The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners addressed
questions from a crowd of about 15 Wrightsville
Beach residents during a meeting held
at Wrightsville Beach Town Hall
In addition to the
residents, the crowd included all members of the Wrightsville Beach Board of
Aldermen, a few members of other Wrightsville
Beach committees and
members of county staff.
Questions from residents
ranged from topics like beach renourishment, county funding, bridge and road
maintenance, and the federal Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.
Sue Bulluck, Wrightsville
Beach Chamber of Commerce board member and governmental liaison for the parent
company of the Holiday Inn Resort, led the night off by requesting that the
county discuss taking over the funding for the lifeguards at each of the beach
towns. Bulluck pointed out that this was a service the county provided until
2001 and that if the Town of Wrightsville Beach did not have to fund the
service it would be more money to put toward beach renourishment funding.
In response New Hanover
County Board of Commissioners Chairman Woody White said the county has to
remember its role is an extension of state services and that its funding of the
sheriff's department, school system and fire department make it difficult to
pick up other services to fund.
Bulluck also asked the
board of commissioners what it was doing to actively lobby for the postponement
of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. With the implementation of
the act coming in 2014 and the large impact the bill would have on residents in
flood plain areas like Wrightsville
Beach, Bulluck asked the
board to take action.
Chairman White responded
that the county would soon be considering a resolution to support the
postponement of Biggert-Waters.
Barfield said it sometimes takes more than a resolution for a county to be
heard and that a staff trip to meet with area delegates in Washington, D.C.,
would be a good idea. Barfield mentioned county shore protection coordinator
Layton Bedsole and county public and legislative affairs director Carey Disney Ricks as two
employees he felt would serve the county well on the issue in Washington.
With the nonprofit
Wrightsville Beach Foundation having just presented the Wrightsville Beach
Board of Aldermen with the concept plans for a downtown Wrightsville Beach
beautification project projected to cost $1.7 million, foundation
representative Lisa Weeks asked the commissioners what they were looking for in
the Carolina Beach Boardwalk restoration project that led them to contribute
$500,000 to that project.
Commissioner Beth Dawson
said as long as the county's municipalities are actively trying to recruit new
businesses, setting aside funding for beach renourishment and funding their own
water and sewer departments, she did not have an issue supporting those
municipalities financially on projects that would benefit the county as a whole
and create a return on the county's financial investment.
All members of the county
board of commissioners were present at Monday night's meeting except
Commissioner Brian Berger, who was at his second county meeting earlier than
morning after being reinstated to board following the overturning of the
county's amotion process that removed him from the board.