Badin to receive $500,000 from state for new waterfront park

Published 11:26 am Tuesday, September 6, 2022

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Funding for the town of Badin’s new waterfront park will get $500,000 from the state, according to a release from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office last week.

The funding comes from a North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, which statewide is awarding $17 million for 39 various projects.

“Our parks and recreation areas are so valuable to our communities, and they’ve become more popular than ever,” Cooper said in the release. “These projects we’re funding today will give people even more opportunities in North Carolina to build healthier and happier lives.”

According to Badin Town Manager Jay Almond, plans for the park started with a master plan 10 years ago.

“That plan was intended to be the blueprint for a regionally attractive lakeside amenity,” Almond said in an email. “We’ve had to overcome a plethora of challenges to get to this point where construction of the park is an eminent reality.”

Almond continued, “Badin Waterfront Park is no longer theoretical. It’s no longer something perched just out of reach. It’s down to engineering selection, and project execution. For that, the town must identify a qualified firm to implement the project’s initial phase.”

Almond said the heftiest challenge which faced the project was funding and property ownership.

“In our case, those factors are tightly bound because, in order for us to seek the necessary funding, we had to first own the property,” Almond said.

ALCOA donated the 14 waterfront acres to the town June 2, 2021, which Almond said turned funding into a “point of laser focus and the kick-start was driven by a $40,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation for park design.”

Almond credited N.C. House Rep. Wayne Sasser, NC House Rep. Ben Moss and N.C. Sen. Carl Ford, “whose united front produced a state directed grant in the amount of $1 million.”

Despite having limited financial resources, Almond said, “With the planning grant in hand, council and staff, many of whom who were part of the 2012 effort, were able to act immediately to pursue professional services for park design planning and the vital Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant application.”

Benesch Professional Services Firm, Almond said, helped develop “a dual pointed effort to develop both the Badin Waterfront Park master plan, and a highly competitive PARTF grant application.”

The town hosted public input meetings and conducted certified surveys along with a draft review and refinements of the plan, he added.

“It seems almost miraculous when you stop and think about all the moving parts that had to be aligned to make this actually happen,” Almond said. “A waterfront land grant, a foundation planning grant, a legislative grant, a competitive Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant, and public support all had to happen. At certain junctures, those factors required herculean efforts from state and local elected officials, staff, citizens and private industry.

“Badin Waterfront Park will be a premier destination in the Uwharrie region, and I, for one, couldn’t be more thankful to all the people who helped galvanize that future,” he said.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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