Despite COVID concerns, the Town of Topsail Beach is having a good summer. Now that this season’s nourishment efforts have concluded, we are finalizing our dredging and nourishment plans for the 2020-21 season. The grass planting on the new dune is expected to start in early August and we continue to work with the Department of Coastal Management (CAMA) on ways to improve crossover assistance for the new dune. We are also moving forward on sound side projects to reduce storm erosion and flooding and we will pave several streets as part of the Town’s maintenance program. Amid all this activity, we are hosting over 8,000 visitors every week.
The fall/winter 2020-21 dredging plan will place approximately 1 million cubic yards of sand on our beach. This project will also provide the Town the opportunity to manage any erosion from any storm that might occur during the 2020 Hurricane Season. The majority of this contract will be funded from monies committed by FEMA for Hurricane Florence and Dorian along with NC Shallow Draft Inlet Funding. This plan will allow for the dredging of the cut through to Topsail Creek, the lower half of Topsail Creek, the side channel for Bush Marina & Assembly Building, and Banks Channel north to Town line.
In the coming months, we will be working in conjunction with the North Carolina Coastal Federation on plans for sound side shoreline improvements. There will be more on this as we progress, as it also includes addressing street flooding as part of these projects.
The Town continues to work closely with Pender County Health Department. Pender County now has over 460 positive COVID cases. There is 1 confirmed resident case here in Topsail Beach and 2 COVID related cases in businesses. The Health Department has been satisfied with the responses and actions taken in each case. The Town continues to have conversations with businesses concerning Governor Cooper’s Executive Orders #141 & #147 and the importance to follow those orders. Many of the cases being seen in Pender County have been traced back to contacts with family and friends from other areas in North Carolina. We need to do our part and wear a face covering if social distancing is not possible. We urge everyone to wear a face covering when entering a business and follow the rules as outlined in EO #147 — it is also the law. Please follow the 3W’s - Wear, Wait and Wash. The COVID-19 virus has been with us for 6 months now and we are gaining knowledge on how to prevent and treat. This virus is showing to have risks for all ages. Please take precautions that protect your employees, friends, and family. Precautions, such as face coverings will go along way in preventing infection.
The Town has made an offer on property on Hwy 210 and it was accepted with agreement for due diligence review and an appraisal to be completed. If property purchase is completed, it will house the Town’s Emergency Operation Center and provide land for off island storage buildings for equipment. The purchase of this property as well as the aforementioned sound side shoreline projects, will be funded using the $1.6 million grant the Town received from the State to improve resilience from storms.
The Town continues to investigate our long-term water and septic needs for our community. We continue to obtain information on possible solutions and expect to have all options available for review in 2021.
We encourage all to safely enjoy our beach and sound areas this summer. Please continue to support our local businesses. Stay Safe.
Regards, Steve Smith, Mayor
Town of Topsail Beach