Jeff Reid / Wilmington StarNews

NC - Topsail Island Federal Beach Nourishment Sees Delays -- And Could Lead to an Increase in Taxes

A Topsail Island federal beach nourishment project has been delayed following financing concerns from North Topsail Beach officials.

The project aims to limit beach erosion on 10 miles of Surf City and North Topsail Beach coastline, but plans for the project are in limbo after North Topsail Beach residents and local officials have expressed concerns about how the town will pay for it.

The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers approved the project in 2013 and provided funding early this year.

Now North Topsail Beach must sign a project partnership agreement with Surf City to move forward. Surf City council members approved the agreement at an Aug. 21 council meeting, said Surf City Town Clerk Stephanie Hobbs.

“That document has been executed on our side. However, we cannot move forward without North Topsail signing on their side,” she said.

North Topsail Beach aldermen discussed the project at several board meetings, including one last week, but have been unable to decide whether to officially sign onto it. The board will hold another meeting in the coming weeks to make a decision, according to Interim Town Manager Dave Gilbride.

“We need to give them an answer pretty soon,” he said.

The project’s more than $237 million price tag will be split between the federal, state and municipal governments. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will foot 65% of the bill while the remaining 35% will be split between the state and local municipalities.

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