ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) — Atlantic Beach is considering increasing property taxes in order to pay for more sand to be brought onto the beach.
Atlantic Beach’s five miles of sandy shores has been receding over the years.
Mayor Trace Cooper said something needs to be done to make sure they aren’t washed away for good.
“What’s happening down there on the west end of town,” said Cooper, “is that at high tide there’s not quite as much room to spread out towels and things for families.”
The town is considering a few options, including borrowing the money.
“We’re really fiscally conservative here in Atlantic Beach,” said Mayor Cooper. “So we don’t like to borrow money unless we really need to.”
They’re also considering raising property taxes by a small amount to cover the cost of the project.
Bringing in the sand would cost Atlantic Beach around $1 million every ten to fifteen years. So if the town were to raise taxes, the average resident would pay about $100 more per year.
Cooper said the town surveyed residents to see if they would be willing to slightly increase their taxes for beach nourishment. Of those that responded, 75 percent of residents said that they would.
The town is also considering charging more for beach access parking to help pay the fee.
“This is a user fee,” said Cooper. “You folks are using the beach, you should help pay to maintain it. So we could increase our parking rates and generate some money to go towards our beach nourishment.”
Atlantic Beach would be looking to bring in the sand within the next two winters to avoid taking on a big project during the busy summer season.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers takes care of beach nourishment for Atlantic Beach, but Mayor Cooper said they don’t bring in sand to the western limits of town.