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Carolina Beach Awards Mooring Field Management Contract

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council awarded a contract for management of the Town's new mooring field at their July 10, meeting.
The Town installed the ten mooring buoys in Myrtle Grove Sound off Canal Drive earlier this year in the areas near Sandpiper Lane to Salt Marsh Lane.
The goal, so larger transient vessels visiting the area can anchor and come ashore to shop, get supplies, and visit restaurants and other businesses.
The project was made possible by a grant from the State of North Carolina. The grant was for $50,000. The state paid $37,500 and the Town paid $12,500.
The remainder of the project cost falls upon the Town. The Town awarded a $77,600  contract for the project in September 2011 to Snow Marine Construction & Dredging.
The Town's Harbor Commission developed a request for proposals (RFP) which was posted on the Town's website and sent to various companies earlier this year.
According to Planning Director Ed Parvin, two proposals were received. One from Snow Marine Construction and Dredging and another from Marine Management Support Services, LLC.
The Harbor Commission recommended Council award the management contract to Marine Management Support Services.
Parvin explained Marine Management's proposal is incentive based. In other words the company does not make money unless the moorings are utilized. In addition, 25% of the funds collected go back to the Town. He said the Snows Marine proposal would cost the Town a minimum of $29,600 per year.
Currently the moorings are open to boaters for use free of charge.
Marine Management would still require the Town to pay for maintenance of the mooring field such as replacing lines or chains holding the moorings in place.
The fee will be $20 per day up to 10 days.
Mayor Ray Rothrock asked, "Do we want to award a contract for the management of this before we have the authority to charge anybody? We've already determined there is no charge for this summer and until the Council of State gives approval we don't have the authority to charge anybody anything, is that not right?"
Town Manager Tim Owens said, "We don't know that yet. We have not gone before the Council of State yet so we are not sure what their ruling may or may not be."
Owens said the Town needs an easement from the State. When the Division of Coastal Management and State Property Office was reviewing the grant and permit applications, the issue of obtaining an easement for the mooring field was not addressed.
Later it was discovered that easement is required and is issued by the Council of State.
Currently boaters are using the moorings, but no fee is charged and a phone number and website dedicated for the service is not operational.
Councilman Lonnie Lashley said if the Town is going to award the contract they should begin management August 1.
Council member Sarah Friede said the moorings are out there and the Town should begin management rather than take a hands off approach. 
Parvin said in discussions with the State Property Office, there are no issues with charging, yet the easement must be approved by the Council of State and the Town has not been able to get on the agenda for that Council to-date.
Friede said there should be a termination clause in the contract if the Town is not permitted to charge a fee for use of the moorings.
The Council voted unanimously to award the contract to Randy Simon of Marine Management Support Services, LLC for one year to begin August 1.