Ahoskie Creek Park expansion continues

Published 6:48pm Wednesday, January 15, 2014

AHOSKIE – More expansion at Ahoskie Creek Recreation Complex is coming in 2015.

At their regular monthly meeting here Tuesday, the Ahoskie Town Council was briefed on an expansion project grant application submitted a year ago and now in its next approval phase through the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF).

The council voted unanimously to approve the Capital Improvement Plan, approved an amendment to the Park’s Master Plan, and approved a resolution authorizing Town Manager Tony Hammond and the Wooten Company to proceed with the PARTF application for the Park’s expansion.

Two members of the Wooten Company, which has helped the town with the Park’s development, along with assisting with PARTF and Coastal Area Management Authority (CAMA) grants, updated new council members, Rev. C. David Stackhouse and Charles Freeman on the latest grant application.

Monica Chevalier, Wooten Community Development Specialist, informed Council that the next phase of the application will be applying for and requesting funding for additional walking and nature trails, 10 fitness stations, and a splash park utilizing a state of the art recycle water system.

The total project cost is set at $488,000 with the PARTF grant covering one-half ($244,000) and the town matching the other half, with funding for the improvements covering a three-year cycle.

Initial construction would begin in the fall of 2014 and completed sometime in the summer/autumn of 2015.

“This time around we’re going to do the northern part of the nature trail with exercise fitness stations and educational nature signs for local schools and youth groups and a splash pad near the current dog park,” said Chevalier.

“The trail, if extended one-half to two-thirds of a mile, would allow for a scenic nature landscape and be handicap and bicycle compliant,” Chevalier continued. “The fitness stations would allow for outdoor exercise and the splash park would help address the desire for aquatic facilities in the area to serve the greater Hertford County regional area.”

Hammond informed Council that the town has received a new CAMA grant already, which requires that the town contribute 5% of the cost, and those funds would be used for adding additional restroom facilities at the park at the end of Lakeview Drive between the new picnic shelter and the athletic fields.

“Right over the curve (at the end of Lakeview) is a non-FEMA controlled site,” Hammond said. “Its property that we (the town) own and we don’t have restrictions on what goes there although FEMA did approve putting a restroom facility there. It’s a restroom facility that will have to be elevated (6-to-8 feet on a mound) and it will have a handicap-accessible ramp.”

Hammond said the restroom could not be built flat on the grounds because of the flood zone and that work on the project will begin in the next 90 days or so.

After a few questions on cost were entertained, Hammond made the Council members aware that approval of the process did not bind the town to the project financially. The project’s cost would be in the town’s 2014-15 fiscal budget.

“If we continue moving forward with this project and at some point down the line you decide you don’t want to do this you still have an opportunity to get out with it,” Hammond said.

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