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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington City Council will decide tonight whether to spend more than $500,000 to fix up Riverfront Park.

The money is spread out over two agenda items with some of the money coming from a proposed grant.

The first item calls for more than $350,000 to Andrews Consulting Engineers, who would renovate the bulkhead.

The second item has council putting up more than $90,000. The state would then match it with a grant to make aesthetic improvements to the area.

City councilman Kevin O’Grady said that it is work that needs to be done.

“There’s a lot of engineering problems,” O’Grady said. “We already have a review of that and an estimate of the work that needs to be done, and the concept was since we’re going through over the next eight or 10 years to do this work that we should consider surface improvements at the same time. Basically, it’s a rebuild so we keep up the quality of the whole riverfront.”

Councilwoman Laura Padgett, who is sponsoring the $90,000 grant proposal, will not be at tonight’s meeting, because she is in Washington, DC, at a transportation conference..

Council will also discuss giving the Downtown Business Alliance close to $7,000. DBA president Jim Bitto said the money will help cover the cost of trash collection, police and fire protection and musical entertainment for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and concert, Rims on the River and the Art Walk.

Comment on this Story

  • SurfCityTom

    if any of the funds are earmarked for more public restrooms along the river for the street “entertainers” and panhandlers to use? Or so was reported in another media outlet.

  • Vog46

    I thought that was a separate expenditure but could be mistaken.
    Public restrooms are ok but could lead to some nefarious activity if not patrolled closely.
    So Riverfront park is getting a face lift and we want to possibly put another park right down the street at the parking deck?
    I think the city should undercut Shoninger and offer VISA’s with ONLY a $100,000 investment. heck we’d pay off all city debts with that one and guarantee Saffo’s re-election………


  • Vog46

    I believe the council said if there’s money left over they’d look at putting more public rest rooms down town. This is according to another TV station as you mentioned.

    But it almost seemed like an afterthought the way the story was written. The council seems pre-occupied with “study’s”, “surveys” and “looking into” things, not concrete “Hey we’ll spend $40,000 on two new public rest rooms.”

    God bless them…….


  • taxpayer

    would go a helluva long way to fixing the potholes around town.

  • Guest Reply

    Council isn’t concerned about potholes…just “Loopholes ‘N Spending”!
    They look at potholes as Baby Sinkholes now…and feel the state should maintain that.

  • Vog46

    I believe the entire city government should be replaced.
    They are doing BULKHEAD work and surface improvements.

    This is why the council wanted the county to change the name from beach renourishment to waterfront improvement funds so that the city could tap into the fund CLAIMING it was for waterfront improvement for tourist attractions.

    Sorry city council. You made a mistake – a couple of them as a matter of fact.
    First – you assumed you could beat Mother Natures relentless erosion by bulkheading a shoreline. Beachfront dwellers have found out all to well you don’t beat Mother Nature. Oh by the way since we now consider riverfront the same as beach front I assume insurance on city waterfront buildings (CC) is going up 20% correct?
    Second – you also assume that the city’s “waterfront” is as attractive to tourists as the beaches are. Are you THAT dumb? Really?
    No beach funds for riverfront buildings.
    O’Grady? Rivenbark? Saffo? Your continued attempts at tax money grabbing through annexation was STOPPED by the Legislature. Your attempt at stealing beach sand pumping funds is embarrassing at best and criminal at it’s worst.
    You should be ashamed.
    “Oh we’ll build it and let the county pay the cost for maintaining it.”
    You are a ship of fools


  • ChefnSurf

    “Councilwoman Laura Padgett, who is sponsoring the $90,000 grant proposal, will not be at tonight’s meeting, because she is in Washington, DC, at a transportation conference”

    Unless I’m incorrect, Laura seems to travel a lot on the taxpayer’s dime.

  • Frustrated

    The City Council needs to figure out why they are allowing the City Fire Dept to answer calls in the county using city resources- resources that are costing the city alot of money when you consider personnel, equipment cost and not to mention workman’s comp- why is the city/ taxpayer paying for this?
    Not to mention closing down stations and causing the taxpayers insurance rates to go up since the city’s insurance rating has dropped due to these closures.
    Maybe if there was less waste with the Fire Department there would be more money to go towards things like refurbishing the waterfront. Especially if theres a fire downtown the trucks will probably be in Burgaw putting out Joe Smith’s barn.

  • SurfCityTom

    and the City could set up a processing center @ the CC. Every day it’s open would be a seperate event.

  • SurfCityTom

    the way it was worded in the Star News, it was a done deal to put additional rest room facilities down there. Gotta take care of those unlicensed street entertainers who will gladly allow you to pass if you place a dollar or 2 in their direction.

  • Vog46

    How infrequently I go down town I suppose I should be surprised that an entertainer would ask or imply I should give them money to “cross his path”. How “troll-ish” of them…..

    I thought the bathrooms were supposed to be vomit vessels for the Friday and Saturday night crowds……

    I do need to get out more


  • SurfCityTom

    don’t you remember about 18 months ago when The High Mayor and his band of merry thinkers redefined street entertainers to include all of the homeless who pan handle downtown? All they need is a kazoo or whistle to qualify.

    Really adds to the ambiance when you leave Ruth’s Chris or Roy’s and want to meander along the river to walk off part of your dinner.


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