March 1, 2006

OB Sentinel Beach Nourishment Workshop

How do they do it? The Sentinel's headline writers find the one fact in the story that is wrong and make a headline out it it.
Nags Head might hold two referendums on beach nourishment

Actually the Town explained that there would be one vote and votes would be counted separately, once for the entire town and once for property owners in any service (special assessment) district that is established.

Catherine Kozak had an excellent article in Sundays Va. Pilot
A full set of the slides used in the workshop can be found at this site.
The memo's and analysis for the financing plan can be dowloaded from the Town web site under item C of the the Feb. 15th agenda.

Other than the headline the Sentinel article is pretty factual though several of the quotes bear more explanation:

"I want everyone to know that we are going to talk about just one plan that we have been considering,” said Beach Nourishment Committee member Bob Muller. The one plan is one financing plan not one nourishment plan. In fact Muller described both the Federal project and a proposed locally funded project as the article described.

“In other words we asked them to go find us a project,” said Muller.
Muller expalined that after completing engineering work on the post Hurricane Isabel emergency berm the Town asked CS&E to develop a plan for a locally funded project with specific parameters: affordable, effective and relatively immediate. This research led to the development of the plan now being considered.

“We believe that if we don’t interfere with Dare County’s federal project then they will help us with 25 percent of the cost,” said Ratzenberger. Not interfering in this context means proceed with an emergency project that would not delay the federal project.

“I’m concerned that these tax increases will affect a lot of business owners,” said an audience member. We haven’t considered that issue yet,” responded Muller. The premise of the question was whether increased rental rates required to pay assments might reduce the disposal income of guests and therefore reduce income for local restaurants and shops. This is a tough question to answer because it assumes that rental fees will increase which may not happen due to competition from other segments of the beach. The committee explained their analysis of possible assessment plans was based on raising adequate revenue, providing susbtantial equity amongst contributors to the project and developing a politically viable plan.

According to the Committee, when performing beach nourishment the federal government will put sand on the beach only in areas where it is protecting something but not always where it is really needed. “If we went with the federal project you’re going to find that areas that need protection aren’t going to get it,” said Muller. The discussion on this issue revolved around the positive cost benefit analysis required for approval of federally funded projects. Muller's comment was aimed at areas like Kitty Hawk that were not included in the federal plan because of low cost benefit ratios but where erosion is causing threats to major community infrastructure.


At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is the responsibility of the press to report is said; not what someone may or may not be thinking when they speak.
Rather than attack the Sentinel, perhaps you would like to inform your readers about what Commissioner Anna Sadler was "thinking" when she encouraged nonresident voters to register and vote in Dare County solely for the purpose of furthering her cause. What fair minded elected official would encourage others to circumvent and otherwise cancel the votes of citizens within their own district in order to further a cause that may not otherwise by supported by the majority who elected him/her?
This was, indeed, a sad moment for Dare County.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Bob Muller said...

As I understand the responsibility of the press it is to help the public understand issues that face them. This requires both providing a factual report on what was said and what was meant. I don't think I challnged the accuracy of the Sentinels report other than the comment out 2 votes.

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the question regarding the affect on the tax hike was meant more to area businesses such as Bad Barracudas (now Mulligans) and Village Realty and other businesses such as hotels that now will have to cough up a much higher tax bill.

And weekly rental weeks will probably rise too. Everyone knows when taxes are increased most businesses pass those increases along to their customers ie: price of products, services, etc. I think Sonic already charges too much money for "fast food"

In additon, will this higher tax rate make Nags Head uncompetitive to other neighboring towns becuase their taxes are higher. if someone is looking to purchase property, they usually compare tax rates to neighboring towns.

I watched it on TV and I don't think the commissioners understood the question, much less knew how to answer it, much less even considered the issue at all.


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