Monday, June 17, 2013

Yes, indeedy: a new park in the works

Here's the waterfall of Otter Falls Park. Photo courtesy of the Town of Seven Devils.

(Image from Town of Seven Devils)

The quality of life in Seven Devils is about to get even better -- if you can imagine it.

Week before last, the town received notice that it has been awarded a $135,000 grant to purchase pristine property for a new town park, which we mentioned a couple of months ago.

The land is a "wooded area with a stream and waterfall, known locally as Otter Falls Park, according to Town Manager Ed Evans."

The grant is for $135,800 and is contingent upon a 50/50 match with local government funds. The total cost of the acquisition is expected to cost $271,600 – that includes $265,000 for the purchase of the 9.78-acre tract and several thousand for due diligence such as an appraisal, survey and title search.

Clyde David Little is the seller of the property, which, according to a resolution adopted by the Seven Devils Town Council, has historical significance for its usage by Native Americans and for being a track bed for the original Tweetsie Railroad. 

Evans said that portions of the funds for the purchase of the property could come from a lender, general fund balance and/or donations. Before applying for the grant, Evans said citizens were asked how they felt about the project.

“Actually every comment, email and letter we received was positive,” Evans said. “That doesn’t mean there wasn’t opposition, but if anyone was opposed, they didn’t voice their opposition.

Residents were also asked if they were willing to donate funds and the majority of people expressed a willingness to contribute financially to Seven Devils first potential natural park area.

“We are hoping a portion of it can be funded through donations,” Evans said.Currently, the village has two tennis courts with a small playground nearby. That is the extent of the public land in Seven Devils. 

“That is one reason this is important to so many of our folks … This 9.78-acre parcel is the midway point in town. It’s all wooded, natural, has a small stream, a small water fall. It’s a very pretty piece of property,” Evans said. “In my opinion, it’s an ideal parcel to keep natural [with] trails.”