Editorial: Save For Future New Boardwalk And Maintenance

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 06 January 2016 05:00

Managing Editor

The Town of Carolina Beach completed a project in 2015 to replace the old aging oceanfront wooden boardwalk in the downtown area with a new, wider and improved boardwalk. Now they've obtained permission from the State's Coastal Resources Commission to extend that boardwalk 875' feet north to the Pelican Lane beach access area.
The final bill for both phases of the project will be in excess of $1.6 million dollars.
The original wooden walkway was built in the 1980's. It took years before the Town finally decided to rebuild it bigger and better than ever. And they succeeded in large part by getting other agencies to pay for it. For example, a $250,000 Water Resources grant from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources that requires a $250,000 match from the Town and a $603,000 CAMA grant from the State Division of Coastal Management. Additionally, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners gave the town $500,000 towards the project.
When it's all said and done, the Town will have a 1,632 foot long wooden structure on the oceanfront (longer if they extend it south in the future) and in a number of years it will be time fund a major
renovation or replacement project due to age and weathering the elements.
Not to alarm government officials, but here's a proposal that might sound a little scary: Create a dedicated fund that receives a portion of property taxes each year to serve as a "building and maintenance fund" for future expenses.
Two things are accomplished. 1. Money for regular maintenance. It's a fund created by ordinance and only for this purpose. 2. Money for a later date so we don't have to rely on the funds of other agencies that may or may not want to help us out, again.
Long term planning that makes life easier on future Council's.


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