North Carolina Newspapers

    AT HOLDEN BEACH
Hearing Crowd Split
Over Chamber Donation
BY DOUG R UTTER
Holdcn Bcach residents seem di
vided over how much money, if any,
the town should spend to advertise
the island as a family vacation desti
nation.
Plans to give $10,000 to the South
Brunswick Islands Chamber of Com
merce for tourism promotion drew
support from some and opposition
from others at a public hearing
Monday night
"I feel like if wc give it to the
chamber of commerce we might as
well flush it down the toilet," said
resident Fran Vogl.
Other islanders, including past
chamber president Allan Dameron,
spoke in favor of the contribution in
cluded in the town's 1992-93 pro
posed budget.
"The chamber is much more than
tourism and it docs affect every
body's life in this room whether they
want to admit it or not," Dameron
said.
The chamber donation was a main
topic of discussion at Monday's bud
get hearing. Commissioners plan to
adopt a budget at their June 24 meet
ing.
The $1.2 million proposal features
a 3-ccnt cut in the tax rate to 15 cents
per 5100 of property. No change in
water rates is planned.
Town commissioners, like resi
dents, have been split over the cham
ber donation. Gil Bass, Gay Atkins
and David Sandifer have supported it
and Sid S warts and Jim Foumier
have opposed it.
Foumier was the only board mem
ber who spoke on the issue Monday
night. He said there's no proof the
chamber attracts more tourists, and
that the town should spend its money
providing services that will lure vaca
tioners.
Referring to previous comments
"/ feel like if we give it to the chamber of
commerce we might as well flush it down
the toilet . ? Fran Vogt, resident
he has made about tourists, Foumicr
said, "If I've offended anybody I'm
sorry, because I've said it like I mean
it"
Mack Foster, one of Foumicr's
neighbors, also spoke against the
chamber donation Monday.
He suggested the town use the
money to buy mosquito-spraying
equipment. "I think it would benefit
the tourists and the people on the
beach also," Foster said.
Former commissioner Judy Bryan
also objected to the proposed contri
bution in a letter that was read by
Mayor Wally Ausley.
She wrote that most vacationers
hear about Holden Beach through
friends and family, not advertising.
Mrs. Bryan suggested that merchants
pay for advertising so the town can
spend its money on community pro
jects.
Damcron said the chamber of
commerce docs more than promote
tourism. In the past, he said it has
supported efforts to clean up pollu
tion in Lockwood Folly River.
The chamber also got involved a
few years ago when a paper company
was burning land and winds blew
smoke on the beach, Dameron said.
John Holden, the town's first may
or, said Holden Beach needs to spend
some money on tourism promotion to
compete against other vacation spots.
He added that occupancy tax mon
ey could also be set aside for erosion
control and a future sewer system.
"Somewhere down the line the
beach will need a sewer system and 1
hope you'll give consideration,"
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Holdcn said.
Don Pollard said he doesn't op
pose a donation to the chamber, but
he thinks more occupancy lax dollars
should go to the police department
for more officers and training.
The town board plans to set aside
552,700 in occupancy tax dollars for
police next fiscal year.
Crawford Hart suggested taking
the money earmarked for the cham
ber and 52,500 for a Greater Holdcn
Beach Merchants Association bro
chure and giving it to the fire depart
ment and rescue squad.
Hart also said the town should in
crease the 510,000 proposed for
parks and recreation land acquisition.
Harold Steorts urged the board to
pass a "line item" budget, instead of
the traditional departmental budget.
A line item budget would prevent
the town manager from overspending
on any line item without board ap
proval, while the other type allows
overspending on line items but not in
departments.
Vote Delayed
On Renovation
Holden Beach Commissioners
postponed awarding a contract for
proposed renovations to the town
owned house on Davis Street Mon
day night.
Commissioners asked for copies
of bid specifications and bid propos
als after receiving offers from three
local companies.
Thomas Gray & Son Inc. of
Holdcn Beach is the apparent low
bidder with a price of 519,500.
Town officials want to renovate
the ground floor of the two-story
house so it can continue to be used
for police department offices.
Holden Beach is also seeking bids
from area firms interested in han
dling the town's annual audit
Mayor Wally Ausley appointed
board members Jim Foumier and
Gil Bass to a committee that will re
view the proposals.
Town Manager Gary Parker ex
pects to get the bids by July 20. An
auditor could be selected at the town
board's Aug. 3 meeting.
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STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG KUTTEt
Down And Dirty
Brothers Michael (left) and Ryan Keaton get down and dirty in the sand at Ocean Isle Reach Saturday
after rain showers gave way to sunshine. The Keatons are visiting this week from Medina, Ohio.
CORPS PLANS INSPECTION
Bridge Permit Pending At Holden
BY DOUG RUTTER
Concerns raised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
have caused a delay in the issuance of a permit that
would allow construction of a bridge to an island in the
marsh at Holdcn Beach.
Building Inspector Dwight Carroll had planned to is
sue the minor CAMA permit last week, but held up after
receiving a copy of a letter from the Corps of Engineers
district office in Wilmington.
It now appears a permit won't be issued until after the
federal agency visits the site of the proposed bridge in
July, according to Corps spokeswoman Marty van
Duyne.
The Corps wants to inspect the site to see if Holden
Bcach Enterprises needs a federal permit in addition to a
state permit to build the 900-foot-long wooden bridge
that would like Ocean Boulevard West and Bacon
Island.
The local real estate development company will not
need a Corps permit as long as the proposed bridge
doesn't encroach into tidal wetlands or waters, Ms. van
Duyne said.
"The bridge must be entirely pile supported and not
include any Till material in cither tidal or non-tidal wet
lands," she added.
The Corps sent a letter explaining its position to
Holdcn Bcach Enterprises, which had applied to the
town for a minor development permit to build a 12-foot
wiae bridge to the 25-acrc island bordering the water
way.
Ms. van Duyne said she doesn't expect Holden
Beach's inspector to issue the CAMA permit until the
Corps visits the site next month. Carroll is out of town
this week for a training course.
Government agencies typically work "hand in hand"
on permit applications, she said, and permits usually
aren't issued until all parties involved have a chance to
investigate.
"It's a coordinated effort basically between the agen
cies whenever somebody's applying for a permit," Ms.
van Duyne said.
The Corps spokeswoman said the regulatory branch
wouldn't be able to inspect the site until sometime in
July due to the extra work that piles up each spring and
summer.
Holdcn Beach Town Manager Gary Parker said the
town will wait for the Corps inspection before making
its next move.
"They just need to resolve these questions before the
permit can be issued," Parker said. "They want to know
that the bridge is just going to go over water when it's
high tide."
Bacon Island is located north of Ocean Boulevard be
tween Sand Dollar and Swordfish drives and is sur
rounded by wedands.
Holden Beach Enterprises doesn't plan to build the
bridge or develop the island right away, according to
Virgil Roberts, secretary -treasurer.
"There no immediate plan," Roberts told the Beacon
earlier this month. "We're just getting our permits in or
der in case we decide to develop it."
The island is zoned R-l, which would allow construc
tion of single- and two-family houses. Roberts estimated
that 12 to 16 acres are developable.
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