Dear Readers:

I am finding that I have more time than I expected to have before taking a long-planned leave. I can report to you that the only actions the Town Council took at its workshop session yesterday were to delay for another two weeks the selection of a search consultant to assist with the hiring of a new town manager and to request that DEC Associates, whom the Council hired in October as a beach nourishment financial consultant, deliver figures on the tax-increase impact a potential project would have on property owners in various “municipal service districts.” This was information the Council expected to receive from DEC Associates at the workshop.   

Both of these actions were unanimous decisions.

Former Town Manager Peter Rascoe gave notice of his intent to retire Sept. 1, 2019 in mid-July, and Town staff identified the three search firms the Council is now considering in early September. The Council suggested it would choose a firm at its Feb. 4 meeting.

It was clear from public comments heard yesterday and at previous public forums that the most serious beach erosion in Southern Shores is at the northern end, from Third Avenue to the Duck town line. The beach and dunes are generally healthy elsewhere, especially in what might be considered a central area around Porpoise Run and Trout Run. (The Pelican Watch area is already in a nourishment program.)

I believe Councilman Matt Neal suggested yesterday that if the town goes ahead with a $15-$16 million beach nourishment project and obtains special obligation bonds to pay for it, the municipal service districts (MSDs) that must be set up could partition the oceanfront into three areas: north, central, and south. MSDs enable towns to assess property owners different tax-rate increases according to the districts in which their property is located.

I will pick up with this next week. In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you would take photographs of the Southern Shores beaches and send them to me at ssbeaconeditor@gmail.com. Please include the date and time of day of the photograph and indicate whether the photograph depicts the beach at high or low tide or somewhere in between. You may obtain tide times for Southern Shores at tideschart.com.

Thank you.

Ann, 1/22/20

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