Councilman questions Carolina Beach spending

Reported by Colin Hackman – bio |email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Carolina Beach Town Councilman Bob Lewis is hot, "I'm angry people are wasting our money."

The first term councilman is adamantly opposed to raising taxes. Taxes town manager Tim Owens thinks are necessary.

"I felt compelled to propose a 1 cent tax increase, mainly because of the land we purchased," Owens told WECT on Friday.

The land, a 4 million dollar purchase for the proposed aquarium pier, and $200,000 for this small lot on the north end - proposed to be used as a handicap accessible parking lot.  All, for roughly a 10 percent tax hike.

Councilman Lewis tells WECT that he believes the lot was appraised as low as $45,000 dollars, however the Town paid $200,000 for the lot.

$200 thousand dollars for a lot the town is just now figuring out how to use.

Tim Owens admits there is no hard plan in place for the property.  Mayor Joel Macon, who declined to comment on camera, said he believes the town got a good deal on the property.  Lewis estimates the property could hold no more than seven cars.

The value of seven parking spaces for $200,000 dollars is part of why Lewis says he will fight hard to make sure the Carolina Beach Town Council doesn't get ahold of any new tax money.

"I'm looking at the individuals I talked to that are retired," said Lewis, "that have been here for 25 years and getting forced out of there homes, because taxes are going up.  Because the county is increasing their taxes and local government is just spending their money."

Money Lewis hopes will stay in the pockets of taxpayers.