Emerald Tidings

Emerald Tidings, composed monthly by Town Manager Matt Zapp, is the official newsletter of the Town of Emerald Isle, NC.

December 2020 Edition 

EMERALD TIDINGS- December 2020

Improvements to Emerald Isle Bridge Scheduled to Resume
Expected to begin Tuesday morning
Improvements and repairs to a Carteret County bridge will resume are expected to last for several months.

N.C. Department of Transportation contract crews will close one of two lanes of the bridge to Emerald Isle the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 1. Contractors will use flaggers at the ends of the work zone to direct traffic.

Weekend closures can be expected between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., while weekday closures can be expected between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. There will not be a lane closure between Nov. 20-29 and then again Dec. 18 through early January (a date has not yet been selected), due to expected higher traffic volumes for the holidays.

The lane closure will allow contractors to continue rehab work, which extends the life of the bridge. Drivers should expect a lane closure to last through March 2021. 

Motorists should use caution while crews are working and allow themselves more time than normal to reach their destinations.

For real-time travel information, visit  DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.

NCDOT Questions
Contact: Lauren Haviland
(919) 707-2677

FREE COVID-19 Testing on Tuesday December 1st
Green County Healthcare, Inc. will offer Free COVID-19 testing in Emerald Isle, NC.
Tuesday December 1, 2020
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Western Ocean Regional Access Public Park
9003 Louise Avenue
Emerald Isle, NC
There is no registration required.  You do not have to be a resident of Emerald Isle.  Testing will be drive-thru style, but walk-up individuals are welcomed too. Anyone, of any age can be tested.

The test used will be a NARES test.  It is a simple test in which a specimen is collected just inside the nose.  It does not hurt!  

Testing does not take very long either.  All results, positive and/or negative, will be delivered within 24 hours of receiving test results.  Test results will be available typically 2-4 days after testing date.

If you have questions, please contact Gena Byrd at 252-253-9965 or by email at gbyrd@gchcinc.org.

Holiday Trash Schedule on Emerald Isle
In observation of Christmas and New Years, Simmons & Simmons will not collect trash on Emerald Isle on the following dates. Please have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
  • Christmas Eve December 24, 2020
  • Christmas Day December 25, 2020
  • New Year's Day January 1, 2021
General Info: Toys for Tots 2020
As we all know, COVID-19 has impacted the globe.  Yet, the Toys-for-Tots mission remains the same.  Now you can shop, select and donate the perfect toy with the new Virtual Toy Box.  Visit this link by clicking here. 

Local Toys-for-Tots donation stations on Emerald Isle are available.  Please consider participating at Village Market, Transportation Impact, Bluewater Realty, Emerald Isle Realty, The Emerald Isle Wine Market, Shorewood Realty, Sound ACE Hardware, Day 5 Art Gallery and more.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We apologize in advance, if any drop-off locations were inaccurately (or not) listed. Please reference the official Toys for Tots website for the most current data at by clicking here

EIPR improvements continue!
The Emerald Isle Parks & Recreation Department is pleased to announce a series of improvements and projects are now complete.

Much needed concrete work is complete at Emerald Woods.

Additionally, beautification efforts continue at the Western Ocean Regional Access (WORA) and Islander Drive project. Paving work was finished inside the WORA. Decorative stone was installed along the sides of Islander Drive.   Minor landscape plantings and parking lot stripes are still to come.

Please take a peek at these wonderful improvements while you are out and about.

North Carolina introduces COVID-19 County Alert System
State to work with key counties to bring numbers down

Governor Roy Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) announced a new COVID-19 County Alert System to pinpoint counties with the highest levels of viral spread and offer specific recommendations to bring numbers down. This system will help give local leaders another tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to slow viral spread. The map will be updated every four weeks.

For complete information, please follow the link below:

Temporary Closure: Emerald Isle Community Center
 As North Carolina continues to report record-shattering cases of COVID-19, an escalating increase in positive cases across Carteret County have contributed to a temporary closure of the Emerald Isle Community Center.
The Community Center building will unfortunately remain closed to the public through January 1, 2021.

At the first of the year, Town officials will evaluate health conditions and determine if it safe to reopen the site.
Emerald Isle's Town Hall, Police, Fire and EMS stations continue to have restricted public access as well. The decision to limit access to the Community Center was made to protect the public and town employees during the holiday season.
We certainly apologize for the inconvenience and will return to normal operations as soon health conditions allow.
For questions, contact:
Emerald Isle Community Center Staff

REMINDER... 2020 Emerald Isle Property Tax Bills
The Town of Emerald Isle's property tax bills are consolidated with the Carteret County tax bills, beginning this tax year.    Tax bills have been mailed and are available online at  https://carteretcountytax.com/. Property owners will no longer receive a direct tax bill from the Town of Emerald Isle.

What Changed on the 2020 Tax Bill?      
One Bill:
Carteret County and Emerald Isle Taxes are itemized on a consolidated bill.
Individual property values may have changed, due the recent market value revaluation process.
Tax Rates:
Carteret County includes a 33 cent tax rate as compared to 31 cent tax rate in 2019.
Emerald Isle retained a 15.5 cent tax rate, identical to 2019.

EI Solid Waste Fee:
Developed residential properties in Emerald Isle include a $255/unit solid waste fee.
The fee in 2019 was $240/ unit.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you see a green insert in your tax billing envelope, do not be alarmed. Residents within a city limit DO NOT have to pay the Carteret County $165 fee associated with bulk waste disposal.  

If you are charged the Greenbox Fee of $165, and pay a curbside trash pickup service, please provide proof of service to the tax office. Upon proof of service, we will remove the fee from the bill. The deadline to have this fee removed is January 5, 2021.

Beach Driving returns to Emerald Isle
Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the upcoming Phase III Beach Nourishment project, considerable thought has been given to the issuance of Beach Driving permits for 2020/2021. 

ONLINE PERMITS: Beach Driving Permits are available for online purchase via the EIPD. A beach driving permit may be purchased online by visiting our website
Emerald Isle Police Department customer service representatives are available to assist via phone by dialing (252) 354-2021. The hours of operation include:
9am until 8pm Sunday-Thursday
9am until 10pm Friday-Saturday.
Beach Nourishment Closures:For safety reasons, certain sections of Emerald Isle beaches must be closed during the 2020/2021 Beach Driving season.  Closures are unavoidable, due to the construction of the estimated $40M Phase III Beach Nourishment project.
  • Beach nourishment can only occur between November 16, 2020 and April 30, 2021.
  • Click here to watch an example of Beach nourishment
  • The Town of Emerald Isle anticipates smaller/ defined sections of the beach to close, while those areas area being nourished.
  • Phase II Nourishment areas include the following sections of the Emerald Isle beach:
    • Between the Point and Lands' End
    • Sea Dunes toward the Dog Leg
    • The far east end of Emerald Isle
Authorized beach access ramps are located at the Ocean Drive "dog-leg" (near mile marker 15 on NC 58), at the end of Black Skimmer Drive (across from Police Department), and at The Point (at the terminus of Inlet Drive at Bogue Inlet). Driving on primary dunes, as well as other vegetated areas, remains STRICTLY prohibited. 

Beach Driving Period : The period for Beach Driving is scheduled to occur from September 15 to April 30, with the exception of the 10-day period near Easter. This period includes the Friday prior to Easter, until and including, the Sunday that occurs 7 days after Easter. For 2021, beach driving will not be allowed at all from April 2 - April 11, 2021.

Highly Important Disclaimer: By purchasing a 2020/2021 beach driving permit, permit holders understand that there will be no refunds or discounts provided due to beach closures of any kind.  Closures may be caused by nourishment activities, beach conditions, and/or other unavoidable events. 

Carteret-Craven Electric Co-op Member Wins Grand Prize in the Fifth Annual #WhoPowersYou Contest

Carteret-Craven Electric Co-op (CCEC), in partnership with Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives, is pleased to announce that Bob Dobler of Emerald Isle is the Grand Prize Winner of the fifth annual #WhoPowersYou Contest.
In addition to being nationally recognized, Dobler will be awarded $5,000 for his cause. Additional prizes will be awarded for second place, third place and honorable mention.
Dobler was awarded the grand prize for his longtime work supporting the BackPack Friends program that provides backpacks full of food to more than 600 children each week in Carteret, Craven and Onslow counties. Dobler makes cutting boards that he sells at craft fairs and through local vendors, and he donates 100 percent of the proceeds to BackPack Friends.
In the past seven years, Dobler's cutting boards have raised more than $54,000 and helped fund more than 6,500 backpacks full of food. "I simply wanted to do something to help," he says.
"We are thrilled that Bob was chosen to receive this honor," said Melissa Glenn, CCEC communications specialist. "His skilled hands and his dedication to BackPack Friends and its mission to ensure that no child goes hungry is remarkable."
Touchstone Energy Cooperatives launched #WhoPowersYou in 2016 to celebrate the power of human connections.
The annual contest invites co-op members across the country to nominate local heroes making a difference in their communities. An independent panel of judges selects the winners based upon the positive impact they make on their community.

About Carteret-Craven Electric Co-op
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative supplies power to 40,500 meters serving more than 32,500 members in Carteret, Craven, Jones and Onslow counties and is part of Touchstone Energy®, a nationwide family of co-ops exhibiting the core values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.
About Touchstone Energy
Touchstone Energy Cooperatives is a national network of electric cooperatives across 46 states that provides resources and leverages partnerships to help member cooperatives and their employees better engage and serve their members. By working together, Touchstone Energy cooperatives

Happy Holidays from the Bogue Banks Water Corp.
The Board of Directors and staff of Bogue Banks Water Corporation wish all of you a very Happy Holiday season. We appreciate you!
Many of you are already signing up for our cellular endpoints for your meters. For the latest on these and more, see our December newsletter, which will be included with your bill this month.
If you would like to read it before you get your bill, you can read it here: https://clients.ruralwaterimpact.com/documents/175/2020-11-30_BBWC_Newsletter.pdf
The newsletter is also available on our NEW portal, accessible from our web page www.boguebankswater.com. As always, please call if you have any questions or concerns!

Phase III Beach Nourishment- Coming in 2021!
Phase III of the post-Florence beach nourishment program is scheduled to occur between January and April 2021. The near $32 million contract will be completed by the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) company, the same company that performed Phase I and Phase II of the nourishment along the Bogue Banks.   The project is funded in part by FEMA, the State of North Carolina, and Carteret County Beach Nourishment Reserves.

Please reference the map above. Segments marked in YELLOW identify the Phase III areas scheduled to be nourished in 2021.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program gives families a one-time vendor payment annually to help pay their heating bills.

Families must meet all of the following:
1.    Household must meet an income test.
2.    Household must be responsible for its heating bills.
3.    Household cannot have resources over $2,250.
4.    The household must include a U.S citizen or an eligible alien.
5.    Priority in eligibility is given from December 1st through December 31stt to disabled persons receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services or households containing a person of age 60 and above.

Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
  1. Pick up applications at:
¨       Carteret County Department of Social Services, 210 Craven Street, Beaufort
¨       Carteret County Health Department, 3820 Bridges Street, #A, Morehead City
  1. Effective January 2021, you may apply at the Epass.nc.gov website
1. Information about your household's income. All previous month's wage stubs.
2. Information about your household's savings or checking accounts.
3. Information about your household's property, stocks, bonds, and other assets.
4. Name, date of birth, and social security number for each household member.
5. Information about your primary heating source

Applications will be taken for disabled persons receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services or households containing a person age 60 and above from December 1st through December 31st or until funds are exhausted. Applications for all households will be taken from January 4th through March 31st or until funds are exhausted.

Please contact the Carteret County Dept. of Social Services at (252) 728-3181, Option 5.

Horseback Riding in Emerald Isle: Be kind and look behind!
Emerald Isle welcomes our equestrian owners and visitors to the island. As a courtesy, remember it is mandatory for riders to remove all feces and droppings.

Horseback (equestrian) riding is permitted annually between September 15 and April 30, with limitations and exclusions. As you ride the public trust beach areas of Emerald Isle, please be kind and look behind! Cleaning up after your horse is both kind and necessary.

Matt Zapp
Town Manager
Town of Emerald Isle
7500 Emerald Drive
Emerald Isle, NC  28594

Nice Matters!