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Maritime Memorial location up for debate

READ MORE: Maritime Memorial location up for debate
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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) -- The City of Southport wants to pay tribute to its maritime heritage with a memorial.

But after a public hearing tonight, the proposed location may be sinking fast.

The memorial is a tribute to those who ever made their living on the water here. But finding the perfect spot for it in Southport is anything but smooth sailing.

"Wonderful for us to have this opportunity to have this in our community and finding that right location, that's a perfect location for us, is sometimes a challenge. But I'm confident our community will do that," Southport Mayor Robert Howard said.

That's why the Board of Alderman held a public meeting, to get input on the memorial's location. A recent study sanctioned by the board looked at several factors and determined the Fort Johnston Garrison lawn would be the number one choice. The memorial steering committee eventually agreed.

"We talked to ourselves very quickly and said this will certainly be a wonderful site and we'll certainly be willing to accept it," steering committee member Roy Pender said.

But not everyone is.

Many at the public hearing spoke out against the Garrison lawn mainly to preserve the historical integrity of the fort.

"With the size of that marker, I believe they said 920 square feet, Fort Johnston is on the national registry of historic places, putting that marker there will put that designation in jeopardy," Southport resident and historian Jim McKee said.

The Board of Alderman plans to hold a workshop session to consider all the factors before it makes a decision. They hope to have a location named in about 30 days.

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