2/7/20: TOWN COUNCIL APPROVES RATE INCREASE FOR BAY DISPOSAL’S CURBSIDE SERVICE WHILE IT DIVERTS RECYCLABLES TO WASTE-TO-ENERGY FACILITY FOR BURNING; TRAFFIC COMMITTEE TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING WITH N.C. DOT REPS FEB. 27

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A Beacon reader took this photograph of the Seventh Avenue oceanfront today at 11:35 a.m. According to the contributor, the beach measured 90 feet from the dunes to the water line, which was nearing low tide at 12:08 p.m. According to coastal engineering experts, Southern Shores beaches are at their widest in late July and early August and at their narrowest during the winter months.

The Town Council approved a $16,780 FY 2019-20 budget amendment at its Tuesday meeting to enable curbside collector Bay Disposal & Recyling to continue to divert recyclables to a waste-to-energy facility in Portsmouth, where they are incinerated, not recycled, and to charge what Town documents indicate will be $1.17 more per home in Southern Shores for this transport.

The next morning, the Nags Head Board of Commissioners also voted to give Bay Disposal, which handles its curbside pickups, permission to continue diverting its recyclables to Wheelabrator, the Portsmouth facility, at least through June 30, while the Town “pursues additional information and possible options for its curbside recycling service,” according to a Feb. 6 update on the town’s website

In a news release issued by the Town of Nags Head yesterday, Town Manager Cliff Ogburn said: “We want everyone to understand that the recyclables collected currently are not being sold to a manufacturer who will re-use the material; instead, they are being incinerated in a waste-to-energy facility. While that is better than sending the material to a landfill, it is not true recycling. Our Board of Commissioners has decided to continue the current process while we investigate other fiscally responsible and environmentally friendly options.”

The release made no mention of a rate increase. Nags Head’s contract with Bay Disposal differs from the one that Southern Shores has with the company because it specifically stipulates that no more than 10 percent by weight of all collected recyclables are to be taken to a landfill and/or incinerated without the town’s permission. Bay Disposal breached this contract.

Southern Shores has not posted to the town website an update on the curbside “recycling” situation in our town nor has it posted a link to the You Tube video of Tuesday’s meeting, which, according to attendees, lasted a little over an hour.

Typically, Town Clerk Sheila Kane has the meeting videos online no longer than 48 hours after the meeting. Often, she posts them within 24 hours.

Nags Head’s You Tube video of its nearly four-hour-long Wednesday meeting was online the next day.

The Beacon was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting because of a conflict. We will augment this report as soon as the meeting video is online, and we have time to view it. We understand that Southern Shores is also “standing by” with Bay Disposal, but the Town has taken no action of its own to explore and/or initiate a solution.

As The Beacon reported 2/3/20, Dare County has an active glass-recycling program. We plan to publish an investigatory followup next week to our recycling report of 2/3/20.

We heard recently from a reader that the Outer Banks Restaurant Assn. is strongly encouraging restaurants and municipalities to recycle glass. Dan Lewis, owner of Coastal Provisions in Southern Shores, is president of this association. The Beacon plans to contact Mr. Lewis soon.

For an update about curbside recycling in the Town of Nags Head, see: https://www.nagsheadnc.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=283

OBX Today reported on the Nags Head Board of Commissioners’s action, as well:

https://obxtoday.com/top-stories/nags-head-to-stay-with-bay-disposal-for-recycling-pick-up-while-examining-future-options/.

We do know from Beacon correspondents who attended Tuesday’s meeting that the Council selected the highly regarded The Mercer Group, a national search consultant that is headquartered in Georgia and has an office in Raleigh, to manage the search for a new town manager. The Beacon has touted The Mercer Group, which assisted the Manteo Board of Commissioners with its recent successful search to find a successor to longtime City Manager Kermit Skinner.

Earlier this week the Town published notice of a public hearing to be held at the Town Council’s Feb. 18 workshop meeting about the “Town Manager search process and timeline.” The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. in the Pitts Center. No other details were provided.

According to Beacon correspondents, the Council named five people to the Capital Infrastructure Improvement Planning Committee, which will meet Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. in the Pitts Center, and took no action on beach nourishment. We will publish the names of the appointees in a subsequent blog post.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR CUT-THROUGH TRAFFIC MEETING

The Exploratory Committee to Address Cut-Through Traffic in Southern Shores will hold a joint meeting with N.C. Dept. of Transportation representatives on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 2 p.m., in the Pitts Center. According to committee chair Tommy Karole, the primary purpose of the meeting is to discuss the option of prohibiting a left turn on to South Dogwood Trail from U.S. Hwy. 158 during summer weekends. Mr. Karole said other ideas for curbing traffic flow through the residential areas will also be discussed.

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This blog is being posted at 1:55 p.m.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 2/7/20

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