::Wake Co. Buys 270 Acres Of Green Space
From Staff And Wire Reports
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
RALEIGH - Wake County has continued its plan to acquire green space that is designed to protect water quality this week.
At the April 2nd meeting of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, the board gave its final approval to purchase around 270 acres of open space properties in Wake County.
Wake County will split the purchase price of three different properties with three different municipalities in the county. Raleigh, Garner, and Morrisville are participating with Wake County to buy the properties.
"This is truly a 'green-letter' day for Wake County and our award-winning program to acquire and preserve open space, to protect our water resources and maintain water quality," said Sig Hutchinson, chairman of the Wake County Open Space and Parks Advisory Committee.
Hutchinson was one of the driving forces behind the passing of the 2004 bond referendum which is funding the Wake County Open Space Initiative to purchase open spaces in the county.
According to Wake County, the majority of the land purchased is a 215.82 acre tract of land located on Creedmoor Road that will be bought in a partnership with the city of Raleigh.
The land is valued at $4.96 million and with both Wake County and the city of Raleigh each paying half. However, because of the purchase, Wake and Raleigh may be eligible for a grant for approximately $1.5 million from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Wake County says it has already filed an application to try and receive the funds.
According to Wake County, the Trust for Public Land identified that large tract and negotiated the purchase contract. The Trust for Public Land is part of a coalition of nonprofit land trusts dedicated to preserving the upper Neuse River basin, says Wake.
Wake County added in a releases statement that the purchase of the site will allow for "the provision of extensive buffers along these watercourses, which will provide protection for the water quality in the Falls Lake Watershed."
The second property has been bought in a partnership agreement with the town of Garner in the amount of $337,500 for 35.66 acres. The property is located on Timber Drive inside of the Lake Benson Watershed and north of the town of Garner's already existing White Deer Park.
"The acquisition completes a continuous green space corridor from Timber Drive south to Lake Benson and provides additional water quality protection to the public drinking water supply," said Wake County in a press statement yesterday.
The final property is going to be acquired through a partnership agreement with the town of Morrisville in the amount of $436,080 for the acquisition of 18.17 in Research Triangle Park.
The property is currently owned by the Research Triangle Foundation and is located in northwest Morrisville along Kit Creek. Kit Creek is a tributary of Jordan Lake which is a drinking water supply reservoir for the Town of Cary and other towns.
"One of the real strengths of the open space program has always been in our partnerships," said Commissioners' Chair Tony Gurley. "These acquisitions highlight our municipal partners, land trust partners, and state and federal partners."
Wake County says that the agreements approved Monday bring the total amount of protected Wake County land area purchased through acquisition to 3,369 acres since 2000. The value of that land is $57 million, of which Wake County has provided $34 million, with the remainder coming from partnerships and grant money. ::