The Town of Surf City Governmental Update is aimed at providing current information about the various departments, events, and updates. The goal is to ensure that citizens are well-informed about the happenings in our town and have easy access to the information needed. Transparency is a key value for the Town of Surf City, and we are committed to providing you with accurate and timely updates via this Governmental Update.
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As we transition into the vibrant season of Spring, there are exciting developments taking place in the Town of Surf City that I am eager to share with you. Recently, at the Town Council Workshop, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) provided an update on the Surf City Coastal Storm Risk Management Project, also known as the Beach Nourishment Project. Originally a collaborative effort with North Topsail Beach, the project is now solely focused on Surf City following their withdrawal in 2021. The USACE is currently in the process of re-certifying the project specifically for our town. The General Re-Evaluation phase is underway, and the anticipated start date for the project is December 2025. While we had hoped for an earlier commencement, we are grateful to see progress and anticipate the long-term benefits this project will bring to our community. For more details on the project and its impact over the next 50 years, visit www.SurfCityNC.gov/Beach.
Spread the word as the Town of Surf City is now hiring for seasonal Summer positions. Opportunities range from Grounds & Streets Technicians, Facilities Technicians, Ocean Rescue Swimmers, Summer Camp Counselors to Bus Drivers. Explore further details at www.SurfCityNC.gov/HR
The Town budget process is in full swing, with Town Departments set to present their budgets at the upcoming Council Work Session on March 15th, starting at 9:00 am at Town Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend Council meetings and work sessions to stay informed and engaged.
In other news, I am delighted to share an update on the upcoming Earl G. & Inez Batts Recreation Complex. The land clearing process has commenced for this cutting-edge park, which will feature a Skate Park, an inclusive playground, restroom/shelter facilities, two sand volleyball courts, and walking paths connecting to existing trails. Stay tuned for details on the upcoming ground-breaking ceremony.
The Town of Surf City has a rich history and 2024 marks the 75th anniversary of the Town’s incorporation, so we must celebrate! Join us at the Surf City Welcome and Event Center located at 123 South Shore Drive on March 23rd from 11am -4pm. There will be live music, food trucks and an exhibit based on the Town of Surf City.
A friendly reminder that paid parking will be enforced from March 1st to October 31st. Surf City Residents are eligible for two free parking passes. Visit https://permits.pivotparking.com/surfcityresidentpermit/ to create your account and renew your passes. Island residents, ensure you obtain your re-entry passes in preparation for any extreme weather events that may necessitate a temporary shutdown of the Island.
Thank you for your continued support and participation in the growth and well-being of our community.
Mayor Teresa Batts
Happy 75th Anniversary, Town of Surf City! We’re thrilled to be celebrating such a rich history and look forward to the future. Our Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department is planning an amazing event that will feature artifacts and exhibits highlighting Surf City, please make plans to check that out.
We have several major projects ongoing and that are about to begin. Our South Shore Stormwater Project is scheduled to start on March 6th. This project includes the installation of two infiltration basins to collect stormwater that regularly floods the road. The project should be completed within 90-days from start.
The annual budget process has begun in earnest and departments are working hard to project out their needs for the upcoming fiscal year. They will be presenting to Town Council at their March Work Session and then the Manager and Finance Officer will work to present a balanced budget back to the Board. It is our goal to address strategic priorities and to continue to provide a high level of service to our residents and citizens.
It continues to be a pleasure serving the Town.
Calls for Service: From 1/15/2024 to 2/15/2024, the Police Department responded to a total of 450 calls for service. This number incorporates officer-initiated calls, such as traffic stops in addition to our traditional calls such as reported calls, crimes in progress, assist citizens, traffic accidents, warrant services, town ordinance violations, etc.
Activity Log Event Summary (Cumulative Totals)
Surf City Police Department
(1/15/2024 – 2/15/2024)
|<No event type specified>
|Charges/citations G.S. 18B
|Charges/Citations G.S. (M)
|Surf City School Perimeter Check
|Charges/Citation G.S. 14(M)
|Charges/Citations G.S. 20 (I)
|Charges/Citations G.S. 90(M)
|Total number of events
Investigations Activity Report
1/15/2024 - 2/15/2024
Incidents Assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division
24-0431 Felony Obtain Property by False Pretenses
24-0423 Death Investigation
24-0385 Felony Larceny
24-0209 Felony Obtain Property by False Pretenses
24-0297 Kidnapping/Robbery changed to Simple Assault
23-6138 Exploitation of Elderly Person
24-0128 Possession of Methamphetamine
22-3541 Homicide/Armed Robbery
The Surf City Police Department brightened the Monday morning mood for the third graders at SCE! Chief Voorhees, Captain Johnson, Sergeant Petersen, SRO Wyke, Officer Bright, and Officer Mantilla had a great time eating lunch with the kids!
The Surf City Police Department has recently welcomed its newest officer, Officer Britnee Negley. Today, she was sworn in and will begin a comprehensive three-month field training program before being assigned to the patrol division.
Chief Voorhees expressed his pride and happiness for Officer Negley, "Today, Officer Negley makes a commitment to our community and embarks on a new career; I look forward to working alongside her and wish her all the best in the years to come. Congratulations!"
Sergeant Bright received his Advanced Law Enforcement certificate this morning during a ceremony hosted by Chief Voorhees. Jeffrey Smythe, Director of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Standards Commission, sent a letter to Sergeant Bright summarizing the significance of this award.
"The Advanced Certificate award provides recognition of the competence and achievements of eligible officers across the state. This award requires substantive professional experience, many hours of additional training and often a higher level of formal education. To meet these requirements is a feat worthy of commendation. Your dedication to your chosen profession is evidenced in the fact that you are one of a very select group of officers to receive this honor."
Congratulations on a job well done!
Web-based anonymous tip submission:
The fire department boat lift project is nearing completion. The lifts have been installed. The contractor will be doing some final fitting and getting all the electrical completed in the coming weeks.
Chief Wilson has started his Municipal and County Administration Course at the UNC School of Government. He will be working on this coursework through May of 2024.
Chief Wilson is finalizing the details of the MOU with the Helbig Foundation on the Beach Flag and Life Saving Station Program. Once this program has been officially approved we will begin installing new beach condition flags and floatation devices at all Surf City Public Beach Accesses.
Chief Wilson has been working with the Pender County Fire Marshal’s Office on the new fire district contract. A draft contract has been submitted to the attorney for review. Once we have a final contract, we will present it to the council for consideration. The new contract offers more protections, guidance, and consistency of service for Pender County and The Town of Surf City.
Chief Wilson has been working with Mr. Charlie Medlin, an Eagle Scout Candidate, on his proposal to assist with beach safety as part of his Eagle Scout Project. Mr. Medlin will be assisting with the installation of our new life-saving stations and will also be offering a system for up-to-date beach safety and fishing regulations through an interactive QR Code system.
|Chief Wilson represented the fire department at the Vision 20/20 Conference this week. Vision 20/20 is a multi-organizational approach to community risk reduction. He was asked to come and speak about the ocean condition flag and water safety station programs. The conference was attended by over 500 national and international community risk reduction experts.
LT Van Pelt has been working with town staff to update the fire department’s website. We are happy with the progress.
If you have any questions, please contact Chief Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 329-1260.
Fire Prevention – Community Risk Reduction Division
Lieutenant Van Pelt continues to work with several organizations to develop public fire prevention events. More information will be out soon with a schedule of events.
The Surf City Fire Department will host its 2nd Kids Recruit Academy over Spring Break. We received so many positive comments, that LT Van Pelt wanted to offer another session this year. We are looking forward to hosting our new recruits.
Staff have hosted several community CPR classes over the past month and continue to get more and more requests.
Suppression staff has been busy with emergency responses in the community. They have also been completing non-suppression activities such as inspections, pre-plans, hydrant maintenance, etc.
Suppression staff has been working with new staff on their probationary workbooks.
Staff continues to work with maintenance vendors to complete annual required maintenance on all fire department equipment. Most of these items have been completed or have been scheduled.
DC Hobbs has been working on getting our jet ski program up and running. We are getting training scheduled and equipment purchased.
The department has opened the application process for Part-Time Ocean Rescue Swimmers. We will be holding 2 open houses for anyone interested in joining our ocean rescue team.
The Water Treatment Plant produced on average six hundred and forty-seven thousand gallons of water per day since November 28th, 2023. This is an 8.3 percent decrease over the same period last year.
The Collections and Distribution division completed two hundred and twenty-seven work orders and five hundred and fifty-one locate requests since November 23rd, 2023. A mass water change out is 100 percent complete. The next milestone will be the launch of the customer portal which is expected in mid-February. This portal will give residents the ability to monitor their water usage on a daily basis remotely. This allows Surf City residents to utilize the most current technology and the Town efficiently manage resources. Please keep an eye out for notices to sign up for this service. The utility department has published the 2022 Annual Drinking Water Report. This report informs the public that the water system is maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations. This report is available at the below link.
Should anyone have any questions or concerns about Surf City utilities, please call Town Staff at 910-329-1055.
The Human Resources department is actively hiring for a part-time Athletics Program Assistant and Seasonal Summer Camp Bus Driver for the Parks, Recreation and Tourism department. The Town will begin the posting the Summer seasonal positions in the coming weeks. These positions will run from May to August. Positions will include Summer Camp Counselors, Oceans Rescue Swimmers, Facilitates Technician and Grounds Technicians.
The Finance office kicked off the 2024-2025 budget year preparations on December 8th ,with our department heads. In preparation for year end close of Fiscal year 2023-2024, the finance department issued a Request for Proposals for auditing services. The bid proposal closed February 12th, 2024.
Finance completed the escheat process in December as well as completed the Annual Financial Reports for fiscal year 2022 and 2023.
The finance office also received their annual audit report and received an excellent report from the external auditors. The Town’s fund balance grew, and the town received no financial findings in the audit.
The finance office is currently reviewing position requests for the upcoming budget process as well as capital improvement requests. We are also developing multiple process policies for the upcoming year.
The tax collectors are focusing on collecting the remaining taxes owed to the Town. Our current tax collection rate is 93.14% at the present time.
Community Development - Planning
Development Review Project Status
Town staff has 9 projects under review. All projects Except the Mill Creek Tract are in TRC review. These projects include:
- 3 site plan reviews
- 2 Rezoning requests
- 3 Subdivision
- 1 Subdivision Final Plat
February 8, 2024 Project Status
Ricciardi Site Plan
Batts MH Park
Rezoning Royal Palm - JH Batts
NC 50 Mexican Restaurant
TRC/revised plans submitted
Terraces - Portico
TRC waiting additional info
Mill Creek Tract
Planning Board 2/8/24
Waymoth Batts - additional Belt Road lot
Rezoning (Rochelle Property JH Batts)
The February Technical Review Committee meeting is scheduled for February 15, 2024.
Our next Planning Board meeting is scheduled for March 14, 2024. The agenda will be posted online no later than the Monday before the meeting.
Upcoming Town Projects
The Zoning Ordinance Update was awarded to WithersRavenel at the Council meeting on July 5, 2023. Our consultant has completed reviews of our adopted Town plans and ordinances to identify areas that need to be addressed to ensure they agree. They have also completed the review for compliance with 160D legislation. An annotated copy of the ordinance has been provided to Town staff illustrating proposed layout changes and potential ordinance changes. This document reflected comments made by staff and the Planning Board.
Planning Board received the first updated sections for review at the December Planning Board meeting. During this meeting, the consultant, Planning Board, and staff discussed the work provided thus far and set the expectations for the review process for the remainder of the document. Once the consultant receives comments from staff and the Board the draft document will be revised and resubmitted for review.
Community Development – GIS
The analyst continues to provide internal and external maps as requested by Town Departments.
Any new public facing maps will be posted on our GIS website: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/collections/703518609ac44d1fb01e7972c820a9c2
Community Development – Code Enforcement
Violations of Appendix A Section 6 (Town Zoning Code) continues to be the most frequent type of violation with signs being placed in the right of way the most common subcategory. The excerpt from the ordinance is provided below. All signs collected from the right of way are held for an average of (2) weeks before they are discarded. Signs that are placed on private property that fall under the category of prohibited signs (See App A Section 6.9, link below) will be cited via the notification process which may lead to civil penalties if not addressed in the specified period pf time. Please reach out to the Code Enforcement Office for clarification on any ordinance issue you may have or a question you may want clarification on.
6.9 Prohibited signs.
5) No sign of any kind may be permitted on or over any public right-of-way with the exception of:
a) Directional and informational signs erected and maintained by public agencies and/or governmental bodies,
In addition, Political signs are allowed in the ROW until (30) days after (1) Stop Voting.
ZONING CODE VIOLATIONS
MUNICIPAL CODE VIOLATIONS
SIGNS REMOVED FROM ROW
Food Truck Name
Tanja's Hella Fat Foods
Made in Venezuelan Foods LLC
Meraki Kafe LLC
Colvevanelli's Italian Ice
Southern Roots Grille
Fusion Blue Zones
Deli Works LLC
Smoke N Grind
Myrna's Fil-Am Food
Southern Breeze Seafood
Crazy Mason OTG
Kona Ice of Coastal Carolina
Sunset Slush of TI
Mr. Wilsons Burgers and Bites
Restored Coffee LLC
All Rolled Up LLC
Wilmie Woody Inc.
Make'Em Come Munchin LLC
Coastal Cay Fish Tacos
Port City Plates
A Taste of Philadelphia DBA
Bad Bob's Grill
De La Rosa's Super Antojitos
The Sea Queen
Colevanelli's Italian Ice
Earl G. and Inez Batts Recreation Complex Update:
- Equipment has been mobilized on the site and our contractor has begun clearing and grubbing the site. Check out our project page on the website for additional updates.
Week one drone site image.
Phase I Rendering Attached
“This rendering is a preliminary concept and does not represent the final design.”
- The Surf City Community Center will be a Primary Election Voting Precinct for early and day of voting beginning Thursday February 15th and will run through Saturday, March 2nd for early voting. Day of voting is Tuesday, March 5.
- The Town of Surf City Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is proud to announce two new programs the Public Display of Art Program and the Memorial Picnic Table Program.
- Patricia Mobley donated a Memorial Bench in loving memory of her husband James Allen Mobley. The bench has been installed at Soundside Park for all to enjoy.
Recreation Program Report
- A special Valentine Art Exploration class will be held at the Surf City Community Center on Tuesday, February 13th, from 10am-12pm. The cost is $5. Registration can be done online at https://surfcity.recdesk.com/Community/Home. Please contact us at email@example.com or (910)328-4887 if you have any questions.
- A Spring Break Camp will be held at the Surf City Community Center March 4th-8th from 7:30am-5:30pm. The cost is $125 for the week.
- A Teacher Workday camp will be held March 21st at the Surf City Community Center from 7:30am-5:30pm. The cost is $25 for the day.
- Senior Fit classes run Mondays and Fridays, 9:30am-10:30am, at the Community Center. Cost $6 per class.
- Session 2 Kids Dance Classes (ballet/tap) are back at the Community Center, Studio Room B. Classes for the second dance session will run from 1/8/24-5/20/24.
- An adult art/craft hour, called Adults’ Artful Afternoon, runs Mondays (Fall-Spring) in the Community Center, from 1:00 pm-4:00pm. The cost is covered through a facility membership or $6 day pass.
- Coffee and Cards runs on Wednesdays (Fall-Spring) in the Community Center, from 10:00am-2:00pm. The cost is covered through a facility membership or $6 day pass.
- Art Exploration, ages 0-5, runs on Tuesdays, from 10:00am-12:00pm, in the Community Center. The cost is $5 per class.
- Tot-Time session, ages 0-5, runs on Thursdays, from 10:00-12:00pm, in the Community Center. The cost is $10 for the year.
- Spring 2024 Athletic Program Registrations opened December 1st.
- Our 2024 Winter Youth Basketball and Youth Futsal programs are in full swing. Both Programs will run through the end of February.
- Our 2024 Winter Adult Volleyball and Futsal programs are in full swing and will run through the end of February.
- 2024 Youth and Adult Soccer programs are filling up fast and will start play the middle of March.
- 2024 Teen and Adult Basketball start play on the first week of March and registrations are filling up fast.
- 2024 Youth and Teen Volleyball Start play in mid-March. Programs are full and we are looking forward to an exciting Season.
Special Events Report
- The Surf City Expo is happening Saturday, March 2nd from 10am-2pm at the Surf City Community Center! There will be plenty of shopping, food vendors and raffles!
- The Town of Surf City is celebrating its 75th Anniversary on March 23rd at the Welcome and Event Center from 11am-4pm. There will be live music, entertainment, food trucks and a wonderful exhibit of Surf City’s history!
- The 75thAnniversary exhibit walk through will be open to the public for a few days following the celebration:
- Sunday, March 24th from 11am-4pm
- Monday, March 25th from 9am-4pm
- Tuesday, March 26th from 9am-4pm
- Easter Egg Hunts will take place at the Surf City Community Center Athletic Fields on Saturday, March 30th beginning at 9am with different age groups beginning at different time! Bring your own basket to fill with eggs, food vendors will be on site.
Welcome & Event Center Report
- The Welcome and Event Center is still in the process of being renovated. Restoration is complete and we have passed the required testing. The remodeling process has begun.
The Kinston beach access is getting a lot of love. New corral’s have been built to hold the trash cans. The crew have added a second rinse off and installed a bin to hold broken chairs and tents so they would not have to go in the trash cans. Signage will be added as well.
The crew also installed some new posts to designate the entry on to the beach. A chain was installed to keep vehicles from accessing the top of the dune. This was a major safety concern. This will insure all of our beach goers will be safe when entering or leaving the beach.
Disc golf has received some new signage throughout. New signage at the entrance and the tee boxes.
Crews are still working on beach access’ throughout the town. The access had to have steps added due to some beach erosion. The crews are always on the lookout for these type of things. This will help all beach goers when accessing the beach.
The Welcome Center is getting some much-needed attention. All wood paneling has been removed. New insulation has been added, moisture resistant sheetrock has been installed. It will be receiving a new paint job as well. All work will be completed in time for the 75th anniversary event.
The crews have been out getting the town ready for the year. They are dressing up the planters and flower beds around town. This spot is at the island roundabout. This was installed last year by the Town's Beautification and Enhancement Committee.
The crew has also been addressing the edge of the road. They are installing Crush n’ Run to fix the low spots on the edge of road. This will make it safer for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians.
Information Technology Update - February 2024
Here are some highlights for the Information Technology department.
- We ordered a new MDT to replace the failed system for our fire chief; it should arrive this week.
- We will finish installing and configuring the software and issue the laptop early next week.
- In the works
- Prepping order of new laptops for:
- Utility Specialist
- PD MDTs
- Parks, Rec & Tourism (new request for Rec Programs-Surf City Elementary School)
- Reviewing 5-year replacements that are due before July
- Prepping order of new laptops for:
- Additional dropdown microphones were added to the Council Room.
- We ordered a new MDT to replace the failed system for our fire chief; it should arrive this week.
- Prepping upcoming budget.
- NEW PROJECT: Surveillance equipment
- Evaluating security and surveillance needs, along with their solutions for the new Earl G. and Inez Batts Recreation Complex.
- ONGOING PROJECT: Laptops for Council
Summary: The laptops were originally for email, basic web access, and digitally receiving the agenda packets. The laptops we purchased worked great for this, but our Mayor and Council would like to do more with their laptops. To accommodate this need, we budgeted for upgrades. These new laptops will have a larger screen to ease eye strain and enough power to do more work quickly. The old laptops still have life and are on the latest operating system, allowing us to repurpose them around the office for light-duty needs.
- Laptops were ordered but lost in shipping. Thanks to the Finance department for their assistance in receiving credit for the lost shipment.
- I have sourced brand new laptops from our standard computer rep; however, we are working with Council to ensure this solution best fits their needs.
- ONGOING PROJECT: Networking and Security
- Part of our continuing education for the IT department included online courses related to networking and security.
- We are now testing phishing scams to raise awareness within the town and help us in keeping employees on their toes.
- COMPLETED PROJECT: COPIER/PLOTTER REPLACEMENTS
- Replaced two aging copiers, one in the Police Department and one in the Admin workroom. We also replaced our large format printer MFP for Community Development.
- COMPLETED PROJECT: Public Safety Mobile CAD
- The new Mobile CAD software has created a few networking issues while in use. These are a huge hindrance, so I have prioritized this request. I have narrowed the problem down and am working with the affected departments to implement a fix.
- COMPLETED PROJECT: Time Clock Security
- Reviewed Time Clock software and security with the Finance Department
- Made effective changes that eased employees' troubles with clocking in/out.
- COMPLETED PROJECT: Welcome Center – Better solution for screen sharing
- Ordered and tested a new system; it is very functional and dependable.
- This system solves troubles that were encountered with the old method. However, time will be the true test.
- We are waiting for the remodel to be completed before finalizing installation.
Review of current year’s incoming tickets by priority
With less than a month until the official “first day” of Spring, many are ready to shake off winter’s chill and enjoy warmer temps and longer days. With the warmer conditions comes the potential for bad weather, such as severe thunderstorms, hail, heavy rains, and tornados. Considering this, the National Weather Service has designated March 3-9 as Severe Weather Preparedness Week for North Carolina. If you want to get ahead and start learning about the severe weather threats we have and what you can do to prepare, visit the Wilmington National Weather Service’s page, found here, for helpful information.
Don’t forget, Daylight Savings Time comes around on March 10th. This is the perfect time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors around the house, as well as take an inventory of your preparedness kits (home and vehicle), ensuring all items are within their respective use by/best by dates. Check canned items for any signs of spoilage (swollen cans, rust on the can, etc.) and replace any that you have concerns about, test/replace batteries, make sure flashlights work, rotate your stored water, and replenish any items that may have been used. A good way to keep your prep kits consistently stocked with fresh and usable items is to cycle through the items throughout the year, replacing them with fresh stocks as you go.
It’s never too late to prepare for life’s uncertainties. If you are new at planning and preparedness and need a little help, visit www.ready.gov/plan to find helpful information on disaster planning for you and your household. Once a plan is developed and in place, visit www.ready.gov/kit for guidance on getting your disaster kit set up and stocked. Finally, head to www.surfcitync.gov/codered and get signed up for CodeRED emergency alerts. As always, we are here to help, so feel free to contact us with questions or concerns about emergency preparedness.
Remember, everyone in your household must be familiar with your preparedness plans. So, practice using your plan and kit as a group often! Then, when the time comes, and you need to put everything into motion because things are not going so great, you and your family will be more likely to come out of the situation in a much better position.
Until next time, stay safe!