Southport dirt could bring the city millions - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Southport dirt could bring the city millions

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SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) – Southport town leaders are in serious negotiation talks with a company who wants to purchase a large amount of fill dirt from a parcel of land owned by the city near the Sunny Point Military Terminal.

The company, Balfour Beatty, was recently awarded a DOT contract to use the dirt for a road project near the intersection of highways 211 and 133 near Bethel Road.

The majority of the land sits inside the blast zone near Sunny Point, therefore it cannot be developed residentially or commercially.

If approved, the deal would bring the City of Southport somewhere between $1.1 and $1.2 million, ultimately to be paid for by the state.

The land itself totals almost 450 acres.

The land was originally purchased by the city back in 2006 for $2.2 million to use as a sanitary spray field.

Mayor Robert Howard hopes to get some value back on the city's investment.

"We have some of the best dirt in southeastern North Carolina for road construction and other construction projects," said Howard. "We are in an enviable position I believe to be able to have a product that we can sell in the market place.  The property still has a lot of value in it."

City leaders will move forward with negotiations with the Balfour Beatty group.  Howard says he hopes to have a deal reached by the end of May.

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