County Commissioners considered requests to use room occupancy tax funds for fall
2014 renourishment projects at Carolina Beach and Kure Beach during a May 5
both projects would drain $3.6 million from the ROT.
unanimously approved use of $1.863 million for the Carolina Beach project but
declined to take action on Kure Beach’s request.
The U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers proposed the Carolina Beach project, offering $4.8 million
pooled from leftover general construction funds and contributions from the
Division of Water Resources pledged $727,000, leaving the ROT to cover the
remaining $1.863 million.
The project carries
a $7.4 million price tag.
federal authorization is set to expire December 2014. The fall 2014
renourishment project is potentially the last opportunity to use federal funds
to offset cost.
The corps also
proposed acceleration of Kure Beach’s renourishment cycle, expediting federal
and state money allocated for use in the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years to take
advantage of equipment already mobilized on the island for Carolina Beach’s
Both beaches are
on a three-year cycle and projects have traditionally occurred simultaneously.
Carolina Beach and Kure Beach both received sand in 2013.
Kure Beach Mayor
Dean Lambeth told commissioners the beach strand was hit especially hard by winter
Approval of Kure
Beach’s request was not recommended by County Shore Protection Coordinator
Layton Bedsole or County Manager Chris Coudriet.
Bedsole cited a
lack of scientific support for pumping another pile of sand on Kure Beach.
support because it could force the ROT to bear the bulk of
2016 renourishment projects for Carolina and Kure Beach.
projects combined in 13 were $15 million. … Assuming no money for Carolina
Beach because it’s not reauthorized and it’s unlikely that Congress will
appropriate the same project twice [for Kure Beach], so potentially in three
years the ROT could face 65 percent of a $15 million project plus 17.5 percent
for Carolina Beach and Kure Beach,” Coudriet said.
School Bond Plan
County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley outlined needs in county schools
in a step toward securing a Nov. bond referendum.
The bond would fund
construction of an elementary school in Porters Neck and renovations to College
Park Elementary, Blair Elementary and Wrightsville Beach Elementary, among
facility needs plan identified $390 million in needed improvements.
County Board of Education Chairman Don Hayes said in an April 30 phone
interview he expected the bond would be capped at $160 million.
A number was not
established during the meeting. Coudriet said commissioners would have to agree
“There is going
to have to be a discussion about how much below $280 [million] that you’re
willing to put as a question to the voters,” Coudriet said.
more in-depth information would be given to Coudriet for consideration on May
Hayes said he
was confident voters would support a bond in November.
“I hear very
positive comments from people about the bond. They know the need. They know
with our previous bonds, we’ve always done what we said we were going to do to
the penny,” Hayes said.
Stay tuned for
the full story in the May 8 issue of Lumina News.