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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Congress Approves $9.3 Million For Local Beach Nourishment Projects

Congress Approves $9.3 Million For Local Beach Nourishment Projects

Congress recently approved $9.3 million dollars to fund beach nourishment in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach.  While local leaders welcome the funds, the continuing trend of last-minute funding measures for such projects has caused local governments to plan for a future without federal funding.

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Leaders in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach received good news this week, the Army Corp of Engineers located additional funding from another project to provide $9.3 million for beach nourishment in both Town's starting sometime over the next few months.
As a part of the federally sponsored Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project in place for the two communities, $4,681,500 will be invested on Carolina Beach and $4,635,550 will be invested on Kure Beach.
The funds were approved by Congress in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012. Sand placement will likely begin in late December or early January.
As is required by the project design, federal spending will cover 65 percent of the cost of the project and non-federal (local and state governments) will cover 35 percent of the cost of the project.
The local share of the project is funded by Room Occupancy Taxes levied on hotels, motels and short-term vacation accommodations.
Earlier this year Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and New Hanover County agreed to a contingency plan in the event that federal funding disappeared.
This summer Carolina Beach received federal funding along with the state's share of the percentage and county room tax revenues. Kure Beach was not federally funded and was left out of the State's budget. The Carolina Beach Town Council and New Hanover County Board of Commissioners worked out a deal to shift some funding from the Carolina Beach project to cover Kure Beach.
On Tuesday December 5, Kure Beach Mayor Dean Lambeth said the news of the $9.3 million approved by Congress is a blessing and restores federal funding for Kure Beach's portion of the nourishment project, but state funding will still be non-existent and they are examining how to cover that smaller short fall.
The project will pump 680,000 cubic yards of sand on to Carolina Beach likely from the North End Pier south to the Carolina Beach Lake. It will also pump 432,000 cubic yards on to Kure Beach from the southern beach in Carolina Beach to an area north of the Kure Beach Pier. A final section is south of that pier.
Robert Keistler with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Wilmington District explained Monday, December 03, the Army Corp of Engineers, "was able to award the Carolina Beach / Kure Beach Storm Damage Reduction Contract late last Friday (11/30/12).  Good news for our non-Federal partners is that Army Corp of Engineers Wilmington District was able to find additional Federal dollars to help fund this contract.  Only non-Federal cost share dollars were required to award this contract. "
He explained the contingency plan adopted by the County and the Beach Town's is not required.
A breakdown of actual contract cost as awarded is listed below."
The federal share (65%) for Kure Beach is $3,047,165.10. For Carolina Beach it's $3,057,327.00
The Non-federal share paid for by the state and county room taxes (35%) is $1,588,384.90 for Kure Beach and $1,624,173.00 for Carolina Beach.
Total Contract Cost for Carolina Beach is $4,681,500.00 and $4,635,550.00 for Kure Beach.
Keistler explained via email, "As soon as we hear from our contractor, Weeks Marine, I will be able to answer questions, such as, when will they start, where will they start, etc.  I will coordinate a meeting soon."