The $181,000 would pay for patio area, bathroom facility

Havelock commissioners have opted to move forward with a final application for an $181,000 grant for the Slocum Creek Recreation Area.

The money from the N.C. Public Beach Coastal Waterfront Access Program would pay for bathroom facilities, a patio area and access to the recently installed kayak launch on the banks of Slocum Creek. The park entrance is located on Church Road near its intersection with Woodland Drive.

Havelock would be required to produce a local match of $45,500, which will be divided as a $28,000 cash match and an in-kind contribution of $17,500.

“We are very pleased with this opportunity particularly because this is an essential component to the park,” said Katrina Marshall, city planner. “In addition to all of the items that we already have in progress down there, this will really start bringing it all together.”

The city will learn whether the grant has been approved in November.

The park was scheduled to open in July but has been delayed because not enough grass has grown to stabilize the soil so work can be completed. No opening date has been set.

In addition to the grant application, the board voted to appropriate $10,000 toward an upgrade of a 285-foot pathway leading from the new parking lot to the kayak launch. The path was installed earlier this year out of gravel.

Originally, the path was to be asphalt but was reduced to gravel because of the cost. However, the gravel pathway has been eroded by rain runoff because it slopes toward the creek. The path will now be made of concrete over its entire length.

Osprey Construction provided the lowest of three bids of $9,360 for the project. Funding will come from the city’s reserve fund.

Havelock Mayor Will Lewis said the site for the park is actually the highest point within the city, at between 22 and 23 feet above sea level.

“It literally was a cliff off the back side and it sloped gradually to the right side where we put our access path in,” said Lewis. “We did that so that people would be able to access without having to drop off a cliff. We wanted to be as accessible as possible, so as a result, we’re dealing with water flows off of a cliff area and it’s created a little bit of a challenge to just go with gravel.

“We deleted the asphalt strictly to keep the budget as low as possible. I think it will be money well spent.”

In other business, the board:

-- accepted a check from the Craven County ABC Board Chairman Chip Chagnon for $6,500, the last payment toward the $21,555 that is the city’s allotment from alcohol beverage sales for the year.

-- appointed Consuelo Colvin, George Lewis, Jennifer Taylor-Sabdo, Sharon L. Knapp and Pam Holder-Dorman to seats on the recreation advisory board.