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OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — The fate of the Oak Island Pier is still undecided as town leaders debate what they should do following a recommendation to close the damaged pier to the public.

Last year Hurricane Matthew swept the end of the pier off to sea causing it to shut down for a few weeks. And now, it may shut down for good.

“I just think it would be devastating for the community,” resident, Ken Grymala said. “Especially for all the new people that have just come in. It’s a very enjoyable place to come. It’s always been very well maintained. It’s well disciplined and it’s just a good family place to be.”

According to the StarNews a recent inspection shows the pier’s condition has gotten worse. Prompting an engineer to recommend closing it to the public.

However, the operator of the pier is urging them to keep it open despite the recommendations and local fishermen agree.

“I think the economy would definitely notice a change. Because there are so many people that depend on this pier to come out and relax and fish,” resident, Hub Panther said.

People use the pier for more than just fun in the sun, fishermen say some depend on it to provide food for their family.

“It’s a part of the community I think we’ll all miss,” Grymala said.

The long-term future of the pier remains undecided as town officials wait for an estimate on the damage. The StarNews says an insurance company gave the town three options. To rebuild the section damaged, repair the pier and leave it where it ends now, or tear it down an rebuild from scratch.

“You know it’s going to be interesting to watch and see what happens. But hopefully It’ll be something that will keep the pier here. And keep it operating and let us continue to enjoy it,” Panther said.

Oak Island Town Manager David Kelly says the council and staff will review the request and vote on what will happen to the pier on Tuesday March 14th.

Comment on this Story

  • Dave

    I’ve fished this pier several times during the Spring, (April~Late May), on this Pier.. It IS a HUGE Factor for the LOCAL economy. Many, MANY Wilmington, AND MANY Folks from inland NC, INCLUDING Folks as far away as TENN, SC, GA & Virginia, I’ve met on this pier during the Spring. Mostly, it’s Folks looking to catch a King Mackerel or Cobia on the Brunswick beach’s, as they in fact catch Kings Earliest on the Atlantic coast up this way, (besides FL).. During MY visits, it is one of the CLEANEST & best Family oriented piers I’ve seen in My many years fishing piers in N.C. . We only have a handful of Fishing piers left in North Carolina, It’s in our best interest to save what few piers we have left, in the State. These Piers are way to valuable, to let go into the dustbin of History.. For not just Fisherman, but to ALL the Folks in North Carolina not having Access to Ocean Waters to fish.. Or just to relax & enjoy.

  • Heimie Schmelter

    Why don’t you perform the repairs and reinforcements required to make the pier structurally sound and safely usable for the public, then develop a future plan (to include finances)on what you need to do to replace (if needed) the “T Head” that was lost in the storm?

    • guest45

      these repairs may be to costly for the owner to afford to do, it’s a shame, I like the piers they have in Florida that are designed to stand the hurricanes, but probably just to expensive for the return, I hate to see nay pier go down, like the Oak Island Pier.

  • guest45

    we need these public piers for our coast, hope they decide to keep it, I’m sure there is a developer just foaming at the bits to get their hands on that property.

    • Vog46

      guest-
      If memory serves me right this pier WAS privately owned. The previous owner bought it from the town after it was damaged in a previous storm.
      I for one don’t want to see any town owning a structure that is subjected to so much potential damages from hurricanes or just bad storms.

      Vog

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