OCBA Minutes from September Meeting

Press Release

OCBA discusses ferries, street signs, and the new membership forms.

Editor's note: Sorry we did not get these September minutes posted before the Oct. 8th OCBA meeting. The next meeting will be Wednesday, November 12th at 7pm in the Ocracoke Community Center.

Approved Minutes: Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Ocracoke School Commons Room

Meeting was called to order by President Rudy Austin at 7:09 p.m. Board members present: Connie Leinbach, Kenny Ballance, Clayton Gaskill, Justin LeBlanc, Jim Borland. Members/others present: County Commissioner John Fletcher, Sundae Horn, Corky Pentz, Arleen Burley and Sarah Johnson.
Minutes: The minutes of the August meeting were approved.

Treasurer’s report: Kenny reported that the beginning cash balance was $13,028, and the ending balance was $10,872. We received the Occupancy Tax reimbursement of $26,000 for Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree for a total cash-on-hand balance of $36,872.22.
County Commissioner Fletcher reported that the county commissioners want the county to join a 911 system for three counties: Tyrell, Dare and Hyde. He said it will save the county a penny and a half on the county’s tax rate, or $150,000 a year. It will be one and a half years before the system is in place.

County manager’s report: Bill Rich called in and was put on speakerphone. He said new street signs for Ocracoke were ordered last year and the money to install them was in this year’s budget. Installation will be from Sept. 29 until about Oct. 10.
John Fletcher noted that there are three roads on
Ocracoke that start with “Cedar” and are confusing. He suggested new names for two of these could be “Red Cedar” and “White Cedar.” He said these changes are strongly needed on Ocracoke because of the rescue squad and the health center. He said we need an updated list of the names of all homeowners on Ocracoke. Bill Rich said they would include Ocracoke in that process.

Bill Rich also reported that he’s been talking to the dump and has an idea to control the smells by channeling the liquids from the containers toward the marsh and contain it there.
Ferry officials will be on Ocracoke the second Monday of every month for a meeting at 1 p.m. in the Firehouse. The meetings have covered the possibility of passenger ferries, which are inexpensive compared to building new car ferries. The tram-trolley concept is almost top of the list as far as transportation is concerned by 2017, he said.

Justin LeBlanc noted that even if the ferry division implements a passenger ferry, these can’t be an alternative to never getting back the short route.

Travel & Tourism Director’s report: Sundae Horn reported on the 2015 dues form and walking map. Dues amounts will remain the same though perhaps they can be raised every other year. After some discussion about the Ocracoke Asset brochure, which has some out-of-date information, and the walking map, the group approved Sundae’s checking out the cost of combining these brochures.

She said the Ocracoke Foundation wants to charge the OCBA rent on the small building we are using in Community Square as the Visitor Information Center. Now we are paying $25 a month for electricity.

President’s report: Rudy Austin reported that the “Welcome to Ocracoke. No Wake Zone” sign in the ditch (harbor entrance) is being redone after having been damaged in Hurricane Arthur.

As for the Hatteras Ferry, he said we need residents to notate the dates and times of specific ferry service horror stories.Every day this summer that he has taken customers to Portsmouth some have complained about the ferries at Hatteras. He’s not sure the ferry division is receiving these complaints, but they need to hear them. Please email your specific complaints to Connie Leinbach at leinbachconnie@gmail.com. These will be compiled in a list (all anonymous) and given to the ferry division. The next meeting with Ferry division officials on the island will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20th, in the Ocracoke Firehouse.

New business: Justin suggested we write to the NPS superintendent and ask that it be made part of the Ocracoke Park Ranger supervisor’s job to attend OCBA meetings to give us park updates. (Note: The secretary emailed Ed Fuller, Ocracoke supervisor, after the meeting and he said he would attend the Oct. 8 meeting and others going forward. If he can’t attend, someone else will, or he will provide the secretary with an update to be shared at the meeting. He has had a busy summer and could not attend recent meetings.)

Old Business: Regarding storm water relief, Justin reported that a meeting with NC DOT and county officials will be Sept. 18 at Old Pony Road beside Blackbeard’s Lodge to discuss remediating that puddle first.

Meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.
Next meeting is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8th, 2014.

Respectfully submitted,
Connie Leinbach, secretary 

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