Wrightsville Beach was the last of the three local beach towns to sign a resolution requesting more Room Occupancy Tax funds to use for beach renourishment in lieu of marketing.
The Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the resolution Wednesday, March 19, following a favorable recommendation from the Wrightsville Beach Marketing Advisory Committee that helps oversee the county’s use of the town’s Room Occupancy Tax dollars.
The fund’s flexibility would come from the second 3 percent of ROT funds, currently used for marketing and activities.
“I would recommend that we pass the resolution as is,” Mayor Bill Blair said before making the motion.
Banks Channel no-wake zone petition
The board rejected holding a Banks Channel no-wake zone public hearing, following a petition presentation and 3-2 vote.
Jerry Cook presented the petition for a no-wake zone in Banks Channel, from the Causeway Bridge to green marker G13, south of the intersection of Motts Channel and the Carolina Yacht Club, with more than 450 signatures from residents and nonresidents who use the waterway.
Alderman Hank Miller III and Alderwoman Lisa Weeks both said they signed the petition and they would like to talk more about the topic, but expressed concerns that creating the no-wake zone would push the problem elsewhere.
Weeks said she signed the petition because she wanted further discussion.
“Our responsibility as board members is to look down the road at the unintended consequences of decisions we make today,” Weeks said. “My concern is all of that boat traffic is going to move between the bridges,” referencing the section of Banks Channel located between Causeway Drive and Salisbury Street.
Mayor Bill Blair, Alderwoman Elizabeth King and Mayor Pro Tem Darryl Mills voted down a public hearing, which would have been the next step before seeking an enforcement request from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
Blair said there is plenty of no-wake zone opposition and people on boats who are responsible. He said he has a difficult time choosing between the two groups of boaters and paddleboarders for water access.
“As we developed this petition, talking with people, we’ve heard a lot of horror stories,” Cook said addressing the board. “… You have to base it on what is and not what you want.”
Banks Channel outdoor dining expansion approved
More customers can soon sit outside Banks Channel Pub and Grille following unanimous board approval with several stipulations.
The additional 24-seat dining area must be closed by 11 p.m., with no one seated after 10 p.m. There will be no TVs allowed outside and no live music other than the Bow Wow Luau in June.
If two noise citations are received annually, the issue will come back before the board. Owner Damon Scarpelli said he has received zero citations in the five years the restaurant has been open.
Scarpelli will meet with town manager Tim Owens to develop a plan for reducing noise for dumping recyclables during the evening.
Budget workshops planned
The board will meet for two budget workshops on Monday, April 7, at 5 p.m. and Tuesday, April 8, at 5:30 p.m. The board also rescheduled the May board meeting from Thursday, May 8 until Tuesday, May 13, at 6 p.m.