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Hampstead public water access

READ MORE: Hampstead public water access
With no public boat ramps in Hampstead, boaters who don't have access to private ramps have to drive to other towns. But, that could change if Pender County receives the funding to buy waterfront property. So far the county has received a $3 million grant from the state. It still needs millions more to make the public water access a reality. The money would be used to buy a privately-owned waterfront property in the Sloop Point area. Right now, boaters have to drive to either Surf City or Wrightsville Beach for public access, or pay a fee at Scott's Hill. The current property owners are asking for $10 million. Pender County commission chair David Williams says the county will pay only fair market value, and is waiting for a few appraisals. Williams said, "It's every-day folks that want to have access and the access is disappearing, and we've got to draw a line in the sand per say and bite the bullet and get this land purchased to get folks access to the water." There's a line in the state budget for $10 million for Hampstead public water access, but that just gets Hampstead on a waiting list, and does not mean its getting the money any time soon. The $3 million grant only applies to the one waterfront property, so if the county ends up not making an agreement, it will have to re-submit for another location.

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