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Conover plans to offer citizens a new place to enjoy fresh fall air this year.
Officials expect the city's new Conover Station Park to be completed by fall, opening opportunities for walking along trails, enjoying a playground and taking in the area's newest outdoor recreation site.
Along with a $7,900 city investment, nearly $750,000 in N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund and Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant money is funding the project.
"This should get us a complete park," said Lance Hight, Conover's planning director. "Our budget is drawn down to park benches, trash cans, signage, you name it. We've even got the clean-up-after-your-animal stations."
Conover City Council approved plans this week to legally set aside 6.6 acres of Conover Station's 27 acres for conservation as "green" space.
"We're going to make sure it stays green and that the funding we received is going to continue to operate it that way," Hight said. "How often do we get this type of opportunity for a park, with acreage so centrally located in the city? A stream runs through the property already, and we can't build a building over a stream. We decided on a park."
Park plans started in 2008, three years after Conover acquired the Conover Station land from Furniture Brands Limited. The land for the park fronts 5th Avenue SE and U.S. 70.
About an acre of the park will serve as a cleaning system for stormwater runoff through a 60-foot-wide area of grass and stone, Hight said. Conover's public works department and a subcontractor are already working on that part of the project.
Conover has also opened bids for a contract on the remaining 5.5 acres that will serve the public, said City Manager Donald Duncan. The city hopes construction will begin in March and be completed by July.
For an early look at the proposed layout of Conover Station Park, search "ConoverNC" at youtube.com.