Dare towns select members for housing task force

By on October 16, 2023

First meeting of the group has not yet been scheduled

Dare Board Chair Bob Woodard asked mayors to send representatives with an open mind on the housing issue.

While there has been no date set for the first meeting of the newly announced affordable housing task force in Dare County, the county’s six municipalities say they have selected their representatives to sit on the body.

The task force was approved by the Dare Board of Commissioners after it was introduced by County Manager Bobby Outten at the board’s Oct 2 meeting. The task force is viewed as an attempt to take a new approach to the thus far unsuccessful effort spearheaded by the county to build workforce/affordable housing in some Dare communities.

The Oct. 2 commissioners’ meeting itself was punctuated by a passionate and contentious public comment period that focused on the measure slipped into the state budget that curtails the municipalities’ right to regulate affordable housing projects funded with the $35 million the state gave the county. The county’s municipal leaders immediately denounced that provision and on Oct. 6, the towns filed suit against the state to challenge it.

An Oct. 4 email from Dare County Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard to the mayors asked them to choose “someone for your town…to serve on this housing task force. Please make sure you choose someone who has NO Bias (pro or con) concerning workforce/essential housing. I want open minds to serve on this Task Force.”

In an Oct. 16 email in response to Voice questions, Woodard said that he wanted a mayor and one other individual from each of the towns to sit on the task force. As indicated in his Oct. 4 message, Woodard confirmed he was asking other groups—including the Outer Banks Home Builders Assoc., the Outer Banks Restaurant Assoc., and the Outer Banks Hotel/Motel Association, among others—to send a representative as well.

The Voice canvassed the leadership of the six Dare County towns to ask who they had selected to sit on the task force.
  • The Duck representatives will be Mayor Don Kingston and Town Manager Drew Havens
  • From Southern Shores, Mayor Elizabeth Morey and Mayor Pro Tem Matt Neal will be the representatives.
  • The Town of Kitty Hawk has selected Mayor Craig Garriss and Town Manager Melody Clopton to sit on the task force.
  • From Kill Devil Hills, Senior Planner Ryan Lang and Mayor Ben Sproul will sit on the task force.
  • Nags Head says it will send Mayor Ben Cahoon, Commissioner Mike Siers and Town Manager Andy Garman as its representatives.
  • And the plan in Manteo is to send Mayor Bobby Owens and Mayor Pro Tem Betty Selby to the task force. Town Manager Melissa Dickerson is available to fill in, if necessary.

Asked about the timing of the first meeting of the task force, Woodard indicated that no date has yet been set as the county is waiting for the November municipal elections are over to do any convening. Depending on how those election goes, the mayors in Nags Head and Manteo could conceivably be on the verge of being ex-mayors.


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).



  • Obxserver

    These proposed developments pretty much all require increased density to “work”. Why do you think the “Rich Men North of Raleigh” snuck that “no Zoning” amendment into the budget with no prior mention or floor debate in the legislator on a floor that WE built by the way? Increased density means many more people, more water, more traffic, more sewage, more run-off, (more flooding) , more school space – teachers?, more law enforcement?, more garbage, more fire dept. , MORE TAXES, less available medical service, less beach access, slower emergency response and as partially listed above; even more need for workforce housing.

    Property is zoned at lower density for a reason on this narrow fragile barrier island. Don’t fall for this trojan horse of “affordable, essential workforce housing”

    Tuesday, Oct 17 @ 12:10 pm
  • Phoebe

    Just like the old saying “The Fox is in charge of Hen house” …. How much more corruption will the citizens of Dare County allow? Stand up and vote them ALL OUT!!! They’re betting that everyone is so stupid and will keep voting straight down Party lines. Let’s prove them wrong.
    They ALL need to go!!! Time for true representation for the people of Dare County.

    Tuesday, Oct 17 @ 1:02 pm
  • Dylan

    The lack of affordable housing for workers necessary to keep the tourism services functioning is the natural result of tourism and real estate speculation exceeding capacity. Given time, tourism will shrink back to a sustainable level, housing costs will drop, and an equilibrium will be restored.

    Tuesday, Oct 17 @ 2:27 pm
  • Taxpayer Task Force

    What is really needed here is a tax payers task force, and it should be made up of highly biased citizens who believe that their hard earned tax money should not subsidize the housing of other citizens. If businesses and government cannot pay a living wage, then they should do without employees. The business people can just charge higher prices, and the government can raise taxes to pay teachers and other public servants what they deserve. I have no problem with my taxes being raised to raise the salaries of teachers, fireman, policeman, and other public servants, but I should not have to subsidize the housing of hospitality workers and others in the private sector anymore than I should have to subsidize slave quarters.

    And this task force should demand a seat at the table.

    Tuesday, Oct 17 @ 6:20 pm
  • Kittyhawker

    What was even the point of picking these Representatives at this meeting when next month a lot of people are up for reelection?!??

    Tuesday, Oct 17 @ 6:29 pm
  • Lisa

    The chances of this becoming tourist rentals is high. Or how do you plan to stop that? Airbnbs have become a neighborhood issue. But they are not being addressed. Just make sure as you decide to do this that all towns in Dare have this housing. Too often it is listed for Manteo or Wanchese. If all towns have to understand they will have this, you will get a different level of conversation about it rather than “sticking it” to just certain areas.

    Tuesday, Oct 17 @ 6:59 pm
  • Steven

    The problem is plain to see, it’s not infrastructure or housing, it’s simply too many tourists. All the destruction is another story..

    Bring back the pleasant demographic of fishermen and beach folk

    Wednesday, Oct 18 @ 5:55 am
  • m

    Too much building, too many tourist and too many people thinking they should to be given something. There have been opportunities in recent years for people to buy homes with lower prices and great interest rates and they chose not to do so, now it is someone else’s fault. Every city in this Country has this issue and people have to spend hours sitting in traffic to get to work and they do it. Not everyone will be able to live on the beach and work on the beach.

    Thursday, Oct 19 @ 9:05 am
  • Beach Ball

    Dylan nailed it with the following:
    “The lack of affordable housing for workers necessary to keep the tourism services functioning is the natural result of tourism and real estate speculation exceeding capacity. Given time, tourism will shrink back to a sustainable level, housing costs will drop, and an equilibrium will be restored.”
    For at least the past 40 years, many of us, office workers and trades people drove the 100 mile round trip from west of OBX across the Wright Memorial Bridge, to work. Why, either because we didn’t want to live there or couldn’t afford to do so. It’s gotten worse due to overbuilding.

    Sunday, Oct 22 @ 5:08 pm
  • Wayne

    Bob Woodward has done absolutely nothing for OBX! Let’s get him off Dare County Board. Look what he did during covid it cost Dare County thousands of dollars for that lawsuit and now this which he probably had a very heavy hand in the state bill which is upset everyone in OBX. He is telling everyone to be open-minded I think he is the one not coming with a open mind it’s either his way or no way

    Wednesday, Oct 25 @ 3:29 pm