The New Hanover County Commissioners had no qualms agreeing to the $3.7 million assessment for property owners near Masons Inlet, but adding an additional $30 onto some of these bills recently became a major source of contention.
The board voted earlier this week to split the $25,000 cost of monitoring the waterbird habitat near the inlet with nearby property owners at the north end of Wrighstville Beach – a complete reversal of their decision back in July.
Since the Mason's Inlet agreement was enacted in 1999, the county has been paying $12,500 for the bird habitat maintenance with the property owners splitting the other half. On July 15, the board unanimously voted to transfer that cost completely onto the property owners – adding an additional $30 per year onto their bills.
Monday's decision overturned this extra fee, forcing the county to pick up the tab again. ...
The county's vote on the assessment approved the total cost of $3,758,458. Residents now have a six-month window to pay their assessed fees. Wrightsville Beach property owners will pick up the $1.6 million for maintenance fees and Figure Eight property owners will pay $2.1 million for the dredged sand that was pumped onto its eroded beach.
The cost of waterbird habitat monitoring is about 1.6% of the current inlet maintenance cost to Wrightsville Beach residents. It is always funny to observe the nitpicky costs that hang people up.