News

Prevent Water Cutoffs with a Customer Payment Plan

Customers of the Currituck County Water Department are strongly encouraged to establish a payment plan if they fall behind on utility bill payments.  Signing up for a payment plan with the Water Department will help prevent the disconnection of water and sewer service.

Beginning this week, the Water Department will start hanging warning notices on the front doorknobs at properties that are behind on water payments and facing a disconnection of service. These warning notices will inform the resident that they have ONE WEEK until their water service is turned off.

To prevent a disconnection, the water customer must do one of the following before the one week warning period expires:

  • Pay their utility bill in full; or
  • Contact the Water Department at 252-232-2769 and set up a payment plan.

Currituck County is required to collect payment for its water and sewer service and cannot waive missed payments for customers. However, the county will work with citizens on establishing fair payment plans in order to prevent service cutoffs.

Earlier this year, NC Gov. Roy Cooper ordered that utility customers who missed payments could not have their service interrupted because many families and individuals in North Carolina suffered financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these executive orders are no longer in effect.

North Carolina has established a fund to provide financial assistance to eligible citizens for their utility bills and rent payments. The HOPE Program (Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions) is accepting applications from state residents online or by telephone at 1-888-892-1162. The HOPE Program can provide up to six months of past due utility payments.

If you have any questions regarding your billing or setting up a payment plan, contact the Currituck County Water Department at 252-232-2769.

Schaecher Named NC’s Top Building Inspector

Ron Schaecher, a member of the Currituck County Planning and Community Development staff, has received the Building Inspector of the Year award from the North Carolina Building Inspector’s Association.  Ron was notified of this honor on October 9, 2020.

Each year, this award is given to an individual who has distinguished themselves through their dedication and professionalism, standing out as a role model within the organization and their community. This award is NCBIA’s second highest award and given to a person who has worked to maintain the highest standards of excellence as a NC Building Code Official.

Ron has been employed with the Currituck County Planning & Community Development Department since December 2014. Prior to joining the county staff, Ron was a licensed general contractor with more than 20 years experience in the building construction industry. Congratulations!

Hurd Completes Multi-Year Directors’ Program

Congratulations to Samantha Hurd, Director of Currituck County Department of Social Services, for successfully completing a three-year professional development program. Hurd was recognized on Oct. 23, 2020 for achieving all requirements of the Director Academy, offered by the North Carolina Association of County Directors of Social Services.

Hurd has served as Director of Currituck Social Services since 2017.  Chuck Lycett, Director of Dare County Social Services, announced her achievement and presented Hurd with a plaque during a meeting of the Social Services Advisory Board.

The Director Academy provides opportunities for local directors to learn about Social Services leadership and gain valuable professional development experience.  It contains six modules of instruction, including Human Resources Management, Budget and Fiscal Management, Leadership and Program Administration, Working with your Governing Board, Media Relations, and Managing Social Media for your Agency. Participants must also complete a final presentation to an official review committee of the association.

Hurd presented her final requirements in September 2020. Throughout the 36-month process, Hurd was mentored by Clifton Hardison, Director of Washington County Department of Social Services.

“Samantha has strong leadership skills and managerial maturity beyond her current years. She is an intelligent, caring, determined leader who will be a large part of the NCDHHS blueprint for administering services to the public,” Hardison said.

PHOTO:  Samantha Hurd, left, receives her Director Academy plaque from Chuck Lycett on Oct. 23, 2020.

 

 

Senior Center Adapts During Pandemic

Although Currituck County’s three Senior Center locations have been closed for many months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff has found ways to reach out and provide some services for our local senior citizens.  The elderly population is the highest-risk age category in regards to health effects from the COVID-19 coronavirus.  Currituck County closed all senior centers on March 17, at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, for the safety of the senior center patrons and staff.

Since that time, the Senior Center staff have made it a priority to stay in touch with seniors and find ways to meet their needs. A large part of providing services includes the home delivery of meals. County staff delivers approximately 300 meals each week to more than 60 elderly residents throughout Currituck County. In addition to meals, staff has also delivered a variety of other goods. These include 120 bags of donated toiletries and personal care items, 110 bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, puzzle and coloring books, and monthly deliveries of pet food. Many of these donated goods have been secured through Currituck County’s partnership with the Albemarle Commission.

County staff of the Senior Center makes weekly phone calls to senior citizens to check on their health and see if they have any special needs.  The Senior Center regularly publishes a virtual monthly calendar to help citizens stay informed on upcoming programs or services and news that may be of interest to them. The calendar is also included in a monthly email and paper mailing that is distributed to more than 850 senior citizens. Staff also continues to help seniors in applying for various programs or special offers that become available, such as flea and tick treatments for pets of senior citizens.

Currituck is exploring new ideas to provide services during the upcoming holiday season and is redesigning some of the annual holiday outreach programs, such as Santa for Seniors and the Seniors Food Basket Drive. More information on these and other programs will be available soon.

If you know a senior citizen in need of services or wish to learn more about available services, please contact the Currituck Senior Center at 252-232-3505.

PHOTO:  Mari Mann, site manager of the Knotts Island Senior Center, delivers a hot lunch and a bag of fresh fruit and vegetables to a local senior citizen.

Currituck Recognized for Excellent Financial Accounting

Currituck County has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). This award recognizes the high quality achieved by Currituck County for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019.

The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. The efforts leading to this significant accomplishment were headed by Sandra Hill, Currituck County Finance Director, staff of the Finance Department, and Ben Stikeleather, Currituck County Manager.

Currituck County’s comprehensive annual financial report is available on the county website at https://co.currituck.nc.us/finance/financial-report/.

Currituck Welcomes Crouse to Finance Staff

Currituck County Government is pleased to welcome Caron Crouse, who has joined county staff as the Assistant Finance Director. Her first day of employment with Currituck County was October 13, 2020.

Caron is a retired partner from Dixon Hughes Goodman, a North Carolina-based public accounting firm. She has lived in Moyock for the past 15 years with her husband and two sons.

While serving as the Assistant Finance Director, Caron will have a wide range of duties. Responsibilities of the Finance Department include processing payroll and accounts, billing, managing financial records and existing debt, preparing the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and assisting in the preparation of the annual county budget. Caron will also help draft financial policy for Currituck County.

The Finance Department is led by Director Sandra Hill and its office is located in the Historic Courthouse.

 

Currituck Helps Provide Relief for Eagle Creek Residents

In response to the operational failure of a private utility, Currituck County has coordinated with the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management, NC Baptists on Mission, Currituck County Schools, Envirolink Inc., and the Eagle Creek Homeowners Association for the delivery of mobile shower and laundry facilities to the Eagle Creek community, located in Moyock.  The Eagle Creek wastewater utility, which is owned by Sandler Utilities at Eagle Creek, LLC and operated by Envirolink Inc., suffered a failure of the system’s vacuum pumps. Repairs are ongoing and officials from Envirolink estimated today that approximately 183 homes remain without wastewater service.

At the Oct. 5, 2020 Board of Commissioners meeting, Eagle Creek residents expressed concerns about their failing utility system. Currituck County responded on Oct. 6 by initiating conversation with the N.C. Emergency Management office regarding possible relief resources for citizens. Also, on Oct. 6, the Currituck YMCA agreed to allow Eagle Creek residents to use the showers and restrooms at its facility.

As of today, Oct. 7, Currituck County has finalized a plan in which the NC Baptists on Mission, based in Cary, N.C., will place one 6-stall shower trailer and one 8-unit laundry trailer at Moyock Middle School. Volunteers will accompany the trailers to provide appropriate COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting after each use.

These resources will be in service as soon as possible. Currituck County is supplying the water required to operate the shower and laundry trailers and plans to seek reimbursement from Sandler Utilities for this water usage.  Despite having no authority or jurisdiction regarding this private utility, the county has partnered with these other groups to help bring relief to the residents of Eagle Creek.

In addition, the Soil and Water Conservation District Office in Currituck County is monitoring the drainage ditches in the Eagle Creek and greater Moyock area for the presence of contaminants related to the utility failure. Currently, there are none to report.

Eagle Creek residents who have concerns regarding property damage or sewage cleanup should contact the Envirolink Inc. customer service department at 888-754-9878.

Weekly Story Time Materials Available at Library

Each week from September 8 to November 20, the Currituck County Public Library will have free Story Time materials available for pick up at the library branches in Barco and Moyock. Families may stop by either location to receive a “Story Time at Home” packet for toddlers (age 18 months – 3 years) and/or preschool children (age 3 – 5 years).

Each packet will include early literacy activities that parents, guardians, or older siblings can complete with the children at home. For more information, contact the Barco Library at 453-8345 or the Moyock Library at 435-6419.

NCDOT Resumes Currituck-Knotts Island Ferry Service

The North Carolina Department of Transportation begins service of the Currituck – Knotts Island ferry on Wednesday, September 16. NCDOT had suspended operations of the vehicle and passenger ferry since April 1 because of COVID-19 concerns.

Use of the Currituck – Knotts Island ferry remains free for passengers and vehicles. The ferry’s daily schedule is as follows:

  • Departing from Currituck at 6:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
  • Departing from Knotts Island at 6:50 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:45 p.m.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all passengers will be asked to remain in their vehicles or stand at least six feet from other people while on board.

Parks & Rec Makes Changes to Fall Season

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and North Carolina health guidelines, Currituck County Parks and Recreation has made several changes to its lineup of youth sports for the 2020 fall season. While some traditional fall sports are cancelled, a new list of options is being offered to provide local children with healthy activities, athletic competition, and social interaction in ways that limit the participants’ risk of exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The original fall sports of tackle football, volleyball, and soccer are cancelled.

In place, Currituck County will offer the following:

Fall Baseball/Softball/T-Ball for Ages 5 – 16

  • Registration will be open from August 17 to September 7.
  • Teams for ages 5-6 will be formed by geographic locations.
  • Teams for ages 7-16 will be formed by a coaches-only draft on September 10.
  • Practices will begin on September 14.
  • Games will begin on October 5.

 Flag Football (Pass Only) & Cheerleading for Ages 7 – 18

  • Registration will be open from September 14 to October 12.
  • All teams formed by a coaches-only draft on October 15.
  • Practices will begin in late October, on a date to be scheduled.
  • Games will begin in early November and continue through early December.

Soccer Skills Camp for Ages 5 – 12

  • A soccer skills/drills camp will be held in the September-October time frame at Currituck Community Park.  Specific dates will be determined.
  • Area travel coaches and players will help the department conduct the camp.

For all sports, participant age groups will be determined by their age on August 31, 2020. Registration for each sport will be accepted only by on-line and mail-in options. There will be no in-person registration events.

For more information on these fall sports or questions regarding registration, please contact Currituck County Parks and Recreation at 252-232-3007.