City planned ball fields and other recreation features at the site

The 47-acre tract is outside the city limits of Havelock.

The 47-acre tract is outside the city limits of Havelock.

Drew C. Wilson
Published: Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM.

Havelock hasn’t struck out yet, but it’s plans to turn 47 acres west of the city into a recreation ball field complex have hit a snag.

The city was turned down for a state Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant that would have paid for the creation of the complex, which was to be located at the end of Lewis Farm Road west of the city near Carolina Pines.

The city had worked out a plan with the N.C. Coastal Land Trust to use the property and create two ball fields, bathrooms, a concession stand and a parking lot. Dave Smith, Havelock Parks and Recreation director, said the new fields would help alleviate overcrowding at other city fields through baseball, softball, soccer, football and lacrosse leagues.

The recreation facility meets the land trust’s goals of not allowing large commercial or residential development of property near Cherry Point’s borders.

Smith said the land trust would still turn the property over to the city and that the city would be eligible to reapply for a grant for up to 18 months after the land transfer. The next grant application cycle is not until January.

However, Smith expressed concern about the city’s ability to receive a grant. He said of $15 million in state money available, $13 million is dedicated to state parks, leaving just $2 million to fund the recreation grants.

“There’s a lot going on, and mostly outside the city’s control here, that we’re paying attention to and it will play a lot on what our chances are for a PARTF grant if we’re able to apply next year,” Smith said. “There’s little to no funds for municipal and county parks. It was a great source of funding for years that’s no longer going to be there.”

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