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Holden Beach board moves ahead with park plans

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By Brian Slattery

HOLDEN BEACH—Holden Beach officials finalized a plan for a park the town intends to build under the water tower across from town hall.

Holden Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members met twice in March to come up with a park design they could fully endorse after several months of delays.

The parks and recreation board recommended a plan with three phases of amenities for the park at a cost of $138,000.

Parks and Recreation board chair Peggy Schiavone said figures were adjusted up in the cost estimate presented to the town board.

The same plan is now estimated to cost $163,605 but could increase to as much as $195,000.

If the town decides to widen the piers going to the Intracoastal Waterway from four feet to six feet, the price will go up by $14,000.

The first phase would include bathrooms, a multi-use court with a chain-link fence surrounding it and two bocce courts.

Phase 2 would add a picnic area and parking spaces.

The third phase would add a wooden boardwalk and kayak launches.

Tom Decker of the parks and recreation board spoke to the town board to emphasize the three-phase plan for building the park, especially starting with the multi-purpose court.

“We can use it for many things, we can put up baskets at either end, hold family Olympics, and it’s a 100-foot-by-60-foot court so we can also use (each side) for Pickle ball courts. We visited a facility in North Myrtle Beach. You could see there was a lot of activity,” Decker said.

He added they could get a lot of use out of the court for senior activities.

Mayor Alan Holden asked if Holden Beach commissioners thought the playground should be moved closer to the front of the park where it would be easier for officers from the police department to keep watch.

Schiavone disagreed with changing the plans now.

“That is not the police department’s job; (watching their children) is the parents’ job,” Schiavone said. “The police are usually (patrolling) in their cars. It’s not their duty to police the playground.”

Board members were encouraged to make a definitive decision during public comments at the April 9 meeting.

Sue Kyser of 119 Frigate Drive told the town board to act on the park plan.

“I’d like to see the board do something,” she said.

“I’m tired of it being in front of the board for years and years, only to be passed over and passed over. I think it’s time to take some action… Make a decision to go forward or floor it forever.”

Commissioner Sheila Young was ready to move forward.

“I make a motion to accept the recommendation from the parks and recreation advisory board and plan to do the phases as we can budget them,” Young said.

Commissioners unanimously approved her motion.

Town staff will also pursue grant funding to cover the park costs, including the Beach & Coastal Waterfront Access Program, Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant, Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Land and Water Conservation Fund and Boating Infrastructure Grant.

Holden Beach also has funding in the budget that can be used for the park.

 

Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or bslattery@brunswickbeacon.com.