North Myrtle Beach officials visit Ocean Isle with hopes to re-create their canals

Published: Oct. 9, 2015 at 7:39 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 9, 2015 at 10:57 PM EDT
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Canals in Ocean Isle
Canals in Ocean Isle
Canals in Ocean Isle
Canals in Ocean Isle
OCEAN ISLE, NC (WMBF) - North Myrtle Beach continues to struggle with maintaining and paying for its canals. Having been filled with mud and for years residents have not been able to utilize those waterways. City leaders visited Ocean Isle in North Carolina on Friday to see how such a project could be successful.

The city of North Myrtle Beach is attempting to essentially re-create the canals Ocean Isle has in place. Officials said the canals in both cities are similar in size, so it shouldn’t be difficult. They just need to get the people on board.

"There's no reason to reinvent the wheel," said Mayor Marilyn Hatley of North Myrtle Beach. "Ocean Isle has been doing this for a long time."

According to Ocean Isle Mayor Debbie Smith, the people there are happy with the results. Smith told me they have a special tax district to raise the money over a number of years to pay for the dredging. Which has been more attractive to their homeowners.

"It's really enhanced the boating community," said Smith. "It's enhanced the value of those properties, because they have deep water access. And they can be assured there's a method to maintain that deep water access."

Ocean Isle keeps their channels stretched on a periodic bases, something Hatley told me city officials needed to hear. She says dredging can't occur just one time, it's something that Ocean Isle does every five years.

"I think that it's probably going to have to be the same way for the City of North Myrtle Beach to maintain the depth of water," said Hatley.

City leaders will take the information they’ve gathered and try to show the people of North Myrtle how Ocean Isle's been successful and how it can affect them.

Hatley said they plan to begin their canal project in the fall of next year.

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