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The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, January 06, 1994, Page PAGE 8-A, Image 8

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Shallotte Family Loses Home, Possessions In Friday Blaze BY SUSAN USHER A Shallotte area woman was slightly injured in a fire Friday morning that destroyed her home on McMilly Road and all her house hold's belongings. Gertrude Williams. S2. was treat ed for superficial burns at The Brunswick Hospital after she tried to douse a fire in a bedroom closet with a pail of water. Her hair and face were singed. "She was extremely lucky." said Shallotte Fire Chief David A. Moore, who answered the 11:15 a.m. call along with nearly 20 other volunteer firefighters from the Shallotte and Shallotte Point depart ments. McMilK Road connects OU1 Shallotte Road and N.C. 130 West. Mixire said Monday that firefight ers have satisfied themselves that the blaze started in a foot massager that was on the closet flixir. plugged in. "The pattern of the fire indicated it started in the floor. It burned a hole down through the floor where it was setting and up the wall behind it. he said, we found remnants of the foot massager." Williams' shingled frame house was built of "fat lighter" pine, a highly resinous wood which burns quickly and creates a very hot fire with thick, dark smoke. Firefighters had w ater on the fire within eight minutes of the alarm, but the house was already fully en gulfed \\ ith flames when they ar rived. said Shallottc Fire Chief David Moore. "Houses made of fat lighter are really fireboxes." he said, because any fire that starts in one burns so quickly and hotly. Williams shared her home with a granddaughter. Jacqueline Jones. ;ind two of Jones' children. Dom imnque. 4. and Kenado, 3. none of whom were at home when the fire broke out. Another great-grandchild, Dnae Stanley. 6. had walked over to the Williams house io gei iiei iiuiiliei's cigarettes from a bedroom when she saw fire in the bottom of the closet where her sister's "church clothes" hung, she said. She ran into the living room, where Williams was watching tele vision. When Williams tried to douse the fire, it flared up toward her face. Meanwhile family members liv ing next door spotted the blaze and called the fire department. Bridget Williams, a teen who lives two houses away, said the fire was burning at both ends of the house by the time she came over a few minutes later. Gertrude Williams' house, which was not insured, was a total loss. Moore said household members lost virtuallv all they had as well. STAFF PHOTO BY SUSAN USHER THICK BLACK SMOKE POURS from the Gertrude Williams home on McMilly Road as it burns Friday morning. Nearly 20 volunteer firefighters from Shallotte and Shallotte Point responded. The fire department called the by mid-morning Saturday the fire de- and meet other needs of the family. American Red Cross to assist the partment iiau been contacted l>v .1 lo- "I was really touched by their re family with its immediate needs, and cal church eager to provide clothing sponse," said Moore. Holden Commissioners Hear Merits Of Self Help Program BY dok; ri ti er Holden Beach could save money anil build communi ty spirit it it uses a concept known as "sell-help" to build a sewer system for the island. That was the message tow n commissioners heard Monday night from a state official who works w ith com munities interested in cutting costs as much as possible as they pursue big projects like sewer systems. Eric Stockton, manager ot the Small Community Self Help Program with the N'.C. Division (if Environmental Management, offered his free assistance if and when the town decide to build a sewer svstem. "I'm not here to push anything on anyone because I've got a lot of communities to work with." Stockton said. Stockton said he would not get involved in such a project at Holden Beach unless there is widespread sup port for a sewer system. The community is divided over the issue now. "We can't afford to get involved in a project and then get involved in negotiating w hether the project is needed in the community." Stockton told the town board. II the town supports a sewer system and decides to build one. Stockton said he can provide contacts for funding and technical assistance in an effort to minimize the financial burden on residents and taxpayers. "We would do as much as we can to reduce the costs before we go asking for money." Stockton explained. One way to cut costs is to use volunteer labor from the community and seek out donations of equipment or supplies from businesses. Stockton said "self-help" pro jects in New York have cut costs by an average ol 30 percent. Stockton said the "self-help" concept has not been used in North Carolina for a project as big as the sewer system Holden Beach would need to meet its future needs. Jim Griffin, who serves on the town sewer eommiltee th;ii has been working for the past year to identify the best alternatives, said "self-help" is not a new concept at Holden Beach. "The tow n hal! that you're meeting in was built by the citizens at the time." he said. "It was done by volunteer work." If the town board is interested in the program. Stockton said commissioners would have to make a firm commitment to the concept before appointing local "spark plugs" who would oversee the project. Prior to Stockton's presentation. Holden Beach devel oper Alan Holden urged the town board to start acting on a sewer system. He said Calabash. Sunset Beach. Ocean Isle Beach. Yaupon Beach, Long Beach and other areas either have sewer systems already or are moving in that direction. "It's going to lake years to implement the use of a sewer system...." Holden said. "We've got to start look ing dow n the road. Our neighbors are. and they're acting on it." Audit Presented Holden Beach collected 98.85 percent of its taxes dur ing the 1992-93 fiscal year, according to the annual audit report presented Monday by accountant Alan Thompson of Thompson. Price and Co. In the general fund, expenditures for the fiscal year exceeded revenues by $95.532. However, the town had a surplus ol $74.508 in the occupancy tax, water and capi tal projects funds at year's end. Thompson said the biggest thing the town needs to work on is updating its list of fixed assets w hich include buildings, vehicles and equipment. "Most of the items other than the fixed asset list are mi nor items." Thompson said of his recommendations. "It will lake a little hit of research and a little bit of time." The auditor also noted that the there is not an ade quate segregation of duties among the administration staff, which is a common problem in small towns like Holden Beach. Fed Up With FEMA Frustrated by the federal government's lack of re sponse to a town plan to rebuild oceanfront dunes. Holden Beach officials were seething Monday night. Town Manager (jus Ulrich said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has not ap proved the town's plan for spending approximately SMI.IHM) in tederal money to reinforce dunes that were damaged in a storm last winter. Commissioners have been waiting several months for FEMA to approve a spending plan that differs greatly Irom what federal officials recommended following the March 13 storm. "Surely somebody there nas a gift for the obvious and can say, "We're being stupid'," Commissioner David Sandifer said of th?- delay. "I think you're giving them too much credit," said Commissioner Jim Fournier. Mayor Pro Tern Gay Alkins said the town should go ahead and spend the money instead of waiting any longer. "We're trying to follow the system and we should just go lor it." Added Sandifer: "I think we ought to call 60 Minutes and say,' You ought to see this'." Ulrich said approximately 30 oceanfront property owners have indicated they are interested in paying for dune renourishment at their property in response to a re cent town mailing. Sea Turtle Update Judy Bryan of the Hoiden Beach Turtle Patrol report ed Monday that sea turtles laid 42 nests on the island in 1993. Thirty of the nests had to he relocated to higher ground so the eggs would not he damaged during high tides. Volunteer residents and visitors helped lead 4,382 baby turtles to the ocean. The turtle patrol needs old brooms to sweep trenches on the strand. Anyone interested in donating can call Bryan at S42-7242! LOTS REMAIN RESIDENTIAL Rezon i ng Request Denied BY DOUG RUTTER Holden Beach Commissioners de nied a request to change the zoning of several lots near the town hall from residential to commercial Monday, but the issue may not be dead just yet. At least one of the property own ers involved indicated he plans to submit another request seeking a change from the R-l residential zon ing class to the less restrictive R-2 class. Following a public hearing Mon day night, commissioners voted to uphold a Holden Beach Planning and Zoning Board ruling concerning the rezoning of land owned by Alan Holden and John O- Holden. The planning board in November denied the owners requests to re zone one oceanfront lot and property along the unopened portion of Rothschild Street northwest ol town hall from R-l toC-t, The Moldens appealed the deci sion, but they did no! find the relief ihev were seekinu from town com missioners Monday night Alan Molden s request involved four lots located at 119, 121 123 and 125 Rothschild. The half-acre tract north of 125 Rothschild .inil a lot ai 135 Ocean Boulevard West is owned by John Holden. The unanimous vote to deny the rezoning request*; followed an un successful attempt by Commissioner Dwight Carroll to delay the vote un til the board's next meeting on Jan 26. "In the past it's always been done at the next meeting after the public hearing,"' Carroll said. However. Commissioner Jim Fournier was the only other hoard member who voted to postpone a decision on the issue Carroll s mo tion failed on by 3-2 m.irgm Commissioner Dav id Sandifcr said il wouldn't lx- fair to postpone the vote three weeks when nobody on the board intended to grant the requests. He said voting this week would give the owners more lime to consider alternatives. Alan Holden said Monday he would accept a zoning change to R 2 if the town board was opposed to the C-l proposal. The R-2 zoning would not allow the offices, stores, hotels, restaurants and other businesses that are permit ted in the C-l district, hut it is less restrictive than R-1. Multi-family residential develop ment is allowed in the R-2 districts, while development in R-i zones is limited to single-family houses and duplexes. Town Attorney Ken Campbell s.iid the landowners would probably have to submit new applications to the planning and zoning board and another public hearing would be re quired to rezone the property R-2. Campbell's ruling angered Holden. who said commissioners have approved revised reporting re quests in the past without requiring the landowner to go through the en tire legal process again. Holden said the board was being unfair and handling his case differ ently than it has handled previous rezoning requests. "I don't think that's right. I think that's wrong." Fournier said the town board has n<>i approved a revised re/oning re quest without following the proper procedure since his election in I'WI. "I do not discriminate. I do not like being told that I do." During Monday night's public hearing, Alan Holden showed a videotape of his property, which has been used as the horseshoe pit area during the N.C. Festival My The Sea. Holden said there were no objec tions to the re/oning from adjacent property owneis. which include the town. Holden Beach Enterprises and Holden Beach Chapel Holden said he wants the land re zoned because he hasn't been able to sell the property tor residential use. Nobody wants to live next to the water tower and recycling center, he said. Holden would not say what he planned to do with the property had it been rezoned commercial. He said it would he illegal to disclose his plans because it would be consid ered "contract zoning." John 0- Holden. a Maryland resi dent. did not attend Monday s meet ing but Mayor Wally Ausley read a written statement during the hearing. Holden said the rezoning would give I* H .>?? ? I ? i m ? lllll IIIUIC IICAiUllll^I III U.llllfc, v/l .>cii* ing his property. He wrote that only part of his tract on Rothschild Street is current ly usable because the rest is situated in the Corps of Engineers easement. Also, he said the oceanfront lot (135 OBW) is "virtually in a commercial area now." During the public hearing, Ausley also read two other letters that the town received concerning the rezon ing requests. Homeowner James Bisset indicat ed that he opposed the requests, say ing that more businesses would low er residential property values and ;idd to t*xislint> summer traffic prob lems near the bridge. in his letter to the board, island resident Crawford Hart opposed the commercial zoning but suggested the town offer to purchase the Rothschild Street property for future use. Alan Holden said Monday he "did everything but beg the town board to purchase the property in the past but giit no response. "It was like talking to a wall." he said. Judy Bryan, a former commis sioner, urged the board to deny the rezoning requests. She cited a IWO survey of landow ners in which most people indicated they do not want more commercially-zoned areas on the island. "I think that ought to be taken in to consideration, what the people said on their questionnaires," Bryan said. C1-3REW BEER KITS ? WINE KITS CORDIAL KITS hours 1207 Wwy. 17 S. Mon.-Fri 1(Hi North Myrtle Bch. We i! UPA Your Thur.i^r "The Purple Building" tors/ t >r ^?u?Sat. 10-S Just South ot Cowboys Iga (803)361-0092 NOW VOUR AD CAN REACH All ADr\l IMA i^iv/n ail v/?nv/L.nn FOR ONLY 25 WORDS it1* O /% U> J I 4- i I ? ? ? ?? " | 4>u caui i auuiuui lai WUIU LA.SSIFIEDS NORTH CAROLINA OVER 120 NEWSPAPERS (For more information, call this newspaper or...) SIMPLY F!!_L_ OUT THSS FORM AND SEND WITH YOUR HHFCK (No Phone Orders. Larger order forms are available from this newspaper.) Name Address .Zip. Advertising Copy: 25 Words? $6 each additional word over 25. Word count: Telephone numbers (including area code) equal one word. Post office box numbers as two words, box numbers and route numbers as two words. 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