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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local State Budget May Cut Local Beach Nourishment Funding

State Budget May Cut Local Beach Nourishment Funding

Kure Beach officials are calling upon their state elected leaders in the General Assembly to restore the state's share of funding a beach nourishment project already scheduled for later this year. Anticipated funding was cut from both the House and Senate budgets leaving a shortfall of $1.184 million dollars.

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - Local officials are working behind the scenes to convince state legislators to restore state funding for area beach nourishment projects.
The State House and Senate are currently reviewing changes to the two-year budget adopted last year.
One of those changes eliminates state funding for the Kure Beach nourishment project set to begin later this year. 
The Towns of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach traditionally receive beach nourishment projects at the same time.
The project is called, "Carolina Beach and vicinity." Both projects are combined into one to save on mobilization and permitting costs. In other words, rather than two costly permits and having to bring in a contractor to perform the work at separate times, it's all wrapped into one project.
The project is funded by federal, state and local funds. The requested amount from the state was $2.14 million. Currently the House and Senate budgets both allocate $1.184 million dollars; about half of the amount needed from the state to be combined with $4.4 million in federal funds and the rest of the $14 million dollar project coming from County Room Occupancy Taxes dedicated to beach nourishment projects.
Kure Beach Mayor Dean Lambeth said he's been speaking with state legislators since early last week when the cut was discovered. He said, "We thought this was all taken care of. Then we got a call late at night about the cut."
He said one suggestion was to wait until next year for the Kure Beach portion of the project, but that would present obvious funding problems costing more in the long run.
He said one option is to call upon the County to make up the difference this time around and explore other options for the long term.
Carolina Beach Town Manager Tim Owens said, "It's in both of our interests to do our projects at the same time, it will save money."
Owens said the project as currently planned would provide 66% coverage when pumping sand onto the shore. Those areas will likely cover from the North End Pier in Carolina Beach south to the Carolina Beach Lake. Then pick up again in the southern area of Town south into Kure Beach to an area north of the Kure Beach Pier. The final section is south of the Kure Beach Pier.
Carolina Beach would get 800,000 cubic yards of sand. Kure Beach would get 500,000.
Lambeth said Tuesday June 19, they are waiting for the House and Senate to return from budget negotiations and hope the full funding will be restored.
Lambeth said, "We are a tourism based economy and the beaches generate countless jobs and sales tax revenues for the state, county and Towns not to mention protecting life and property from summer storms."
The House and Senate reconvene on Wednesday afternoon June 20th.