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.