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Quarry Opponents Want Zone Change; Board Wants Study
UV Luu /'Ain i'am - * ??*'
in URIC CARLSON
Responding to an impressive show of public op
posilion Monday night, the Brunswick County
Commissioners agreed to request an environmental
impact study of a proposed rock quarry near
Southport and will ask the mining company to ex
plain its intentions at a public forum.
More than 150 people packed a Bolivia assem
bly hall after the county board's regular meeting
was moved from commissioners chambers to ac
commodate the crowd. Nearly all indicated their
opposition to the limestone mine that Martin
Marietta Aggregates Inc. plans to open between
Bethel Church Road and the entrance to Military
Ocean Terminal Sunny Point off N.C 87/133.
A similar crowd was expected Wednesday night
when the Brunswick County Planning Board was
scheduled to hear a re-zoning request that would
prohibit the mine from opening.
Robert Ouinn of Southport. speaking on behali
of a newly formed Mining Awareness Committee
(MAC), criticized the former board of commission
ers for rushing to pass a county zoning ordinance
that designates the area around the proposed min
ing site for "heavy manufacturing uses" including
hazardous materials treatment facilities, animal
slaughterhouses, incineration facilities and below
ground storage tanks.
"In doing so. they violated not only the interest
of people in the communities, hut the stated intent
of the document itself." Ouinn said. "I and the indi
viduals I represent ask that the proposed zoning or
dinance lie changed prior to issuing any permits or
accepting plans from anyone."
Ouinn was one of several people from the
Southport area who consistently opposed the heavy
manufacturing zone during a series of joint zoning
workshops between the commissioners and plan
ning board last summer. k
(See FORUM. Page 2-A)
ROBERT QUINN tells the Brunswick
County Commissioners why he doesn 7 want
a proposed limestone quarry to open just
north of his home in Southport.
^TAFF PHOTO BY ERIC CARLSON
r 31 /99
HO AG & SONS BOOK B
P.O. BOX 162
SPR I NGPORT MI 4928
Thirty-First Yeor, Number 48
?IfW TH? MUNSWTCX KACON
Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, October 21, 1993
50< Per Copy
40 Pages, 3 Sections, 2 Inserts
STAFF PHOTO BY ERIC CARLSON
Feeding A Hungry Horde
James Watson and Kermit Finchum spread another sack of steamers on the grill on the opening day of
the 13th annual X.C. Oyster Festival held Friday and Saturday at Seaside. Festival-goers enjoyed a
picture-perfect day Friday, followed by a wet hut warm Saturday. More festival photos are inside.
Oyster Season Off To Good Start
BY DOUG Rl' ITKR
Brunswick County seafood deal
ers say oyster season is off to a good
start and they're optimistic that this
will he another decent season for
"The supply looks good." Var
namtown oyster dealer Krnie Gal
loway said Tuesday. "It looks like
everything is good and healthy. Ev
erything looks alive in the river."
Ishmael Chadwick said Chad
wick's Seafood at Shell Point was
hustling with activity when the sea
son opened last Friday. "This land
ing down here was full up on both
sides of the highway." he said.
"It's been pretty good. The de
mand is pretty good," Chadwick
added. "! believe it's a little bit bet
ter than it was last year. That's what
the fishermen say."
Business News 11C
Church News 14A
Report ????????????? 17A
People In The News ? ??? 4B
Plant Doctor JB
"The river's in
good shape. I
think it looks
pretty good as
far as the seed
? Ernie Galloways
Galloway said most commercial
oystcrmen who worked the I>ock
wood Folly River on opening day
managed to find their limit of five
bushels per person. The limit was
seven bushels last year, bul reduced
this year in an effort to preserve the
state's declining oyster stocks.
Despite an ailing oyster popula
tion along the North Carolina coast,
Brunswick County commercial fish
ermen have harvested an average of
103.323 pounds the last two sea
The average was just 62,1X5
pounds during the previous four sea
sons. From early indications. Gallo
way expects this oyster season to be
similar to the last one.
"It looks like last year did. We
were surprised that the oysters grew
as much as they did," he said. "I
think we'll be about like last year. It
should be fair if everything keeps
going like it is."
Oyster season usually runs
through the middle or end of March,
hut the N.C. Division of Marine
Fisheries may close it earlier than
normal to protect the oyster popula
Galloway and Chadwick said they
don't think there are enough oysters
to last a full live months if local
rivers are heavily harvested.
"It just depends," Galloway said.
"If a lot of people work the river
there's not enough big ones down
there to keep up. There's never
enough oysters if there's too many
Said Chadwick, "I doubt that it
will last the season. I think it will
last longer than it has been."
The U.S. Army Corps of En
gineers dredged Lockwood Folly
Kiver earlier this year, and Galloway
says it has apparently helped the riv
er, which has been plagued by bacte
rial pollution for the past decade.
"The river's in good shape,"
Galloway said. "I think it looks pret
ty good as far as the seed and small
Chadwick said if the Corps of
Engineers would improve Shallotte
Inlet it would help the oystermen
who make a living in the Shallotte
"If we could just get that inlet put
back to where it was and get it main
tained to 8 or 10 foot it would mean
a whole lot to everyone." he said. "I
don't know why can't they spend a
little bit of money here instead of
wasting it somewhere else."
Chadwick said food tor the oys
ters cannot get through Shallotte
Inlet because it is clogged with sand.
"That's where the food comes from.
The food is coming from the ocean."
Property Values Are Up;
Not As Much As Last Time
BY ERIC CARLSON
Brunswick County's 1994 proper
ty revaluation has been completed
and Tax Administrator Boyd Wi
lliamson has some good news and
some bad news, depending on your
address and your point of view.
Beginning early next month, the
tax office will begin mailing notices
to the owners of more than 9<).<XK)
tracts of land, telling them how
much their properly is currently
worth for tax purposes. The mailing
culminates a one-year revaluation
study in which every improved
piece of property in the county was
visited by an appraiser. Williamson
The assessment cannot be used to
determine the amount of a 1994
property tax bill until a new tax rate
is adopted as part of the 1994-95
budget. Tax rates are usually adjust
ed after a revaluation.
Countywide property values did
not rise as quickly in the past eight
years as they did during the previous
revaluation cycle. Williamson told
the county commissioners Monday
night. While assessments nearly
doubled between 1978 and 1986,
they have only risen about 22 per
cent since the county last took in
ventory of its value.
The highest rates of increase oc
curred in the south end of the coun
ty, with values generally climbing
from the Shallotte River to the state
line, Williamson said. Values in
creased the most in the area between
Calabash and Sunset Beach, espe
cially in retirement communities
where the demand for property has
been the highest.
"That's where the activity is.
That's where the sales are. So that's
where you're going to see property
being worth more." Williamson
In what seems to be a new trend,
the value of retirement property is
increasing at a faster rate than con
dominium and single-family resort
property, he said. The slowdown re
flects the passing of a 1980s resort
Beachfront property continues to
increase more quickly than most
land in Brunswick County, with the
values ranging from the most expen
sive on Sunset Beach to the least ex
pensive on I>ong Beach. Some
beach properties at the south end of
the county have doubled in value
since the last revaluation, he said.
Property values in the Lcland area
have begun to increase at a higher
rate, which Williamson attributes to
the area's proximity to industrial
jobs and its development as a bed
room community of Wilmington. He
also suggested that much of the land
there was undervalued during the
In Leland. as in other areas, the
fastest rates of increase are found
near the water, particularly in river
front developments like Riverfront
landing. Rivercroft and Liberty
Land along the Intracoastal
Waterway also continues to see a
more rapid increase in value, espe
cially on the north shore,
"I can show you lots in St. James
Plantation that are worth $115, (XX)
where you can throw a rock across
the waterway and hit a lot the same
size selling for $75,000," he said.
Williamson said the revaluation
figures indicate two areas of con
cern. where market values are actu
(See COUNTY, Page 2-A)
'Above Average' Rating
$2,500 Bonus He'll Share
BY SUSAN USHKR
Superintendent of Schools Ralph Johnston ended his first year on the
job in Brunswick County with "very satisfactory" ratings hy the school
board and $2,500 in merit pay.
Tuesday, saying the merit pay was "a total surprise," Johnston reiterated
a pledge made shortly after terms of his contract were announced a year
ago ? to share the bonus with those whose efforts contributed to achieve
ment of the goals.
"It's been a fast one year and 12 days," Johnston said Tuesday, reflect
ing on his tenure here.
" Anything we have accomplished here has been through the principals
and especially the teachers," said Johnston. "Ralph Johnston didn't do this.
Hopefully he had a vision and some people are buying into that.
"It is not a great deal of money but I intend to use it where it will im
pact children or teachers."
Board Chairman Donna Baxter said Johnston's performance "came out
"He had a lot of good strengths. It was because of what he had accom
plished in relation to those seven goals and we know he will be accom
plishing even more with the strong people he has brought on board.
"However, we felt there were several things that needed to be worked
on. We need to be accountable just as we expect the principals in the
schools to he accountable."
District 1 member Thurman Cause said he believes Johnston was "com
fortable" with the above-average overall evaluation he received.
"He realized he had some areas he needs to improve on. He admitted
some of the things he should have done in the past and said he had learned
from his mistakes and plans to correct things in the future. We'll just have
Among the board's concerns: the need to have school staff fully in place
(See EVALUATION, Page 2-A)
SMITH AVENUE PLANT TO CLOSE
Uncertain Holiday Ahead
For 85 Whose Jobs Will End
BY SUSAN USHER
An eight-month reprieve for workers at a Shallotte
cut-and-sew plant will end in mid-December when
Perry Manufacturing Co. closes its Pelican Manufac
turing plant on Smith Avenue.
Plant Manager Jim Saunders confirmed Monday af
ternoon that, just before the Christmas holidays. Perry
Manufacturing will shut the doors and 85 workers,
mainly women, will lose their jobs.
"December 17, that's what they're saying," he said.
A notice has been posted at the plant to that effect.
The plant was first scheduled to close in mid
March. putting 118 people out of work. But in
February the company announced that a new order
from an established customer would keep the plant
operating until late this year and most workers were
At the time Saunders viewed the announcement as
an indication the plant was back in business for the
long term. But it was merely a stay of execution.
"I don't think they (Perry Manufacturing) will
come back with anything this time," Saunders said
"We had a good run, eight months. But we were
hoping it would last at least until January, hut it's not.
We're full through the 10th of December and probably
into the week of the 1 7th."
Employees have been sewing cotton and Lycra
"stirrup pants" for The Land's End Co., a catalog sales
company based in Dodgeville, Wis.
The Smith Avenue site, leased by Perry Man
ufacturing since 1M83, is its only plant that sews "bot
toms" such as slacks, shorts and skirts, instead of tops.
Perry Executive Vice President Alan Connolly has
said the company had trouble selling the garments the
plant is suited to produce and therefore couldn't main
tain a full production schedule.
When the plant closes, Saunders said he expects to
transfer, at least temporarily, to another Perry-owned
Most of those who lose jobs will qualify for retrain
ing and unemployment benefits through the
Employment Security Commission of North Carolina.
Those will be their only benefits. Perry Man
ufacturing did not have a pension or retirement plan
and will provide no severance pay.
However, workers were told this spring they would
be given preferential treatment in hiring if they choose
to transfer to other Perry plants. The closest is Pellany
Manufacturing Co. in Richlands. Business is off at
some of Perry's other plants, but none are scheduled
The Smith Avenue operation is housed in a 24,(MH)
square foot facility built in 1467 and leased since then
to three different cut-and-sew operations. Perry Manu
facturing has leased the plant since 1983.
Saunders said he conducted a tour of the facility
Monday for one prospective tenant referred by the
Brunswick County Economic Development Commis