Kitty Hawk Town Councilman Jeff Pruitt discussing continuing to support the Dare County Intralocal Beach Nourishnment Agreement.

Originally scheduled to begin this spring, probably in April, beach nourishment in Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills will be delayed. The earliest start date would be fall of 2016 although spring 2017 seems more likely.

The problem was the bids for the project came in too high. Most town officials felt some of the high cost was a scheduling conflict from the dredge companies. According to Chris Layton, Town Manager of Duck, there are extensive dredging operations on the Mississippi River at this time and that resulted in higher bids. 

Concerned about a number of issues associated with the intralocal project, the town of Kitty Hawk called a special meeting to vote on whether it should continue to participate. By a vote of 4 to 1 to the town agreed to stay the course, but Town Council members were clearly troubled by a number of the issues facing the town. “We don’t have very much beach less, it’s pretty much at the road now,” Councilman Pruitt said. “The risks are high but the risk of doing nothing is even higher.” 

Mayor Gary Perry voted against continuing agreement. With over 35 property owners not signing easements to allow access to the beach for beach nourishment, he was very concerned about longterm legal cost. He also noted that cost overruns would become the responsibility of the property owners and citizens of the town and he was not confident that the next round of bids would be an improvement..

Kitty Hawk is the only town with so many easements still outstanding.

Dare County, the town of Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills are the members of the intralocal beach nourishment group. The project will be put out for bid again. Officials are hoping that a more favorable schedule will bring the bid cost down.