News

Independence Day Celebrations

The Currituck County 2021 Independence Day Celebration is scheduled for Monday, July 5 in Historic Corolla Park. This special event begins at 5:00 pm and concludes with a fireworks show at dusk.

This event will include live music, professional juggling entertainment, watermelon eating contest, kids’ dance contest, and more. Food truck vendors will be on site.  Admission is free and free parking is available until the lots inside the park are full. No coolers, alcohol, or on-street parking is permitted.  If you have any questions, contact the Tourism Department at 252-435-2947.

*Note the event date of July 5. Because the 4th falls on a Sunday, this event is scheduled to avoid conflict with a weekend changeover day for vacation rental properties in Corolla.

Historical Society Kids’ Bike Parade – The Currituck County Historical Society will host a Bike Parade for children on Sunday, July 4. This event will begin at 2:00 pm at the Historic Courthouse. Cash prizes will be awarded for the best decorated bikes and all participants will receive a new $2 bill. Refreshments will be provided and a reading of the Declaration of Independence will be presented during the event.

African American Heritage Tour Launches at Jarvisburg School

Currituck County citizens are invited to the Historic Jarvisburg Colored School on Saturday, June 19, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. to celebrate Juneteenth and the official launch of the new African American Experience of Northeast North Carolina heritage tour.  Reverend Curtis Brinkley, Pastor of Corinth Missionary Baptist Church, will speak and a special musical performance will be shared by Dr. Walter Swan, Associate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Elizabeth City State University. The Historic Jarvisburg Colored School is located at 7300 Caratoke Hwy., Jarvisburg, North Carolina, 27947.

The African American Experience of Northeastern North Carolina (AAENENC) is a collaborative project between six North Carolina counties that include Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Pasquotank, and Perquimans. Each has significant sites important to the African American community and to the history of the counties. The AAENENC brings these sites together in an organized way to create a “trail” to those interested in discovering this heritage.

The sites in Currituck County are the Historic Jarvisburg Colored School, Corinth Baptist Church, and Benjamin Bowser’s gravesite. Benjamin Bowser was a surfman at the Pea Island Lifesaving Station. In the future, more sites in Currituck and the other counties will be developed and added to the AAENENC heritage tour. There is much to tell about the diverse history and experiences in all six counties.

Boil Water Advisory Issued in Tulls Creek Area

June 16, 2021:  *Update:  This boil water advisory issued by the Currituck County Water Department expired on June 15 at 3:30 p.m. All water has been tested and is currently safe for consumption. The advisory was in effect for the following locations:

  • Brumsey Road
  • Pisgah Drive
  • Croatan Court
  • Brumsey Ridge Court
  • Brumsey Landing Drive
  • Elizabeth Court
  • Armstead Court
  • Chatman Etheridge Drive
  • Gregg Court
  • Tulls Creek Road between Sanderson Court and Gregg Court
  • Sanderson Court
Based on the potential for contamination from cross-connections or back-siphonage, customers in this area of the Mainland Water System are advised that, when water service is restored, to boil all water used for human consumption (including drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, and making ice) or use bottled water. Vigorous boiling for one (1) minute should kill any disease-causing organisms that may be present in the water.  Samples will be collected by the Water Department throughout the area to confirm the microbiological quality as soon as pressure is restored. Customers may experience periods of low pressure and discolored water until full service is restored.

Residents Encouraged to Stay Ready During Hurricane Season

Now that hurricane season has officially begun, Currituck County urges all residents and property owners to stay prepared in case a storm comes toward the region.  It’s always best to plan ahead and prepare during calm weather so you’ll be ready in case a storm comes our way. There are many things that can be done to help protect lives and property!

Put together an Emergency Safety Kit – A good emergency/evacuation kit should be able to sustain you, your family, and pets for a
minimum of 3 days. Items to put in your kit include:

  • One gallon of water per day, per person
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid supplies
  • Prescription medications
  • Phone charger
  • Infant items, such as diapers
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Spare clothes and blankets
  • Pet food, water, and supplies
  • Cash

Plan how to Prepare Your Home – Make checklists of actions you’ll need to take to secure your home, vehicles, and outdoor items. This may include tasks such as boarding up windows, moving outdoor furniture indoors, securing boats, etc. In addition, you should:

  • Make sure your insurance policy is updated and document home and possessions with photos or video.
  • Gather important documents and place them in a waterproof container.
  • Test generators and buy gasoline.
  • Make a plan for pets and farm animals. If you evacuate, remember to take your household pets with you.

Evacuation Assistance is Available – Currituck County offers evacuation assistance for citizens who may need it, including those with medical or functional needs. If the county orders an evacuation, transportation assistance to an inland shelter can be provided for those in need. Call the Department of Social Services at 232-3083 to sign up.

Things to remember about evacuations:

  • Currituck County does not open any pre-storm shelters due to the probability of flooding. If an evacuation is ordered, please heed this direction and travel to a safer inland location.
  • When evacuating, communicate your evacuation plan and intended destination with family members and friends.
  • Residential Re-Entry Permits – Re-entry permits are mailed to Corolla and Carova residents and property owners every two years, and current permits are valid for the 2021 season. If you have misplaced your permit, proof of residency or ownership will be required to allow you access to your property, such as a driver’s license, tax bill, or utility bill.
  • Business Re-Entry Permits – Essential personnel and critical businesses may complete the online application to receive their business re-entry permits.

Stay Informed – Monitor weather updates and warnings from trusted sources, including:

Sign up for Currituck Alert – You can choose to receive timely alerts via text message, email, or recorded voice message from Currituck County Emergency Management. Register online here.

* If you have any questions regarding hurricane preparedness, contact Currituck County Emergency Management at 252-232-2115.

Practice Beach Safety This Season

Beach season is officially here and many people will visit Corolla beaches this year. While fun should be a priority, so should beach safety. Currituck County Emergency Management, Corolla Beach Rescue, and the National Weather Service are reminding the public of the following safety tips:

  • Be aware of rip currents and warning flags; if in doubt, don’t go out
  • Stay alert to changing weather, wave and tide conditions
  • If on-duty, swim near a lifeguard
  • Never swim alone and always ensure a flotation device is with you
  • Do not dive in headfirst to avoid major injury
  • Take sun and heat precautions

Corolla Beach Rescue Lifeguards are on-duty, daily, during the summer from 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, and each day lifeguard tower chalkboards are updated with current beach and ocean conditions. Beachgoers can visit a lifeguard stand for valuable insight on local conditions. Tower locations can be found at http://www.corollabeachrescue.com/Home/TowerMap.

When red flags are up, please do not enter the ocean. If an emergency occurs, dial 911 immediately and most importantly – know your location on the beach.

To get the latest beach weather forecast, including rip current levels, please visit https://www.weather.gov/beach/akq. You can also receive beach-related notifications straight to your phone by texting SAFECOROLLA to 888-777.

If you have any questions, contact Currituck County Emergency Management at 252-232-2115.

Budget Highlights Include Wellness Clinic, Public Safety, Parks & More

The Currituck County budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022 was approved  by the Board of Commissioners on June 7, 2021. It contains several items that will save money for the county and provide benefits for the community. Currituck County aims to continue providing a high level of services for the public, while being good stewards of taxpayer funds through sound financial management.

Highlights of the budget include:

Wellness Clinic – Operated in partnership with Albemarle Regional Health Services, a new wellness clinic in Currituck County will employ a nurse practitioner. Located primarily at the Judicial Center, this will be a site for county employees to use for primary healthcare services. Its proximity to county offices will significantly reduce the amount of time employees are absent from work due to healthcare visits and promote better health practices by county staff. The clinic staff will also provide services in Corolla on a regular schedule.

This clinic will also be open to the public, providing an additional healthcare facility for local citizens.

Public Safety – The Currituck County Sheriff’s Office, Fire-Emergency Medical Services, 911 Communications, and Emergency Management are fully funded to maintain appropriate equipment, training, and staffing. The county is also working with the Sheriff’s Office and Fire-EMS on staff classifications to provide better career pathways for advancement. New public safety vehicles will include eight patrol vehicles and a boat for the Sheriff’s Office, one truck for Animal Control, two ambulances for Fire-EMS, one vehicle for Emergency Management, and three trucks for Inspections. The Communications Center will receive equipment upgrades for the 911 system.

Currituck has an excellent team of public safety professionals and volunteers, and this budget reaffirms the Board of Commissioners’ commitment to public safety.

Public Works Facility – The county plans to build a warehouse, with office space for Public Works staff, near the Currituck Regional Airport. This will enable the county to purchase and store certain items used by all departments (ex. paper goods) in bulk amounts to save money. The warehouse will also be used during hurricanes and other critical events to store relief supplies for the community.

Fuel Station – The fuel station for county vehicles, located at the Currituck Regional Airport, will be upgraded. A new tank will increase fuel storage capacity, which will save money through bulk purchasing and protect the county during times of fuel shortages. New fuel pumps will prevent costly maintenance shutdowns that frequently occur with the current equipment.

Cybersecurity – Currituck will continue investing in the protection of our Information Technology system. This is a critical need, as local governments nationwide face constant threats to IT security. This also enhances the safe keeping of citizens’ private information in county records.

Currituck Regional Airport – Currituck will renovate the airport terminal’s interior space with new carpeting and furniture. The airport is very popular among pilots for its low fuel prices and the facility has enjoyed an increase in visitors in recent years. This has allowed the airport to turn a profit for the county in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Therefore, the county will invest funds back into this facility and make the airport terminal more accommodating for guests.

Utility Upgrades – Improvements to the county’s utility infrastructure will include two new wells for the water system. The county also plans to install a new booster pump to improve water flow within the southern part of the mainland water system.

County Parks – Improvements to be made at county parks and recreational facilities include replacing the playground equipment at Sound Park, replacing the roof of the picnic pavilion at Veterans Park, resurfacing the tennis courts at Moyock Middle School, and beginning design of Phase 3 expansion at Community Park. The Board of Commissioners will also attempt to purchase land in Gibbs Wood for a park site. The Currituck County Rural Center will receive 12 portable stalls for animals during events held at that facility. By using occupancy tax, the county will fund a new playground at Historic Whalehead Park and complete replacements of three beach walkovers at public access points.

County Budget Impacts and Information for Citizens

Currituck County has prepared the Operating Budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022 and is providing this webpage to show how certain items may affect residents and property owners.  The factors of property tax rate, water and sewer utility rates, and solid waste fees may impact monthly and annual bills for citizens.

To illustrate these changes, Currituck County GIS staff created a helpful Online Data Map. An individual can enter their address and  see how much they would pay at the proposed property tax rate, along with other estimated rate or fee increases. Using data provided by the Currituck County Tax Office, this map shows:

  • 2020 property value
  • 2021 property value
  • 2021 property tax amount at a revenue neutral rate of $0.4143
  • 2021 property tax amount at the proposed rate of $0.46
  • Additional impacts, if applicable to the property:
      • Water and sewer utility rates
      • Solid waste fees
      • A new Moyock Township Watershed Improvement Service District Tax

When using the Online Data Map, click on the search icon in the upper right corner and then enter your address in the text box that opens.  Or you can zoom in on the map and click on your property. Using either method, a text box will open with data for your property.

** For each of these budget factors, an explanation for the changes is included below.

Property Tax Rate:

Currituck County completed a Tax Revaluation for 2021 that resulted in a new countywide tax base of $7.9 billion. This represents an overall increase of approximately 20% in total property value.

The current property tax rate in Currituck County is $0.48.  Because of the revaluation, the Board of Commissioners may decide to adjust this rate. Currituck County has traditionally adhered to a “revenue neutral” approach regarding the property tax rate. This means the county collects approximately the same amount of total property taxes as it collected the year before. As a result of the revaluation, the new revenue neutral tax rate would equal $0.4143.

However, Currituck County will implement a property tax rate of $0.46, which is one of the 9 lowest rates of all 100 counties in North Carolina. The additional funding generated by this tax rate will pay for staffing and capital needs of the Currituck County School System. Our schools are facing significant pressures due to unfunded state mandates and the consistent residential growth throughout the community. The Board of Commissioners and Board of Education have worked together to develop a plan for managing this growth. Investing in the future of our children’s education requires additional funding.

A property tax rate of $0.46 would generate $3,650,000 more than the revenue neutral rate. From this amount, $3,642,427 would be used for the following needs of the school system:

  • $1,292,427 for 12 additional teachers to meet new unfunded state mandates relative to class size; 10 teacher assistants; and 2.5 curriculum coaches.
  • $1,600,000 put into savings for construction of new elementary school that is planned to open in August 2025.
  • $750,000 put into savings to fund annual operating costs of the new elementary school.

The remaining $7,573 would be placed in the county’s General Fund.

FYI – Additional facets of the growth plan for Currituck Schools include purchasing six mobile classroom units and expanding Moyock Elementary School and Moyock Middle School. These projects are funded by savings the county accumulated in recent years and are not factored into the proposed property tax rate.

Water and Sewer Utility Fees:

Currituck County had a comprehensive water and sewer rate study performed by Raftelis Financial Consultants, which was presented in March 2021. Four funds were analyzed: Mainland Water, Mainland Sewer, Ocean Sands Water and Sewer, and Southern Outer Banks Water System. This study helped the county develop a 10-year plan to ensure financial stability of each system.

Due to increasing operating expenses, maintenance costs, capital improvement needs, and system expansion, the rates will see an annual increase of 3.5% for the next 10 years for the Mainland Water, Ocean Sands Water and Sewer, and Southern Outer Banks Water System. For the Mainland Sewer system, there will be a 6% annual rate increase for the next 10 years.

The impacts to a customer’s utility bill for the upcoming fiscal year of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 are below (based on an average customer usage of 5,000 gallons per month):

  • Mainland Water: + $1.17 per month
  • Ocean Sands Water and Sewer: + $2.73 per month
  • Southern Outer Banks Water System: + $1.40 per month
  • Mainland Sewer: + $4.83 per month

Solid Waste Fees:

Raftelis Financial Consultants also completed a review of Currituck County’s solid waste funds for the mainland/Knotts Island and Corolla. This information was used to develop a 10-year plan to ensure financial stability.

Currituck County faces significant increases in operating expenses for the collection and disposal of solid wastes. This is not under the county’s control, as contractors which provide services have consistently raised prices. This is a national trend. To maintain current services, including the curbside collection of trash and recycling in Corolla, there will be a one-time annual rate increase of 40% for the upcoming fiscal year followed by an annual increase of 3.5% for the next 10 years.

The impact to customers for the upcoming fiscal year:

  • Mainland: + $81
  • Corolla: + $151

Moyock Township Watershed Improvement Service District:

The intent of the service district is to provide a comprehensive approach to storm water management in Moyock. This service district will collect a tax of $0.015 from property owners within the district to fund improvements and maintenance of nearly 90 miles of ditches.  This will allow for systemwide improvements and help alleviate drainage problems in underserved areas.

Detailed information has been mailed to residents and property owners within the proposed district. The plan also includes the dissolution of three current, smaller districts: Guinea Mill, Northwest, and Moyock Watershed Improvement. A map of the new district can be found here.

County officials discuss schools’ growth plan

As Currituck County continues to experience consistent residential growth, local leaders are working together to effectively manage the pressures that come with an increasing population. One key area being addressed is the school system. County officials recognize the importance of making sure the county’s educational facilities keep pace with growth.

The Board of Commissioners and Board of Education have developed an effective plan to manage growth.  This plan includes strategies such as using mobile classroom units, expanding certain facilities, and building new schools.

To learn more, please take a few minutes to watch this new video. The county’s strategy for the school system is discussed by Mike Payment, Chair of the Board of Commissioners; Karen Etheridge, Chair of the Board of Education; Dr. Matt Lutz, Superintendent of Currituck County Schools; and Ben Stikeleather, Currituck County Manager.

Business reentry permits now available online

Currituck County Emergency Management offers a more efficient system for Corolla businesses to obtain reentry permits in time for the 2021 hurricane season. A new web address, www.currituckreentry.com provides a one-stop shop for local businesses to secure reentry permits for their employees. These permits are necessary to enter Corolla after an evacuation of the Outer Banks.

Following an evacuation, reentry into Corolla is performed in a tier system. Priority I (Essential Personnel) and Priority II (Critical Businesses) both require employees to display Currituck County reentry permits at law enforcement checkpoints. Critical businesses allowed in Priority II must be physically located in Corolla or transient in Corolla or Carova Beach.

On www.currituckreentry.com, each business must complete the online permit application. Once an application is approved by Currituck County Emergency Management, permits will be sent via email to the business. This eliminates the need for paper applications and mailing paper reentry permits, thereby saving time for businesses and money for the county. With this improved efficiency, Emergency Management staff can devote more time to situational tasks during a hurricane or other critical event that might require an evacuation.

Reentry permits expire annually on April 30. Businesses are advised to secure their permits well before the start of hurricane season, which is recognized as June 1. For complete details, please visit www.currituckreentry.com. Anyone with questions regarding the reentry process may contact Currituck County Emergency Management at 252-232-2115.