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Minnesott Beach & Its Future
A resident's view on a recent decision
August 24, 2019

O
n August 13 Minnesott Beach had an unusually crowded town meeting. On the docket, a public hearing about the town acquiring the property of a golf course that was having financial challenges. The price for the property – the 18 hole course and its building – $270,000. This number was only offered to the town.

Despite what appeared to be overwhelming support from the townspeople present, the town board did not vote to approve this acquisition.

Minnesott Beach resident Lucy Seegan writes in with her thoughts.

To the Editor:

After many hours of reflection and discussion following the August 13th “public” meeting in Minnesott Beach regarding the Minnesott Town Board’s decision not to purchase the real estate currently owned by the Minnesott Beach Golf and Country Club, the voting behavior of town commissioners is clear.

The problem started with over 100 townspeople coming to a Town Meeting thinking that if they showed a “majority” support/opposition to the land purchase, it would affect the commissioner’s vote. The meeting was a required formality to take a vote at a public meeting. It is not unreasonable to surmise, with the outcome, the Council had already debated the issue and a veto was incurred.

Therefore, despite hearing an overwhelming positive response to the proposed land purchase, the Council displayed a “deer in the headlights” look among themselves when asked to raise their right hands to actually vote for it.

Unfortunately, in full view of public support from townspeople, a former town commissioner, and a former mayor, no commissioner offered a motion to table the vote to all the pursuant of due diligence in accessing public input.

Good town stewardship promotes assets for the town. It does not create a potential reduction in current property value. This proposal was not a “bail-out” of a golf club, but a partnership for promoting the community as a whole.

Just for the Record
The Minnesott Golf and Country Club has gone through a metamorphosis during the last 3 years. A complete change in leadership has resulted in steps taken to maintain and grow the Club. Besides providing recreational opportunities, it serves as a home and partner for numerous neighboring community fundraising and events including Pamlico Community College, Pamlico County High School Golf Team and the local First Tee program, both programs important to the development of the County’s youth.

The money raised from the sale was to be used to eliminate the mortgage debt, assist with balancing the annual budget and allow for much needed maintenance of course equipment.
The purchase of this property does not produce a windfall for the club as one commissioner suggested. No one considers selling property priced drastically below its declared value a windfall.

But now, should the club cease to exist and subsequently sell this land to the highest bidder, the Town of Minnesott has lost the opportunity to own property that could continue to serve as a recreational haven for residents, offering access to fishing, jogging/biking trails, swimming and the river. Should the property be sold to another commercial entity, there is no guarantee, even with zoning, that property values will not plummet.

Commissioners can still be prudent with the public trust bestowed upon them in the ballot box by holding a true public forum in which they interact with residents on proposals impacting an entire community.

As a resident, and staunch supporter of Minnesott Beach, I only hope that the Minnesott commissioners remember their stewardship and take responsibility for the enhancement of this community going forward. Come election time, the town will remember.

Respectively,

Lucy Seegan
Minnesott Beach, NC
Aug 23, 2019


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