On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we spend the first segment with one candidate for the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen. The remaining two segments feature candidates running for Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO, popularly known as H2GO – who have opposing views on whether to build a reverse osmosis plant.
Segment 1: Pat Prince for Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen
This is a race that has five candidates vying for two open seats. Only one of the incumbents with an expiring term is running for re-election. We will hear from the other candidates for the Board in Wrightsville Beach later this election season.
Wrightsville Beach is a town in New Hanover County with a population of slightly more than 2500. About 98% of the population is white with a median household income, according to the 2010 census, of slightly more than $64,000.
Pat Prince has a degree in recreation administration from the University of North Carolina. She has also served as clerk for Jane Mosley in the North Carolina House of Representatives. And she’s served on the UNCW Board of Visitors, its Executive Board of Visitors, and the Flotilla Committee. She is currently Vice President of The Wrightsville Beach Foundation.
Segment 2: Brayton Willis - H2GO Board of Commissioners
H2GO is a water and sewer utility in Brunswick County that serves the northeast portion of the County including Leland, Belville, parts of Navassa, and some customers located outside of these municipal boundaries.
The utility serves about 10,000 water customers, 6,000 sewer customers, and expects the customer base to double within the next 25 years.
H2GO currently buys finished water from Brunswick County Public Utilities. But since 2011, H2GO has worked towards building its own Reverse Osmosis plant. Constructing a plant with a price tag of more than $30 million is controversial – with opponents concerned the project is not necessary and would saddle consumers with higher utility rates.
Brayton Willis is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and currently lives in Leland with his wife. He has worked as a wastewater design/construction engineer for private engineering firms. As a public health engineer, he oversaw the Water and Wastewater program in Maricopa County, Arizona. He has also worked as a Senior Project Manager and Strategic Planner for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and he’s served on the Planning and Zoning Board in Holden Beach, NC.
Segment 3: Rodney McCoy -- H2GO Board of Commissioners
H2GO is moving towards construction of a reverse osmosis plant so that it would have an independent water source and control of its water quality. H2GO currently spends about $1.8 million per year on finished water from Brunswick County Public Utilities.
The RO plant, however, is controversial. Opponents organized a couple of years ago, and of the five current commissioners on H2GO’s Board, at least two of those members are opposed to construction of the plant.
There are six candidates in total vying for three open seats. On a previous show (September 6, 2017), we met three others seeking a seat on H2GO’s board.
Rodney McCoy is a Leland resident, a business owner, and is running in support of the reverse osmosis plant.