Thursday, April 18, 2024

Podcast May 18 – Leland’s surprise move, Carolina Beach’s costly hotel venture

We start this week with Leland’s abrupt about-face on H2GO’s reverse osmosis plant. After years of opposing the plant, Leland announced a proposed agreement which would give ownership of the facility to the town (as opposed to Belville, which illegally absorbed the plant in 2017, or H2GO, which began construction on the plant).

Local and county officials woke up to the release — sent at 2 a.m. — and expressed mixed reactions throughout the day: County Commissioner Frank Williams said he was “blindsided” and that the county was scrambling to analyze the proposal; meanwhile, H2GO Board Chairman Jeff Gerken said he would support the agreement, but remained skeptical of the need for the plant. Belville, on the other hand, issued a scathing dismissal of the proposal, calling it “the height of hypocrisy.”

Also this week: District Attorney Ben David pushed back against accusations that pre-trial detainees are “languishing” in jail. The claims are part of a larger critique of the cash-bail system, which criticizes both the overall practice of cash bail and its disproportionate impact on people of color (thus, the recent “Bail out Black Mamas”) campaign. We break down what David had to say in response.

Finally, a look at the strange and costly story of Carolina Beach’s foray in the hotel industry. Ten years ago, the town created a nonprofit to buy two beach hotels, ran them for five years – often at a loss – and then sold them – also for a loss, of over a million dollars. The town’s residents are still paying for the 2009 purchase today, and will continue to do so for at least five or six years at the current rate.

So, how — and why — did this happen? We get into it.

If you missed any of these stories, you can catch up below. Then take a deeper dive with our weekly podcast.

‘Excessive, unreasonable, unnecessary, and expensive’: Leland now wants RO plant for itself

Brunswick County, H2GO Chairman, Belville respond to Leland’s attempt to take over RO plant

“Exploding the myth”: People are not languishing in local jail due to inability to pay bond DA says

Ten years ago Carolina Beach got into the hotel industry. Residents are still paying for it

Carolina Beach Jeep ‘Go Topless Day’ looks to top last year’s record showing


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