Supporters of turning the former Crooked Creek golf course in Fuquay-Varina into a county park are speaking out for it again as the project is set to be reheard by Wake County commissioners.
The proposal for what's sometimes called South Wake Park returns to commissioners in their November 5 meeting. Commissioner Matt Calabria, whose district includes the proposed park, told the INDY that the plan generally resembles the one that generated much discussion at an August work session.
"The general tenets are roughly the same," Calabria says. "The staff is doing their legal due diligence."
According to Calabria, the question of whether the Fuquay-Varina park would fit into the county's parks plan has been resolved. That document sets out provisions for renovating, maintaining, and upfitting existing parks, not for future projects, he says.
During a public comment period at an October 2 commission work session, Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles reminded commissioners that a decision to build a county park in Fuquay-Varina would not be forgotten by Wake's other towns.
"Crooked Creek Park sounds good," Eagles said. "But Rolesville just purchased one hundred and ten acres of property, farmland, for development of a sports complex and park, and we expect our share, too. In talking to the other mayors, each municipality expects the same share. I hope you've got deep pockets."
Asked about Eagles's comment, Calabria says commissioners welcome requests from all parts of the county. "We've done work in just about every municipality," he says.
Backers made the case for the park for a variety of reasons. Joel Sugarman, a Fuquay-Varina resident, told commissioners he recovered from a heart attack in part by walking along the closed golf course that could become a park.
"Having a local exercise place that's close by my house, in addition to the Y where I go work out, has really helped save my life," Sugarman said.
Supporters say the South Wake Park could fill a need for open space in this rapidly growing part of the county and create a place for families to join in activities.
But some board members questioned the need for the park when many other priorities require funding, including mental health care and affordable housing. And town officials in Fuquay-Varina have declined to contribute any resources to the park.