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LIGHTNING PHOTOS: More work set for park

Walking trail has been excavated at the Park at Flat Rock. Walking trail has been excavated at the Park at Flat Rock.

 

FLAT ROCK — The Flat Rock Village Council last week authorized a $15,411 contract for stream and creek work and tentatively committed about $150,000 to renovate the clubhouse for restrooms at the village’s new park.

 

The council also agreed to appropriate $23,000 to operate the Flat Rock Recreation Foundation, which has set a goal of raising $567,950 for the park over three years through grants and donations.

The council agreed to move ahead on public restrooms in the clubhouse when cost estimates for a planned pavilion and separate restroom building came in above forecast.

Project manager Ed Lastein told the council that the village could achieve most of what it planned for the clubhouse including the restrooms, a park information area, office space and required changes for wheelchair access for about $147,000.

“I think this really satisfies all our needs,” he said.

The council authorized architect Wayland Shamburger to draft construction plans for the clubhouse work.

The council also agreed to stream creek restoration work it will share with the Highland Golf Villas property owners association. The neighborhood has set aside the money to pay for its share of the work, association president Barbara Coladarci told the council. The homeowners will cover the first 125 feet of the work and the village is paying for the remaining 275 feet of a 400-feet stretch of stream bank.

Lastein told the council that Trace & Co. had been making good progress constructing the perimeter trail before the snowstorm halted work last week. The council earlier approved a $115,105 contract for the walking trail.

Council funds foundation

The village bought the old Highland Lake Golf Course for $1.15 million and has set aside $832,000 in the current year’s budget for improvements. But over time, board members say, improvements will cost more than the village can afford. To raise money, the village formed a Recreation Foundation.

Foundation secretary Terry Hicks asked the council to fund a part-time director and grant writer that the foundation plans to hire on a contract basis. The foundation projected an annual expense of $68,000, including $30,000 for a part-time director, $6,500 for contingency and other expenses, $12,000 for office operations, $8,000 for a grant writer, $2,000 for recognition expenses and $6,000 for marketing materials and mailing.

“We’re now at the point where we feel like we can begin serious fundraising activity,” said Hicks, who is a former village mayor.

The foundation projected that its campaign could raise $200,000 the first year, including $100,000 in government grants, $25,000 in foundation grants and $75,000 in gifts.

Vice Mayor Nick Weedman questioned the foundation’s three-year fundraising projection of $568,000. Hicks said the research came from an analysis by Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, which is helping the foundation.

“The park is highly visible,” Hicks said. “There are some very attractive naming opportunities in the park that people are going to see for years and years to come.”

As an example, the foundation estimated naming opportunities of $100,000 for a playground, $20,000 for a pavilion, $20,000 for picnic areas (four at $5,000 each), $40,000 for “talking trees” (20 at $2,000 each), $10,000 for a flag pole and $25,000 for park benches (10 at $2,500 each).

Funding the foundation request now, Weedman said, will likely lead to a $68,000 appropriation for the budget year that begins July 1.

“To me, we’ve got to understand that while we’re not obligating funds for next year we really in a way are,” he said.