Reprinted from Port City Daily
The town of Surf City has purchased 60 acres of land from the Batts Family Corp. for a future park.
The town negotiated a final sales price of $550,000, according to Town Manager Kyle Breuer.
Parks and Recreation Director Chad Merritt said the land, which sits directly south of the Surf City Community Center, was purchased on Wednesday.
“We’re very pleased to be able to work with the Batts Family on securing this land,” Mayor Doug Medlin said. “It was important that their legacy continues, and Surf City will be proud to help them do that by making sure this land is used for parks and recreation for years to come. As Surf City continues to grow, we’ll be able to expand our recreation opportunities for our current and future citizens.”
In a Wednesday press release, the town did not disclose whether Councilwoman Teresa Batts was involved in the purchase. When reached on Thursday morning, Town Manager Kyle Breuer said Batts, although sharing the same name as Batts Properties, “is in no manner associated with this transaction and received no financial benefit.”
Along with her town duties, Batts owns Teresa Batts Real Estate.
According to Merritt, Surf City has applied for grant funding from multiple agencies, including the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and Land and Water Conservation Fund, to offset the cost of the purchase and the future development of the park.
The additional properties will nearly triple the amount of park land at the Community Center and Athletic Complex site, according to Merritt.
The purchase comes after the town council approved of a Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan in June 2019, guiding the future recreation needs of the community.
According to the release, Breuer was instrumental in the land acquisition since his January hiring. Before his job as the town manager, he was the planning director for Pender County for more than a decade.
Merritt said the comprehensive master plan was also crucial in moving the project forward.
“(I)t is a tool developed from the voice of the community, and it is our job to implement it. I am excited for Surf City; we have been waiting for a long time,” Merritt said.
The Batts Family Corp. was created by the late Earl G. Batts and wife, Inez S. Batts, in 1974, according to the town.
This story is provided courtesy of Port City Daily, an online news source for Wilmington and the Cape Fear region, including New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties. Coastal Review Online is partnering with Port City Daily to provide readers with more environmental and lifestyle stories of interest about our coast.