LELAND — Leland is getting closer to having a second water access park for its community to enjoy.
Plans for Sturgeon Creek Park, a future park to feature a greenway trail, dock and boathouse, are moving ahead with the town’s continued acquisition of properties in the area.
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The town has acquired a total of 15 properties on the southern bank of Sturgeon Creek. To date, Leland has secured nearly 26 acres for its future park.
26 acres in over 2 years
In 2016, the acquisitions began, with several acres of waterfront access now secured. Next week, the town will vote to authorize its town manager to make an offer to add nearly three more acres on two more lots: 142 and 150 South Navassa Road.
For $300,000 total, the town intends to purchase the lots. Both are located 0.1-mile from Sturgeon Creek.
An existing business, Leland Auto Salvage, occupies 142 South Navassa Road. According to the acquisition’s request for action, purchasing the lot would allow the town to eliminate the use of the property as an auto salvage yard.
The land would provide space for the relocation of lift station #14 and allow for future parking to accommodate a planned boat ramp, a staff summary states. The lift station, currently located a few hundred feet from Sturgeon Creek, is being moved for approximately $1.1 million, using a low-interest state loan for water infrastructure projects.
When the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved Leland’s loan application in July 2017, lift station #14 had no recent or major issues. The was still functioning property in early September 2018, but had issues after Hurricane Florence hit later the same month. Two spills at the station recently triggered untreated wastewater discharge notifications: 5,000 gallons of untreated wastewater spilled on Sept. 16, 2017, and 1,500 gallons spilled on Oct. 15, 2017.
According to assistant manager and former parks and recreation director Niel Brooks, the station is being moved to prevent potential environmental impacts from spills and to make way for the park.
Sturgeon Creek Park will be the town’s second largest park. It will also be the town’s second waterfront access point. The Leland Municipal Park, the town’s flagship, is about eight acres, Cypress Cove Park (formerly Sturgeon Creek Park) is about 28 acres, and the Westgate Nature Park is about 150 acres.
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