OCBA Minutes from 4/10/13

Press Release

Ocracoke Civic and Business Association

Minutes Wednesday, April 10, 2013; Ocracoke Community Center – these minutes are posted, but not yet approved.

Prior to calling the meeting to order, the group listened to Hyde County lobbyist Henri McClees on speaker phone give an update about the ferry toll issue and the pending visit by several legislators. She said no bills have so far been introduced, but that the House filing deadline was the next day (Thursday).

She said we have some hardliners in the Senate who think all the ferries should be tolled. These are Senators BillRabon and Kathy Harrington. She said that Coastal Carolina has more friends in the House than the Senate and that we need to bolster our friends in the House to stand up for us. Our strong advocates are in the House. She will get back to us as soon as possible. Following this call, the meeting was called to order by President Rudy Austin.

Minutes: A motion to approve the February and March minutes was made by Sundae Horn and seconded by Janey Jacoby. Treasurer’s report: Carol Pahl reported that total expenses for February and March were $14,557.54. The beginning cash balance was $65,246.74, for an ending unrestricted cash balance of $50,689.20. Accounts receivable: $11,333.78 from Occupancy Tax and the restricted asset is $35,080.

Rudy reported that he sent a letter in support of keeping the alternate Hatteras ferry route at the readyincaseofemergencies. He reported that the ferry channel needs at least 10 feet of water end to end.

Travel and Tourism Director (TTD) report: Sundae Horn reported that the new website is active and that everyone should look at it and to report any problems. The website is www.ocracokevillage.com.

She also reported on several advertising opportunities available for Ocracoke, such as websites and billboards. Instead of the entire group discussing the options, the group agreed to create a committee to discuss the opportunities and come up with a recommendation. Members of the committee are Carol, Connie Leinbach, Jim Borland, Justin LeBlanc, Clayton Gaskill, Rachel Cobb and Sundae.

NPS Report: Ed Fuller, NPS district supervisor, was not present but had texted information to Darlene Styron: The campground will open at noon April 19. There is nothing new on getting the fire break cut. County Commissioner update: none

County manager update: none

Old Business:

Ocracoke Visitors Center: Sundae reported that the Dixon Williams House (across from Community Square) will be set up for this with brochures, maps, a wall map of the village. The entrance will be on the right of the building. It will be a good test to see what kind of traffic the center gets.The group suggested an outside sign that says “Ocracoke Visitors Center “ OCBA. A motion to spend up to $300 to get the center in shape was made by Janey Jacoby and seconded by Connie Leinbach. Motion approved and carried.

Carol also reported that the Occupancy Tax Board will be asked to contribute to the part-time TTD position. As for the village restrooms, Carol said she had a difficult time explaining about them the previous night at the Occupancy Tax Board meeting, but that they are willing to receive more material on it within a week for a better understanding—a plan with a budget, site specifics, etc. New Business:

Game Fish bill: Hardy Plyler and David Hilton reported that the CCA will again try to get red drum, speckled trout and striped bass as game fish, which would make them catchable only by hook-and-line and off limits to commercial fishermen. If this passes, the Ocracoke Seafood Company won’t be viable and the livelihoods of local commercial fishermen will be jeopardized. In addition, the local restaurants won’t have these fish for customers. Hardy said that this is step toward eliminating all net fishing. He asked the OCBA to send a letter to Legislators about this. We should concentrate this effort on Senator Bill Cook.

A motion for David and Hardy to draft the letter for the OCBA was made by Jim Borland and seconded by Fred Westervelt. Motion approved and carried. Donation to Ocracoke Community Park: OCBA has been a sponsor for the youth ball teams (Raptors and Blue Claws) in the past along with Tideland Electric. A motion to donate $499 to the team was made by Darlene and seconded by Ernie Westervelt. Motion approved and carried.

Payment for Legislator breakfast April 26: OCBA will probably not have to pay anything as several island restaurants are donating food. The Legislators will arrive Thursday night via the Hatteras ferry and stay at the Berkley Manor. After breakfast Friday morning and visiting with islanders, they will go to the NCCAT building to view a PowerPoint (being developed by Connie) about the island and our transportation challenges.

The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m. and Connie showed whoever stayed the first draft of the PowerPoint. Next meeting is Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Respectfully submitted,

Connie Leinbach Secretary

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