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EDL Courting Developers
Of $100 Million Hunting,
BY ERIC CARLSON
The county Economic Development Commission is
trying to convince a committee of investors to build its
proposed $100 million "National Hunting and Pishing
Museum of the Americas" on a 3.000-to-10.000-acre
site 'n Brunswick County. I:.DC Director Tom Monks
I he unnamed group is scouring the East Coast for
the right place to build a 500.000-square-foot educa
tional facility that will house a fully-stocked indoor
trout stream, aquariums, an aviary, hunting and fishing
exhibits, a theater, art and photo galleries, a library and
several indoor shooting ranges for rifles, pistols, shot
guns. archery and black powder firearms.
An estimated 800.000 visitors are expected to tour
the museum and participate in its educational programs
each year. Monks said. Planners estimate that the facili
ty will bring its host county 3.500 jobs during construc
tion. with a permanent payroll of 316 lull-time posi
"On an annualized basis, the permanent positions
would generate a minimum additional disposable in
come in the museum site area of $3.5 million for the
first year of operation," according to a 12-page execu
tive summary of the project sent to the EDC by the
N.C. Department of Commerce.
The proposal assumes that the museum will also at
tract numerous sporting gnoHs outlets, restaurants
and other spin-off businesses to the area.
Although he admits that Brunswick County has only
"a slim chance" of attracting the museum. Monks said
the area meets a number of the site selection criteria
listed in the group's proposal. He said the EDC is ac
tively trying to recruit the facility and is preparing a
formal report outlining Brunswick County's strong
points as a site for the museum.
"We expect to know if we're in the running by
February." Monks said.
The group wants to build the museum somewhere
alone, th?> Fast Coast in a state "wherein there arc high
interest levels and generous seasons in the sports ot
hunting and fishing." A preferred site would be a natur
al wooded selling "in close proximity lo an appropriate
highway network and air and train travel facilities
Of prime interest to the museum board is a location
"featuring fresh water frontage as well as salt-water ac
cess via established waterways."
Monks noted that Brunswick County meets all those
criieiia. wiili the adueu incentive of relatively reason
able land prices. Still, he cautioned that there is proba
bly no more than a "one in a hundred" chance ol at
tracting the project.
"They're peddling this idea all over the Kast Coast.
You can be sure that there will be a lot of counties in
terested." he said.
In its "mission statement." the museum proposal sa\>>
it is intended as a place to "celebrate, preserve, memo
rialize and perpetuate the timeless American tradition
of hunting and fishing through the enshrinement of that
tradition, with all of its attendant history, in a stalc-of
iitc-dii iiiuscuiVi facility dedicated to that tradition. iK
educational dissemination and its future."
Among the attractions planned for the facility are:
? An indoor Iron! stream flowing throughout the mu
seum. featuring educational and participatory demon
strations on fly lishing.
? Aquariums holding all the game lish and related
species in the western hemisphere.
? Indoor and outdoor rifle, pistol, black powder and
ireherv ranees and sporting clays sites staffed by certi
fied instructors lor educational anil recreational purpos
? A world-class wildlife art and photographic gal
? More than 50 state and country rooms displaying
each area's game and fish species within the western
? Manufacturers' rooms for display of new and his
torical artifacts including antique and contemporary
hunting and fishing equipment.
? An aviary, map room, theater, exhibit hall and a
inirnjierjilirary ol all known data, books, nianu
scripts, videos and other materials pertaining to the
s|K>rtsof hunting and fishing.
Sunset Okays More Engineering Funds,
Is Criticized On Bond Ad
BY LYNN CARLSON
Sunset Beach and Calabash town
governments have committed
S50.000 each tor additional engi
neering services to keep the two
towns' proposed central sewer pro
ject mov ing until a design contract is
finalized with Piedmont-Olsen Eng
ineering in mid- to late February.
Calabash's appropriation came
last week, along with a preliminary
design budget of SI (MMMM) for engi
neers to prepare construction draw
ings and to obtain regulatory ap
proval of a sewer collection system
for downtown Calabash.
The Sunset Beach Town Council
unanimously approved its $5(1.000
funding request Monday night near
the end ol a three-hour session in
which council also was called upon
to defend its upcoming sewer bond
referendum and to strengthen its po
sition tin stormw ater runoff control.
New Councilman Herb Klinker
criticized the town's newspaper ad
vertisement announcing its intent to
apply to the state Local Government
Commission for approval of $5 mil
lion in sanitary sewer bonds subject
to an April 5 referendum.
Klinker and Mayor pro tem Ed
Ciore serve as an appointive commit
tee representing council on sewer is
Klinker called the town's adver
tisement. published in the Jan. ft is
sue of The Brunswick Beacon, "mis
leading" because it did not mention
that the central sewer system is pro
jected to cost $35 million.
Hngineer Joseph Tombro said the
$5 million figure was chosen be
cause that is the amount of a Clean
Water Kund grant the project is ex
pected t<< receive. That grant, he
said, would be used to pay off the
general obligation bonds, if voters
Tombro said representatives of
the Bond Council of Brown and
Wood. New York, dictated the word
ing of the advertisement and said the
town could not legally hold a refer
endum ?>n the sewer system question
without calling for issuance of
in a meeting Dec. 2X. the engi
neers warned council that if prelimi
nary design and other work doesn't
begin soon, the project could fall be
hind schedule and endanger eligibil
ity for state funds to be awarded
The two towns' combined
$1(XMXK) will go toward site selec
tion and preliminary
treatment plant design, application
for a major CAMA permit and eval
uation of the suitability of golf
courses to receive treated effluent.
The engineers say the granting of
state revolving loan and Clean Water
Bond funds is contingent on the
sewer project being "readv-to-go."
with plans and specifications com
pleted this July. Sunset Beach and
Calabash are ranked among the
state's top priority communities to
receive those funds as long as the
towns are in a position to accept and
use the funds when offered.
Klinker. reading from a prepared
statement, raised several concerns
about the proposed system, includ
ing the fact that the advertisement
fails to address council's earlier
commitment to include stormwater
runolt controls as a component of its
Town Administrator Linda Flue
gel said the Bond Council had re
jected the town's attempt to include
stormwater runoff funds in the bond
rt'icrcndi'm hccMUst' no dc*-!tln or
funding plans exist for a stormwater
Tomhro said he anticipates an an
nouncement soon that Brunswick
County will serve as lead agency to
ward a regional stormwater manage
ment system endorsed by eight local
In the meantime, council agreed
to pursue Gore's suggestion that the
town prove its seriousness about
stormwater management by initiat
ing a study of how to manage
stormwater runoff on the island of
"If we only did the island, it
wouldn't have too much of an im
pact on our waters, because we all
know it's a regional problem." Gore
said. But we can commit to a study
?U.? ~n -vmn ! ?? in. th. ?
IV'I 11IV. I.HilllU. till V. AjMIIVI u to till.
mainland if the county doesn't get
Klinker said, "My position on the
sewer system is that I want to see it
move ahead, for the right reasons
and in the right areas." but later
added. "Certain citizens will not
vote for this referendum if we do not
address stormwater runoff. I'm just
concerned whether we'll get the
vote or not."
One of those citizens is C'ete
Waldmiller. president of the Sunset
Beach Taxpayers Association, who
argued that council has not done
enough toward implementing a
stormwater project as it has pursued
wastewater funds over the past two
"One without the other is insuffi
cient," he said. "As soon as the
wastewater system is in place, de
velopment is going to go crazy, and
asphalt contributes to stormwater
runoff. If we don't do something to
stop it. we're not going to help any
Waldmiller and other SBTA
members referred to a recent Wilm
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ineton symposium on integrated (storirmatcr) pian. .
stormwater and wastewater manage Tombro. ,n a telephone in.erv.ew Reauthor.zat.on however, s ornma
ment. "Thev said wastewater with- Tuesday, said the town has opted to ter management plans will be re
out stormwater .s foolish." he ar- pursue wastewater funds because qu.red o! communities and more
gued. "We know where every sewer that money is more readily avail- monies will be made available at tht
line is. but we still have no able. With the recent reauthorization federal and state levels, he said.
Underwood Appointed To OIB
Plan Board; Expansion Proposed
BY LYNN CARLSON
Norflcct Underwood was appointed to ihe Ocean Isle
Beach Planning Board on Tuesday lo replace Ken
Proctor. w hu says tie u iike to see the board expanded.
uiiuciwuiiu > appoint rnent was urutiiiiiiousiv ?ip
proved after he was nominated by Commissioner Janet
Sanders. Both Proctor and Commissioner Kendall Suh
said they had planned to nominate Underwood also.
Proctor resigned from the planning hoard when he
was sworn in to the Ocean Isle Beach Board of
Commissioners this past December. He told the com
missioners I"uesda\ he thinks the planning hoard would
he "not as complacent" it it had five representatives
from the town limits insteadot three.
I'he planning hoard currently is comprised of Chair
man IJeCarol Williamson. Bill Bullington and Under
wood. all from the town limits.
Judy McHenrs and John David Frink represent the
extraterritorial zoning and planning area (ETA) and may
vote only on issues pertaining to it.
Proctor read an opinion from a N.C". League of
Municipalities attorney who endorsed the idea ot a larg
er planning hoard and added. "With only three members
>ou tend to go ilitnugh things too quickly, and one per
son tends to have a |>osiiion ot |xw,er. with the others
lollowing. I think u s essential we 1 \pand to get some
ideas we're not now getting."
He also said the planning board "has a problem with
attendance" and asked that participation requirements lx
Mayor Pro Tem Kill Benton said Mayor Bett\
Wiiiiamson lavored the commissioners holding a work
shop on Proctor's proposal before taking action
Benton was presiding in the absence of the mayor,
who was on vacation.
Commissioner Debbie l-'ox said the workshop should
be held jointl) by the commissioners and the planning
board. The commissioners agreed that such a workshop
would be held before the next regular meeting March S
"I just don't want this to take lour or five months."
Any change in (he si/e or rules governing the plan
ning board would require a public hearing prior to im
Public hearings were scheduled for Feb. 8 at 8:30 a.m.
on the town's proposed new subdivision ordinance; a rec
ommended relaxation of the residential height limit; and a
rezoning petition by WRP Properties for more restrictive
/.oiling in a subdn ision proposed for Asheville Street.
In other business. Building Inspector Druied Ruber
son reported that Ocean Isle is experiencing "the busiest
winter we've ever had in terms of (building) permits'
for single-family homes.
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