Topsail Beach Update

Mayor Steve Smith, Town of Topsail Beach

Mayor Steve Smith, Town of Topsail Beach addresses Kiwanis. photo by Jeff Wenzel

Topsail Beach Community Report

Topsail Beach did have a good 2019:

Good Morning

  1. Let me start with a thank you to Howard Braxton and Linda Stipe for their years of service to our town. They were part of a Board that has worked as a team for the benefit of our “Mayberry by the Sea”.
  2. We continued to see recovery progress from Hurricane Florence. We have received FEMA funds for majority of Hurricane Florence and have submitted items for Hurricane Dorian. 
  3. Our town continues to have a strong financial position.
    • Tax collection is 99.4% collected or $1.9m net tax levy or a per hundred tax rate of 29 cents.
    • We have positive balances in all our funds:
      • Beach Inlet Sound Balance – $4.8m,
      • Water System Balance – $1.8m or 215% of Annual Expenditures,
      • General Fund Balance – $2.6m or 89% of Expenditures.
    • We exceed all state mandated reserve requirements for a coastal community.
  4. We have an outstanding staff

Our 2020 year will be productive & positive:

  1. We will start construction of our Storm Mitigation Project which is part of our 30 Year Beach Management Program in about 2 weeks.
    • This is a $24 million dollar project and we expect to put 2.2m cubic yards of sand on our beach.
    • Funding from FEMA & NC Shallow Draw Fund is expected to pay for the majority of this project. 
    • Weeks Marine expects project to take about 60 days to complete.
    • Weather issues are always a concern during this time of year; however, there are weather delays built into plan –  expect to complete our 7 miles of beach before April 30.
  2. Our BIS Committee has now started development of a Sound Side Flood Reduction Program. They are coordinating with N.C. Coastal Federation. We are very pleased with the status of our beach programs.
  3. We will finalize our long-term water & septic security program. We have no issues with water or septic —- however –  
    • With the growth we are seeing in the area (more water systems using the same aquifer we use – remember we are pulling from the side closest to saltwater) and more full time Topsail Beach residents – we need to ensure we have long-term safe water supply.
    • Septic system – again we have more full-time residents. This over the long term with climate change will have an impact on septic systems. The town feels it is important to have a long term plan we can work to ensure we can meet the needs our our community. Our position is to understand our options and have a plan that can be implemented in a manner that is proactive for our needs. It needs to be practical, safe and cost effective.
  4. We will begin the development of our bike/pedestrian plan. It would be nice to see a full island plan developed. We just have more groups and individuals that enjoy these types of activities.
  5. We will add to our administration staff to ensure we continue to meet our community needs – Asst. Town Clerk/Human Resources & Accounting Support. Our Building Inspection Department and Public Works Office will be relocating to the building just north of our police department. Our town staff is focused on meeting the daily needs of Topsail Beach and in our opinion are the best.
  6. 2021 Budget Process has started – I am sure we will have several good discussions on public safety issues and ensuring income sources. I do believe the board in 2020 will review our Hurricane Emergency Procedures, dog leash ordinance, driving on beach permit process, fire department personnel needs, total facility needs which includes an Emergency Operation Center. Board is Focused is on long term needs of Topsail Beach given the increased population of island and area.
  • We also want to thank all our property owners for their willingness to support our town programs through their feedback and service on various committees. We have strong citizen led BIS & Planning Committees.

We wish everyone, safe and a prosperous 2020.

Steve Smith, Mayor
Topsail Beach

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