Boat trailer parking, curbside recycling on Wrightsville Beach board agenda tonight

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Editor’s note: The Aug. 10 print edition of the Lumina News incorrectly indicated that the 4:30 p.m. recycling meeting was a public hearing. Tonight’s meeting is open to the public and board members will review details of the proposal, but a public hearing on the issue won’t be scheduled until a later meeting.

The Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen will consider approval of a landscaping plan on the west end of the Heide Trask Drawbridge that would prevent boaters from parking on that side of the bridge with their trailers.The town will also consider moving forward with a curbside recycling plan during a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. before the regularly scheduled board meeting at 5:30 p.m.

The Wrightsville Beach board will consider asking the N.C. Department of Transportation to add landscaping to the area where vehicles with trailers will often be parked if boaters can’t find parking at the ramp in town. Wrightsville Beach police can’t issue tickets there since it’s in Wilmington, which often doesn’t have the resources to issues tickets there. During the July board meeting, aldermen said that the parking fine wasn’t enough to deter boaters anyway.

Wrightsville Beach Mayor Bill Blair said the town would work with the city of Wilmington to share costs for the maintenance of the landscaping.

“We need to have an attractive entrance to the town, the trailers need to quit parking there,” Blair said.

The board will also consider seeking proposals to offer curbside recycling to town residents. At a special 4:30 p.m. meeting, the board will look at options and vote on approving a request for proposals from local trash hauling services.

Blair said during the meeting, he would discuss ideas for finding a way to pay for the curbside service.

Alderman Lisa Weeks has been a long-time advocate of bringing curbside recycling back to Wrightsville Beach. A private company provided it to residents for a fee until August 2015, when it stopped, sighting too few customers to justify the costs.

The board asked the town to survey residents on curbside recycling following the board’s retreat in January. The survey, of which more than half of the respondents were permanent residents, showed that 74 percent would prefer curbside recycling and 72 percent were willing to pay a monthly fee for the service.

Staff surveyed local recycling company representatives on price per household for the service, which would average $4-$5 a month fee.

Blair said he would press for some conditions in any recycling contract, which would include that the recycling carts be pushed back to the house following collection so that they don’t line the streets in the evening.

By establishing curbside recycling, the town believes it could reduce its municipal solid waste by 25 percent, or about 1,000 tons per year, resulting in an estimated $50,000 yearly saving in tipping fees.

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