A few weeks ago we first brought you the news of “job” creation at the $25 million state-funded pier in Nags Head. Since then, original estimates have been scaled back, leaving even fewer jobs to be created than promised.
Currently, just 8 permanent state positions are proposed: 1) Pier Manager, 2) Assistant Pier Manager/Public Relations Coordinator, 3) Special Activities Coordinator/Educator, 4) Building Superintendent/Waste Water Operator, 5) Aquarist/Exhibits Tech, 6) Rental Coordinator, 7) Admissions Manager and 8) Business Manager. With a total budget of $427,000 for salaries and benefits.
Additional positions, including cashiers, housekeepers and maintenance will be filled on a temporary, hourly basis with a total budget of $300,000.
In accordance with state law, these positions will be advertised on the State Office of Personnel website in the coming weeks and months.
When House Bill 628, “Aquarium Satellite Areas Funding” was passed nearly a year ago, sponsors claimed this “shovel-ready” project would create 555 on-site jobs and 1,250 off-site jobs for North Carolinians. Yet, we have clearly seen this is not the case.
This project has benefited the few, while leaving the many to foot the bill. A position created for a part-time on-site construction observer, and a contract to Sen. Basnight’s company are simply prime examples.
With unemployment in Dare County, NC at a staggering 17.6 percent (January 2010), the promise of job creation cannot simply be empty rhetoric used to encourage the passage of a bill and spending of state funds.