Hertford County launches ‘Access Chowan’ project

Published 5:01 pm Friday, October 21, 2022

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WINTON – Hertford County officials are seeking nearly $800,000 in grant funding from the North Carolina Department of Commerce in support of their “Access Chowan” project.

If awarded, the funds will assist the county in its effort to purchase real and personal property for river access as well as to assist in the development, planning, environmental review, and surveying of those parcels of land.

Following a brief overview of the proposed project by Hertford County Economic Development Director Kelly Bowers, the county’s board of commissioners, at their regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 17, approved a resolution in support of seeking the state grants.

“Access Chowan will allow for the acquisition of property for river access and recreation to spur economic growth through a natural resource, health and wellness, and overall quality of life for Hertford County’s citizens and workforce,” Bowers said in her presentation to the commissioners.

She added that the North Carolina Department of Commerce offers a Rural Transformation/Community Enhancement Grant and a Rural Community Capacity Implementation Grant.

Hertford County is seeking $725,000 from the Enhancement Grant that will used for real and personal property acquisition and $49,999 from the Implementation Grant for development/planning purposes.

Bowers told the commissioners that the applications for each of the two grants are due by Nov. 1.

The resolution of support approved by the commissioners states, in part, that the board “has elected to establish the Access Chowan Project to provide open access to public waters and close-to-home outdoor recreational activities, which are designed to meet the expressed needs of the region and the community.”

“There are public boat ramps, owned and operated by the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, in Hertford County that allow for boating access,” Bowers told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald in a later interview. “However, there are no public access areas in the county that allow our citizens and visitors to enjoy the beauty and engage in recreational activities along the river. That’s what we’re hoping to change with the ‘Access Chowan’ project and these grants will help us attain that goal.”

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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