County officials, IDEAS Group discuss river access

Published 9:10 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Following an overwhelming amount of feedback from the community, Ken Gough with Carter County Parks and Recreations wants to make sure a project in Hampton is done the right way.
County officials and members of the IDEAS Group met inside the county courthouse Tuesday to discuss the steps that need to be taken for a river access point that’s located right across the highway from Hampton High School.
The land is not officially with the county parks & rec, yet. The Carter County School Board voted to donate the land to be used for the community and will go before the Carter County Commission this month.
Following an expected passage, attendees began to discuss what needs to be addressed moving forward.
Gough fielded ideas, opinions and questions from various individuals to form various charts to address funding, operation, obstacles, construction and opportunities needed for the 1.4-acre worth of property.
Gough added he wanted to make sure he received input from the community of Hampton and brought up the idea of the commissioners within that district could discuss the topic with citizens of the area.
While the process has sped along, Commissioner Danny Ward stated that it would not be good to rush right into the work and wait to begin phase zero work tentatively around April 1.
Beginning phases would include a vast cleanup of the area to help present the property to the public for support, which would be handled by the IDEAS Group. Following that move, the phases would include a design, parking, and the landing for the area to reach the river.
Gough added that all proper entities and individuals involved with the project need to be kept informed of the project’s status before moving forward.
Along with the plans and phases, avenues were also discussed on what organization, or organizations, would maintain the park and how funding would come about. Along with parks and rec, the River Apes organization was also looked at as a possible outlet to raise funds due to their nonprofit status.
Further updates on the project are expected to be made in the coming weeks and at this month’s County Commission meeting.

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