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  • Surf City proposed budget includes land purchase

  • After more than a year of negotiations, Surf City officials hope a private landowner will accept the town’s bid to buy property along the Intracoastal Waterway.
  • SURF CITY — After more than a year of negotiations, Surf City officials hope a private landowner will accept the town’s bid to buy property along the Intracoastal Waterway.
    The town council on June 4 unanimously approved offering $70,000 for 2.4 acres contiguous with two town-owned lots and adjacent to the Surf City Police Department.
    The property, owned by John Yow, is not a buildable lot, but the town has plans to use the property’s immediate access to deep water.
    “Our property doesn’t go to the edge of the water so we can put a boat lift on this piece of property,” Co-interim Town Manager Jane Kirk said.
    The police department runs its patrol boat out of a boatlift at Soundside Park, which is roughly a quarter-mile from the department.
    Installing a boatlift on the Yow property would cut down on emergency officials’ response time. The current boatlift location also does not have access to running water, so the boat has to be towed to another location for cleanings and maintenance, town officials said.
    In other business, former Surf City manager Michael Moore, who retired June 1, presented the proposed fiscal 2013-14 budget to council members.
    The budget requests a tax increase from 31 cents per $100 valuation to 41 cents per $100 valuation. The additional 10 cents per $100 would pay for future beach nourishment projects and will remain in place five years if approved.
    “I know none of us want to see our taxes increase but after careful study I do believe this is in the best interest for all property owners of Surf City,” Moore said.
    The proposed $13.5 million budget includes three new town employee positions, increasing the town’s staff from 49.5 full-time positions to 52.5 employees. If approved, the budget will give employees a 4-percent raise.

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