With county matching money, Spencer should have trailhead funded

Published 12:04 am Thursday, September 8, 2022

SALISBURY — Rowan County commissioners have committed $100,000 in an effort to make Spencer’s Yadkin River Trailhead come to fruition.

The gift, approved quietly as part of the consent agenda at the commissioner’s Tuesday afternoon meeting, will help Spencer make up the difference between the current amount raised and the funding it needs to make the trailhead happen with no compromises.

Rowan County Board of Commissioners Chair Greg Edds said the county had a discussion with a private individual about a matching gift to the project: $100,000 from the commissioners and $100,000 from the private donor. He said there was immediate agreement to help.

“We’d been invited, on multiple occasions, by Davidson County leadership to really study the overall vision of that entire project, both on the north and south side of the county line,” Edds said. “We’ve been over and seen what they’ve done, we’ve met with Spencer folks and seen their vision. It’s really a mutual vision between Davidson and Rowan County. Plus, there’s a lot of plans for redevelopment along that area.”

Edds said Spencer reached out and asked if the county wanted to participate and that led to the conversation for the matching gift.

“It was within about half a second, they said ‘absolutely,'” Edds said, adding the project will be transformative for the site.

The town is about $200,000 short of the $754,000 price tag to pay for the whole thing with the bells and whistles attached. Spencer Town Manager Peter Franzese confirmed the Spencer Board of Aldermen will consider a $200,000 increase to the project budget during next week’s meeting.

The project, which will provide parking and connections between local trails and Wil-Cox bridge, is intended to complement the development of Yadkin River Park on the Davidson County side of the historic bridge.

The project has been heavily funded through public contributions, including local gifts like the $200,000 the town is expected to accept next week and the money from Carolina Thread Trail.

Spencer Special Projects Planner Joe Morris said when the town first asked the county to participate it was not for a specific amount, only indicating the town might need more funding in the future, and the county was supportive.

“They have reacted in a manner that will help us proceed with the project without further delay,” Morris said.

The project was originally slated to be built out in phases.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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