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New generators needed in Sunset Beach

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

SUNSET BEACH—As town council gets ready for a preliminary budget workshop next Monday, new generators for the town are among big-ticket items under consideration as a possible budget amendment.

The budget workshop for fiscal year 2008-2009 is set for 1 p.m. May 12 at town hall.

Town administrator Gary Parker, speaking at the monthly town council meeting Monday night, said council may consider amending the 2007-2008 budget to buy new generators that are needed for the police department at town hall on Sunset Boulevard and the town fire station on Shoreline Drive.

The generators the town has now are not adequate to power the departments, he said, adding now is the time to consider the matter, before the official start of hurricane season on June 1.

Making a decision in May would give council enough time to make a decision before the brunt of hurricane season that usually occurs around mid to late August, he said.

“I would hate to have [a hurricane] happen and we didn’t have the generators in place,” he said.

Three companies have been offering estimates for what it would entail and cost to provide backup power for the two town buildings.

Sunset Beach Fire Chief Chris Barbee said the generator at town hall isn’t working at all.

Town councilman Wilson Sherrill questioned why the town is just now addressing the problem, when it should have been part of plans when the new buildings were built.

“That should have been done as a capital improvement project and not done as an afterthought,” Sherrill said.

Councilman Len Steiner said somebody with expertise needs to look into the matter and make sure what the town is buying is right.

“I think we all agree it looks foolish,” councilman Ron Watts said, adding it’s going to cost at least $130,000 that council can consider splitting over a year or two.

Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at llewis@brunswickbeacon.com