Board to consider policy-related changes

Published 11:09 pm Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider revising the county’s Hurricane Irene hazard mitigation grant program’s policy on awarding contracts during its meeting Monday night.
Chris Hilbert with Holland Consulting Planners requested the policy be modified. He is slated to discuss the matter with the commissioners about 7:15 p.m., according to the board’s tentative agenda.
If the revisions are approved, the county will use the guidelines in the process of awarding contracts to contractors who submit bids to elevate or demolish residential structures. One key element of the proposed revised guidelines reads: “If construction estimates are prepared, no contract award shall be made if the contract is less than 85% or more than 115% of the HMGP Administrator’s final estimate. The HMGP Administrator will document negotiation of bids and/or estimates before contract awards are made.”
The revised guidelines also authorize the county’s emergency-management coordinator to approve and execute all elevation and demolition contracts and change order on behalf of the commissioners.
Under the hazard-mitigation program, some residential structures are elevated so they are less likely to be flooded during and/or after a major rain event like a tropical storm or hurricane.
The program pays 100 percent of the cost of housing elevation for qualified applicants, according to county officials. The state-federal hazard mitigation grant program has been used to elevate Beaufort County homes following previous hurricanes.
In the wake of Hurricane Irene in 2011, the county received at least 108 applications for participating in the program by early February 2012.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency sometimes provides funds to acquire then demolish some structures in flood-prone areas that suffer from repetitive damage because of flooding instead of paying repeated claims for flood-related damage.
The Board of Commissioners meets at 5 p.m. in the Beaufort County Administrative Building, 121 W. Third St., Washington. To review the entire agenda for the meeting, visit At the right side of the page, click on “Agenda” under the heading “Next regular Board of Commissioners meeting.”

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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