County granted boat ramp

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Perdue announces funding for ramp at Crisp Landing

Construction is scheduled to begin later this year on a new ramp that will serve boaters on the south side of the Pamlico River, and a new grant announced recently by Gov. Beverly Perdue will help pay for its construction.

Beaufort County will receive a $67,000 matching grant from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to help pay for the project, which will be located on eight acres near Crisp Landing and Cotton Patch roads between Chocowinity and Aurora.

The Beaufort County grant was one of $723,750 in grants from the trust fund awarded to three local governments for parks-and-recreation projects. A $500,000 grant was awarded to Woodmen Water Park in Lenoir County, and a $156,756 grant was awarded to the City of Lenoir for the renovation of the Lenoir Aquatic and Fitness Center.

“This fund, and the partnerships forged between the state and local government officials, is more important than ever in this time of lean budgets and legislative cuts to state-appropriated conservation funds,” Perdue said in a press release announcing the grant.

Since 1995, the Parks and Recreation Authority has received 1,301 grant applications with requests totaling about $278 million. The board has awarded 675 grants for $151 million to 342 local governments.

The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, administered through the Division of Parks and Recreation, was established in 1994 when the General Assembly dedicated 75 percent of the state’s share of the excise tax on real-estate deed transfers to the fund. The revenue is distributed to three programs: 65 percent to the state parks system for repairs, capital improvements and land acquisition; 30 percent for matching grants to local parks-and-recreation programs for development and land acquisition; and 5 percent to the coastal beach-access program.

In April 2010, the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners agreed to buy property on the south side of the Pamlico River for $470,000 for the boat ramp, to be developed and maintained by the Wildlife Resources Commission to provide free public access to Blount’s Creek and the Pamlico River.

According to a conceptual plan developed for the project by the Wildlife Resources Commission, the site will ultimately include a fishing pier, two boat-launch ramps, a pedestrian pier and canoe-and-kayak launch, as well as parking for up to 61 vehicles.

In addition to the PARTF grant, the county received a Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program grant from the Division of Coastal Management to cover most of the purchase cost of the property, county officials have said.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in November or December, according to Assistant County Manager Jim Chrisman.