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STAFF PHOTO BY LYNN CARLSON
Taking The Oath At Ocean Isle
Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Betty Williamson takes the oath for her second term of office along with
Commissioners Bill Benton (left) and Ken Proctor (right) on Dec. 14. The commissioners unanimously
chosen Benton to continue as mayor pro tem. Administering the oath u as Town Clerk Daisy Ivey (not
Ocean Isle Homeowners To
Receive Warning About Lead
BY LYNN CARLSON
Some 1,500 Ocean Isle Beach property owners are
being sent warning letters about the possible lead con
tent of their water after a single home's water tested two
one-thousandths of a milligram per liter above the feder
ally allowed level.
The town, which buys its water from Brunswick
County, was required by the federal Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) to provide all homeowners
and news media copies of a four-page document inform
ing them of the lead levels and actions which can reduce
exposure to lead in drinking water.
Town Clerk Daisy Ivey said lead tests are conducted
every six months. Twenty homes were tested in Ocean
Isle Beach. "We know exactly which house it is, and the
people have lead and copper pipes and they haven't
been there in a long time, so the water hasn't been
According to the EPA-ordered document, lead enters
drinking water primarily as a result of corrosion of ma
terials containing lead in the water distribution system
and household plumbing. When water stands in lead
pipes or plumbing systems containing lead for several
hours or more, the lead may dissolve into the drinking
Lead tests were conducted among central water sys
tem consumers throughout Brunswick County, but only
the one Ocean Isle site indicated a problem.
Lead is a common metal found throughout the envi
ronment in some paints, air, soil, household dust, food,
certain types of pottery, porcelain, pewter and water. If
lead builds up in the body over many years, if can cause
brain, kidney and blood cell damage.
The greatest risk is to young children and pregnant
women. EPA says. "Amounts of lead that won't hurt
adults can slow down normal mental and physical devel
opment of growing bodies," states the letter the property
owners will receive. "In addition, a child at play often
comes into contact with sources of lead contamination ?
like dirt and dust ? that rarely affect an adult."
Among precautions for avoiding lead exposure, the
?washing children's hands and toys often, and trying
to make sure they put only food in their mouths;
?having your tap water tested;
?letting water run from the tap 15 to 30 seconds be
fore using it for drinking or cooking if the faucet has
been unused for six hours or more;
?not cooking with, or drinking from, the hot water
tap. Hot water can dissolve more lead more quickly than
?removing loose lead solder and debris from the
plumbing materials in newly constructed homes, or
homes in which the plumbing has recently been re
placed, by removing the faucet strainers from all taps
and running the water three to five minutes.
?replacing lead pipe and lead solder with other mate
For information about having water tested, call the
town hall at 579-2166.
For information about having children's blood tested
for lead levels, call the Brunswick County Health
Department at 253-4381.
OIB Property Owner Loses Bid
For Prior-To-Need Variance
BY LYNN CARLSON
Ocean Isle Beach's zoning board
I of adjustments Tuesday unanimous
I ly denied a request for variance
which would have allowed a proper
ty owner to rebuild on a canal lot
which doesn't meet the town's
square footage requirements if the
home is ever destroyed.
The board began discussing last
week the request of Charles Adams,
acting on behalf of elderly Elsie
Adams, for a variance on the 4,500
square-foot Driftwood Strict proper
ty. Since 1975, Ocean Isle Beach has
enforced a 5,000-square-foot mini
mum for residential lots.
Real estate broker Stuart Cooke,
representing the Adamses, said the
home and lot are under contract to
sell for $79,000, but that the buyers
cannot get a mortgage because town
ordinances would prohibit the cot
tage being replaced if it ever is de
"We are trying to help Elsie get
her assets in order," said Charles
Adams. "It would be unconscion
able to deny her the right to sell this
property. It's very important to her.
Legalities are not the overbearing
feature here. It's a matter of what's
right for the individual."
However, Commissioner Debbie
Fox, chairing the proceedings, re
minded the adjustments board that
state law narrowly prescribes the
circumstances under which vari
ances can be granted. "It has nothing
to do with our desires, wants or be
Board member DeCarol William
son argued against granting a vari
ance before the need has arisen to
replace a building, an action he said
would "set a bad precedent." Wil
liamson, who chairs the town plan
ning board, was serving as an alter
nate adjustments boards member in
the absence of Commissioner Ken
Proctor, who sat out because of con
flict of interest.
Williamson argued that because
Proctor has available property adja
cent to the Adamses, and is willing
to sell part of it, that no hardship ex
Commissioner Kendall Suh
agreed, making the motion to deny
the variance. "Quite frankly I think
this issue is exhausted," he said.
"There clearly is no hardship here
that can't be repaired."
Proctor said his ownership of
neighboring property was the con
flict of interest which caused him to
refrain from the deliberations.
Cooke argued that his client was
not informed until the meeting that
Proctor had adjacent property to sell.
Adjustments board members argued
that the Adamses should have ex
plored buying more land to make
the lot conform and avoid the need
for a variance.
Williamson said, "As a board, we
can't get involved in your negotia
tions. But there are lots of laws to
protect the environment that cause a
hardship and cost people a lot of
money, but there's a purpose for
In a conversation after the meet
ing, Cooke said Proctor offered to
sell the Adamses a six-foot-wide ad
dition to their property for $75,000.
"My clients weren't excited about
that," he added.
Proctor later confirmed the figure,
but added that selling six feet to the
Adams family would in turn make
his lot unbuildable and, consequent
ly, impossible to ever sell.
RuilHincr Incivrtnp Dn.
? , ? -
berson said a number of lots in the
neighborhood at one time did not
meet the square footage require
ments but most were subsequently
combined and re-subdivided to con
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Christmas Dreams Come True
Visit The Carousel for Those Special
The Carousel, Ragpatch Row, Calabash, NC, 9 10-579-9778 \
Learn to skipper a boat
Sign up for the Boating
Course Beginning Jan. 15
Classes will be held 8 consecutive Saturdays at 9 A.M. at Atlantic
Telephone office, Hwy. 130 west of Shallotte.
Course will teach boat handling, elementary seamanship,
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TO REGISTER OR FOR MORE INFORMATION
CONTACT RICHARD DANZ, 579-1206
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SHALLOTTE RIVER POWER SQUADRON