SURF CITY, N.C. (WNCT) — A federal partnership 20 years in the making between North Topsail Beach and Surf City is no longer in the works, according to Surf City Town Manager Kyle Breuer.
The partnership was for a federal dune restoration and nourishment project by the Army Corp of Engineers. Now, Surf City will continue to move forward with the Corp to start the bidding process for just the town alone.
The town of North Topsail Beach withdrew from the partnership on July 1st due to increasing costs, Mayor Joann McDermon said. She also said the cost of the project nearly doubled over the last ten years.
McDermon along with the North Topsail Board of Alderman wrote an open letter to the Army Corp of Engineers explaining in detail reasons for the withdraw. She said to afford the project, the town would have had to increase property tax by two times for residents.
McDermon said the town will continue to nourish beaches and costs will be reimbursed by FEMA.
Breuer believes North Topsail Beach dropping out of the partnership will really have no effect on the project for Surf City, to his knowledge.
The total cost for the construction of the project is estimated at $237 million, originally split 60/40 between the two towns, Surf City taking care of 60 percent. Surf City will continue to pay their 60 percent and the Army Corp of Engineers will nourish around six miles of beach, said Breuer.
Breuer said the cost will not exceed $237 million. He does not have an exact dollar amount because they have to see how the contract bidding process turns out.
He said conversations with the Corp still need to happen for more specifics on how they will continue.