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A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) t has been pulled for 207 North Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach to convert the old Welcome Inn and surrounding property into a 4 story boutique hotel with a rooftop bar and restaurant. The new property owners are partners with the extremely popular and well-rated hotel, “The Hive” in downtown Wilmington and they hope to build the same experience in Carolina Beach with a uniquely styled, high-end design!

Monday, 25 July 2022 17:11

Town Lays Out List of Big Projects

Councilman Mike Hoffer along with town staff created a current list of “Big Projects.” Marina Repair; This one has already started. It consists of repairing the bulkheads on the southern and eastern edges of the marina. 2 years is a long project! And it will include temporary closures of Canal Drive and Carl Winner Drive (but not at the same time), while balancing the repaving of CB Ave North (winter 2022/2023). Cost to taxpayers was $900,000, $2M was awarded from Golden Leaf grant and $1M from the American Recovery Plan Act (FY23). Finish date is projected for June 2024. CB Lake Dredge; This project will remove 5,000 cubic yards of sediment from the east side of the lake and keep it on site. The sediment will be used to build up the shoreline around the lake, adding more useable space while making the lake smaller and deeper. The total depth of the east side of the lake will be about 2'. The project also includes adding another 12" pump which will improve the stormwater removal capacity. The general concept has been determined. The application for the permit to dredge/site-retain was submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers for approval on 24 June. Turn-around time for USACE approval is 4 month. Then, it goes to bid (~10 business days) , Cost to taxpayers $1.3M from 2016 revenue bonds and $2M from FY22 State budget. This project will hopefully start in December of this year and last 3 to 4 months. Hamlet Bath House, parking area and Ocean Rescue headquarters: Project was held up by a subcontractor for several weeks but is now and cost tax payers zero dollars as the project was $777,000 and paid for with Room Occupancy Tax (ROT). The St Joseph Multi Use Path: Funds approved through 2019 NCDOT grant (80% State / 20% CB). Taxpayer cost $114,510 and $458,043 from a DOT Grant. This project will start in February 2023 and end in May of the same year. Playground at Carolina Beach Lake: This money can be used for a new playground and improvements to our restroom facilities and/or picnic shelter. It is still in the design phase and stems from a $1 million Brandy Meyers Grant costing taxpayers $175,000. Carolina Beach Avenue Paving: Roughly 1 mile. All of Carolina Beach Avenue North. Tied to project is a stormwater retention project (~$400K) and will end Fall 2022. Citywide Street Paving; Roughly 3.2 miles to be paved. The town had a scientific survey done to determine the most needed spots. The results were 100% objective… no special treatment! Of note, the paving includes 3 years of unspent Powell Bill funding. Ocean Blvd Sidewalk; In the very early stages of selecting an engineer. Cost was zero dollars to taxpayers as $485,100 was granted by State Legislature. Freeman Park; The purchase price was $7 million. We put down $3.75 million (saved up from park entrance fees and ROT funds saved up for about 10 years) and borrowed $3.25 million. The 10 year note calls for payments of roughly $366,000 per year. We're seeking a grant from the NC Land & Water Fund to pay the rest. We'll find out this fall if we are approved. No significant plans have been made for improvements or operational changes. Hamlet Avenue Stoplight; Delays in DOT receiving the traffic light poles (~9 months) have pushed project to winter. DOT is paying for this in total. It will include crosswalks parallel to Lake Park on both sides and one crosswalk across Lake Park Blvd on the south side of the intersection. This is funded by the NCDOT at $285,000 and should start in Winter of 2023.  Headworks Expansion (Waste Water Treatment Facility); Estimated project cost of $3.3M, of which Kure Beach would fund ~22% of cost (based on usage). The projected taxpayer cost is unknown and should start in Spring of 2023. Turn Lane on Dow Road to State Park; DOT is paying for project. Contractor will install a left turn lane on the north bound side of Dow Road at the State Park entrance. This will cost taxpayers zero dollars and is projected for this Fall. Bathroom at Mike Chappell Park; The building is completed, but not here yet. (It's a prefab… built offsite and then brought in.) The site work is mostly complete, but won't be until the building is put in place. This was paid for by Room Occupancy Tax at a price tag of $190,000. 

Carolina Beach Elementary School was recently recognized by the New Hanover County School Board for its staff being 100% certified. “We are one step closer to ensuring all schools have a classroom teacher for their students on the first day of school!” 

The initiative is a part of the New Hanover County Schools (NHCS) Strategic Plan for 2022 – 2027 that incorporates the voices of parents, students, community, staff, and Board to provide a guiding framework for moving the School District forward. More than 5,000 persons shared their visions for the district and affirmed the mission of providing a superior education in a safe and positive learning environment where students are prepared with the skills to succeed. The plan focuses on six goals: improving academic performance; providing safety and wellness resources to students; creating a supportive environment for staff; promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in schools; increasing family engagement; and seeking out new community partnerships.

Staff teams will implement specific tactics that support the action steps that move the strategies forward; the strategies will advance the goals. This planning process has produced the Strategic Plan, associated Action Plans for each Goal, and the process for monitoring and tracking strategic progress. The Plan is intended to serve as a “GPS,” a living document to guide the District forward toward its mission of providing a superior educational experience to all students.

The mission of New Hanover County Schools, in collaboration with our parents and the community, is to strive to provide children with an opportunity for a superior education in a safe and positive learning environment where they are prepared with the skills to succeed.

Carolina Beach Elementary is listed on greatschools.org stating “Students at this school are making more academic progress given where they were last year, compared to similar students in the state.

Strong progress with high test scores means students have strong academic skills and the school is a doing a better job at supporting academic growth than most other schools.” 

Carolina Beach Elementary will hold its Open House on August 25th. Parents will receive information from their student’s teachers prior to the event. The first day for all traditional school-year New Hanover County School’s will be August 29th! 

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries recently certified the first state record Spanish Hogfish (Bodianus rufus), which was also certified as the All-Tackle World Record in 2021.

 

Dr. Robert W. Timson of Southport caught the 2-pound, 11-ounce fish offshore of Frying Pan Tower nearly a year ago, on July 17, 2021.
 

The fish measured 18 inches total length (from the tip of the snout to the tip of the compressed tail) and had an 11-inch girth. He caught it with a custom CTS rod with an Accurate Valiant 30 reel using crab with 30-pound test Sufix 832 braided line.


While Timson was awarded the International Game Fish Association certification as the All-Tackle World Record in August 2021, he only recently applied for state recognition. The previous certified world record Spanish Hogfish weighed 1 pound and 8 ounces.

 

Previously, North Carolina did not list a state record Spanish Hogfish, but created the category after Timson applied for the state record.

 

To establish a state record fish, the fish must be weighed on certified scales at an official North Carolina weigh station, and the angler must submit an application to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries that is then reviewed by staff. The fish must be exceptionally large for North Carolina waters and within a reasonable range of the world record.

 

For more information on state record fish, go to the division’s State Saltwater Records webpage or contact the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament staff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

State certifies first state record Spanish Hogfish, which is also a world record

 

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries recently certified the first state record Spanish Hogfish (Bodianus rufus), which was also certified as the All-Tackle World Record in 2021.

 

Dr. Robert W. Timson of Southport caught the 2-pound, 11-ounce fish offshore of Frying Pan Tower nearly a year ago, on July 17, 2021.
 

The fish measured 18 inches total length (from the tip of the snout to the tip of the compressed tail) and had an 11-inch girth. He caught it with a custom CTS rod with an Accurate Valiant 30 reel using crab with 30-pound test Sufix 832 braided line.


While Timson was awarded the International Game Fish Association certification as the All-Tackle World Record in August 2021, he only recently applied for state recognition. The previous certified world record Spanish Hogfish weighed 1 pound and 8 ounces.

 

Previously, North Carolina did not list a state record Spanish Hogfish, but created the category after Timson applied for the state record.

 

To establish a state record fish, the fish must be weighed on certified scales at an official North Carolina weigh station, and the angler must submit an application to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries that is then reviewed by staff. The fish must be exceptionally large for North Carolina waters and within a reasonable range of the world record.

 

For more information on state record fish, go to the division’s State Saltwater Records webpage or contact the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament staff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

This past Thursday Carolina Beach’s newly appointed Parking Ad-Hoc Committee held its first of 6 meetings. The Planning and Zoning Chair Wayne Rouse was appointed to serve as chair and Mayor Barbee and Council Member LeCompte served as Council liaisons. Committee members were asked to consider and discuss six topics: Current parking rules, regulations, rates, and fees. How to improve communication and guest experience. Parking zones. Residential zones. Handicap parking. Private lots. Because the committee is new and residential zones seemed the least controversial on the list of discussion items, the committee voted 7-1 to create a residential zone to start west of 3rd Street or the equivalent. Duke Hagestrom- Member/Parks & Rec cited that not enough information was given on the subject to make a vote.  

 

 

 

 


The Committee was asked to become familiar with “Article V: Stopping Standing and Parking,” “Sec. 16-206 Schedule C no parking, limited public parking, metered parking, police parking, handicapped parking, loading/unloading areas, public parking lots” and “Parking Rates, Fees and Citations” 

 

 

 


The next Carolina Beach Parking Ad-Hoc Committee meeting will be
July 21 at 5:00pm in the Town Hall Council Chambers. An agenda will be sent out prior to each meeting with specific topics for the 2023 parking season.

At yesterday’s regular council meeting County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, Jr along with members of the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO) asked Mayor and Council for their support of the quarter-cent sales tax to be used for public transportation systems. “Having personal mobility, being able to easily and safely get where you need to go, and creating a more walkable and bikeable community is important for the growth and health of our community,” said Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, Jr. who is helping to lead the education campaign for the sales tax. “The transportation sales tax could have a meaningful impact on residents, provide access where it doesn’t exist currently, and improve life in New Hanover County for everyone to move forward and go even further.”

The purpose of the local tax would be to provide a dedicated source of revenue to expand and enhance the community’s networks for bicycling, walking, and public transportation. The tax would equate to approximately 25 cents per every $100 spent by visitors, commuters and residents, and the tax would not apply to items like groceries, fuel and prescriptions.

The goals of the tax would be to connect people to jobs and education; expand reliable and efficient bus service and on-demand transit; enhance trail connections and pedestrian safety; improve community health and positively impact the environment; leverage local dollars for more state and federal funds to improve public transportation and rail realignment; and plan for our community’s growth and future.

According to the WMPO the first five years of the sales tax, opportunities for improvement could include: More than 10 miles of new multi-use trails, five additional sidewalks and nine improved intersections and crosswalks within the city and county, with additional bike and pedestrian connectivity projects in the beach communities that could also be funded. Increased bus frequency so over half of Wave Transit’s routes come every 30-45 minutes, expanded hours for buses and microtransit by 16 hours each week, improved bus stops with 17 new benches, 10 new shelters, and signs at the 10 busiest stops to show real-time bus arrival times, new technology for rider access, and free youth passes. Rail Realignment Project work on South Front Street to relocate part of the railroad track and make pedestrian improvements for greater transportation access.

“Having a dedicated source of funding would allow us to create a more efficient transportation system that runs more often and for longer hours so we can have more choice riders, take cars off the road, and ensure those who rely on the bus get the service and speed they need,” continued Barfield. “It would provide more opportunities for residents who want to walk or ride a bike to easily connect to a bus stop, reach a business, or visit a quality-of-life asset like a park or library – bringing about greater connectivity, increased physical activity, and healthier lifestyles. And it gives the county and city the opportunity to leverage funds for state and federal dollars for large, impactful projects like the realignment of the railway.”

Out of the 19 privatized areas recognized by the WMPO none of them included Carolina or Kure Beaches. If approved by voters in November and levied by the Board of Commissioners, the sales tax would be implemented in April 2023.

Additional information about potential projects from the transportation sales tax, frequently asked questions, and a project map can be viewed at TrailsTransitNHC.com.

The Island Gazette emailed Mayor and Council from both Carolina Beach Kure Beach and will share their responses next week. 

The East Coast Got Em On King Mackerel Classic is known to provide a weekend-long celebration for not only Anglers and their families, but spectators alike. Due to the potential weather forecast last weekend’s event has been rescheduled for August 5th through the 7th. That weekend the lineup of events will follow the same format.

You don't want to miss weigh-in each day with scales open Saturday from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm and Sunday from noon until 4:00 pm! 

This event has proven to be successful in our community for such a long time because of the hard-working and dedicated volunteers working diligently behind the scenes all year long.  All of our staff are serving on a strictly volunteer basis, the monies raised by this tournament stay right in this community supporting our Fire Departments with additional equipment and training, and the Got Em On Live Bait Club’s Marine Science Scholarships offered at UNCW and Cape Fear Community College. We welcome you, your family, and your friends to visit our tournament, fish with us, and enjoy your time in our community.  

On-Site Registration Desk open at noon,  with a 6:30pm Captains Meeting in the Town Parking Lot across from the Charter  Fleet.  “Saturday our weigh-in will open at 2pm, and Sunday  12pm.  Our weigh-in process will remain much of the same – you will unload your catch at the Municipal Docks on the west side of the marina,  and then walk around to Tournament Headquarters to weigh.  There will be designated slips for drop off and pick up. This year there will be 2 check-in boats - one at Channel Marker #161 and one at Snows Cut Wildlife Ramp pier.” The awards ceremony will be at 6:30 PM (earlier if possible).

 

What or Who is the “Got Em On”? Well, in the mid 1970’s, the VHF radios off Carolina and Kure Beaches would often scream “Got Em On!!!”.   It was the victory call for a tight knit group of locals who had a passion for live bait fishing.  As King Mackerel fishing grew in popularity, this tournament was born as a joint venture between the Got Em On Live Bait Club, Kure Beach Fire Department and Carolina Beach Fire Department.  Now, the East Coast Got Em On King Mackerel Classic, as it is formally known,  is one of the oldest King Mackerel Tournaments around.   Always held the second weekend in July, in the heart of Carolina Beach across from the Municipal Docks, this event is known to draw close to 200 boats from all over North and South Carolina.   As the tournament has always tried to reward and honor our anglers, we boast a 1st place payout of $20,000 and regularly pay out well over $100,000 in total, including several specialty awards paid in memory of founding members and families. For more information visit, gotemonliveclassic.com  

Parking continues to be a hot topic in Carolina Beach. Recently Mayor and Council received an email from Ms. Susan Beaudoin concerning a citation for being double-parked in an unlined lot. “We have lived in NC over 6 years and have NEVER received a violation for anything.

We obey the laws and follow all rules. Unfortunately, there are NO rules to follow in the parking lot and No lines to

stay between. The ticket I received was unfair

We will no longer be visiting your beach or any of the activities that are held there until you can get ahold of your

GREED and FIX the problem you know exists.”

To try and come up with some solutions, Councilman Joe Benson and Councilwoman Deb LeCompte will host a Brainstorming/ Q&A Session today, July 6th at 6:30pm in the town’s multipurpose room. 

At the last Town Workshop, Mayor and Council agreed to form an Ad-hoc Parking Committee appointing the chair from each current committee to the parking ad-hoc. Yesterday the town released the following: The newly appointed Carolina Beach Ad-hoc Parking Committee will hold a meeting every other Thursday at 5:00 p.m. starting July 7, 2022 and ending September 15, 2022, in the Town Council Chambers located at 1121 North Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach.

 

This past Friday in anticipation of the Holiday weekend and Carolina Beach’s “Fireworks by the Sea” drawing larger crowds to the Island, a grassroots “Women’s Rights Protest” formed along Snow’s Cut Bridge. Mostly met with the support of passers-by, the group stated they had a “strong desire to express our support for reproductive rights across the country and voice our concerns for reproductive health, safety and privacy for medical matters.  We wanted to remind people that their vote matters.  While there are often gatherings downtown we wanted to stay right here on the island and just began to share this gathering with friends who shared with friends.

If anyone is interested in getting involved in future activities they can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the local planned parenthood website to see ways to get involved.” 

The Carolina Beach Parks and Recreation Department sent out a HUGE THANK YOU to Margaret Wehrman Dowling for her many years of service to the Town of Carolina Beach! “Margaret retired today with over 21 years of service.  She started with the Town on October 10, 2000 and accomplished so much through various projects at the Recreation Center and parks.  She will be missed, but I’m sure we will continue to see her at events and parks throughout town.  Enjoy your well-earned retirement!!!”

Dowling has not only been a town employee but also a valued community member. She’s volunteered her time and services for countless events and organizations including helping run PIRA’s weekly BINGO fundraiser for almost 15 years and has been an advocate for our seniors through the Katie B. Hines Senior Center since 2004 while also raising her sons in the Pleasure Island Community. Dowling has proven her inventive “do it all” skills throughout the years maintaining Carolina Beach’s recreation areas including the Lake, Mike Chappell Park and Bill McDonald Park. She redesigned the Rec Center into a winter wonderland this past Christmas and is the reason there are so many amazing decorations each season including Christmas by the Sea, Easter Extravaganza and the Halloween Carnival. Many of the town’

Her very first project after being hired was the Marina Project, she continued noting all the changes in Carolina Beach have been incredible throughout the years! The addition of a walkway around Lake Park, Snow’s Cut Bike Trail, the upgrades in park equipment, how much Mike Chappell Park had grown offering so many different amenities while pointing out which trees she had planted. When asked what project she was most proud of, Dowling led me to the skate park where a retaining wall has stood the test of time. She added I know it’s a small thing but this wall has done its job and is solid! 

While retired Dowling plans to spend lots of time spoiling her grandson, Jacob, and just spending more time with family. She is also guaranteed to be spotted at the Katie B. Hines Senior Center, especially their Pancake Breakfast fundraiser held on the first Saturday of each month! 

 

  


 


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