The Town of Emerald Isle, North Carolina

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Emerald Isle plans for Public Boat Launching Facility


For background information about this project please view the memo from Town Manager Frank Rush dated November 12, 2008 to the Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners that includes links to aerial images, surveys and conceptual plan.  Also view photos of property - Photo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  

View Public Boat Ramp Facility presentation provided by Town Manager Frank Rush on November 20, 2008 to the Carteret County Water Access Committee.

Please read the following article as printed in the Jacksonville Daily News:

New boat ramp facility could be largest along NC coast

Emerald Isle unveils plans for boat launch

EMERALD ISLE - Plans for a new public boat ramp facility that could become the largest along the North Carolina coast have been launched in Emerald Isle.

Town commissioners approved a contract and several other actions Wednesday night that set into motion plans to purchase 16 acres of land for the development of a public boat launching facility on Bogue Sound. A conceptual plan indicates the project site can potentially accommodate up to 120 vehicle/trailer parking spaces and 12 single-car spaces.

It's an ambitious project contingent upon grant funding and other factors, but town officials are optimistic.

"We're definitely on our way," said Town Manager Frank Rush after the meeting.

The purchase contract calls for the acquisition of seven lots in the Shell Cove North subdivision adjacent to Chapel by the Sea. The town, through the Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Association Inc., controls the adjacent property on Bogue Sound to the east, which is the yet-to-be-developed McLean Park.

Key components in the town's decision to pursue the purchase of the Shell Cove North lots are the property's recently dredged canal and boat basin. Because the canal has already been dredged, securing new dredging permits will be easier than trying to get permission to dredge a first time.

The canal connects to a natural deep channel that leads around Archer's Point to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

The total purchase price is $4.25 million, with the contract contingent upon the town's receipt of $3.75 million in grant funding from local and state sources.

In action Wednesday night, town commissioners adopted resolutions authorizing funding requests to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and Carteret County.

The town is seeking $500,000 from the Wildlife Resources Commission. The town board's action formally approved the request, which was submitted in time to be heard by the WRC at its Feb. 11 meeting.

If approved the WRC funding toward the property acquisition is intended to finance the cost of the recently completed canal dredging, boat basin improvements and site improvements.

WRC staff has been supportive of the project and preliminary discussions with the agency have indicated there is a good chance of success with the funding request, the town said.

The WRC has also indicated that it will construct the required boat launch ramps and parking area and would be responsible for long-term maintenance of the new facility if the town does purchase the property, Rush said.

The local funding request asks that the county contribute 75 percent of the non-state cost associated with the land acquisition, at an amount not to exceed $1.5 million.

It's a significant request but one with significant benefits to the boating community throughout western Carteret County, Bogue Banks and the central coast. Based on the conceptual design, it would be the largest public boat launching facility in coastal North Carolina, Rush said.

Rush also noted a precedent for such requests, with the county contributing $500,000 over a five-year period to a new boat launch facility the Town of Morehead City is developing at Radio Island.

Under the plans, the town's contribution is projected to be between $375,000 and $500,000. The town provided a $60,000 earnest money deposit, with $35,000 being non-refundable.

The projected closing date is May 31, 2009, and the town expects to have grant funding in place by that time but a provision in the contract allows possible extensions on a monthly basis.

A number of other contingencies are part of the contract, such as a satisfactory appraisal of the property and underwater surveying to verify channel depths from the boat basin to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

The Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Association, the entity overseeing McLean Park, has given approval to allow for that property to be incorporated into the project's design.

The desired end result would be a multi-purpose, sound-front park with the public boat launching facility as a primary feature.

Staff writer Jannette Pippin can be reached at or 910-382-2557.


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Emerald Isle, North Carolina ~ Incorporated July 1957
7500 Emerald Drive. Emerald Isle, NC 28594
Phone (252) 354-3424, Fax (252) 354-5068