via The Carteret County Shore Protection Office

NC - County to Push Effort to Secure Recurring State Funds for Beach Projects

EMERALD ISLE — Carteret County’s Shore Protection Office hopes to work with state legislators in 2021 to get a recurring source of funds to help local governments pay for beach nourishment projects.

In an email last week, Greg Rudolph, manager of the office, said, “This is a goal for us that has been evolving over the past decade-plus.”

The effort increased when N.C. General Assembly established the Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund in 2018, he said, but that fund doesn’t have a recurring revenue stream, like the state’s Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund. That fund gets revenue from boat registration fees and a portion of the marine gas tax to build up year after year. It helps pay for local dredging projects, usually on a two-thirds state, one-third local, funding ratio.

Mr. Rudolph said the state’s beach towns and their legislators have been evaluating potential sources of recurring revenue for a nourishment fund and will make it a priority during the 2021 legislative session.

“This is not an easy task and (the coronavirus pandemic) has speckled uncertainty deep into the recesses of all governments, adding more complexity to this broad, over-arching state funding goal,” he said.

He also noted the N.C. League of Municipalities’ latest draft of legislative goals includes a state funding beach initiative.

“We … will likely ask for community/municipality help if the iron gets hot,” Mr. Rudolph said.

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