Mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 19, at 9 a.m., if you would like to submit what appear to be your last public comments before the Town Council votes on approving an estimated $14 million to $16 million nourishment project of the entire Southern Shores coastline.

Thanks to Town Councilman Matt Neal, who urged the Council at its Tuesday meeting to stop delaying a vote on whether the Town will undertake a project in 2022 beyond re-nourishment of the Pelican Watch beach, the May 19 workshop meeting will be focused on beach nourishment. The expectation is that the Council will select one of the four project options presented to it by its coastal engineering consultant.

Although Council members will likely address how to fund a large-scale beach nourishment project, the Town has not yet taken the steps required by N.C. law to designate municipal service districts and to hold a public hearing about them. Towns may create municipal service districts for the purpose of assessing different tax rates on property owners in order to pay for a beach nourishment project.

Interim Town Manager/Budget Officer Wes Haskett has submitted a proposed balanced budget for fiscal year 2020-21. You may access it at https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Budget-FY-2020-2021-Filed-with-the-Clerk.pdf

The budget is balanced at $5,908,243 in revenues and expenses. A public hearing will be held on the proposed budget during the Town Council’s June 1 meeting, at 5:30 p.m. in the Pitts Center.

You may view a videotape of the Council’s Tuesday (May 5) meeting at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6P7RUwuIiE&feature=youtu.be

The Town Council will meet today at 5 p.m. for a special closed session to interview top candidates for the position of full-time, permanent town manager, which has been open since Peter Rascoe’s resignation last summer.

The Beacon will be taking most of today and tomorrow off. If important breaking news occurs, we will report upon it when we can, but otherwise, we will not be commenting again until the weekend. We will provide a report of the Council’s Tuesday meeting as soon as possible.

BREAKING NEWS, 11 a.m. NCDHHS COVID-19 DASHBOARD UPDATE: The COVID-19 case count in North Carolina hit a new single-day record, with 639 new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases being reported since 11 a.m. yesterday. The new cases represent 9.3 percent of the total number of COVID-19 lab tests that were completed, which was 6,846. Hospitalizations also increased by nine, from 516 to 525.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 5/7/20

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