KENANSVILLE — Concern over a previous decision by the Duplin County Board of Commissioners brought several members of the Chinquapin Recreation Department in front of the board to ask for reconsideration during a recent meeting.
Jim Williams, president of the recreation department, was the spokesman for the group and indicated that the boards’ decision to declare a one-third acre parcel of the old Chinquapin School site as surplus, and to sell it ,would directly impact their plans for use of that property.
The commissioners had approved a citizens request that the third of an acre be declared surplus so he could obtain the land to square up his property.
Williams stated that although they had been unsuccessful in locating the lease agreement of the property to the recreation department from the county, he and the department had assumed that when the old school was demolished they would be able to utilize that property for recreational purposes. “We did not know that the county intended to declare any of the property surplus and then sell it,” said Williams. “We are planning to use that property to expand our ball fields and to build a new field where our older young people can continue to play Dixie Youth ball.”
Currently, those young people have to travel to Wallace or another area to continue recreational ball because the Chinquapin fields are not large enough to accomodate the participants. Williams explained that he was hoping to get a new lease agreement from the county for all of the property so they could build a new field that would be sufficient to allow Dixie Youth play. “You may feel that a third of acre is not much when you see the property, but placing a ball field it is a big portion of the play area.”
Williams went on to state that they have attempted to place the field in multiple locations on the property but only found one other placement that would work, however, it would eliminate so much parking that the field would be useless unless those coming to play and those wanting to come and watch would not have any place to park.
“You have to take into consideration things like will the sun be shining in the players eyes while playing, is there enough parking and other such things when planning placing a new field,” he said.
The recreation department feels that the usage of the one-third acre the board previously approved is necessary for them to have the field they need.
The commissioners discussed the matter and Reginald Wells moved to rescind the action and grant the recreation a new lease, which was seconded by Harold Raynor. However, the vote was not accepted, as several of the commissioners stated that they would like to know exactly what they were considering and requested to go out and view the property before making a decision.
After a discussion that lasted more than 45 minutes as to whether they would go look at the property, it was decided that the board would join members of the recreation department at the site and then make a decision at the next meeting of the board in March.
Wells expressed his dislike of the idea and shared that this is a concern he has with the commissioners “not being able to make a decision about anything without make a mountain out of a mole hill.”
The board did meet but no decision can be made until the board meets Monday, March 1.
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