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BOLIVIA—A request from two property owners to convey their land to the county for a public boat ramp has been denied.
County commissioners denied the request after hearing from area residents who said they don’t want a public boat ramp in their neighborhood.
County attorney Huey Marshall told board members if they approved the boat ramp it could only be used for canoes and kayaks, or small johnboats.
But residents said they don’t want the boat ramp, even if it was only used for smaller craft, citing street problems and a shallow canal that is dry at low tide.
Neighboring property owner Bill Spate said he and his neighbors were “absolutely, unequivocally opposed” to opening the boat ramp to the public in the Maple Creek neighborhood.
“We will form a citizens group and take over the property and pay the taxes,” he said.
Spate said access to the ramp is “very, very limited.”
David James, who also lives in Maple Creek, said there isn’t a need for a boat ramp in their neighborhood, because there is already a boat ramp in nearby Varnamtown. “We’re willing to take up the slack on the taxes,” he added.
“I thought I was going to retire to a little place in Brunswick County,” John Mann said. “And when I bought this lot, I was told that ramp down there was for the Maple Creek citizens’ only.”
Joey Todd told board members the roads leading to the boat ramp could not handle the additional traffic if it were open to the public.
“It’s not a very good spot for a public landing.”
Commissioner May Moore said she supported making the boat ramp public because of the county’s “very rapid shrinking access to water.”
“I would love to see us have more water access,” she said.
“I realize there is a need for public access for water, but I don’t think its appropriate for us to go through a subdivision,” commissioner Phil Norris said, moving for the petition’s denial.
Moore said the county had other public water access sites in residential areas.
“I would not be opposed if it were located somewhere other than in an established subdivision,” Norris said. “It bothers me to go in, we need to protect the neighborhoods, I think.”
Board members voted 3-1 to deny the request.
In other business, board members:
•Scheduled a board retreat for 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 25-27 at the Magnolia Greens Clubroom, 1800 Linkwood Circle in Leland. Commissioners will discuss the annual budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The board retreat is open to the public.
•Canceled the board’s regular meeting March 3.
•Approved a grant application for continued funding for the Criminal Justice Partnership Program for $96,604 for the upcoming fiscal year.
•Scheduled a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. April 7 for the 2008 Housing Agency annual plan.
•Approved a change order for the Shallotte Rescue Squad building for $7,464.
•Approved a contract amendment with Earth Tech of North Carolina for the construction administration and observation on the Oak Island force main Phase 1 project.
•Approved a contract amendment with Pease and Associates for the utilities field operations center.
•Approved a budget amendment for the U.S. 17 water main repair.
•Approved a resolution in support of North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Transportation Improvement Plan project R-3324, the N.C. 133 connector.
Caroline Curran is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at firstname.lastname@example.org