The Dare County Board of Commissioners tackled a number of issues and topics at their Tuesday, September 5 meeting. Here are the highlights of this most recent session.
Opposition to the Repeal of the Plastic Bag Ban
During the public comment period, numerous citizens spoke with frustration and dismay about the NC Legislature’s recent repeal of the plastic bag ban. Many said they felt that the legislation went against the wishes of the people – one speaker called the repeal an outrageous affront to democracy.
Several speakers suggested that Commissioners call for a referendum on the issue. Another recommended implementing conservation measures to encourage recycling of the plastic bags.
Chairman Woodard thanked speakers for their comments and reminded everyone that the Board of Commissioners was unanimously opposed to repealing the ban and previously sent a resolution to State representatives expressing support for the ban on plastic bags.
He promised to pursue the matter to determine whether any action can be taken by the County. He questioned whether Dare County has the authority to implement a plastic bag ban without the approval of the NC Legislature. County Attorney Bobby Outten will research the issue and report back to the Board.
The plastic bag ban has been repealed by the State Legislature, but has not yet been signed into law by NC Governor Roy Cooper.
Community Rating System Increase
Dan Brubaker, the National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator with the NC Department of Public Safety, presented the County with a certificate in recognition of the County’s Community Rating System (CRS) increase to a Class 7.
The CRS program is an incentive based voluntary program that recognizes communities that administer regulations beyond minimum standards. Citizens receive a 5% insurance premium discount per class. Chairman Bob Woodard and County Manager Bobby Outten commended Planning Director Donna Creef for her efforts to develop and implement a program to improve the County’s rating which in turn makes the community Storm Ready and saves money for homeowners.
Mid-Year Tourism Update
Commissioners received a mid-year update from Lee Nettles, Executive Director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau. Nettles reported that tourism in Dare County had an economic impact of $1.1 billion in 2016 and ranks fourth among North Carolina’s 100 counties. He reviewed occupancy and prepared meals tax collections, discussed the importance of social media, and provided an overview of some new initiatives that have recently been launched.
Revisions to the the Potentially Dangerous Dog Ordinance
Commissioners approved changes to Dare County Ordinance, Chapter 91, Animals Section to provide options that may be imposed by the Health Director if a dog is deemed potentially dangerous.
Mano al Hermano
Kay Minis, Family Literacy Director for Mano al Hermano, presented information about the non-profit and its mission of serving Dare County’s Latino community by strengthening families.
Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation
Brandi Jordan, Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman, presented information to raise awareness about elder abuse.
September Proclaimed Literacy Month and Constitution Week
Commissioners adopted resolutions proclaiming September as Literacy Month and September 17 – 23 as Constitution Week.
Next Meeting of the Board of Commissioners
The Board of Commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 18 at 5:00 p.m. For more information about the Dare County Board of Commissioners, including full agenda packets and the video of entire meetings, visit darenc.com/boc.