Bait boards recommended for Holden Beach fishing area

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

HOLDEN BEACH—The Holden Beach Public Area Improvement Committee recommended the town install two bait boards on the pier in the public fishing area of Jordan Boulevard during its meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The cutting boards will each have a hole in the center.

“My husband is a fisherman, and he said, ‘Design two cutting boards with a hole in it so they can scrape bait scraps into the water,’“ said Carol Moneypenny, who co-chairs the committee.

When another committee member asked if her husband would make the bait boards, she said, “Steve said he would do the boards if they (town officials) would pay for the material.”

After discussing more expensive options such as installing a stainless-steel sink, plumbing and spring-loaded faucets that automatically turn off, the committee recommended the less expensive bait boards.

“Once the signs are up, most of the people will not cut on the benches,” committee co-chair Rob Collinson said.

“The bait board is a great idea,” agreed committee member Bill Landis.

The area open to the public on Jordan Boulevard—basically on the island under the high-rise bridge—was the focus of most of the discussion during the public area improvement committee’s meeting in the Holden Beach Chapel Fellowship Hall Tuesday.

Committee members made a walking tour of the Jordan Boulevard area after their first meeting and also noticed it had no trashcans, said committee member Ruby Broadwell. Members recommended placing roll-out trash cans at the top of the ramp and in the pavilion area, and that the trash be picked up daily.

The committee also suggested installing a rope or a fence along the edge of a parking area that has a steep dropoff.

“Somebody not familiar with that area, at night, could easily back over that ledge,” Moneypenny said.

In other news, committee members:

•Endorsed what the previous committee had suggested: covered picnic tables. The current committee said two aluminum picnic tables should be installed.

“I’d love to see rocking chairs up there, but I know they’d get ripped off,” Moneypenny said.

She also suggested a kind of courtyard area where, for instance, people could dance during the Sunday night concerts.

“They make gorgeous stamped concrete now,” she said.

•Recommended resubmitting a North Carolina transportation planning grant for a bike path. Holden Beach was not awarded a $25,000 grant this year but can resubmit the application for next year.

The grant is just for planning—to see whether a bike path on the island would even be feasible.

•Deferred reviewing and/or setting parking requirements in public beach or public use areas.

“We can’t do that until we have a map (of all the public-use areas),” Landis said.

Town officials said they would give the committee a map designating those areas.

“We want to develop a comprehensive map of public areas,” Moneypenny said.

Landis added, “Not all of the beach accesses have been renovated and are handicapped-accessible.”

•Will check out the feasibility of doing landscaping around the pump stations.

•Will check out the feasibility of putting covered-bench shelter stations along Ocean Boulevard.

“There used to be one every mile or so, but they disappeared after (Hurricane) Floyd,” Collinson said.

Moneypenny said, “A few years ago, my mother had walked too far, she stopped at one of those benches, and somebody gave her a ride home.”

Moneypenny suggested calling the temporary shelter stations “benches on the boulevard.”

•Recommended selling white T-shirts featuring a blue and red Holden Beach Pavilion logo. The T-shirts cost $15 and will be available at town meetings. Town officials said they already have them in stock.

•Took town manager David Hewett’s suggestion of doing a mass e-mail to Holden Beach property owners asking what public areas they would like to see improved. Hewett said he’s already got 2,000 people on his “e-mail blast” list.

There will also be a link on the town’s Web site to the committee. Collinson will collect the responses and report back to the committee on those suggestions.

•Deferred making a decision on whether the new pavilion should be for public use only or rented for private functions.

Holden Beach Commissioner Don Glander, attending the committee meeting Tuesday, said, “You’re getting the town into a business here of renting property, and I’m not sure we want to do that.”

Landis concurred, “Commissioner Glander is saying, ‘Do we want to open it up for private individuals?’”

After discussing potential disputed deposits, who would pick up the trash, whether pets would be allowed, liability issues, etc., the committee appeared to lean toward not making the pavilion available for private use but did not take an official vote Tuesday. The committee will made a recommendation to Holden Beach commissioners, who have the final say.

Except for when the pavilion area is reserved for public functions, it is basically like any other public park, town officials said.