Hidden Epidemic: For 'working poor,' a constant battle to make ends meet
About one-in-ten (11.1%) of Dare County residents lived below the
federally established poverty line in 2013, the last year for which
data are available. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Nearly one-third (29%) of the county’s residents are considered low
income, earning less than twice the federal poverty level. Still others
fall into a more amorphous category of “working poor,” those who live
at the economic edges because of the unique characteristics — low
wages, high costs of living and seasonal economic swings — that define
life on the Outer Banks.
Read the article, the second in a series by writer Catherine Kozak, in The Outer Banks Sentinel.
The Hidden Epidemic: In resort setting, some Dare residents struggle with poverty
Dare County is one of the richest in North Carolina. Our tourism-based
economy last year raked in $1.2 billion from visitors, behind only
mega-wealthy Mecklenburg and Wake counties. Our real estate is valued
in the billions and we sent about $90 million combined in state and
local tax receipts to Raleigh in 2014.
Dare County, and its residents, are by no means immune to economic
distress. In 2013, the last year for which data are available, about 20
percent of Dare’s children lived in poverty. Of our year-round
population of roughly 35,000 people, about 3,000 of them fell below the
poverty rate. According to March 2015 numbers, 8,365 people requested
public assistance for needs that included housing, food, child care,
transportation and utility costs.
the percentage of poor people in Dare County has grown steadily. In
1989, the rate of children under 18 in poverty was 8.3 percent, less
than half of what it is today. According to NC Child, during the
2007-2008 recession, 26 percent of Dare’s school children qualified for
the free or reduced lunch program. In June 2015, nearly half — 43
percent — of Dare’s students qualified, with the highest percentages in
Manteo and Hatteras Island schools.
Read the article, the first in a series by Catherine Kozak, in The Outer Banks Sentinel.
|BOC takes up paying for nourishment, ferry tolling, zoning
Topics of interest to Hatteras Island dominated the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, Nov. 16.
members of the board decided not to reconsider their resolution
favoring ferry tolling and not to make changes to the current S-1
zoning in the tri-villages, received information from the county
manager on creating a special tax district to help pay for Buxton Beach
nourishment, and voted in favor of a Tourism Board grant of $50,000 to
the Hatteras Island Ocean Center. Read
|David Oaksmith, stalwart of Dare County education, dies
E. Oaksmith, a passionate advocate of education and the former chairman
of the Dare County school board, died over the weekend at his home in
Southerm Shores. He was 83.
14 years as a math teacher at Manteo High School, eight of those as
department chair, and more than 16 years on the Board of Education with
13 years as chairman, Oaksmith served in education for more than 30
years in Dare County.
Read the story in The Outer Banks Voice.
|Warren Judge announces he will seek Tine's House seat
County Commissioner Warren Judge of Kitty Hawk has announced his
candidacy for the North Carolina House of Representatives District 6
seat being vacated by Paul Tines. Judge, a Democrat, was the
long-time chairman of the seven-member board until Republicans took
control in last November's general election. Read
|Coast Guard removes passengers from grounded ferry
Monday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard was removing passengers from a
ferry that ran aground on an ebbing tide between Ocracoke and Hatteras
islands. Crews from the N.C. Department of Transportation Ferry
Division were also aiding in evacuating passengers from the ferry, the
M/V Roanoke. Read
|Judge travels to Hyde County to apologize for ferry vote
Judge, a Dare County commissioner, apologized to Hyde County Monday
night for voting to approve the concept of tolling the Hatteras ferry.
own the vote,” Judge told the commissioners in person when he attended
the Commissioners meeting Nov. 2 in Swan Quarter about the action
that the Dare body took Oct. 19 unbeknownst to Hyde County officials. Read
|Contract awarded for new temporary bridge on Pea Island
Construction will begin soon on the new interim bridge along Highway 12 at Pea Island in Dare County.
N.C. Department of Transportation today awarded a $14.3 million
contract to T.A. Loving Co. of Goldsboro, N.C., for the construction of
a new concrete bridge that will replace the existing metal temporary
bridge constructed in 2011 at New Inlet following Hurricane Irene. Read
| Residents of tri-villages shout down zoning proposal
owners from Hatteras Island’s northern villages came out in force
Wednesday night to tell the Dare County Planning Board in no uncertain
terms that they did not want to change their current zoning.
vocal and at times raucous standing-room-only crowd filled every seat
and lined the walls of the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center to
provide feedback on a proposed zoning map that would create new
commercial and residential zones for property in the