Bertie gains #036;500,000 grant

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2006

WINDSOR – Zee Lamb was correct.

At a recent meeting of the Bertie County Board of Commissioners, Lamb, the Bertie County Manager, said that a $500,000 grant from the state to be used for phase two of the Bertie Recreation Complex was, in his words, “looking good.”

During this past Monday evening’s commissioners meeting, Lamb was joined by Bertie Recreation Director Donna Mizelle in officially announcing to the board that the grant has been approved. The announcement came Aug. 4 in the form of a letter to Rick Harrell, Chairman of the Bertie Commissioners, from North Carolina Governor Mike Easley.

It came at a time where phase one of the project, with the exception of a few minor items left on the construction agenda, met its Aug. 15 completion deadline. Now, with the $500,000 from the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund plus matching money from the county, the plans for phase two have been realized.

According to Mizelle, phase two of the project will include a concession stand/restrooms/storage building, soccer field, softball field, playground, maintenance building and a picnic area with shelter. In addition, the second phase will add to the parking areas included in phase one as well as additional irrigation, landscaping and fencing and more Bermuda turf.

Jonathan B. Howes, Chairman of the state’s Parks and Recreation Authority, said that no work can begin on phase two until Bertie officials have signed the project agreement.

In the meantime, Misty Edwards, Clerk to the Board of Commissioners, confirmed that the county had obligated their $500,000 commitment to the project in the 2006-07 budget. In phase one, the county contributed a matching grant of $250,000.

Phase one stands complete except for installation of the scoreboards on the athletic fields. That portion of the project includes a multipurpose field, baseball field, parking area, landscaping, lights, irrigation, fencing, bleachers, site preparation and miscellaneous site amenities.

Last month, the commissioners agreed to delay the paving of the access road to the complex until all construction is complete. That decision came in light of the heavy construction equipment used at the complex. The commissioners were unanimous in the thought that paving the road now would be waste of money, saying that the heavy equipment would damage the road to the point where it would have to be repaved.

The Bertie Recreation Complex is located on a 39.61-acre tract of land off U.S. 17 north of Windsor, beyond the NC 308 (Cooper Hill Road) intersection.