North Topsail Beach leaders stalled the initial stage for permitting a hardened structure at the town’s North End.

No action was taken by the Board of Aldermen, which extended review of qualifications submitted by three firms for engineering, planning, permitting and designing a protective structure. Onslow County and North Topsail Beach agreed to start the environmental-impact study for a variety of structures — they have not agreed to one type. Rules prohibit jetties, which cost more than terminal groins, but the county has expressed interest in the more costly option if it protects New River Inlet’s navigability.

Each alderman received an evaluation sheet and each firm’s complete list of qualifications, Assistant Town Manager Carin Faulkner said.

Coastal Planning & Engineering of North Carolina, Dial Cordy and Associates, and TI Coastal PLLC submitted qualifications.

The review will span about three weeks. Onslow County also is reviewing the firms.

“By then, hopefully the county will have had the chance to look over those, too,” Faulkner said.

The aldermen also reviewed second opinions of Coastal Planning’s dredging data for the inlet. No action was taken on that review. About two-thirds of a state grant funded the opinions from professors in Florida and Massachusetts in review.

In addition, the board revisited its quest to sell surplus properties throughout the town to bolster revenues to offset rising costs in health insurance and other town expenses.

The board’s next regular meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Sept. 1.

For more information, visit NTBNC.org.