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Carolina Beach in time crunch to move storage materials off Army-owned land

READ MORE: Carolina Beach in time crunch to move storage materials off Army-owned land

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY)-- After several decades of using property leased from the federal government, the Town of Carolina Beach must finally comply with its lease. What was only supposed to be used for a water treatment facility, over time the town has used it for storage not approved by the Army.

It seems pretty simple. Carolina Beach just needs to comply with the lease agreement they originally made, but if they can't move everything out by their deadline, it could become a bit complicated.

In the early 1970's the town began leasing more than 5 acres of U.S. Army-owned land off of Dow Road. The land is a “buffer zone,” for the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point across the river in Brunswick County. Carolina Beach promised to only use it for a water treatment plant with one storage building, but through the years the town has used the land for storage, for anything from impounded cars to a green house to building materials.

“We’ve had letters come back if you look in the files, the Army did not really approve any of those things to be done, but town managers and the town itself just pushed it back there,” says Carolina Beach Town Councilman Bob Lewis.

Lewis says the town has requested several times to be allowed to keep the stored items on the property, but the Army has repeatedly said no and is requiring the town to comply by the end of the year. That means everything, except the water treatment plant, must be moved out by December 31.

“So that includes people, equipment, ground storage, small buildings, a greenhouse,” Lewis says. “So, 90 days is a pretty aggressive time frame but I think we can get it done.”

However, where to put everything is now the issue. Town council is holding a special meeting Wednesday, October 3 at 3 p.m. to talk about what the town should do.

“There’s various types of options,” Lewis says. “Some of those are temporary. Some of those can be permanent.”

If for some reason the town is unable to comply with the agreement, Lewis says the Army could potentially cancel the town’s lease, which would mean moving the water treatment facility and cost the town several million dollars.

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Non-Compliance with the U.S. Army !

This is another classic example of the Carolina Beach's Local govt. attitude towards a non-compliance to conditions of an agreement. Its nothing new either. Pure, Plain & Simply stated. By holding a: Special Meeting on October 3rd to merely "Talk" about what they need to do is not the issue here. Its what they Must Do for Non-Compliance or face major fines from: Uncle Sam and their Water Treatment Facility just might become abandoned property ! We will elect qualified candidates, who are better qualified for 2012 and hope this issue will never happan again. Its inexcusable ! The people in Carolina Beach deserve better than what they have to put up with now.