Potential projects across NHC with money from undeveloped parks
The future of two potential parks in New Hanover County is in limbo and the money set aside for them has people planning some projects of their own.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The future of two potential parks in New Hanover County is in limbo and the money set aside for them has people planning some projects of their own.
Tara Duckworth, Director of the county's Parks and Gardens Department, said the $920,000 meant for Wrightsboro and Battle parks could be used to double the size of Castle Hayne Park.
She said 61 acres around the park have already been bought, but the department needs money to develop the land. Duckworth said the northern part of New Hanover County, such as areas like Porters Neck, have the least amount of access to county parks.
The Board of County Commissioners tabled the discussion of selling the property that's meant for Wrightsboro and Battle parks. The two properties were originally part of a $35.5 million bond referendum.
That bond provided all three beach towns with $200,000 for their own parks projects. Kure Beach managed an extra $500,000 to finish its Ocean Front Park with a request to the previous Board of County Commissioners.
Carolina Beach Mayor Bob Lewis is ready to make a similar ask to the current board. He said Carolina Beach residents are 8 percent of the county's tax base but the town received less than 1 percent of the parks' bond.
"We're just looking for a fair share," he said.
The town has plans to renovate its boardwalk and add a park to the popular tourist spot, according to Lewis. He said a water park or climbing castle for children could boost business during the beach town's off seasons.
"We'd have a lot of activity still generated in the boardwalk area," said Lewis. "The only way you're going to do that is to build some sort of attraction that's going to attract families to stay there."
Neither of the projects can use the money in question until commissioners make a decision on selling the two undeveloped park properties.