North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
Applications Rate Top
' Rural Initiative'
BY SUSAN USHER
Brunswick County is among 50 economically dis
tressed counties that will receive top priority for fund
ing consideration for all Rural Initiative program appli
cations. a policy associate with the N.C. Rural Econ
omic Development Center told members of the South
Brunswick Islands Chamber of Commerce at a small
business breakfast Tuesday morning.
Senior Policy Associate Jeanne M. Bonds said the
North Carolina Rural Initiative, a public-private part
nership coordinated by the N.C. Rural Economic Dev
elopment Center, aims to support rural advancement
through 10 specific strategies that draw from govern
ment. the private sector and nonprofit community.
Brunswick is among the 50 of the state's 85 rural
(those with a density of less than 200 persons per
square mile) counties designated by the N.C. Secretary
of Commerce as economically distressed. These coun
ties are considered to exhibit the highest levels of eco
nomic need, as reflected in the rate of unemployment,
per capita income and relative population and work
force growth. Project applications from distressed
counties get higher priority consideration than those
from other rural counties, she said.
A lack of leadership and a lack of skill develop
ment, such as grants writing, have been identified as a
number-one issue relating to economic development in
rural communities. Bonds said. As part of the Rural
Initiative, the Center is establishing a Rural Information
Network that will build awareness among local leaders
of resources available for rural development.
Also, the General Assembly has also appropriated
$600,000 for grants of up to $20,000 each that will en
able poor, understaffed rural governments to hire or
contract assistance in planning and writing federal grant
applications. Applications are due Dec. 17, with awards
to be announced in February 1994.
The most visible programs of the Initiative, howev
er, related to business, infrastructure and housing:
?Capital Access Program, starting in early 1994,
through which banks will make up to $60 million in
loans of up to $ 100.000 to 1,300 rural businesses that
would not otherwise qualify for bank financing. Ap
plications are due in mid-December.
?Microenterprise Loan Program, which already
serves Brunswick County through Southeastern Com
munity College in Whiteville. will be expanded to all
85 rural counties. The program helps rural people be
come self-sufficient by providing financial and techni
cal assistance to support self-employment and small
business growth. A peer group approach is used to help
encourage participants and discourage defaults on loans
of up to $20,000.
?Supplemental Grants Fund, which will provide
$1.65 million in grants of up to $100,000 each to help
governments and non-profit organizations in economi
cally distressed counties obtain economic development
grants for projects such as water and sewer. Typically
the grants will he used as local matching money.
?Rural Home Ownership Program, in which the
N.C. Housing Finance Agency has pledged an addition
al $3 million to the program to provide interest-free
second mortgages and closing-cost assistance to low
and moderate-income first-time home buyers. The pro
gram expects to allow 200 rural families purchase
homes by the end of 1 994.
?Catalyst Rental Program, in which the N.C.
Housing Finance Agency will make loans of up to
$5,000 each to rural organizations to conduct housing
market studies, the first step in developing rental hous
ing for low- and moderate-income people.
?Indoor Plumbing Installation Program, in which
the N.C. Division of Community Assistance will pro
vide up to $1 million in grants to rural areas to remove
outhouses and install indoor plumbing in up to 50
homes, at an average cost of $20,000 per home.
?In a related move to help rural communities, the
N.C. Rural Development Council is leading an effort to
streamline government rules and regulations, perhaps
by eliminating the need to fill out multiple applications
for various programs. Formed in July, the council is al
so exploring ways to target expertise to rural communi
ties through collaborative efforts.
While telecommunication is not addressed in the
first year plan of the Rural Initiative, Bonds said she
expects it to be included in the second year plan.
Brunswick Community College and West Brunswick
High Schmil are slated to join a regional distance learn
ing network next year as a result of a grant secured
from the Rural Electrification Administration that was
written with the support of the N.C. Center for Rural
The Rural Initiative is a model for collaboration
evolved from Securing the Future: Rural Development
Strategies for the 1990s. That study asserted that local
rural communities must chart their own courses, and
called for a new, collaborative approach to rural devel
opment that draws on the joint resources of govern
ment, the private sector and the non-profit community.
One-half million of North Carolina's 3.5 million
rural residents live in poverty, including one out of
every four children under age 6, one-fourth of the el
derly age 60 and older, and one third of all minorities.
More than 40 percent of rural families in North
Carolina live on the "economic edge," with yearly in
comes of less than $25,000. More than a third (35 per
cent) lack a high school education and nearly 90 per
cent are without a college education.
The proportion of substandard housing is 80 per
cent higher in rural areas than in urban areas, while the
ratio of people to doctors is 70 percent higher than in
MAC Construction Co. was the sponsor of the
small business breakfast held Tuesday by the chamber
at Brierwood Clubhouse in Shallotte.
No Sign Of Crack Cover-Up
caronna rower & Lignt Lo. an
nounced Tuesday that it has found
no evidence !o support allegations
that the company knew about cracks
in the shroud of the Brunswick
Nuclear Plant before this summer
and covered up that information.
"We reviewed records, we re
viewed videotapes of in-service in
spections of the reactor, we inter
viewed employees, we interviewed
vendors and contractors." said
Habermeyer in a news release. "In
the end we found absolutely no evi
dence to support the allegations con
tained in the petition."
The Coastal Alliance for a Safe
Environment (CASE) and the Wash
ington-based National Whistleblow
ers Center alleged that CP&L discov
ered cracks in reactor core shrouds at
the plant near Southport as early as
1984, but have refused to share with
CP&L information they claim sup
ports their allegations. The shroud is
a steel cylinder inside the reactor ves
sel that directs the flow of water and
provides lateral support to the nuclear
fuel. The NRC has said the cracks are
not a safety-related issue.
Under a procedure available to
anyone, the two groups and former
CP&L contract employee Charles A.
Webb filed a petition with the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Agency on Oct.
14 seeking to have CP&L's operat
ing license suspended because of an
alleged "long-term cover-up" at the
A review team headed by H. Wi
liam Habermeyer Jr., vice president
nuclear services at CP&L corporate
headquarters, investigated the claim,
with no member of the team having
had any involvement with the
Brunswick plant prior to 1992.
He said that after interviewing
current and former employees and
contractors and searching through
thousands of documents, the team
?no shroud cracks were detected
in Unit 1 or Unit 2 in 1983 through
1985, or at any time prior to 1993;
?there is no evidence of a "cover
up" of the cracks;
?there was no requirement to in
spect the Brunswick reactor shrouds
until 1990, and there is no record of
any such inspection until 1991;
?there were no inspections of the
shroud from 1983-85. However,
there were videotaped inspections of
other reactor components. These
were checked to determine if cracks
were visible. "A review of these
tapes confirmed that shroud cracks
were not observed during that time."
?All inspections internal to the re
actor vessels were done by General
Electric, which designed the Bruns
wick reactors. According to CP&L
GE had no knowledge of cracks in
the Brunswick shroud until they were
discovered in summer 1993.
CP&L is presently repairing
cracks found in the shroud of the
Unit 1 reactor core by reinforcing
the cracks with stainless steel brack
ets. at an anticipated cost of S4 mil
lion. The cracks will be repaired be
fore the utility begins returning Unit
1 to service around the end of
December. The unit has been out of
operation since April 1992. Unit 2.
which was shut down at the same
time, returned to service this April
and is operating well.
Unit 2 will be taken out of service
for refueling in March 1994, at
which time CP&L plans to inspect
tiny cracks found in reviewing
videotapes of the unit made this
CP&L employees with any safety
concern are encouraged to come for
ward in person or anonymously, said
Habermeyer, and report them direct
ly to senior plant management in a
process outside the normal manage
ment structure. The program is
called "Quality Check." Employees
can also contact the Nuclear Regula
tory Commission in-plant inspectors
or regional office in Atlanta.
Brunswick Plant Vice President
Roy Anderson said CP&L takes safe
operation of the plant seriously.
"When people come forward with
an issue that could affect safety, we
investigate it thoroughly. However,
as an individual, it concerns me
when people make very serious alle
gations of wrongdoing and provide
no evidence whatsoever to back up
McLamb Named To Council
any matter relating to airports which
the secretary may refer to it.
McLamb, president of MAC
Construction Company of Shallotte,
has been a licensed private aircraft
pilot since 1967, and has been en
gaged in construction of airports
throughout the state.
In addition to MAC Construction,
primarily a paving and grading oper
ation, McLamb is involved in real
estate development and manage
ment. He is president and sole share
holder of Procure, Inc., a real estate
development company; and he is an
officer, shareholder and director of
Ocean Side Corp., a real estate and
development sales company; and
Caw Caw Land Development Corp.,
which is engaged in golf course de
velopment and real estate sales.
W.J. McLamb of Ocean Isle
Beach has been appointed by Gov.
Jim Hunt to a
.Mp on the North
'? M Carolina Aero
X- mL nautics Council.
He will attend
*? his first meeting
HUB this month
ber panel advis
MCLAMB es the secretary
of the N.C. Department of Trans
portation in the issuance of loans
and grants to cities, counties ana
public airport authorities in North
Carolina for the purposes of plan
ning, acquiring, constructing or im
proving airport facilities, and upon
Equal to taxable yield of
8.75% for NC resident.
North Carolina Municipal
Bonds are exempt from
Federal, state and local taxes.
You keep 1()0% of what you
earn ? and that's what
Frank D. Voli
102 S. Second Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
?R?U upmNd M ywtd lo maturity u of 11/30/93
Marfcat conditions may affect prices, yiekta. Subject to
availability and aarty call lor radamption AMT may
apply Anumai 31% Fadaral and 7% Stata tax
CALL US FOR INSURANCE QUOTES:
? Home ? Auto ? Commercial
? Mobile Home ? Life
h First Investors
Or Visit Our Banking Offices:
LELAND SHALLOTTE WHITEVILLE
(919)371-1000 (919)754-5400 (919)642-8183
?1993 THE BHUNSWICK BFACON
Wilmington's Oldest and Largest Discount
Office Furniture Store
New ? Used ? Factory Seconds ? Rentals
WAREHOUSE CLEARANCE SALE
Our greatest selection ever!
file cabinets (over 75!)
OFFICE FURNITURE SALVAGE
2705 Market Street ? Wilmington
(across from YMCA) Mon-Fri 9-5:30
THE BRUNSWICK BEACON
STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG RUTTER
Seat Belt Award
Shallotte Police Chief Rodney Gausc (left) receives a plaque from Tim Phillips of the Governor's
Highway Safety Program recognizing the department's efforts to increase seat belt usage by local resi
dents. The Safety Belt Honor Roll program is open to companies, schools, private or public organiza
tions and government agencies. When surveys show seat belt usage of at least 70 percent, the group is
awarded a plaque. For more information on the Safety Belt Honor Roll, call 919-733-3083.
Buying, Building or
Contact Us For Competitive
SAVINGS & LOAN ASSOCIATION
?Shallotte *Calabash ?Lelancl ?Southport ?Long Beach
754 4371 579-3595 37^546 457-5246 278-602?