Carthage reveals lost plans for Nancy Kiser Park

The Town of Carthage revealed a park plan and adopted a new virtual meeting attendance policy for board members on Aug. 20 at its Special Strategic Planning Meeting.

Plans for Nancy Kiser Park, next to Carthage Elementary School, were designated as a high priority for town planners.

Mayor Jimmy Chalflinch said they need to get the park where it needs to be and that means new playground equipment.

The Board plans to search for grants to update the park and implement the rendering’s suggestions. Landscape architect Vince Zucchino of VZA, Inc, in Carthage, created the rendering.

“When the server went out, I was in the back room plugging things in and out and there it was — covered in twenty years of dust,” Town Manager Emily Yopp said about the rendering for plans at Nancy Kiser Park.

Carthage reveals the lost plans for Nancy Kiser Park

The Board views the rendering of Nancy Kiser Park for the first time after it was stored in a back room at Town Hall for 20 years. 

The Board discussed a roof for a stage, or a roof for the existing amphitheater. They discussed the need for a pickleball court, fencing and lights around the basketball court, room for food trucks and a farmer’s market in the park.

Board member Anton Sadovnikov said the Board needs to repeal the skateboarding law against skating in the park.

The Board will confer with the police chief about repealing the skateboarding law.

“It says we can’t have an event more than twice in the same year in the same spot,” Yopp said about reviewing outdated ordinances.

Board member Brent Tanner said plans for the land where Carthage Elementary School is should be considered now because the school will eventually move.

“We should work on saving for property acquisitions,” Yopp said about acquiring the land next to Nancy Kiser Park.

The Board plans to hold a public meeting to gather public input on plans for Nancy Kiser Park.

The Board discussed developing downtown with manufacturing for small businesses by mapping out areas with office fronts and manufacturing at the rear. The Board said it would like to see military members and veterans open businesses.

The Board plans to develop a small business tool kit with information on grants and permitting, and host it on its website to streamline new downtown business growth.

Sadovnikov said the town needs to align itself with agriculture.

The Board held a lengthy discussion on a town-owned building for a farmer’s market in downtown and how it would attract neighboring communities to explore Carthage’s downtown shops while enjoying the new murals.

Town Planner Kathy Lyles said they focus on protecting agriculture with zoning laws.

“We need lower density housing,” Lyles said to protect agricultural areas with prime soils from major subdivisions.

Downtown’s atmosphere was a high priority. Yopp reported after a recent downtown revitalization workshop with stakeholders, the Board learned most people want sidewalks and seating, with walls between the roads and sidewalks, and lighting.

Plans to preserve the historic atmosphere included renovating the old jail from the 1800s.

“I’m afraid it’ll fall in,” Chalflinch said about improving the old jail.

Ideas for the old jail included it being used as an attraction at Buggy Days, having the mayor arrested and asking citizens to bail him out of jail, offering historic tours, and developing the rumor that the old jail is haunted.

Tanner said the Town needs to develop a large truck bypass, and the Town had plans in the past, but it needs to create support now through the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Sadovnikov said a bypass was critical, and the Town should approach the general assembly for support.

The Board discussed being progressive to support development.

The water system pumps 300,000 gallons per day and for future growth needs to consider pumping 1.5 million gallons per day, which depends on finding a secondary water source.

Carthage’s $8.5 million water system is considered the best in the state.

“Plan for growth now,” Tanner said.

Town of Carthage reveals lost plans for Nancy Kiser Park

The Town of Carthage meets for a Special Strategic Planning Meeting August 20, 2022, at the Carthage Fire Department. 

The Board passed a new virtual meeting attendance policy for board members. The policy covers virtual meetings, which will be held during emergency situations, and states board members may remotely attend up to six meetings. The reason for allocating six meetings is to prevent abuse of virtual attendance, while supporting military board members who are sometimes deployed for six months.

Yopp said the meeting room for Town meetings was not technology friendly for virtual recordings, but they were working on improvement plans to offer public virtual meetings.

Feature photo: Town Manager Emily Yopp reviews a rendering of plans for Nancy Kiser Park August 20, 2022, at its Special Strategic Planning Meeting.

~Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers. Contact her at [email protected].

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