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SUNSET BEACH—Town Council on Monday approved a bid waiver and purchase of a $785,000, 100-foot platform ladder fire truck for the town fire department.
In February, Sunset Beach Fire Chief Chris Barbee said the matter was a “limited time offer” that had been extended by the fire truck’s manufacturer, E-ONE of Ocala, Fla., for the town to “piggyback” onto a previous bid contract from the city of Rochester, N.H.
In a written proposal presented to council in February, Barbee said the town has the potential to save nearly $100,000 on the purchase price. Monday, he said it is a larger truck for $30,000 than what was initially considered.
The truck is currently under production and should be finished around the end of May.
Barbee said his department has determined a 75-foot ladder truck like the ones in the neighboring towns of Calabash and Ocean Isle Beach are “just not making the reach” at assorted condominium buildings in Sunset Beach.
He said that’s why the town started looking for a 100-foot truck, which also will mean maximum points for the town’s ISO rating.
Councilman Len Steiner noted the town already had $300,000 in reserve for the truck. The remaining $485,000 is to be financed through RBC Centura for five years at a 2.53 percent interest rate.
The town will use another $80,000 from the general fund to buy equipment for the truck.
Council also approved creating a technical review committee to ensure certain site development plans meet all technical requirements of the town code, town administrator Gary Parker said.
The committee is to consist of department heads or designated representatives from the town’s administrative, building inspections, fire, police and public works departments, along with the local CAMA officer and flood plain administrator and other state and federal agency representatives as needed.
Council also approved amendments to permitted uses in the town’s agricultural forestry, beach business, beach residential, conservation, mainland business, mobile home, mixed use and recreational and institutional zones.
“Right now they’re special use,” Parker said. “We’re proposing they become permitted use, which would allow for more flexible design while still requiring design criteria in the ordinance.”
Councilman Lou DeVita outlined plans for a future five-sided veterans monument, representing each military branch and tentatively planned for location in a park-like atmosphere at the Village at Sunset Beach. He said a meeting is scheduled April 14 with property owner Eric Frankovich.
DeVita said the memorial, an idea that originated with former police chief Jay Kerr, was originally designed to fit in front of Ingram Planetarium. He said those plans have changed since Dock Street development “has consumed the space where this was going to be.”
He said he, along with architect Brad Garrett and developer David Stuart, will be meeting with property owner Eric Frankovich to “hopefully pitch this and get this property committed for this project.”
Once that’s done, DeVita said the next step will be to contact people “within the sub-community”—Elks, DAV, VFW and other service-related organizations—“to get a commitment from them and complete this project.”
“We may have to do some give and take to get this to happen,” DeVita said.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at firstname.lastname@example.org