News

New N.C. flood maps available online for review

Citizens may view new flood maps provided by the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program, which is part of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.  In Currituck County, the maps show a significant change in the number of structures located in a special flood hazard area.

Citizens should be aware that even though property is no longer within an identified flood zone, it is still at risk because Currituck County is in a low-lying coastal area.  Property owners in Currituck are encouraged to consider maintaining flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

The Floodplain Mapping Program’s study of the flood hazard risk in Currituck County includes coastal storm surge data and coastline surveys.  The study includes 29 miles of coastline and 93.5 miles of rivers.  According to the results, Currituck County has a significant decrease in the number of properties located within the 100-year floodplain.

In Currituck, the number of “V-Zone” properties, those within the 100-year floodplain that are susceptible to potential damage from waves that are 3′ or greater, fell from 1,097 to 126.  Overall, the number of “A-Zone” properties, those within the 100-year floodplain, fell from 7,020 to 2,767.

If you would more information on local flood hazards or the National Flood Insurance Program, please contact the Currituck Planning Department at 252-232-3055.

Chamber donation supports Senior Center’s “Meals on Wheels”

The Currituck Senior Nutrition Program recently received a generous donation of $1,943.59 from the Currituck Chamber of Commerce to support “Meals on Wheels” for local senior citizens! This program provides home-delivery of a nutritious, daily meal to seniors who may be unable to shop or cook for themselves.

These funds were raised during the Chamber’s Spring Social event. Thank you to the Currituck Chamber of Commerce for being a great partner with the county!

If you would like information on volunteering to help deliver Meals on Wheels, please contact the Currituck Senior Center at 252-232-3505.

County accepting applications for new advisory board

Applications are being accepted from Currituck County residents who are interested in serving on the new Veterans Advisory Board.  The Board of Commissioners created this advisory board on June 18, 2018 to serve as a liaison between the community and government agencies in helping coordinate activities and connecting local military veterans and their families with services and benefits.

The Board of Commissioners will review all applications and appoint seven individuals to the Veterans Advisory Board. To apply citizens should submit an advisory board application.  If you have questions about any of the county’s advisory boards, please contact the Clerk to the Board of Commissioners at 252-232-2075.

Knotts Island ferry service halted for repairs

The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division announced it will temporarily suspend service of the Currituck – Knotts Island ferry starting on June 9 in order to perform major repair and renovation work to the terminals at both ends of the route.

The ferry, which traverses the Currituck Sound between Knotts Island and the mainland, is scheduled to resume service on Aug. 6.

 

Remember: Beach driving air-down ordinance in effect

Beachgoers who drive onto the four-wheel drive beach in Corolla must be aware that Currituck County’s air-down ordinance is in effect. Motorists must lower the air pressure in their tires before accessing the beach from N.C. 12 in Corolla. According to the ordinance, no person shall drive onto the beach with tires containing air pressure greater that 20 p.s.i. in each tire.

Prior to accessing the beach, motorists should pull off of N.C. 12 to air-down their tires at the public beach access facility located on Corolla Village Rd. This facility is located on the east side of N.C. 12.

After leaving the beach, motorists may inflate tires at Historic Corolla Park, which is located on the west side of N.C. 12. After entering the park’s main entrance, turn right into the first parking lot. New air stations have been installed by the county and are located near the picnic pavilion. These air pumps are free for public use.

Beickert sworn-in as Currituck Sheriff

Following the retirement of Sheriff Susan Johnson, Matt Beickert was sworn-in as Sheriff on June 1, 2018, during a ceremony at the courthouse. Johnson retired after 18 years as Sheriff, and the Board of Commissioners appointed Beickert as her replacement.

Beickert, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 21 years, was sworn-in by Ray Matusko, Clerk of Superior Court.  Prior to his appointment, Beickert was the Chief Deputy of the Sheriff’s Office under Johnson

During the ceremony, Matusko also administered the oath of office for the following positions in the Sheriff’s Office: Jeff Walker as Chief Deputy; Jaymes Holden as Captain; and David Castelow as Captain. Congratulations to each on their accomplishments!

  

  

 

NC Supreme Court Rejects $39 Million Civil Claim against Currituck County

The Supreme Court of North Carolina ruled in Currituck County’s favor as it agreed with a lower court’s decision to reject a default judgment against the county in the case of Swan Beach LLC v. Currituck County.  With this ruling, Currituck County will not pay $39 million in civil damages that a Superior Court judge had awarded to Swan Beach LLC in 2016.

In today’s decision, filed on May 11, 2018, the Supreme Court of North Carolina agreed with a ruling made by the North Carolina Court of Appeals on Oct. 3, 2017 to set aside entry of default and vacate a default judgment in the amount of $39,000,804 against Currituck County.  The entry of default and default judgment had been delivered in Currituck County Superior Court by Judge Milton Fitch on April 25, 2016.

“The county is pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision, which we believed would be the result,” said Dan Scanlon, Currituck County Manager.  “The county looks forward to proceeding with the trial court’s determination of the plaintiff’s claims, which are without merit.”

The $39 million judgment could have had a potentially devastating impact upon the county’s property tax rate.  To pay off that high a sum, the county would have been forced to significantly raise the current tax rate of $0.48 to nearly double, according to county staff.  The amount of county services offered to citizens by the county could also have been negatively affected.

In a complaint filed in July 2012, Swan Beach LLC claims that that it has a vested right to commercially develop its property in the four-wheel drive area of Currituck County; that Currituck County has violated its rights by allowing others in the four-wheel drive area of the county to commercially use their property; and wrongly denied it permits for commercial development in the four-wheel drive area of the county because Swan Beach LLC representatives are of Jewish faith and did not reside in North Carolina.  Swan Beach LLC applied for the rezoning of its property in 2008 and 2011.

Currituck County has maintained that it does not discriminate against anyone for any reason, and that the property rights of Swan Beach LLC have not been violated because commercial development in the four-wheel drive area of the county has never been allowed by county ordinance.

The case will now return to Currituck County Superior Court for determination of the merits of the plaintiff’s complaint regarding development in the off-road area.  As the case returns to court, updates will be provided as information becomes available.

Primary Election results

The Primary Election was held on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

RESULTS of the Primary Election are provided by the N.C. State Board of Elections.

Important Dates:

  • May 8:  Primary Election Day; Final day to return an absentee ballot by mail
  • May 11:  County Canvass

Several local offices are for election in 2018, including

  • Board of Commissioners, At-Large seat
  • Board of Commissioners, District 3
  • Board of Commissioners, District 5
  • Clerk of Superior Court
  • Sheriff
  • Board of Education, At-Large seat
  • Board of Education, Crawford Township
  • Board of Education, Poplar Branch Township
  • Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor

Also, the North Carolina State Board of Elections issued the UOCAVA Election Notice  for the Primary Election.

 

Tournament bookings refute CCA criticism of occupancy tax spending

The Corolla Civic Association (CCA) recently began criticizing Currituck County Government for spending occupancy tax funds on projects located outside of the Corolla community.  The CCA claims these projects have little or no tourism value.

One of the most heavily-criticized subjects is the construction of recreation facilities located on Currituck’s mainland section, specifically the baseball/softball fields at Community Park in Barco.  The CCA’s claim that this athletic facility has little or no tourism value for Currituck County is simply not true.

Already for 2018, which is only the second operating year of the facility, Currituck Parks and Recreation has booked baseball or softball travel team tournaments for 27 weekends.  Each tournament will bring an average of 14 teams to Currituck County.  This includes players, parents, coaches, family members, and fans of each team.  In fact, so many teams (21) are coming into Currituck County on April 28-29 that some games must be held at local school fields in addition to Community Park in order to accommodate everyone.

Travel baseball and softball teams will come to Currituck County this year from many different locations, including Hampton Roads, Williamsburg, and Richmond, Va., and Roanoke Rapids, N.C.  And in addition to the 27 travel team tournaments, Currituck will also host the 2018 Tarheel Baseball District Tournament, which includes youth teams from all over the eastern N.C. region.

With a total of 28 tournaments, there will be a significant number of visitors coming into Currituck County who will spend money to eat, buy gas, and visit local attractions.  Without the baseball/softball complex, many of these people might never come to Currituck County.  And once they are here and see what Currituck County has to offer, many may choose to return for future vacations.

The CCA’s claim that this facility does not benefit Currituck’s tourism industry is not only false, but also short-sighted.  These tournaments not only provide an economic boost each weekend, but also play a key role in the county’s long-term approach towards expanding the tourism industry onto Currituck’s mainland and enhancing commercial development throughout the county.

A recent hotel feasibility study, available from the Currituck Economic Development Department, revealed that the expected increase in visitors to Currituck – brought in large part by these ballfields – places Currituck above a market threshold necessary to attract a new hotel to the mainland.  As a result, the county expects restaurants and other businesses to also look more closely at the Currituck mainland for possible new locations.

Currituck’s spending of occupancy tax funds is meant to benefit the entire county, not only the neighborhoods in Corolla.  Many projects funded by occupancy tax have been constructed in Corolla, including the Corolla Greenway, a public restroom facility on Corolla Village Rd., restrooms in Historic Corolla Park, and a wheelchair-accessible ramp leading directly onto the beach.  But other projects located outside of Corolla, such as the baseball and softball fields, are also very important to the local tourism industry and to the future of the whole Currituck County.