February 18, 2008

New Public Park for Kure Beach Oceanfront

KURE BEACH - Congressman Mike McIntyre - 7th district (D), visited Kure Beach on January 30...he was given a tour of the future site of a new oceanfront park in downtown Kure Beach. The Town purchased the vacant Rolling Surf Motel in December of 2007 for $3.6 million dollars to make way for the new oceanfront public park. The Town Council obtained $500,000.00 from the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners from a county parks and green space bond to help fund the $3.6 million purchase. They continue to seek federal and state grants to pay for the cost of purchasing the property.

Mayor Mac Montgomery explained early in the purchasing process the goal is to entirely offset the cost using grant funding as opposed to taxpayers dollars. The project is strongly endorsed by McIntyre. He wrote a letter to the North Carolina Division of Environmental Resources in December requesting financial resources and technical assistance for funding and developing the project. The design of the park will focus on an underground filtration system to collect storm water runoff from the park and surrounding areas to reduce pollution from surface runoff into the ocean.

In January the Council unanimously approved pursuing a N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant for $500,000 towards the purchase of the property. The Council also unanimously approved seeking grant assistance from N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund in the amount of one million dollars towards the purchase. Mayor Montgomery explained the Town already submitted two grants. A $500,000.00 grant request to the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management was submitted in December and another $300,000.00 grant application submitted to the North Carolina Division of Water Resources. The Town already received $500,000.00 from New Hanover County drawn from a parks and green space bond.

Montgomery said he recently met with a representative of the NC Natural Heritage Trust Fund and more recently with the director of the Division of Coastal Management to obtain a $1.5 million dollar grant coming from the Natural Heritage Trust Fund through the Division of Coastal Management. That arrangement would require a conservation easement mandating the property is always used as a park.

http://www.islandgazette.net/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3533&Itemid=1

Proposed park illustration: http://www.townofkurebeach.org/info/Color_Aerial.pdf
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