HC will buy ASP Riversedge property for $700,000

Published 4:57 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

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WINTON – The ‘Access Chowan’ project took a major step forward here this week as a deal is in the works for the county to purchase over 150 acres of land, including waterfront property.

Following a closed session at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners returned to open session where they approved a contract between ASP Riversedge, LLC and Hertford County local government to purchase +/- 152.5 acres in Winton Township for $700,000.

The parcel is located adjacent to the County Administration/Courthouse Complex grounds extending to the Chowan River. Included in the acreage is a boat launch, boat slips, pier, and parking along +/- 300 linear feet of waterfront property. That portion of the property is accessible by an existing road.

The remainder of the property is forest.

The purchase price is pending per the completion of a survey of the property, which will be paid for by the seller.

In the meantime, the county commissioners, as part of a series of four motions they approved Monday, authorized $1,000 in earnest money to bind the contract with ASP Riversedge, LLC.

The money to purchase the property, as well as to cover other associated costs, is from a $725,000 Rural Transformation Grant Fund the county received late last year from the North Carolina Department of Commerce and its Rural Economic Development Division.

The county received an additional $49,999 for development/planning purposes for the Access Chowan project.

Neither of those grants required a local match.

“Through the Board of Commissioners’ wisdom and vision, they identified the need to provide additional open spaces, parks and nature trails for our community. As well, a top priority for the Commissioners is to establish additional public points of access to the Chowan River for the benefit and enjoyment of the citizens of Hertford County,” stated Hertford County Manager David Cotton.

According to Andre Lassiter, chair of the county commissioners, “Access Chowan” is a beginning phase of the Hertford County Center, a mixed use development with access to the Chowan River and residential neighborhoods.

“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,” stated Kelly Bowers, the county’s Economic Development Director, in her October 2022 presentation to the commissioners about this project.

The resolution of support approved by the commissioners in October 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.”

Cotton said the expected closing date of the property purchase is June 7.

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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