County OKs boat-ramp projectPublished 5:37pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Beaufort County is seeking grant funds to help buy land for a new boating-access area in the Pamlico Beach area of the county.
During its meeting Monday, the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted for the county to apply for $345,100 from the N.C. Division of Coastal Management through its Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program. The county’s contribution would be $60,900, for a total of $406,000 to use for acquiring the land needed for the project. The Mid-East Commission is helping the county prepare and submit the application.
The county has seven public boat ramps, according to Ben Rogers, a planning technician with the Mid-East Commission. The boating-access area would be built adjacent to Wright’s Creek in the Pamlico Beach area. The boating-access area would be off Wilkins Road.
Louis and Belinda Hopkins own the property being sought. It’s assessed value, according to Beaufort County records, is $406,000.
The document about the project states, “Once development of the property begins, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has proposed construction of a public access boat ramp large enough to facilitate larger watercraft than the current on-site ramp.”
The Town of Bath supports the project that includes boat ramps and an area for the fishing.
“Prior to Hurricane Irene the ramp at Wright’s (C)reek was a very busy facility. Due to the extreme damage to the fish house, the facility has not been repaired nor reopened. The ramp remains, however many visitors choose not to use the ramp due to no lights and concerns about safety around the ramp area. Some fishermen actually choose to travel to another county to launch,” wrote Bubs Carson, Bath’s town administrator in a letter to Beaufort County Manager Randell Woodruff. “Should this site be upgraded to other NC Wildlife ramps, I expect a great deal of tourists as well as local people would once again travel to this area of our county.”
Carson said he’s spoken with countless fishermen in the area who support the proposed project.