We start this week with the communication breakdown that led to this week’s traffic issues. CSX shut down nearly 30 roads, catching police, fire, EMS, school buses and thousands of residents off guard.
The city knew about the full extent of closures on Jan. 3 — nearly three weeks before the closures — but didn’t communicate that information to authorities or the general public.
So, what happened?
Next, we turn to CFPUA and an issue that was first reported on over a year ago when it appeared the filtered water from the Sweeney Treatment Plant had higher levels of several emerging contaminants than raw water taken from the Cape Fear.
Yes, that’s correct, these chemicals, similar to GenX, are still more concentrated in drinking water, after an extensive filtration process, than they are in the river.
CFPUA is working on the issue, but it isn’t going to be cheap. Like, $200 million not cheap.
Next up, Brunswick County is preparing for a four-part project to address both water quality and the rapid development of the area. One of the four parts is the county’s sewage expansion.
With a price tag of $39.1 million, the cost is expected to be divided between the county, Leland, H2GO, Northwest, and Navassa — expect that Navassa has said it has no plans to provide the $8 million the county is expected from the small town.
Another issue, an engineering report on the planned expansion shows that the system would hit capacity by 2028, just seven years after construction is finished. That’s a stark contrast to public comments made by the project’s engineers, who say the finished system is designed to last 20 years.
Finally, a trip to the beach towns. In Carolina Beach, new mayor Joe Benson is revisiting an old and thorny issue — the town’s relationship with MOTSU. The town ran afoul of the military base when it failed to follow the terms of their lease agreement, but Benson said recently he is mending fences with the Army, which owns the land.
And, before we leave, we recap that week’s top story, the thong ban at Kure Beach. What’s the story behind the ban? What did people think of it? And could it change? Plus, a special treat, the 2010 song “Kure Beach Thong Song (Don’t Wear Your Thong to Kure Beach),” written by Dan Bell and performed by local musician Matt Solerno — our thanks to Bell and Solerno.
If you missed any of these stories, you can catch up below. Then take a deeper dive with our weekly podcast.