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In The Basket
Wastepaper baskets at the county complex should be
emptier this week, as employees start changing
disposal habits. A new "desktop" recycling program Is
expected to help reduce the amount of paper bound for
the county landfill. The story's on Page 12-A.
Take County Crown
West Brunswick High School's Lady Trojans powered
past the South Brunswick Cougars Friday 48-29 to
claim the county girls' basketball championship before
heading Into Waccamaw Conference tourney action.
For the full story, turn to Page 8-B.
Any business that's a year old and has less than 100
employees could be eligible for a 1989 Small Business
Award this May. But nominations must be submitted
to the BCC Small Business Center no later than April
1. Business news Is on Page 9-C.
1*enty:e,flhth Year? Number 16 Shalfotte, North Carolina, Thursday, March 1, 1990 25* Per Copy
34 Pages, 3 Sections, Plus Insert
NEW ESTIMATES DOUBLE THE ORIGINAI
BCC Board Sends
Auditorium Plans Back
To Drawing Board
BY SUSAN USHER
Construction of an auditorium on
the Brunswick Community College
campus received yet another set
back last week, with news that ini
tial cost estimates for the project
were apparently way out of line. As
a result, the project is headed back
to the design table.
After getting new estimates by
two parties, college trustees last
Wednesday night voted to hire
Boney & Associates of Wilmington
as architects for the project should
they agree to certain conditions,
said Ben DeBlois, vice president for
auiTiifiiSu alive ScfViCcs.
These include redesign of the au
ditorium to fall within a $3.2 mil
lion maximum budget, while deliv
ering a 1 ,500- seat facility that com
plements existing buildings on cam
pus, and is of similar quality to an
uuio facility designed by the film,
Kenan Auditorium on the campus
of the University of North Carolina
at Wilmington. It is also expected to
meet the basic design standards
agreed on by a community advisory
committee involved in planning of
The offer to hire came at the rec
ommendation of the board's build
ing and grounds committee, which
had met several times in preparation
for the board meeting. The motion
was approved by the board with on
ly a brief explanation and no discus
sion. Four of 12 trustees were ab
sent; Eugene Hewett, Shirley Bab
son, Tommy Bradsher and Commis
sioner Benny Ludlum.
The board also agreed to lease
the old school cafeteria building at
its South port campus to a South port
group that offers recreauon to local
youths on Saturday morning, dis
cussed progress of a planned dual
enrollment program with the Bruns
wick County Schools and decided
to host Department of Community
College officials to discuss the local
need for a turf management curricu
lum program at the college.
BCC had turned to Boney &
Associates for assistance with the
auditorium following the death last
Septembe. of project architect
"No one knows why there is such a
vast difference in figures."
? Ben DeBlois, BCC Vice President
On new auditorium cost estimate
James Pittman. The college had
chosen Pittman as architect after he
left J.G. Architects to form his own
business. Before working with
Johnson, Pittman had worked with
Boney & Associates for many
years, DeBlois said, which is why
the college sought out that firm in
complete his project.
DeBlois described the current
negotiations as an attempt by the
college to control three major vari
ables ? size, cost and quality ? to
come up with the best facility possi
"We don't know if we can
achieve all the variables," he said.
Should Boney & Associates decide
they cannot meet the conditions of
the contract, DeBlois said trustees
would then take another look, at
those three factors.
Pittman had first estimated the
project cost at an estimated $2.8
million. Before agreeing to take on
the project, Boney & Associates last
month asked tn obtain an up-to-date
cost figure for the iv*o-ycai-uiu pro
ject At that lime it was estimating
that the project could be let for bid
in fall 1990, and occupied in the
winter of 1991-92.
Funds to build the auditorium
come from proceeds of an $8 mil
lion bond sale approved by county
voters. Trustees broke ground for
the project last fall as part of BCC's
10th anniversary celebration. The
project had already experienced a
slight delay after trustees decided
on a change of locations on campus.
During thai same time period, two
other events relating to the auditori
um occurred: the death of the pro
ject architect, and the naming of the
auditorium for benefactor Odel!
Williamson. He had endowed a trust
fund to pay the salary of an audito
Harris & Associates of Columbia,
S.C., put the cost in the range of S6
million, including $500,000 to cov
er any design changes the college
might approve during the pre-con
struction phase, DeBlois said. "That
figure surprised us Quite a bit. uic
vice president indicated.
In fact, it prompted the college to
have the plans reviewed by a third
party, the state Office of Construc
tion. That estimate came in at $5
million to S5.4 million, said De
"No one knows why there is such
a vast difference in figures," he con
tinued, though there are several the
ories being advanced. "It can't be
explained by inflation alone ... No
one really knows."
It appears the first estimate was
based on a building with 29,000
square footage. But the final plans
were for a structure with approxi
mately 45,000 square feeL
In any case, DeBIois said BCC's
trustees are committed to building a
facility in keeping with the major
recommendations of the auditorium
advisory committee, which included
representatives of all the major arts
organizations in the county and oth
It will be, he pledged, "a quality
auditorium we can be proud of and
i hat the citizens o? this county can
have available in a timeiy manner.
The trustees take that charge very
The project acoustical consultant
had described the planned facility as
the "best on the East Coast, . . ."
DeBIois recalled, noting ihst while
the new facility may not merit that
distinction, it could be the best audi
torium in the state.
Smiling mischievously, he added,
"I know it will be the best in Bruns
STAPT moro IY IAHN ADAMS
THIS IS THE VIEW from one of 42 sites that are inventoried in Brunswick County's first
shoreline access plan. A right-of-way pull-off and trash receptacle are located at this site on
N.C. 179 within the Sunset Beach town limits.
Commissioners To Consider Pursuing
State Shoreline Access Grant Funds
BY RAHN ADAMS
How Brunswick County will implement its new
shoreline access plan will be for county commission
ers alone to decide, as the county planning board last
week made no recommendations concerning specific
accc ? piujccis for wmcn tne county should seek state
Proposed pre-applications for Coastal Area
Management Act (CAMA) access grants are expected
to be considered by commissioners at their March 5
meeting in Bolivia. The county has until March 30 to
apply for the access grants.
The planning board briefly discussed the CAMA
grant program at its regular monthly meeting last
Wednesday. The hour-long meeting was attended by
planning board members Ed Gore, Thomas Dixie and
The three members voted unanimously to recom
mend that the county file pre-applications for grants
subject to the commissioners' selection of individual
projects to pursue. According to Planning Director
John Harvey, the N.C. Division of Coastal
Management must approve any pre-applications be
fore actual grant applications would be allowed.
Harvey told planning board members that a copy
of the county's first shoreline access plan ? a $7,800
state- and locally-funded document prepared by
Wilmington landscape architect Howard Capps ? has
been submitted to Coastal Management for review.
Although the state's review of the plan will not be
cuinpicicu fut ai iuui iwu uiuiiua, Cuasuii Manage
ment officials indicated that the study as it now stands
is sufficient to be used in the current grant application
process, Harvey said.
While 14 sites throughout Brunswick County are
listed as recommended access areas, the study in
cludes schematic plans and cost estimates for only
four sites ? the county's four existing N.C. Wildlife
Resources Commission boat ramps ? because county
officials have not indicated yet if they would favor
construction of any access areas that require land
The wildlife ramps axe located at Pireway on the
Waccamaw River; at Sunset Harbor on the Lockwood
Folly River; and in the Southport area on the Carolina
Power & Light Company canal and on Rice's Creek.
The access plan recommends the addition of gaze
bos at all four sites; picnic tables at all sites but Rice's
Creek; and Ashing piers at all sites but Sunset Harbor.
Estimated improvement costs range from $11,700 at
Sunset Harbor to 520,450 at Pireway.
Boat access facilities are suggested for nine of the
remaining 10 recommended sites, which include:
? Bonaparte Landing off N.C. 179 between
Sunset Beach and Calabash, boating access.
?Cape Fear River east of N.C. 133 (N.C.
Department of Transportation property), visual (sight
? Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in the old N.C.
179 right-of-way (mainland) after construction of the
new Sunset Beach Bridge, visual, fishing and possible
? ICW at Summer Place Drive in the Holden
Beach area, boating access.
? ICW at Bricklanding Road, gazebo, picnic ta
bles, benches and boating access.
? ICW at Old Bridge Road under the Oak Island
Bridge, picnic area and gazebo, with boating and pos
sibly fishing access.
? Shallotte River at Middle Dam Road, boating,
pedestrian and visual access.
? Lockwood Folly River at N.C. 211 bridge,
gazebo, picnic shelter, nature trails and boating ac
(See COMMISSIONERS, Page 2-A)
Clegg Wearing Two More Hats
in Department Head Mystery
BY KAHN ADAMS
David Clcgg ? county attorney
and interim county manager ? got to
try on the hats of two more depart
ment heads last week, as the acting
building inspections director was
away on a three-week medical leave
of absence and the county purchas
ing agent was away on a three-day
Clcgg, who has headed county
administration since the Dec. 4 fir
ing of County Manager John T.
Smith, would not -comment specifi
rotlu ?K!n ? ? am tKo okoan^oo of
J MtlO TV wn. was M?V w*
acting Inspections Director Julius
1""\ "D u/4rl%i" f amic on/4 Dnrr?Kno!n ?
v* 4/uuu; uvma uiiu a utviiuouig
Agent Billy Ingram.
Instead, the interim manager re
ferred questions to Personnel Of
ficer Deborah Bowling, who would
say only that Lewis requested and
was granted a medical leave of ab
sence Feb. 15 through March 9, and
thai Ingram was suspended by
Clegg Feb. 19 thiough 21 for rea
sons involving "personal conduct"
Neither Clegg nor Ms. Bowling
would disclose Lewis' apparent
medical problem. Lewis could not
be reached at home. A receptionist
in the building inspections depart
ment said Tuesday that the acting
director was "out of town."
Ingram, who returned to work
last Thursday, also refused to ex
plain the reasons behind his suspen
sion. "This time I just can't com
ment on it" he said Tuesday
According to the county person
nel policy, an employee may be sus
pended without pay for causes relat
ed to personal conduct "in order to
avoid undue disruption of work, to
rav\tiv<l tKa cnfnHr nf nAM>An<< Ar rv?v>
M?V kltUV^ V? W? p? W
perty, or for other serious reasons."
Ingram, however, s<iiu his sus
pension was "not at all" related to a
Dec. 21 county commissioners
meeting in which his purchasing
agent position was discussed. Com
missioner Benny Ludlum said he
called the emergency meeting after
he heard that Chairman Gene Pink
erton intended to fire one depart
ment head and hire a director in an
Officials indicated that Ingram
was the department head whose po
sition was in jeopardy and that
Lewis was the prospective new di
rector. Lewis was named acting
head of the inspections department
in November after Ingram moved
from his former inspections director
post to the new purchasing agent
When those changes were made
in November, the building inspec
tions department already was the
subject of a Brunswick County
Sheriff's Department investigation
that involves $225 discovered miss
ing from the department's cash
drawer. Commissioners requested
the investigation in late September.
According to Sheriff John C.
Davis and Dcl Gary Shay, six em
ployees who had access to the cash
drawer ? including Ingram ? have
taken polygraph tests administered
by the SBI over the past couple of
months. The lawmen would not
comment on results of the tests.
Shay said Lewis is the only em
ployee who remains to be tested.
Lewis' polygraph test initially was
c?k n if
uvuuivu ? vu. i>r. nunvvv i, uavid
said Monday that the test was post
poned because Lewis was "under
Clegg told the Beacon Monday
that the permanent building inspec
tions director position will not be
advertised and filled until the theft
investigation concludes. He added
that he is "overseeing the day-to
day operation" of the building in
spections department in Lewis' ab
Both Clegg and Davis noted that
a confession is the only admissible
"evidence" that can be drawn from
a polygraph test and used in a crimi
nal prosecution. The sheriff said
none of the six individuals tested so
far had confessed to taking the
However, Clegg stated that re
sults of the polygraph tests "could
certainly be taken into considera
tion" by him in handling the matter
administratively. When asked if In
gram's suspension last week was re
lated to the investigation, Clegg
said, "I'd rather not comment."
Southport Businesswoman Accused Of Embezzlement
BY RAHN ADAMS
When Olivia Costango went to
court last Wednesday, the South port
businesswoman apparently thought
she was in Bolivia only to serve as
an alternate juror in a murder case.
While at the courthouse, however,
she was charged with embezzling
more than $4,400 from the South
port revitalization group she served
Costango, 41, owner of the
South port advertising firm Costanzo
Ventures, was arrested last Wednes
day by South port Police Chief Rob
ert Gray on nine counts of embez
zlement, according to arrest war
nuns on file in Uie Brunswick
County Cleric of Court's office.
Gray told the Beacon that he dis
cussed the arrest with Superior
Court Judge Giles R. Clark before
having Ms. Costango go to the
Brunswick County Sheriff's Depart
ment, where the warrants were
served. Empaneled Tuesday as an
alternate juror, she did not continue
hearing testimony in the murder tri
al after her arrest last Wednesday.
Ms. Costango was released from
custody last Wednesday after post
ing a $10,000 secured bond. In a
first court appearance Monday, her
trial date was set for March 8, ac
cording to the clerk of court's of
While the police chief would not
comment on details of the case.
Gray said the "improprieties" with
which Ms. Costango is charged
were reported to him Feb. 2 by rep
resentatives of South port' AN
CHOR revitalization group. He in
dicated that the matter earlier had
been discussed by the full AN
The charges allege that Ms. Cos
tango embezzled $4,462.94 in AN
CHOR funds between July 1988
and September 1989. The largest
single amount allegedly taken was
$1,000 on June 6, 1989. Four of the
alleged offenses occurred on Sept.
19, 1989, and involved $1,496.31.
In addition to ANCHOR offi
cials, the arrest warrants listed "wit
nesses" including Susan Rose of
Wilmington Printing Company,
Dick Rothfuss of Wilmington's
Custom Specialties, Diane Mc
Keithan of the Southport State Port
Pilot newspaper and Cathy New of
Gray would not explain the busi
nesses' connections to the case.
However, court documents on file at
the clerk of court's office indicate
that at least one witness, Ms. New,
filed a small claims action aeainst
Ms. Costango last June to recover
$210 for unpaid typesetting ser
vices ? the same amount listed in
the embezzlement charge which
names Ms. New as a witness. The
small claims action was dismissed
last year at the plaintiff's request
Other records at the county court
(Sec BUSINESSWOMAN, Page 2-A)