Open Letter to the Community: A Response to OCC

I am writing to you in response to the press release on the Ocracoke Current regarding your leasing of the OCC facility.

As many of you may know Ocracoke has a new tax revenue, the TDA. With this new source of funds there is work underway to further develop a program already in place with OCBA working to better promote Ocracoke’s tourist industry and consequently our local economy. Part of this proposed plan includes a visitor center, office space and restrooms. Prior to learning you had leased OCC building I had been pitching the idea of acquiring use of that space for the purpose stated above. It is a perfect “turn key” fit for such a use and in my opinion would be a win win partnership as it maintains the buildings role as a community based and community serving facility. This was the original intent in creating the facility; I know this as I chaired the board that built it.

I am confused and disappointed that your board chose to engage in leasing the property to a private party without opening any dialogue with the community therefore not allowing for any external input into your final decision. I can say with confidence that many in the community echo this sentiment.

That being said I understand that you all are acting in what you believe to be the best interest of the property. I would like to propose that your board be open to entering into a dialogue regarding a potential acquisition of the OCC property be it via lease hold or purchase for the purpose of a community building that could house a visitor center, OCBA offices, county satellite offices, etc. It is my understanding that there is currently a one year lease in place and that these discussions could focus on a term to commence at the end of that lease.

I would like to disclose that while I am a member of the newly appointed TDA board I am writing this to you on my behalf personally and solely and not as a representative of that board.   

Daphne Bennink


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