LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- Another bridge stretching across the Cape Fear River is an attempt to alleviate stress and unite counties, but the Cape Fear Skyway is just making people cross. Concerned citizens attended a town meeting at Belville Elementary on Saturday morning to hear from Leland Mayor Walter Futch and the Town Council and to voice their opinions about the bridge and the preservation of property in the Skyway Corridor. It's a project the Leland Town Council is strongly against, and one that's dividing their county.
”It has to stop, people. In order to move forward one way or the other, we have to get rid of the hard feelings,” said Councilman Herbert Barnes.
Although Leland Mayor Walter Futch is firm in his stand against the skyway, he said his ultimate goal is to give his citizens the choice.
“If you still want this bridge, and you're willing to take a risk on having to pay for it, you know, we'll stop the fight and go on” said Futch.
The majority of the nearly 200 citizens present at the town meeting were not in favor. They are concerned about their land, the preservation of historical sites and their tax dollars.
Brunswick County resident Tom Becker said it’s “too expensive a tax burden, and too disruptive to the area. There are more efficient and more cost effective ways to improve the traffic.”
Another concerned citizen was sad to say, “The whole thing is politics. It’s the money and the politics.”
Mayor Futch's presentation stressed that the bridge would not ease traffic flow and in the end would cost taxpayers more than it would the citizens who would pay tolls to use it; but Brunswick County Commissioner Bill Sue thinks it's time Brunswick County taxpayers get their share of construction projects.
Mayor Futch and the Leland Town Council continue to propose alternatives to the Skyway Bridge, such as widening the existing causeway to eight lanes or adding an I-140 loop.