Nags Head OKs borrowing $37.5 million for 2019 beach work

By on June 21, 2018

The original project was done in 2011. (Voice)

With assurances of a substantial reimbursement from the federal government, Nags Head is moving ahead with financing for its first re-nourishment project since 10 miles of beach were widened in 2011.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has notified the town that it will pay $16 million of the $42.7 million cost to cover sand losses attributed to Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

But Nags Head will have to borrow the money upfront until FEMA provides a reimbursement after the project is finished.

On Wednesday, the Board of Commissioners approved two bond issues, one for the FEMA reimbursement amount and another for $11.38 million.

Local property owners will pay back the second loan over five years with an addition 2 cents per $100 of value, which they have been paying since 2011. Owners along the oceanfront pay an additional 17.5 cents.

Original plans were to get started this spring. But the board delayed the project after bids came in well over the $34 million budget for pumping sand onto the beach.

Great Lakes Dock and Dredge, which handled the 2011 nourishment project for Nags Head and last year’s sand pumping from Duck to Kill Devil Hills, was the low bidder for the new Nags Head project with their proposal of $36,644,500.

Bringing the total to $42.7 million are engineering costs, a contingency fund, ocean outfall work, turtle monitoring, beach profile monitoring, sand fencing and other fees.

Besides the bond money, $9.57 million will come from the Dare County Beach Nourishment Fund and $5.4 million from the town’s capital reserve fund.

About 4 million cubic yards of sand will be pumped by dredges from offshore borrow areas. Bulldozers on the beach will spread the sand around and the ocean will do the rest. Up to half the visible sand will slide into the nearshore to create a protective slope, according to coastal engineers.

A survey shortly after Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 indicated that the shoreline had lost a third of the sand — 1.43 million cubic yards — from the original project.

Town officials asked FEMA to reimburse Nags Head for the cost of restoring the beach to the contour recorded in a June 2016 survey, when about 90 percent of the sand remained in the system.

FEMA considers the beach and nearshore out to a 19-foot depth.

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scales of balance

@ Margo re: sand blowing westward: I believe that was not due to fencing, but due to the differences in grain size of sand pulled from the spoils vs what was on the beach. The KDH, Duck, etc. projects have benefited from that knowledge and haven’t shown the same issue as NH in 2011, and something I’m sure they’ll incorporate in 2019 spoil area selections.


Bill, during the last assessments, oceanfront properties saw a dramatic decrease in value which changed the amount of taxes they paid, their total tax bill decreased. My home decreased just a fraction; however the taxes INCREASED. If I’m paying 2 cents now per 100, that’s fair. Raising my tax to 2 cents per hundred plus another 17.5 cents for beach nourishment will drain my income. Salaries in Dare County are extremely low. Raises are infrequent and this proposed tax increase will deplete any raises. Fair Housing??? That’s a joke, why even talk about it. I own my home and now… Read more »


Clown town does it again. Tax, spend, tax, spend, you see the pattern?


You really cant fix stupid !!! This is a problem thats not going away, and the bill increases in the tens of millions of dollars each time . So when you look down that road twenty years from now your taxs are going through the roof and I wouldnt be surprised to see toll booths on the beachs, bet the tourist will stick around for that !!! Its plain and simple “Terminal Groins” every 3/4 of a mile or so !!! Its not pretty but its either that or a 100 million dollars for ten miles of beach in the… Read more »

Windy Bill

Dear Worried, please don’t be. Oceanside tax rate will be the same as oceanfront tax rate. Your tax is figured by the tax rate times the assessed value of the property. Oceanfronts are typicly worth more, so they pay more tax.


Here we go again……… less than 10 years, the town of Nags Head salivates @ spending 80 million dollars to pump sand on a 10-mile ribbon of beach. Now the town wants to change the tax structure so all folks pay as oceanfront from MP 16 on down. Tax+,Tax+Tax+.A 2nd Job and sell off one of my kidneys,I should be able to keep up. Vote Them Out!


This article is Very confusing. If I read Otis’s comment correctly, I’ll be paying the same as an Oceanfront homeowner. That is insane. I live here, work here, and cannot afford to basically have my taxes doubled for the sake of beach nourishment. I’m not making money off my property, it’s not an investment. It’s my home. Did I get a vote? Was there a public hearing? The towns need to come together and tax fairly. One town charges nothing while another hits you with another outrageous tax increase. Why is this so quiet. Where is the public outrage? We… Read more »

Sue McQueen

Curious,when is this happening???


I’m all for beach nourishment. I’m all for sand fencing and dune grass. I’ve planted and built quite a lot of it and I’m not oceanfront. However when the Town of Nags Head issues permits to oceanfront owners to “remove up to three feet of sand from their dune “ due to sand blowing into their pool , driveway or under their house I object to all of the above. In many cases the sand started to obstruct the views of the property and the slope was much steeper for them or their renters to get to the beach so… Read more »


Borrowing to spend takes replenishment to the next level of stupid. Giving up and retreating is the only sustainable and sane solution.


The only solution is to clear out all structures east of the beach road. Slope the beach and do not build dune lines or any type of wall/line.

Morey Lewis

I’m for beach replenishment. Have a lottery and award the lowest bidder the contract!

Not for against beach nourishment but this statement is misleading: . “Owners along the oceanfront pay an additional 17.5 cents. ”
No, it’s all property owners EAST of NC 12. That’s a big difference!

Windy Bill

Let’s just hope that this time they put up enough sand fence and beach grass to minimize the sand blowover.