4/6/20: DARE COUNTY MANAGER TELLS COMMISSIONERS HIS FY 2020-21 BUDGET WILL START AS ‘NO-GROWTH’ UNTIL HE KNOWS MORE ABOUT REVENUES. Dare Schools Meal Service Suspended Until Thursday, When ‘Grab-and-Go’ Pickups Will Begin.

Dare County Schools will start distributing twice-a-week pick-up meals on Thursday. (photo courtesy of Dare County School)

Dare County will start with a “no-growth budget” for fiscal year 2020-21, “or something less than that,” County Manager Bobby Outten advised the Board of Commissioners this morning at its regular monthly meeting.

Once he knows more about Dare County revenues, or has some projections of revenues, in light of the COVID-19 emergency restrictions, Mr. Outten said, he may increase or decrease preliminarily budgeted FY 2020-21 expenditures.

The Dare County Manager also said he has cut all discretionary spending.

The Beacon recommends that Southern Shores Interim Town Manager Wes Haskett follow Mr. Outten’s example and do the same.

A quorum of the Southern Shores Town Council will meet tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in the Pitts Center to take up FY 2020-21 budgetary proposals. Two Council members will be participating remotely.

For the Town Council’s agenda, see: https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/minutes-agendas-newsletters/Agendas_2020-04-07.pdf

For the meeting packet, see: https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/minutes-agendas-newsletters/Meeting-Packet_2020-04-07.pdf

To learn how to participate electronically in the meeting, see:  https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Southern-Shores-Notice-Electronic-Participation-2.pdf

The Beacon watched some of the Dare County Commissioners’ 9 a.m. meeting, which was to be live-streamed, on Current TV Government channel 191. Unfortunately, none of the three commissioners who participated remotely in the meeting—they were Danny Couch, Jim Tobin, and Ervin Bateman—could be heard.

Commissioner Steve House, who represents Duck, Southern Shores, and Kitty Hawk, attended the meeting, which was held in the Commissioners’ chambers in Manteo, with all of the participants observing physical distancing. The meeting lasted about 45 minutes. A videotape will be posted on the DCBOC website soon.

You may read Chairman Robert Woodard’s remarks at the outset of the meeting about the tough decisions that the Dare County Control Group has made to thwart the spread of COVID-19 on The Outer Banks Voice’s website at https://www.outerbanksvoice.com/2020/04/06/these-restrictions-will-save-lives/.

The Beacon notes that Commissioner Couch is on the Control Group as a representative of Hatteras Island. We omitted him from a list of Control Group members that we published in a post yesterday.


The Dare County school system is suspending its free meal service until Thursday, at which time it will implement twice-a-week grab-and-go pickups of meals at three designated elementary schools.

Superintendent John Farrelly announced the change in meal service in an email to families yesterday. Citing yesterday’s report of a sixth COVID-19 positive case in Dare County, he said he would like to reduce the risk of viral exposure to employees and families.

Starting Thursday (April 9), “grab-and-go” meals will be available to anyone age 18 and younger from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday at Cape Hatteras Elementary, First Flight Elementary, and Manteo Elementary.

According to Superintendent Farrelly, multiple pick-up stations will be set up in front of the Cape Hatteras and Manteo elementary schools. First Flight Elementary pick-up stations will be located in the bus parking lot on the west side of the building, between FFES and FFMS.

Each Thursday’s meal pickup will provide lunch for that day, breakfast and lunch for Friday and Monday, and breakfast for the next Tuesday. Tuesday’s meal pickup will provide lunch for Tuesday and breakfast and lunch for Wednesday, and breakfast for Thursday.

In his statement, Mr. Farrelly said that more than 9,000 meals have been served during the past few weeks. He also expressed a commitment to try to continue meal service throughout the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

The Outer Banks Voice is reporting today that NC Coast Grill & Bar, Red Sky Café, and Saltaire Cottages are teaming up today, tomorrow, and Wednesday to provide free lunches to children, courtesy of Chef Wes. The hot lunches will be available from noon to 1 p.m. at Saltaire Cottages, 4618 N. Virginia Dare Trail, in Kitty Hawk.

See https://www.outerbanksvoice.com/2020/04/06/stepping-up-to-fill-a-gap-on-free-lunches/

The NC Coast Grill & Bar and Red Sky Café are restaurants in Duck.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 4/6/20

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