Crews begin clearing trees near ILM

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Crews began clearing trees near Wilmington International Airport early Thursday morning, leaving several residents unhappy.

87-year-old Charlie Joyce has done all he can to prevent crews from cutting down trees on his property, but his legal team said he's basically out of options.

Joyce says he was misled to sign a contract from ILM stating they would cut down his trees to clear the way for a landing system in exchange for $45,000.  Airport officials, however, said they were crystal clear when explaining the agreement to residents.

"Mr. Joyce did what he thought he was supposed to do and sign the document, because he felt he had no choice," said Wes Taylor, Joyce's consultant.  "The fact of the matter is that this is a voluntary action and he did have a choice."

Joyce spent Wednesday afternoon collecting signatures from his neighbors and church group in hopes the petition could possibly end the dispute between him and the airport.

"Mr. Joyce acquiring signatures for support," said Wes Taylor, Joyce's consultant.  "His son, Charlie Jr., has petitioned students at UNCW, and there has been considerable traffic on the internet spreading the word that there's too much wrong with this situation to proceed."

Joyce's consultant and attorney both say to always contact a lawyer before signing a contract you are unsure about.

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