Last week we had a big part of the N.C. House of Representatives right here in Brunswick County. House Speaker Tim Moore was in Brunswick County all day Wednesday. It was my privilege to help arrange his schedule and show him around. When we found out he would be able to come to a couple of events here, we made sure that he stayed busy and saw as many parts of the county as possible.
We started the day at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant in the northernmost part of the county. When I asked County Manager Ann Hardy to arrange a visit and tour of the plant for the Speaker and myself, she didn’t hesitate. We were met by Public Utilities Director John Nichols and his staff, and given a thorough tour by Assistant Director Glenn Walker. We saw the filtration system and pumps that handle up to 24 million gallons per day and pump water as far as Calabash in the far southwest corner of the county. It was impressive to see, given the current controversy bringing into question the safety of our water. Rep. Ted Davis of New Hanover County was also there. He chairs the new House Select Committee on NC River Quality, of which I am a co-chair.
We travelled then to Shallotte, where we had at least 35 local business leaders and public officials from the area at lunch at Jerome’s Steak and Seafood. This included several mayors and many small business owners. Tim explained some of the business and family friendly policies we have passed and took questions.
Directly after lunch, we went to the east end of Ocean Isle Beach, where the Speaker saw the storm erosion from storms in the past and some of the mitigation efforts that are being used. We stood on Third Street, which is now front row, and viewed the sandbags protecting the houses. We also showed him the area where the proposed terminal groin will be built, as soon as the court delays by the environmental groups are settled. He asked lots of questions and talked with two of the residents that own the endangered houses.
The Chamber of Commerce was having a ribbon cutting at 3 o’clock at Twin Lakes Restaurant at Sunset Beach. They have opened under new ownership, and Speaker Moore and I were able to participate in the ceremony and sample some of their great food.
The Speaker was travelling with two of his staff, Cory and Leah, who were his driver and scheduler for the day. They had never been to Calabash, so Tim was insistent that we show them the Calabash waterfront. We visited Dockside restaurant there, where three generations of the Price family have served traditional Calabash seafood and famous steaks. Cory and Leah got to walk on the docks and sample the famous Calabash shrimp.
The final event of the day was a Republican dinner at The Lakes Country Club in Boiling Spring Lakes. After speaking to the group, the Speaker and his staff had to return to Raleigh for early morning meetings the next day. We kept Speaker Moore busy all day in Brunswick County, where he was in almost every area. Next time maybe we can get him into the Southport-Oak island area also. It was a real pleasure to have the Speaker here for a full day. Brunswick County is becoming known across the state, and we want to have the state’s full attention when necessary for our citizens.