testing time

anuary’s monthly town meeting was short. Commissioners approved a short-term rental Special Use Permit (SUP), set the agenda for the Board’s Quarterly Meeting, and were briefed on the progress of multiple ongoing restoration projects created by Hurricane Florence.

Public Comments

town hall signLisa Thompson, Chair of the Harbor Water Fronts Committee, has asked the town to donate their oyster shells. A marked garbage can – oysters only – has been set up near the public restrooms at town dock #2. It is along the fence shared with Oriental Marina. The more shells the town can collect, Thompson says, the fewer they will have to buy for the Whittaker Point restoration project.

Thompson also said the pump out station near the fuel docks will be shut off until nighttime temperatures are above freezing.

Larry Summers thanked the Public Works Department for repairing railings on Hodges St. and South Ave. Summers said he was disappointed that no contracts had been awarded for the repairs to the fishing pier, South Ave, and small boat launch, and that asphalt was still in yards along South Ave. Summers said the town should pay for the removal and not wait on FEMA to pay for it. Additionally, Summers said there was no 35 mph sign coming into town from Bayboro.

Summers also wanted to know if there were results from the engineering study on Hodges St. The study was conducted last year with help from a NOAA grant.

Buddy Kelly, who lives on Neuse Dr and Vandemere St. spoke, asking Commissioners to consider keeping South Ave blocked off and turning it into a promenade along the river. Residents and emergency vehicles could still access the road, but not through traffic.

Ongoing Town Projects
Town Manager Diane Miller updated Commissioners and answered Summer’s questions about South Ave and other projects related to damage from Hurricane Florence.

Miller said the bids were not in place for some projects because the bidding rules had changed, and other projects required surveys and preparations before work could begin. “We would like to try and get these projects moving in such a way that makes sense. The order of things, to try to minimize the mobilization costs,” she said. “Every time there is a disaster, the process changes… whatever they choose to give us, we are guaranteed a 75% reimbursement on the big projects… so we are trying to make sure we are dotting every i and crossing every t.”

South Ave Town Manager Miller said this “is a stepped project that has to be done in a very specific order because of the damage.” The wall has to be completed first because it holds up the sidewalk and the road. A notice to proceed to begin repairs on the wall was given December 28. Miller says repairs should begin at the end of this week.

The asphalt and gravel is still in place on South Ave because the oldest water lines in Oriental are under the road. Miller said she is working to have equipment in place when the asphalt is moved and the water lines potentially fail; workers will be able to quickly crimp off the lines and prevent more damage. The Town has recently finished identifying who does and does not have water and if there are any leaks.

Pier at Lou Mac Park CAMA (NC Department of Coastal Management) permits have been secured to rebuild the fishing pier. “We have located the original design documents and we’re ready to go bid with that.”

Whittaker Pointe Restoration Eight engineering firms responded for the Whittaker Point Restoration project. When the town and groups surveyed the land, they found Hurricane Florence had scalloped the shoreline along the point, taking out up to 20 more feet of shoreline from the old rock to the escarpment.

Town Manager Miller, Lisa Thompson, and Dr. Weaver (of the North Carolina Coastal Federation) attended a scoping meeting with the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to get agency feedback on the restoration project. Miller said all environmental agencies at the meeting said a wall of granite was needed instead of the more porous wall structure suggested by the Federation. Agencies at the DEQ meeting advised them “to get the rock in the water as soon as you can.”

Whittaker Creek Dredging Matching money for the dredging grant is up to $79,815.

Public Hearing on Short Term Rental at 807 Midyette St.
Town Commissioners unanimously approved the Special Use Permit (SUP) for a short term rental at 807 Midyette. No one brought evidence or spoke against the SUP at the Public Hearing or at the Planning Board Meetings.

Agenda set for Quarterly Meeting
Town Commissioners will have their quarterly meeting on January 31 at 8a in the Large Meeting room at Town Hall. The public is welcome to attend. The topics for the meeting are: abandoned vessels, Whittaker Point restoration, Whittaker Creek dredging, repairs to South Ave and the pier.

Manager’s Report

Fiscal year 15/16 audit The town has been working for the last year to get their fiscal year 15/16 audit balanced. The inaccuracies were caused by a problem with the financial software. Town Manager Miller reports that the audit is balanced to the dollar and has been sent for approval. After that, Miller said, the subsequent audits should go quickly.

Donation to Police Fund A large donation was made to the Police budget by a private citizen for Officers Blayney and Wichrowski’s repeated assistance.

Storm debris pickup There are many large tree root balls left over from downed trees. The town does not have the equipment to move these. Miller expects these will be the last of the storm debris to be picked up.

35 mph sign The Town has been in contact with NC DOT about acquiring a 35 mph sign, or an ‘approaching a 35 mph sign’ as vehicles enter town. Given the length of time it took DOT to change the speed limit in the area, Miller does not expect it to be a quick fix.

Dates to Know
Town Hall will be closed on Monday, February 4.
Related Information


SCOO Pilot:
2019 Fall/Winter Pilot Pilot (posted 10/21/19)
2018 Winter Pilot Pilot (posted 12/04/18)
Winter Pilot Pilot (posted 01/20/18)
Summer/Fall Pilot (posted 11/05/17)
Spring Pilot (posted 6/06/17)
Winter Pilot (posted 1/07/17)

Pilot Archive (2014-2016)
Pilot Archive (2012-2013)
Pilot Archive (2008-2011)

SCOO Officers:
Commodore: Rock (Don) Rockwell email Rock Rockwell
Vice Commodore: Dennis Marlin
Rear Commodore: John Coombs
Secretary: Ann Stackhouse
Treasurer: Roger Hammer
Board of Governors:
Term thru 2020: Bob Taylor, Carol Glorioso, Donna Luh, Rick Fears, Roger Hammer; (Past Commodore)
Term thru 2021: Pat Dallas, Dick Mannion
Term thru 2022: Chris Behre
Social Committee Chair: Rick Fears
Membership Chair: Donna Luh
Pilot Editor: Gordon Kellogg (252-249-2130) email Gordon
Webmaster: Will Martin (252-833-8031) email Will
Handbook: Kathy Ruppert (252-249-1162) email Kathy
Historian: vacant

SCOO Board Meetings: Feb 4, May 6, Aug 5, Nov 4.
Meetings are held at the Oriental Town Hall at 2 PM, all SCOO members are welcome to attend.

SCOO Forms:
Membership Application (updated 8/08/17)
Reimbursement Form (posted 2/8/13)

Updated Handbook Pages:
Sailing/Cruising Award (posted 5/14/18)
Table of Contents (posted 5/14/18)
Winter Message from the Commodore (posted 11/14/18)
Message from the Commodore (posted 7/03/18)
Winter Seminar Schedule (updated 5/14/18)
Cruise Schedule (updated 7/02/18)
Flag Officers (updated 7/02/18)
Event & Cruising Considerations (updated 2/7/13)
Marine & Business Directory (updated 2/25/16)
Sponsorship Requirements & Application Form (updated 1/17/17)
Cruise Captain Checklist (updated 2/22/16)
By-Laws (posted 5/14/18)
Annual Events (updated 7/02/18)