Glen Alpine Public Meeting

The Glen Alpine Downtown Park Public Input meeting was held Thursday, April 11 at 6pm – with a horrible rainstorm 5:50-6:10pm – we still had 24 in attendance for the 50-minute meeting.

There was a 24×36 inch poster of the illustrative park plan for discussion as people were arriving. At 6pm, the meeting started with a 20-minute power point presentation about the park site, park amenities, NC PARTF grant and process, matching funds, budget, and trails coming through the park. Then questions and comments were addressed.

Of the 24 attendees, those of note include one reporter from The News Herald, 2 Aldermen, one father daughter set, 5 parents of young children, 2 local business owners, trail users, other residents.

16 comment cards collected – 13 all said at minimum good idea (several expanded on that), one wanted a splash pad, 2 suggested safety concerns.

The general thoughts at the meeting were positive and attendees were excited to get the project moving.

Catalyst for Downtown Growth – Attendees liked the size of the park and how it will fit downtown as a gathering space and economic boost for the businesses. Attendees liked the idea of the walking loop as a place to practice riding a bike or scooter – and logical event set up for displays/booths. They supported the idea that the parcel would be so much more than just a park – that it would be a meeting place for kids, families, those on lunch break, morning walkers and a way to grow current town events.

Room for growth – Attendees were dreaming about future growth with the pavilion to host bands and movie nights. One attendee asked the cost of both phases and maybe something could be done to build it all at once.

Lighting was discussed but no consensus was reached. It will be a dawn to dusk park. Statements made – Would light encourage use afterhours or would it be a deterrent to wrongdoing, if light was added would be soft low light at the ground, would lights on poles and be blocked on residential sides. It the end, the aldermen can decide at construction time.

Safety was another area for discussion. One border of the park has a railroad 100 feet from the boundary. There will be a fence around the playground and a suggestion was made to be 8 foot or higher because their child was a climber. One border is a three-lane street and can have lots of traffic at school pickup and drop-off times. A discussion will be had with NCDOT about options for the 3 lanes and the 4-way stop.

A question came up about maintenance and could Town of Glen Alpine handle the park. The 1.3 acre parcel is all grass (except one large tree) and the town already cuts the grass once a week – and the park would only add cleaning the restrooms.

Someone asked if the park would be dog friendly and would there be a waste station. An alderman stated there was a leash town in town, but dogs would be welcome at the park.

Art Sculpture – one person suggested the sculpture be a groundhog because there are several groundhogs on the park parcel. Another person suggested a turkey because a street coming into the park is named Turkey Tail.

Trails – At least 7 attendees expressed their interest/support for the Fonta Flora State Trail and the regional Burke River Trail. They see those trails in adding to the downtown draw.

The Public Input Meeting was part of the process to apply for an NC PARTF grant. The application was submitted on April 29 and the Town of Glen Alpine will know the results in August.