City, Bell Tower Green Inc. sign agreement formally handing over maintenance responsibilities

Published 12:23 am Saturday, October 23, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — City Council members on Friday formally authorized an agreement with Bell Tower Green, Inc. to assume the responsibility of maintaining Bell Tower Green Park.

After two years of construction and four years of planning and fundraising, the park opened to the public Oct. 1. The nearly $13 million price tag was mostly funded from private donors. So, the city’s cost is $350,000 after allocating a matching grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

“You had me at hello,” said council member Brian Miller, who made the motion to authorize one of two agreements.

The first of the two outlines the city’s responsibility to maintain the park along with a “good faith” agreement to coordinate on any issues that may arise. Additionally, it tasks the city with ensuring the park is sufficiently staffed.

The agreement says the park’s general hours will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, but official hours can be set by an ordinance or by the director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. The agreement sets a deadline of Dec. 31 to knock off other items on the “punch list,” including the installation of exterior lights and wireless internet.

Bell Tower Green, Inc. will remain a nonprofit organization and financially contribute “in good faith” to the maintenance and upkeep of the park via donations and anticipated revenue from the historic Wrenn House building. Bell Tower Green, Inc. will maintain ownership of the Wrenn House, which is currently being marketed with Charlotte-based John Hadley of The Nichols Company for a potential restaurant.

The second agreement is related to use of the park’s logo for advertising or marketing purposes. Revenue generated must be placed in a restricted account limited only to enhancement, repair or maintenance expenses.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.