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Carolina Beach Looking At Bridge Barrier Road Waste Transfer Station

An example offered earlier this year for a waste transfer station.

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council continues their search for an alternate location to locate a waste transfer station. The Council was negotiating with a property owner to lease land off Dow Road behind a commercial storage facility in the industrial zone.
During a closed session meeting of the Council held Monday August 5th, the Council discussed another location at 313 Bridge Barrier Road near the Carolina Beach State Park beside the Post Office.
The Town requested another extension from the U.S. Army earlier this year to continue various operations until September of on land leased since the early 1970's.
The Town was notified in April of last year they were in violation of their 1972 lease agreement with the U.S. Army for land off of Dow Road. The "buffer zone" is land owned by the U.S. Army for the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point (MOTSU) across the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County. The port deals in ammunition and the buffer zone serves as a "blast zone" in the event of an incident. The zone covers the largest area of land west of Dow Road in Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher.
The property housed the Town's Operations Department including public works, public utilities, storm water department and the Town's garage. Additionally, it was home to a greenhouse, various offices and storage areas as well as large dumpsters.
The 1972 lease only permitted a wastewater treatment plant, a storage building and related uses. One of the more complicated issues is where to relocate dumpsters used to hold trash collected from public trashcans throughout Town and along the beachfront.
The Army originally demanded the Town comply by the end of 2012 and granted an extension until June 2013 to continue using dumpsters on site and a garage to maintain Town vehicles.
The Town searched for alternate locations for both the dumpsters and garage for a number of months.
They ultimately approved a permit to locate both on property they own in a residential district behind the Federal Point Shopping Center off North Lake Park Blvd a short distance from Town Hall.
That would have called for using a small portion of a nearly 10-acre tract of land for trash compactors and a garage building.
Homeowners in the adjacent neighborhood behind the shopping center filed an action in court challenging the decision citing concerns with noise, odor and other issues.
The Town began negotiations with Jim Conlon, the owner of property at 110 Dow Road to pay an annual lease.
That would have served as an alternate location from the previous plan to locate the transfer station and garage behind the shopping center.
On Tuesday April 30, Mayor Bob Lewis said the Army Corp of Engineers granted their request for another extension until September 15, of this year but said there would be no further extensions and the Town must complete an environmental assessment of the property.
The Town has already eliminated their garage and associated personnel and is now outsourcing to local automotive shops for vehicle servicing and repairs.
Shuttleworth said in April it’s important to note the problem facing the Town with coming into compliance with the 1972 lease was brought on by the actions of previous administrations and they are now having to take steps to come into
compliance and rectify the situation before that lease comes up for renewal in the near future.
On Tuesday August 6th, Mayor Bob Lewis said the Council discussed in closed session on August 5th the potential to lease with an option to buy land at 313 Bridge Barrier Road adjacent to the Post Office behind Food Lion. That land would be used for a waste transfer station and storage of vehicles and other materials.
Lewis said the area is already zoned for that type of activity and their options are limited.
Councilman Steve Shuttleworth said Tuesday, "We're out of time" with the September 15th deadline approaching. He said even if the Town had to go to court to use the land behind the Federal Point Shopping Center, it would take longer than 30 days. He said, "I was ready to push on that issue 60 days ago, but now there's no time."
He said, "It's unfortunate to settle for second best rather than the land behind" the Federal Point Shopping Center that residents challenged in court.
He said, "Most intelligent people see it as the right spot" and it, "Would have been 400 feet away from anyone's home.  He said, "We have to move forward and have to deal with it."
The owner of the land at 313 Bridge Barrier Road was unavailable for comment on Tuesday while out of town.
The Council will likely discuss the issue in more detail during a closed session at their August 13, meeting.