Carolina Beach Town Council wants to buy more land in Freeman Park


CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — For the past several months Freeman Park in Carolina Beach has been a hot button issue.

From changes to park rules and regulations, to temporary closures, and disagreements with current property owners, the Carolina Beach Town Council is looking to put an end to it all.

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“If the town owns all the properties out there then we shouldn’t have the same level of difficulties that we’ve had with the property owners recently,” Town Manager, Michael Cramer said.

Fresh on the heels of voting to buy nearly 14 acres of land in Freeman Park, the town council is now interested in buying eight more pieces of land. The land is currently owned by private corporations.

“The interest that council has in the properties out there is for beach access, beach nourishment, sand, and general overall open space,” Cramer said.

Cramer hopes the sales will all be voluntary.

“However if those negotiations aren’t fruitful then we can go to eminent domain,” Cramer said.

Cramer said the North Carolina State General Statutes give them that right.

While some say the town should not spend that kind of money on sand, others think it is a good move.

“I think it’s a great idea. However, I think the town should have tried to make this purchase years ago,” Howard Barshay who supports town buying property said.

However, there are some concerns.

“My only concern would be the possibility of fees going up,” Barshay said. “But I think that I would have to be ok with that in order to preserve the park as it is now.”

The town will use money raised from sales of park passes and fees to buy the properties. Cramer said as of now this move would not affect tax payers.

Cramer added the town mailed letters notifying the various property owners Wednesday. They have 30 days to respond.