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Ocean Isle Beach joins her coastal neighbors
in working for boundaries to protect the
shores against menhaden spills. Page 3-A.
Check the local cable and
network television listings
on Pages 6 & 7-B.
New records were set in the third annual
Jolly Mon King Classic. Captain Jamie tells all
about it. Page 4-D
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Thirty-Second Yeor, Number 37
?tt*4 IMI BRUNSWICK MACON
Shollotte, North Corolino, Thursday, July 1 A, 1 994 50< Per Copy 40 Pages, A Sections, Plus Inserts
Having A Ball
Local surfers at HoLUn Beach enjoy a game of volleyball while hoping that a rising tide will bring better waves Sunday afternoon. A
steady sea breeze made the South Brunswick Islands beaches the best place to keep cool last weekend as daytime temperatures remained in
Business Owners Say 7 994 Looking Good
BY ERIC CARLSON
AND DOUG RUTTER
"It's been real hot and real busy."
Wyndi Gundrum, co-owner of Roberto's
Pizzeria & Restaurant, isn't the only local mer
chant feeling a little frazzled these days.
Many Brunswick County business owners are
reporting sales far ahead of last year and some
say they expect 1994 to be their best year ever,
based on a telephone survey of restaurants, real
estate offices and retail shops.
Gundrum said Roberto's, which has restaurants
at Holden Beach and Ocean Isle Beach, could be
looking at its most profitable season in nine years
in the business.
"It looks like it could be our best year yet,"
Gundrum said Tuesday. "Figures seem to be up
over last year, but we've made some changes in
our hours and our menu, so it's hard to say."
Gundrum said the restaurants were "very busy"
over the Fourth of July weekend and there have
been "no real slow times so far" this summer. She
said there's been a good response from locals and
return business from tourists.
In addition to pizzas, real estate sales also are
on the rise in western Brunswick County, said
Hugh Munday, sales associate at Century 21
Sunset Realty at Sunset Beach.
"We're definitely ahead in sales over last year
by a pretty good margin," Munday said. "I've
been here five years and every year has been a lit
tle better than the previous year."
Munday said there has been an increase in both
the number of properties sold and the value of the
"We don't have a tremendous amount of prop
erty for sale right now because sales have done so
well," he noted.
"Sales on the island have been great. We've al
so sold a lot of mobile home property. We're sell
ing $30,000 property right on up to the $600,000
As an indication of the current market, Munday
said about half of the 30 lots in a new subdivision
on the Intracoastal Waterway have sold in only
Munday said a lot of people are looking to
move to the area because of employment and
business opportunities, while others are buying
investment or retirement homes.
The increase in real estate sales has done won
ders for local building supply companies like J.M.
Parker & Sons of Supply, which services contrac
tors from Southport to Sunset Beach.
Business is up "tremendously" over last year,
according to manager Joey Hill.
"We usually see a slowdown in July and
August when the weather is hot and the rentals
are full. This year it hasn't let up any," Hill said.
"We thought last year was good. We're doing way
above last year."
Hill said construction volume is up, while con
struction prices are "about the same" as they were
Hill also pointed out that houses seem to be
larger than they used to be and building activity is
centered more around the golf courses than on the
But people aren't just spending money on
homes. Frank Causey, owner and manager of
ShalkXtc Marine, said 1994 will probably end up
being one of his best years in 26 years in the boat
"I've been real satisfied," he said. "Everything
is up. A lot of customers who come in know what
they want. If you've got it, they'll buy it."
Nautical items and gifts are selling well and
people seem to be spending more on collectible
items at Callahan's of Calabash, according to a
woman who would only identify herself as Judy.
"The place is packed. The people are here and
they're spending," she said. "It's about the same
as last year, maybe up a bit. Last year was a good
Mike Macomson, owner of Betty's Waterfront
Restaurant at Hokkn Beach, said things are going
well in his first year with the business.
"Doing real well. About what we expected
Maybe a little more.. .This is our first year here, so
I don't have anything to compare it to," he said.
John Sullivan, co-owner of the Sand fiddler
restaurants in Shall otte and Southport and the The
Ship's Chandler Restaurant in Southport, said
business is down slightly compared to 1993.
"Overall, we're a little off from last year, but
last year was the busiest year we've ever had," he
said. "I'm not complaining."
If traffic at the Southeastern Welcome Center is
any indication, more people have visited
Brunswick County so far this year than in the first
six months of 1993.
"From January through June we're running
about 5,000 more visitors than last year," said
Sabrina Hodges, director of the welcome center
on the U.S. 17 Shallotte bypass.
An estimated 205,000 people had visited the
welcome center through the end of June. More
than 50,000 visitors could pass through the wel
come center this month alone.
"July is our busiest month," Hodges said. "Last
July we had about 48,000 so it will be interesting
to see bow many we'll have this year."
Hodges said the welcome center staff has had a
hard time making room reservations this summer.
Everywhere they turn, rooms are booked up sev
eral weeks in advance.
"Since Easter it's been really difficult for us to
make reservations for people. Not just in
Brunswick County, but all along the coast,"
Hodges said. "Rooms are very hard to find."
County Enforcing Tough New State Septic Regs
BY ERIC CARLSON
Brooswick County health officials
have stopped issuing permits for one
of the most common types of house
hold septic systems in response to a
state rale that apparently prohibits
their use oo land that has been cov
ered with fill material.
Strict enforcement of tbe regula
tions would effectively prevent con
Business News 9D
Church News ilC
Crime Report 12C
Court Docket 8D
Ophrioa 4-5 A
People la The News ? 4B
Plaat Doctor 3B
structkxi on hundreds and perhaps
thousands of undeveloped coastal
housing sites. It would aiso require
many land owners to install more
complicated and expensive septic
systems before using their property
for a house or mobile home site.
Next Monday, County Health
Director Michael Rhodes will dis
cuss the problem with representa
tives from the N.C Division of
Environmental Health and Natural
Resources. He hopes to convince
them that the "bed" type drain field
system has been widely used for
many years on filled land through
out Brunswick County "with no evi
dence of a greater failure rate" than
other conventional systems.
Most hume septic systems use a
holding tank to break down house
hold waste products and a "drain
field," made of perforated pipes laid
in gravel, where the treated effluent
can seep into the soil. On lots with
enough surface area, I he pipes are
laid in individual trenches that fan
out from the septic tank.
In another type of drain field sys
tern commonly employed on smaller
lots, the pipes are buried under a
rectangular "bed" of gravel without
using individual trenches.
Both designs are considered "con
ventional systems" under state
sewage treatment regulations. But a
recent revision of the rules apparent
ly prohibits the use of bed systems
on any property where fill has been
added to the natural surface.
Last month, one of the state's dis
trict soil scientists told Brunswick
County's environmental health offi
cials that they should stop issuing
septic tanks permits for bed systems
designed for filled land.
Much of the usable land along the
county's island beach communities
was built up with fill material. Many
of those lots, especially along the is
land canals, are too small to allow
the use of a trench-type drainage
"There are a lot of small lots plat
ted in Brunswick County and wc
have found the bed system of drain
field to be an attractive alternative
when there are space limitations,"
Rhodes said Tuesday. Thousands of
these have been installed in
Brunswick County. To my knowl
edge, they have shown no greater
failure rate than other conventional
"If they were foiling at a signifi
cantly higher rate, I would be the
first to recommend that we discon
tinue their use," he said. "But they
seem to be a viable alternative. I
can't see why we can't continue to
use them "
That's what Rhodes will try to get
across to state health officials next
week. He has asked the environmen
tal health staff to compile statistics
on septic system failures in an at
tempt to show that bed systems can
work properly on property that has
been built up with fill material.
If the state inspectors insist on
prohibiting such systems, Rhodes
said he will take the matter to the
N.C Commission for Health
Services in hopes of having the rule
Prohibiting "bed in fill" septic
(See STATE, Page 2-A)
Supply School Can't
Open Unless Septic
System Is Repaired
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Brunswick County Health Depart
ment officials have notified the
Brunswick County Schools that if a
sewage treatment field that failed at
Supply Elementary School last
spring isn't fixed, the school won't
be allowed to open this fall.
According ic ?h? July 6 letter
from Bruce Wi throw of the Bruns
wick County Health Department,
"Pump and haul is considered for
emergency and temporary situations
The environmental health pro
gram specialist and registered sani
tarian advised Superintendent Ralph
Johnston that the school system
needs to expedite repair because, he
wrote, "Supply Elementary School
does not need to be reopened or op
erated until the wastewater disposal
and treatment system is functioning
In a telephone interview last
week, Withrow said, "They've tried
to work with us and maintained the
pump-and-haul and kept the sewage
off the ground, but this is a serious
problem they need to address."
The schools' finance office re
ports that from mid-March through
June 30, the system paid $15,680 for
wiiHwBtci to be pumped and
hauled away from the school by a
private company for proper disposal,
as ordered by countv and state
health officials. Another 52,635 pay
ment is outstanding.
Saying their July 6 letters
"crossed in the mail." Charles H.
Boney Sr., architect for the school
that opened just two years ago, said
Tuesday he's confident the field can
and will be repaired before the start
of school. Teachcrs are to report for
duty Aug. 16, while students begin
classes Aug. 23.
With the June 22 receipt of a spe
cialized soil evaluation by soil sci
entist Kevin Martin of Soil and
Environmental Consultants of
Raleigh, said Boney, "We've got
something we can act on now."
"I wish there was a simple, easy
fix everybody could have saluted
months ago, but we had to have all
of this data in order to move for
ward. It has confirmed some of our
The study by Kevin Martin was
forwarded on July 6 to state health
officials and school personnel.
"If the state gives us a quick
green light," said Superintendent
Ralph Johnston Monday, "we'll suit
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cc.ii from the time we became
aware of the problem."
Steven Berkowitz, head of the
Division of Environmental Health's
on-site wastewater engineering
branch, said the state gives top pri
ority to repair projects and will try
to turn around th? plan as quicklv as
possible once, it is prepared and re
His office had asked for studies of
"hydraulic conductivity," of the soils
at various levels below the surface
in both the existing field and the
proposed repair field areas in order
to evaluate the site's long-term "ac
ceptance rate" and to use in evaluat
ing the effectiveness of any pro
posed drainage system design.
"They wanted to know where the
water goes and how build-up in
slow permeability soils affects the
groundwater table," said Wi throw.
That kind of information wasn't pro
vided or required in the initial soil
evaluations made before the system
was built and permitted.
"We've learned from past experi
ence with problems with large sub
surface systems," said Berkowitz,
who inspected the site with other en
vironmental health personnel and
read Martin's report, and is evaluat
He concurs with Boney that the
new sod evaluation does contain the
additional data on "groundwater
mounding" and water movement the
schools need to get started on the re
At a level 2 feet to 3 feet beneath
the site there's a layer of "slowly
permeable" soil, a depth that nor
mally is no problem for a smaller
But Berkowitz said it appears that
in the Supply field the water table in
some seasons reached up into that
layer, while large quantities of
wastewater were being pumped onto
soils above the layer. When that
happened the field remained too
heavily saturated and stopped work
ing the way it was intended.
"It is our hope that with some
kind of drainage and with some oth
er repairs, that this site can be re- '
paired," he said. "In other sites in
the eastern part of the state where
this has occurred we have been able
to make an effective repair."
"It's not a perfect science, but
there appears to enough viable re
pair area and enough repair options
(See SCHOOL, Page 2-A)
The One That Got Away...
...but only temporarily. Capt. Buster GUUm and crew of the Sea
Hawk II try to figure out what to do zzz: zftzr z It fzzt
they'd been dragging all day broke free Thursday afternoon and
disappeared into the canal system on Ocean Isle Beach. The boat
was less than 500 feet from its slip when the mishap occurred. The
shark twos re-caught early Friday. The story is on Page 5D.