County Wants Main Line Water Customers To Pay BY TKRRY POPK Brunswick County Commissioners served notice Monday that the cheap rides are over for customers who live along the county's main water lines. In the past, residents on transmission lines ? U.S. 17, N.C. 211 and N.C. 179 have not paid assessments, even when tapping onto the system. Bonds, rc|xiid with lax dollars, were used u> finance the capital improve ments project. Residents of Special Assessment Districts (SADs). who face mandatory assessment Ices for extending wa ter lines into their neighbortuxxls, have often com plained at public hearings, saying they arc paying for both assessments and the bonds while the other group was not. A policy to assess residents along the main trunk lines has been discussed by the Utility Operations Board for years, but an upcoming main trunk line project has added more urgency to its consideration. Next month, commissioners will award bids lor construction of Phases III and III- A, which will route main transmission lines to Seaside and Shallottc Point. County Manager David Clcgg told commissioners Monday it was time to settle on a policy. The board has asked the Brunswick County Utility Operations Board for two recommendations: 1) to set Ihc boundaries Tor making ihc Shalloltc Point communi ty one large SAD, excluding the cost of an elevated wa ter tower on Village Road; ami 2) to set a point of deliv ery charge, in addiUon u> tap-on fees, lor customers not in SADs who want to tap onto the system. Commissioners have asked that the Shalloltc Point SAD boundaries be presented to the board Dec. 2, the same day the UOB is scheduled to meet an hour earlier. Commissioners also want a policy by Dec IX for charg ing non-SAD customers, possibly effective Jan 1 . The board has asked that no grandfathering be in cluded in the policy, thus charging all new hookups to existing transmission lines an assessment fee. Those al ready connccicd to the main lines cannot legally he as scsscd now, said Clegg. "There are a great many ways to do it," said County Engineer Robert Tucker said of lite proposed point-ol dclivery charge or user assessment. "I'd prefer not to comment on it at this time." The goal is to "create equity" between main line cus tomers and SAD customers, said Tucker. "There will be many miles of corridors m Shallotte Point," he added. "There will be a tremendous number of situations where one man and his next door neighbor would be treated differently." (See M AIN, Page 2 -A I TH~ ~ WICKfBEACON Thirtieth Year, Number 3 ?i??iTMenuNswiot?t*coN Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, November 21, 1991 50c Per Copy 34 Pages, 3 Sections, 3 Inserts i -J* . >* ? .J* S'AfF 77/ A. A'.C. DEPAR T MENT OF TRANSPORTATION installed this oversized "signal ahead" sign with a -45 mph "advisory and flashing yellow beacon on the U.S. 17 Shallotte Bypass Monday north of the N.C. 130 West intersection. PMC <*r . fty SUS*N tjSwpp speed plate" DOT Improving Bypass Intersection KY DOUG RUTTKR State iranspo nation officials have started making improvements to the intersection of the U.S. 17 Shallottc bypass and N.C. 130 West ? the site of a recent double-fatality accident. Flashing lights, textured pave ment and other changes at the inter section should be finished this week or next, said Doug Bowers, division engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation. On Monday, workers installed oversized "signal ahead" signs near the bypass intersection. Yellow flashing beacons were placed on top of the signs, and 45 mph "advisory speed plates" were attached below. The beacons had not been activated as of Tuesday. Shallottc businessman Steve Smith and West Brunswick High School student Misty Dawn Car michael died from injuries sustained in a three-vehicle accident that oc curred Nov. 1 when a logging truck ran a stoplight at the intersection. Since then, local officials and Shallottc area residents have pleaded with state transportation officials to build an overpass at the intersection. They say it's especially dangerous because of traffic to and from the high school. An overpass was discussed before the bypass was built, but it was never included in plans bccause it would have been costly and would have de layed construction of the bypass. "Signal ahead" signs along the bypass on the north and south sides of the intersection that were 36-by 36 inches prior to the accident have been replaced with signs measuring 48-by-4K inches. The 45 mph advisory signs do not officially lower the speed limit, but serve more as a warning for mo torists, said Terry Harris, area traffic safety engineer with the DOT. Harris said the state also plans to install six "strobe lights" at the inter section ? while lights that flash when the traffic signal is red. Two strobes facing each direction on the bypass will be installed, along with one strobe facing each direction on N.C. 131). Rumble strips, or several patchcs of textured pavement, will be added on both sides of the intersection on N.C. 130. Harris said the strips are designed to alert motorists that they arc ap proaching an intersection. State transportation officials will also change the timing of the traffic signals to hold traffic an extra half second. Instead of the all-red interval of 1 1/2 seconds, traffic will be held for two lull seconds before one of the signals turns green. Although the fatal accident prompted the changes, Harris said the wreck can't be blamed on the in tcrscciion. He said the traffic signal facing the bypass was red for al least 7 1/2 scconds before impact, and the driv er of the log truck should have had time to stop. The tialfic engineer said it took at least 6 scconds for Miss Carmichacl to travel through the intersection to the point where the accident oc curred. And the signal facing the bypass was red for I 1/2 scconds before the signal facing N.C. 130 turned green. "It was just a very unfortunate ac cident," Harris said, "but the acci dent was not created by the intersec tion." In addition to the improvements, Shall otic Policc L'hicl Rodney Gause said town officers and the N.C. Highway Patrol have been closely monitoring traffic on the by pass, particularly at the N.C. 130 in tersection. Sincc the Nov. 1 accident, Shall ottc Policc have issued 24 tickets for stoplight violations and speeding on the bypass. Gause said news of the tragic ac cident and strict enforcement of traf fic laws seems to be helping. People arc driving more cautiously on the bypass, especially near the intersec tion. "I think the word has gotten out," Gause said. "We've noticed the trucks and stuff arc coming to a complete slop now." Despite the traffic safety changes at the intersection. Cause and other local officials still think the area warrants an overpass. Harris said an overpass at the in tersection, which could only be ap proved by the N.C. Board of Transportation, would cost an esti mated S4 million. The traffic engineer said the state DOT has built interchanges at cer tain intersections in response to "a continuing pattern of severe acci dents," but not alter one accident. To make room for an overpass, he said propeny owners would have to give up land presently being used for the Southeastern Welcome Center, Han dec Hugo s convenience store and Shallotte Manor Apart ments. Harris noted that there are about 12 other grade-level intersections along U.S. 17 between Winnabow and the South Carolina line. Bowers said improvements simi lar to those made at the Shallotte by pass and N.C. 130 West intersection will likely be made elsewhere in Brunswick County. As the Ibur-laning of U.S. 17 con tinues over the next three years, Bowers said large signs. Hashing lights and rumble strips will be used at other locations, such the intersec tion of U.S. 17 and N.C. 211 at Supply. Health Board Freezes Seafood Ordinance BY TKRRY POPE Saying it doesn't have the personnel on hand to enforce a new scafixxi vending ordinance, the Brunswick County Board of Health Monday tabled the proposal unul June. "We have it ready to adopt," said Bill Rabon, board chairman. "We've done the lcgworic on it." But when told that existing workers did not have time to enforce the new rules, board mem ber HJ. "Skip" Davis' motion to put the ordi nance on ice until the 1992-93 budget is prepared passed unanimously. "Then we'll see if a new position can be funded," said Rabon. Adopting an ordinance without a way to en force it would "encourage people not to com ply" with the law, he said. The ordinance was proposed at the request of District 3 County Commissioner Gene Pinkcrton, who raised concerns about ihc sani lary conditions of roadside seafood sites that do not have toilets or hand-washing facilities. Pinkcrton said he was also concerned that spoiled seafood might be sold from trucks and that vendors were leaving trash at the sites. The new ordinance would require roadside vendors to keep their seafood stored separately and on ice or refrigeration. Also, those selling from the rear of trucks or roadside stands would need a resiroom within 10() yards of their vehi cle. The vendor would also need a signed con tract with the owner of the bathroom, giving permission to use the facility. District 4 Commissioner Frankie Rabon, who serves on the health board, said he's glad to see the ordinance flounder. "We're just going to shut everybody down except for the major markets," he added. "I was opposed to it from the very beginning. If people don't want to buy from a peddler, they're going to go to a market anyway." Both roadside and seafood markets would face an inspection three times a year under the plan, said Gary McDonald, environmental health specialist who helped draft the ordi nance. Existing market*, and seafood dealers would be exempt from having to submit plans to the health department for building a sanitary mark et, but would not be exempt from the require ments to pass inspection, said McDonald. The proposed ordinance hail included a grandfather clause to exempt existing markets from having to upgr.uk' their facilities, but that part was changed on the recommendation of County Attorney David Clcgg. McDonald said most markets are already up to standards. (See SKAKOOI), I'age 2 -A) Gunman Robs Shallotte Store BY DOUG R UTTER Shallolte Police Tuesday were continuing their investigation of the Sunday night robbery of Hill's gro cery store ? the second armed rob bery of a town business in less than a week. A masked man carrying a hand gun stole an undetermined amount of cash from the Main Street store Sunday around 10 p.m., said Police Chief Rodney Gausc. Cause said the man apparently hid in a store restroom until closing lime, when the store manager and a bag boy were the only employees in the store. When the bag boy went into the restroom, the man forced the em ployee to lie down so he could be handcuffed. The robber told the bag boy to call the manager to the back of the store, where the robber then tied the manager's hands. After lying the bag boy to the bathroom fixtures, the robber and manager went to the store safe, which w as open. The robber then put the manager in the restroom with die bag boy. and stole the money from the safe. Police were not notified of the robbery until the two employees came out of die restroom around 1 1 p.m. Gausc said the suspect was de scribed as a 25 -year-old white male, about 5 feel 8 inches tail and weigh ing 165 pounds. The police chief said the robber has a dark complexion and was car rying a nickel-plated, ,45-caliber handgun. The armed robbery at Hill's was the second of a Shalloue business in less than a week. On Nov. 11. a black man in his early 20s carry ing a knife robbed the Handee Hugo's convenience store on U.S. 17 Business. Police said the man lied with a "small amount" of cash and was last seen running across U.S. 17 between the Scotchman store and Shallotte Cleaners. The suspect was approximately 5 feet 11 inches tail and weighed 175 pounds. Authorities said his hair was slicked back, and one of his front teeth was trimmed in gold. Gausc said Tuesday thai police are still looking for a suspect in that case. Anyone with information on ei ther robbery is asked to call the po lice department at 754-6<X)K. Beacon Publishes Early Next Week Bccause of the Thanksgi\mg I holiday. The Brunswick Beacon 1 will publish a day earlier next i week and all advertising and j news deadlines will be a ua> i earlier. All classified advertising must be placed by noon on Monday. The newspaper will be avail able in racks and at dealer loca tions Tuesday. Mail subscribers in Brunswick County should re ceive their paper on Wednesday. Other subscribers should get their papers about the same lime as usual since post offices will be closed for the holiday on Thursday. Nov. 28. The Beacon office will be closed Thursday, Nov. 28. Leland Man Dies In Single Auto Crash A Leland man died Sunday evening when he was thrown from behind the wheel of the 1979 Jeep station wagon he was driving, said Ruby Oakley, spokesperson lor the N.C. Highway Patrol officc in Wilmington. Thomas Wayne Caruthers, 29, of Lakeside Mobile Home Park in Leland was traveling exst on Ml. Misery Road (S.R. 1426) approxi mately four miles northwest of Leland at about 6:05 p.m. when the Jeep ran off the right side of the road, according to a report filed by Trixiper D.A. Lewis. The report stated that the Jeep struck a ditch, a utility pole and a battery box and then overturned, Ms. Oakley said. The car ended up on its left side af ter Caruthers w as thrown from be hind the wheel and killed. Trooper Lew is estimated thai Car uthers was traveling about 85 mph when the crash occurred. There were no passengers, said Ms. Oakley. She said that Trooper Lewis re ported that "alcohol was definitely involved" in the accident, but that blood lest results were noi known yet. Damages were estimated at $5,000 to the utility pole and battery box. which were owned by CSX Transportation of Navassa. Trooper Lewis estimated the damage to the Jeep at S1,5(X). (Set- NORSK, PACK 2-A) Area Churches To Hold Thanksgiving Service A community-wide Thanksgiving worship service will be held Wed nesday, Nov. 27. starling at 7 p.m. at St. James The Fisherman Episcopal Church in Shalloue. The interdenominational service is open to all. It is sponsored by the South Brunswick Interchurvh Council, a coalition of clergy and layper sons representing churches from across the South Brunswick Islands area. Participants arc asked to bring a can of fcxxl or other non-perishable food item for the Council's Food Bank, said the Rev. Dr. Richard W. Wamcr Jr., host pastor. The Rev. Don Safrit, pastor of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Shalknte, will preach. The Sl James choir will provide music under the leadership of Susan Greene, director and organist. Other ministers of the Council's member churches will also partici pate. The annual service is traditionally hosted by a different church each year, said Warner. St. James is located on Mam Street, U.S. 17 Business, in Shalloue.