When did the Newpoint Community Association start the dock extension process?
Newpoint’s original permit to extend the dock was submitted and approved in 2009 and will expire in June 2022.
Why does the dock need to be extended?
The NCA has a fiduciary responsibility to maintain all assets in proper working order.  Members contribute to the Association funds with yearly assessments. The Board of Directors, elected by members and in accordance with Newpoint’s Covenants and By-laws, have a responsibility to use those funds to maintain and repair assets on behalf of the entire community regardless of whether a member uses them or not, like alleyways and fountains. 
Two factors make current extension of the dock imperative: (1) The accumulation of silt in Factory Creek, and (2) The expiration of the current extension permit in June 2022. Currently, the silting that has occurred and continues to occur in Factory Creek makes the inshore sides of the dock floats essentially useless and dangerous at low tide. Dredging to increase water depth is not an option due to the extremely high cost of dredging, and the additional environmental approvals required for dredging equipment. The progressive silting reduces the functional utility and value of the dock with each passing day. It is becoming increasingly dysfunctional no less than if a portion of it were swept away by a hurricane. At some point, damage to the structure of the floating piers will occur because of portions of them sitting on top of the silt during low tide.
Which agencies are involved in the permit process?
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (SCDHEC-OCRM) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers are the regulatory agencies involved with the permitting process.
Will the dock size and/or configuration change?
NCA has requested the maximum allowable extension knowing that this will be the last opportunity to extend the dock to deeper water. We have requested a 30-foot extension into Factory Creek.
Can the dock be extended again in the future?
Fortunately, Newpoint has a permit to extend the dock, subject to current OCRM approval, and thereby preserve this threatened asset. However, the permit expires in June 2022 that “grandfathers” Newpoint’s two 100-foot floats, which comprise a total of 400-feet of dockable space. If the 2022 permit is allowed to expire, Newpoint might lose the grandfathering and could be limited to 200 feet of dockable space on any extension it seeks, a reduction of one half to this valuable amenity.
What was the role of the dock committee?
At the January 2020 annual meeting, it was announced that a Dock Committee would be formed, and the residents were asked to indicate their willingness to serve. In April 2020 the Board President appointed six members to serve on the dock: Alex Shuford, Anne Tyler, Jeffrey Lakin, Randy Hannold, Larry White, and Bob James. The committee’s role was to develop a definitive recommendation regarding the extension of the dock, including whether to extend, how far, which contractor to use, the design configuration both from a structural and design standpoint, provide a final contact with a named contractor to the Board and provide oversight and review of the project if approved during construction.
Which vendors did the committee contact?
The committee developed requirements for the dock extension and contacted 4 vendors to meet with the committee to go over our needs. The committee requested proposals from O’Quinn Marine, Steadfast Marine, Atlantic Marine and Dicks Docks and Decks; following the meetings the committee was able to obtain competitive proposals from both O’Quinn and Atlantic Marine.
What was the committee’s recommendation?
After discussions with each vendor, and a comparison of proposals, the committee determined that O’Quinn Marine proved to be the best option for Newpoint’s needs, in both cost, experience, and ability to deliver. The committee unanimously decided to recommend that the Board contract with O’Quinn Marine to complete the dock extension. The Board voted to move forward and in doing so hired Beaufort Surveying to update the required documents to submit for the permit process. The permit application was submitted to SCDHEC-OCRM and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
How will the dock extension be funded?
The expense will be paid from the NCA’s reserves. The expense estimate was included in the proposed 2021 budget which members approved at the Annual Meeting on January 28, 2021. The following information was sent to members in the 2021 Governance Overview on January 1, 2021, was included in the Annual Meeting documents, and has been available on the Newpoint website to date. 
Excerpt from 2021 Governance Overview
The Newpoint Community Association (NCA), acting on behalf of all stakeholders based upon the Powers & Duties listed in the Newpoint By-Laws Section 3.14, plans to enter into a contract with O’Quinn Marine Inc to extend the community dock by up to 30 feet (the limit permitted by the State Department of Health and Environmental Services (DHEC) and Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM). O’Quinn’s proposal includes the removal and relocation of current ramps and floating docks utilizing existing piles. The dock extension expense should come as no surprise as it was included in the 2017 Reserve Study and has been on the Board’s meeting agendas for over one year. The expense allowance was also accounted for in the 2020 Revised Reserve Study. Newpoint’s original permit to extend the dock was submitted and approved in 2009 and will expire in June 2022. We are currently awaiting the engineer’s survey results to complete the amendment to the permit to request the maximum allowable extension. 
What is the current permit status?
The Army Corps of Engineers and South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Controls Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (DHEC-OCRM) have accepted our plans for a 30-foot long by 6-foot wide dock extension. On October 14, 2021 the permit application was posted as a Public Notice with both agencies running concurrently for 30 days. Unless they receive a valid dispute from those owners we should obtain approval for the extension in mid-November.
Did the Board of Directors approve a contract?
On Oct. 20, 2021 the Board unanimously approved the execution of a contract with O'Quinn Marine to begin the dock extension project in April 2022. An exact start date has not been established.
When will construction start, and how long is it expected to take?
Construction will begin on Monday, May 9 and the project should be completed in 3 weeks.
What are the rules for dock use?
Newpoint’s Rules & Regulations include the following in regard to the community dock:
•  No discharge of oil, bilges, and marine heads is permitted while docked. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act prohibits the discharge of oil or oily waste into or upon the navigable water and contiguous zone of the United States. Violators will be held responsible for any legal penalties imposed and will be charged full clean-up costs. 
•  Property owners are allowed to dock boats for a 48-hour period. A new 48-hour period begins when a boat has been in use for over one hour away from the vicinity of the dock. Live a-boards will not be permitted. 
•  Garbage and trash must be bagged and placed in trash receptacles. 
•  Repairs and Maintenance: Major repairs, outfitting or refitting of boats at dock are prohibited. Minor repairs, mechanical adjustments and electrical work are permitted. 
•  Neither swimming nor diving for recreation is permitted. 
•  Fishing from the dock is permitted although cleaning of fish on the piers, decks or docks is prohibited. 
•  The Newpoint Community Association reserves the right to refuse dock space to any vessel deemed to be in unsafe condition.
Are neighbors encouraged to practice dock etiquette?
Fortunately Newpoint neighbors have been very respectful of the shared use of the amenity. During high season slip space can become an issue, and with the current limitation to only one side of the dock, it's extremely important for users to abide by the rules and be courteous. Read this Dock Etiquette blog for more info.
Still have questions? Email Bob James.