CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) - The bathroom line at the beach may soon get a little shorter. Leaders in Carolina Beach looked at plans for proposed public bathrooms at their workshop Tuesday.
The proposed bathrooms would sit in front of a four story mixed-used building that will house condominiums and a restaurant on the corner of Cape Fear Boulevard and Canal Drive. Town leaders have to ask the property owner about his thoughts on the project.
Mayor Joe Benson said more bathrooms are needed as more people visit the area.
“With more tourists coming down, or day visitors, those staying overnight and for a longer period of time, we need more public restrooms,” he said.
If approved, the facility will have 12 stalls, six for males and six for females. It’s expected to cost around $120,000 and Benson said the bathrooms won’t be approved until after the summer.
Town council also talked about fund balances. At the end of 2018, the state’s local government commission was concerned the town wasn’t ending each fiscal year with enough money compared to towns of similar sizes. The commission warned it may have to raise taxes or cut programs.
At the workshop, town leaders said Carolina Beach grows from 6,000 people to 20,000 in the summer and the town paid for projects up front to improve the area for the tourists. Finance Director Debbie Hall said they’re now getting reimbursed through grants.
“We’re unique compared to other units they’re comparing us to because we do have that influx to deal with,” Hall said. “The thought was instead of raising taxes for the citizens, since we have so many visitors coming in, let them help pay for some of these improvements we are doing to help them in the first place.”
Hall said the town is expecting “quite the impact," predicting the fund balance to increase this fiscal year.
According to Hall, the town mailed the committee a response and its plan for raising the fund balance in December. She said increasing parking fees and the cost of Freeman Park permits will help boost the fund balance.
Carolina Beach’s available fund balance percentage is 21 percent. That is the unassigned fund balance divided by the total expenditures, or $3.1 million divided by $14.5 million, or the difference between revenues coming in and liabilities going out.
Benson said his goal is to have that number rise to 35 percent in the fiscal year that starts on July 1.