North Carolina Newspapers

    SBTA Pushing Bird Island Protection
In a 10-page letter to state and
federal permitting agencies, the
Sunset Beach Taxpayers Associa
tion and the N.C. Coastal Federation
arc pointing out deficiencies they
perceive in an application seeking
permits for development of Bird
In a related move, the SBTA
board is asking the group's 776
members to write letters of their
own expressing concerns regarding
those development plans.
"If you're really conccrned about
Bird Island, we ask you to write Id
lers," said SBTA President Clctc
Waldmillcr of Sunset Beach, referring
lo a list of permitting agency address
es provided at the meeting.
Island owner Janic Price of
Greensboro has submitted an appli
cation lo the N.C. Office of Coastal
Management seeking a major C'A
MA development permit to build a
bridge, dock and causeway to sup
|x>rt construction on the island.
The application was incomplete,
however, and has been returned lo
the owner for more information. As
ol hist week it had not been rcsub
n intcd to the suite.
Waldmillcr said the letter, and at
uichcd addenda, were developed af
ter two months of examining ihc ap
plication and related coastal man
agement regulations.
Objections to issuance of the per
mits locus on three key areas: threat
in endangered species and wildlife
habitat; impediment of navigation
and recreation in Mad Inlet, which
separates the island from the island
of Sunset Beach; and threat lo water
quality and primary nursery areas.
Waldmillcr also urged members
to write to William Colby, secretary
of the N.C. Department of Environ
ment. Ilcalih and Natural Resources,
urging the suite to uike steps to ac
quire Bird Island and preserve it in
its natural state.
Legal Fees Recovered
Waldmillcr announced that the
SBTA succeeded in recovering fees
expended in legal action aimed at
slowing or stopping construction of
a high-rise bridge to the island of
Sunset Beach.
The federal government settled
out-of-court, he said, paying
S3K,< )(X). T hat was enough to cover
the SBTA's costs for legal services
and expert witness fees, with S3.500
left in the IrCSlSurv to he used as
needed as the N.C. Department of
Transportation prepares a court-rc
quired environmental impact study.
In a related matter, the member
ship authorized the board Saturday
to seek a meeting with the N.C.
Department of Transportation re
garding operation and control of the
"Control of the bridge is virtually
non-existent," said Warren "Bud"
Knapp, chairman of the group's
bridge committee. Among other is
sues, SBTA is conccrned about
abuse of load capacities and an ef
fort by Ocean Isle Bcach lo increase
the frequency of opening the bridge
to recreational boats (See related
Sunset Beach VFD Wants
Own Water Rescue Team
Sunset Beach Fire Chief Greg Cain is pleased as punch that the lire
department acquired its first new truck in 21 years Saturday, but his eyes
are already looking ahead to the volunteer;' next effort.
"A water rescue team Is the next project we want to plan for the
town, Cain told members of the Sunset Beach
Taxpayers Association Saturday.
"We were hoping before this summer we would
have it. We've got the team, but not die equipment."
Holden Beach began forming a water rescue team V
last fall after a series of drownings there last summer.
Sunset Beach has been fortunate not to have had a
similar experience, Cain said, and he wants to keep il
that way.
He and four other members of the Sunset Beach
VFD have completed initial water rescue training,
and that he would like to see all members of the de
partment trained for added flexibility.
Training includes all aspects of rescue-from launching die surf boat
without capsizing to administrating aid to victims in the water.
Four members of die deparuuents are also trained SCUBA divers.
The major delay in forming a Sunset Beach Water Rescue Team is
lack of equipment, he said. Cain estimates it will cost about S 1 5, (XX) to
fully equip the team, with die major purchases being a hard-bottom, rub
ber surf boat with trailer and motor and a used four-wheel drive vehicle
to haul the boat to the surf.
Each team member must also have his or her own gear, including life
jacket, wet suit, gloves and helmet, to help ensure that the rescuers will
not have to be rescued.
Meanwhile, if an incident occurs at Sunset Beach, said Cain, die town
would have to seek assistance from Ocean Isle Beach, which would
mean a delay in response.
The five Sunset Beach volunteers trained with the Holden Beach
Water Rescue Team in classes offered by an instructor from Florida and
offered dirough Brunswick Community College at a cost of approxi
mately S40 or S50 per volunteer per class.
If sufficient equipment were available local training could be provided
at a lower cost, he said, because diere is a certified trainer in the county.
story in this issue.).
Buckling IJp
Policc Chief J.B. Bucll introduced
the policc department's new scatbclt
law education/enforcement program,
which aims to increase scat belt us
age for safety reasons.
In North Carolina all occupants of
a passenger vehicle arc to wear seat
belts and children should be in child
restraint scats.
Buell also reported only four
break-ins throughout the town dur
ing the winter, with "minor" damage
only. "We have a very low crime
rale at litis time," he said.
He fielded questions from mem
bers on subjects ranging from home
security checks to speed limit en
One resident was particularly con
cerned about speeding on 30ih and
31st streets, citing construction vehi
cles as a major culprit in the past.
"They've learned they're not im
mune from getting tickets," said the
chief. "It's taken a while, but they're
starting to slow down."
Other Business
In oiher business die group:
Heard updates on the town's sew
er system study and efforts by SB
TA to get the town council to seek
local legislation that would make it
possible to change the town's 35
foot height limit for island construc
tion only by referendum. The town
is looking at possibly lying a limit
to flood elevations. Whether or not
the town proceeds with development
of a sewer system, said NValdmiller,
"we want the 35-foot height limit re
?Announced plans for a Labor Day
ecology meeting for members, their
families and friends, focusing, said
speaker Warren "Bud" Knapp, on
Sunset Beach as a symbol of envi
ronmental concern. Various envi
ronmental groups will be represent
ed, with discussion centering on
how to turn concerns into solutions.
?Welcomed resident John Walls as
the SBTA's new board member, fol
lowing ihc resignation Friday of
Fran Pelletier, who is moving out
side die town limits.
?Raised annual dues from SIC) to
?Authorized the board to seek a
meeting with the N.C. Department
of Transportation to discuss of the
Sunset Beach Bridge, and to write
DOT asking that die bridge continue
to open to recreational waterway
traffic on die hour only. (Sec related
story in this issue.)
?Heard from Fire Chief Greg Cain
about the department's purchase that
day of a new lire truck, and its plans
to develop a water rescue team . The
deparunent, comprised of volun
teers, is funded by contributions
from the public. Sunset Beach and
Brunswick County, as well as fund
raising events.
I believe in...
-creating & maintaining a good learning &
teaching environment
-cooperative planning & policy making
1 pledge to...
-work as a team member
-make decisions
-provide leadership
-be accountable
"Responsive Leadership"
Rally Round
Saturday, April 25
6:00 PM
Democratic Headquarters
Hwy. 17 North, Supply
Come out and meet your Democratic candidates!
Elect ? (Republican Candidate^)
Steve Foster
Brunswick County Commissioner
* Best Qualified Candidate
* B.A., M.A. - Public Administration
* Career in Local Govt. Management
* Management Consul.- Council of Govt.
Research Triangle Park, NC
* Concern for the Future of Brunswick Co.
Please vote for me on Tuesday, May 5
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One Of Your Two Votes
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