City Manager Report – July 26

Bill Prokop

29 Jul City Manager Report – July 26

The following is a summary of City Manager Bill Prokop’s Report to City Council on July 26:
  1. Welcome back and I hope everyone had a good summer break.
  2. Our new fiscal year is open and the staff will do their best to meet all of the goals and expectations that were spelled out in our budget.
  3. A special thanks to all the organizers of the Water Festival for doing another amazing job this year by making the Water Festival such a special event for our community.
  4. Also a very special thank you to all our Public Safety personnel, both police and fire for they work they do, everyday – 365 days a year 24/7. We are all very proud of them and of our community who shows the appreciation that we have and that means a lot to our Officers and Fire Fighters – Thank you all again.
  5. I want to update you on our Marina plans and clarify some issues that have been in question lately. First, we have received the report of the underwater investigation of our pilings (the foundation of our park and marina) – there is damage and repairs to the piling will need to be done and depending on the success of the 1 cent tax, the repairs may all be done within the next year or we will have to schedule the repairs to be done over the next 3-5 year period, due to cost. The good news is the damage was not as bad as was first thought. But, before we do any major cosmetic work on the park and marina we will have to make the repairs to this foundation.

Second, the increased moorings that have taken a few years to finish are now nearing completion and all the mooring will be in place per the plan that was approved several years ago. We will end up having 30 moorings in place, plus room for 11 more in the future.

Third, we will be doing some minor repairs to our current Dingy Dock and at the same time we have on order a new low rise, I believe it is 8” rise float, that we be located next to the Dingy dock for the upcoming Dragon Boat races in September. The float will belong to the City and will be taken out of the water during the winter and stored at our DPW facility.

Fourth, we are still waiting for final approval on all the permitting for the new Day Dock but in the meantime, this fall work will start on the upgrade to our marina transient dock and a full upgrade to the fire suppression system.

Fifth, is more of an intangible but recently questions were raised as to what authority the City had to enforce laws on the waterway, on the sandbar, and in and around the mooring fields. We had this verified by the City Attorney and we have been advised that the City has full authority, based on our Charter going back to 1711, to do all necessary enforcement of all laws and ordinances from our marina all the way over to the shores of Lady’s Island. This to the public will mean that our Harbor Master, Police, and Codes Enforcement will be patrolling and if any violations are found that they will be enforced by the City. To be specific we recently have a few boaters who are mooring their boats within 200 feet or our mooring field in the evening, and that at 7:00 AM are moving their boat over to the current Dingy Dock for the day – by doing this they are not paying any mooring fees, and they are in violation of the City Ordinance. Now that the “legal” authority has been clarified, we will be enforcing all our marine laws and ordinances.

  1. Boundary Street is going well, despite surprise sink holes, water main crossings, and sudden re-routing of traffic. But overall, the project remains on schedule and on budget. The opening of the 170/21 Boundary Street intersection has been push back till the middle of August. At that time the new intersection will be in place and the new mast arm traffic lights will be installed, this will start to put some reality into the views of the project.
  2. Construction (I should say Demolition) has started on the future home of the new and exciting Beaufort Digital Corridor at 500 Carteret Street. I am told we will be open for business by the end of the year and will be letting you all know about the grand opening.
  3. Beaufort Code Review process: As you know we are taking our time to insure that we are getting from all concerned groups, neighborhoods, and individuals the concerns they have with various sections of the proposed and/or current code. These are all being compiled and once done will be published and reviewed with various groups before a finalized version is sent to the Planning Board for review and then on to City Council for review. Our goal is not to rush this process and to insure that we are keeping in mind that whatever code is approved it has to provide for affordable housing, mixed neighborhoods with common interest, and commercial development. We are currently having very informative and productive meetings with the “developers group” and we very much appreciate the time that people are putting into the process, by doing this we are insuring a better product for all concerned.
  4. Southside Park – The Dog Park is open, the tree farm started last year is alive and expanding, and we are waiting for final confirmation on our Grant award of $100,000 for the walking trail that will be built within the park. We are making the improvements that have been planned as the funding becomes available.
  5. Thank you and do you have any questions?