November 24, 2010

Wilmington Star: Budget Cuts Could Slice into Fund for Carolina Beach Aquarium Pier

November 24, 2010
By Shannan Bowen

The fund pool expected to pay for construction of the N.C. Aquarium Pier in Carolina Beach will dry up if proposed budget cuts and transfers are adopted in next year's state budget.

It's a dour outlook for the 1,000-foot-long concrete pier expected to be built using about $15 million from the three state aquariums' admissions receipts.

The state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources had to submit proposed budget cuts to the governor's office, and the N.C. Aquariums division of that department planned to cut about $1.4 million in state appropriations it receives to operate the aquariums. That means the admissions receipts, which funnel into a special fund for capital projects, including constructing the three aquarium piers, would be transferred to pay aquariums' staff salaries and other operating costs.

“We will not have any admission money to put toward other things,” said David Griffin, director of N.C. Aquariums division...

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