CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) – From subsidies to user fees, the city of Carolina Beach has several different plans to pay for Freeman Park ownership. The city agreed to spend $ 7 million on Friday to buy about 300 acres of land on the island’s northern end. The city has been involved in four lawsuits over four years that led to the purchase of the land, but the owners have yet to respond to requests for comment regarding the sale.
On Monday, city council voted to pay $ 500,000 as a down payment for the land, which previously belonged to private companies.
Freeman Park brings in millions of dollars to the city through the sale of access passes and camping permits, and city leaders plan to use that money to pay for the property.
Mayor LeAnn Pierce said user fees will be the main way the city pays for the land, but she is also looking to get creative with other funding opportunities.
“In the past, it was very difficult for us to seek grants because we did not have to agree on the purchase price with the owners, now that we have it we have already had conversations with Le representing Miller seeking state funding, ”Pierce said. “We are also considering our room occupancy funds and we want to apply for grants to reduce the purchase,” she said.
There is no deadline for the purchase yet. The local government commission has yet to approve the entire sale. Landowners still have not responded to requests for comment on the impending sale of their land, but Carolina Beach lawyers told WECT the sale was binding and there was no turning back now. .
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