Parks, recreation committee makes kayak launch recommendation

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Staff photo by Allison Potter 

The Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee is recommending a kayak launch site between Channel Walk and the first house on Pelican Drive.

With four and soon-to-be five new members on the Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, members took their first action by making a recommendation to the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen for the proposed kayak launch for Lees Cut located between Channel Walk and the first house on Pelican Drive,.

Members supported the idea of a kayak launch with a loading and unloading zone provision including a time limit, along with the recommendation that there be a public hearing held for Channel Walk condominiums and adjacent neighbors.

“It would be used more by the public than the ones in Harbor Island are,” said member Kitty Brunjes.

Katie Ryan, parks and recreation program supervisor, said reference to wanting water access was listed in the public survey, but it was not at the top of the list.

Public works director Mike Vukelich showed members the projected location of the launch, and said a natural walkway would lead to the floating dock where kayakers could go into Lees Cut.

The launch cost, which would require a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) permit, would be included in the $110,000 construction cost for the bulkhead work also on Pelican Drive.

Nancy Faye Craig, a Channel Walk resident who would not be personally affected by the launch, showed up to hear the committee’s recommendation.

She said early morning conversations would be a nuisance for some nearby residents, and small boats tying up to the floating dock would likely not be enforced.

In another agenda item, members unanimously motioned to discontinue Surf-Sun-Sand, the annual beach volleyball and bocce ball tournament, and focus efforts on the concert series instead.

The struggle to get sponsorship money and where to best spend the money are the two issues. 

Ryan said only about 200 people attended Surf-Sun-Sand last year, whereas 400 to 700 people attended each of the eight concerts.

The concerts cost $1,500, and an additional four concerts were added to the lineup last year. All of the performers for this year’s eight concerts are already lined up.

Ryan, who is currently working on the 2013 parks and recreation department budget, said it would include basically all of the programs from the 2012 budget plus a new basketball camp this summer.

She said she is also requesting to increase the instructors’ pay for the classes because they bring their own music and pay for their own certifications.

“They haven’t had an increase in probably six or seven years,” Ryan said.

Members re-elected Greg Files as chairman and elected Charlotte Murchison as vice chairwoman.

Patricia Green, Katrina Morton, Elise Running and Penny Tillery are the new committee members appointed by the BOA at the January meeting. Martha Chaffins resigned from the committee, leaving a spot to be filled by the BOA at the Feb. 14 meeting.

Future meetings will be held the first Monday of each month at 4 p.m., except for the July meeting, which is canceled.


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