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August 2005 • Vol. 2, No. 2 A Shoreline Community, Pine Knoll Shores, N.C.
Town Hall 247-4353
Town Reaches Agreement
To Purchase Water System
The Town of Pine Knoll Shores has reached
an agreement with Utilities, Inc. to purchase
the water system which serves the Town,
putting itself on the threshold of bringing to
a conclusion the more than 10-year effort to
acquire control of the water network.
Mayor Joan Lamson reported on July 28 that
both parties to the agreement had signed a letter
of intent for the Town to purchase the system
for 3.75 million dollars. The purchase will be
financed by bonds to be floated by the United
States Department of Agriculture, which in
1995 authorized a bond issue in the amount
of 4 million dollars. The authorization was
scheduled to run out this November.
The bonds will carry an interest rate of
4.125%, which. Mayor Lamson said, is the
lowest rate the USD A had seen in more
than 35 years. The USDA is well known for
financing, through bond issues, municipal
projects such as water systems for small towns
and rural areas.
Mayor Lamson said the agreement includes
a provision for Carolina Water Service, the
operating arm of Utilities, Inc., to continue
to manage the water system for a period of
two years, with an option under which the
management agreement could be renewed for
an additional year. The fee for the management
services has not yet been set.
The mayor expects the purchase transaction
to be concluded by the end of September and
that the water company will be self-sustaining,
particularly in light of the favorable interest
rate on the bonds. The mayor expects an
adjustment to water rates but the amount is
yet to be determined. She pointed out that one
of the great advantages of local ownership
is that the control of water rates will be in
Initiated by a previous administration, the
drive to purchase the water system has been
the subject of court battles for a decade.
Negotiations began in earnest in June when
Mayor Lamson, Commissioner Bill Ashland
and Richard Kelly of the Town’s Water
Committee traveled to Chicago to make an
offer to Utilities, Inc. Several offers and
counteroffers laterthe agreement was reached
on July 22, with the letter of intent being signed
a few days later.
Mayor Lamson said the transaction from
private ownership to Town ownership should
be seamless without any noticeable effect on
water service. She took note of the years of
effort put into the water system situation by
former administrations. “Without the good
work of former Mayor Robert Gallo and his
team on legal issues,” she said, “we wouldn’t
be where we are today “.
Visitors get a feel for the 32-foot waterfall in the Mountain Gallery of the
new aquarium now under construction, (photo by Sherry White)
Aquarium on time, on target
Imagination Flourishes in PKS
Police Chief, Joey Culpepper, has
[suggested the residents of Pine Knoll Shores
[put their house numbers in front of their
I homes, clearly visible from the road. Thanks
[to Bill and Kathy Foy for their photographic
See More House Numbers On Page 9
Construction of the new aquarium at Pine
Knoll Shores is on target and within budget.
As of June, the project is nearly 65 percent
complete. Aquarium Director Jay Barnes
recently led a tour of the site for some 25 local
officials and aquarium advisory committee
While construction is ongoing, the aquarium
continues to operate offices and holding
facilities in Atlantic Station Shopping Center.
In-house planning for the grand reopening in
May 2006 is well underway, and interpretive
and identification panels, graphics and other
supportive exhibitry elements will soon go
Prior to reopening, more than 30 new full
time aquarium positions will be available
in departments such as animal care, dive
operations, education, exhibits, maintenance,
security, administration, retail operations
and special events. For available positions,
job descriptions and application procedures,
monitor the aquarium’s website at www.
ncaquariums.com. Click on Pine Knoll Shores,
then on Volunteers & Jobs.
According to a study by Dr. Michael
Walden and William Neal Reynolds of NC
State University, the expansion of the North
Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores will
have a significant economic impact on Carteret
County, as well as the surrounding counties of
Craven, Jones, Onslow and Pamlico.
There are two categories of economic
impact: the one-time impact of construction
of the new aquarium, and an annual impact
from additional staffing, additional visitors
and additional space rental for public/private
events. Combination of data from these two
categories results in a total annual economic
impact in the five county region of $6.1 million
in income and 193 jobs.
While construction is taking place, the
aquarium continues to offer programs and
field trips from its off-site location in Atlantic
Station Shopping Center. Trips such as
canoe outings, onboard collecting cruises.
Cape Lookout explorations, Newport River
excursions and other activities are ongoing.
For dates, times and details, click on the
Programs & Events link on the Aquarium
website at www.ncaquariums.com., or call
Morehead City, NC 28557
Deadline for September issue is Wednesday, August 24. Deadline for October issue is Wednesday, Sept. 21. Articles always welcome!