Committee approves Indian Trail’s two new park designs

INDIAN TRAIL – People in Indian Trail are getting their first looks at what two new town parks may look like, assuming voters approve millions of dollars in bonds needed to build the parks when they vote in November.

The town’s Parks, Trees and Greenway Committee recently approved designs for the two parks – Chestnut and Sardis – the construction of which could start next year pending November’s vote on $8.5 million in bonds. The Chestnut park, on 50 acres between U.S. 74 and Matthews-Indian Trail Road, would include the Carolina Courts property, as well as a playground, dog park, picnic area, athletic fields, a disc golf course and more, according to the designs. This is also where the future Indian Trail Community Center would go, which will host senior events and civic group meetings.

“Even for the person that never goes to parks, they will appreciate the value it will bring to our community when it’s completed,” said Indian Trail council member Chris King about both parks. King was instrumental in pushing for the parks, as well as a 4-cent tax increase that would help pay off the park bonds if passed. That money currently is going into a capital reserve fund to finance other projects in town, like sidewalk additions and road improvements.

The larger of the two parks, on 140 acres near Unionville-Indian Trail Road and Sardis Elementary School, will include miles of walking and biking trails, a fishing pond, nature center and another disc golf course and dog park. But the main addition is six softball and baseball fields and several multi-purpose fields for soccer, football and lacrosse use that could become a key tool for the town in luring in sports tournaments and the hotels and dining options that would want to be associated with those tournaments.

“I think by capturing the sports tourism market that the baseball and softballs fields will bring, the park will pay for itself in terms of security, maintenance and upkeep,” King said.

The designs, prepared by Woolpert Design, were a collaboration of things council members and local residents have said they’d like to see added in Indian Trail.  “So when I say it has something for everyone, I mean everyone,” King said of the two parks. “I think this park is going to be the nicest park in Union County.”

The designs now go to town council, which must approve the designs prior to construction starting. But construction must first wait to see the result of the bond package, with a previous parks bond package already having failed last year. Then, voters turned down a smaller package by a slim margin.

Those speaking out against the bond and parks projects say the town’s increased taxes should be focused elsewhere – such as paying for more deputies to protect residents or improving roads overburdened by the area’s rapid growth.

It’s unclear when council will vote on the park designs.

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