CEDAR POINT, NC – July 2019
The Town of Cedar Point saw two needs for its community: recreation and conservation. It satisfied both with the purchase of 56 acres along the White Oak River.
The property will become Cedar Point’s first locally owned park. Though two parks exist already within town limits, neither were owned by the municipality, and neither provided the outdoor activities and scenic views that Cedar Point was looking to provide its citizens.
Additionally, the purchase preserves Cedar Point’s unique geography and past. The waterfront property was once bustling with Native American civilizations and Civil War activity, and it still hosts a diverse population of wildlife. However, that history, as well as the water quality of the bordering river, were in danger of being defiled with potential residential development, for which the land was zoned.
“A lot of people want Cedar Point to stay like it is, and this is a huge step … for our kids, our grandkids, everybody,” Mayor Scott Hatsell told the Carteret County News-Times. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to secure this for everyone, forever.”
Cedar Point made the case to purchase the park leading up to the November 2018 election. They put the initiative to a vote as a bond referendum, asking the citizens to agree to a property tax hike. It passed overwhelmingly with 69 percent of the vote.
In April 2019, Cedar Point closed on the property for $2.8 million, and though the majority of the price is slated to be covered by the bond sale, the town has worked vigorously to reduce the tax payer’s responsibility. Cedar Point has received one $250,000 grant from the N.C. Coastal Land Trust, and are hopeful to receive additional grants totaling $1.5 million.
The town plans to provide foot trails and waterfront and picnic facilities for the park, though most of the area – 18 acres of which is wetlands – will be preserved in its natural state.