Don't Let this Happen to You
Two marine businesses were cited by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) for powerwashing boats either directly over the waterway or right at the shore. The DWQ conducted a water test and discovered the pollutant levels were well above the state standards. The businesses were told to find a way to treat the powerwash run-off. According to the DWQ, the practice of on-site visits and random water testing will become more prevalent in the coming year, with penalties assessed where applicable. We (Marine Trades Services) are working with a consultant and the DWQ to find out what the water quality standards must be and the different means for treatment. Currently the state and EPA differ as to water quality standards, with the state being more stringent. Other states have incorporated powerwashing as a part of a facility's stormwater permit a good, all-inclusive idea that we are promoting to save on paperwork and additional permitting costs.
When DWQ decides how to handle powerwashing, look for compliance to be applied to any facility that hauls and washes boats. Minimum requirements point toward a wash-pad or pit that is constructed so water runs to a drain, which connects to a collection system. Treatment options for the contaminated water in the collection system are not set, but vary as to efficiency and cost. Example methods include filtration through grass swales, hay bales and bag filters, settling in lagoons, coagulation, thermal oxidation and pump and haul. Capital costs run from $100 to $40,000, and monthly maintenance up to $500. We will keep you informed.
State Adds to Disaster Assistance Options
If you applied for an SBA physical or economic disaster loan and were turned down, you now have another chance to obtain funding. Any company that has more than one employee (not the owner) and was turned down for an SBA loan and an appeal of this loan, may now apply for a state loan. You MUST appeal your declined loan to the SBA before you are eligible for this next round of funding. Those who did receive an SBA loan can apply for grant money to cover the interest that must be paid on the first 3 years of the loan. For assistance in completing the initial SBA loan application, filing for an appeal, and applying for the new funding contact the Small Business and Technology Development Center Business Recovery Assistance Center nearest you. The numbers are: Wilmington (910) 962-3744, Greenville (252) 328-6157, Elizabeth City (252) 335-3247, Raleigh (919) 715-0518.
We finally have a list of several laboratories that conduct water testing for stormwater permits. To meet your stormwater permit requirements, you must collect water from almost all point source discharges leaving at your facility and have it tested. This must be completed, with results sent into the Division of Water Quality by the end of the first year of your permit. For more information contact Wendy Larimer (910) 962-3351.
North Carolina Boatbuilders and Boatyard Information Going on Web
The www.NCWaterways.com website is about to take a few more steps toward the long-range goal of becoming Coastal North Carolinas boating tourism and marine services go-to site. This public-private effort, utilizing the NC Coastal Boating Guide map published by the DOT, is serving as a coastal tourism and maritime trades promotional resource for the coast. Our pamphlet, Coastal Heritage WaterTrails, serves as a land-based and water-dependent heritage tourism overview, recognizing all the coastal water bodies. And most importantly for the coastal marine trades, our marketing efforts on behalf of boating services, repairs and boat building businesses provide a commercial focus that puts boaters in contact with boating services and NC boat builders. The nearly 100 NC boatbuilders will have their own web listings, allowing the visitor to search by company name, boat type, and regional location. This will be timed for both the Professional BoatBuilder IBEX and the NMMA Miami Boat Shows. Boatyard information by company name, services provided, and location will follow later in the Spring. The eventual plan is to nationally publicize and promote boating and boating services in North Carolina. After inviting the national boater to tour our coastal waters and waterfront communities, we will then encourage them to leave their boat for services, repairs, and restoration and wintering in our (usually) ice-free waters. For more information and assistance in getting your business on the web, call Mike Bradley in Beaufort at (252) 728-2144.
DOTs Coastal Boating Guide Now Mailed Through Website
Thanks to the great cooperation from our DOT, www.NCWaterways.com visitors can now fill out a form and have the Coastal Boating Guide and map mailed to them and about 30 boaters/tourists per day are doing so. This map the one with the NC Maritime Museum on the cover) is useful to all boaters and coastal visitors as it provides transient marina services information, Ferry Schedules, and is an excellent map of the roads connecting all coastal waterfront towns and marinas. We will soon be updating this Guide for the next printing and want suggestions for additions and corrections. Remember, this information is up-to-date on the website. Send corrections and suggestions to Mbradley@SBTDC.org or mail to Marine Trades Services, P.O. Box 406, Beaufort.
Offer for Free Peek at Coastal Tourism Information
Over 100 visitors per day are filling out coastal information requests through our NCWaterways.com web service provider, ICW.NET. This Internet business has offered to provide NCMTA members cost-free access to the real-time tourism names and response addresses that you can mail or e-mail in return through April 1, 2000. Although fewer than 10% are requesting boating-related information at the present, we will soon have boating selections on the filled-in forms. The remaining requests are of a basic tourism nature and all are targeted for coastal interests. Marina members with hotels, bed and breakfasts and major tourism marketing efforts will especially benefit. Since the offer requires e-mail to accept, e-mail Mike Bradley at Mbradley@SBTDC.org for further information.
Seasonal Marketing Opportunity for Coastal Marinas
The transient boating season is beginning again and the Dismal Swamp Canal Visitor Center wants your marina or other marine business brochures to display for transient boaters. If you will provide the publications, they will display and offer them to traveling boaters. Contact Judy through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (252)-771-8333. Ship your brochures to Visitor Center, 2356 Hwy. 17 N, South Mills, NC 27976.
Urban Waterfront Revisions Being Considered
The existing temporary rules (HB 1059) are set to expire this July 1. New rules are being finalized by CAMA and will likely ease the new setback and buffer rules and continue to allow for limited development and non-water dependent uses over public trust waters in appropriately designated waterfront communities. However, the Corps of Engineers has indicated that they will allow only unroofed, unenclosed decks and boardwalks over public waters. As coastal boating and water-based tourism efforts increase, these rules will be critical to the economic success of waterfront communities. The CRC committee has recommended that the new wording be sent to public hearing.
Property Taxes Leveled at Transient Boaters
This ongoing catch-22 is drawing more attention and ire from some marina owners who are aggressively promoting wintering in North Carolina to Northern boaters. The problem? Municipalities are getting more sophisticated and diligent in tracking down boaters who make the mistake of wintering or docking at our marinas over New Years. By state law, every marina owner (actually any dock owner renting 3 or more slips) is responsible for turning in a list of boats at its docks to the county tax office. If they dont and are caught, they have to pay the taxes and are fined $250 per vessel. Although out-of-state true transient boaters (usually staying six months or less) do not have to pay, they are being tracked down, assessed and served tax notices. Any suggestions or examples of solutions?
Luxury Tax Renamed?
In discussions on raising NC funds for hurricane relief funding, one proposition named eliminating the $1,500 cap on the sales tax associated with purchasing a new boat. Stay tuned to this newsletter we will keep you informed.
Commercial Fishermen Eligible for Disaster Aid
The state has allotted $11.3 million in relief funds for commercial fishermen who had losses due to Hurricane Floyd. Initially the state will gather trip ticket data for September and October 1999, and will compare this data to the data from the same two months in 1997 and 1998. This will provide an estimate for the reduction in fisheries and in individual catches. Fishermen who show a 25 percent loss in catch can be reimbursed at 60 percent of their individual loss. Call the Division of Marine Fisheries (252) 726-7021 for more information.
Have marine trades related question or problem? The NC Marine Trades Services is a service of the Small Business and Technology Center and available to all small businesses without charge. Marina related - call (910) 962-3351. Boatbuilding and Boatyard related - call (252) 728-2144. The headquarters of the SBTDC is located in Raleigh and can be contacted by calling (800) 258-0862.