With municipal elections less than a week away, WHQR News is talking to mayoral candidates, including former Carolina Beach Mayor Ray Rothrock, who is returning to the ballot, as well as current council members Dan Wilcox and Pat Efird.
WHQR’s Sara Wood reports that with looming concerns about beach renourishment and inlet dredging, Rothrock says recycling sand may be the way to go.
Rothrock served as mayor from 1997 to 2003 and has worked in the charter boat industry. As dredging and renourishment are vital to the town’s economy, he says with more federal funding it may be possible to combat erosion.
“When you pump the sand out of the inlet, put it on the beach. Don’t put it back in the water to wash away somewhere else or fill the inlet back up. That certainly would save we taxpayers at the beach or wherever we might live.”
As the town’s beach renourishment plan gets closer to expiring in 2014, Dan Wilcox is working to construct new plans and additional funding.
Wilcox currently serves as the town’s representative for the ports, waterway & beach commission and has worked on logistical issues pertaining to dredging and renourishment, issues essential to the economy and coastal environment.
“We not only do have to continue that project which requires us to come up with a new project that’s approved or do our own permitting and such, which we’re working on all of that. We also then have to find funding for that.”
Efird says dredging and renourishment play a vital role.
“Those are two very, very important issues. I think that we are going to have to work hard to find funding to keep the inlet dredged and the beach renourished but most importantly is our infrastructure.”
Along with candidate Dan Wilcox, Efird is being investigated by the SBI for allegations the two benefitted financially after voting for a town purchase of vacant beachfront property in 2009.
Efird says the investigation has not affected her campaign. Wilcox says he welcomes the investigation. When asked to comment, Rothrock says it’s only an investigation and no one has been charged or tried.