Commission denies city’s request to waive dump fees, approves workforce housing project
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners has denied a request from the City of Wilmington to dump contaminated soil at the county landfill free of charge.
The request was part of the North Waterfront Park Project, which is now under development. From approximately 1850 to 2005, the site of the future park served as the home to the Almont Shipping Facility and suffered industrial contamination.
The county could have saved the city an estimated $24,000 by waiving the fees for up to 500 cubic yards of contaminated soil, but leaders denied their request. A document in the agenda packet states the request falls outside of what the tip fee waiver program is intended to support.
“This was a slightly unusual request that was being made here and it fell in line with our current policy,” said Commissioner Rob Zapple. “I think that’s why we decided to deny that, we weren’t talking about a whole lot of money. I’m sure there will be other requests, but here we didn’t want to set a bad precedent.”
Besides environmental concerns, the county says waiving fees is typically reserved for non-profits and county owned facility projects.
Also at Monday’s meeting, county leaders took steps towards creating a new workforce housing development. Commissioners voted to transfer 14.36 acres of property at 3101 Castle Hayne Road to Habitat for Humanity, which will build homes targeted at county residents with up to 120 percent Area Median Income (AMI).
The development must be built within three years, and Habitat for Humanity is responsible for extending water and sewer utilities to the site.
“It doesn’t get much better than that, to finally see 47 new houses as the potential for that site there, workforce housing,” Zapple said. “We’re talking nurses and doctors, therapists, sheriff’s deputies, teachers.”
The county also designated approximately 1.5 acres for a possible future fire station.