The town of Elkin has taken steps toward acquiring the Chatham Park property, now owned by CMC Holdings. This acquisition also would assist with a neighboring project to develop an RV park.
Leslie Schlender, Elkin’s economic development director, explained last week that the town commissioners have been looking at the possibility of taking ownership of the Chatham Park property for several years.
The entrance to the park off of East Main Street across from the former Vaughn-Bassett Furniture plant is actually the entrance to the former Chatham Manufacturing Plant 4 building, which is owned by Surrey Bank & Trust.
In acquiring the Chatham Park, the town also wants to ensure it has a written easement in the Plant 4 property deed to use the driveway to access the park, Schlender said during the town commissioners annual retreat recently. She told the commissioners that the Surrey Bank property is under contract.
“The reason why we want to go for an easement, is so we know whoever owns the Surrey Bank property we can get access to our park,” Schlender told the commissioners.
The easement also would allow access over the railroad tracks for RVs and campers accessing Freddy Davis’ property where he is planning to develop an RV park along the Yadkin River between Chatham Park and the I-77 overpass over the river, Schlender said.
Part of gaining access to the easement also will allow the town to upgrade the railroad crossing from Main Street over the tracks and to the flat drive through the park to make access to the RV park area without RVs and campers dragging the ground as they cross the tracks.
“We agree we’ll maintain the accessway to the standard it is now,” Schlender said. “We’re looking to pave or make the entranceway safer, but we don’t want to do that until we ensure there is a town easement and ownership of the park.”
The RV park is to be along part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail as it travels from Elkin toward Pilot Mountain, Schlender said.
The commissioners, in approving the motion to pursue ownership of Chatham Park from CMC Holdings, also agreed to have staff pursue a Brownfields Agreement for that property. A Brownfields Agreement is designed to protect new property owners from any liability if anything happens, such as environmental contaminants are found, on a property due to its prior use.
Adam McComb, recreation and parks director for the town, said there are 29 to 30 ball teams that use the park throughout the year.
Schlender said she’ll be ensuring the town has a letter of intent completed that informs CMC Holdings that Elkin wants to pursue ownership of the property.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.