Beach Nourishment For Freeman Park?

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 16 December 2015 05:00

Dear Editor,
I have a question concerning the pending beach "re-nourishment". The recent articles in the Island Gazette said that the re-nourishment would be from the North End Pier, South towards Kure Beach. I have not heard or seen any information concerning the re-nourishment of the beaches in Freeman Park.
It has been said all along that the fees charged to enter Freeman Park would go to beach re-nourishment, I assumed they meant for Freeman Park.
My question is, since the majority of Freeman Park is not in the city limits of Carolina Beach, but where the town collects the money to enter the park is within the city limits will they only re-nourish beaches within the city limits with these funds.
Carolina Beach Today forwarded my question to Councilman Steve Shuttleworth, his reply is below.
"The program that is about to start does not include sand placement in Freeman Park. The template that was designed by the USACoE 50 years ago did not include that area. The money collected from North end passes is set aside for storm damage reduction projects along the approved template. We have occasionally gotten sand put there from dredging of the inlet. Long term hopes include getting the permits modified to allow it."
During the public hearing  held in September of 2013 the statement was made several times by council members that the funding from Freeman Park is utilized to for beach re-nourishment and daily expenses related to the operation of the park.   This information was shown in the graphs presented by Council.  This information specifically stated the dollar amounts necessary for beach re-nourishment..  Since the public hearing was concerning Freeman Park, and the budget reports were for Freeman Park, I feel they were indicating the funds for the maintenance and beach re-nourishment were for Freeman Park. I feel that Mr. Shuttleworth's response does not reflect what was stated during the September 2013 meeting. If you have not visited the park in the last several months you are in for quite a shock, vast amounts of the beach have been lost due to storms and the excessive tides. Without beach re-nourishment in the park, there will be limited space for visitors.
I have purchased my "half off" pass for 2016, since it appears we will only have half a beach, it seems fair.
Frank McLaurin
Carolina Beach / Garner

Editor's Note: Some years ago the Town was facing the need for alternate funding for beach nourishment should federal dollars disappear.
At the time Councilman Lonnie Lashley moved to dedicate over $300,000 a year from Freeman Park Revenues to Shore Protection Projects and Inlet Maintenance.
There are no homes or infrastructure to protect in Freeman Park.
It's not part of the decades old federally approved renourishment program for our area.
When they dedicated a portion of park revenues to beach nourishment, it was using the park as a revenue source, not to renourish the park in the future. They already have to struggle for funding to renourish beaches in Town limits. However, it begs the question of renourishing the park before that revenue source erodes along with the amount of revenue they realize annually. It's already a narrow beach in some areas; impassable in some places due to tides or storms throughout the year. 

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