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SUNSET BEACH—Town Councilwoman Karen Joseph says progress is being made with work at the unfinished Jaguar’s Lair development.
Property owner Cas Kacala complains road work isn’t being done fast enough and accuses council of spinning stories about it.
Last week, Joseph responded via email on behalf of the town board to Kacala’s email recently sent to owners of 119 lots in Jaguar’s Lair.
Kacala wrote they could be thankful town council kept Jaguar’s Lair’s $3 million infrastructure bonds intact when it signed a tolling agreement last May and that ongoing meetings between representatives with the town and Coastal Communities have resulted in a tenth of a mile of roadway being completed.
“This means 15 of 93 lot owners in Section 1 with unfinished roads now have a curbed road with a stone base,” Kacala wrote in his initial email to property owners.
He added, “What is disappointing is what the council is not telling its residents, including Jaguar’s Lair owners. This email provides these details.”
Joseph responded, “Nothing is being hidden from anyone. Negotiations are moving forward, albeit perhaps not at the speed you would like or we would like, but for the first time in four years work is actually being done at Jaguar’s Lair. Had this council chosen to call the bonds, you know that no work would occur for at least two to three years while litigation was in progress.”
Sunset Beach Town Council voted at its last monthly meeting Sept. 10 not to open ongoing meetings with Coastal Companies to the public or press. Similar meetings in Shallotte between town officials and Coastal representatives about unfinished development work are open to the public.
Kacala wrote, “The other 78 lot owners in Section 1 will be waiting up to three years to get the remaining 1.2 miles of roads completed. For the 126 lot owners in sections 2A, 2B and 2C there has been no action taken, and using the approved Sunset Beach/Coastal unwritten plan shows it will take 38 years for us to have a ribbon cutting showing completion of all the Jaguar’s Lair infrastructure.
“Otherwise, we can have a grand opening party in 38 years. Perhaps our caregivers will allow us to eat (or gum) a piece of cake.
“What can you do? You decide. Council knows our frustrations with Coastal, but they are spinning a story that work is being done without mentioning the real impact of actions.”
Kacala wrote he planned to read his email, or as much as he could within the town’s three-minute-per-person public comment allotment, at council’s next monthly meeting Oct. 1.
Joseph responded, “You know you have every right to express your opinion at the Oct. 1 town council meeting, and you know that neither I nor any other representative will be permitted to respond to you. The shame of that is the media will indeed print your comments, and there will be no balance to their story.
“I am saddened that you are raising the anxiety of property owners unnecessarily.”
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email email@example.com.