January 22, 2006

Letter from Sentinel - Paul Tine

I have no idea who Mr. Tine is but I like his thinking. The beach is a huge economic engine. What will we do if people don't want to come to the beach here. Check out what happened to tourism in NJ when the perception was their beaches were polluted. Our tourism dollars rose dramatically while there numbers plummetted.

The Outer Banks Sentinel: "-Paul Tine, Nags Head"
Tine: Invest in community

There has been a great deal of discussion recently about Dune Restoration both publicly and privately.

In my opinion the entire issue boils down to one important fact. A desirable, functional beach is, overwhelmingly, the most important asset Dare County has. It may seem obvious to state it, but our community does not have manufacturing firms, a major university or Fortune 500 companies that can support our economy. Almost every business in the county can directly, or indirectly, trace the bulk of its income to tourism.

Usually when a local government identifies its most important revenue-generating asset, it protects that asset. This is why municipal tax dollars are often used to reinvigorate downtown areas, keep manufacturing firms, or renovate convention centers and airports.

Likewise, when an opportunity to increase revenue is identified it is explored, usually at some significant cost. For example, when the state began expanding Hwy 64 to four lanes there was no question that the tax money (including that of Dare County residents) being spent would pay dividends to our community. The highway made it faster and easier to get here from the Raleigh area expanding the markets we could draw from.

What the Dune Restoration project is attempting to do is invest in our community in order to pay dividends both now an in the future.

I encourage people to continue to question the plan's finer points and feasibility. Competent government oversight by the people it represents is always necessary. But know this, engineered Dune Restoration projects do work while other legal alternatives have been found to be deficient. There is a plan for success that includes the participation of the State and Federal Government while requiring beachfront property owners to pay additional amounts. As you continue to question the effectiveness of the project, please take the time to make an informed inquiry.

My primary concern is not for the beachfront property owners. I have no direct monetary interest in any beachfront property. My concern is for the present and future economic well being of the county I am proud to live and work in.

-Paul Tine, Nags Head


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