Town of Topsail Beach and Pender County Parks and Recreation delivers summer’s Topsail Sounds

Free concerts in Topsail Beach Town Park Center

TOPSAIL BEACH – The Town of Topsail Beach and Pender County Parks and Recreation will host three summer concerts at the Topsail Beach Town Center, starting June 22 with The Cruise Brothers.

“Residents and visitors will enjoy the outdoor setting at Topsail Beach Center,” Zachary White, Pender County Parks and Recreation supervisor said. “Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy a live concert. Admission is free.”

The summer music schedule in Topsail Beach includes:

  • June 22, The Cruise Brothers
  • July 27, The Imitations
  • 24, British Invaders

All Topsail Sounds concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 8:30 p.m.

“After a year of social distancing, it’s nice to be able to bring people back together in our Community,” Christine Burke, Town of Topsail Beach assistant town manager said.

“Many residents have shared that due to COVID restrictions, they have missed live music concerts,” said White. “We’re pleased to collaborate with the Town of Topsail Beach to deliver the much-desired musical events.”

Q&A regarding the gas pipeline installation in the Hampstead area

The Pender County Board of Commissioners received several community inquiries regarding the large yellowe pipe that is being installed along US Hwy 17, Sloop Point Loop Road, and Country Club Drive.

We reached out to Piedmont Natural Gas for an update on the project. They responded quickly to answer community questions.

Where is the gas line being installed? Is it called the Hampstead Gas Line Project?

The Hampstead project consists of much more than the name implies. It is to connect Wilmington with Jacksonville. The project started near the New Hanover County & Pender County line along Highway 17 all the way to Jacksonville where it will connect near the air station. The route mostly follows Highway 17 except for a slight detour where the line jumps off US Hwy 17 and follows Country Club Drive to Sloop Point Loop Rd where it loops back to US Hwy 17.

What is the purpose of installing natural gas?

The primary purpose of installing this line is to be available for the anticipated growth along Highway 17, especially in the Hampstead and Surf City area. Piedmont Gas hopes to serve commercial markets such as restaurants, grocery, hospitals, retail shopping centers, schools and more.

Will residential customers be served by Piedmont Gas?

We hope to serve many new planned residential subdivisions but will also consider some existing communities to serve. We currently have agreements to serve several Pender County schools in the Hampstead and Surf City area. Piedmont Natural Gas is usually half the cost of propane, so it saves the taxpayers a lot of money.

After the initial work along US Hwy 17 is complete, what is next?

As soon as Piedmont Gas finishes installation along US Hwy 17 and Country Club Drive, the company plans to extend a line to reach Surf City. The extension can serve much of the commercial and residential growth.

And after the infrastructure is completed along US Hwy 17 and to Surf City, Piedmont Natural Gas will target expanding the system to reach more commercial projects and residential communities, mostly new developments.

Do you have a completion date?

Piedmont Natural Gas expects to be completed with the US Hwy 17/Hampstead project within a couple of months. Work on the Surf City connector will follow, about 6 months.

Will current homeowners have the opportunity to tap into the line for natural gas?

Most Piedmont Gas residential and commercial customers with gas lines directly in front along the street can receive a service line and meter to their building at no cost to them if they connect a primary gas appliance/s. For example, most residential homes can receive free installation (up to certain footage) for agreeing to connect either a water heater, or primary central heating, or a gas dryer, or a combination of gas cooking accompanied with one additional gas appliance of choice.

Most existing residential communities will not be considered for natural gas conversion; however, many will be considered, and some will qualify to have gas lines installed. When considering existing residential communities, surveys can be done to determine the level of interest among the homeowners. When there seems to be adequate interest for a project to be feasible, Piedmont may require a certain number of commitments from homeowners before approving a project. Usually, there is not a cost to homeowners when an existing community is served; rather the decision to approve is based on anticipated usage and usually takes a large percentage of agreements. When serving newly developed residential communities, the developer and/or builders will often agree to use a minimum of gas heat and gas water heater in every home. Some residential subdivisions may only require a minimum of gas water heaters, all depends on the cost of the project and the number of homes.

 

Will businesses have an opportunity to tap into the line too?

Piedmont Natural Gas commercial customers usually qualify at no cost for a service line and meter by connecting either a water heater or heat or cooking equipment.

Both residential and commercial projects that are in the vicinity of a natural gas line but don’t have direct access must use enough gas to justify extending a line or pay a Cost in Aid of Construction to make up the difference.

Henderson Field Airport to receive state funds

Seven N.C. Airports to Receive State Funds

RALEIGH – The N.C. Board of Transportation approved state funds totaling $4,285,500 for projects that help improve safety and customer service at seven North Carolina airports. The board approved the funds during its May 6 meeting.

The funds the N.C. Board of Transportation approved are:
• $240,300 in state funds for the design and bid of runway and apron rehabilitation at Curtis L. Brown Field in Elizabethtown,
• $775,800 in state funds for phase one of wildlife fence installation at Davidson County Airport in Lexington,
• $90,000 in state funds for the design and bid of an airfield drainage system assessment at Duplin County Airport in Kenansville,
• $189,000 in state funds for the design and bid of runway pavement rehabilitation at Henderson Field Airport in Wallace,
• $482,400 in state funds for AWOS and glideslope critical area clearing at Johnston Regional Airport in Smithfield,
• $2,340,000 in state funds for land acquisition in the runway protection zone at Moore County Airport in Carthage,
• $168,000 in state funds for taxiway land acquisition at Tarboro-Edgecombe Airport.

North Carolina’s 72 public airports serve as vital economic engines connecting people and business enterprises with the world. Airports and aviation-related industries contribute more than $61 billion to North Carolina’s economy each year, according to the 2021 State of Aviation report. They support 373,000 jobs, generate more than $2.5 billion in state and local tax revenue, and provide more than $15 billion in personal income.

The funds awarded will be distributed by the NCDOT Division of Aviation, and do not necessarily represent the total cost of a project.

Burning ban lifted June 2, 5 p.m.

The Pender County Fire Marshal announced the lifting of the County burning ban effective today, June 2,
2021.

Effective at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 2, 2021 the Pender County Fire Marshal Office has lifted a ban on all open
burning for Pender. The burn ban went into effect May 24 due to hazardous forest fire conditions in the
county. Recent rainfall the county has decreased the fire danger threat in the county. We are forecasted to
receive more rain over the next few days. Residents should burn responsibly if they choose to burn.
Before burning, make sure you have should obtain a permit from the NCFS if you are more than 100 ft from a
resident. Check the weather before burning and never leave a fire unattended.

Fire officials recommend that anyone burning have resources immediately available to control their fire. Those
resources include water hoses, buckets of water, and hand tools. Should a fire become out of control,
individuals need to immediately contact the local fire department for assistance by calling 911.

The lifting of the burning ban will allow for individuals to utilize open burning for the disposal of vegetative debris
that has been generated on their property. This includes items such as leaves, straw, lawn clippings,
shrubbery clippings, and sticks and branches. Garbage, lumber, building materials, and rubber are never
allowed to be burned. These items must be disposed of at solid waste convenience sites located throughout
the county.

Persons needing more information about open burning regulations in Pender County can contact the Pender
County Fire Marshal at 910-259-1210 or the Pender County Headquarters for the NC Division of Forest
Resources at 910-259-7251.

Applicant withdraws US Highway 17 parcel project

The Pender County Planning Board was scheduled to conduct a public hearing at the Hampstead Annex tonight, June 1, at 7 p.m. regarding a Conditional Zoning Map Amendment for one parcel along US Highway 17 south of Topsail Montessori School.

Earlier today, the applicant withdrew the project from consideration.

The Planning Board will convene for a regularly scheduled work session at 6 p.m. and the regular agenda at 7 p.m., however, no public hearing will be held regarding the project along US Highway 17, south of Topsail Montessori School.

RFQ for Architectural Services for Pender County Law Enforcement Center and Jail – New Construction

Pender County is soliciting qualifications statements from architectural firms (hereinafter “Firm”) for contract services related to design and construction services including schematic design, design development, construction documents, prequalification of contractors, bid document preparation, bid services, USDA funding compliance and coordination, and construction administration services associated with the construction of a new law enforcement center and jail complex in Burgaw, NC.

Statements of Qualifications will be accepted up to but no later than 4:30 p.m. on Thursday July 1, 2021. No submission will be considered if received after this deadline has expired.

To download a complete copy of the submittal instructions and background information packet for the project, click here for RFQ # 210526-126.

The full feasibility study referenced in the RFQ can be found here.

Questions should be directed to Chad McEwen, County Manager, at cmcewen@pendercountync.gov and must be received by 12 noon on June 16, 2021.

Pender County reserves the right to reject any and all submittals.

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COVID-19 vaccination appointments are NOW being accepted for everyone 12 years and older. Schedule your appointment in Burgaw or Hampstead. (Moderna vaccine is only approved for age 18 and up.)

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