CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) – Carolina Beach town leaders are discussing a possible boardwalk expansion plan at their town hall meeting on Tuesday night.
Mayor Bob Lewis wants town council members to consider using $2,500 to draw up plans that could double the size of the existing boardwalk.
"My concept would be to have multi-layered types of decking," said Lewis. "Maybe a children's area where we might build a wooden pirate ship and play area for children. This might be a feature that brings year round visitors."
Lewis says the plan would not use tax payer dollars. Instead, the town wants to use $1.2 million of leftover grant money from the NC Aquarium Pier Project, which was never built. The town would first have to get clearance from state legislators.
Lewis is confident that if plans are drawn first, then the town can get private investors on board in addition to using state grant money.
"The idea here is, can we replace it with something that is really spectacular and can be a focal point in the community," said Lewis.
According to Lewis, the wooden planks on the boardwalk are getting old and deteriorating. Lewis says they will eventually have to replace the boardwalk anyway, so his plan is to expand.
Business owners we spoke to say that means more customers and more tourists. Dava Villapiano owns the Silver Dollar Restaurant on the boardwalk. She's excited about the possibilities.
"The more people that come in here and spend their vacation money, the better it is for everybody in town," said Villapiano. "That makes our town more vibrant."
Lewis plans to bring up the idea at Tuesday's town council meeting. We will update this story with any decisions that council might make.
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