The Tega Cay City Council is moving forward with Catawba Park.
The council will spend $465,000 to design the park to be built along the Catawba River below New Gray Rock Road. The city has almost $1 million available for the park.
“It’s money that we’ve set aside,” Mayor George Sheppard said. “We have some (hospitality tax) money as well as money from developers.”
The city received concepts for the park in April. The first phase will put a baseball/softball complex on about 9 acres owned by the city. The first phase will also complete engineering design work on an adjacent 39-acre Duke Energy tract.
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Design work will cost an estimated $340,000 for the city property and $125,000 for the Duke parcel. Construction cost estimates are $3 million for the city site, $4 million for the Duke site.
“We think we can do something really special,” said Charlie Funderburk, city manager.
A goal for the first phase is additional recreational space. Tega Cay and Fort Mill work well together to provide youth and other recreation opportunities for a growing area, Funderburk said. New fields only will increase those opportunities.
Residents should start seeing progress on the site soon. “Hopefully we’ll be moving dirt next fall,” Sheppard said.
The city owns almost 10 acres, while Duke and Clear Springs Baxter own 52 acres. The site has a boat ramp and fishing areas. Plans call for a baseball/softball complex, multipurpose fields, basketball courts , an amphitheater, a par-3 disc golf course, a canoe/kayak launch, horseshoe courts, playgrounds and restrooms. Trails will connect the park to neighboring communities and the Carolina Thread Trail.
In December, Campco Engineering representatives showed a park plan with two entrances and 400 parking spaces. Full design work could take three to six months, depending on scope.
The Duke property will have trails and river access. The Clear Springs site would have the multipurpose fields. So far the city doesn’t have agreementswith either group.
“Now that we’re getting going, those conversations will start picking up a lot more,” Funderburk said.
One issue is the federal hydroelectric license Duke received in November. The license includes extensive recreation and land use plans throughout the Catawba River basin. Federal regulators issued a 40-year license, but Duke appealed, asking for the maximum 50-year license.
Resolving that license could affect discussions between the city and Duke on Catawba Park.
“It can impact us because if they don’t have a 50-year license, they’re not going to have a 50-year lease with us. It basically would impact the length of the lease,” Funderburk said.