CAROLINA BEACH — Carolina Beach’s Town Council made the choice to spend an additional $176,123 on a fence at the town’s Island Greenway that borders U.S. government property. After several months of discussion, Town Council opted for an 8-foot black chain link fence instead of the already approved, and paid for, 6-foot tall silver chain link fence topped with barbed wire. The new fence will not have barbed wire.
Despite already receiving Town Council approval several years prior, after receiving some complaints from residents who live within eyesight of the fence, Mayor Joe Benson made the decision to halt the construction of it.
Since the greenway is located on the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point (MOTSU) property, the federal government is requiring a fence to keep visitors to the trail off its land.
Related: Carolina Beach plans to scrap $32,000 worth of fencing, restart project with more expensive option
Not only is the new fence going to cost residents more, it will also delay the official opening of the Island Greenway. The estimated completion of the new fence is now early November.
Despite claims that the fence will benefit every town resident, there was some dissent from some residents.
“I know that some of these beautiful homes have been built since then (the original approval of the fence), I am not in favor of $239,000 being spent of the town’s money. I think there’s other needs that are more critical like the water … I am not sure if people realize that we are on a lease for this property from MOTSU,” Patricia Jones said during the public hearing.
“For three years I’ve been to this council asking for something to be done at the solid waste center and you have never been able to find the money for that so I find it hard to believe that you can find the money to add additional costs to this fence,” Patrick Boykin said.
While there was resistance, one resident, who owns a home that looks directly at the fence said he was in favor of the most expensive option.
Other residents weighed in voicing their approval for new fence claiming it would blend into the surroundings and look better and be safer for everyone.
Despite a unanimous vote in favor of the project, not everyone on council was as eager to spend town money.
“We’ve been addressing how we need to save our general fund … this is looking like anywhere from 6-10-percent out of our General Fund to pay for this … I personally think we need to focus on other things,” Councilman JoDan Garza said.
Other council members said they were not in favor of having bared wire fencing throughout the town, especially at a recreational area like the greenway. While the greenway fencing is currently only 1.2-miles, the decision to go with the black fencing will set the standard if MOTSU or Kure Beach ever decide to install more fence.
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