Nags Head 2022 Beach Nourishment Project Moves Forward
At their February 3 meeting, the Nags Head Board of Commissioners agreed to move forward with two beach nourishment-related items.
First, the Board decided to proceed with a Hurricane Dorian beach restoration plan that will place 567,000 cubic yards of sand on 4.45 miles of Nags Head’s beach in the southern part of town, from about Jennette’s Pier near Mile Post 16 south to the corporate limits abutting Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The estimated $13,952,137 project cost will be funded by a FEMA/North Carolina disaster assistance grant of $12,063,269, a North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Resources Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation grant of $1,408,247, and a contribution of approximately $480,480 from the Town of Nags Head’s beach nourishment capital reserve.
The project, currently planned for the summer of 2022, is engineered to provide enough healthy, protective beach to allow the Town to align its regularly scheduled beach nourishment maintenance with those of the other northern beaches, tentatively planned for 2027.
“We’re grateful to both the State of North Carolina and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for their generous grants to replace sand lost during 2019’s Hurricane Dorian,” said Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon. “Because the sand loss per linear-foot in the south end of town was so much greater than what occurred north of Jennette’s Pier, the hurricane restoration project will focus on that area.”
Secondly, Nags Head’s Board of Commissioners agreed to start the process of creating four additional municipal service taxing districts related to beach nourishment. A municipal service district (MSD) is a defined area within a town where additional property tax is levied to provide projects or extra services that benefit the properties in that district.
“Prior to 2011’s initial beach nourishment project, the Town established two oceanside municipal service districts to generate revenue for the project,” said Mayor Cahoon. “In addition, the overall town-wide tax rate was increased so that all property owners in Nags Head, all of whom benefit from a healthy beach, played their part in protecting our town’s future. However, the Board feels the town would benefit from a more sustainable and proportional funding plan. The supplementary revenue from the new tax formula will build up the Town’s beach nourishment fund balance to support future projects and provide more stability for future tax rates.”
Mayor Cahoon added, “This plan better recognizes the benefits of nourishment that extend well beyond the immediate oceanfront. Properties adjacent to, but not directly on the ocean, benefit from reduced overwash flooding and impacts to infrastructure, such as streets, as well as increased property values due to their proximity to a well-maintained recreational beach. And, we know our beach is a key piece of infrastructure from which the entire town benefits.”
It is important to note two points:
- To include a property within an MSD, the project or services delivered must be provided within the MSD boundaries. Therefore, in the future, all properties east of NC12/South Virginia Dare Trail and NC 1243/South Old Oregon Inlet Road will be included in two municipal service districts. The Town believes that the newly established MSDs could be taxed at a nominal rate to pay for current and future planning activities.
- Nags Head’s Board of Commissioners has not yet discussed tax rates; at this time, additional MSDs are being put into place to give the Town more flexibility for future beach nourishment activities.
A date for the public hearing regarding the new MSDs has not yet been set.