NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Beach towns in New Hanover County will have to take their fight for funding to the North Carolina General Assembly without the support of county leaders.
The Tourism Development Authority denied a request to use marketing money to rebuild beaches during a meeting on March 26.
The board was split 9 to 6 with the mayors of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach voting to use part of the revenue generated from the Room Occupancy Tax; however, the majority voted against it, including New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield. He believes the funding would be a short term fix for a long term problem.
On the other hand, some say there would be no money without healthy beaches to draw in most of the visitors.
"We've exhausted all other possibilities," Carolina Beach Mayor Dan Wilcox said. "If we're starting to look at the TDA funds, then it's time for everybody to roll up their sleeves and figure out a way to help us…find a solution to a beach renourishment problem."
Beach towns have had to seek funding from other area because of cuts on the federal and state levels.
The North Carolina General Assembly has the ultimate power in this situation, meaning funds could still be taken from the Room Occupancy Tax to pay for beach projects.
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