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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Residents oppose public-private partnership over rebuilding Southport’s city dock

Residents in Southport have shared their concerns with the Board of Alderman over their agreement with Southport Marina for months. The marina has agreed to build a new city dock, to be repaid by the city with interest.

Southport Marina has agreed to rebuild Southport's public dock, but many residents aren't happy about the public-private partnership. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Google Maps)
Southport Marina has agreed to rebuild Southport’s public dock, but many residents aren’t happy about the public-private partnership. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Google Maps)

SOUTHPORT — As Southport pursues a public-private partnership with a local marina, many residents are showing opposition to the project.

The city’s second public meeting to review the project is scheduled for tonight at the Southport Community Building.

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Southport’s public city dock was damaged during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The damaged dock will be demolished by Southport Marina, to make way for a new floating dock. In April, Southport’s Board of Alderman approved a non-binding Letter of Intent with Southport Marina, which passed 5-1.

Southport Marina has agreed to rebuild, and later manage, a new city dock for at least $256,000. The city would later reimburse the marina, with interest.

Public opposition to the partnership has been shared with the city since the project was first proposed. Common concerns include parking, a loss of waterfront views due to larger vessels and a changing Yacht Basin landscape.

According to the agreement, Southport Marina would maintain the dock, collect management and boat slip fees while the city paid off its loan. Once the loan is paid in full, the city would then be eligible to collect and 50 percent of the boat slip revenue, at $75 per slip, per month.

In May, Southport Alderman Todd Coring addressed the public “outcry” and “hostility” the board had received since pursuing the public-private agreement. Coring asked the board of alderman to schedule a series of public workshops to clear up the misunderstanding between the city and the public.

Last month, Southport held its first public meeting regarding the proposed city dock. Tonight, the conversation is set to continue at 5:30 p.m. at the Southport Community Building.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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