Pier pressure

A Nags Head fishing pier is beginning a new season after surviving a debate over whether it is a landmark or a tottering relic. Jennette's Fishing Pier is now owned by a private nonprofit group that supports programs at three state-owned aquariums.

The state's Clean Water Management Trust Fund provided a million dollars to buy the pier and its parking lot, which had been earmarked for development. The agency was established to make grants for projects that lessen water pollution. The town of Nags Head and Dare County agreed to repay the trust fund.

Town leaders sought to stop the beachfront homes from being built on the property because they did not want to lose the business a pier attracts. Critics still question using state funds and the involvement of Senator Marc Basnight, the powerful Senate leader who lives nearby in Manteo.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)