- Published on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 23:24
- Written by Super User
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council unanimously approved entering into a lease with an option to buy property at 1313 Bridge Barrier Road at their August 13, meeting. The land will be used as a waste transfer station and storage area for their Operations Department.
The Town has been searching for a location for many months after the U.S. Army notified them over a year ago dumpsters located on land leased to the Town were not in compliance and had to be removed.
The Council searched for alternate locations including land behind the Federal Point Shopping Center on North Lake Park Blvd.
After receiving permission to extend several deadlines to comply with the lease, the Town requested another extension from the U.S. Army earlier this year to continue various operations until September.
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 1313 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.
During the Council's August 13, meeting Interim Town Manager Ed Parvin said it's a lease with an option to purchase. The document was not signed, but they are confident the lease will be approved by the owner.
Parvin said boats and other vehicles stored on the property will remain for 60 days and then be removed. He said Old Dow Road will be used for access rather than Bridge Barrier Road behind the Food Lion Shopping Center.
The Council voted unanimously to approve of the lease.
Vehicles and other equipment will be stored in the rear of the property. A large trash compactor, recycling container and vegetation debris container will be placed towards the Bridge Barrier Road portion of the property directly behind residential homes on Glenn Avenue.
Dawn Burton commented to Mayor Bob Lewis on Facbook earlier this week stating, "Since there are allot of businesses on Bridge Barrier Rd. (mine being one of them), I think the idea to locate the waste transfer station there is a terrible idea! Looks like the town should have this situation under control long ago. If they hadn't abused the lease by putting a bunch of structures on the leased land without permission, this wouldn't have been a problem in the first place! They've already put up all kind of vegetation to block the businesses on Bridge Barrier Rd.! How about giving our businesses a break for once!"
Mayor Bob Lewis explained last week that, "We have found a lot which is zoned to house what really is a place to hold trash picked up from Freeman Park and Beach Access areas around town until Waste Management comes to pick it up in a roll away and hall to the land fill. Waste Management works everyday and picks up multiple times. This pickup area will include recycling stuff ... and regular garbage. The garbage will be stored in a covered compactor just as we do today at the boardwalk but will be emptied more frequently. The current boardwalk compactor is located at the new Lift Station behind Britt’s Donuts and has been operational there for more than 10 years. Garbage is dumped there and compacted with the run off going directly into our sewer system which is a standard operation in most towns and cities in North Carolina. All of the waste transfer meets federal standards and if you have been to the boardwalk or rides at the boardwalk you can tell that there is no odor produced from this transfer station because they also have fresheners built into the design. Any odor generated at the lift station is from the sewer system during pump operation. The lot which will be developed today also is a flat lot with no issues with potential runoff and has been used as a storage lot in the past. In my opinion this is a good place for this operation and has space to provide a facility for storage of our large operations equipment."
Lewis explained, "Dawn, The property is zoned for light industrial. There will have a significant buffer zone (landscaping and fencing) between any business on the street and the facility and you will not see it from the road. In my opinion our former town manager contributed to the situation at Sunny Point. Council is supposed to be the legislative body and the town manager is supposed to manage the town operations. I have been accused of trying to micro-manage our old town manager over the years because I questioned how money was spent, procedures and others on the board didn't care. This issue on Sunny Point happened over the past 30 years but I feel our old town manager who is up in Wrightsville contributed to the most recent problems. Your business should not be affected just as Britt’s Donuts at the boardwalk is not affected or all the businesses at the boardwalk are not affected by the waste transfer station down there."
Click here to view the site plan for this project in a PDF file... This will open in a new window to view it and save it to your machine, or, you can right click on it and chose to "Save As" and save it to your machine.