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Surf City Governmental Update July 24, 2020

Town Manager/Administration

NCDOT Mobi Awards

The NCDOT Mobi Awards program recognizes projects that showcase the important and transformational role investments in multimodal transportation – bicycle, pedestrian, rail, transit, ferry and aviation – play in creating vibrant communities.

This year, the Surf City Topsail island Bridge Connector (Surf City Bridge) is up for the Mobi Award in the Rural category and will also compete for the Most Voted Project (MVP). We were monitoring the support we were getting from the community and are keeping our fingers crossed!

The online event will be held August 5th and we can't wait to see if we're a winner. We'll be sure to make an announcement as soon as we can and thank you again for your support for this awesome piece of Surf City!

"Don't Fight the Rip"

John & Suzi Merical lost their daughter Paige last year to a rip current in Emerald Isle. They have since then spent their time researching and traveling to spread education to save other lives. They will be at the Pavilion on Roland Ave. from 10am-2pm on Saturday, August 1 to share what they know with our public. Surf City Ocean Rescue will also be in attendance. They will also be at East Coast Sports the following day, Sunday, August 2 from 12-4pm. Please take a moment to stop by and educate yourself on RIP currents. John and Suzi have discovered many tips that could easily save lives through the research they have done. This is a drop-in event that will have social distancing guidelines in place and you can come and go at your convenience during the designated timeframes.. www.dontfighttherip.com

Mosquito Control

The Town will be collaborating with the Pender County Health Department to provide mosquito control services. They will be spraying weekly, on Wednesday evenings as well as applying larvicide in targeted areas. To learn more about the County's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, you can visit their website here. Or, if you have a mosquito related nuisance complaint, you can fill out this form.

It continues to be my pleasure to serve the Town and it's residents and if there's anything I can do for you please reach out! -Kyle Breuer, Town Manager kbreuer@surfcitync.gov

Federal/USACE Project

The USACE outlined details regarding the federal nourishment project, the contractor plans to start the nourishment project at the Topsail Beach town line and work north. The contract will go out for bid this summer with plans to begin construction early 2021. The first phase of the project will place 2 million cubic yards from the Topsail Beach town line to Oceanaire Lane. We are still awaiting approval from NCDOT on right-of-parking at two specific beach accesses along S. Shore Drive. Utilizing a template provided by the USACE, Staff utilized current and historical aerial photography to determine property status. Property status is divided into several categories based on location of the dune structure. This ultimately determines the ability of the Town to obtain the cost-share provided by the USACE. USACE staff is working on a coordinated 1 page public message that is consistent for all parties involved and includes key facts and timelines. This week staff received Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) between N. Topsail Beach, Surf City and the USACE, there is a August 9th deadline for document execution.

The federal project is estimated to add an additional 13 million cubic yards of sand to the beach, build a new dune that is projected to be 25’ wide and 14’ high and widen the beach with a 6’ high and 300’ wide berm. Oceanfront citizens should have already turned in the perpetual easements. If you have not received your oceanfront easement please contact clerk@surfcitync.gov or 910-328-4131x106. This is NOT the same easement that was previously signed in 2019. This is a new easement required by USACE for the new beach nourishment project.

Aerial plat maps for each oceanfront parcel have been loaded online. Oceanfront owners can view their property by using the link below, open the Key to find the corresponding map to your property: http://www.surfcitync.gov/2235/Beach-Nourishment

Easement Example
Typical Dune Profile

CENSUS

Surf City needs your help! Please respond to the Census to make sure you're counted. The Census directs billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities like ours for schools, roads, programs, and other public services. As you can see from the image below, Surf City currently has a 30% response rate, and that's not cutting it!

COVID-19

The Town remains under a State of Emergency, however, all local restrictions have been lifted. Please adhere to the Governor's Executive Orders, as amended.

Read Frequently Asked Questions about the executive Order and mandatory face coverings.

Read NCDHHS guidance on face coverings.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services hosts various resources on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. I would urge you to review the information contained here.

Town Hall Update

Surf City Municipal Complex
Project Schedule

Construction Update (Past two weeks)

• Passed proof roll and continued site fill - 90% complete (over 10,000 yards)

• Continued pond excavation and construction

• Installed rip rap weir in pond

• Storm drainage structures and piping were delivered

• Verified existing waterline and sanitary sewer elevations

• Completed PME underground coordination drawings

• Mobile field office was delivered

• Pre-installation meeting for utilities

Next two weeks:

• Complete site fill and compaction

• Complete building pad prep

• Begin installation of storm drainage & sanitary sewer system

• Begin installation of fire and domestic water piping, back-flows, and meters

• Rebar delivery (7/28)

• Begin prep, layout, and excavation for footings

• Begin rebar install and concrete placement

• Begin layout, excavation, and install of plumbing and electrical undergrounds

• Begin layout and install of CMU foundation block

• Pre-installation meetings for underground electrical and plumbing

Underground Utility Layout

August 4th Council Meeting & Public Comments

The August 4th Town Council meeting is set to begin at 4:30pm and will be held at the Welcome Center and by a virtual means at www.youtube.com/townofsurfcity .

To leave a public comment please call 910-338-5510. Each participant will be provided three minutes for comments and/or concerns. Please state your full name and address then start your public comment or public hearing comments recording. Please note that these comments will be played back using a digital platform during the August 4th public comment period and are considered an open public record. If you have questions regarding this process, please contact the town clerk at 910-328-4131x106 or by email at clerk@surfcitync.gov. Detailed Town Council agendas are available from the Town Clerk or at: http://www.surfcitync.gov/2224/Council-Meeting-Agendas-Minutes

Key Cards

We are happy to announce the completion of the Key Card system overhaul! It has been a challenge at times, but the system went live on Friday, June 19th and we have received about 10 Key Card requests as of this update. Our vendor that provides the Key Card printed stock is finalizing our order and we should be able to begin processing Key Card requests very soon.

If you own property or rent long-term on the Island in Surf City, you are entitled to a Key Card set. If you are new to Town and haven’t received your Key Cards yet, please visit the Key Card request site at http://surfcitync.gov/KeyCard and complete the web form today! If you have previously received Key Cards, but have misplaced them or they have gotten damaged beyond use, you can also visit the Key Card request site and complete the form as well, as there is an option to request replacement keys. Keep in mind however, your old Key Cards will be deactivated in the system and will not be usable at the re-entry control points.

As a reminder, if you previously received a Key Card and you still have it in your possession, you do NOT need to re-register for another set of Key Cards. Your Key Cards are still active and will be accepted at the control point during Island re-entry. Also, if your property is on the Mainland, you do not need to register for a Key Card, as they are for Island properties only.

Closing out the Key Card update, a big THANK YOU to our Information Technology Director and our Marketing Specialist for their hard work in bringing this project to successful completion.

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism

Programs and Events:

Summer Camp continues to be a success. The kids are taking surfing lessons, crabbing, experiencing ropes courses, putt-putting, and much more. Our camp staff are doing a great job and we are very happy with our team. The partnership with Holly Ridge has been a great asset to the community.

2020 Summer Camp Counselors
Camp Events

Movies in the Park – Staff organized a movie in the parking lot of the community center on July 17th. They played Frozen 2 and had 30 cars register for the “drive-in” movie. Plans are to have another one on July 31st, registration will be available at https://surfcity.recdesk.com/Community/Home.

Wellness programs indoors are on hold still, but we have partnered with some local gyms to provide some opportunities in the park and beach. We hope to be able to provide more opportunities like this in the future.

Athletics – Adult Softball started on July 15th. We have 67 participants and have modified the games to fit the COVID-19 guidelines implemented by the Governor. Plans to have athletics leagues in the fall will depend on the guidelines in place at that time.

School Year Program – We will be launching a survey to see what the interest will be in a school year program for grades K-5. This program would help facilitate the virtual learning implemented by the schools, as well as provide organized activities for the kids. We hope to be able to provide this to help parents be able to work during the week. Stay tuned for more details and please complete the survey when it is posted.

Bridge Jam has been cancelled for this year. Plans are to hold this event as planned on May 15, 2021.

Other events have been cancelled for July and August, except for the new drive-in movie events.

Beach Access Update

Access number flags are holding up well. The fire department is working with us to install rip current flags.

Port-a-johns will remain in place until it is deemed safe for the restroom facilities to re-open for staff cleaning.

Maintenance crews continue to make minor repairs each day, as needed.

Staff are working on a Beach Wheelchair Program that would provide more information and opportunity to obtain a beach wheelchair. There will be sponsorship opportunities in efforts to increase the number of wheelchairs available and also short our community values providing access to the beach for all. This program is in the planning and approval stages now, we will have more to come on this soon.

Welcome Center

Rentals had to be cancelled for July.

Audrey and Susan worked on the Our State Magazine Grant, and it paid off. We were awarded $2,350 to go towards advertisement.

Working on quotes for siding and to replace the flooring on the office side. Plans to repave the parking lot are in the works.

Kenneth Batts Family Park/Nelva Albury Park - Remain Closed

Soundside Park - Playground remains closed/picnic areas and boat ramp are open

Community Center - Playground remains closed/tennis courts OPEN/dog park OPEN

Grants/Master Plan - Application for Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) has been submitted. The application for the Land Water Conservation Fund will be submitted next week.

Other: The Town moved forward with purchasing 60.28 acres of property next to the existing Surf City Community Center property. This property will be used for future recreational needs, which will include a skatepark, inclusive playground, trails, disc golf course, and more to be determined.

July is Parks and Recreation month. We have been posting parks and recreation related post the last couple weeks.

Jodi Shepard received her Certified Parks and Recreation Professional certification.

Upcoming Events and Programs:

July 31st – Movies in the Park (Community Center Parking Lot) – Drive-in

September 12th – Youth Fall Soccer Start Date

September 12th – Youth Volleyball State Date

September 20th – Adult Fall Soccer State Date

Maintenance and Streets:

New Parking Lot Build (S. Topsail Dr.)

Pre-Sunrise Beach Sweep.

Weekly Beach Sweeps (trash)

Debris Violation Pick-up per Code Enforcement (multiple locations).

Athletic Fields – apply fertilizer.

Community Center – apply fertilizer.

Inspect Playgrounds.

Streets - patch potholes.

Mow Right-of-ways and Town Properties.

Apply Herbicide.

General Park Maintenance (Soundside, Batt’s, Albury, Community Center).

Community Center Maintenance.

Beach Accesses – repair as needed.

Street and Stop Sign Repair/Replace (theft/vandalism).

Memorial Bench Install.

Landscape Maintenance of Town Properties.

Roadside right-of-way trash pick-up (weekly).

General Building Maintenance.

Pedestrian/Bike Path Maintenance.

Install additional NO PARKING signage at various locations per SCPD.

Completed repairs at the Police Department.

Construct Barricade at Roland Access per SCPD.

Flood Management - work with SCPD and Emergency Management (5/21).

Inspected and made repairs as needed to all 36- beach access.

Continued deep disinfecting of all town facilities.

Repaired deck at Kenny batts fishing tee and replaced deck boards at SSP.

Moped and disinfected gym each morning for camp.

Added rope and pilings to walkway at access #12.

Set up drive in movie and laid out all parking spaces and placement of screen, moved and replanted 1 tree

Ordered plexiglass and installed sneeze guards for office workers

Cleaned gutters on town buildings.

Installed new water fountains at the community center with bottle fill-up feature that helps to reduce plastic bottle usage.

Police Department

Operational Updates: Call for Service: In the past couple of weeks the police department responded to a total of 254 calls for service. This number incorporates officer-initiated calls, such as traffic stops in addition to our traditional calls such as reported calls, crimes in progress, assist citizens, traffic accidents, warrant service, town ordinance violations, etc.

Patrol Division Highlights: The patrol division arrested four individuals for driving while impaired, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and two arrested for drug possession. In addition, they responded to nineteen traffic accidents during this reporting period.

Beach Enforcement Operations:Patrol officers and code enforcement assisted beach patrol staff the last two weeks enforcing town ordinances. A total of forty-four ordinance violations were issued.

Patrol and Public Relations

Thank you to the staff at Topsail Exxon for donating a gift basket to the Police Department

Investigations Division:

Detective was called out to assist with a Felony Breaking and Entering of a residence. On scene arrest was made and Detective Cable charged an additional suspect with 3 felony warrants.

Two felony warrants were taken out on a suspect that stole a bookbag on the beach strand. The ensuing follow-up investigation resulted in development of a suspect. Suspect charged with Felony Larceny and Felony Possession of Stolen Goods.

Detectives assisted patrol with a suspect charged with Firearm by a Felon, and additional charges.

Detectives assisted patrol with a Felony Narcotic Possession incident and were called out for assistance on 3 occasions.

Case files were prepared for court, downloaded digital evidence, and assisted numerous patrol officers with evidence preparation.

Detectives updated Victim Rights Forms.

Tips: Any criminal information or narcotic leads/tips from town employees or the general public are encouraged.

Weekly Crime Stat Comparisons:

Department Updates:

Congratulations to Off. Kincaid on his Police Officer I promotion.

Officer Kincaid

Police Officer Employment Opportunity: Now Hiring - For more information please visit our website: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/surfcity

Fire Department

Administrative Division

The fire department has closed the part-time firefighter hiring process. We received 14 applications. We invited 11 to the agility test. Five applicants attended the agility test. We have made several offers of employment and hope those individuals will start soon.

Chief Wilson and Deputy Chief Hobbs are finalizing some information to provide to Mrs. Ally Schiefelbein from Atkinson Rd. This is due to her request for information about how the community can help the fire department in the aftermath of the Atkinson Rd Fire.

Chief Wilson and Deputy Chief Hobbs have been working with Mayor Medlin, Councilman Torres, Kyle Breuer, and citizens regarding life saving devices on the beach. The fire department will begin to pre-stage rescue cans/buoys on the beach from access 13 to access 23. We have been procuring the needed equipment for this program to start as soon as possible. It is expected to begin in the next week or two.

Chief Wilson has also been working with town staff to put the beach condition flag program together. The flags have been ordered and we are hopeful they will be installed soon. They will also be deployed from access 13 to access 23.

Chief Wilson has been working on a training program for the new timekeeping software.

Chief Wilson has also been gathering data and information for the upcoming Pender County Fire Department Study being conducted by the Pender County Commissioners. The plan is to look at the fire protection service across Pender County and develop a plan for a more consistent level of service.

Chief Wilson has been working on a FEMA Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation Compliance Survey. This survey is in response to the grant application for the diesel exhaust removal system.

Chief Wilson is on vacation this week. He has been volunteering with Boy Scout Troop 235 as a camp leader for their summer camp at Camp Raven Knob. He has also been working with the camp staff to teach water safety and fire safety to campers across the region.

Fire Prevention – Community Risk Reduction Division

Fire Marshal Burton has been busy with inspections and plan reviews. He has spent many hours on reviewing the construction plans for all the new development’s happening in Surf City.

Inspections Completed:

• Fire Safety Inspections – 5

• Re Inspections – 1

• Plan Reviews – 8

Operations Division

Several new volunteers have completed the initial onboarding process and have been cleared by the membership to continue. Next they will be scheduling time with HR for the rest of the onboarding process.

Staff has been working on the ocean condition flag program and the life saving device program. More information will be out on both programs soon.

The training focus has been on ocean rescue. Several volunteers are also working on completing their initial workbooks.

47 Emergency Responses (07/09/2020 – 07/23/2020):

• Medical assist, assist EMS crew – 20

• Motor vehicle accident – 5

• Surf rescue – 6

• Mutual Aid Fire – 1

• Service Call, other – 1

• Dispatched & cancelled – 9

• Electrical Wiring/Equipment Problem– 2

• Power Line Down – 3

Information Technology

Meetings continue, but we have a good system going right now. Thank you to the Fire Department for allowing some meetings to take place at your station. The ability to maintain our location for the Council meetings and workshops at the Welcome Center has been a great time saver as I have been able to keep the audio and video gear all set up and ready to go. Preventing the additional time needed to break-down and setup for each meeting.

Also, we had a live-streamed Council workshop on the 17th which has been archived on YouTube and can still be viewed by clicking on the link below.

Tickets are coming in heavy, but I have completed 24 over the past 2 weeks. I tend not to mention the number of completed work tickets as the number of tickets completed isn’t a very good gauge when representing the amount of work that has been done as each ticket is unique and could be a quick fix or a multi-day project.

Helpdesk Tickets

Point-to-point WAPs received some much-needed fine-tuning to provide for a much more stable network environment. Eliminating unnecessary latencies and packet drops that were occurring for one of our offices.

Phone line diagnostic required for fax line trouble at the Fire Department. After disconnecting at the demarcation point it was determined that the line required maintenance from the telephone company. They had this repaired before the end of the following business day.

Website: I completed some odds and ends on the town website that needed a little extra work per request of Audrey or other staff.

Time Clocks: The new Kronos time clocks have been installed at all locations which were required and were functioning properly and on schedule.

GIS Needs: There have been a few GIS needs that I have been tasked with. Some have been completed and others are currently being worked on. It has been a while since I have worked in ArcMap, but the jobs are coming along nicely.

Upcoming: The new server hardware and NAS order remain in progress. I am maintaining contact with our vendor and the order is moving forward but the hardware has not shipped our way yet.

New VoIP phones planned for installation at the Fire Station and Police Department.

I am currently working on evaluating computers that are in need of replacement and or upgrade. In the upcoming weeks, I plan on starting the procurement of laptops and computers. This is an ongoing need that is constantly being monitored. I review past tickets on systems and go by the age of the hardware to determine these needs.

Also, additional wireless access points are planned for installation at the Community Center to provide better coverage for upcoming needs.

An additional phone line will need to be dropped at the Fire Station to accommodate for a fax machine to be moved to a new room.

Emergency Management

Since the last update, we have processed an additional 28 Key Card applications, the majority of which were first time applicants. If you have moved to the island and don’t have your Key Cards, or need replacements for damaged or misplaced Key Cards, please visit www.surfcitync.gov, click on the “Key Card Request” menu button on the left hand menu pane, and complete a request form today!

In response to the roadway flooding we have seen on S Shore Drive this year, we have researched and applied for a grant that will cover the acquisition and installation of an early detection and alerting system. The system will consist of two lighted warning signs, one located on either side of the hazard area and linked via radio transmitters to a central control module, which monitors the presence and depth of water on the roadway. When standing water is detected, the control module sends a signal to the signs, which then activates the warning lights. The system also sends out an electronic message to key staff, alerting them to the hazard as well. If awarded, this project will be extremely beneficial by adding an additional layer to our community alerting and hazard awareness capabilities.

ALERT! We tested the CodeRED Emergency Alerting System on July 15th, at 12:00pm with an 85% delivery rate, which is an excellent improvement over the 30%-40% delivery rates we had seen in past system tests. In an effort to better serve the community, we also launched a new email mailbox that citizens can email with any issues they may be having with the system, such as not receiving alerts or wishing to be removed from the call list. If you need assistance on CodeRED, please email codered@surfcitync.gov with your name, address and phone number, and a staff member will contact you.

As we approach the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, you still have time to prepare yourself and your household for the season. ReadyNC, along with Ready.gov are great sources of preparedness information and can be used to help you make a plan, build a kit, and stay informed.

Public Utilities

The Surf City Wastewater Treatment Plant is a Sequential Batch Reactor or (SBR) and has the capability of treating 1.5 million gallons a day. Surf City WWTP also utilizes 30 acres of storage ponds and 208 acres of solid set irrigation and is operated under a non-discharge permit. Between July 1 and July 21 Surf City Wastewater Treatment Plant treated 18.748 million gallons of water. Emergency Spray operations have been discontinued and are under normal operating procedures.

The Water Treatment Plant produced on average one million gallons of water per day since July 9th. This is a ten percent increase over the same period last year. The utility department has completed its Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The CCR is a public notice posted annually that shows the town is in compliance with all state and federal guidelines. If you would like a copy of the CCR, you can pick up this and previous years on the Town’s website at the following link: http://www.surfcitync.gov/2265/Water-and-Sewer-Annual-Reports

The Utility Department completed eighty-four work orders and sixty-eight locate request since July 9th, 2020. The Utility department has been gearing up for the summer season over this period. This includes performing preventative maintenance, ensuring redundancy with critical infrastructure and equipment, and preparing for increased populations.

The Utility Department routinely receives phone calls concerning water leaks and sewer blockages. Unfortunately, some of these areas fall outside of the town’s responsibility. The image below shows the Town’s area of responsibility. In order to save time and reduce interruption of service, keep in mind that the area between the road and the meter box or sewer clean-out at the right of way is the Town’s responsibility. The area between the meter box or the sewer clean out and the house is the homeowner’s responsibility.

Area of Responsibility

Should anyone have any questions or concerns about Surf City utilities, please call Town Staff at 910-328-4131.

Planning

Our next Planning Board meeting will be held on August 13, 2020. The agenda will be available the Friday prior to the meeting. Technical Review Committee members are currently reviewing site plans for Tractor Supply Company and Smith Dental. Smith Dental will request annexation into the Town. Staff has been working with the developers on final plat approval for both Waterside Phase 1B and Magnolia Reserve Phase 1B. We are awaiting additional information from the developer regarding the preliminary plat for Waterside Phase 3.

If you would like to apply for any building, zoning or planning related permits or function, the applications can be found at: https://surfcitync.viewpointcloud.com/. All documents required for permitting should be uploaded into the viewpoint system. If a hard copy is needed of any document it will be requested. Staff continues to work to streamline the viewpoint process.

Please note that the Town Ordinances are on our website but the direct link to the Zoning Ordinance (Appendix A) is: http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/North%20Carolina/surfcity_nc/partiicodeofordinances/appendixazoning*?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:surfcity_nc$anc=JD_AppendixA.

Our Code Enforcement Officer recently left the Town. The position is currently posted and can be applied for by going to the Town’s website. During this time please note that entering complaints through ViewPoint will help to ensure that your complaint is properly logged and addressed. Direct access to the Code Enforcement portion of ViewPoint can be found at: https://surfcitync.viewpointcloud.com/categories/1079

The Citation Appellate Committee will meet on July 30th.

Building Inspections

Building Permit Activity

Finance

Staff continues to work on establishing our new timeclock system, Kronos. COVID-19 as well as some staff changes with Kronos has slowed our process down. We are now planning to go live with the new system July 19th. Reading material has been sent out to employees to help them understand how to use Kronos and we will be hosting a department head training session at the Welcome Center next week. This training will help supervisors learn how to approve timesheets in order for payroll to be processed correctly.

Our bi-weekly meetings continue with Monteith Construction regarding the new municipal complex. Site work has begun with them stripping the top layer of the soil, managing the water on the property, and preparing the construction entrances. Monteith anticipates the fill material to arrive early next week. You may have noticed some equipment out on the site also. Monteith will be utilizing the conference room at the Deer Run fire station until their construction trailer arrives. We are excited to see this project progress.

Staff is currently working to prepare for our upcoming FY 2020 audit. The auditors plan to be in office starting their field work September 21st & 22nd. They will have another field work session prior to the final submission at the end of October. I anticipate this to be a smooth audit process this year.

We signed our agreement with Onslow County last week regarding reimbursement of COVID-19 expenses through the CARES Act. We will receive $4,880.52 in reimbursement. This will cover all telework expenses that were not reimbursable through FEMA and any emergency sick leave paid out through June. We are currently working with Pender County to receive reimbursement from them on our remaining expense. Any expenses we do not receive reimbursement for, we will file through FEMA.

The NC League of Municipalities has released the sales tax collections for the months of April and May 2020. We had a loss of revenue of 6.62% and 4.03% respectively in comparison to collections last year. I anticipate seeing an increase in sales tax collections for the month of June, but we will not know that information until mid-July. Unfortunately, there has not been any legislation passed that allows reimbursement funding for loss revenue due to COVID-19.

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