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Our Twenty-ninth Year, Number 7 " C1W0 THE BRUNSWICK BEACON Thursday, December 20, 1990 40 Pages, 3 Sections 25c Per Copy
Sunset Beach Extends Town Limits To Seaside
BY DOUG Rll'ITER Sunset Bcach Town Administra
Sunset Bcach will have its very tor Linda Fluegel said the annexa
own mainland business district tion takes effect Dec. 31, which
come New Year's Eve. That's when means the town can tax those areas
annexation of a strip of property next year.
that extends the town limits to the Town council had delayed a vote
Seaside shopping area takes effect. on the annexation request at its Dec.
Town council voted 4-1 in favor 3 meeting bccausc some board
of annexation during a special meet- members had questions about what
ing last Thursday. Owners of the an- annexation would cost the town and
nexed property had asked to be how the town would benefit from it.
brought into the town. Mrs. Fluegel said there wasn't
The annexed area consists mainly much discussion during last week's
of property owned by Sea Trail meeting after she informed council
Corp., including a commercial strip members that the only immediate
bordering Seaside Station along one cost to the town would be S811 per
side of N.C. 179 and nine holes at year for sanitation. "We came, we
Sea Trail Golf Links on the other conquered and we went home," she
Also included in the annexed area Councilman A1 Odom cast the
is a portion of the Long Bay Devel- only vote against annexauon. He
opers Inc. property on N.C. 904 that had said during previous discus
includes a shopping center. sions that annexation would not be
in the best interest of the town.
"We're being asked to fix some
thing that's not broke," Odom said
at the Dec. 3 meeting. "I'm against
growth for the sake of growth."
Councilman Ed Gore, who is a
principal in Sea Trail Corp., said at
the time that the only motive for the
corporation seeking annexation was
"They want to be a part of Sunset
Beach and will be a part whether
accepted or not," Gore said. He
characterized the annexation as the
next logical step in the town's
growth and unification.
The town administrator said the
only other possible expense to the
town as a result of the annexation
would be $8,000 for a part-time po
lice officer to patrol the area.
However, Police Chief J. B. Bucll
said earlier that an extra full-time
officer would be needed at least
during the summer season if the an
nexation was approved.
Earlier this month. Mayor Mason
Barber pointed out that annexation
of the land would allow the town to
extend its extraterritorial jurisdic
tion farther up N'.C. 179 toward
Ocean Isle Beach.
Sunset Beach could enforce zon
ing in that area as well as subdivi
sion regulations and the state build
The Sugar Sands development at
Sea Trail Plantation was not includ
ed in the area approved for annexa
tion last week.
But Barber said the residential
area could be annexed in the future.
Town council has already adopted a
resolution of intent to bring the area
into the town through the involun
tary annexation process.
County Won't Let
Court Delay Water
BY TERRY POPE
A complicated deal worked oul
between Brunswick County and the
Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer
Authority has county officials hap
py. The agreement all but nullifies a
state Supreme Court ruling on the
matter which has been in the works
A third revised contract negotiat
ed with the authority will finally
open the door for adding new cus
tomers to the regional water supply.
It will also repay Brunswick County
its S6.2 million in bonds used to
help build the system.
"I think we are step by step by
painful step realizing our goals in
this matter," said Brunswick County
Attorney David Clegg. "The bottom
line is, we're getting what we want
and requiring that they (authority)
pay for it."
The resolution Brunswick County
Commissioners unanimously ap
proved Monday contains several
provisions. It requires that the au
thority: a) release half of the
5250,000 the county posted for re
pairs and maintenance to the system
to help pay for expenses; b) offer
the county a different rate structure
for water than other easterners; c)
issue replacement bonds to help re
pay Brunswick County for its role
in construction of the system; and
d) share the cost of extending ser
vices to new customers in the fu
"It contains all of the goodies that
was in the amended contract," said
Alfred Carlton Jr., consulting attor
ney for Brunswick County, plus it
adds a clause for helping the county
pay its operation and maintenance
expenses. The contract contains a
separate agreement giving the coun
ty a lower rate for raw water.
Last year, the debate over lower
rates entered the courts. Brunswick
County filed a "friendly lawsuit"
against the authority seeking a judg
ment over whether the authority
could refuse to charge a discrimina
tory rate to a county government. A
decision that went against Bruns
wick County was appealed to the
N.C. Supreme Court, Carlton said.
"We are legally awaiting an an
swer," Carlton said. "Practically
speaking, what has happened since
then has answered the problem."
The ease was heard in April, but
no decision has yet been handed
down from the court. Meanwhile,
the authority has agreed to issue a
separate agreement with the county
for reduced water rates that won't
be included in the contracts for new
customers, a deal that neutralizes
the court's impending decision.
(See COUNTY, Page 2-A)
Ocean Isle Realtor
Cleared In Seizure
Of Three Condos
HY TKRRY POPE
A local real estate agent whose
Occan Isle Beach condominium
was seized by federal marshals last
week was described Tuesday by the
U.S. Attorney's officc as an "inno
ccnt victim" in the incident.
Three Occan Isle condominiums,
two at Starboard By The Sea and one
at 504 Occan Point, were seized last
week and placed under a seal by FBI
agents. They were alleged to have
been purchased by Victor S. Black
wcll of Saddlcvicw Court, Charlotte,
with money gained through illegal
activity, said U.S. Attorney Tom
Ashcraft, of the western North
Carolina district officc.
Blackwcll was indicted last week
by a federal grand jury in Charlotte
on 35 counts of mail fraud, money
laundering, embezzlement and con
spiracy in conncction with a S21 mil
lion investment and insurance scam
that left more than 1,300 families
with no health insurance coverage.
Blackwcll had purchased a share
in the two Starboard By The Sea
condominiums from John Cooke of
Cooke Realty at Ocean Isle Beach.
The men had an agreement on the
purchase of the Ocean Point condo
but no financial transactions had ev
er taken place from that agreement,
"Mr. Cooke has never been a tar
get of this investigation," Ashcraft
said from his Charlotte office Tues
day. "Our understanding is that he
was a victim of the same sort of
scam that this office investigated."
Ashcraft said his office will be
reviewing documents forwarded by
Cooke regarding the status of the
Occan Point condo and expects the
department to "lake prompt action"
in returning ihe property.
"Wc have no reason to doubt his
(Cooke's) innocence," Ashcraft add
Cooke said he had no argument
with ihc seizure of the Starboard By
The Sea condos sincc Blackwcll
still owed money for his share of
the units. Blackwcll had wanted to
buy the Ocean Point unit, Cooke
said, but "there had never been any
transfer of ownership."
The Ocean Point unit remained
under seal Tuesday. Cooke said he
is willing lo patiently wail for the
condo to be returned to his family
through the proper channels with
federal authorities. Cooke said he
had been told that the property
would be returned following an in
All six men indicted by the grand
jury in the insurance scam lived
outside of Brunswick County. Some
property was also reportedly seized
at Cherry Grove, S.C. In all, seven
homes, 26 vehicles and numerous
business and personal bank ac
counts of the six men involved were
seized under civil action. The prop
erty was worth about S3 million.
Civil action allows agents lo seize
personal property that is "traced as
the proceeds of, facilitated by, or in
volved in money laundering," Ash
craft said. Court documents alleged
that the two Starboard By The Sea
condos at Ocean Isle were associated
with Blackwcll, he added.
The investigation that led to the
seizures and indictments was part of
an effort coordinated by the FBI,
Internal Revenue Service and insur
(See OCEAN ISLK. Page 2-A>
School Board Finally
Adopts 1990-91 Budget
BY DOUG RUTTKR ends June 30, 1991.
The Brunswick Counly Board of A question regarding how much
Education this week adopted an op- money the school system had in its
crating budget for the 1990-91 fis- fund balancc kept the board from
cal year?even though the year is adopting a budget before the fiscal
nearly half over. year started.
School board members voted Since then, more finance-related
unanimously at their meeting Mon- questions have been raised concern
day night in Southport to accept the ing expense accounts of some top
$40 million budget as presented by administrators and former employ
thc school system's finance officer, ccs receiving health insurance bene
Rudi Fallon. fits after they stopped working for
Brunswick County Schools had the school system.
been operating under an interim Although the audit report for last
budget since the beginning of the fiscal year is still not finished, Ms.
fiscal year, which started July 1 and (See SCHOOL, Page 2-A)
STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG HUTTIt
Caroling Crew Of Sailors
This crew of high-spirited sailors ushered in the holiday season at Holden Heach Sunday night by cruising the waterway in a decorated
boat and singing Christmas carols. The sailboat stopped at the entrance of the main canals at llolden Heach and finished its voyage at
Captain Pete's Seafood, where about 50 people gathered to join in the singing. Pictured, from left, are Susan dibble, William Williamson,
Ann Williamson, Linda llasque, Elizabeth Dameron, Wanda Veldt, Banks llasque, Martin Feldt, Allan Dameron as Santa Clous and Tim
Gibble operating the boat.