Things are heating up in North Topsail Beach. The town's board of aldermen voted to put a beach nourishment project on hold. Now some residents are accusing one particular alderman of using his political power for personal gain. People became suspicious when an ad for the building where board member Richard Farley lives turned up in a local paper. The ad listed Farley's second-row building as "soon to be oceanfront property" and selling for $450,000. That's more than five times what he paid for it in 1997. The house is behind a home that's threatened by beach erosion. At least a dozen angry topsail residents called our newsroom today concerned about the decision not to re-nourish, some of them mentioned the ad for Farley's house. Farley said the ad wasn't for his house and that his decision to vote against re-nourishment was in the town's best interest. Farley said, "The oceanfront homeowners pretty much need to bear the largest share of that cost, because I think they benefit more than people who are down these streets and things like that." Houses next to Farley's were on sale for almost half of what the ad was asking. The realty company that placed the ad said the property was for rent, not for sale, then quickly hung up. People who live on the beach say it's eroding quickly and worry that even a minor hurricane could destroy their homes.
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