SB approves sales tax resolution with stipulation

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

SUNSET BEACH — Sunset Beach Town Council has approved a resolution supporting a quarter-cent sales tax increase to be decided by voters in a May 6 referendum.

Unanimous approval came at the board’s monthly meeting Monday night, April 7, with an added stipulation about terminal groins and following a presentation about the proposal by Brunswick County Manager Ann Hardy.

Town councilwoman Carol Scott said she would support the resolution with an added proviso that the revenue not be used to finance terminal groins. During prior discussion, Scott said she is concerned about that potential scenario.

“A number of scientists say (terminal groins) could cause damage to Sunset Beach,” Scott said. “I don’t want to have to pay for something that I think is harmful to Sunset Beach. All of a sudden, I’m reading in fact some of these funds, monies you’re proposing, would go to help fund terminal groins, which I’m opposed to.”

Hardy said the county’s plan, if the sales tax increase is approved, would be to work with all beach communities to develop a five-year plan as a team and present that plan to commissioners. She said she would also like it to be flexible for matching-fund grant opportunities.

While Ocean Isle Beach has met requirements for groins, “they have stated they would not ask us for terminal-groin funding,” Hardy said.

Brunswick County Commissioners Chairman Phil Norris, who also attended the Sunset Beach meeting, said water access projects have to be prioritized to see what makes sense.

“Obviously the money is not going to pay for all these needs, but it will help,” he said.

Hardy added the current group of commissioners can’t bind future commissioners, but they are going to work with schools for half the funds and beach communities for the other half.

“You can either let others pay for this, or you can bear the burden yourself,” Norris said.

Sunset Beach Councilman Lou De Vita said he’d like a better explanation from the county board that will hear and evaluate the projects.

Sunset Beach Mayor Ron Watts said county staff will decide how the money gets spent. He said it’s a function by “us, lobbying for our projects.”


Storm debris

Town public works director Dustin Graham said the winter storm cost the town $28,500, with 5,516 cubic yards of storm debris removed in 278 loads during February.


Main Street driveway

In response to a question from town councilman Terry Johnson about a driveway permit application at the west end of Main Street, town building inspections director Sandy Wood said that is the domain of the state Department of Transportation.

Wood said the town has to sign and acknowledge the application, which is forwarded to NCDOT. Once a permit is issued, Wood said he will be notified by letter.

“DOT does inspections, and they approve everything,” Wood said, adding the town has nothing to do with that.

In response to Johnson’s question about survey work that has been observed in that area, Wood responded, “That’s private property. I don’t know. They can survey.”


Sandpiper Bay water issues

Town Fire Chief Kevin Dempsey said water issues, specifically a valve problem, have been corrected at Sandpiper Bay.

He also vowed insufficient water pressure in the community will never happen again.

The main issues now, he said, are lack of training.

“We have plenty of water,” Dempsey said. “That should never be an issue again.”


Council also approved:

• An amendment authorizing the town administrator to execute an encroachment agreement with NCDOT, to adopt an amendment and authorizing town staff to buy no-parking signs at a cost not to exceed $60.

• An amendment prohibiting parking at all times on certain streets, including 1st through 15th Streets and 27th through 40th Streets; North Shore Drive from Cobia Street to its easternmost terminus; Canal Drive from Cobia Street to 6th Street; Bay and Inlet streets; the west side of Sunset Boulevard from North Shore Drive to Main Street; and on both sides of Sunset Boulevard from North Shore Drive East and West in a northerly direction for 200 feet.

• A town hall facility use policy.

• A resolution for preparation of the preliminary assessment roll and setting a time and place for a public hearing.

• Adoption of a public education and government TV channel policy.

• Board of adjustment member appointments.


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