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Booming Holiday Business Boosts A Strong Tourist Season
BY LYNN CARLSON
"To say it short and sweet ? we're full."
Tripp Sloane's commcni about the vaca
tion rentals sccnc is true of virtually all the
South Brunswick Islands in the midst of a
bang-up summer for retail, food and lodg
Sloane, whose Ocean Isle Beach real es
tate firm handles 300 properties on the
beach, said Tuesday, "We're a hundred per
cent full every week until the second week
of August, and even after that, places to
rent arc very scarce everywhere."
His comments were cchoed on Holdcn
Beach by Gil Bass, whose campsites and
rental units at the pier are booked solid. "It
has just "been tremendous," Bass said.
"There arc more people than I've ever seen
on Holden Beach."
"They're mostly families, so there have
been very little problems," Bass added.
"We're also seeing more day people than
usual, I think."
Record temperatures drew unprecedent
ed crowds to area beaches, restaurants and
retail stores over the Independence Day
weekend. Getting there wasn't always easy.
"The volume of traffic problems on
Sunset Beach Saturday was the heaviest
I've seen in my years here," Police Chief
J.B. Bucll told the town council Monday
night. "That was probably the most cars
that have ever been on Sunset Beach at one
time in the town's history."
" The people are
here , no doubt. The
season got off to a
slow start, but it's
? Clarice Holden
Holden Beach Chief Robert Cook said
motorists trying to get to the beach on
Saturday were backed up at one point from
the foot of the bridge, the length of the
causeway, and past the turn toward Shal
Following Sunday night's spectacular
fireworks display at Campground by the
Sea on Holdcn Beach's west end, car traffic
crawled cast in one long, steady line as
boaters who had watched from the Intra
coastal Waterway formed a moonlight
flotilla in both directions
But a traffic hcadachc can be a mer
chant's sweet elixir. For Kelly Holden at
Holdcn Brothers Produce near Shallottc,
business has been "incredible." thanks to
the large vacation crowd and bone-dry
weather. "On Saturday, we had the single
biggest day since we opened in 1984.
Everybody I've talked to has said business
Holden Brothers' irrigated farm fields
bore plentiful fresh produce while home
gardens withered in record heat with no
rain. "We've had to ration on some things,"
Temperatures pushing, then hitting, 100
degrees sent visitors and residents scurry
ing for ways to cool off. John Hooker, own
er of the Igloo ice cream and yogurt shop at
Calabash, said business was "tcrnfic, as far
as I'm concerned, the best season" of the
four he has operated his shop.
Even stores whose clientele is primarily
local had good weekend traffic. "Saturday
(See HOLIDAY, Page 2-A)
WO AG & SONS BOOK BINDERY
... ^IGF'ORT MI 49284
Thirty-First Year, Number 33
cms THI MUNSWICK BEACON
Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, July 8, 1 993
50$ Per Copy
36 Pages, 3 Sections, 2 Inserts
10 YEARS OR 40 YEARS ?
' Company To Ask
Judge To Settle
BY SUSAN USHKR
The Brunswick Counly Hospital
Authority and HealthTrust Inc. hope
to go to court soon in a friendly law
suit intended to resolve longstanding
legal questions regarding the man
agement company's lease of The
That lease may or may not end
next May 17, which is the key ques
tion to be decided when the two par
ties seek a declaratory judgment
from a Superior Court judge, an
opinion they hope can be obtained
Earl Tamar, the hospital's chief
executive officer, said last week that
it is in the hospital's best interest for
the lease issue to be resolved as
quickly as possible. A situation of
"instability" relating to the lease af
fects employee morale, efforts to re
cruit new physicians and the hospi
tal's ability to make long-term busi
ness decisions which could be af
fected by whether the lease is for 10
years or 40 years, and whether
Health Trust continues to manage
the hospital, he indicated.
"If it drags on, it could be difficult
for us," said Tamar.
Questions about the terms of the
lease first arose in mid 1984, when
the original lease was signed with
Hospital Corporation of North
Carolina (of which HealthTrust Inc.
is now a subsidiary). That was also
when new North Carolina legisla
tion went into cffcct that was intend
ed to protect the public interest ?
particularly to assure that medical
care would remain available for the
needy when for-profit companies
such as Health Trust Inc. buy or
lease publicly-owned hospitals such
as The Brunswick Hospital.
HealthTrust wants to stay as the
hospital's management, and the au
thority would like to keep the com
pany, members said last Thursday
nighl. Bolh would also like a 40
year lease, it thai becomes an op
"You can look at the hospital and
see the difference," said Chairman
Larry Andrews. "The hospital is be
ing run the best now that it ever has
The authority, a county-commis
sioners appointed panel that operates
the hospital for the county, was
ready last week to act on the
premise that its management lease
with HealthTrust Inc. was for 10
years and would end May 17, 1994,
based on opinions from at least two
attorneys. In a plan agreed upon
with HealthTrust, they intended to
speed up the process of determining
the next lessee of the hospital, and
terminate the existing lease as soon
as a new lease could be reached ei
ther with HealthTrust Inc. prefer
ably, or another provider.
However, Brunswick County's
new attorney, Michael Ramos,
thinks otherwise. "If I was a betting
man, I would bet it was a 40-year
lease. That was the original intent of
the lease," he told authority mem
bers last Thursday night. "You could
probably get 12 lawyers on one side,
12 on the other and one that had no
Ramos recommended a settlement
as a way for HealthTrust and the au
thority to resolve the uncertainty, but
Tamar said he would prefer another
option. "Whatever we do I want to
make sure has a solid legal basis,"
Authority members agreed that a
"friendly" lawsuit, filed by the au
thority against HealthTrust Inc. and
its parent company, Hospital
Corporation of North Carolina,
would be the only way to settle
They voted unanimously to file
(See FRIENDLY, Page 2-A)
STAFF PHOTO BY ERIC CARLSON
Fun With Grandpa
Even big kids can have fun in the surf, as Dan Kibrell of Forest City demonstrates with his two grandchildren . Nicole and Michelle Upton,
on July 4. Record crowds cooled off on South Brunswick Islands beaches during the record-hot holiday weekend.
Step Up Sewer Preparations, Engineers Advise
BY LYNN CARLSON
Becausc Calabash and Sunset
Beach aie now near the top of the
-tale's sewer system funding priority
list, the towns must accelerate their
efforts to seek grants and low-inter
est loans, engineers told town offi
cials earlier this week.
Referendums on the issue could
even be on the Nov. 2 election bal
lot, according to Jim Billups and Joe
Tombro of Powell Associates.
"We're coming i" end of the
rope here, believi :t or not," Tombro
told the Sunset Beach Town Council
on Monday. "We did not anticipate
getting to the top of the priority
ranking this fast."
Calabash and Sunset Beach rose
from 49th and 50th, respectively, to
second and third on the State
Revolving Fund list, a federal/state
program to provide low-interest
loans to municipalities to construct
wastewater ucalment facilities.
Priority is given to proposals
which would eliminate septic tank
systems in areas where water quality
Sunset Beach Town Council vot
ed to allocate S 18,000 as naif of
Powell Associates' chargc to pre
pare a financial feasibility statement
for the project and to upgrade the
engineers' earlier "comprehensive
wastewater plan" for the town towns
to a formal sewer system facilities
The documents are steps in the
process of receiving grants and
loans from the Farmers Home Ad
ministration and low-interest loans
from the State Revolving Fund. The
towns' will be reimbursed those
costs in the sewer system grants, the
On Tuesday, Billups and Tombro
met in a workshop session with the
Calabash Board of Commissioners,
whose consensus was to match the
allocation, Billups said. Since
boards may not take official actions
in workshops, the commissioners
will not be able to vole on the matter
until their July 13 meeting.
Tombno said the financial feasibil
ity report, to be submitted to the
state's Local Government Commis
sion in about a week will "show the
funding agencies that what you're
proposing is feasible."
It will outline how the towns plan
to fund a sewer system with a 50/50
grant and loan from Farmers Home
Administration for the first phase ?
service to the Calabash business dis
trict, several Sunset Beach housing
developments and the commercial
area near the intersection of N.C.
904 and N.C. 179.
The later phases of the projected
S25 to S30 million system would be
funded through a $3.5, 3-percent
loan from the State Revolving Fund,
a combination of revenue bonds
through the South Brunswick Water
and Sewer Authority, general oblig
ation bonds through the communi
lies, and "developer contributions,'
according to a memo from the engi
neers to the towns. The debt can be
repaid through user fees and tap
fees, the engineers say.
The facilities plan, to be complet
ed by Oct. 1 , will outline the needs,
plans and anticipated environmental
impacts of a central sewer system.
Governing boards of both towns
have promised that the South Bruns
wick Water and Sewer Authority ?
made up of three representatives of
each town ? will not be "activated,"
or allowed to incur financial obliga
tions, unless the sewer system plan
is approved by voters in both towns.
Meanwhile, representatives of lo
cal towns and the county govern
ment will meet in Raleigh July 13
with state officials to discuss their
request for a $500,000 to explore the
possibility of a combined regional
stormwatcr and wastewater manage
ment system as a means of improv
ing water quality.
Plan Calls For 3-Laning 1 79, Extending Georgetown Road
BY SUSAN USHER
Traffic will move along an im
proved network of roadways in the
South Brunswick Islands resort area
by the year 2000 under a new draft
Inside . . .
Business News 8-9C
Church News 11 A
Court Docket 10C
Crime Report 12C
Obituaries 11 A
Opinion 4-5 A
People In The News 5B
Plant Doctor 3B
state Transportation Improvement
The TIP calls for the three-Ianing
of N.C. 179 from Calabash to N.C.
904 at Seaside Beach and inside
Shallottc town limits and extension
of Georgetown Road from N.C. 904
to Ocean Isle Beach Road in addi
tion to projects already under devel
opment. The draft was presented last
week at the State Board of Trans
portation's Finance and Program
ming Committee meeting in Ral
eigh. The TIP will be formally
adopted by the board at its Aug. 6
meeting in Greenville. Odcll Wil
liamson of Ocean Isle Beach repre
sents Division 3, which includes
"The TIP provides unlimited po
tential for economic development
for North Carolina," said Gov. Jim
hunt. "By building and improving
our infrastructure, we can bnng jobs
and a better quality of life to our
The proposed South Brunswick
Islands projects would be in addition
to continuing plans for an inter
change at the Shallotte intersection
of the U.S. 17 bypass and N.C. 130
west, an environmental impact as
sessment of a proposed new bridge
to Sunset Beach, thrcc-laning of
N.C. 179 from the South Carolina
slate line through Calabash and
widening of N.C. 130 from Shallotte
to Holden Beach. Those projects arc
also scheduled for completion be
tween late 1995 and 2000.
Construction of the N.C. 179 im
provements from Georgetown Road
(S.R. 1163) to U.S. 17 Business in
Shallotte is proposed to begin in late
1995 and continue through 1999, at
an estimated cost of $9.75 million.
The existing two-lane roadway
would be widened to three lanes
from Ocean Isle Beach or Four Mile
Road (S R. 1 184) to N.C. 904, and
along its length inside Shallotte
town limits (where it serves
Shalloitc Middle School), and im
The TIP calls for extending
Georgetown Road from N.C. 904 to
Ocean Isle Beach Road (S.R. 1 184),
a distance of 2.7 miles. The project
would cost an estimated S750.000,
with construction to be done by the
division in the fiscal year that begins
Oct. 1, 1995.
Georgetown Road is presently
paved from N.C. 179 at Calabash to
a point along N.C. 904 between
Grisscttown and Sunset Beach, and
provides access to Sea Trail Plan
tation and Sandpiper Bay Golf &
Country Club and an alternate route
Scheduling of the S3.5 million
Shallotte interchange "slipped a lit
tle bit" in the new plan, said Calvin
Leggctt, program development
branch manager, "but we're still
looking at calendar year 1994 for the
start of construction." The project
(See DOT, Page 2-A)
Seven File For Town Seats
As of mid-aflcrnoon Tuesday, only a trickle of candidates ? seven ?
had filed for local government seats across Brunswick County, reported
the Brunswick County Board of Elections.
"It's a little slow, I think," said Lynda Britt, Brunswick County elec
In the South Brunswick Islands area, George Ennis Swain has filed
for re-election as Vamamtown alderman.
Elsewhere in the county, Franky Thomas, a former Brunswick
County commissioner, filed as a candidate for mayor of Lcland and
Donald T. Sellers filed for one of two available seats on the town coun
In Southport, Mayor Norman Holden has filed for re-election and
Philo (Phil) Joyner has filed for the Ward II seat now held by Harry W.
At Long Beach, Frances Allen has filed as candidate for commis
Also in the Southport-Oak Island area. Ginger Canady has filed for
re-election to the Southeast Brunswick Sanitary District.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no candidates had filed with either the
Holden Beach Board of Elections or Ocean Isle Beach Board of
Elections. Holden Beach candidates can sec either Chairman Elizabeth
Dameron or Secretary Judy Holden to sign up. Ocean Isle Beach candi
dates register at the town hall with Town Clerk Daisy Ivey.
The filing fee for all seats is $5 and candidates must be registered
voters. The deadline for filing is noon Aug. 6.
Across Brunswick County, 66 seats will be up for election on 16 mu
nicipal and three special governing boards.
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 2 elections is Oct. 11.
Brunswick County has one-time registration, which means someone on
ly has to register with the county elections board in order to vote in both
county and municipal or district elections for which they are eligible.