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Wilmington Star News

Oak Island, N.C. explores service districts for beach funding

Oak Island Town Council agreed Tuesday to make a number of capital purchases, including some earlier than department heads had recommended. Council also instructed staff to move ahead with a months-long process of establishing municipal service districts in anticipation of funding a major beach renourishment effort.

Council did not commit to a specific number of service districts or how much property owners would be charged, but Town Manager David Kelly said Oak Island would need the equivalent of a two-cent tax increase to pay off anticipated engineering and geotechnical services, expected to be made final this May.

Each penny raises about $247,000; the current tax rate is 31-cents per $100 taxable value. Council’s current policy is to dedicate two cents strictly to beach and shoreline protection.

Members agreed they needed to devise a financing plan, noting that estimates for long-term sand placement are $30-million to $40-million. The discussion came during council’s annual retreat, moderated in part by Chris May, director of the Cape Fear Council of Governments.

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