Board votes to move ahead with easements for nourishment project

Posted by Debra Worley - email

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Topsail Beach Town Commissioner received waves of support Wednesday night for a plan to put more sand onto Topsail Beach.

Dozens of people were concerned new board members would dismantle the town's current plans for beach renourishment, but commissioners voted to move forward with easement requests.

The plan is to add more sand to the beach next November, but some commissioners want to wait for a better deal.  They hope to receive federal funds to pay for the project, they say is too expensive.

Homeowner Charlie Diradour says $12 million is a bargain. He believes protecting the beach will also protect the town, which is an idea that former commissioners supported.

"I'm awfully afraid that the actions of the new board, tonight, will tear asunder any progress that the old board made," says Diradour.

Diradour's home, along with many others could be swept away taking tax and tourism dollars with them.

Mayor Howard Braxton says he's been working on the renourishment project for almost ten years and believes it's a good plan.

"We're going to have to put sand on the beach sometime, somewhere, because we have some houses on the beach that are in trouble and if we don't do something to help those, they're going to fall into the ocean, just like they did at North Topsail," said Braxton.

During their meeting Wednesday night, the board voted to dismantle the Topsail Beach shoreline protection committee, a group that looks at how to preserve the beach.

Many Topsail residents say they are outraged by the actions of the commissioners, and a high tide of opposition rose against newly elected Topsail Beach commissioners in their first meeting.

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