The Town of Beaufort Board of Commissioners held its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, July 11, 2016, in the Train Depot, 614 Broad St., Beaufort, NC. Mayor Richard Stanley presided.

Mayor Stanley read the names of the seven recent victims of violence in Baton Rouge, La., Minnesota, and Dallas, Texas, before the Rev. Theodore Calhoun with Purvis Chapel AME Zion Church of Beaufort led a prayer of comfort and peace. Rev. Calhoun also shared a bit about himself, including that he’s been serving at Purvis Chapel for the past six months. Capt. Washington with the Beaufort Police Department read aloud this statement on behalf of Police Chief Paul Burdette.

Tara J. Timblin, Executive Director of the Beaufort Housing Authority, presented the BHA’s audit report for the most recent fiscal year. The audit is available here. The authority had no findings for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2015. She provided a list of improvements and upgrades that have recently taken place. Ms. Timblin extended an invitation for a community cleanup day 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at 407 2nd Street.

The following items were approved on the Items of Consent: the amended FY 17 Fee Schedule, which changes the residential permit required for a residential and/or farm structure costing $15,000 or more. Additionally, the tap fee for irrigation and dock meters was changed from $500 to $700, the same as a ¾-inch water tap fee. The new effective date is July 11, 2016;  the Electronic Records and Imaging Policy For the Town of Beaufort; and the minutes for the June 13 regular meeting, June 22 work session and June 30 Public Works working group.

A Public Hearing to consider modifying the Subdivision Ordinance, specifically Article VIII – Improvements required and Minimum Standards of Design, to add Section 18 – Street Lighting to the textTown Planner Kyle Garner presented to the Board the text amendment that would provide a minimum standard for streetlights in subdivisions, which had not previously existed. There’s language addressing decorative lights, LED, and block length. An addition to the text stating that the Town is only responsible for paying for approved street lighting plans in the accepted public right of way was to be included to ensure the public was not responsible for paying for streetlights on private streets. 

The Discussion on the agenda to address Short-Term Rentals By Owner Ordinance Steering Committee was held. It was decided to have an open forum with the public to learn how citizens feel about the issue. The meeting is at 6 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Train Depot. 

Mr. Garner explained Exceptional Design, which was discussed at the last Board of Commissioners planning working group, and also on the July agenda. Exceptional design, or low-impact development, are techniques that can be used to mitigate stormwater effects. In this particular case, staff is looking at areas that are sensitive waters for Beaufort. Staff asked for permission for the Planning Board to establish a subcommittee to draft an ordinance that deals with exceptional design to be brought back before the Board Of Commissioners for review. The Board approved the request.  

The Board also approved a resolution in support of the NCDOT roundabout project at Highway 70/101 and up to $16,450 as a cost share toward this project, grant of $20,000 from the Historic Preservation Fund to rehabilitate the masonry wall around the Old Burying Ground and permission to hold a public hearing Aug. 8 as part of a CAMA grant application to supplement a project by the NC Maritime Museum beside the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center.

A Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant Award for $28,515 to fund 12 new sets of turnout gear was also approved.