ONLY ON 3: Future funding for New Hanover Co. beach renourishment in question


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Submitted: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:28am
Updated: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 4:48pm
By:

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Beaches along Pleasure Island need to be renourished and it’s going to cost New Hanover County a lot to get it done. According to an agreement still being discussed, the state and federal government will throw in a portion of the price tag, but that funding could soon come to an end.

The county is between a rock and a hard place. New Hanover County Commissioners are at a point where funding beach renourishment could soon be put on the shoulders of the county. Also, it seems the Wilmington Convention Center is making it even more difficult to protect the county’s beaches.

Commissioners, along with town leaders from both Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, met Thursday to discuss a $14 million beach renourishment project agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers. However, the county may have to give more money than they thought.

“They were going ahead with the beach renourishment as planned and then the state said they would not be responsible for any overages and that threw them into a tailspin,” Kure Beach Mayor Dean Lambeth says.

The project agreement calls for the county to contribute more than $9 million, money that would come from the county’s room occupancy tax. For the past three years, at least $3 million that would have gone towards renourishment and tourism promotion has helped pay for the Wilmington Convention Center.

“The convention center is taking in $1 million a year, so yea that would have helped,” Lambeth says.

County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield feels funding for both beaches and the convention center is important, but admits the future for beach renourishment in the county looks a little bleak.

“My concern is that long term what that would mean for that particular fund if the federal government and the state government totally shift the responsibility of beach renourishment down to the local level,” Barfield says. “We’ve got to find some alternative mechanisms to fund that as well.”

Commissioners will decide Tuesday whether to go through with the agreement and spend the more than $9 million plus any extra costs that could come up. During their Thursday meeting, Commissioners were unsure about having to pay the extra expenses if the project goes over budget. Chairman Ted Davis referred to the agreement as a possible “slippery slope.”

41 Comments

  • Guest211 says:

    WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR FIGURES FROM? I HAVEN’T SEEN ANY OF THIS IN THE PAPERS. I DON’T THINK THE CONVENTION CENTER WILL PAY FOR ITSELF. EVEN MYRTLE BEACH IS NOT PROTIFITABLE. ALSO, IF THE BEACHES ARE NOT RENOURISHED, WILL THE TOURIST STOP COMING? TIME WILL TELL, AS IT HAS IN THE PAST. ALSO, THE SKYLINE BRIDGE AND BASE BALL STADIUM WILL REALLY PUT WILM. AND NEW HANOVER IN A HOLE.

  • GuestLOL says:

    Wow Vog46–You sure did let Mary get to you! LOL

  • Vog46 says:

    Where’s the response?
    Where’s the links to the budgets for Wilmington or New Hanover County that show the convention Center being such a good investment?
    What say you Mary?

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    I suppose I did let “Mary” get to me.
    But when someone says the CC is a “great” addition to our city I kinda sit up.
    When they say it too often I say whats up with that?
    And when I find out they’re saying it often because it will convince people its good then I really start looking at things.

    Is like the down town ball park.
    If its too good to be true it probably is.
    I just don’t want a repeat of the CC……

    Vog

  • Guest 10101 says:

    the hotel room taxes could be used to fund something else that taxpayers are currently paying for directly.

    (munch,munch,munch)……….. That sound you’re hearing in the background is the sound of your giant white elephant scarping down about a million a year in ROC. That by the way, is considerably more tax than is generated for the center on an annual basis.

    (tick,tock,tick,tock) ………. That’s the sound of time running out on the ROC surplus fund.

  • taxpayer says:

    Mary,

    A meeting of 5 people is classified as an event. Even if the 5 attending work downtown. Not hardly what I would call an economic shot in the arm.

    If you would take time to look at the City’s budget, you will see a line item for Convention Center.

    http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/Portals/0/documents/City%20Manager/Budget/FY12-13/5%20BUDGET%20SUMMARY.pdf

    Look on page 10. Convention Center: $7 Million.

  • 1981duke says:

    Will open in 2015 spring,was planned for 194 rooms,had to draw plans to 174 rooms.

  • taxpayer says:

    I find it hilarious how the Convention Center management defines an “event”. If you or I were to hold a business meeting with just us present…that’s an “event” and counted as such.

  • Mary Osbourne says:

    As usual, you spout your nonsense because you can’t stand the fact that all the naysayers were wrong about the convention center. One record-breaking event was the state GOP convention last year, why don’t you ask them why they want to come to the river/beach instead of somewhere else to figure out why people want to have conventions here. You are also misleading in your “averages” because as you well know and the website does not detail privately held events. They had over 65,000 people there last year. In January, when the center gave an update, they already had 100 events booked for 2012 in just the first month of the year, I’m sure it’s way more now that we are more than half-way through the year. Those 100 events are estimated to bring 8,700 visitors to our area, which will generate more than 3,400 hotel night stays with an overall economic impact of $41.8 million for local businesses. That’s why the center is good for our city, but that’s too many facts for you, you will no doubt continue to twist numbers and mislead people for your own self-serving interests. Another fact you conveniently forget, the center is funded by hotel room taxes paid by tourists.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    the one on 3rd street was demolished and it was an eyesore prior to demolition.

    Go out Market Street a few blocks and you have a plethora of hotels which are competing with cut rate room rates to try to fill rooms.

    And with regards to the Hotel Indigo, I thought the city council had to grant a 4 month extension to allow further planning and negotiating by the developer. I would not count those rooms yet.

  • Vog46 says:

    I did some research on down town. Back in 2006 WDI wanted to double our number of hotel rooms in the area from 480 to 960. They said that the CC hotel would be 200 rooms by itself. Well that still leaves 960 -200 or 760 – or we should have at least an additional 280 rooms by now.
    I don’t know of any hotels that large being completed recently down town. IN fact wasn’t there a run down place that closed on 3rd st?
    basically I’m saying this.
    It appears as though theres been no net change to hotel room numbers since 2006 – yet the CC opened.
    If they have been SO SUCCESSFUL why is it that hotels down town still have vacancies? Have I missed something here?
    Heck even Schoninger was supposed to put up a hotel on his land down town, and that hasn’t happened either.
    But if all these conventions are so good for the city wheres the hotel room shortage?

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    Let me ask you something.
    You’re a big proponent of baseball and the stadium and you “argue” that the “industry pros” did the study that said the stadium will be successful – right?

    OK. Suppose, if you will that YOU are the guy doing the Hotel study.
    You find the following facts:
    There’s NO room shortage in the down town area.
    And within 5 miles you have other hotels that can take up the slack anyway.
    The new CC isn’t attracting over night guests as well as it should.
    Convention attendance is down and has been for years.
    There’s another “Hilton” licensed hotel providing direct competition.
    The ball park issue is far from settled, and is a “local” event to begin with.
    Myrtle Beach had a good year but not great, and their CC is under utilized.
    Local beach towns also had a good year

    You see all of this and you realize the main draw in this area are the beaches, golf, fishing and fun things associated with vacations but not work or professional organizations. Not downtown, but in the outlying communities.

    If your job depended on it – your livelyhood.

    Would you recommend to your company they spend $25M on a hotel next to the convention center?
    Vog

  • taxpayer says:

    Spot-on Vog!

    It’s sad that our City leaders have a “Field of Dreams” mentality.

  • Vog46 says:

    Maybe you should read the budgets of both the city and the county.
    Ah the Convention Center. Nationally, convention center attendance is down (which I would expect in a down economy). Ours is doing better than most as far as use goes. But is it an asset to the city?
    The following numbers come from the citys CAFR reports, which use the city fiscal year of June to June.
    In 2003 the city started collecting room taxes to build up the CC fund . Based upon the CAFR reports in each year the following indicates the CC fund balances, as known.
    $3.0M…….2005
    $5.3M……..2006
    $7.2M……..2007
    $6.65M……2008
    $3.26M…….2009expenses exceeded revenues ($3.4M)
    $302,000….2010.expenses exceeded revenues ($2.96M)
    $158,000…..2011.expenses exceeded revenues ($5.5M) – in 2011 they got $2.27M in revenues

    It would appear as though the CC is losing money – and badly so. IF someone says the CC generated $41.8M in sales locally X 6.25% sales tax the city realized $2.61M after tax. (City web page CC tab)
    They lost $5.5M in 2011. Outside sales still didn’t make this a good investment. The fund balance is so low it’s scary.

    http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/finance/financial_management/financial_reports.aspx
    The CC is on pages 106 to 123 normally (it changes yearly)

    ************************************
    C’mon Mary
    Using the city/county budget links – show me where the CC made money

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    You better Hope & Pray that “Hotel Indigo” DOES NOT open in 2015.
    According to the Star News, hotel Indigo is Shoningers proposed hotel – not the convention center hotel:
    http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120408/ARTICLES/120409744

    “If successful, Schoninger’s proposed Indigo hotel and 204-slip marina could be the first project in the state chiefly funded through the EB-5 program.”

    IF Shoninger does get his hotel? My guess is you won’t EVER see a hotel attached to the CC.
    There’s not enough business in that downtown location to justify the additional rooms.

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/Portals/0/documents/Finance/Financial%20Reporting/CAFR/City%20of%20Wilmington%202011%20CAFR.pdf

    Pg 121.
    Look at the “current year” column

    That says it all
    **************************************

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    RO tax county wide revenues equals $5.993M

    The city is siphoning off $2.274M for the CC.

    And STILL losing money on it.

    (I haven’t even touched debt service yet either). Just think the CC cost $56.7M.

    $56.7M At 4% how much over 20 years?

    Mary-
    The budgets for both city and county indicate the CC is losing money.
    Even when you figure in their “estimated” $49.1M in sales brought in at 6.25% the after tax revenue generated is less than the operating cost losses this year of ($5.5M). And, as stated I haven’t touched debt service.
    Please cite facts and figures and provide links to them.
    That is of course if you’re REALLY Mary Osbourne.

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    First of all I didn’t forget that the room occupancy tax is paying for the CC – your Jim Jones type devotion to the CC has blinded you to what I wrote.
    There are only 6 public events scheduled for the CC from now until the end of the year.
    No major concert events,,,
    I wonder….
    So at $41M in new business after tax is $2.85M.
    Remember that some of this money is directly paid to florists, caterers etc so that not all of it is hotel room tax generated.

    So Mary-
    How much $ did the county make off the CC and how much did it cost to operate? Is it profitable? How much did the city make?
    Or is debt servicing paid for completely?

    IF a local business books a meeting its an event. 100 people attend.
    Who makes money?
    No hotel taxes generated – right?
    Attendees are counted as “new” tourists – right?
    The cost of the event is listed as revenues right?
    So using a local event how much does the city and county make?
    If you answer anything other than a negative number – you’re lying because its costs more to operate for that sized local gathering than it brings in.
    In order for the CC to be profitable it must host more events that take in more genuine tourists. It has to generate a LOT of room occupancy to generate more taxes.
    If the Hilton and Best Western had vacant room throughout the summer season is it safe to say the CC didn’t bring in ANY tourists tis summer?
    If we’re on our 4th attempt at a CC hotel and that attempt is now DOWNSIZED is it safe to say there’s not a great DEMAND for rooms down there?? Hmmmmmm??
    Thats OK – you’re the convention center Duke cheerleader.
    I’m glad that its paid for by room taxes but now we face another dilemma regarding beach sand.
    Does the WAHA and CFVB support increasing hotel room taxes county wide (including those in down town Wilmington) to provide beach and re nourishment???
    Or Not?

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    in the Virginia Beach area, you will see groins and sea walls.

    But what really has me puzzled is how the self supporting convention center can be costing New Hanover county $1 million a year in support payments.

    All of the city funded ball park proponents keep pointing to the Convention Center as a shining example of how the City funding will yield no future costs. At least that is what Duke & MikeT have indicated.

  • Vog46 says:

    This now brings up the deeper argument.
    If Mother Nature is doing this and we can’t win against her why bother?
    Are terminal groins or jetties the answer?
    Or do they make the problems worse?
    I lived in New England for quite some time and was used to seeing jetties and groins but I am still not familiar with their impact on preventing beach erosion…….
    I know they were good spots to fish and crab from

    Vog

  • wooduck says:

    but, but, i thought the “inlet relocation” was such a “win, win”. not just anybody can turn acres of the most productive estuary in the county into an underwater stackshack hazard to navigation. YAY!!! i can see figure 8 from my parking meter!

  • Vog46 says:

    RO tax county wide revenues equals $5.993M

    The city is siphoning off $2.274M for the CC.

    And STILL losing money on it.

    No one can claim the CC is successful, nor can they claim the city hotels RO pay for sand. That is an argument totally bereft of any thought or research.

    Interesting editorial in yesterdays star news:
    http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120902/ARTICLES/120909973/1108/opinion?Title=Editorial-Kure-Beach-gets-help-from-neighbor-Carolina-Beach-and-New-Hanover-County

    Anyone see Wilmington’s contribution?
    I must have over looked it.
    It loses money – it doesn’t contribute to sand needs and it cost way too much.
    We will never learn

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    Chuck-
    We need to separate river dredging from beach sand pumping. The actual work may be similar but the materials are not. River dredging involves silt and sand. Beach pumping is sand only.
    Here’s a link to a story in 2009 about a leak in the Eagle Island “bulkhead” that leaked dredged materials:
    http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/pao/WIR/WIR_I_37.htm

    So river dredging is a commercial need with no larger implications for beach sand pumping.

    vog

  • Vog46 says:

    “If we spend every marginal dollar for beach replenishment and nothing else then we are tied annually to this ‘funding drive”.”

    And tourism is not an annual thing? Besides beach sand pumping does not happen at every beach every year. It is costly though.

    “Some County residents never use the beach,so should taxpayers pay for sand they never set their feet in?”

    Using YOUR logic if 5500 season tickets are sold to the ILM Braves and no one else buys tickets why should ALL city property taxpayers contribute to the stadium? Why should they contribute to the Port dredging?

    “The LARGER need however was to take the dredged material and cover the beaches after the Hurricanes.”
    Now you know the answer to this already. Dredged materials were not put on the beach.
    http://www.sbeydo.com/maritime/AC_Stakeholder/USACE_2011-07-01.pdf
    “Beneficial Use: good news is sediments contain no significant amount of contaminants. In the past, beneficial use ideas included use for agricultural mix, top soil, etc. If someone had economic use for it, USACE would be very open to supporting this type of beneficial use.
    Potential is there, market is not. Pilot study would have to be done. Salt content might be too high. Very sloppy stuff, but does have some good material. However, the good material is used at the CDF for levee maintenance”

    Yep the very same study about all state ports including the proposed Southport “super port” indicates that dredged materials are not sand but silt or topsoil.

    Beach re – nourishment is different than river dredging. The inlet relocation that saved the Shell Island resort was moving sand a distance of 800 yards and could be pumped.
    River dredging is something else entirely.

    Vog

  • 1981duke says:

    If we spend every marginal dollar for beach replenishment and nothing else then we are tied annually to this ‘funding drive”.
    Some County residents never use the beach,so should taxpayers pay for sand they never set their feet in?
    10 years ago the Cape Fear River was dredged to 42 feet.
    This was sold to public as a “commercial need”,of which it was.
    The LARGER need however was to take the dredged material and cover the beaches after the Hurricanes.
    We spend alot on Beach replenishment,and no doubt this is huge for tourism,but why not ask all the merchants in beach communities chip-in,and not the residents?

  • Vog46 says:

    C’mon man READ.
    Residents haven’t paid up to this point. Room occupancy taxes have.
    And river dredging was not pumped back on the beaches it was pumped on to Eagle Island if my memory is correct. It was a commercial need and I agree it needed to be done. But I also look at inlet dredging as a commercial need.
    Beach sand pumping is needed as tourism brings in hundreds of millions of dollars.
    Using your logic – if only 5500 people go the the stadium to watch baseball then all residents should NOT have to pay for it !!!!
    Correct?

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    Why contract this out?
    Why not form a Regional Beach Commission?
    Have the counties chip in to BUY the equipment, and hire people to do this continuously? When not pumping sand on beaches they could be dredging the Cape Fear and all approaches to it along with inlet dredging.
    Share the ongoing costs with the counties in the RBC.

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    You let them off way too easy.
    The wilmington share of the Room Occupancy tax is $2M (Unless you’re figuring “the split”.

    But its costing way more than that
    http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/Portals/0/documents/Finance/Financial%20Reporting/CAFR/City%20of%20Wilmington%202011%20CAFR.pdf

    Pg 121
    Expenses compared to revenue ($5,436,646)
    They had to transfer out of the Special Purpose fund $5,292,990 to make the Convention Center look “better”.

    The Convention Center Fund is a “PART” of the Special Purpose Fund

    But in any event.
    I wonder about “dredging” the river versus beach sand re nourishment.
    I can see that having our own entity to re nourish beaches and dredge the river might make sense…………

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    to do the indepth research. I pick up on the “Sound Bites”

    They reported 113 events @ the Convention Center. But, they fail to report revenues collected as a direct result of the events.

    And of course a meeting of 2 individuals, to discuss building a ball park on that over priced piece of river front real estate, qualifies as an event.

    Of course, they noted 3,700 hotel rooms rented as a direct result of these 113 events. That’s an average of 33 rooms per event. Not certain where they come up with that number.

    If the convention center, which is available 365 days per year, and could in fact be available for multiple events on the same day, does this poorly; how do they honestly think a ball park, available 70 days per year for baseball, will have any effect other than to be a drain on the local economy?

    Here’s a thought if they undermine the Ripkin initiative. Propose a special 3 cent tax rate for hotels and restaurants as well as for the activities of all the retail members of the Chamber and Wilmington Downtown. After all, according to Duke and MikeT, those folks support the ball park overwhelmingly.

  • Guesttenheimer says:

    Durham isn’t much more than a large ghetto anyway. A far cry from what it was during the tobacco era. Duke University sits in the middle of ghetto land. There really aren’t many safe places in Durham left any longer.

  • MrT says:

    I make no apology for using the Durham Center for Performing Arts as an example of what could lay ahead for Wilmington if the Stadium is built and redevelopment along the River Front occurs. The annual figures for DCPA were released last week and those interested might use the article published in this past Sundays edition of the Greensboro News and Record as reference to the fact that DCPA is the number one attraction venue in the United States with over 400,000 patrons last year. This beats New York City and Vegas. The DCPA returned 1.8 million dollars to the city of Durham. This redevelopment of Durhams inner city was made possible because of the redevelopment of the Durham Bulls Stadium. Now the entire downtown is filled with both commercial and residential growth.
    The Wilmington Convention Centers economic impact on Wilmington is far short of it’s capabilities but conservative est. would indicate 15 million in revenue for city business owners and over 1 million in tax revenue on sales. I believe The Wilmington Convention Center will continue to show a positive growth pattern and within 5 years become one of North Carolina’s most sought after convention sites.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    From the annals of the Greensboro News & Record:

    “…But just an hour’s drive east, the Durham Performing Arts Center has netted an operating profit since it opened in 2008.

    The city of Durham, which owns the building, shares net profits with the company that runs it. The city’s share has topped $1 million for the past two years and is expected to do the same this year.

    Instead of asking voters to approve a bond issue, Durham financed DPAC construction primarily with a form of borrowing called “certificates of participation,” financed with hotel/motel tax revenue…”

    Note, unlike the bonds which the city of Wilmington is so fond of issuing, the city of Durham used a vehicle called “certificates of participation” which are financed through hotel/motel revenue.

    Also from the Greensboro News & Record “…Operating figures don’t take into account the annual debt service of $2.5 million a year. The city uses its net profits to help pay off that debt and for building maintenance.

    “Net profit doesn’t cover all the debt service, nor was it intended to,” said Reginald Johnson, Durham’s interim community development director…”

    But more importantly, you misrepresented facts.

    The article did not say “…that it was the number one attraction venue in the United States with over 400,000 patrons…”

    Your words come back to haunt you.

    It stated “…The Durham Performing Arts Center sold more tickets than any other venue of its size in the country in the first half of the year…” Note the qualifier, of its size which is under 5,000 seats.

    It further stated “…DPAC beat out such peers as the Fox Theater in Atlanta and the Coliseum in Las Vegas…” It was specific as to venues in Atlanta and Las Vegas. And there was no mention of New York, California, or any other major metropolitan area.

    “…Billboard Magazine ranked DPAC third in gross ticket sales for venues that seat under 5,000…”

    For 2012 – 2013, it drew slightly more than 400,000 persons and sold out 67 shows.

    You also fail to note the site is professionally managed by a New York based firm which manages 23 other sites and which has the ability to book performances for all 24 locations.

    That gives them a bit more buying power than a single location convention center.

    So when they book Bonnie Raitt, Randy Travis, or Al Green, just to name a few, they are potentially booking them for 24 performances, not just one.

    You also fail to note you are comparing a performing arts center with a convention center. Sort of akin to comparing a diamond to some cut glass.

    Did you overlook capacity in Durham is 5,000 while at the Wilmington CC, you are only accomodating 1,500?

    Do you honestly think locals don’t realize the difference between the two and don’t understand each type caters to an entirely different market?

    Why don’t you contact the Convention Center Manager and confirm the dates for the NC Symphony or The Nutcracker. Will that be this year or never?

    Is the Convention Center Manager out seeking the likes of Al Green, Bonnie Raitt, or Clay Aiken? All of those parties, and many more are booked into the 5,000 seat Durham facility. How about the Carolina Ballet performing the Nutcracker?

    You and your cohorts will say anything to promote your cause of the moment; even to the point of taking statements out of context or just plain not telling the full and unvarnished truth.

    In Texas, I am told, they would have a rope and a tall oak tree for those who stray from the truth or try some city slicker stuff.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    The Durham baseball park was built in an area of blighted, rundown warehouses and boarded up buildings. Construction of the ballpark could do nothing but improve property values and serve as a stimulus to renovation and rehabilitation for the surrounding properties.

    Why do you keep mixing watermelons and grapes in your comparisons?

    I’m pretty familiar with Wilmington; and I was very familiar with the area of Durham which underwent transformation and renovation, beginning with the ballpark. There is no area of Wilmington which corresponds with that area of Durham prior to the rehabilitation.

    Remember too, that area has Raleigh, Southern Pines, Greensboro, High Point, and Winston Salem from which it draws its support for the arts.

    What does Wilmington have to draw on?

    Every time you post, you do nothing but sow misinformation and hurt whatever your cause of the day happens to be.

  • Robert Green says:

    I have mentioned in previous posts , what is the county to do when a devastating storm impacts our area beaches ? It has to compete with an ill-advised convention center for dollars from the room occupancy tax. This convention center will be the delusional mayor’s legacy. Even for those who are fortunate enough not to live within King Billy’s city , they will have to foot the deficit due to the white elephant that sits empty a majority of the time. King Billy has hurt the pocketbooks of all county residents with his irresponsible governance. The beaches will always be a bigger draw than a convention center in a sleepy southern town that competes with larger venues. The decisionmaking of the City of Wilmington is having a negative effect on all county residents. The improvements of infrastructure should be paramount to a politician’s wish list , who look to build personal monuments at the expense of taxpayers. The lastest non-transparent project is the construction of taxpayer funded ballpark. Next time the City of Wilmington cries foul over the distribution of taxpayer dollars to municipalities , remind King Billy and his Court of the negative repercussions that his personal monument has on the region.

  • Vog46 says:

    I agree with that 100%
    I laugh at Convention Center people who say its a success.
    Record breaking attendance? For whom?
    Yes some organizations had higher levels of attendance at our center in the first year but to IMPLY its record setting is disingenuous. From the convention centers website you can see that attendance at this years events is averaging 87 people per event. That is pathetic and most of the events there are local gatherings involving no hotel stays – so revenue is DOWN from first year but still up from when we had nothing.
    The question is does it justify the expense? To this I say no.
    The article about beach re nourishment tells us why. We NEED those tourists at the beaches.
    The same argument holds for the ball park. Will it succeed? I doubt it because we don’t support baseball here historically. So if we face a decision of stadium or beach sand which will take precedence?
    I say beaches – they are a proven draw.

    Vog

  • Guest797 says:

    The chickens have come home to roost. The country is $16 Trillion in debt and counting. The days of the federal goverment spending millions on beach renourishment have come to an end not because politicians like McIntyre want it to stop, but because it HAS to stop due to lack of funding.
    THe solution? Increase the occupancy tax enough to pay for beach renourishment. New Hanover county should have seen this situation coming. Now it is time to take positive steps. If people want to use the beaches…the users of them should pay higher occupancy or “users” taxes and stop expecting federal taxpayers in Iowa to pay for beaches they will never use.

  • 1981duke says:

    The beach communities are profitable.
    They keep parking meter revenues.
    They keep a high percentage of sales Tax revenue.
    Their homes hold appreciation,re-sell for better margins than most homes.
    So why can not the beach communities pay for the bulk of the re-nourishment.
    The Hotels there,rental properties,restarants,merchants all benefit from yes,another subsidized way of life.
    They are quite spoiled,coddled.
    Maybe we should spend less on the shore-lines,gives our teachers a raise,and our kids better study materials?
    We have a “hollow” economy,and when the Mayor tries to create a “new economy”.people go nuts.
    Our schools are some of the worst in the State,go buy more sand..

  • SurfCityTom says:

    are you on drugs?

    Beach homes have lost significant value and are way behind other New Hanover County & city properties in recovering value.

    If the beaches erode too severly, then the tourism trade will fade. And then who will attend all of those baseball games in the ball park you would have the city build on that overpriced parcel of river front acreage.

    I agree with you. The beach communities, and I live in one in Pender County, should cover more of the replenishment costs. Just as soon as the government cuts Medicaid, free cell phones; puts limits on access to public housing and food stamps; and forces those capable of working to get a job.

    We can be in agreement if we meet each other part way.

  • Vog46 says:

    Kure Beach increased property taxes by 2 cents per hundred to pay for beach sand. Carolina Beach has transferred funds to help with beach renourishment.
    Sales taxes account for less than 5% of total revenue in both towns.

    House prices in the beach towns are 3 times as high as your standard home in Wilmington and THAT translates into very high ad valorum taxes.

    These communities are hardly “coddled” and the populations are so small that making them pay for their own beach re nourishment would probably ruin those communities.
    And think about this Chuck. None of the beach communities have enough hotel rooms to handle their own tourists so nearby towns and cities (like Wilmington) benefit from their beaches.

    Why not let Wilmington Annex them? Hey let the beach sand go away and build your stadium!!!

    Vog

  • Mary Osbourne says:

    If the reporter had bothered to get some information instead of just repeating what was said, she would have found out that the room occupancy tax money the Kure Beach mayor was talking about is generated by hotels INSIDE the city limits of Wilmington. In fact,hotels inside the city of Wilmington paid for 42% of ALL beach re-nourishment for the entire county last year. That means the beach towns and the county together only paid for 58% of re-nourishment and Wilmington paid the rest, but now they want Wilmington’s money too. Follow that logic and Wilmington should ask the county for money to pay for the riverwalk, which is the city’s biggest tourist attraction.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    if one watched the movie “Animal House” is not road trip or toga party, it’s build a ballpark. Build it on overpriced river front acreage. Lay another albatross around the property tax payers in the city of Wilmington.

    Then watch the fiscal reality in 2015 or 2016 when attendance fizzles down. Layoffs in Police, Firefighters, and other city agencies. Reduction in city services. Possibly default on city obligations.

    It’s happening all across the country. It can happen here if the voting public does not get out to the polls and vote NO for the bond referendum. Send a clear message to City Council.

    And then get ready to watch baseball in the Ripkin sponsored project across the river built with no public funds.

Leave a Reply