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Fri April 28, 2006
Primary Candidates Answer Questions about Inlet Dredging
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – Martin Herring and incumbent Russell Tucker are the democratic candidates looking to challenge republican candidate Richard Kaiser.
When asked about the dwindling federal dollars for inlet dredging and whether the state should take over funding for dredging Herring says the like the new state Lottery, lawmakers should find a creative solution to drum up money for dredging.
If the federal government pulls out of dredging, and it has to be done, the only way to keep the taxpayers from having to support the dredging, which is by the state, is for the state to come up with creative ways to bring more money into the state.
Whether the state should pay for inlet dredging, incumbent Tucker has one qualifier.
Not without a source of income to do that.
The 4th House district includes Duplin and Onslow counties.
Laura Padget and incumbent Thomas Wright are the democratic candidates looking to challenge republican candidate Shelia Roberts for the House seat in the 18th district.
When asked whether the state should take over funding coastal inlets Padget says it's something to consider.
I'm first of all in favor of lobbying to get it back into the federal budget as was done before, and I think that's where it ought to come from. But I think the state and local governments are going to have to work together to make sure the dredging and beach renourishment are done.
Incumbent Thomas Wright says the federal government should pick up the tab for inlet dredging.
Is it the sole responsibility of state and local units of government to do that? No. Our federal dollars ought to be returned to us, our tax money ought to come back to us to benefit our coastal shores and so I would say it's still a responsibility of the federal government.
The 18th House District includes New Hanover and Pender counties.
Shirley Babson and Bill Fairley are the republican primary candidates hoping to challenge incumbent democrat R.C. Soles Jr. for the Senate seat in the 8th district.
Babson is a North Carolina native who for a while worked as a bookkeeper in her father's construction company. She says it's crucial to maintain regular dredging.
I think the state will have to do that or work in partnership with cities along the coast, both of them work together. Because it's crucial to have these inlets dredged, it means the livelihood for sports fishermen, shrimpers and it would help the economy over all.
The other candidate Bill Fairley has lived in Southport since 1978, where he practiced law for more than 20 years.
He says the state would receive a return on its investment in dredging inlets.
The short answer is that the state needs to recognize that the dredging produces sand, sand produces a beach and beach produces a huge portion of income to the coastal communities at least.
The 8th Senate district includes Brunswick, Columbus and Pender counties.