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Oak Island Town Council won't purchase pier

OAK ISLAND -- The mayor of Oak Island is calling it black Tuesday. Yesterday the Oak Island Town Council voted against purchasing the Yaupon Beach Fishing Pier. Mayor Johnie Vereen says the pier is a piece of Oak Island's heritage. But when it came time for the town council to pony up $2.2 million in cash to buy it, a majority decided it wasn't worth the investment. Two different developers have recently made offers to purchase the pier as part of larger land acquisitions. When those deals fell through, the town of Oak Island had a chance to buy the pier -- that was voted down last night. Council members who voted against the purchase said the price wasn't right. They added that neither developer who expressed interest in the pier has any intention of tearing it down. But Vereen says developers can't be trusted. Vereen said, "Most large developers with the big bucks and layers of lawyers like the queens blankets can get about anything they want. They manage to work through the rhetoric. And they will turn it into something." Council members opposed to the purchase added that it may not have left the town enough money to prepare for next year's hurricane season. Vereen says they have until November 20 to reconsider their votes. Not only is the pier an issue for local politicians, it's a concern for those who use it.

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