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HOLDEN BEACH—Holden Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members know what they want in the Brunswick Avenue park, but to get it will cost $138,000.
The board met March 21 and 28 to determine the layout of the park across the street from town hall, and prioritize its construction based on costs.
The proposed new park will sit under the water tower. The parks and recreation board plans to include a playground area, a screened-in multipurpose court, two bocce courts, a picnic area, bathroom facilities and a boardwalk along the Intracoastal Waterway that will lead to two kayak launches.
The town’s recycling station is in the southwest corner of the planned park, so the board plans to add a turnaround area for recycling trucks to get in to remove recyclables.
Parks and recreation board chair Peggy Schiavone asked if there were anything they could put at the top of a priority list which could be completed by the time tourist season arrives.
Board members discussed using the town hall bathrooms for the park if they could quickly put in the bocce courts or multipurpose court by summertime.
But Holden Beach’s parks and recreation coordinator Amanda Wiggins said town hall would not be open in the late afternoon to serve the park, plus the distance from the town hall to the park is beyond state requirements for providing handicapped facilities.
Board members instead decided the first priority would be constructing the bathrooms, bocce courts and multi-purpose court all at once.
The first phase would cost $70,320 with about half the cost, $36,000, paying for bathrooms, another $30,000 for the multi-use court with a chain link fence surrounding it and $2,200 for bocce courts.
Town manager David Hewett recommended the multipurpose court use a surface of macadam topped with acrylic, based on a similar court at Cedar Grove Park.
“It has more give than concrete, and it holds up better,” Hewett said.
Planning director Tim Evans asked board members to consider if they want to light the multipurpose court.
Board member Tom Decker said they should at least lay cable if they need lights later.
A 20-foot by 20-foot area is set aside on the park property for bathrooms.
The second priority is simultaneously building the picnic area and parking spaces.
A 40-foot by 40-foot picnic area, including eight picnic tables, will cost $41,600
The parking spaces would cost $6,760 for a row of eight spaces along Brunswick Avenue at the front of the park.
Evans said the parking spaces would have to be similar to the parking in front of town hall, which uses blue slate stone for most of the parking area, but also includes impervious concrete surfaces for the required handicapped parking zone.
“It should match the front of town hall,” Schiavone said.
Third on the board members’ list is building a wooden boardwalk and kayak launches at a cost of $25,000.
Hewett asked if the boardwalk should run in a straight line, as budgeted, or follow the contour of the property line at the water’s edge.
“What are your druthers?” he said.
Schiavone said recommending the boardwalk run along the contours of the property would never fly.
“Because it’s longer, it’s too expensive,” she said.
Hewett said the kayak launches built out into the water off the boardwalk will be handicapped accessible.
Mitchell recommended they make one kayak launch, near the parking spaces at the northwest corner of the property, handicapped accessible and just make a floating dock on the northeast side to save money.
Fourth on the list is laying out a playground.
Schiavone said the Holden Beach Property Owners Association has agreed to buy playground equipment, but made the agreement with the town board, so parks and recreation shouldn’t have to include the estimated cost in their proposal.
“That number only inflates our figure,” she said.
Evans recommended the surface should be sand rather than rubber mulch, which used to be the popular option.
“Sand is highly replaceable, and it is easier on them when (kids) fall,” board member Melanie Champion said.
Wiggins told the parks and rec board once the proposal is finalized, there are several grants they can pursue to pay for the projects.
“I suggest as a board you look into the grants, what’s covered and what are the matching (requirements),” Wiggins said.
She added that some grants require the town to match half the funding available, while others only want towns to put in 10 percent.
Schiavone recommended the parks and rec board present the park plan to the town commissioners.
“That site plan, these figures, that grant information–Present it to the commissioners and get some idea if we are going to go ahead on some or all of it,” she said.
The board approved the plan unanimously.
Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.