Elizabethtown approves improvements to Tory Hole

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — The area around Tory Hole will continue undergoing renovations after two new projects were approved Monday night by the Elizabethtown Town Council.

The first project involves the amphitheater at Tory Hole Park.

“The seating has been removed and repaired, the building has been demolished, and the stage has been replaced,” Elizabethtown Parks and Recreation Director Rod Fritz explained to the Town Council. “We’re asking for a shelter on there — four steel beams and a shed-type roof. If we wanted to have a play, we could hang curtains or backdrops, or if we wanted to have a movie screen or NC Wildlife wanted to do a PowerPoint presentation of fishing regulations, we could use this.”

The wall-less structure, Fritz said, would also discourage animals taking up residence and damaging property, an issue in the past. The entire structure will be ADA compliant.

The second of the approvals will bring to the area a boost to the multi-phase plan for a boardwalk along the river. Originally planned in two phases, the Council approved last night an amendment to the contract with T.J.’s Marine Construction from $42,740 to $99,500 to complete all phases of the Tory Hole Boardwalk Nature Trail and Fishing Pier/Scenic Overlook.

“It will be a wonderful amenity to the park that will basically not cost taxpayers anything and will provide a fishing pier like we have upstream at Lock and Dam No. 2,” Fritz remarked. “It will be ADA accessible, with lower rails and wheelchair fishing spaces on the pier.”

Building materials are expected to be delivered next week, and the entire project is expected to be complete in 60 days, a full four months ahead of the original end date, Fritz said.

Town Manager Eddie Madden credited Fritz, as well as Asst. Town Manager Pat DeVane, with “manag(ing) the project so well and stretch(ing) dollars” to complete the project early and within budget.

In other business, the board:

— Postponed a public hearing to amend the Code of Ordinance regarding the carrying and display of handguns and other weapons on certain town property. Council members cited a desire to gather additional information.

— Met and heard from Lumber River Council of Governments Executive Director David Richardson, who introduced himself, presented the NC Tomorrow Plan and encouraged staff and council members to begin planning for the 2029 census.

— Appointed Michael Leinwand to the Planning Board to replace Chris Adams, who recently resigned.

— Approved the Capital Improvement Plan for 2018-2022. The plan includes Phase II utility burial and lighting along W. Broad Street and development of Greene’s Lake Park in 2018/2019, to the tune of $2.1 million; Sallie Salter Park improvements ($100,000) in 2020/2021; and Phase III utility burial on S. Poplar ($2.1 million) and Lock and Dam #2 upgrades and renovations ($50,000) in 2021/2022.

— Approved a change order to amend the existing contract with F3 Construction to include additional enhancements to the Tory Holy Restroom Renovation Project. Funding is available from the PARTF grant and from $75,000 the NC Division of Wildlife pledged to PARTF.

— Approved changing the airport terminal roof type from a three-coat finish to a two-coat finish, both of which come with a 20-year warranty. Along with a draftstops in two locations, the net change in the contract is a reduction of $224.

The next meeting of the Elizabethtown Town Council will be Monday, May 7, at the municipal building. The Council meets at noon for planning and at 7 p.m. for its meeting.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.

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Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal