News

Info meeting on Foster & Adoptive Parenting

The Currituck County Department of Social Services will hold an informational meeting for citizens who might be interested in becoming a foster parent or adopting a child.  This free meeting will be held on Jan. 14, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in the Social Services offices.

During the meeting, Social Services’ staff will be available to answer all of your questions and discuss any concerns you might have regarding fostering or adopting a child. In addition, current foster parents in the community will be present to discuss their experiences and offer additional information.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by Dec. 23, 2019.  Contact Tiffany Sutton, Social Worker, at 252-232-3083 or tiffany.sutton@currituckcountync.gov.

 

LIEAP application period begins in December

The Currituck County Department of Social Services will begin accepting applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) on Dec. 2, 2019.  The LIEAP program helps eligible families afford their primary heating expense by providing a one-time annual payment directly to their heating vendor, such as a power, gas, or fuel oil company.

  • Dec. 2 – Dec. 31, 2019 – Social Services will accept LIEAP applications for households containing a member age 60 and older or containing a disabled person (receiving SSI, SSA Disability or VA Disability payments), who is also receiving a service through the Department of Aging and Adult Services.
  • Jan. 2 – March 31, 2020 – Social Services will accept applications for all other households, unless funds have been exhausted.

Applicants are not required to bring anything with them to apply, however the following items will expedite the application process:

  • The account number or bill for their heating vendor.
  • Proof of all income for everyone living in the home.
  • Social Security numbers, if available.

For more information on LIEAP, contact the Currituck County Department of Social Services at 252-232-3083.

Operation Santa seeks community support

Please consider supporting the 2019 Operation Santa Claus program, facilitated by the Currituck County Department of Social Services (DSS).  This annual program helps provide Christmas to families with children residing in Currituck, and to the county’s children in foster care. Operation Santa also provides food baskets for local senior citizens during the holidays.

Your donation is tax deductible and all proceeds benefit citizens of Currituck County. Last year, Operation Santa served more than 500 local children!  Citizens and community groups who wish to support Operation Santa may choose any of these four options:

  • SPONSOR a family with children by purchasing new, unwrapped gifts for the children.  Contact Samantha Hurd at 252-232-6040 or Heather Corbell at 252-232-6042, or send an email to Operation.Santa@currituckcountync.gov.
  • TOYS:  Donate new, unwrapped toys.  You may drop these off at the DSS front desk during regular business hours of Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Contact Samantha Hurd at 252-232-6040 or Heather Corbell at 252-232-6042, or send an email to Operation.Santa@currituckcountync.gov.
  • MONEY or GIFT CARDS:  donate money or gift cards to be used by DSS to purchase Christmas gifts for children. These donations can be made at the DSS front desk during business hours of Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  We also accept donations via our mailing address:  153 Courthouse Road, Suite 400, Currituck, NC, 27929. Please make checks payable to “County of Currituck”.
  • FOOD or MONEY:  Donate food, money, or gift cards to the Food Baskets for the Elderly program.  Contact Carla Mebane at 252-232-6039 or email to Carla.Mebane@currituckcountync.gov.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

(1)  How does sponsoring a family work?  Sponsors are responsible for purchasing Christmas gifts for the children within the family. We serve children 0-17 years of age.  When considering becoming a sponsor, begin by determining the total number of children you would like to sponsor for Christmas this year.  Once you decide, contact Samantha Hurd or Heather Corbell with The Currituck County Department of Social Services; and they will match you with a family.  You will receive a wish list for each child that includes ages, sizes and gift suggestions.  The wish list will help you shop for the children. Each wish list will be assigned a number to identify the family.  The gifts must be labeled with the application number and delivered to Social Services by a specified date and time, which will be coordinated with you.  The earlier in the season, the better!

(2)  How much money do I need to spend per child?  We do not set contribution guidelines for sponsors and there is no set dollar amount to spend per child.  There is also no set amount of toys to purchase.  We encourage you to spend as much as you reasonably can to assist a family. The gifts you provide will be the only gifts some children receive. It would be an amazing contribution if you are able to purchase a few wish list toys for each child and add stocking stuffers to the bag.

(3)  Why are the gifts required to be unwrapped? Will you accept gently used toys?  For safety reasons, all donated toys and gifts must be unwrapped and new.  We cannot accept used toys and sponsors cannot provide used toys to families.

(4)  Can I enclose a note to the family I am sponsoring, or could I meet the family?  No, in order to preserve and protect the confidentiality of children and their families, we are unable to allow sponsors to enclose notes, cards or meet the family.

(5)  If I cannot sponsor a family, are there other ways I can help?  Yes, donations of money, new toys, and gift cards are always welcome!  Please make checks payable to “County of Currituck”.  Separate donations can be made to provide gifts to disabled adult wards.

(6)  Is sponsoring a family or making a donation to Social Services tax deductible? Will I receive a receipt for my donation?  Yes, your donation is tax deductible. You will be provided with a receipt for all toys, goods, and money donated.

(7)  What is the Food Baskets for the Elderly Program?  This program provides groceries to disadvantaged elderly and disabled adults receiving case management services through the Currituck County Department of Social Services.  Non-perishable food items and canned goods are always needed.  Additional perishable items such as frozen turkey and ham can also be donated.  Please contact Carla Mebane to coordinate.

OTHER:  In an effort to maximize the number of families served, the Currituck County Department of Social Services partners with other community organizations to avoid duplication of sponsorships and contributions.  For any other questions, please contact DSS Director Samantha Hurd at 252-232-6040 or DSS Administrative Officer Heather Corbell at 252-232-6042, or contact us via email at Operation.Santa@currituckcountync.gov.

Tourism staff receives achievement awards

The Currituck County Travel and Tourism Department was recently honored with two Tourism Achievement Awards from North Carolina Travel Industry Association (NCTIA) during its Tourism Leadership Conference in September.

The purpose of the Tourism Achievement Awards is to honor and showcase innovation, best practices, creativity, and the results accomplished through the travel industry’s marketing efforts. Currituck Travel & Tourism took home a platinum award in the Leisure Marketing category for its four distinct “Find Your…in Corolla” video commercials. Currituck also won a gold award in the Community Stakeholder Communication category for its video on the preservation of the historic working boats of Currituck County and the building of the Historic Currituck Maritime Museum.

Currituck competes for NCTIA awards against several large cities in the state, including Asheville, Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem.

“With this caliber of competition, we are doubly proud of these awards.  But most importantly, these honors could not have been achieved without the support of our residents and tourism partners and businesses that make this such a great destination to promote,” said Tameron Kugler, Currituck Travel and Tourism Director.

 Photo:  L-R, Kemberly Sawyer, Promo & Events Coordinator; Alex Perry,Videographer; Stuart Chamberlain, Marketing Director; and Mark Stone, Visit NC Marketing Director.

Fire engine receives paramedic designation

On Oct. 18 2019, the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services (NCOEMS) approved the designation of Advance Life Support (ALS) non-transport certification for the Currituck County fire engine stationed at the Knotts Island Fire Station.  The ALS certification allows the fire engine to carry the same life-saving equipment that is carried on the ALS ambulance.  The fire engine will have an assigned cross-trained firefighter/paramedic personnel. The highly specialized equipment carried on the engine includes:  cardiac monitor capable of 12-lead EKG; IV supplies; emergency pharmacy cardiac & pulmonary rescue medications; and intubation equipment to provide the ability to place a breathing tube for unconscious patients.

The fire engine up-grade will provide residents of Knotts Island an extra layer of emergency protection in the event the ambulance is already committed on another emergency.  Since Currituck County employees began staffing the fire station in November of 2018, there have been more than 20 separate emergencies when the ambulance was already committed on another situation.  On average, the Knotts Island Fire Station responds to 250 emergencies a year, with 180 of those calls including a medical emergency.

This is third certified ALS Fire Engine in Currituck County. The other two are in the Corolla fire district. The Corolla fire district has successfully resuscitated 8 patients from full cardiac arrest since implementing this capability. Currituck County has embraced the fire-based EMS model and is the only municipality in NE North Carolina to utilize this model. Fire-base EMS is a common service model with the fire departments in the Hampton Roads area.

 Pictured with the Knotts Island fire engine are (L) Firefighter Daniel Wottawa and (R) Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic Frank Russo.

County breaks ground on Maritime Museum

Members of the Currituck County Board of Commissioners and the Historic Boat and Building Advisory Board officially kicked off construction of the Maritime Museum during a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, October 17, 2019 in Corolla. The museum’s site is located in Historic Corolla Park, near the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education.

Commissioners Bob White, Mike Payment, Mary Etheridge, Owen Etheridge, and Selina Jarvis joined advisory board members, county staff, citizens, and officials from Sussex Development Corporation to celebrate the project’s beginning. Sussex Development, which has previously built other facilities in Currituck, is the lead contractor for the Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Museum will house historic boats, artifacts, and other displays that will tell the stories of local businesses and citizens who worked and played on the various waterways of Currituck County.  This facility will also add to the historical richness of Historic Corolla Park, which also includes the Whalehead Club, and help visitors learn more about the county’s unique heritage.

Updates and photos will be published occasionally during the building’s construction. The museum is expected to be completed by the fall of 2020.

                 

2021 property revaluation is underway

The Currituck County Tax Department has begun a state-mandated revaluation of property in the county. Over the next several months, staff will visit properties, review data, and study the sales of properties. Property owners will be notified of the new appraised values in the latter part of 2020 and the new values will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Currituck County is partnering with Tyler Technologies, an appraisal company hired by the county, to conduct the revaluation.  While in the field, county staff and Tyler employees will carry photo identification as proof that they are members of the revaluation team.

Each county in North Carolina is required by state law to conduct a property revaluation every eight years. The intent behind the law is to ensure that all taxpayers are treated equally in the taxation of real and personal property.

Listed below are frequently asked questions regarding the 2021 revaluation. If you have additional questions, contact the Currituck County Tax Department at 252-232-3005.

  • What is revaluation?  Revaluation is the periodic review of all real property to ensure that its value reflects current market prices and that taxation is fair and equitable.  State law requires every county to reassess its property tax values to 100% of market value at least once every eight years.  Current property assessments were established in Currituck County’s last revaluation, which took place in 2013.
  • How are property values set?  First, the location, size, view, road access, neighborhood amenities, topography, zoning, use, and all other factors that influence the value of the land are considered.  Second, the size, type, age, condition, and quality of construction of all homes and buildings are evaluated.  Third, recent property sales are studied.  Finally, schedules and rules are developed and approved that guide the appraisers in appraising each property.
  • Who is conducting the revaluation?  The reappraisal will be carried out through the cooperative and coordinated efforts of the Currituck County Tax Department and Tyler Technologies.  Tyler Technologies has assisted in the revaluation in at least 16 counties in North Carolina and at least 20 counties use their computer software for county assessments.
  • How will the revaluation affect my real estate taxes?  Even though values will decrease for many properties, that does not mean that property owners will pay less in taxes. In fact, many taxpayers will pay about the same, some will pay more, and some taxpayers will pay less. The amount of taxes an individual will have to pay will become clearer after the new tax rate is set.
  • How will the revaluation affect taxes on my personal property?  Taxes on personal property items such as cars, boats, mobiles homes, and business equipment will be affected by the new tax rate established after the revaluation.
  • What if I don’t agree with a new appraised value?  All property owners will have a right to an appeals process regarding an appraisal. Appeal forms will be attached to each notice of new appraised values sent to property owners.

Historical Society honored for 350th celebration

The Currituck County Historical Society is being recognized for its accomplishments in planning and celebrating the 350th anniversary of the first four counties in North Carolina, including Currituck County. The Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies announced that Currituck is the recipient of its Newsome Award for 2019.

The Newsome Award honors a member organization for its achievement in the preservation and/or presentation of local history. Currituck County’s Historical Society was chosen from the Federation’s 120 members for its leadership and effort in the 350th commemoration. The society coordinated a variety of programs during the year-long celebration, including historical presentations, traveling exhibits, historic homes tour, farm-to-table dinner, heritage tea, and fashion show. To make these and other events successful, the Historical Society collaborated  with many organizations throughout the Albemarle region.

“We are very happy to receive the Newsome Award,” said Barbara Snowden, of the Currituck Historical Society, “It took a lot of work on the part of lot of people to make the events a success. We really want to thank our community partners for their contributions.”

This marks the second time the Currituck County Historical Society has won the Newsome Award, having previously been honored in 2015. The Newsome Award is named for Albert Ray Newsome, who served as secretary of the N.C. Historical Commission and was a strong advocate for the study and preservation of local history in the state. Each year, the award recipient receives a $250 cash prize and a framed certificate at the annual joint meeting of the Federation and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. Members from Currituck will attend the meeting in Raleigh to personally accept the award.

Congratulations to everyone involved!

 

County schedules storm debris collection

Currituck County will conduct a roadside collection of vegetative storm debris caused by Hurricane Dorian. This collection will begin on Monday, Sept. 23.

Citizens should understand that the collection process will take several days to complete across the entire county. Anyone who does not want to wait for their debris to be picked up may take it to one of the county’s convenience centers for disposal.

Important points to remember:

  • The collection will only take place from the right of way on state-maintained roads. Collection trucks will not pick up storm debris on private roads.
  • Residents who are unsure if they live on a state-maintained road may check online (enter address in the search box).  NCDOT also offers a webpage that allows users to see if a secondary road is state-maintained.
  • Residents on private roads should take storm debris to one of the county’s convenience centers.
  • Only “woody” debris (trees and branches) will be collected. No bags or other items will be picked up.
  • Tree and branch sections should not be more than 6 feet in length.

At this time, there is only one collection pass planned for the county. Everyone who wants to participate should have their debris in place along their state-maintained road by Sept. 23. Anyone with questions may contact Currituck Emergency Management at 252-232-2115.

County approved for replacement of FNS benefits for current recipients

On Sept. 5, 2019, Hurricane Dorian brought severe flooding and power outages to several eastern counties in North Carolina. To assist current Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) recipients adversely effected by this disaster, North Carolina requested a waiver to provide mass replacement of benefits, without requiring households to report loss of food or provide verification of the loss. Currituck County was one of eight counties included in the waiver.

The waiver allowed for an automated mass replacement of 30% of the August 2019 benefits.  Estimating the portion of the food purchased with monthly benefits that had not yet been consumed at the time of the disaster, and was therefore subject to loss, was relevant to making this determination.  The estimate also considered whether the loss was limited to perishables due to a power outage, or perishables and non-perishables due to structural or flood damage.

The state automatically issued the replacements on September 15, 2019.  These benefits are available to households on Sept. 16, 2019.

For more information, contact the Currituck County Department of Social Services at 252-232-3083.