A Real Dilemma
Brunswick county's solid waste
dilemma was the topic of a
last week in Bolivia. See what coun
ty leaders had to say on Page 6-A.
Last week ended the regular season; Ml|j4
this week the tournament begins. SSnS
See who South and west boys' and wJiw
gins' teams will face on Page 10-B. ^
h n nr I H0AG & S0NS 300K bindery
TUt DDI I ?
1 || OilU SPRTNfiPORT MI 49284
Twenty-ninth Yeor, Number 17 eisai the Brunswick beacon
Shollotte, North Caroling, Thursday, February 28, 1991
25* Per Copy 32 Pages, 3 Sections, 1 Insert
Name That Road
winnabow residents on old U.S. 17 may
keep their road name under a list pre
pared for the county's 911 program. A
911 progress report is on Page 2-A.
STATE. COUNTY CONCERNED
Developer Drops Plan To Sell Lots On
Lelond Landfill Site
BY TERRY POPE
A Wilmington company that purchased the old
Leland landfill had planned to sell lots on the former
waste dumpsite as garden space before county and state
officials convinced the developer to drop that part of a
proposed subdivision there.
The state attorney general's office issued a report
stemming from the controversial development that
would have created 13 lots adjacent to the landfill along
Lanvale Road and 13 lots over the dumpsite that was
closed in 1980.
Wilmington West Land Co. had filed a preliminary
plat with the Brunswick County Planning Department
in December for the project called Between the Creeks,
an area bordered by the runs of Rice's Creek and
Sturgeon Creek just south of King Road in the Leland
community. The plat map showed a cul-de-sac and
roadway leading to the old landfill site with 13 lots plat
ted on top of the former county dumping ground.
Brunswick County Planning Director John Harvey
said he called the agent representing the company, reg
istered surveyor Jack G. Stocks, to ask if he was aware
that the area was a former landfill. Harvey said Stocks
answered that he did know about the history of the land
but that the company he represents "had bought it and
had to sell it."
Stocks said Monday that the company had planned to
sell the lots as garden or recreational space for buyers in
the pianned subdivision. Tne company never intended
to sell those lots as building space, he said.
"They didn't plan to have a subdivision there,"
Stocks said. 'They thought it might could be used for a
garden. You know how everyone is always saying that
they wish they had space for a garden? But after read
ing the regulations, that part was scratched. They never
had any intention of making lots there."
In a memo to County Manager David Clcgg on Dec.
28, Harvey expressed his concern that the company
planned to develop the land. When word began to spread
about the proposed selling of lots on the dumpsite, it be
gan a series of correspondences between the county, the
N.C. Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Branch
and the state attorney general's office.
According to reports received by the county, there is
nothing in the state statutes or state administrative code
that would prohibit the selling of lots on a former land
fill site. However, there are specific regulations con
cerning what type of building or digging can be done on
a former landfill's surface.
"They still have it (landfill) intact as part of a larger
piecfc of land," Stocks said. "They don't have any plans
for il rigiii ihjw."
County Leased Landfill
Brunswick County operated the landfill from 1974 to
1980. In 1985 it was listed as a potential hazardous
waste site by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency after it was discovered that asphalt and oil had
possibly been dumped there. According to a report filed
by the EPA in February 1985, once the landfill became
inactive in 1980 its ownership reverted back to Interna
tional Paper Co.
The EPA report said that part of the landfill was op
erated as an open dump with unrestricted access.
"Il is also reported that the trenches are unlined ana
that old asphalt and old drums were put into the land
fill," the report states.
It was placed on the "Superfund List" of the state's
Solid Waste Management Division of the N.C.
Department of Environment, Health and Natural
Resources as a likely hazardous toxic waste site that
needed to be inspected and possibly clcancd up because
of potential goundwatcr, surface water and soil contami
nation. The Superfund program uses federal funds to
identify and to remove contamiruited materials from ar
eas where they pose a threat to persons or the environ
Sturgeon Creek is approximately 1,000 feel from the
dumpsite. When county soil scientists inspected the site
in January, they reported there was some evidence of
landfill leachate entering a drainage ditch on the back
side of two lots in the proposed project.
In January, the Brunswick County Planning Board
approved a preliminary plat for Between the Creeks
which includes just the 13 lots with road frontage along
Lanvale Road. Those Iols will connect to the Leland
landfill site and each has a minimum lot size of 20,000
The board told the developers that they could not dis
turb the actual landfill by building a road, cul-de-sac or
drainage ditches over the dumpsite as had been planned
(See DEVELOPER, AGE 2-A)
BY DOUG RUTTER
Shallotte Aldermen were forced
to cancel their third straight meeting
last week because there weren't
enough board members present for
Mayor Pro Tem Paul Wayne Re
eves and Alderman Jody Simmons
both missed their third consecutive
meeting last Wednesday, leaving the
town board one person short of the
majority that is needed to conduct
Mayor Sarah Tripp and Aldermen
Wilton Harrelson and David Gause
waited at the town hall for 30 min
utes before canceling the regular
Reeves, who was unavailable for
comment last week, apparently has
missed the meetings due to illness.
Simmons said business commit
ments have prevented him from at
tending the last three meetings.
Simmons said missed last week's
regular session because of a busi
ness meeting that lasted until 8:30
p.m. Town meetings start at 7 p.m.
Simmons said he missed the two
previous meetings because he was
in Raleigh on business.
"I think my attendance record is
as good as anybody's," said Sim
mons, noting that he has missed on
ly four meetings since he was elect
ed to the town board in 1987.
The Shallotte Board of Aldermen
normally would be able to meet
with two members absent. But with
one vacancy on the five-member
board, at least three of the four al
dermen must be present to hold a
The vacancy was created in De
cember when Mrs. Tripp, an alder
man at the time, was appointed
mayor. She took the place of Jerry
Jones, who resigned as mayor after
he was elected to the Brunswick
County Board of Commissioners.
Ellis Hankins, general counsel
with the N.C. League of Municipal
ities, said there is nothing in state
law that requires elected town offi
cials to attend board meetings.
He said it's up to the town board
to appoint someone to the vacant
seal, but the board cannot make any
appointments without a majority of
its members present. "There's noth
ing a board can do in the absence of
Due to the recent absences, the
town board hasn't held an official
meeting since Jan. 2, leaving a
number of items unresolved for the
last two months.
(See THIRD, Page 2-A)
Holden Beach Policeman
Resigns, Gets Back Pay
BY DOUG RUTTER
A Holden Beach police officer
who was convicted of trespassing
earlier this year has resigned from
the police force and will receive
more than four months of back pay.
Officer Gary Dancy resigned his
post with the town effective Feb. 8.
The tnree-year veteran of the police
force was found guilty of trespass
ing last month in Brunswick County
Holden Beach Commissioners
accepted the resignation at a special
meeting last Wednesday. In what
was described as a "compromise,"
the board agreed to give Dancy his
regular pay from the time he was
suspended until the date of his res
The police officer was suspended
without pay last September and re
mained on suspension until he re
signed. Based on Dancy 's $17,808
annual salary and the length of his
suspension, the town will pay him
$6,684 in gross back pay.
Dancy, who had worked for the
police department since July 1987,
(S?c HOLDEN, Page 2-A)
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STAFF PHOTO BY EDOlE SWEATT
WILLIAM MVMAUUH (right) says heis pleased with the success of his patented Sand Saver at Holden Beach.
Sand Saver Designer Pleased
With Holden Beach Experiment
BY DOUG RUTTER
The inventor of a beach-enhancing device
known as Sand Saver says he is pleased with re
sults of a recent experiment at Holden Bcach,
even though a storm washed away the sand that
piled up during his stay.
William Mumaugh, president of Mumaugh
Machining Mfg. Inc. of Bluffton, Ohio, de
scribed the weekend experiment with his
patented strand-building device as a success.
Sand Saver was tested Feb. 16-18 on the
beach adjacent to 591 Ocean Blvd. West at
Holden Beach. "I was pleased with it,"
Mumaugh said. "It had picked up, I figure, five
inches of sand."
Unfortunately, Mumaugh said he learned that
the sand pile that built up during his experiment
eroded shortly after he left the island.
The Sand Saver, which the inventor said is
made out of scrap recycled plastic, consists of
two eight-foot-long wings that rest on the strand.
Mumaugh said both of the wings have "fins"
on them, which open when ocean water rushes
in and close to trap sand when the water re
The device is tied to plastic posts that anchor
it to the beach. The Sand Saver also is wired to
boards that are buried in the sand.
Mumaugh said he ran into bad weather the
weekend the device was tested at Holden Beach.
The wind was strong and the ocean was rough.
"I was told we got in there at one of the
roughest parts of the tides," Mumaugh said.
"That is the worst case scenario for testing."
The nasty weather made it difficult to anchor
the system. At one point, Mumaugh said one
section of the device washed about a mile down
"I will say it will work," Mumaugh said. "We
do have to modify it and find a better way of
anchoring it into the ground."
Holden Beach Mayor John Tandy said he
didn't get to see the device while it was being
tested. The town provided Mumaugh's lodging
while he was in town and obtained the neces
sary state permit.
"When you're talking about property, you've
got to try something that might save it," Tandy
said. "Somewhere along the line you're going to
find something that works."
Mumaugh said he's been developing the de
vice for about 1 1/2 years and will continue to
improve on it. "I think it's going to work. It
needs a little primping up I guess."
The inventor said a neighbor in Ohio owns a
home on a canal at Holden Beach. That was the
reason he ended up experimenting on the
Brunswick County barrier island.
He said the device also has been tested at
Virginia Beach and along the Gulf coast of
Florida. He said the experiment in Florida was
cut short when someone tried to steal the Sand
If the Sand Saver doesn't catch on,
Mumaugh said he's working on another item
that may be of interest to coastal residents.
The inventor said he's developed lumber that
is made from scrap plastic and can be used for
rafters, furniture, picnic tables, playground
equipment and other projects.
Mumaugh said the plastic lumber hasn't been
approved for building yet, but he said it will
never rot like real wood and never has to be
painted. 'The salt doesn't affect it at all," he
Britt Refuses To Reconsider; Bridge Case Headed Into U.S. Appeals Court
BY SUSAN USHER
A federal judge last week refused to re
consider his earlier order halting construc
tion of a planned high-rise bridge at Sunset
Beach, prompting state and federal trans
portation agencies to appeal.
In a judgment filed Feb. 21 in Raleigh,
U.S. District Judge W. Ear! Briu denied all
three requests included in the motion for re
consideration that was Tiled Jan. 4 by the
U.S. Department of Transportation. Details
of the judgment were not available Tuesday.
As a result of Britt's decision, said Bill
Jones, spokesman for the N.C. Department
of Transportation, the transportation agen
ties are appealing Britt's original order to
the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in
DOT attorneys have been told to expect
oral arguments to be heard "at least within
six months," he said. Meanwhile, all parties
are preparing briefs and the case has not
been placed yet on the appeals court calen
Work on the bridge remains stopped
pending the outcome of the court case.
Citing inadequacies in the original envi
ronmental study made in the mid 1970s,
Britt's original order directed the transporta
tion agencies to complete a new, full envi
ronmental study on the impact of the
bridge. It also voided all existing permits
for the $11.1 million project, which means
the state will have to reapply for project
permits from various state and federal agen
Last week Briu denied all three requests
inciuucu in tiic defense's metier, for recon
sideration. The motion had asked the judge:
1) to strike the order voiding all permits,
saying the court did not have the right to
2) to excuse the federal and stale trans
portation agencies from preparing an envi
ronmental impact study, at least as it affect
cd endangered species and their habitat
Instead, the agency wanted to file a biologi
cal assessment and re-evaluation; and
3) to not require the agencies to prepare
an evaluation relating to the potential im
pact of the bridge on recreational use of the
oceanfront beach. Instead, the agency want
ed the U.S. Secretary Of Transportation to
determine if the beach qualified as a pro
tected resource and if so, whether the bridge
project would constitute a use of that re
source. That way, the brief noted, "the ad
ministrative record would be available for
The State Board of Transportation,
which meets Friday in Raleigh, is expected
to approve the addition of another S 100,000
to the budget for the bridge project. Jones
said the money is to be used "for legal fees
and any environmental work that has to be
The budget request was submitted be
_ _ r? .. ? j
iUIC Dim d iK?cida;ii was aiuiuuutv/u, .iuiu
The lawsuit against the state and federal
transportation agencies and their adminis
trators was filed last October by the Sunset
Beach Taxpayers Association and eight in