Monday, April 20, 2009

N.C. Democrats Caught Trading Favors Again?

While education and health care are facing funding nightmares, the state budget is in complete disarray, and roads and bridges are falling into disrepair, where are state funds for needed infrastructure going? Bald Head Island. An island known for "isolation" and "affluence" is controlling more than a quarter of state funds set aside for beach and water infrastructure projects. The cynic in me has one question. Who lives on Bald Head Island and how much money are they giving North Carolina Democrats?
Bald Head in line for $5M from state

Gov. Beverly Perdue and the state Senate think Bald Head Island deserves a big chunk of state money to help rebuild its battered beaches.

But spending 28 percent of the state’s total budget for beach and water infrastructure projects on an island renowned for its isolation and affluence is drawing criticism, especially when North Carolina is experiencing record levels of unemployment and facing a multibillion-dollar deficit for the coming fiscal year.

“I have a hard time understanding how that’s a higher priority than after-school programs,” said Chris Fitzsimon, executive director of N.C. Policy Watch, a liberal government watchdog group.

The Brunswick County island at the mouth of the Cape Fear River would receive $5 million of the $17.6 million the N.C. Division of Water Resources would spend during the 2009-10 fiscal year to rebuild beaches, dredge waterways and fund other water-related projects under the budget proposals.

In comparison, the three New Hanover County beach towns would receive $3.6 million in state funding for their nourishment projects, which are all scheduled for next winter. ...