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New family fun center coming soon to Shallotte

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

SHALLOTTE—The board of aldermen has approved plans for a 61,000-square-foot family entertainment center next to Lowe’s on Whiteville Road.

Owner Brian McCall told the board the Shallotte Family Entertainment Center will include a 32-lane bowling alley, laser tag, an arcade, a restaurant and sports bar, a toddler area and upstairs party rooms. The restaurant/bar will be separate from the children’s areas, which will be monitored by security guards and cameras and is where adults will be issued wristbands.

The bottom floor of the center will consist of 50,000 square feet, while the upper 11,000 square feet will be private party rooms that groups can rent out.

“It’s a high priority and concern to keep it family friendly,” McCall said. “We want to have a place where families can go to have a good time without having to go to Wilmington or Myrtle Beach.”

The focus of the center will be family fun activities, he said, and drinks will be served only in the bar and at designated bowling lanes.

The facility is also planned to include an indoor miniature golf course, for which McCall must obtain a conditional use permit from the town planning board. He said he plans to seek that at a later date.

Aldermen unanimously approved the plans.

Sewer FEE POLICY

In other business Tuesday, the board set a public hearing for April 29 on new sewer and water reimbursement regulations as presented by town administrator Paul Sabiston.

Sabiston and a committee of town employees and aldermen met recently to discuss possible amendments.

The most substantive proposed change is that of the paid transmission recovery fees, only 75 percent will be available for reimbursement to the developer.

“The town will have 25 percent of all fees for general and appropriate ‘transmission related’ expenses and costs,” Sabiston wrote in a memo to the aldermen.

Examples include a portion of the county’s charge for installation of the 24-inch sewer line on U.S. 17 and a portion of the cost for the new million-gallon pump station at the old Shallotte Treatment Plant.

The second proposed change is allowing the developer up to 100 percent of reimbursement for installing water/sewer lines that are over-sized when built and may serve as regional lines.

To be eligible for reimbursement, minimum line sizes would be 6 inches for water, 4 inches for pressure sewer and 8 inches for gravity sewer.

“The proposed ordinance is close to the Brunswick County reimbursement policy but is more beneficial in several ways that will make the town more competitive in retaining growth with regard to water and sewer customers,” Sabiston said.

“We’ve been listening to developers for far too long,” Mayor Long said of the proposed changes.

“We want to do something to accommodate them, but we also want something that’s right for the town and not a burden on the citizens.”

In other business, the board also heard from Sabiston and San Rio representative Jim Wiseman of Wakefield Coastal that the town and the San Rio developers are close to finishing the infrastructure agreement they’ve been working on for several weeks.

“We’re not quite there yet,” Sabiston said. “There’s probably an outside chance it will be done by the pre-agenda or the regular meeting.”

Wiseman told Sabiston and the board that the developers would have a draft agreement sent to the town Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s a big step,” Wiseman said. “We appreciate the town and the board working with us. We have made some progress.”

FORMER MAYORS HONORED

The town also honored two former mayors and aldermen during the meeting. Mayor Long presented the family of the late Roney Cheers with a resolution saluting his service to the town during his various terms of office as both mayor and alderman.

Cheers’ daughter, Cheryl Cheers Wilson, now Brunswick County’s Clerk of Court, thanked the board and said her father was smiling from heaven. She said Cheers’ loved Shallotte and devoted his life to making it a better place.

The family of former mayor and alderman Jerry Jones received a proclamation naming May 2 “Jerry Jones Day” in Shallotte. Jones most recent term of office ended in 2007 when he did not seek re-election due to health reasons.

His son, Mark Jones, thanked the board for the proclamation and said he “didn’t know how tough” his father was until he saw him fighting his illness.

“My father is a great man who loves the town of Shallotte. He loved being mayor and alderman.”