CEDAR POINT — Town commissioners Tuesday night voted 4-0 to authorize Interim Town Administrator and Town Clerk Jayne Calhoun to formally apply for a $150,000 state grant for a kayak launch, dock and permeable parking lot for the new park on the White Oak River.
The vote came during the board’s monthly regular meeting in town hall off Sherwood Avenue.
The only questions from the board involved whether the town will have to match the grant and whether Ms. Calhoun has obtained multiple bids for the equipment for the park.
The town pre-applied for the grant from the N.C. Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access through the state Division of Coastal Management in April. The agency responded in late July approving the pre-application and asking for a formal submission.
In response to the question Commissioner David Winberry posed about multiple bids, Ms. Calhoun said, “for the purposes of the pre-application, I just got the one quote, but I plan to get three.”
As for the local match, she said the state doesn’t require one if the grant is for $150,000 or less. The town pre-applied for money not just for the kayak launch, dock and parking lot, but also for a restroom facility. The state, in inviting the town to continue the process, nixed the restroom.
“We still have a lot of work to do on this application,” which is due Monday, Oct. 7, Mayor Scott Hatsell said during the discussion Tuesday. “I don’t want to have to (provide a match) either, but nobody knows what will happen (with the application). I’m thinking we need to get a committee together to work through the process.”
In information she provided to the board, Ms. Calhoun identified a dock and kayak launch, compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, sold by EZ Dock Solutions of Newport. She also identified a permeable parking lot made by Ecoraster, which is based in Canada and offers a variety of permeable paving solutions that allow natural drainage into the ground with the goal of eliminating harmful stormwater runoff.
Mayor Hatsell said he liked the ideas.
“I want everybody to be able to get out and use it,” he said of the kayak launch and dock being ADA-compliant. “We’ve got to get the money first, and we’ve got to get it (the dock and launch) in the right place. But Jayne has done an outstanding job.
The dock/ramp selection allows the kayaker to move the kayak on rollers to the launch point. Aluminum rails extend over the water at each end allowing the kayaker to move forward using the rails as they extend over the water. Once done kayaking, the kayaker comes back to the EZ Launch and uses either side to pull in and dry dock the vessel.
The Ecoraster parking lot uses pavers with spaces between them. The spaces can be filled with vegetation or other materials that allow water to seep through. The pavers are made of “post-consumer plastic waste,” according to the company’s website
No one in the audience chose to comment about the grant application.
The town bought the 56-acre waterfront tract for $2.8 million in April from the N.C. Masons to use for passive recreation and as a way to reduce stormwater pollution in the river. The property had previously been zoned for multi-family development.
The N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund awarded the town a $1,011,756 grant last Friday to help pay for the property, and the town is also seeking another grant of $500,000 from PARTF. The town had already received one grant, for $250,000, from the N.C. Coastal Land Trust, and used the money as a down payment on the purchase, reducing the amount borrowed.
Most of the initial money for the purchase is coming from a bond sale approved by voters last November.
Sterling National Bank of New York bought the bonds, which the town is scheduled to pay back over no more than 20 years, pending additional grant money.
The park is not yet open and initially will only feature hiking trails.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.