SUNSET BEACH, NC (WECT) – Plans to build a controversial park project are causing a disagreement between leaders in Sunset Beach.
The mayor, Richard Cerrato, says the town doesn't have the money to build a park, but councilors say that's not the case.
Sunset Beach leaders have been trying to build a park near the Intracoastal Waterway for more than five years. The plans are now in place, but there's still a disagreement on whether or not to move forward.
The town has agreed to spend about $3 million of taxpayer money to build a park near the old bridge in Sunset Beach.
They've also received about $1 million in grant money.
On Monday night, city leaders will meet to discuss the project and how to move forward with material to be used for the brick walkway and the parking lot.
Mayor Rich Cerrato says the town can't afford to build the park due to other pending projects.
"We need to begin to prioritize our projects," said Cerrato. "We don't have the money any longer. The $2.2 million price tag for this land has caused the problem that we have now."
However, Councilwoman Karen Joseph says that's not true.
"We're very lucky; we have the money," said Joseph. "We're doing many projects in town, and there's no tax increase slated. So to say the money is not there, is just not accurate."
It's important to note that the mayor has no authority to make decisions or cast a vote on the project.
Councilor Joseph said the town council stripped the mayor of most of his power shortly after he was elected.
Town leaders hope to start construction on the park project within the next two months.
Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved.
322 Shipyard Boulevard