Recreational Complex to expand

Published 10:02 am Monday, January 14, 2013

AHOSKIE – What was once just an idea on paper is taking on a life of its own.

On Tuesday, the Ahoskie Town Council was informed of the next phase of development regarding an investment they approved several years ago at what eventually became the Ahoskie Creek Recreational Complex.

This latest development is priced at 354,000, but will cost the town only $67,000.

“The town got a letter on Monday from the Governor’s Office that gave us written documentation that Ahoskie was approved for a PARTF (Parks and Recreation Trust Fund) grant submitted in 2009,” said Town Manager Tony Hammond.  “They have finally put the money in the bank, $177,000, for us to use on the next phase of developing the complex.”

As part of that grant the town promised to match the PARTF funding. However, an accompanying $110,000 grant from CAMA, which requires no local match, will be applied to the expansion project, leaving the town to foot the remaining $67,000.

Hammond said the latest stage of development at the complex will include an 80-vehicle gravel parking lot adjacent to the multi-purpose athletic field (corner of Lakeview Drive and Camlin St.), a dog (walking/exercise) park, a children’s playground, a covered picnic shelter (105 foot by 50 foot), a walking trail (from the end of Forest Drive and follow a path on the outside perimeter of the complex), and a Frisbee golf course.

“It looks like we’ll have the contract by the end of this month,” Hammond stated. “Once we sign it and return to PARTF we can begin construction on this phase by the first of March.”

Hammond said the town would handle the majority of the construction in an effort to save money.

“The dog park, a half-acre within a fenced-in area, and the picnic shelter will be done under our auspice,” Hammond noted. “Once the contract is signed we’re going to start on those projects. We’re buying the picnic shelter, but we’ll do the foundation and put it up.”

Phase 1 of the park is already in place, to include three lighted baseball/softball fields, a small picnic shelter, playground, parking lot, multi-purpose field and a beach volleyball court.

Prior to that, the town began the development of this area on its own (without grant funding) by constructing an amphitheater and soccer fields.

The complex is located primarily on land that once served as a sprawling residential neighborhood wiped out in the massive flooding of Hurricane Floyd in 1999. FEMA purchased those lots from individual property owners, turning it over to Hertford County local government who eventually transferred ownership back to the town. In the ensuing years, town officials have purchased additional property in that same area to add to the recreational complex.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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