Friday, July 31, 2009

Carova Beach Service District on the table...Again

At a recent Board of Commissioner's meeting, Commissioner Aydlett directed staff to begin the process to form the Carova Beach Service District. With a second from Commissioner O’Neal, the motion carried. What does that mean?? Well, it appears sentiment in the Carova Beach subdivision favors a Service District to address infrastructure issues on its roads. It appears at this time, no other subdivisions such as Swan Beach, North Swan Beach, etc.. will be included in the proposal. I emailed Commissioner Aydlett as to some of the particulars and it seems that an advisory board will be established to spearhead the effort. His email reply stated that:

The advisory board for the Corova Beach Service District will be comprised as follows 3- fulltime Corova beach residents, 1- non-resident home/property owner in Corova, 1- member of the Volunteer Fire Department, 1- member of the county EMS Department and one representative of the sheriffs department. The purpose is outlined in a document that Gwen Tatum has in the managers office. This document will be available for review and comment during a four week period before it goes for a public hearing. The extent and scope of the service district will be defined by the advisory board who will make recommendations as to these things.

The referenced document is a Resolution establishing the Service District. I obtained a copy of the draft below:


WHEREAS, Chapter 153A, Article 16 of the North Carolina General Statues,
authorizes counties within North Carolina, to define service districts to finance, provide, or maintain for such districts one or more services, facilities, or functions in addition to or to a greater extent than those financed, provided or maintained for the entire county; and,

WHEREAS, said statutes further provide that the county may define a
service district for the purpose of street maintenance and removal of junk automobiles; and

WHEREAS, acting in response to a need for action in order to protect and maintain public safety, address increasing traffic demands resulting from property development within the Carova Beach area and to preserve and protect private property rights through the re-establishment of rights-of-way thus ending travel across private property, the Board of Commissioners for the County of Currituck has determined that the creation of a service district for street maintenance and removal of junk automobiles will be for the benefit of those properties located within the service district boundaries and adjacent thereto; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners for the County of Currituck
finds that the proposed district is in need of projects and programs to the standards of G.S. 153A-301(b) and (c) to a demonstrably greater extent than the remainder of the county to meet the needs and goals set forth above and, further, that a county is statutorily limited to establishing such projects and programs only within an area of the county having characteristics of the proposed service district area and thus it is impossible to provide the planned services on a countywide basis; and

WHEREAS, it is economically feasible to provide the proposed services within the district without an annual tax levy as property within the district is dedicated as street rights-of-way with an assessed valuation of zero and the County of Currituck has identified Occupancy Tax revenue as a source of funding to provide street maintenance and junk automobile removal services within the district; and

WHEREAS, there is a demonstrable demand and need for the services proposed within the district as set forth and incorporated into a report which has been available for public inspection in the office of the Clerk to the Board of Commissioners for four (4) weeks prior to the public hearing on the matter of the establishment of the service district which report is incorporated herein by reference; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners for the County of Currituck has caused a notice of such hearing to be duly published in a newspaper having general circulation in the County of Currituck, said hearing having been conducted on ________________, 2009, and the County Attorney has certified to the Board of Commissioners that the mailing of notice of hearing has been completed, all in conformity to G.S.153A-302(c);

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY the Board of Commissioners for the County of Currituck, North Carolina that:

Section 1. The County of Currituck has fully complied with each and every requirement of Chapter 153A, Article 16 of the North Carolina General Statutes and the Board of Commissioners determines and finds the same as a fact.

Section 2. The Carova Beach Service District for street maintenance and removal of junk automobiles is hereby established and created consisting of the rights-of-way of in Carova Beach as more particularly shown on the map attached hereto as Exhibit A and incorporated herein by reference.

Section 3. The County of Currituck may allocate to the Carova Beach Road Service District any revenue whose use is not otherwise restricted by law including, but not limited to, Occupancy Tax in order to finance, provide or maintain for the district, services provided therein, in addition to or to a greater extent than those financed, provided or maintained for the entire county.

Section 4. There is created a Carova Beach Road Service District Advisory Board comprised of seven members appointed by and serving at the Currituck County Board of Commissioners. Three members shall be residents of Carova Beach Subdivision, one member shall be an absentee owner of property in Carova Beach Subdivision, one member shall be a representative of the Carova Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., one member shall be a representative of Currituck County Emergency Medical Services and one member shall be a representative of the Currituck County Sheriff’s Department.

The Carova Beach Road Service District Advisory Board shall have the following responsibilities:

a. assess road rights-of-way comprising the service district;

b. develop a prioritized list of road rights-of-way in need of maintenance and the type of maintenance or improvement recommended;

c. prepare and submit to the Currituck County Board of Commissioners a report of advisory board assessment and recommendation;

d. monitor and report to the Currituck County Board of Commissioners the status and progress of approved road maintenance and improvement projects; and

e. any other tasks or responsibilities requested by the Currituck County Board of Commissioners related to the purpose for the service district.

ADOPTED the ____ day of _____________, 2009.

Chairman, Board of Commissioners


Clerk to the Board

(County Seal)

I am not sure on how the determinations were made as to establishing a SD in Carova and not the other subdivisions, but Carova does have the overwhelming number of issues concerning the roads. More to come...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Missing Boy May be in Carova Beach

Any of the local readers please keep your eyes out for this Boy. Below is the email I recieved:

Attached is a photo of a missing mentally handicapped 16 year old. He is from Richmond VA and was last scene in Sandbridge VA heading south.
Investigators from VA believe that he is heading toward Corova Beach and they believe that their dogs have tracked him this way. He has been missing for 3 days and the last time he ran a way he was found in an abandoned house in VA. Please be on the look out for this person. If you think you see him please call 252 232 2216.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Turnpike Authority may fall back under the jurisdiction of NCDOT

Dispite making incredible strides in moving the bridge forward, it seems that the NCTA is set to come under the fold of the NCDOT. Senator Basnight, the bridge's greatest ally, seems to believe that the measure will leave the bridge on its current course for construction and completion. Below is a full article from the Daily Advance:

DOT to take over Turnpike Authority

Mid-county bridge won’t be affected
By Jennifer Preyss
Staff Writer

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Four years after the project was taken from the N.C. Department of Transportation and handed off to the N.C. Turnpike Authority, the Mid-Currituck Bridge will likely be back in DOT’s hands.

The state House approved legislation last week transferring the administrative functions of the seven-year-old Turnpike Authority to the DOT. The Turnpike Authority currently has charge of the estimated $600 million mid-county bridge project.

House members overwhelmingly favored the bill, sponsored by state Rep. Jim Crawford, D-Granville, voting 113-4 for the merger. Those voting in favor included area Reps. Bill Owens, D-Pasquotank, Timothy Spear, D-Washington, and Annie Mobley, D-Hertford.

The Senate signed off a similar bill when it approved its version of the state budget several months ago.

State officials said the move is designed to trim costs and improve efficiency.

Schorr Johnson, a spokesman for state Senate

President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight, said it’s not known how much merging the Turnpike Authority with DOT will save the state. Since the Senate approved its version of next year’s $18 billion budget in May, state revenues have dropped an additional $1 billion, he said.

House and Senate conferees are currently working to reach agreement on a budget before July 15, Johnson said. If they do, and the Turnpike Authority provision remains in the budget, the agency will cease to exist as a stand-alone agency. It instead will fall under the supervision of the DOT secretary, Johnson said.

Basnight was a chief proponents of giving the Turnpike Authority control of the long-delayed mid-county bridge project. In August 2005, then Gov. Mike Easley signed legislation giving the Turnpike Authority the ability to contract with private companies to build nine projects, one of them the long-delayed bridge spanning Currituck Sound.

At the time, a Basnight spokeswoman said taking the project from DOT and giving it to the Turnpike Authority would be more efficient and could speed up the engineering and permitting processes needed to build the bridge.

Since the Turnpike Authority took over, the mid-county bridge project — which was first discussed in the 1980s — has moved forward.

Last year, the Turnpike Authority determined that the project should be a toll bridge, and earlier this year, the agency announced it had signed a contract with ACS, a Spanish construction firm, to build it. A start date for the project — 2010 — and a completion date — 2013 — have also been set.

The Turnpike Authority is also currently studying three options, including a no-build option, for the 7-mile span.

Recently, Turnpike Authority officials announced that they were delaying completion of the environmental impact study until September.

Johnson, the Basnight spokesman, indicated that giving DOT control of the Turnpike Authority shouldn’t affect the timetable for building the bridge.

“This was one of many hundreds of provisions in the budget,” Johnson said. “Sen. Basnight supported (the merger). The Mid-Currituck Bridge is one of his top priorities and he wouldn’t have favored (the provision) if it had any detrimental effects on” that project.

Johnson said the Turnpike Authority may see some organizational changes, but that funding of key projects won’t change. The Senate budget, for example, earmarks $64 million for Turnpike Authority projects, including the mid-county bridge.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bridge Impact Study Delay could save millions

The draft Environmental Impact Study for the Currituck Mid-County Bridge will be delayed until the fall but doesn't appear to delay the timeline of the bridge according to the NC Turnpike Authority. It could actually result in a significant cost savings. See the article below from the Daily Advance:

Delaying study could save $60M on bridge
By Jennifer Preyss
Staff Writer

Pushing back release of a draft study of the Mid-Currituck Bridge project won’t delay the span’s completion date but could shave about $60 million off its final cost, the group planning the bridge said this week.

North Carolina Turnpike Authority engineers elected to reschedule the draft environmental study’s release date until September because they wanted more time to investigate modifications to the mid-county bridge’s design, Jennifer Harris, a staff engineer with the Turnpike Authority said.

Harris said delaying the EIS statement, which originally was due out earlier this year, could trim nearly $60 million off the 7-mile bridge’s cost and help improve its overall functionality when it opens in 2013.

“An additional design construction option has been introduced as a cost-saving (mechanism) and we’re investigating that now,” Harris said.

The bridge, which would attach the Currituck mainland with the northern beaches of Corolla, is estimated to cost about $659.2 million. Delaying the EIS until September could bring that cost down to about $600 million.

Delaying the EIS also will prevent engineers from having to complete a supplementary EIS statement at a more advanced stage in the project, Harris said.

Using the extra time to modify the bridge’s design does not change the three preliminary bridge concepts known as MCB2, MCB4 and no bridge option ER2, but may reconfigure portions of the bridge, including the toll stations on U.S. Highway 158, Harris said.

The current design places the eastbound and westbound toll stations farther apart, she said. A new design may place them closer together and reposition them further east near the Currituck Sound.

However, exact design changes are still unknown, she noted, because the Turnpike Authority has only been discussing modifications to the bridge for less than two weeks.

The postponement will not delay the bridge project’s starting date of late 2010 or its projected completion date of 2013, Harris said.

In May, the Turnpike Authority entered into a public-private partnership with ACS Infrastructure Development, Inc. to build the bridge.

ACS is expected to finance the cost of the project and be compensated over a 40-year period through the collection of toll fees, currently estimated to be $10 to $12 per crossing.

Harris said the public will be notified when changes to the project are made.