Thursday, May 6, 2010

RAC May 6, 2010

This afternoon Virginia Beach's Resort Advisory Commission (RAC) held it's May meeting, which lasted about 105 minutes.

Bobby Melatti gave a Presentation on changes that had been made to Resort Area entertainment recently, and how they were being tweaked in turn.

Bob Matthias came to present information on offshore drilling. He was using a PowerPoint of state Senator Frank Wagner from October, 2009. Recent events in the Gulf of Mexico made a few statements in it comical. There were some things to be noted. First, he covered possible seismic testing offshore. Some experts have compared Virginia's coast to Brazil's, but we wouldn't know without testing. The last testing was in the 1970s, not going beyond 1,000 feet of water. Oil companies now routinely drill in 5,000 feet. Second, wind energy brought as many comments and questions as offshore drilling. The Navy & Air Force have laid down parameters for the Virginia Capes, but the Coast Guard has yet to chime in. The Navy & Air Force concerns would kill the two existing unsolicited bids for offshore windmills. Third, we still have the radar situation to deal with. Matthias stated that the City of Virginia Beach's top concern is Resort Area redevelopment, with offshore windmills second. Finally, we may have the potential to become the Silicon Valley for offshore wind on the East Coast. Not only does our location and port give us the ability to ship elements elsewhere, but the former Ford plant in Norfolk has deep water access. Offshore wind equipment could be manufactured there, then sent by ship elsewhere.

Billy Almond stated that the Dedication Ceremony for JT's Grommet Island Park will be May 22. (Once I have the details, they'll be posted on this blog.)

Finally, the Oceanfront Enhancement Committee (OEC) started to rollout a plan for combating disorderly behavior by homeless persons in the Resort Area. The plan was tabled pending investigation of legal and logistical issues involved.

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